Failing to Gasp the Gun Debate

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That is not a typo there in the title of this piece. I don’t mean grasp, I mean gasp. Listen.

I recently attended a town hall held by my newly elected member of Congress, Dean Phillips. It was pretty nice getting to go to a town hall held by my representative in Washington, because the previous representative, displaced last election by Representative Phillips, went for years and years without having any actual town halls. He’d have an occasional fake town hall we’d hear about after the fact, but no actual town halls. Phillips is holding town halls on a regular basis.

Many topics were covered during the event, including guns, and Phillips gave an OK response to an early question on the issue. He runs politically in the middle of the road but definitely in favor of more regulation, which is probably good for the district where a significant number of citizens hunt, and we have not suffered any local mass killings of children. (Though this district does include a school suicide hot spot.)

But then something happened at the end of the town hall. The last questioner said something shocking. He told Representative Phillips and the audience that he had researched which kind of weapon would do best to kill “his deer.” (“His deer” or more us ally “my deer” might be a Minnesota expression referring to the deer you expect to get during hunting season.) He had determined that what he called an “AK-47” rifle, his AK, was the best weapon with which to kill a deer. It was the most effective at killing, and thus, best for the deer. For this reason, we should not really be regulating guns like people want us to.

The audience sat and listened, then waited for Representative Phillips to say something, and he did. He said something assuaging the person who asked the question, and I think Phillips and most of the audience were quietly embarrassed by this hunter’s remarks. Most people just glanced away and were glad to have this not develop into a fight. That, by the way, is a key component of the widely known “Minnesota nice.” No matter how bone-headed a remark or behavior made in public might be, just let it go. Not worth it. Give it a stern look and move on.

Now, before I tell you why the hunter was wrong, the audience was wrong, and Representative Phillips was wrong, in what they all said and did and did not do an did not say, a brief digression. This is advice I’ve since passed on to a few different elected officials, and now I’m giving it to you.

Always have a last question of your own, in case the actual last question is a real bummer like this one was. Don’t have a person ready with an ideal last question that you turn to at the end. That is smarmy and dishonest. But much less smarmy and reasonably less dishonest is to have a question in your head. A question someone once asked you, that you have a kick-ass excellent answer to, the kind of answer you want your public appearance to end on.

Then, if the last question you actually get at the actual event is a great one, and you don’t blow the answer, you are good. Be done. But if that last question is like this guy’s question, so that the public event will end with a squirm and a whimper instead of an inspiring exposition and a tear in the eye, pull out your emergency question. “Thanks for that. By the way, something someone said earlier reminded me of a question I got the other day, but no one touched on here. It is about kittens and how much I love them, and how I saved some baby bunnies from a snake the other day…” or whatever.

Anyway, yes, the deer hunter was wrong because he made the case that a tactical rifle, sometimes called an “assault weapon,” was the best way to kill a deer. This is not true. Tactical rifles trade off effectiveness of accurate killing of a large mammal at a modest distance for lightness, shortness, ability to point around and blast scary things that are near you as you prance through a dangerous situation wearing armor going “hut hut hut” like this:

Meanwhile, to kill a deer, you use the following elements.

1) You hide in a tree overlooking a place deer are expected.

2) The deer pass into the zone of expectation, walking slowly, frequently stopping to browse or listen and smell the surrounding environment.

3) You point a large, long barreled, highly accurate, high caliber rifle with good sights at the deer and when ready pull the trigger.

Like this (fear not, no deer are harmed in this video):

The guy at the Town Hall was wrong.

The audience was wrong. Why? Because — wait for it — no one gasped. Well, I did, and I got a stern look or two, but nobody else did. What should have happened is that everyone should have done that thing they do in the British Parliament. Like this:

Or words to that effect.

What should Representative Phillips have done? I’m not sure. I wanted him to walk up to the guy and slap him, but that is exactly the opposite of what the mild mannered and friendly Phillips would ever do.

Maybe he could have sung a song, like this:

Ok, that was all very fun but I do want to get very serious for a moment. I have a specific suggestion I’d like to give my fellow Town Hall goers and activists interested in gun violence.

Go get hypnotized. Get a post-hypnotic suggestion that has the following effect. Next time you are in a public space and someone takes the floor and belittles any project or suggestion to reduce gun violence by limiting access to tactical assault weapons, high capacity magazines, or similar, or to reduce suicide and accidental discharge of weapons in homes by requiring that guns be firmly secured, or anything along those lines, you will suddenly believe that you are in a room where the entire audience is made up of the loved ones and survivors of Sandy Hook massacre, the Red Lake massacre, the Virginia Tech massacre, the Fort Hood massacre, the Aurora theater massacre, the Columbine massacre, the Parkland massacre, and all the other massacres.

You would imagine, through this post hypnotic suggestion, that there are thousands of people in the room with you, all of whom had lost a child, a parent, a sibling, a student, a teacher, a co-worker, a neighbor, or some other loved one or close acquaintance, to a shooter who would never have been a shooter if this country had an entirely different gun culture and entirely different gun laws.

Imagine the person making the case about his choice of deer hunting weapon in a room full of those people.

And in the balconies, the vast balconies that surround this room that has now come indelibly into your head, are the loved ones of the gun suicide victims, which accumulate at the rate of thousands of years, and the victims of accidental shootings, which happen at about the rate of one a day, and the victims of crimes carried out with guns, which are frequent only in societies where there is a strong and vibrant gun culture like the US. There are millions and millions of people in these balconies that extend far beyond your ability to see.

And that person, who is comparing his deer hunting needs to the sorrow of all those millions, is in front of the room making his case.

Imagine this unthinking hunter explaining how it is important to him to have his choice of hunting rifle, even if that meant decreased lack of safety for others.

No, let me try that again. Imagine this asshole yammering on and on about how he needs a fucking assault rifle to get “his deer” even if that means that we continue to live in a society in which babies and college students and everyone in between are occasionally gunned down in a massacre, and tens of thousands of others die annually through gun violence, including suicide, in order to allow let that piece of shit have is goddamn toy.

Yeah, like that. Imagine it that way. I want all of you, in the actual audience when the actual deer hunter stands up to make his case, to imagine being in that room full of those people.

Then, react.

Because, you know what? They are in that room with you, in spirit. They need you to assume you are with them, watching, listening, waiting, for you do do the right thing. And the right thing is not a stern look, or to look away, or to sit quietly.

The right thing to do is to gasp, then take a breath, then let it out. Shout that person down. End that conversation. Make that conversation highly unlikely to happen again in that room with those people. This is not a matter of respecting someone’s voice. It is a matter of insisting that a misguided believe that a the needs of a hobby are equal to the lives of thousands and thousands of victims of our out of control gun culture.

React.


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193 thoughts on “Failing to Gasp the Gun Debate

  1. ” Shout that person down. ”

    That actually violates the 1st amendment.

    It is grounds to get ejected from the room.

    Just a little friendly advice.

    1. So the 1st Amendment protects an idiot saying an idiotic thing, but not the sensible person who responds to the idiot with an expression of disapproval or an objective and evidenced rebuttal.

      Got it.

    2. I think you know full-well that Greg is saying that the idiot’s comment should be challenged, and not simply drowned out. After all, said idiot has already made his substantive point and I don’t think that the 1st Amendment is supposed to afford someone a platform to expound rubbish interminably without refutation…

      In fact, drowning out the idiot’s voice is counterproductive to Greg’s suggestion that the idiot be ‘shouted down’, which is different to being silenced. The original argument needs to stand in all of its lurid fallacy so that the disapproval and any subsequent rebuttal can be properly placed in context.

    3. Nope, first amendment guarantees your right to speak, doesn’t say that everyone else has to shut up and listen to you. Speak up, shut down the conversation, shut down the normalization of the gun culture.

  2. Rick, it does not violate the first amendment for me to tell, say, you, to shut up.

    But yes, normally if someone in the room tries to shout down someone who is talking ,that may be grounds for them to be ejected.

    But no, that is not what I’m suggesting. What I’m suggesting is very clear if you read the post, but I’ll say it in a slightly different way.

    When a person, for obvious pro-gun political reasons, stands up among a group of citizens to tell everyone that his choice of deer rifle is more important than all those children killed at Parkland and Sandy Hook, and all those suicides, and all the other misery, everyone else in the room should express the extreme displeasure they are feeling.

    That is not a violation of anyone’s rights. It is adults standing up and protecting their children.

    1. and even if it does get you thrown out of the meeting, that would be what Rep. John Lewis refers to as ‘getting into good trouble’..

  3. He had determined that what he called an “AK-47” rifle, his AK, was the best weapon with which to kill a deer.

    There’s a very good chance this clown isn’t a hunter.

    That or at one time he was cornered by a herd of angry deer and needed to fire a lot of rounds in a closed area in a short period of time.

    I’m guessing not a hunter.

    1) You hide in a tree overlooking a place deer are expected.

    2) The deer pass into the zone of expectation, walking slowly, frequently stopping to browse or listen and smell the surrounding environment.

    3) You point a large, long barreled, highly accurate, high caliber rifle with good sights at the deer and when ready pull the trigger.

    Unless, as is the case here in the southern part of MI, you are in a “no rifle” hunting region — not even rimfire 22s or high caliber pistols: only shotguns.

    1. There’s a very good chance this clown isn’t a hunter.

      Yup. Completely silly claim so therefore the guy was making mischief.

  4. Sure – you can feel free to express your extreme displeasure. As long as it doesn’t involve a group of people shouting down another person and therefore violating their constitutional rights. You should be glad that the same rights are extended to you – protecting your right to speak about your extreme displeasure, rather than be shouted down by a whole group of pro-gun people.

    The 1st amendment even applies to people who’s views you find abhorrent. That is life in America. Just because you think your side of an issue is right, correct and just doesn’t mean the other side doesn’t get to speak up in opposition to your viewpoint (and visa versa).

    But I think you know all that.

  5. Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Please point out the part of that which applies to a member of the public who is not a member of congress, telling another person of the public, including a member of congress if required, to shut up.

    None of it, but you already new that right Rick.

    1. Strawman. We are not talking about telling someone to shut up. We are talking about shouting someone down so they cannot speak. That is what will get you ejected from the town hall. Even Greg agrees with that.

    2. RickA, the ‘hunter’ already made his point that he needs a cannon to shoot his deer, so why should he be regulated. That’s his point. He got it out, end of question.

      The “shouting down” follows as an expression of the purility of the hunter’s position. That’s the 1st Amendment right of all those in the hall who disagree with a small-dicked, trigger-happy gun-nut.

    3. We are not talking about telling someone to shut up. We are talking about shouting someone down so they cannot speak.

      No, *you* are talking about it. It’s known as ‘trolling’.

    4. I see that Doug Adler holds the position that one’s right to free speech is only protected from the government and not from “a member of the public who is not a member of congress”.

      So can we assume that Adler would have no issue if a right-winger shut down this blog with a denial-of-service attack? That is as long as the attacker is a “member of the public”?

  6. quite right. I’m a hunter and a veteran, who has been radicalized by the US gun religion nuts like your ‘hunter’. These days I do get confrontational about it.

    We just had a two-day school shutdown, across Denver, because some sad lonely mad girl from Florida flew into CO and bought a shotgun, planning to re-enact the Columbine killings. She ended up naked in the mountain snows committing suicide. With rational gun laws she would have stayed home, and maybe even found some help.

    1. So can we assume that Adler would have no issue if a right-winger shut down this blog with a denial-of-service attack? That is as long as the attacker is a “member of the public”?

      Citizen A telling citizen B that B can’t use A’s property (or website) for any reason isn’t a violation of free speech (contrary to locus’ usual ignorant view).

      Shutting down a blog via a DDS attack is a crime.

      It’s amazing how stupid “spokesmen” for the right are. (Well, given the stupidity and dishonesty of the people at the top on the right, maybe the only surprising thing is that an asswad like locus hasn’t been put in some cabinet position.)

  7. Why is it when the topic of gun violence comes up, school shootings are always mentioned? They are a small number of the total statistics but elicit a visceral response, that’s why. Emotions.

    And emotions are persuasive, which is a good thing if you happen to want gun control and think banning some are a good idea, or restricting access to guns for everyone is a good idea. Or if you think any restrictions on gun ownership are unConstitutional and the anathema of true patriots. Because when you base your gun control views upon emotions, you give yourself pass to avoid thinking about the problem seriously.

    Because there is a disturbing truth that nobody likes about the whole issue – and that is that both sides have some valid positions and arguments, and solving gun violence in America is going to require answers that won’t be universally popular. And analysis by emotion is the absolute wrong way to proceed.

    What has really disturbed me lately are tweets by David Hogg, or those he retweets on the topic. I truly believe that he is part of a faction that wants to restrict guns more than they want to minimize school gun violence. Which is, of course part of his tragic bona fides and supposedly his mission – a mission I heartily endorse, btw. I admire him greatly. But….

    But recently, he tweeted about a study which supposedly validated his faction’s apparent plank, which is to be adamantly opposed to the hardening of schools. He posted a study or article that supposedly showed that hardening schools is not effective in reducing gun violence in schools. I looked at it. It was ridiculously bad.

    What we have right now is a mass movement of younger folks, and concerned parents, and other folks who are simultaneously supposedly serious about reducing school gun violence who are also adamantly against hardening schools. That is , they are against what is the Gold Standard for reducing gun violence in public buildings, what is standard procedure everywhere in world – limited ingress , only and always through metal detectors.

    Because that would be “turning schools into prisons” according to them. Every courthouse, every stadium, every airport, virtually every public meeting, conference, hearing, Congressional session is a prison – did you realize?

