Category: Video

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

54 Responses to “Piers Morgan Slaps Gun Advocates Upside Their Heads”

  1. curbyourrisk says:

    Give me a break. The only thin banning guns would do is EMBOLDEN the criminal society. I do not own a gun right now. If they ban guns, you better believe I will go out and get one. This is total horse crap. At no time has or wil it ever show that a PAPER gun law will stop a bullet. Gun control law will not save lives that are taken by criminals that are intent on harming. He kills his own arguement…. He clamis the gun was bought legally….then goes on to say that the young boy took his mothers gun. It’s called STEALING. Therefore it was not legally obtained by the person who used it.
    Piers is a holier than thou jack ass like Bloomberg. When Bloomberg gives up his security detail, then he can shout about gun control.He is no more important than you or I, so why should he be special and get armed security to march with him every step of his life?

  2. cfischer says:

    The cognitive dissonance here is stunning. Had the mother not been able to legally purchase the gun, how would the mentally ill son have gotten ahold of it?

    Also – can you explain why other countries, including many of which are far much poorer than us, have such dramatically lower death rates?

    While you’re at it – please explain to me why you think anyone needs a BushMaster .223 rifle (aka semi auto M-16) with a 30 round magazine.

  3. curbyourrisk says:

    So you are telling me that…..because she has a HIGHLY INTELLIGENT menatlly ill child, she has less of a right than you or I to defend themselves. Talk about cognitive dissonance being stunning.

  4. curbyourrisk says:

    I will you some credit though. Most of the mouth breathers in the main stream media, for effect of course, are chosing to label the gun an assault weapon. You however, correctly described it as a semi automatic weapon. Good for you.

  5. cfischer says:

    Please explain why she needed 6 guns, including a AR-15 clone w/30 round magazine, to “defend herself.” Explain why anyone needs to own an AR-15.

    And actually, while we’re at it: You really don’t think that disallowing firearms in a household which contains a person with mental illness might be a good idea?

  6. cfischer says:

    Have you every fired one? I have. It is an assault weapon. And if you’re attacking unarmed people, you’re going to do a lot more harm firing one aimed round at a time. Even for the semi automatic version, the receiver and gun are perfectly capable of firing 2-3 rounds a second.

  7. curbyourrisk says:

    If gun control was trully effective. CHICAGO would be the safest city in the country. Do me a favor and please find me a story corraborating that?

    Also…..answer me a question. Do you find it hypocritical that this administration, which brought us FAST AND FURIOUS, is now trying to preach GUN CONTROL to the citizenry?



  8. curbyourrisk says:

    You did not answer my question. SHOULD someone taking care of a HIGHLY INTELLIGNET mentally ill (damn that is hard to say?) be any less allowed to defend themselves than you or I?

    Somehting i have not yet heard anything on… Were these weapons you talk about in a gun locker? Did he EVER have them avaialable to him without her making it so? Why did he just not take the weapons and go do his deed? Why did he have to kill her first? Was it so HE COULD gain access to them? Don;t go an make all these assumptions before they are out there…
    Why did she need 6 guns? Is there a law about being a gun collector? Part of being a collector is owning as many guns, especially non-convetional or obscure.

    Again…I point to Chicago…. the safest place in the Country. NO?

  9. cfischer says:

    You sir are offering a perfect example of cognitive dissonance. Refusing to answer any of my very direct questions, and instead countering with irrelevant anecdotes about what the administration is or isn’t doing or similar garbage claims about “emboldening criminal society.”

    I never said banning guns is the answer, but there are some weapons that simply should not be available to the general public. You can buy a Bushmaster .223 at Walmart or Dick’s Sporting Goods, and because it is classified as a Rifle, the paperwork burden is even less than that of a handgun. You don’t find that a little insane?

  10. mikderby says:

    First of all – this tragedy is incomprehensible – seeking to explain the unexplainable doesn’t make it any easier.

    However, after reading all these comments, all I can say is that I’m glad that I live in Canada! While we still have criminals with guns – the supply is severly limited – and the last time I checked – I don’t have to protect myself and my family, I have a trained, effective police department to do that for me – and they do a great job. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people?” BALDERDASH….