    My point here is that both sides of the aisle are thinking emotionally, and not critically, about the issue. Exercises like imagining the audience are all school shooting survivors is exactly the wrong prescription.

    Instead, what we need is open-minded and carefully rigorous analyses, and better data, to define what the true problems are and where the opportunities for solutions might be found. Not the weaponization of memes.

    1. Roger: Your Gold Standard for reducing gun violence is not a cure, it’s a crutch slapped on a problem to keep us from dealing with the real issue of a pervasive and invasive gun culture. Telling the people that they should simply accept limited ingress to public buildings is telling them that it’s necessary for them to live in fear, so that some people don’t have to deal with reasonable rules and restrictions on their ‘right’ to purchase destructive toys.

    2. “That is , they are against what is the Gold Standard …”

      There is no Gold Standard. That’s the fallacy.

      We have data — and it contradicts what Lott (con man, nothing more) and the NRA are calling for.

    3. Speaking as a Canadian (and ex-hunter), I will say that neither side is prepared to learn from the experience in other countries. This is a uniquely American trait.

    4. My point here is that both sides of the aisle are thinking emotionally, and not critically, about the issue.

      As an Australian, and with the perspective of living (safely and happily) with our gun laws, I have to take issue with the notion that “both sides” are emotional and not critical.

      The non-critical emotion is very much on one side of the debate, and it isn’t the side that is trying to make its schools, streets, and other public spaces and indeed its private places safe.

      It’s centuries past the time where little-dicked he-men pretend that they’re entitled, as some imagined variant tof an 18th century militia, to protect the nation from a rabid government.

      Comments to the contrary are just so much pissing up a wall.

    5. There is always emotion in human decisions, especially on such topics as gun control and safe guarding the population. Without some emotional stimulus to action there would be no action. The problem is that emotions can be basically linked to selfishness and greed. In the gun control context we see the selfish (and ridiculous) claim of hunters that they should be able to purchase and use assault rifles and the greed of gun manufacturers via the leadership of the NRA (who consult them rather than their membership for policy guidance).

      Maybe the reason school shootings come up in such a context is that as a group, they are the people least able to defend themselves and they are also the group who normally reach farther into the future than any other. Cutting down young children cuts particularly deeply into the future.

      Limited egress to buildings is not much use against gun-bearing people who shoot people outside of buildings too. Such places abound and they are not limited to schools although they include school campuses. In a gun-happy culture such as ours, anyone or any group can be a target. Even in their own homes or apartments people are at risk. The exterior and interior walls of most houses and apartments are not impervious to bullets and there are such things as windows.

    6. what is standard procedure everywhere in world

      Most countries elsewhere in the world limit gun violence by tightly regulating sale and ownership of guns. Not by ‘hardening’ fucking schools. You just don’t get how utterly insane you sound. Full disclosure: my wife is a teacher. I live in the UK, where handguns were banned outright after Dunblane when a nutter used them to kill sixteen five year old children and a teacher.

      I repeat: pro-gun Americans just do not get how utterly unhinged they sound to the rest of us.

  8. A group of people are simply not allowed to shout down someone else at a town hall.

    Do an experiment. Try it and see what happens.

    I am simply pointing out the obvious – that is all.

  9. As noted, I’m actually not talking about shouting a person down so they can’t speak. I’m talking about reacting fully and vociferously in a negative manner, rather than sitting there quietly, when someone stands up in a room full of those supporting sensible gun safety reform, and tells us all that he needs to be able to have access to assault rifles, and that this access is more important than the safety of our children.

    I really did say this in the post, and I really did say in the post that I want people to imagine that the room is full of the families of the innocent dead from gun violence that is, in turn, a result of our gun culture which is responsible for that silence we usually get.

    This is that third time I’m saying the same thing, that should be enough even for RickA!

    1. I do now understand what you mean and thank you for the clarifications.

      So I am now imagining the person speaking up pro-gun at the town hall and everybody in the room glaring at him. Or frowning at him. Or giving him the finger. Or sticking their tongue out at him. Or yelling “jerk” to him. Or some other expression of extreme displeasure. I think I get the gist of your wish.

  10. Thank you, Susan, for demonstrating the exact attitude which I find so distressing among some who rightfully advocate gun control law improvements:

    “Roger: Your Gold Standard for reducing gun violence is not a cure, it’s a crutch slapped on a problem to keep us from dealing with the real issue of a pervasive and invasive gun culture”

    So, are you for or against hardening schools? I am for it, because I would like to do what we can so more kids don’t wind up dead.

    We live in a country that has a 2nd Amendment. A 2nd that has never in the history of the nation been more explicit or a stronger protection of the Constitutional rights of individuals to own and use guns for their own protection and sport. That is called “reality” and it behooves us all to realize and respect that.

    “Telling the people that they should simply accept limited ingress to public buildings is telling them that it’s necessary for them to live in fear”

    Do you really believe that school kids and parents do not currently live in fear? Or that hardening schools will lessen that fear? Is is very hard to shoot up a school if you can not bring a gun into it.

    I find the idea that we should be against school hardening because it is a “crutch” to be about the most callous thing one could possibly hear in this whole debate. Talk about making the ideal the enemy of the good! The corpses of children decorate that pedestal upon which your unrealistic ideal of a gun violence-free society rests.

    1. Americans’ naive faith in the Constitution frequently baffles the foreigner. Why a document written approx 250 years ago by some rich English landowners should be held sacrosanct is a mystery.

      Especially the Second Amendment. This was inserted because Southern states feared a slave rebellion. (Instead of rabbiting on about the Second Amendment, you guys should settle the Civil War.) Things weren’t too bad until the Scalia-led Supreme Court opened the floodgates, aided by the NRA. Scalia claimed to be an “originalist”, but that was just a bullshit screen for his views. The Economist neatly eviscerated his arguments a few years ago, by doing some REAL textual analysis to get at the original meaning, and it was clear: if you belong to a militia, fine. Private citizens, no.

      ffs guys, you have approx 300 times as many school shootings as all the G7 countries out together. Why not face the real problem?

    2. So, are you for or against hardening schools? I am for it, because I would like to do what we can so more kids don’t wind up dead.

      Or you could just ban assault rifles and handguns, which were specifically designed for murder and have no place in any responsible gun owner’s gun cabinet.

      But no, we gotta ‘harden’ schools. Utter fucking lunacy.

    3. BBD says “Or you could just ban assault rifles and handguns”.

      Sure – that could be tried. However, as I have explained before, without changing the 2nd amendment, that effort is very likely to fail.

      Even if the 2nd amendment were changed and assault rifles and handguns were banned – there are over 300,000,000 weapons already in the citizens hands. Not to mention the sales of new shotguns and new non-assault rifles.

      So it might be a good idea to harden the schools – just in case.

      We have to live in the real world – not the one we wish we lived in.

    4. Sure – that could be tried. However, as I have explained before, without changing the 2nd amendment, that effort is very likely to fail.

      And last time, I pointed out to you that banning certain types of weapons does not infringe the 2ndA and even Scaglia stated so.

      Weird that you are repeating the same bollocks as last time. Why would an honest man do that?

      We have to live in the real world – not the one we wish we lived in.

      Then we’d still have slavery and women barred from the franchise.

    5. BBD:

      In order to eliminate slavery the constitution had to be amended.

      In order to give women the vote the constitution had to be amended.

      I am saying that in order to ban assault rifles and handguns you have to amend the constitution.

      The only type of weapon which the supreme court eliminated was the sawed off shotgun in the Miller decision. The rational being that the military didn’t use sawed off shotguns, leaving room for the states to eliminate that type of weapon. However, the military does use assault rifles and handguns – so that argument isn’t available like it is for the sawed off shotgun.

      So I think I agree with you to the extent that like slavery and the vote for women – you have to amend the constitution to get what you wish for.

    6. I am saying that in order to ban assault rifles and handguns you have to amend the constitution.

      Why? Full auto weapons are banned in the US, but *are* military issue.

      The only type of weapon which the supreme court eliminated was the sawed off shotgun in the Miller decision. The rational being that the military didn’t use sawed off shotguns, leaving room for the states to eliminate that type of weapon. However, the military does use assault rifles and handguns – so that argument isn’t available like it is for the sawed off shotgun.

      See full-auto ban.

      Restrictions to classes of weapons don’t infringe the general right to keep and bear.

    7. So I think I agree with you to the extent that like slavery and the vote for women – you have to amend the constitution to get what you wish for.

      First, these things got done, despite entrenched opposition (I do not mean to make light of the Civil War here). Second, if as seems likely, restriction of classes of weapons doesn’t infringe the 2nd A, why are people like you claiming that nothing can be done? As opposed to arguing for a reasonable modern interpretation of the anachronistic 2nd A which would remove battlefield weapons and general-purpose murder weapons like handguns from the reach of the general public?

      How does that serve the safety and wellbeing of the citizens of the United States exactly? The welfare of whom the Constitution was explicitly designed to protect?

      Your position seems unConstitutional in essence.

    8. BBD:

      The supreme court has not ever ruled on the fully auto ban.

      If someone challenged the fully auto ban, and the Supreme Court upheld it, then I would agree with you.

      But as far as I am concerned – the fully auto ban is an open question.

      The supreme court did rule on handguns in the Heller decision – so those cannot be banned without amending the 2nd amendment.

      I cannot remember where we are at on the semi-automatic assault rifle – has that been litigated to the Supreme Court (not sure). I doubt under current caselaw any ban would be upheld by the supreme court. But that is just a personal opinion.

      Bottom line – bans are problematic.

      Also doesn’t deal with hundreds of millions of weapons already extant.

      Even if school is hardened – no guarantee kids not targeted elsewhere. Hard to stop crazy kids from killing other kids. They can shot them at the bus stop or on the school bus (for example).

      Very tough problem.

      Anyway – any solution has to deal with the 2nd amendment.

      For good or bad – America decided it wanted its citizens to have the same firepower as the average soldier. And we do.

    9. The supreme court has not ever ruled on the fully auto ban.

      So a supposed limitation to the 2nd A has stood, unchallenged.

      Bottom line – bans are problematic.

      Apparently not.

      Anyway – any solution has to deal with the 2nd amendment.

      Which does not appear to be the monolithic obstacle you claim it is.

      For good or bad – America decided it wanted its citizens to have the same firepower as the average soldier. And we do.

      And look at the consequences.

    10. BBD:

      If you are lucky, you and those who think like you will get a ban on handguns and assault rifles passed into law.

      Then we can see what the Supreme Court does with that ban and we will know one way or another whether the 2nd amendment needs to be amended.

    11. Then we can see what the Supreme Court does with that ban and we will know one way or another whether the 2nd amendment needs to be amended.

      If you can’t see why there should be restrictions on the types of firearms available to the public, then you are a fuckwit.

      If you privately acknowledge the truth that the public should not have access to battlefield and general purpose murder weapons but choose to peddle ideology then you are toxic.

  11. ” The Economist neatly eviscerated his arguments a few years ago, by doing some REAL textual analysis to get at the original meaning, and it was clear: if you belong to a militia, fine. Private citizens, no.”

    Nonsense.

    Read more articles. Read the wiki including the entire history of gun control law in the United States, and then read the case law.

    The Constitutional right of citizens to own and use guns has actually never even been mentioned until recently. It was assumed. The arguments seen in previous cases – and these cases often seem far removed, and are ALWAYS about the specifics of individual cases and how the 2nd might tangentially apply, almost never countenance the idea that individuals do not have the right to own guns outside the militia.

    Read the Federalist, etc papers to see the thoughts of the founders. They , in fact, WERE all about protecting the rights of ordinary citizens to own guns, and they actually WERE concerned about tyranny and overthrowing it in the future. Nor is that surprising, considering they had just lived through same.

    Indeed, there has NEVER been any SC case which argued against the rights of individuals to own guns. The arguments were generally about which phrase of the 2nd applied, and whether these were states rights or militia rights or derived from privacy or individual rights and exactly how that parsing involved the specifics of the case in evaluation.

    Gun rights as militia rights vis a vis slave rebellions play almost no role in the SC cases involving the 2nd Amendment, although it was discussed prior to the signing of the Constitution and Bill of Rights The recent three SC cases explicitly spelling out the protection of individual rights of gun ownership are not outliers – they are perfectly in synch with all prior case law.

    And I say this as someone split right down the center on the issue.

    Now, it is perfectly fine to argue that the 2nd is outdated. But the fact on the ground is that is is currently impossible- and not likely in any near future – that the 2nd will be overturned. So that argument is moot and essentially useless.

    1. Didn’t read it, did you. I suggest you look it up, as a bracing antidote to your tendentious legality.

  12. Some relevant medical observations:
    50 years after working as an ambulance EMT– which was a decade or so before Greg and I became graduate school colleagues – I am now attempting to re-certify as an EMT. And OMG how times have changed! I saw, treated (but was usually unable to treat) scores of folks gunned down by “friends,” enemies, and close relatives – and of course, by themselves. But those people were killed by hand-guns (of all calibers) and by shotguns. Only while serving in the army did I see – once, “live” [for a few seconds], and close-up – a dude killed by an M-16.