    Guns exist for one reason and one reason only – to kill people or other animals. Why we have them legally available (outside of the police and military) in our modern society is totally beyond me.

  11. cfischer says:

    I did answer your question. No, I don’t think anyone living with a mentally ill person should keep guns in the house. Yes, in this case, I believe they need to reliquish their right to own a firearm because the risk they pose to others far outweighs the risk of them helping themselves. You can disagree with me on this, but that’s my answer.

  12. curbyourrisk says:

    “Guns exist for one reason and one reason only – to kill people or other animals. Why we have them legally available (outside of the police and military) in our modern society is totally beyond me.”

    Logic would dictate that this is incorrect. If guns exist to kill people, they ALSO exist to defend yourself from such criminals. Glad you live in Canada, logic like that would weaken our gene pool.

  13. curbyourrisk says:

    ““Guns don’t kill people, people kill people?” BALDERDASH….”

    WOW…more brilliance.

    Please show me an example of a GUN killing anyone or anything. A gun….not a person firing it, but the gun itself. PEOPLE kill people….A gun is an extension of the person. Just like a knife, or a hammer, or a vehicle.

  14. mikderby says:

    “Glad you live in Canada, logic like that would weaken our gene pool.”?

    Wow – that’s constructive. Perhaps so – but our gene pool isn’t regularly mass killing each other – and 5-7 year old defenseless kids.

    Say what you want – Canada has some of the toughest gun control laws on the planet – and one of the safest societies.

    As Barry would say, correlation does not necessarily equal causation – but on this issue – I’ll submit it does…..

  15. curbyourrisk says:

    I really don’t mind correcting OR educating you.

    “Canada has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world. There are almost as many rifles per capita in Canada as in the United States.[6] ”

    You are welcome.

  16. WFTA says:

    I know, I know: they’d find some other way to do the killing. They just never have to.

  17. cfischer says:

    I’ve heard that argument before, and it really is one of the truly dumbest justifications ever. Guns, especially assault rifles with large magazines, provide a means for a person to inflict harm on dozens of people, far past what any person could possibly justify on self defense. You keep ignoring my question on “Why does anyone need to own an AR-15″ because there simply isn’t a good reason – so you continue to shift the subject.

    If you truly can’t see the difference between the destructive capability of a knife or hammer versus a rifle that can propel a bullet 3000 feet in one second, than I feel bad for you.

    Crazy and evil people will always find ways to inflict harm to others. But we don’t need to give them easy access to tools that can injury large numbers of people. But by your rationalization, he would have been able to destroy just as many lives with a hammer, right?

  18. syphax says:


    You are changing the subject.

    Some questions and comments:
    - Please explain again the overriding need for citizens to own these specific kinds of weapons? Are you saying that one cannot “defend oneself” with less capable firearms?

    - If “paper” guns laws don’t stop bullets, do “paper” laws against e.g. murder prevent killings? Put another way, if we revoked laws against murder in the US, would the number of murders increase, decrease, or stay the same?

    - I am the medical guardian for my mother. Several years ago, she lost her driver’s license, not because of any single incident, but because of a pattern of behavior (she has mental, not physical, health issues) that indicated that she was an imminent threat to public safety. This was the right outcome.

    - Similarly, I’m pretty sure that she cannot legally acquire a gun. This is a good thing. There are other ways for me to protect her, other than her packing heat.

    - I know a child in my town, my kids’ classmate, whose history of behavior includes instances of quite violent behavior toward his peers and others. If he shot up a school, it would frankly not surprise me. I myself have witnessed him chasing his peers with a large metal pipe, with clear intent to inflict harm (fortunately, this was avoided). This child should never have ready access to a firearm- it’s just common goddamn sense. His 2nd amendent “right” is not without limit; it does not trump my kids’ right to live.

  19. curbyourrisk says:

    I’ll end it here. I do not think the disgusting acts that took place last friday is a gun issue.

    It is a mental health issue. I am logging out and not logging back in.

    The crazies in the media and the left want to exploit this issue and are doing on the shoulders of little innocent kids…..let them. There is a special place in hell for people who exploit the death of children, the same place i hope all those journalists go who demanded to interview the survivors.