    But readers, times have changed, as was most graphically taught to us in my present EMT course. Want to know how? Read about “cavitation” in the web site below – it will shed much light on the above how-to-best-kill-a-deer debate:

    But first, a quotation:
    “[The high-velocity bullet] creates a pressure wave which forces tissue out of the way, creating a cavity can be much larger than the [bullet] itself; this is called temporary cavitation. The temporary cavity is the radial stretching of tissue around the bullet’s wound track, which momentarily leaves an empty space caused by high pressures surrounding the projectile that accelerate material away from its path. The characteristics of the tissue injured also help determine the severity of the injury; for example, the denser the tissue, the greater the amount of energy transmitted to it. Skin, muscles, and intestines absorb energy and so are resistant to the development of temporary cavitation, while organs such as the liver, spleen, kidney, and brain, which have relatively low tensile strength, are likely to split or shatter because of temporary cavitation.” – Penetrating Trauma (Wikipedia)

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S222161891460041X

    Horrifying. And I would go one giant step further than Greg: “Gasp” barely captures it!

    1. Shocking. Cavitation isn’t just for submarine propellers any more.

      Interesting to hear that you are going back into EMT work, I hope that goes well for you!

  13. “Most countries elsewhere in the world limit gun violence by tightly regulating sale and ownership of guns. Not by ‘hardening’ fucking schools. You just don’t get how utterly insane you sound.”

    Insane is not recognizing that America is NOT like all other countries, because we have the 2nd Amendment.

    And exactly how is suggesting that the use of metal detectors to stop kids from carrying guns into schools, and therefore reduce school shootings “insane”? Doing something cost-effective and easy to reduce child murder seems the opposite of “insane”.

    1. Insane is not recognizing that America is NOT like all other countries, because we have the 2nd Amendment.

      Insane is retreating behind the myth of American exceptionalism rather than banning assault rifles and handguns. Insane is proposing to arm teachers and draft in armed security guards – *not* just adding a metal detector here and there instead of banning specific classes of weapons from public ownership. Insane is allowing the US gun industry and its sponsored representatives in government and the judiciary to twist the meaning of the 2nd A into a travesty which places corporate profits above the lives of American citizens.

    2. BBD:

      I respectfully disagree with you. It is not insane to think that properly trained teachers or school staff could stop a school shooting. Which is why it is being considered by a number of schools across America.

      Like herd immunity, a small percentage of the population, properly trained and carrying firearms, could cut down on the death toll of attacks, whether at schools, movie theaters, malls or other public places – and therefore be beneficial to the community as a whole. After all, that is why police are armed. Perhaps it is time to really encourage conceal carry by larger swaths of America.

      I think we need to talk about this issue and not simply insult people who disagree with your position.

      I also don’t agree that the 2nd amendment has been twisted by corporate interests. I think it has been properly analyzed and the correct decision has been reached.

      But in the final analysis – it doesn’t matter what I think or what you think. What matters is what laws are passed and how their constitutionality is ruled on by the Supreme Court.

      I personally don’t see banning guns going anywhere in America – absent an amendment of the 2nd amendment. So we have to deal with the America we live in now – not the one you wished you lived in. That is my advice anyway.

      I think metal detectors are a good idea.

      I think arming teachers and other school staff (with proper training) is a good idea.

      If you think this is insane – that is ok with me.

      If you want to insult, name call and belittle people you disagree with – that is your choice. I choose not to engage in that behavior, because in the final analysis it simply undermines your arguments and makes you less credible.

      Express yourself and I will do the same.

      That is what makes America great.

    3. I think arming teachers and other school staff (with proper training) is a good idea.

      Not only is it outright lunacy, the fact that people like you fail to see the madness and even get up on their hind legs and endorse it is nothing less than horrifying.

      This isn’t about the 2nd A, it’s about corporate greed and the happy collusion between the right and its sponsors in the gun industry to keep the profits flowing no matter how many children are slaughtered. So when you endorse this filth, you will be treated accordingly.

      If you want to insult, name call and belittle people you disagree with – that is your choice. I choose not to engage in that behavior, because in the final analysis it simply undermines your arguments and makes you less credible.

      Tone trolling.

  14. “And last time, I pointed out to you that banning certain types of weapons does not infringe the 2ndA and even Scaglia stated so.”

    Did he? He said gun control was not necessarily infringement. Not that banning guns was not.

    And I am 100% certain that handguns can NOT be banned after the three most recent SC cases. It is exactly what they were about.

    “I am saying that in order to ban assault rifles and handguns you have to amend the constitution.

    Why? Full auto weapons are banned in the US, but *are* military issue.”?

    What the eff?!? What are generally known as “assault weapons” are NOT ” fully automatic”. They are NOT “military issue”. How could you make such a mistake after two decades of discussion about them?

    And, btw, full auto guns are NOT banned in the US, they merely require strict licensing.

  15. Did he? He said gun control was not necessarily infringement. Not that banning guns was not.

    Which is exactly what I said. Classes of weapons can be banned without enacting a wholesale ban on guns in general. And selective restriction doesn’t infringe the 2nd A, as Scalia stated.

    And I am 100% certain that handguns can NOT be banned after the three most recent SC cases. It is exactly what they were about.

    If you want the real American carnage to stop, then you need to review your ‘certainty’ on this point, not re-affirm it.

    What the eff?!? What are generally known as “assault weapons” are NOT ” fully automatic”. They are NOT “military issue”. How could you make such a mistake after two decades of discussion about them?

    You have completely misunderstood my comment. I’d suggest a re-read.

    And, btw, full auto guns are NOT banned in the US, they merely require strict licensing.

    The availability of full auto weapons is sufficiently tightly restricted as to amount to a ban on general public ownership. If you have been reduced to this level of nitpicking, you might as well concede the point.

  16. The federal government refers to any military-style weapon that can fire multiple rounds, semi-automatic or fully automatic, as an assault weapon. Assault rifles have mode selection option for completely automatic.

    The AR 15 (AR come from the initials of the original manufacturer) has a muzzle velocity of 3300 fps, the old M-16 (based on the AR 15) had a muzzle velocity of about 3200 fps — no significant difference. In practice there is no real difference between the two weapons. In fact, for several years versions of the 16 were limited in auto mode to 3 rounds for a variety of reasons (limiting the amount of ammunition used, difficulty in controlling the weapon two of the more commonly stated differences).

    This whole discussion is quite complicated. Basing it on the “there is a huge difference between an AR 15 and an assault rifle” is simply an intentional distraction technique.

    1. The confusion goes back to my response to RickA here.

      The point is simple enough: despite all the assertions that bans on certain classes of weapon being anywhere from ‘problematic’ to fully unConstitutional, full auto weapons are effectively banned from general public ownership. Yes, there *can* be selective restriction by weapon type without even a challenge as to its Constitutionality.

      My point was that as usual, Ricky is talking misleading bollocks.

      The type of ‘assault rifle’ available to the public has two modes: safe and semi-automatic fire. Burst and / or full auto modes are restricted to military issue rifles. However, the US military – and many others including the British army – are trained not to use the full auto mode as it makes aimed fire virtually impossible. Instead, infantrymen are trained to use only the semi-auto mode and to select targets with aimed fire.

      So in actual fact there is no functional difference between any AR-alike and an infantry-issue assault rifle. They fire the same calibre round (5.56mm / .223″) at the same mv with the same range and accuracy from magazines of the same capacity (usually 30 round). Both the military issue and commercial weapons are identically lethal.

    2. Nope. The government does not refer to guns that look like assault weapons, but are only semi-automatic as “assault weapons”. Because an “assault weapon” is a government issue soldier’s gun that is a machine gun.

      The AR-type guns sold to the public are not fully automatic, but DO share other characteristics with the real deal:

      They look similar. The are modular – the pieces are often interchangeable. They are small.

      But the big difference is that the fake assault weapons are popular, and almost no member of the general public has a real assault rifle.

      That popularity is important, because popularity is a legal criteria that helps determine whether a ban on a class or model of gun will be constitutional or not.

      Another criteria is how useful a class of gun is to an individual. Pistols are carryable, therefore useful. Shotguns don’t require careful aim, so are therefore useful for home defense, And AR-type guns, I predict, if ever there is a constitutional challenge to a ban on their class, will be argued to be extremely useful for home protection because they are compact and offer a lot of firepower in a small package. There are at least 30 million of these guns in the hands of the public.

      Plus, they are involved in only a tiny percentage of gun violence.

      All of these things are going to make a ban on them unlikely to pass a Constitutional challenge, not after the last three cases. And pistols? Forget it. Never ever going to happen.

      It would behoove the readers here to stop their fantasies of just banning guns, and start to seriously think through how we make our kids safer in schools.

    3. It would behoove the readers here to stop their fantasies of just banning guns, and start to seriously think through how we make our kids safer in schools.

      You start your defence of the gun industry’s profiteering with a pointless definitional nitpick. Then you claim that popularity is a counter-argument to the fact that banning a *class* of weapon isn’t a general ban and does not therefore infringe the 2nd A. It isn’t. It’s just a measure of the gun industry’s success at marketing battlefield weaponry to the general public in the face of something we call ‘sanity’.

      Then you go on to assert that:

      Another criteria is how useful a class of gun is to an individual. Pistols are carryable, therefore useful.

      Which begs the legal question of useful for what? To which the answer is, predominantly, ‘killing people’. This does not provide a firm basis in any legal argument against a ban.

      Once again, the problem here is not the 2nd A as such but the infiltration of both legal and political systems by the gun industry, which has, through its tireless sponsorship, ensured that a warped interpretation of the 2nd A keeps the profits – and the blood – flowing.

      Instead of acquiescing to this monstrosity, you should fight it, but you don’t. And every victim of a mass shooting pays for the lunacy of allowing modern corporations to twist long-obsolete words into something meant only to serve profit-making. Insofar as the 2nd A was meant to protect against ‘tyranny’ it isn’t doing very well is it?

    4. It would behoove the readers here to stop their fantasies of just banning guns, and start to seriously think through how we make our kids safer in schools.

      Even trained professionals come unstuck in firefights, especially if it is their first. The fantasy here is that giving teachers guns (for fuck’s fucking sake will you just listen to yourself) is going to save lives. The most likely outcome is that the panicked teacher will accidentally shoot one or more children before being shot themselves. Possibly by themselves.

      Walter Mitty fantasies are dangerous in their own right, and never more so than when touted as ‘solutions’. All they do is help keep the gun industry profits rolling in. If you haven’t worked this out yet, now’s time.

    5. BBD:

      We seem to be talking past each other in this conversation.

      You seem to think it is somehow bad that the gun manufacturer makes a profit when a consumer buys there product. I don’t think this is bad at all – but is to be expected. Every company wants to make a profit off every product they sell – whether it is a drug, a car or a gun. Profits have nothing to do with the 2nd amendment, in my opinion.

      You seem to think the second amendment has been warped by the gun lobby – but I don’t agree. I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on that point. I think the second amendment was always intended to be a personal right, just like the other rights in the bill of rights, and so it has been correctly interpreted. You disagree – and that is ok.

      You seem to think that the fact that guns kill is bad – but I don’t see the relevance of that. Guns can kill and are designed to do that for self-defense or hunting. They can also be used to shot at targets, for fun. But a gun is a tool and can be used for criminal behavior just like any other tool. A knife can kill and car can kill – almost anything can be used to kill. The fact that guns can kill isn’t relevant to the 2nd amendment.

      In fact, the entire purpose of the 2nd amendment was to affirm the right of the people to keep and bear arms – so it is functioning just as it was intended.

      If you want a gun for self-defense – you can get one. It is that simple.

      I am a little surprised that you fail to understand that people can disagree with your opinion on this issue.

      My point remains simple. If you want to ban guns you need to amend the 2nd amendment. Short of that it isn’t going to happen.

      I am with Roger on this one – if you want to protect kids at school, talking up the banning of guns isn’t going to help.

      In fact, you (and others like you) have done more to provide profits to the gun manufacturers than anybody else – because everytime guns bans are brought up, sales increase. You guys are literally shooting yourself in the foot by trying to ban guns – which is pointless under the constitution anyway.

      Talk about counterproductive.

      Believe what you like. But don’t expect everybody else to agree with you. I don’t.

    6. BBD says “The fantasy here is that giving teachers guns (for fuck’s fucking sake will you just listen to yourself) is going to save lives. ”

      Say you are a teacher and a shooter steps into your classroom and starts shooting your students, one at a time.

      If you have a weapon you may have a chance to stop the shooter before all your students are dead.

      That is how some analyze the situation.

      Of course, if you don’t want a weapon you don’t have to arm yourself.

      Maybe you want a tazer instead of a firearm.

      Maybe you will throw a chair at the shooter.

      But given the school shooting situation we have now, it is not crazy at all to consider what you would do in the presence of a shooter. Waiting 7 minutes for the police to come is not really an option.

      Many schools are thinking about this – including Parkland. Are you really calling the school board of Parkland crazy?

    7. We seem to be talking past each other in this conversation.

      No, all that’s happening is that you are ignoring the point and peddling rightwing crap.

      So you can clear off with your toxic bucket of lies and partisan excrement. Nobody wants to hear it.

      And spare me the tone trolling this time.

    8. That is how some analyze the situation.

      Of course, if you don’t want a weapon you don’t have to arm yourself.

      Maybe you want a tazer instead of a firearm.

      Maybe you will throw a chair at the shooter.

      The gun will be in a highly secure gun safe because, you know, it’s a fucking classroom in a school.

      So shooting starts, and the kids start to scream and run about and panic and the teacher – that’s right, the teacher – has to ignore the pandemonium in the room, not try to get the kids to safety but instead try to get the fucking gun safe open… Then the shooter bursts in, ripping away with an assault rifle at 2 rounds a second…

      As I said, guns in classrooms are lunacy. Espousing lunacy to deal with the lunatic failure to regulate caused by an actually evil corruption of American politics and law by gun manufacturers is… actually, words fail me.

      What matters is that you on the right are peddling this insane broth instead of fighting to take back control of the regulatory apparatus from a frankly corrupted political and judicial system.

      It’s nauseating and incomprehensible to the rest of the world, be sure of that. But hey, keep telling yourselves what a great nation you are until some nutter comes for your kids with a gun.

  17. So-called assault weapons were banned in this country from 1994 through 2004. The ten-year limit was built into the ban, so that it would expire if not renewed. It was not renewed. (ISTR that John Lott had something to do with that.)

    Recall that this “ban” did not take away anyone’s lawfully owned assault weapon. It prohibited the manufacture and sale of certain types of weapons for a specified period.

    It is a paradox that in this country, at the same time gun-rights folks insist that the Second Amendment makes banning guns impossible, they also insist that every measure proposed as a way to reduce needless gun deaths is a step toward a gun ban. If you want to find an emotion-driven argument about guns, look no further.

    1. You are 100% accurate with your history. There was a ban and it expired.

      I do not believe that any 2nd amendment challenge was raised against this law, and certainly if there was – it never made it to the Supreme Court.

      So an assault ban is still a case of first impression in America.

      Now if a ban was enacted on assault guns, I am sure it would be challenged in court and it would end up before the Supreme Court.

      My guess is that the ban would be struck down. But maybe I am wrong.

      If congress enacts a ban and if the president signs it into law, we will have a chance to see what happens at the Supreme Court.

      I think enacting a ban will be very difficult and because of the recent gun case law, I think such a ban would have a very difficult time at the Supreme Court. Most gun control measures end up making gun rights stronger.

      Soon we will see right to bear cases doing away with states right to even issue right to carry permits (in my opinion). For example, we now know we have the right to keep and bear arms in national parks (and in some state parks). That happened because states tried to ban guns in national parks and it backfired.

      Which is why I say if you want real gun control you should advocate amending the 2nd amendment. Which itself would be very difficult to do – but that is the most direct way forward.

    2. “ISTR that John Lott had something to do with that.)”

      The fact that anyone takes that charlatan’s work as “serious and meaningful” is sad. (I’m not implying you think he’s anything more than the scam artist he is Christopher — just making a general observation).

    3. I think enacting a ban will be very difficult and because of the recent gun case law, I think such a ban would have a very difficult time at the Supreme Court. Most gun control measures end up making gun rights stronger.

      Because of gun industry money and rightwing lunacy.

      And instead of fighting it with every fibre of your being, you bend over. I have never seen a more revolting spectacle in my life.

    4. “Are you really calling the school board of Parkland crazy?”

      No, I’m calling them fucking crazy.

    5. The gun will be in a highly secure gun safe because, you know, it’s a fucking classroom in a school.

      Even if they aren’t, these “training” bits for being allowed to carry a gun have such low standards that anyone with a pulse and basic reflex actions can pass. Hell, even rickA could probably pass, which means the bar is so low as to be non-existent. So we end up with ass-clowns like Zimmerman and rickA who view every non-white as a criminal and are all too willing to start something to have a chance to shoot them.

      Even in a real situation — having minimal ability to hit a target on a firing range is completely worthless in preparing people to fire intelligently in a situation where someone is shooting back. The fact that so many people omit that fact is appalling.

  18. Regarding the hardening of schools: we need to define exactly what this means. Does it mean locking the entrance doors except at specified times when they can be monitored? Does it mean metal detectors at all entrances? Does it mean bullet-proof glass in all windows? Does it mean armed “resource officers” patrolling the halls? Does it mean arming teachers?

    And lastly, where is the money for any of these measures to come from, when teachers are underpaid and school budgets are already under threat?

    1. @ Roger Lambert

      So you come here admonishing us readers for not thinking about the obvious solution of hardening schools, but when asked to precise your meaning, your answer is:

      “Those are great questions. ”

      C’est un peu court, jeune homme.

  19. “The confusion goes back to my response to RickA here.”

    I know. That’s where you find the source of almost all of the misinformation here over the years. I just wanted to stress the claimed difference isn’t really a difference

  20. Facts are facts. Fact: I would vote to have guns removed from US citizens. Fact: I hunt and have guns. Fact: Many places in the world have acts of terrorism that kill WAY more people than guns in the US, but when media quotes “killing” they focus on “gun” deaths which puts the US in the top. Fact: ALL the mass shootings in the US in the last 4 decades were perpetrated by individuals that are clinically “not of sound mind”, but the US laws do not allow the government to intern said individuals.

    1. “Many places in the world have acts of terrorism that kill WAY more people than guns in the US”

      Well, if you are going to compare the US to a country in an active state of civil war…
      I don’t think you realize how stupid that sounds. “Sure, a corroded gas pipe leaked and the explosion killed 200 people, but the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima killed way more people, so maintaining gas pipes is not that important”.

      Now, if you mean some place in Europe: our last mass shooting / terrorist attacks were a few months/years ago (depending on the country), not just 3 days ago.
      And in these cases, it was terrorists, generally imported (the Christchurch murderer in New Zealand was an Aussie), with weapons acquired on the black market via financing by terrorist organization/foreign interests. Not the teenager next door having a bad hair day and fetching his daddy’s weapon stockpile.

      “the mass shootings in the US in the last 4 decades were perpetrated by individuals that are clinically “not of sound mind” ”

      That’s an easy cop-out. European countries have no shortage of crazy people. We don’t have that many mass killings.
      You can also be more precise and break down these “not of sound mind” into more useful categories. By example, on medication, dropping out of medication, and not treated in any way. I suspect the latter category is going to be the more populated one.

      And when, by miracle, such a guy comes on the radar of the FBI and the agency confiscates his guns, they entrust the guns to the guy’s dad, who gave it back to his son the next day. That was the case for the Parkland killer. Or the one just before. I can’t remember which one, you guys had so many mass shootings last year.
      You treat weapons like they are just toys, FFS.
      When a society has reached that level of stupidity, the only way is down.

  21. Fact: Many places in the world have acts of terrorism that kill WAY more people than guns in the US, but when media quotes “killing” they focus on “gun” deaths which puts the US in the top.

    Because the two issues are not in the same category. It isn’t simply the news media that does this, people who study gun and crime issues do the same thing: terrorist actions are not lumped in with more traditional crimes. (Well, Lott is famous for doing that to make Europe seem more dangerous. That’s one of the reasons his research is considered worthless.)

  22. “(I’m not implying you think he’s anything more than the scam artist he is Christopher — just making a general observation).”

    No worries, Dean — I’m well aware that he’s a scammer. This extends to climate change. On the back jacket of /The Really Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Don’t Want You To Know About—Because They Helped Cause Them/ (published by Regnery) he wrote:

    “Ever wonder about the story of the Cuyahoga River catching fire in Cleveland? Or the accuracy of Rachel Carson’s dire warnings about DDT? Or the systematic attempt to discredit prominent scientists who question that there is a significant man-made impact on global temperatures? If you care about the environment, Iain Murray’s book is a valuable resource. Murray’s book questions politically correct myths that endanger both the environment and public safety.”

    1. I wasn’t aware of his climate change crap. I’ve used discussions of his “gun models” as examples of how modeling shouldn’t be done in some of our courses, but hadn’t encountered other examples of his lunacy.

  23. dean says ” Hell, even rickA could probably pass, which means the bar is so low as to be non-existent.”

    It is pretty easy to get a permit to carry in Minnesota. A few hours in a classroom and firing a few rounds at a shooting range, pay your fee to the state and voila – you get the permit to carry.

    Worse yet – the permit to carry allows both open carry of hand guns and long guns!

    MN Statute 624.7181 defines carry so that:

    “Carry” does not include:

    (3) the carrying of a BB gun, rifle , or shotgun by a person who has a permit under section 624.714

    624.714 is the permit to carry statute.

    In fact, I understand I can carry multiple rifles, shotguns and handguns with my permit to carry. Oh the horrors.

    Of course, if asked I have to show my permit to an officer and might get shot if I twitch the wrong way – but I could walk around with multiple handguns, rifles and shotguns – all legally in Minnesota.

    Why millions of people could get their permit to carry and do the same thing in Minnesota.

    And it really doesn’t matter how crazy dean or BBD think this is.

    That is the law!

    1. And it really doesn’t matter how crazy dean or BBD think this is.

      That is the law!

      And the point you repeatedly refuse to acknowledge is that it is the law because the gun industry has infiltrated and corrupted the political and legal systems in the US to make it so. Quite deliberately placing profits above the value of the lives of US citizens, and you are endorsing this.

      As for your repeated lie that you don’t lie about climate, the fact that you are still lying about it is almost comical considering how many times you’ve been shown that your ‘opinions’ are simply wrong. People who repeat stuff they have been shown to be wrong are liars. You are one. QED.

      How many times do we have to go through this ridiculous charade?

      Stop lying.

  24. “Of course, if asked I have to show my permit to an officer and might get shot if I twitch the wrong way”

    Well, if you’re not white, probably.

    “And it really doesn’t matter how crazy dean or BBD think this is.”

    None of us think it will matter, but it is crazy. I will compare my acknowledgement of that (that my opinion doesn’t matter) to your response when your lies and misrepresentation about climate science or more recently, devil’s night in Detroit: that you aren’t lying and your opinion is fact based. You should try a little integrity sometime — it might get you kicked out of your local libertarian clan, but it would be a first (small) step away from what you are and toward being a decent person.

    I’m not sure what your post was supposed to be about, other than your misrepresentations of our thoughts. But we’ve come to learn that you never post anything useful, so — just more of the same from you.

    1. dean:

      I was responding to your joke that even i could pass with some information about how easy it is to pass and what you are allowed to carry (in Minnesota). You know actual information with actual facts.

      By the way – I don’t lie or misrepresent about anything – including climate science. I simply offer my opinion, which happens to disagree with yours. That does not make what I think a lie.

      My knowledge of devil’s night is also not a lie – it is simply my first hand experience with devil’s night from 1968 to 1977.

      But go ahead and think what you want – I don’t care what you think about me.

  25. So, your response: a lie that you don’t lie about climate science
    I lie that your description of devil’s night is accurate.

    No surprises there.

    1. Jeffh:

      On the issue of guns, I have to question your homicide rate statement.

      Take a look at this link:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

      Sort by homicide and I see the USA at 16th.

      2/3 of gun deaths in the USA are suicides, but suicides are higher most parts of the world than in America – they just use other means than guns. That makes sense because guns are simply more common in America – so it is a more common tool for suicide.

      Here is my link for suicide data:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

      If you look at the worldwide homicide rate, using all means of killing and not just guns, America comes in 90th:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

      So even with hundreds of millions of guns available to almost every citizen, America isn’t doesn’t have the highest homicide rate, and isn’t even in the top 10 – we are 90th.

      So that is the data.

    2. Once again we see rickA’s ability to lie through cherry-picking things he believes to be data.

      If you dig a little deeper into the gun situation:

      University of Washington Institute for Heath Metrics and Evaluation: study of Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors:

      “One half of all gun-related deaths in 2016 occurred in six nations: Brazil, the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Columbia, and Venezuela.” (Research published in JAMA). Those countries have less than 10% of the world’s population

      First: Brazil, 43,200 gun related deaths
      Second: United States: 37,200

      The US is one of 17 countries in which firearm homicide rate and firearm suicide rate are higher than the global median.

      Rate of gun deaths per 100,000 people was 10.6. If you look at homicides by firearm per 1 million in “advanced countries” (Data from Human Development Index, UN)

      US: 29.7

      Switzerland: 7.7

      Belgium: 6.8

      Luxembourg: 6.2

      Canada: 5.1

      The lowest, Australia at 1.4

      Mass shootings aren’t to blame, since they account for roughly 2% of the total. (But 31% of all mass shootings worldwide occur in the US.)

      This just stresses that you can add statistics to the list of things he talks about despite being completely uninformed.

    3. dean:

      I agree with your data (namely):

      First: Brazil, 43,200 gun related deaths
      Second: United States: 37,200

      However, those Brazilian deaths were 20.7 per 100,000 homicide and 0.5 per 100,000 suicide.

      While the US deaths were 4.46 per 100,000 homicide and 7.32 per 100,000 suicide.

      In other words, most of the deaths (almost twice as many) in the US were suicide and not homicide, while the very great majority in Brazil were homicide and not suicide. Now the suicide rate is twice as high in the US as in Brazil, so they have that going for them. But the rate of 4.46 per 100,000 of use of guns for homicide in the USA isn’t that bad compared to the world and other countries (on average). And this is despite the large number of guns available in the USA.

  26. RickA places so much faith in ‘the law’. Over here in Europe we collectively laugh and shiver at your archaic gun laws in the U.S. The U.S. has the highest rate of gun homicide of any country on Earth by a country mile. Brazil, a distant second, isn’t even close. So your solution? Fight a raging, out of control fire by setting an even bigger one. Arming teachers is your typical right wing response.

    I did a sabbatical at Colorado State University in 2017 and I was flabbergasted when my host told me that under another ridiculous Colorado law, it was legal for staff and students to carry concealed firearms into the University. And yes, my host, an American, was equally disgusted about this asinine ‘law’. He calls the NRA the biggest terrorist organization in the USA and its hard to disagree with him. To hell with the ‘law’. When I told colleagues at my research institute about this law they responded with a mixture of shock, disbelief and hilarity. They could not imagine anyone doing that over here. But the gun-inflicted carnage over there has become so commonplace that people have become desensitized to it. Some, like you, then argue that they need to up the ante and make arms even more available. It is insanity. Take them away.

    As for your pathetically incompetent views on climate, I am learning to resist the temptation to demolish them every time. When you wrote on another thread that ‘polar bears and coral reefs will be fine’, you crossed a stupidity threshold and I had to counter such a vacuous comment of which you are well known for making on blogs. Otherwise, from now on I will resist the urge to rebut you.