  20. cfischer says:

    Without a doubt there were mental health issues involved. But to look at the way to attack was carried out, to not consider it a gun issue is insane.

    The fact that you weren’t able answer the simple question of “Why should any private citizen need to own an AR-15″ should make you reconsider your closely held beliefs on gun ownership. Before you do an end around on the constitution and the 2nd amendment, ask yourself if you really believe the founding fathers had envisioned modern firearms when the crafted the law.

  21. syphax says:

    That says it all. curbyourrisk is unwilling to engage in any sort of reasoned dialog. Mainly idealogical talking points and name-calling. And poor logic (e.g. the tragedy of last Friday has many causes, including BOTH mental health issues and ready access to certain types of weaponry).

    That is too bad.

    (Side note on Canada: The case of Canada actually supports the case for gun control: Canada has much stricter gun laws than most US states, but also a lot of guns per capita- so it’s possible to have freedom to bear arms and safety- with the proper laws.).

    As stated, here’s my motivation for this topic: I have 4 kids in public schools. I have personal familiarity with several people with mental health issues (in addition to those mentioned above). For the safety of the former (and everyone else), I would like the latter to have less access to particular forms of weaponry. In fact, I think we’d all be better off if no one outside of highly-regulated organizations had access to certain forms of weaponry. Like, it seems, in Canada. That’s why I am “exploiting” this issue.

  22. osbjmg says:

    Yes, he schooled them with “facts” and offered only to interrupt them. The whole segment is built on the premise that guns should only exist for reasons you want them to. The problem is nobody asks the question: what reason would we have for putting this right into law? The preamble to the bill of rights is clear that these are enumerated to help limit the government’s power. We have experience fighting our government, and that’s what guns are for. Simply a litmus test.

    Guns *can* be used for hunting, but the guarantee to own them is not about what is agreeable to what a Brit considers “ridiculous” weapon. Where do people get the idea that hunting is the only legitimate use, and they can tell people how they should be used?

    If there were some merit to the idea that you could make all guns disappear from the planet, *and* that there would be no more innocent killings, then okay you may have my attention. Short of all guns disappearing, there is no amount of gun law can stop this. It will be diluted down and only serve to hurt us.

    Any way you slice it, you cannot stop crazy from happening. Would we be more comfortable seeing 5 children die rather than 20? Perhaps, but is that something to celebrate? Did you see the mass stabbings that occurred in China the same day at a school? This is somewhat a trend in China, but we don’t talk about it because we are only disgusted when white suburban kids die, of gun violence. While 3 people per hour die of gun deaths, mostly black teenagers. Why are we not “outraged” every single day? Gun owners don’t forget they are dangerous, but apparently the MSM does and wakes up every time tragedy strikes to create a security theater.


    BR: 1. Are you arguing a constitutional right to auto or semiauto weapons with 50 or 100 ammo magazines?
    2. No one is suggesting that ALL GUNS be banished — just the military grade assault weaponry.
    3. In China, 22 kids were stabbed — all survived. In Newton, all of the kids were shot multiple times — none made it.
    4. Most people would prefer no kids dies, but if given a choice would prefer “seeing 5 children die rather than 20″

  23. schmiddi says:

    what i find fascinating is the number of people who read this blog who see no connection of stricter gun laws and lower gun death, but who instead follow the idiotic logic of the NRA that more guns mean safter streets.
    do these people not read any news? do they not follow what is going on outside this wonderful nation? if the NRA logic would be right then why are gun related deaths (and also always overall death murder rates) lower in any (IN ANY) other developed nation? you can take a look at Japan which is supposed to have the strictest gun laws, to countries like the UK or Germany or Sweden or France … it is always dramatically lower.

    and then take a look at Australia which recently did create stricter gun laws and you can read about those results here:

    now if you do need your guns and feel like you should have the right to own one, just because i don’t know you need to hunt your own food, or your have some other issues then say so. but please stop this idiotic argument that guns make us safer. because there is absolutely no data to show that that is correct.

  24. Dick Watson says:

    Weapons of Mass Destruction don’t kill people. People kill people!

  25. CardinalRam says:

    Let me see if I can follow the arguments:

    Pro-gun people – 1) We need to have hand guns and military-style assault rifles in order to protect ourselves!

    Observation – Having six fire-arms in her house, including an AR-15 (civilian M-16) did not protect Nancy Lanza. In fact, having them resulted in her death and the deaths of 26 other people, including 20 children no older than seven.

    Pro-gun people – 2) Only by having more people with guns will the violence stop (so armed bystanders can take out the “bad guy”).

    Observation – During the frontier period, Dodge City, Kansas was so renowned for its violence that “getting out of Dodge” is STILL used to mean leaving a violent, dangerous place. Dodge City became peaceful not when everyone had a gun, but when Wyatt Earp started enforcing a total gun ban in the city.

    Pro-gun people – 3) There are so many firearms in the U.S. now it would be impossible to eliminate all of them. The only defense is to arm more “law-abiding” citizens.

    Observation – Many dangerous items have been widespread then all but removed from normal contact: Lead paint was thought to be too pervasive to ever eliminate. So was asbestos, gas lighting, leaded gasoline, cars without seat belts, DDT, and so on. True, none were eliminated overnight. But by reasonable laws, abatement programs, and patient enforcement, the average American has only a small chance of encountering one of them. There is no reason to believe that guns cannot likewise be dealt with.

    Pro-gun people – 4) “If you outlaw guns then only outlaws will have guns!”

    Observation – Actually, outlaws and law enforcement will have guns. Exactly the situation that Wyatt Earp created when he enforced the gun ban in Dodge City, Kansas almost 130 years ago.
    Further, the number of times that an armed civilian has disrupted or stopped a crime by using or threatening to use a firearm is so dwarfed by the number of innocent people killed by firearms used illegally (the firearm itself is often legal), that no credible assertion can be made that widespread gun ownership provides a real deterrence to violent crime, much less magically being able to actually STOP a crime in progress.

    When this AVOIDABLE tragedy took place, I knew what the pro-gun people were going to say (see today’s This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow on DailyKos (

    The image I have in my head is one where a copy of the 2nd Amendment, presented as a religious icon, sits on an altar. High Priests of the NRA and other similar organizations are doing worship while their alcolytes pour blood from large urns labeled “Innocent Lives” in front of the altar.

    How many more lives? How much more innocent blood will their “god” demand?

  26. subscriptionblocker says:

    This has been debated for decades, and neither side will come around to the other’s view.

    May I suggest a compromise? Say a limit on magazine capacity in exchange for fewer barriers on concealed defense weapons? Both sides would growl – but the end result might limit the efficiency of such murders, while perhaps putting more guns in educator’s hands? More guns in the hands of women? Perhaps your wife, daughter?

    Must note here that Sandy’s outcome is typical. Whenever the unarmed are faced with the well armed – the unarmed party always loses.

    Thirty years ago, it was common for most gun clubs to kick out members bringing assault weapons to the range. Extremists on both sides have just raised the ante by failing to listen to each other.

    Shrill yelling does not constitute debate. Daily show @ 7:00minutes

  27. romerjt says:

    It is useless to argue with gun advocates, the augment has been lost, too many people equate gun ownership with increased personal safety. Inching toward sanity needs a different approach. The 4 proposals I’m going to make are ridiculous, except the points they make are not. Their common thread is emphasis personal responsibility on the part of gun owners.

    1. If you legally own a gun that is used in a crime you are going to jail, count on it. You are an accomplice, the more serious the crime committed the longer you’re going to jail, maybe for the rest of your life. If this were the case the murdered woman might have thought twice about having a son she knew was “troubled”, have access to her guns. Now you have an increased interest of taking better care of your guns!

    2. Stop socializing the costs. Add up the prison, court, and medical costs (for a start) of gun violence, divide by the number of gun owners, attach to this ANNUAL fee to the license of owning a gun. Owning a gun make you feel safe but not everyone is as law abiding as you and your safety premium has spread the costs to everyone including at least half of us see it just the other way. Now you have an interest in preventing the “bad guys” from owning guns.

    3. “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” If you own a gun, you’re in the “militia” which requires you to show up initially and periodically to show you are fit, this includes the kind of psychological tests the military uses. How can anyone, even Scalia, read this simple statement and think guns are supposed to be spread through the country for only “personal” reasons”?