    1. JeffH:

      A healthy debate is a good thing. Here is my point of view on polar bears and coral reefs.

      Corals have been around for hundreds of millions of years, and have survived through periods when the temperature was much higher than present, and periods when the rate of increase of the temperature was faster than at present. So I have high confidence that corals will also survive the current rate of temperature increase and another 1 or 2 C of warming, because they have before. We know that it was 6C warmer in Antarctica than at present in the past (for example), and yet corals survived into the present.

      Polar bears have been around for over 600,000 years, and have also been through periods when it was warmer than at present, and through periods when the rate of warming was much higher than at present.

      For example, when the ice sheet covering much of North America melted (20,000 years ago), it was warming much faster than at present. We can tell this just by looking at the sea level rise, which was at least 10 mm per year for periods of time (about 3 times faster than at present). The sea has risen 120 meters over the last 20,000 years and polar bears have been fine, because the world has been warming (on average) over that entire time. Therefore, I have high confidence that polar bears will be fine in the future and can easily adapt to a world which is 1 or 2 C higher than present.

      The 120 meters of sea level rise over the last 20,000 years is also why I have a hard time accepting that there is no longer any natural component to the current world warming. Over 119 meters of that rise have been entirely natural and we are supposed to believe that just in the last 70 years, all the warming is entirely caused by humans? I just don’t buy it.

      So that is my point of view. So feel free to rebut me and tell me your point of view about why you don’t think polar bears and corals will be fine. I am interested.

    2. Corals have been around for hundreds of millions of years, and have survived through periods when the temperature was much higher than present, and periods when the rate of increase of the temperature was faster than at present.

      No they haven’t, you ignorant muppet.

      Corals go extinct during warming events and re-evolve many millions of years later.

      Shut the fuck up and do some reading. You’ve had the references from me before.

    3. So that is my point of view. So feel free to rebut me and tell me your point of view about why you don’t think polar bears and corals will be fine. I am interested.

      Liar.

      You ignore every evidence-based debunk you get and continue to repeat the same old shit. I have personally watched you do it for years. So fuck of with your disingenuous bullshit about being ‘interested’.

      You aren’t.

    4. BBD says “Corals go extinct during warming events and re-evolve many millions of years later.”

      This is wrong – very very wrong.

    5. This is wrong – very very wrong.

      Veron (2008):

      The five mass extinction events that the earth has so far experienced have impacted coral reefs as much or more than any other major ecosystem. Each has left the Earth without living reefs for at least four million years, intervals so great that they are commonly referred to as ‘reef gaps’ (geological intervals where there are no remnants of what might have been living reefs). The causes attributed to each mass extinction are reviewed and summarised. When these causes and the reef gaps that follow them are examined in the light of the biology of extant corals and their Pleistocene history, most can be discarded. Causes are divided into (1) those which are independent of the carbon cycle: direct physical destruction from bolides, ‘nuclear winters’ induced by dust clouds, sea-level changes, loss of area during sea-level regressions, loss of biodiversity, low and high temperatures, salinity, diseases and toxins and extraterrestrial events and (2) those linked to the carbon cycle: acid rain, hydrogen sulphide, oxygen and anoxia, methane, carbon dioxide, changes in ocean chemistry and pH. By process of elimination, primary causes of mass extinctions are linked in various ways to the carbon cycle in general and ocean chemistry in particular with clear association with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. The prospect of ocean acidification is potentially the most serious of all predicted outcomes of anthropogenic carbon dioxide increase. This study concludes that acidification has the potential to trigger a sixth mass extinction event and to do so independently of anthropogenic extinctions that are currently taking place.

    6. Reef gaps are not periods when corals are extinct.

      […]

      Sorry – corals don’t go extinct and then re-evolve.

      That is wrong.

      Nit-picking. Reef-building corals – you know, the ones everybody is worried about because coral reefs provide nurseries to ~25% of pelagic fish etc. – disappear for around 4Ma after mass extinction events which are in turn tied to perturbations of the carbon cycle.

      During those four million year gaps, soft-bodied corals re-evolve the trick of building hard bodies and then assembling into massive colonies known as reefs.

      Maybe you should read as far as the end of the abstract of your own reference:

      Tchernov & Fine (2007):

      On an evolutionary scale, these results provide a possible explanation to coral survival over major extinction events such as the Permian/Triassic and Triassic/Jurassic events. It is important to note that these results only demonstrate that corals can persist as soft bodied ecophoenotypes, but the loss of reef framework has major ramifications to the entire structure and function of coral reef ecosystems, ultimately impacting the services they provide to human society.

      So while you can nit-pick that the word ‘reefs’ should have been included in my original statement it makes no functional difference to what I said whatsoever.

      Carry on for much longer as we are and we lose coral reefs for several million years. The damage to marine ecosystems as a whole will be fundamental and enormous and from a human perspective, it will last forever.

      Your confidence is, as ever, utterly misplaced.

    7. BBD:

      Reefs are like coral skeletons. Saying a reef goes extinct is like saying fossilized bones go extinct. It makes no sense.

      Sometimes corals cannot deposit calcium to form reefs, because the calcium is dissolved due to the ph level in the ocean during those periods of time. The corals have survived and live on. Corals didn’t go extinct and they certainly don’t re-evolve the ability to deposit calcium. The ph level simply changes back over time to allow reefs to form – the corals were there all along.

      Still – it does show progress on your part to admit that you were wrong. I congratulate you.

    8. Reefs are like coral skeletons. Saying a reef goes extinct is like saying fossilized bones go extinct. It makes no sense.

      That has to be the most fantastically stupid thing you’ve ever said. A high bar, but you cleared it with room to spare.

      Sometimes corals cannot deposit calcium to form reefs, because the calcium is dissolved due to the ph level in the ocean during those periods of time. The corals have survived and live on. Corals didn’t go extinct and they certainly don’t re-evolve the ability to deposit calcium. The ph level simply changes back over time to allow reefs to form – the corals were there all along.

      That’s not actually what your reference says (hint, a key phrase is “on an evolutionary scale”). Nor does it address the teeny little problem of losing coral reefs for several million years… within the course of this century… because of human stupidity (like yours).

      Still – it does show progress on your part to admit that you were wrong. I congratulate you.

      Except as I explained, I wasn’t wrong.

      The level of bullshitting you are now resorting to is painful to behold. Perhaps we should switch back to topic. IIRC where we left it was:

      The point you repeatedly refuse to acknowledge is that the gun industry has infiltrated and corrupted the political and legal systems in the US, deliberately placing profits above the value of the lives of US citizens, and you are endorsing this.

  27. ” I just don’t buy it.”

    Despite having it explained to you, with references, multiple times.

    That says a lot about your willingness to learn things. Nothing good, but a lot.

    1. “Except as I explained, I wasn’t wrong.”

      This history of his not understanding the point of a study (or statistics) doesn’t support what he claims, but still doubling, even tripling, down on his view, is a long one.

    2. Reefs are like coral skeletons. Saying a reef goes extinct is like saying fossilized bones go extinct. It makes no sense.

      And – zap! We apply ‘Rick logic’ and the dinosaurs are not extinct!

      So cool!

  28. RickA, I don’t care how long coral reefs have been on Earth. Today they face multiple anthropogenic threats, with climate change leading the way. For the umpteenth time, it isn’t just actual temperature that stresses them but the rate of warming which is faster by 20-40 times than the rate of warming at the Permian-Triassic boundry that precipitated ‘the great dying’ where some 75% of terrestrial and 95% of marine species became extinct over 10,000-40,000 years, a blink of a geological eye. It is now thought that intense volcanic activity caused atmospheric concentrations of CO2 to rise to about 2000 ppm over approximately 10,000 years during which time the Earth’s surface warmed around 8 degrees C. That was enough to cause the largest mass extinction in the planet’s history. In just 150 years humans have generated a rise of surface temperature of around 1 degree. Do some basic extrapolation and the predicament is obvious. Humans are causing the planet to warm at rates unseen on the planet in millions of years. No, it did not warm faster 20,000 years ago than it is doing now. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. This crap was gleaned from a denier blog or from a think tank. It is the garbage that right wing Rick wallows in. And the warming is showing no signs of abating.

    Polar bears depend on intact sea ice on which to hunt for their seal prey. They have never in their evolutionary history been confronted with the loss of this habitat in the space of 1 or 2 centuries or less. The Arctic has not been ice-free at least since the Eemian, 120,000 years ago, and perhaps longer than that. If the loss of ice elapsed over several millenia, then they may, just may see it safely through the bottleneck. But if the ice, as projected, disappears seasonally in the coming several decades the bears are finished. Done. Toast. Just like humans are obliterating much of biodiversity across vast swathes of the biosphere. Moreover, every living bear is physiologically contaminated with bioaccumalative chemicals. Climate change amplifies this and other physiological stresses.

    And polar bears and coral reefs are of course just the metaphorical tip of the iceberg when it comes to the harmful effects of climate change on biodiversity. The pages of scientific journals are filled with studies showing how heat waves, droughts, extreme precipitation events etc. – all connected with warming – are hammering species in terrestrial above- and belowground, freshwater and marine ecosystems. During last year’s heatwaves in Australia, many rare species – such as white-spectacled bats and several species of possums – were literally dropping dead. The mass loss of insects in tropical biomes (e.g. Lister and Garcia, PNAS, 2018, e.g. Puerto Rico, and attendant loss of insectivorous birds) is causally linked with warming.

    RickA enters the field with a pre-determined view based on his warped right wing political ideology. He looks for his information in every disreputable source he can find to confirm his bias.

    One final point. Humans are annihilating biodiversity across the planet. Climate change is of course one major factor, but there are many others. RickA, like other deniers, is adept at playing the ‘so far, so good’ gambit. It’s like the guy who jumps off a 100 story building, falls 50 floors and shouts out, ‘Everything is fine!’ when it clearly isn’t. Deniers use the same strategy to downplay the ecological consequences of tropical deforestation. ‘Look!’ they collectively bleat. ‘There is still high diversity in the Amazon!’. This is true, but we know that critical tipping points are being approached. In central America, where deforestation has been more severe, species like jaguars and harpy eagles have declined dramatically. The same awaits species in the Brazilian Amazon and in other tropical forests around the world as they continue to be destroyed. By the time the devastation becomes apparent, it is often much too late. Many of Madagascar’s tropical species are finished. Ditto Indonesia’s. RickA lives in his own myopic bubble. The tragic thing is that there are many similarly blinkered people as him out there. He writes as if he knows what he is talking about when the truth is that he is clueless.

  29. Lot of pig wrestling going on here I see. Fun for all.

    And squirrel chasing.

    Here are some questions for the gun lovers in the crowd. Some of them might be useful to counter an end of meeting meat head. Or not. Here goes.

    Do you see any down side to having more and more fire arms introduced into a country?

    Do you see any disadvantages to increasing the per capita concentration of guns to the point where more and more people of questionable mental stability are likely to get their hands on a fire arm? Angry people? Sick people? People with poor impulse control?

    Do you see any down side to hamstringing the ATF in their attempts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals? Even if it cuts into the profits of gun companies and ammo manufacturers?

    Do you think that efforts by the Russian government to support the NRA are benign?

    Are you okay with the idea of living every minute of your day in a heavily armed camp? Do you think that a civilization with AR-15’s laying around everywhere would be highly conducive to learning and education? Do you think that the psychological effect of having so much destructive power readily available would be positive or negative to such a society?

    Are you aware of the neurotoxic properties of lead fumes inhaled by shooters? Are you aware that tungsten, used in some rounds, is carcinogenic? What do you think the costs are to society from spewing heavy metals around indescriminately? Do you think that a world with heavy metal contaminated drinking water is a better world? How much does it cost to clean up a heavy metal contaminated aquifer? Is it even possible?

    I look forward to your answers.

    1. SteveP:

      Ok – I will play:

      Do you see any down side to having more and more fire arms introduced into a country? [Yes. Just like the downsides of more houses, cars, buildings, roads, people and so forth. ]

      Do you see any disadvantages to increasing the per capita concentration of guns to the point where more and more people of questionable mental stability are likely to get their hands on a fire arm? Angry people? Sick people? People with poor impulse control? [Yes. Just like more people of questionable ability getting there hands on a car so they can plow through a crowd of people – more crazy people is bad.]

      Do you see any down side to hamstringing the ATF in their attempts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals? Even if it cuts into the profits of gun companies and ammo manufacturers? [Yes – AFT should keep trying to keep guns out of the hands of criminals – I have never been for criminals getting guns. Profits are not relevant to that.]

      Do you think that efforts by the Russian government to support the NRA are benign? [Not sure what you are talking about – that Russian girl sleeping with an NRA guy? Look, if the Russians want to buy a full page ad supporting the NRA there is nothing we can do to stop that – free speech.]

      Are you okay with the idea of living every minute of your day in a heavily armed camp? Do you think that a civilization with AR-15’s laying around everywhere would be highly conducive to learning and education? Do you think that the psychological effect of having so much destructive power readily available would be positive or negative to such a society? [Yes – because I have lived my whole life in a country with hundreds of millions of firearms present. If everybody took a firearm safety course, the number of accidents would be cut down.]

      Are you aware of the neurotoxic properties of lead fumes inhaled by shooters? Are you aware that tungsten, used in some rounds, is carcinogenic? What do you think the costs are to society from spewing heavy metals around indescriminately? Do you think that a world with heavy metal contaminated drinking water is a better world? How much does it cost to clean up a heavy metal contaminated aquifer? Is it even possible? [No – I was not aware. I do know to much lead is bad. What isn’t carcinogenic? Bacon is carcinogenic. It is all about the quantity. If you are worried about your health from firing a gun I recommend you don’t take up target shooting as a hobby. I think heave metal contaminated drinking water is bad. I have no idea how much it costs to clean up a heavy metal contaminated aquifer. ]

      SteveP – Speaking of heavy metals – what are your thoughts on all the batteries we are building for EV’s and for renewable power. Are there not heavy metals in all those batteries? Is that bad for the environment?

      Anyway – back to guns. You have a lot of good questions. But all the bad things you have identified don’t matter. Why – because American gives people the right to keep and bear arms. Even if there are bad consequences as a result. The only way to “fix” that is to change the 2nd amendment – which is all I have been saying.

      We cannot ban guns without changing the 2nd amendment. I have also been saying it will be hard to change the 2nd amendment.

      We are not going to ban guns because they kill people. We are not going to ban guns because crazy people get access to them. We are not going to ban guns because they are bad for the environment. We are not going to ban guns because of lead fumes. We are not going to ban guns because the 2nd amendment gives us the right to keep and bear arms.

      So what to do? Well – closing the gun show loophole doesn’t violate the 2nd amendment. Banning bump stocks doesn’t violate the 2nd amendment. Even gun registration wouldn’t violate the 2nd amendment (although I wouldn’t expect much cooperation for that one.]

      But the problem of stopping crazy people from shooting other people is like trying to stop crazy people from driving into a crowd. It is a very very tough problem. You will never stop crazy people from accessing tools to kill other people – so I would stop spending so much time on that avenue and think of something else. Just one person’s opinion.

    2. “I look forward to your answers”

      Which will be more of his usual avoidance and misrepresentation.

  30. Two important things to consider about violent people who use firearms as part of their crimes: one, most school shootings are perpretrated by young people who are on prescription psychoactive drugs (SSRIs, principally -see SSRIstories.org for more), and two, these shootings all take place in “gun-free” zones. Violent people/criminals always go after soft targets; a fact that the left refuses to acknowledge.

    1. A fact the right refuses to acknowledge is that the general availability of battlefield weapons lets nutters kill lots more people when they hit a soft target.

      Assault rifles have no place in any civilian gun cabinet. Home defence? Pump shotgun with a 3 round magazine – if you can’t stop a home invasion with 3 x 00 gauge shells you are going to die anyway. Hunting? Anything from .22 rim to whatever, bolt action, three round mag. Miss with the first shot and you aren’t likely to hit fleeing game with two and three.

      Nobody needs an assault rifle unless they are in the infantry.

    2. …these shootings all take place in “gun-free” zones.

      This bit of bullshit, repeated blindly by people without the urge or ability to investigate, is really annoying.

      There is no agreed upon definition of “mass shooting”, and “gun free zone” is also very loosely defined (and lied about: John Lott commented on a shooting that occurred on a college campus, claiming it was a “gun free zone”, in the same article in which several students who were on campus, in a different building, stated that had they been in the location where the shooting occurred they would have tried to stop it SINCE THEY WERE CARRYING THEIR WEAPONS ON CAMPUS AS THE SCHOOL’S GUIDELINES ALLOWED”).

      The FBI does define mass murder as “four or more victims slain in one event in one location”. The shooter is not included if they die by suicide or in a justifiable homicide. The also make it clear that mass killing is not the same as mass killing.

      Even though Lott is known to be dishonest and to play fast and loose with his numbers, his organization is the primary source behind the “98.4% of all mass shootings from 1950 to 2016 were in gun-free zones.”

      – Lott defines a mass shooting as an incident in which 4 or more people are killed in one location, not counting the shooter

      – Lott excludes shootings related to gang activities, drug violence, or that occur during crimes. Most other organizations do not do this

      – Lott only considers “mass PUBLIC shootings”, which he defines as those happening in “commercial areas such as malls, businesses, educational environments, open spaces, government spaces, houses of worship, and health care facilities”. He makes some distinctions within those categories, but justifies his choices by referencing a list in an FBI report that lays them out.

      – However, that FBI list defines shooting locations as “(locations) where the public was most at risk”, and they include personal residences in the list — which he specifically omits. He tries to justify his misuse of the report by saying that gang shootings, drug related violence, shootings during crimes, and shooting in residences are “different” than other shootings. Apparently “different” means they don’t fit his ideology. It’s also impossible to argue that a personal residence is a “gun free zone”. Louis Klarevas, a professor at UMASS, has a very good discussion of this bit of deception by Lott in “Rampage Nation: Securing America from Mass Shootings”.

      – From 2009 to 2016 Lott reported 24 mass shootings in areas that fit his restricted definition of “gun free zone”. The Everytown research group gives the number 16 for the same time period. The difference is in the definitions used. Here Lott said a gun free zone is

      (gun free zones are) places where any of only police or military officials are classified, places where it is illegal to carry a permitted concealed handgun, places that are posted as not allowing a permitted conceal handgun, places where “general citizens” are not allowed to carry permits or where permits are either not issued to any general citizen or to only a very tiny selected segment”.

      By his own admission the White House is a gun free zone, despite its abundance of armed Secret Service agents. He has also stated that military bases are gun free zones, and he includes the shootings at Fort Hood and Washington Navy Yard as having occurred in gun free zones.

      – In summary: Lott claims to have based his numbers on shootings from 1950 to 2016, by examining which shooting locations were then classified as “gun free zones”. The only problem is that “gun free zone” wasn’t wasn’t a term used until 1990, when the first laws restricting guns in and around schools were passed. Before that time only select government facilities prohibited the carry of weapons.

      So how does the high percentage behind the “almost all shootings happen in gun free zones” come top be? By a good amount of dishonest.

    3. The last mass shooting, the one in California at the Synagogue, probably wasn’t a gun-free zone – because someone there had a gun and used it to chase the shooter away. Hopefully that cut down on the death toll.

      So I would say some of them occur in gun free zones – but not ALL.

    4. The last mass shooting, the one in California at the Synagogue, probably wasn’t a gun-free zone – because someone there had a gun and used it to chase the shooter away. Hopefully that cut down on the death toll.

      My understanding is that the shooter – armed, of course, with an assault rifle – was already fleeing the scene when an off-duty border patrol officer fired a shot at him.

      Now, this information may not be correct, but if it is, what you wrote is a calculatedly self-serving misrepresentation.

    5. BBD:

      While it wasn’t intentional, further research shows I had my facts mixed up.

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/04/29/san-diego-synagogue-shooting-army-vet-border-patrol-agents-heroes/3614409002/

      Apparently I was conflating two different guys into one. One was in the Synagogue and chased him out and another was outside, told the first to get away from the car and fired some shots as the car was driving away. I had thought there was only one person – not two.

      So maybe the Synagogue was a gun free zone after all.

  31. So I would say some of them occur in gun free zones – but not ALL.

    I realize my post was probably too complicated (too many words) for the typical libertarian/republican to understand, so I’ll make this observation a quick one: I didn’t say none were in gun-free zones, I pointed out that “all of them are in gun free zones” is a bogus line spread by dishonest use of history and data.

    The shooter in the synagogue had his gun jam (according to initial reports) and began running. After that (the rest is from the San Diego Sheriff’s Department).

    The Sheriff’s Department would like to acknowledge another act of courage that occurred at the synagogue yesterday. Oscar Stewart, who is fifty-one-years-old and resides in Rancho Bernardo, rushed at the shooting suspect, chasing after the suspect as he fled the synagogue to a vehicle parked nearby. Mr. Stewart caught up to the vehicle as the suspect was about to drive away. While Mr. Stewart was near the vehicle, an off-duty Border Patrol Agent caught up to the vehicle and yelled for Mr. Stewart to get out of the way. The Border Patrol Agent then fired a weapon in the suspect’s direction striking the vehicle as it drove away. Mr. Stewart risked his life to stop the shooter and saved lives in the process.

    So yeah, the “someone at the synagogue with a gun chased the guy away” bit is complete bullshit. The first assault ended due to huge bit of luck, the shooter was slowed by someone with huge brass balls, and a Border Patrol Agent, someone trained, outside the building, arrived. Sadly those facts will be, as demonstrated by the resident loon, omitted from the right’s telling.

    1. Crap — I’m not sure how I missed such a f******ng big error. The final two words should be “mass shooting”. Sorry.

  32. Doh! RickA not appreciating the issue — again.

    If you are worried about your health from firing a gun I recommend you don’t take up target shooting as a hobby.

    Clearly you have never paused to consider the real possibility that the mental health of those who frequently use guns is affected by the emissions to the point where they become a danger to society. Their, unnecessary hobby, poisons their brains inhibiting the ability to think rationally.

    This was mentioned in previous threads to do with guns and mass shooting in which you took part. Either your memory is badly flawed or you are being deliberately provocative.

    1. Lionel A says “Their, unnecessary hobby, poisons their brains inhibiting the ability to think rationally.”

      Maybe it does – maybe it doesn’t.

      People get to choose their own hobbies – so whether someone wants to shoot as a hobby isn’t really up to you.

      So if YOU are worried about the dangers of lead from shooting – I recommend you don’t take up target shooting as a hobby. Others may choose differently – and that is ok.

      This is America after all.

      Why some even choose to smoke, even though that poisons their brains. Ditto for drinking. You get to choose your hobbies in America – even if they are bad for you.

  33. MSNBC today:
    ‘You have to understand that in Venezuela, gun ownership is not something that is open to everybody. So if the military have the guns, they have the power…”

    1. You have to understand that the notion citizens would be able to mount a successful defense against an armed and trained military is just the wet dream of low IQ fantasists, not anything groujded in reality.

    2. Power in America is to a large extent now in the invisible hands of vested interest. The gun industry has long funded the subversion of the political / judicial system in pursuit of profits. Fossil fuel interests have done likewise.

      It’s obvious to any non-idiot / shill that the real powers in the land have placed their own interests ahead of the welfare of US citizens, with ever-more negative consequences.

    3. “You have to understand that in Venezuela, gun ownership is not something that is open to everybody. So if the military have the guns, they have the power…”

      It’s hard to find the context for that since a google search for it shows the usual right-wing liar shites: hotair, mediaite, washington examiner, conservative review, townhall, … — all the places racists, white supremacists, tea baggers, nazi lovers and the like hang out.

      Not wanting to give those scum any support by visiting them so: any real information on the context and what was chopped off by the …?

  34. RickaA drops another shot:

    So if YOU are worried about the dangers of lead from shooting – I recommend you don’t take up target shooting as a hobby.

    Completely missing the point, in court I would shout, ‘Objection!’

    Some advice to you, don’t do shooting yourself for if that is a measure of how straight your fire would be then the next along on the butts could just lie there and watch his target being holed.

    I have actually seen this happen when on the butts shooting .303 rounds from an SMLE, extra holes appearing in my target, confused the hell out of the markers with more holes than I had rounds to make.

    Repeat rapid fire from a weapon is not necessary in a civilian environment, besides after the first round the others can go anywhere, certainly not an aimed at target. The effect of the shells on the human body, or any body for that matter, is disastrous. There are no valid argument for AR15s to be in civilian hands, period. To say such shooting is ‘a great date idea’ as in this clip

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2IOZ-5Nk5k

    demonstrates bankrupt thinking.

    With the .303 SMLE I used to shoot tiles at 1000yds. Also practised with Sterlings, Sten and Bren guns and a captured MP43. But this was only peripheral to my main work which was fixing and modifying aircraft of various types from Swordfish to Phantom F4, with Meteor, Vampire, Venom, Sea Vixen Hunter, Canberra, Sea Devon, Sea Heron. Also helicopters from Wessex to Lynx and Sea King. TBH have had little interest in continuing with guns outside of the naval environment, not exactly a very cerebral hobby and certainly environmentally unfriendly.

  35. RickA drops a grenade on his foot:

    Your comment confuses me.

    Sorry that I used more that two words.

    1. RickA has every right to be confused.

      Lionel, as an aviation technician, marksmanship would not have been even remotely “peripheral” to your “main work” on aircraft.

      Especially shooting a captured WWII Sturmgewehr or world-class long range shooting.

    1. Florida law allows teachers to arm themselves, after suitable training:

      That doesn’t mean it’s not lunacy. Let’s look at how this little bit of madness got so far:

      Florida’s House of Representatives voted 65 to 47 to pass the bill after hours of debate over two days in which the Republican majority thwarted Democratic efforts to amend, stall or kill the measure. Florida’s Senate approved it 22 to 17 last week.

      Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law

      Yup, rightwing lunacy all the way down… just the sponsored-by-the-gun-industry-party doing what it is paid to do.

  36. Well RickA

    there is the old saying that ‘the law is an ass’ and with that Florida has put the ass in assinine.

    1. “Suitable training” will be only slightly above being able to answer “from which end does the bullet exit?”

      Only people with zero understanding support this kind of shit (as demonstrated by the identity of the person who posted it).

  37. dean says “Only people with zero understanding support this kind of shit”

    Really? A whole state disagrees with you and you say they have zero understanding. Whatever. Me and millions of other American’s disagree with you (as shown by Florida). I am sure other states will pass similar laws.

    You see – having to wait seven minutes for the police to get to the site of an active shooter is a real problem. When people grapple with this real world problem, sometimes they conclude that having someone with a gun very near to the site of the active shooter is a better option than waiting seven minutes to take action. But you should absolutely protest against whatever you are against in Michigan – that is your right. Florida disagrees with you, as is their right.

    1. RickA misses again:

      You see – having to wait seven minutes for the police to get to the site of an active shooter is a real problem.</blockquote)

      Logic fail.