    4. Concealed weapons and the rights of the rest of us – maybe there should be a law against carrying a concealed weapon, may the weapon should be clearly visible so the rest of us, who do not believe that guns make people safer can exercise our right to personal safety by avoiding those who have guns. If a business wants to allow its customers to carry guns I would like to know that. If you have a concealed weapon in my presence I think I am less safe and I have rights too.

    Accept personal responsibility for your choices.

  28. piinob says:

    If the purpose of the national discussion is to reduce violent crime against members of society then we should discuss that. Otherwise the whole thing degenerates into an argument about whether or not the second amendment should be overthrown. You may have to many rights left but I do not. I am as interested as anyone in ways to stop violence against our fellow citizens. I hate violence in most every form including the violence we perpetrate as a nation against the rest of the world. Living in a country that romanticizes war and paramilitary police actions on a daily basis via the media and organized events I am not surprised that people who feel helpless and powerless because of their circumstances look to make a ststement in their choice of death by taking someone with them. The same day this horrible act occured in Conn., a man in China attacked a school and stabbed twenty children. The problem will not go away because we pass a law restricting one tool.
    Lets talk about things we can do to stop the violent impulses of the sick and infirm. Maybe it is time to reopen some of the mental health facilities that we shut down in the ’80′s. Maybe schools should have a bit more security. It appears that this young man needed help he was not getting.
    For those who missed it, back in the ’80′s the Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement agencies only duty is to the governmental agency which funds them. The have no obligation to protect anyone unless they choose to. Maybe Canada sees it different but we are not Canada.
    The weapons in my closet have been there along with many rounds of ammunition for many years. They have never caused harm to anyone nor do I anticipate such occurring in the future. I don’t see how giving them up is going to make anyone any safer ever, except maybe some un enlightened soul who thinks he or she is going to come into my house and cause me or mine bodily harm. At that time these observations might change. I would not be happy about harming even a criminal, but I would be less happy about not being able to do anything but watch and maybe die.
    Focus on the problem and it’s solutions.
    For the record I am a moderate democrat who quit the NRA years ago. But I will not give up any rights to gain the illusion of security.

  29. The leftist orientation of the mainstream media does not allow free and open discussion of the fact that availability of extreme firearms is tied to the realm of a country’s militia forces.

    In general Canada elects four-yr benevolent dictatorships. Should a regime gain governance with less than sincere intentions and impose an illegitimate martial law, Canadians are impotent and would have to seek international intervention. It is typical of many bleeding-heart and pacifist jurisdictions.

    OTOH, it is virtually impossible for an authoritarian regime (either elected or military) to effectively mount martial law in the USA due to protections in its constitution which are absent elsewhere. The framers allowed for an armed militia. Aspiring despots all too soon realize the overwhelming challenges associated with regional militias armed with semi-automatic assault weaponry.

    It is true individuals don’t need this fire-power. But Congress has never been amend gun-control legislation in a fashion that limits wackos yet provides for legitimate “keepers of the republic”.

  30. bart says:

    wow… the almost literal hatred and high emotion on this thread is quite noticeable.

    What was that about learning from history again?

  31. subscriptionblocker says:

    “wow… the almost literal hatred and high emotion on this thread is quite noticeable.

    What was that about learning from history again?”

    You’re a monster if you don’t believe as I do…..and I will force you to submit.

    Sound like a perfect recipe for mutual suicide?

  32. SkepticalOx says:


    There doesn’t seem to be much of the positive correlation between a country that is more well-armed and has a gun culture, and less tyrannical government. Iraq during the Saddam years had some of the highest gun ownership rates in the world (Foreign Policy, “Armed, but Not Necessarily Dangerous”, 2011).

    Secondly, most states, including your beloved United States, is by far better equipped and heavily armed than even the most gun loving towns. I’m not sure if you’re little guns stand much chance against a ruthless authoritarian regime if your guns were the only tool of resistance. Do you propose the ordinary citizen should be in an arms race with the state?

  33. cfischer says:

    Freddy, I might point that your example of Canada was a poor choice for your nutcase fantasy, as Canada has permit capita gun ownership on par with the US.