      If there was no gun to arm the shooter there would be no problem at all.

      Don't go near a gun Rick for you would be looking down the wrong end of the barrel when you fired it.

      Sheesh, I am glad I am never likely to need your lawyer services.

    2. Really? A whole state disagrees with you and you say they have zero understanding.

      Ah, no. Republican lunatics doing the bidding of their industry sponsors did this, not the entire state of Florida. Let’s not get carried away with the false equivalence bullshit.

    3. You see – having to wait seven minutes for the police to get to the site of an active shooter is a real problem.

      And a teacher experiencing first-time combat panic in a pandemonium of screaming kids and sustained fire from an assault rifle will be just hunky dory. Right.

      Did I mention lunacy?

    4. “Really? A whole state disagrees with you and you say they have zero understanding. ”

      I doubt the whole state disagrees with me dipshit. I said people with zero understanding — people like you who, either because you
      – have a low IQ
      – are too lazy to do any real thinking
      – are stupid enough to believe that knowing how to load a gun and fire it is enough to safely handle a chaotic and life-threatening situation
      – are libertarian/republican and so lack all sense of morality and integrity

      are the ones the comment referred to.

    5. When people grapple with this real world problem, sometimes they conclude that having someone with a gun very near to the site of the active shooter is a better option than waiting seven minutes to take action.

      Then they don’t think things through very hard. Shooter comes in: shoots teachers first.

      Amazing how you don’t consider the other things that people think about this situation: that introducing poorly trained armed people into a situation like this is stupid and should be avoided. But the people who like it are amoral assholes — like you.

    6. dean says “Shooter comes in: shoots teachers first.”

      Yes – that could happen.

      The shooter could also miss and the teacher could shoot the shooter.

      In your hypo – what is the downside to the teacher being armed? But what about the benefits compared to simply allowing the shooter to kill the teacher and all the students?

      You see – it is possible that the teacher being armed could help.

      That is the calculation Florida has made.

      Each school district, each county, each state – they get to decide.

      Some will agree with you and some will disagree with you.

      That is life.

    7. That is the calculation Florida has made.

      Nope, it’s something the sponsored-by-the-gun-industry-party did to oblige its good friends in the gun industry. As already explained and blanked by you.

      It turns out that the actual people of Florida think it’s a crap idea, but fuck them, they don’t pump in the money like the sponsors do.

      Quinnipiac poll results:

      Gun Control

      With a wide gender gap, Florida voters oppose 57 – 40 percent allowing trained teachers and school officials to carry guns on school grounds. Women oppose arming teachers 63 – 33 percent. Men are divided as 47 percent support the idea, with 50 percent opposed.

      Stricter gun laws would do more to reduce gun violence in schools, 58 percent of voters say, as 32 percent say armed teachers would do more to reduce gun violence in schools. Florida voters support stricter gun laws 59 – 37 percent.

      If more people carried guns, Florida would be less safe, 55 percent of voters say, while 35 percent of voters say the state would be safer.

      So you can stop lying about ‘the State of Florida’ agreeing with this episode of gun industry sponsored, blatantly anti-democratic rightwing lunacy.

  38. “what is the downside to the teacher being armed? ”

    Gee, I don’t know: what could possibly be wrong with having a badly trained, taken by surprise, armed person suddenly surrounded by students screaming and running hither and thither attempting to hide while someone who has thought things out is shooting, probably at the poorly trained teacher because the shooter knows that is the armed person in the room?

    I’m beginning to believe you are even more stupid and lazy than I had previously concluded — and that conclusion had you at astoundingly lazy and stupid.

    1. “Gee, I don’t know: what could possibly be wrong with having a badly trained, taken by surprise, armed person”

      Correction: with a bunch of badly trained armed people, plural.
      If you hear gunshots and suddenly an armed guy enter running into your classroom, you only have a half-second to figure out he is Joe, the new guy teaching in the classroom at the end of the corridor, and not some crazy gunman about to kill you.
      Same goes double for the police, or any other “good guy with a gun” who would happen to be around. They don’t know you, and here you are, armed, on the scene of a shootout.
      There is a reason why police and military forces wear some sort of identifying uniform.

    2. dean says “Gee, I don’t know: what could possibly be wrong with having a badly trained, taken by surprise, armed person suddenly surrounded by students screaming and running hither and thither attempting to hide while someone who has thought things out is shooting, probably at the poorly trained teacher because the shooter knows that is the armed person in the room?”

      I guess it would be better to have a badly trained, taken by surprise, unarmed person suddenly surrounded by students screaming and running hither and thither, while an active shooter is trying to kill them all. Good point, I hadn’t thought of that. /sarc off

    3. @RickA

      “I guess it would be better to have a badly trained, taken by surprise, unarmed person”

      That’s our point, jack@ss.
      There is no difference, no “better”, between the two situations you describe. In both cases, the teacher is surprised, and if he get a chance to shoot back, he has plenty of panicked students in the line of fire.
      Arming the teacher doesn’t change anything to a face-to-face situation as long as the teacher is surprised – and thus doesn’t get to shoot first or even second. Worse, the gun will likely not being at hand and armed for a quick draw-and-return-fire. Unless you propose that teachers walk around with loaded-and-locked weapons.
      And arming the teachers is making things worse in other every situation, by increasing notably the risk of friendly fire.

      Now, if the armed people received a long training to aim accurately, recognize friends and foes, and so on , things could be different. But I believe people with this skillset are called bodyguards, or maybe infantry soldiers, or in a pinch police officers. Definitively not teachers.

  39. I’ll try that again.

    RickA misses again:

    You see – having to wait seven minutes for the police to get to the site of an active shooter is a real problem.

    Logic fail.

    If there was no gun to arm the shooter there would be no problem at all.

    Don’t go near a gun Rick for you would be looking down the wrong end of the barrel when you fired it.

    Sheesh, I am glad I am never likely to need your lawyer services.

    1. Lionel A says “If there was no gun to arm the shooter there would be no problem at all.”

      We live in the real world where just wishing won’t eliminate the hundreds of millions of guns that are currently in the hands of American’s.

      I think the logic fail is pretending that you can solve this problem with gun control.

      But you can continue to oppose metal detectors at schools and arming trained teachers with guns, and simply making a big wish that students be safe. That is your right.

      We are all entitled to our opinions. Florida chose differently than you (or dean or BBD). That is the American way.

    2. I think the logic fail is pretending that you can solve this problem with gun control.

      Not solve, but ameliorate. Assault rifles are the weapon of choice for mass murderers for a reason: they are designed for mass killing. Ban them and the body count will go down. Lives will be spared, often those of children. There can be no more justifiable reason to ban something than that.

      So ban the fucking things. Nobody needs one unless they are in the infantry, as already explained, in detail, repeatedly, above.

      Nor is a ban on a *class* of weapons an infringement of the 2nd A, so don’t bother with that bullshit argument again. Assault rifles have been banned before as you know perfectly well and should be banned again. Tomorrow. But they aren’t, because the US gun industry is making a fat pile of profit selling them to the public and keeps paying off Republican muppets to ensure that the profits keep on rolling in. So children keep dying in avoidably large numbers, which is an obscenity that you persistently endorse for reasons unfathomable to the rational mind.

    3. But you can continue to oppose metal detectors at schools

      Nobody said that, so stop lying.

      and arming trained teachers with guns

      That’s what everyone on the page – bar you – thinks is barking lunacy. Why does it never strike you that if you are in a minority – eg. with this madness, or with rubbish about climate sensitivity – that you might simply be utterly wrong? For all your nauseating faux modesty, you are one of the most pathologically arrogant people I’ve ever interacted with.

    4. BBD says “you are one of the most pathologically arrogant people I’ve ever interacted with.”

      I suppose that is because I have not changed my mind about any of the issues we have discussed over the years.

      You know, now that I think about it – I don’t think you have changed your mind on any of the issues we have discussed over the years either.

      Hmmmm. Maybe you are pathologically arrogant also?

    5. I suppose that is because I have not changed my mind about any of the issues we have discussed over the years.

      Despite all the evidence that you are mistaken.

      You know, now that I think about it – I don’t think you have changed your mind on any of the issues we have discussed over the years either.

      Hmmmm. Maybe you are pathologically arrogant also?

      If I were, I wouldn’t be capable of modifying my position in the face of the evidence. For example, I was once a lukewarmer like you.

      If there is evidence that the public availability of assault rifles is a net benefit to US citizens, I would have to change my view on that too.

  40. RickA

    We are all entitled to our opinions. Florida chose differently than you (or dean or BBD). That is the American way.

    The American way is broken it would appear if self centred ignorant chumps like Trump can become POTUS.

    The American way is broken it would appear when a partisan stooge like William Barr can become Attorney General.

    William Barr is acting like Trump’s henchman

    It would appear that the US is awash with troublesome lawyers who like to bend arguments to suit themselves and their owners.

    1. The claim that William Barr is Trump’s henchman is complete nonsense.

      Mueller found no collusion and could not recommend obstruction charges and so now the little liberals are screaming and stamping their feet like spoiled children.

      Case in point. Democrats are demanding that Barr release grand jury testimony which is illegal.

    2. Speaking of “broken” political systems, how’s Brexit working out for ya?

      Nigel Farage came out of retirement and put together a new political party in about a month. The BBC asked him if he has plans to become PM.

      By the way, it you don’t like “troublesome” lawyers then note that the Trial Lawyers of America overwhelmingly contributes to Democrats.

  41. But you can continue to oppose metal detectors at schools and arming trained teachers with guns, and simply making a big wish that students be safe. That is your right.

    Your never-ending stream of comments based on a mixture of your own mind-numbing stupidity and your blatant dishonesty about what others have said is getting old.

  42. “what can you do?”

    I know it’s completely uncharted territory for you, but you could try being honest and putting thought into issues instead of what you currently do. Don’t be afraid of gaining a little integrity — it isn’t the poison your scummy libertarian associates tell you it is.

    1. I do have integrity.

      After all, I don’t let a couple of guys push me around and make me change my opinion, against my better judgment. Caving based on peer pressure is lacking in integrity. Standing up to the bully (you and BBD) is an act of integrity.

      From where I stand – you and BBD are the ones lacking in integrity.

      And every time you call me a name, you simply demonstrate it to the readership of this blog.

    2. After all, I don’t let a couple of guys push me around and make me change my opinion, against my better judgment.

      Which is contradicted by the evidence. Calling people who try to provide you with evidence that you are mistaken ‘bullies’ is suggestive of arrogance.

      I mean you guys don’t think I am right – but almost everybody else does (like Mueller).

      🙂

      And climate sensitivity is < 2C. QED.

  43. “Maybe you are pathologically arrogant also?”

    Hmmm. BBD bases positions on facts and reasoned thought. You base yours on falsehoods (often after the reasons they’re false have been explained to you) and blatant lies about what articles and other posters have said.

    If you can’t understand the reason your points of view are uniformly noted as stupid and false don’t blame others. Blame yourself.

    1. My positions are based on facts and reasoned thought also. I just usually end up disagreeing with BBD. Nothing wrong with that.

      But I think I have been right on second amendment case law, my prediction of teachers arming themselves, the results of the Mueller investigation and other issues. I mean you guys don’t think I am right – but almost everybody else does (like Mueller).

      The jury is still out on climate sensitivity. I still think it is going to be below 2.0 C – but we will have to wait and see.

      You can call me stupid all you want – but when my predictions and analysis are more accurate than yours the readers will have to decide for themselves how stupid I am.

      I have asked you to prove me a liar and you cannot. Just because you think I am wrong, and I fail to agree that I am wrong (even after your explanation) – doesn’t make me a liar. Most of the time it just means you are wrong (like with Devil’s night based on your second hand experience versus my firsthand experience). Or it could even mean I am wrong – but sincerely believe what I am saying. Or I could even be right.

      But in the meantime, continue to insult and name call. It just shows you are losing the argument, as usual.

      Oh – that did sound a bit arrogant.

    2. After all, I don’t let a couple of guys push me around and make me change my opinion, against my better judgment.

      Translated from rickA’s usual dishonest language to English:

      I refuse to let facts interfere with my representation of the real world, and I refuse to expend the effort to learn anything.

    3. Rick thinks that if he just digs in he’ll eventually be proved right, because even a broken clock is right twice a day, plus he can call it opinion!

      He doesn’t have sufficient knack (or will) for self-inspection to would allow him to sort out the sources of his attitudes and how they affect his thinking. The sad thing is, if we take him at his word, law and engineering should have given him the tools to do so effectively.

      This is what can happen especially when you have the received wisdom of the ages and it’s primitive, dogmatic authority lovingly (but forcefully) massaged into your brain from an early age. All the scientific rigor and civics lessons you can muster may not wash it out– whether its churchy bull, Russian patriotism, plutocratic social Darwinism, libertarian excuses…

      At this point, Rick has shown himself to be part obnoxious little brother, part hopeless troll. His endless debate tactics and artful dodges aren’t even worth even an eye roll anymore as far as I’m concerned.

    4. But in the meantime, continue to insult and name call. It just shows you are losing the argument, as usual.

      Oh – that did sound a bit arrogant.

      It’s all in there, really. The tone-trolling RickA indulges in after deliberately provoking people by being eternally impervious to evidence-based arguments, the typical dishonesty of ‘as usual’ and the faux reasonableness. Ricky bingo.

  44. My positions are based on facts and reasoned thought also

    If you weren’t serious I wouldn’t be laughing as hard as I am.

    doesn’t make me a liar. Most of the time it just means you are wrong (like with Devil’s night based on your second hand experience versus my firsthand experience)

    Your lies about the severity of Devil’s night are monumental. I get you don’t like being around people who aren’t white, and that is the source of your complaint.

    I have asked you to prove me a liar and you cannot. Just because you think I am wrong,

    You lied about the science of climate change in your post. You are truly pathetic. You’ve been caught lying about what articles say — and try to cover your ass by saying “Oh, I misread that.” Not being able to own up to your errors when you’re caught is one of your most common activities.

    Keep being your racist and dishonest self. It’s probably too late for you to change. Just don’t get butthurt each time your behavior is pointed out.

  45. BBD continues to spread the blatant myth of some well-heeled “gun lobby” writing the nation’s gun laws for “profits”.

    “In the land of Big Money, the National Rifle Association and the gun makers it protects are popguns. The NRA’s communications arm spent just $1.1 million in the 2016 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and $3 million on lobbying. Even if you count all its affiliated groups and political-action committees, you only get to $54.4 million — less than 1% of the $6.6 billion spent on campaigns that cycle. And most of it was spent on the presidential race, where it had little impact in a race dominated by Hillary Clinton’s emails and Donald Trump’s Donald Trumpness.

    Those “big” gun makers really aren’t big companies. If you think they have the size and influence of a General Electric or a General Motors, let alone tech companies like Google parent Alphabet and Facebook or true innovators like Tesla, guess again. The largest U.S. gun makers —

    Smith & Wesson parent American Outdoor Brands Corp. AOBC, , Sturm, Ruger & Co. RGR, and Vista Outdoor Inc. VSTO, — have a combined stock-market value of $3 billion.

    By comparison, the least valuable company in the S&P 500 — Patterson Cos. PDCO, — is worth $3.7 billion, or more than those three gun makers combined. Who’s afraid of Patterson? Or even knows that their business is dental, veterinary, and rehabilitation supplies?”

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-las-vegas-shooting-shows-just-how-cheaply-our-politicians-can-be-bought-2017-10-03

    The idea of some massive “gun lobby” is just a fairly tale spread by lying, liberal scum.

    1. The idea of some massive “gun lobby” is just a fairly tale spread by lying, liberal scum.

      Soooo… there’s no gun lobby in the US?

      You are fucking nuts, my son.

      And either functionally illiterate or to crazed to understand what the link you provided actually said about the venality of politicians, particularly those on the right. Perhaps this additional quote might help, although given that it’s you, I’m not holding my breath:

      But it’s shocking when you realize that it costs only $2,500 per each of the 22,000 or so gun-murder victims of the last election cycle to make Congress cower and refuse to tighten gun rules.

      This is all your life is worth to a politician if you’re slaughtered in Las Vegas listening to country artist Jason Aldean, all you count for if you are cut down on a weekend in Chicago, a city whose 496 year-to-date murders White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders cited yesterday.

    2. S&P500 companies don’t sell products solely designed to kill (mostly people), and don’t have a huge propaganda arm that utilises (poorly educated) public sentiment for political ends.

      Your argument about the companies’ worth is a red herring.

    1. I’d be surprised if one person with a knife could kill dozens of people in a single attack.

      Only stupid rightwing scum would pretend that an a assault rifle and a knife are equivalent in lethality and then try to use this obviously wrong ploy to argue that the gun industry should continue to be given carte blanche to supply battlefield weapons to the general public.

  46. Peter Hitchens on guns in Britain.

    My favorite line,

    “Until the year 1920 … the gun laws of this country made Texas look effeminate”

  47. Another blatant lie being spread here is that the Second Amendment was tacked on soley on the insistence of slave owners concerned with possibility of a slave revolt.

    This, of course, is complete nonsense.

    Somehow we are supposed to believe that after fighting a long and difficult rebellion in order to secure *additional* rights, those same colonists decided to give up a right to bear arms that they had enjoyed for nearly a hundred years since the English Bill of Rights of 1689? The English themselves didn’t start to limit gun rights in any significant way until 1920.

    Only liberals would offer up something so stupid.

    1. Only rightwing idiots would endorse the twisting of an anachronistic Amendment into a carte blanche for the gun industry to keep supplying battlefield weapons to the general public. Despite the overwhelming evidence that these same assault weapons are the tool of choice for mass shooters because of their extreme lethality.

    2. No Locus, history indicates that fact.

      Many Southern states had as many slaves as free men, and the leaders of those states were concerned about a federal government emancipating the slaves might mean: large numbers of horribly treated people seeking revenge.

      It’s also true that many states used groups of armed men around their countryside, stopping any person known to be or suspected of being a slave and “making sure they were not engaged in illegal activities”. South Carolina and Virginia selected members of slave patrols from their militias, and eventually claim to refer to these patrols as militias even though they technically weren’t.

      On June 25, when Virginia ratified the Constitution, they had Patrick Henry and George Mason speak about Article I, Section 8, which would authorize Congress to call, organize, arm, and discipline militias. Henry and Mason argued that if Congress were to be slow to, or negligent about, or even refuse to, act, the militias would be useless. Mason pushed for an amendment that would limit Congress’ power to call militia from one state and order it to another without the approval of the legislature of the state of origin. He said “On real emergencies this
      [legislative] consent will never be denied.”??The question to ask now is: against what dangers were Henry and Mason saying Virginia’s militia would be a last/best defense?” History showed it wouldn’t be a foreign military, since their militia had been uniformly worthless in the war (at one battle, in 1780, when the British charged the Virginia militia to a man turned and ran). Their concern was that should Congress become sympathetic to an abolitionist mindset the militia could be disarmed or even be removed from the state.

      So here’s where it gets sticky: Virginia wasn’t needed for the ratification of the Constitution: that happened when New Hampshire ratified it. But — Virginia held heavy influence compared to other states, and so: Madison’s resolution to put a bill of rights into the Constitution included this wording of the second amendment:

      The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.

      After debate the draft was edited to read:??

      A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no religiously scrupulous person shall be compelled to bear arms.

      ??The current form of the amendment was adopted in 1791.??

      So the notion that the amendment owes its origin to the desire to protect slavery is reasonable, and anyone with a little ability to do some research and read could learn this. ??The fact that the racist, bigoted, patently dishonest locus doesn’t know this isn’t surprising.

    3. Many Southern states had as many slaves as free men, and the leaders of those states were concerned about a federal government emancipating the slaves might mean: large numbers of horribly treated people seeking revenge.

      It’s also true that many states used groups of armed men around their countryside, stopping any person known to be or suspected of being a slave and “making sure they were not engaged in illegal activities”. South Carolina and Virginia selected members of slave patrols from their militias, and eventually claim to refer to these patrols as militias even though they technically weren’t.

      On June 25, when Virginia ratified the Constitution, they had Patrick Henry and George Mason speak about Article I, Section 8, which would authorize Congress to call, organize, arm, and discipline militias. Henry and Mason argued that if Congress were to be slow to, or negligent about, or even refuse to, act, the militias would be useless. Mason pushed for an amendment that would limit Congress’ power to call militia from one state and order it to another without the approval of the legislature of the state of origin. He said “On real emergencies this
      [legislative] consent will never be denied.”??The question to ask now is: against what dangers were Henry and Mason saying Virginia’s militia would be a last/best defense?” History showed it wouldn’t be a foreign military, since their militia had been uniformly worthless in the war (at one battle, in 1780, when the British charged the Virginia militia to a man turned and ran). Their concern was that should Congress become sympathetic to an abolitionist mindset the militia could be disarmed or even be removed from the state.

      So here’s where it gets sticky: Virginia wasn’t needed for the ratification of the Constitution: that happened when New Hampshire ratified it. But — Virginia held heavy influence compared to other states, and so: Madison’s resolution to put a bill of rights into the Constitution included this wording of the second amendment:

      The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.

      After debate the draft was edited to read:??

      A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no religiously scrupulous person shall be compelled to bear arms.

      ??

      The current form of the amendment was adopted in 1791.

      ??So the notion that the amendment owes its origin to the desire to protect slavery is reasonable, and anyone with a little ability to do some research and read could learn this. ??The fact that the racist, bigoted, patently dishonest locus doesn’t know this isn’t surprising.

  48. I see the lie that the Second Amendment was added solely at the request of slave owners just won’t go away.

    This, of course, is sheer nonsense.

    Are we to believe that after fighting a long and difficult rebellion to secure *additional* rights, the colonists suddenly decided to jettison a right enjoyed for nearly a hundred years since the English Bill of Rights of 1689?

    The British themselves didn’t start meaningful gun control until 1920.

    This is more dishonest, intersectional nonsense from liberals.

    1. Stop spamming the same shit over and over again. It was stupid and wrong enough the first time.

  49. The new UN report on the state of biodiversity was published today and it is a shocking read. Authored by over 150 of the world’s leading ecologists, it argues that a million or more species are threatened with extinction. Let’s not beat around the bush here: we sit perched on the brink of disaster. Nature and humanity are in deep trouble. I don’t need to hear a nincompoop like RickA wade in here with his simplistic denial. As an ecologist, I can see the great dying all around us. The amazing documentary Our Planet narrated by the great David Attenborough does not sugar coat the predicament. Unless urgent measures are taken, the future is dire.

    1. You beat me to the punch there Jeff. Remember the heated arguments on Deltoid with those who never understood what was happening, had no inkling or did not care.

      Let RickA & co, talk there way around this:

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/06/human-society-under-urgent-threat-loss-earth-natural-life-un-report?fbclid=IwAR0fL0L29Q7Wt9WKTnReUisU3tP4Vjv0YVM023KNwiuNNNXpnl0kK_xrLBU

      Another follow up:

      https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/12/what-is-biodiversity-and-why-does-it-matter-to-us

      Over twenty years ago I could see this happening and argued with some only to receive the response, ‘but we are too puny to make a difference.’

    2. Jeff, the future is dire even if urgent measures are taken. We have a confluence of:

      1) increasing human population
      2) increasing Westernisation of the population
      3) the demonstrable refractoriness of humans to change
      4) the psychological maladaptation of humans to thinking about the impacts on evolutionary scales
      5) a ballooning and obscene disparity of wealth across humanity
      6) an economic model that is predicated on pillaging the environment and its biodiversity
      7) an active campaign to misrepresent the facts of sustainability
      8) a vanishingly small window of opportunity for even a partial success
      9) no feasible solution that will counter the sum of human impacts on the planet
      10) a huge baked-in extinction debt.

      That said, there are two avenues that an entity of a Thanos-type persuasion could employ to achieve a fair degree of success:

      1) strategically-targeted global nuclear strikes
      2) genetically-modified pandemic infection.

      It’s worth asking if anyone would ever countenance such an approach…

      The USA is self-immolating, and every additional week that there is no counter to Trump brings the country closer to permanent irrelevance on the global geopolitical stage. China is a stealthy giant that quietly slid its hand around the throat of the West while the clown that is Putin has distracted those First World nations. In another few decades China will likely be the pre-eminent global superpower, and if the ruling elite do the calculus and decide that they’re interested in having a world for themselves down the track that isn’t a complete zombie apocalypse, they may well decide that a partial interim and controlled apocalypse is the only solution.

      And if they don’t, then there’s still that impacable freight train of environmental destruction pelting toward us. Effectively, humanity has delayed for so long that we’ve invoked a trolley problem on a grand scale. The only solutions we have are all going to cost – it’s just a matter of how much cost we’ll incur before we act.

      Tick… tick… tick…

  50. I see Locus is here repeating itself again and falling foul of logical fallacies, false equivalence for one on two counts.

    1. Yes, a few of his comments were trapped in the sieve, and I thought you might be entertained if I let them all out at once!

    2. Yes, a few of his comments were trapped in the sieve, and I thought you might be entertained if I let them all out at once!

      Like unblocking a drain…

  51. Yes, a few of his comments were trapped in the sieve, and I thought you might be entertained if I let them all out at once!

    I don’t know: rickA is simply dishonest and willfully unwilling to acknowledge facts that don’t meet his agenda, so he’s just a garden-variety right-wing troll. locus’ issues seem to be based in mental instability. His (her?) comments are simply sad, IMO.

  52. “And either functionally illiterate or to crazed to understand what the link you provided actually said about the venality of politicians…”

    Nope.

    The author of the article I linked undoubtedly expected to find some trail of big money from the “gun industry” and the NRA to politicians and was shocked to find quite the opposite. He was then left lamely trying to claim that politicians are bought “cheaply”.

    Of course, this makes no sense. If money is the determining factor in making American gun laws, then all the gun control advocates would have to do is outbid the NRA. It wouldn’t be difficult. After all politicians “come cheap”

    And yet that doesn’t happen proving that BBD’s screeching about the gun lobby is just another lib-idiot fairy tale.

  53. “Only stupid rightwing scum would pretend that an a assault rifle and a knife are equivalent in lethality..”

    Never said that.

    Merely pointed out that people have been murdering each other since long before the advent of firearms.

    Also, mass casualty knife attacks have been increasing around the world.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-31/rise-mass-knife-attacks-around-world-shows-problem-isnt-guns-its-people

    I would also point out that trucks seem to be as lethal as assault rifles.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Nice_truck_attack#Attack

  54. “Google Dunblane and learn about UK gun laws you fucking clown.”

    BBD, please explain the connection between Dunblane and the sharp shift in UK gun laws that occurred in 1920, some 76 years earlier.

  55. “The fact that the racist, bigoted, patently dishonest locus doesn’t know this isn’t surprising.”

    I see dean has again resorted to calling me a “racist”.

    Please provide ANY evidence of my alleged racism so other readers won’t have to conclude that you’re just a gutless little fraud who calls people racist when you can’t think of an argument.

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