  34. drtomaso says:

    While in general I am sympathetic to Pierce’s overall point, he brought nothing new to the table in that little diatribe. On the other side, the simple statistical relationship between gun ownership and violent crime is well documented- thus he is quite correct that “more guns” is not a solution. See here:

    While their are definite mental health issues that our country must own up to (we’ve systematically destroyed our public mental health institutions since the 80s, and access to private mental healthcare is limited by our dismal insurance participation.) We should also be very careful to rush to judgment about the gunman’s mental state in this case- apart from the barbarity of the acts committed, there doesn’t sound like there was a lot of advance indication that he was in any way unstable to this degree- I’ve seen some reports that he was mildly autistic. That’s usually not a indicator of violence, unless I’m mislead- I do not pretend to be a psychologist.

    Any sane person can snap- we each react to the pressures of life in our own way. I would guess that the percent of the population that would react by going on a shooting rampage is statistically tiny. That said, its non-zero, obviously. This problem can only be handled by the combination of increasing the availability and accessibility of mental healthcare, and by limiting access to firearms and their capacity for destruction. What does that mean in my mind? On the first part, free access to counseling, and a societal effort to reduce the stigma of actually using the mental health profession’s services. The latter point seems to be the one that everyone wants to jump to- gun control.

    I recognize that as currently interpreted, the second amendment gives people the right to own firearms, but has not been interpreted to mean Congress and the states are powerless to control the types and capabilities, and the licensing requirements for ownership. In this case, the weapons were legally owned by the mother of the shooter. Its unclear to me if she was the owner in name only, and these weapons were really possessed by her son, but if so that should definitely be a crime. Straw purchases are I believe already a crime- straw ownership should be as well. If I own a gun, and I give someone else access to it, I should be liable- criminally as well as civilly- if that person uses the weapons illegally.

    We can also look to the licensing of automobiles for a good parallel- here is a dangerous instrument (although it clearly has non-violent and perfectly safe applications, unlike a firearm) that we have greatly reduced the damage done to society through a combination of licensing, education, inspection and insurance. Lets do the same for guns.

    Firearms licenses should include mandatory, periodic safety education- and this should scale with the type and capacity of the weapon. Included in this should be requirements about how weapons are to be stored- if Mother Lanza had stored her firearms in a password locked gun locker, it might have made it just hard enough for her son to get access to them that he would have found another outlet for his aggression (perhaps Call of Duty?)

    Licensing for individual firearms should also require mandatory insurance- and the cost should be non-negligible. Not high enough that only the 1% are armed, but certainly high enough to provide incentive to people to regulate the number and types of fire arms they have, and store and maintain the weapons in a way that benefits society by decreasing illegal access to them. The cost can be mitigated perhaps by education, official inspection of how they are stored and maintained, etc.

    I’m not a total anti-gun nut- I’ve enjoyed target shooting since I was a kid, and I’ve handled weapons far more powerful than this Bushmaster, but we have to admit that we as a country have a problem both of access and capability. We need a culture that is less fetish-izing guns, and more about stressing the responsibility that comes with the right to own a fire arm- the most important of which is to curb illegal access. I’d like to see that baked into any gun control scheme that we as a nation debate in the coming weeks and months.

  35. billmasi says:

    Why does no one cite the experience of Israel since the 1970′s? Terrorists targeted Israeli schools. Teachers, volunteers (including grandparents of students) were trained and armed. No further school killings happened.

    Terrorists picked easier targets.

    Let Piers Morgan rant about what he believes. But the Israeli case proves him absolutely wrong.

  36. irondoor says:

    At recent estimates there are more than 1 million AR-15′s in civilian hands in the US. Because of the potential of legislation banning them, there will be a significant increase in sales of these guns in the next few weeks, along with sales of ammunition. Since Sen. Feinstein’s proposed legislation will “grandfather” existing AR-15′s, but outlaw some sales after the law is passed, there is risk that if you want one, you better get it now. Proposed legislation will do nothing to reduce the number of existing AR’s, since neither she nor the President has the backbone to impose confiscation of these weapons.

    Legal owners of AR’s have generally one purpose for the gun: Defense of self, family and property in the event of societal breakdown. While they know that this is a very remote possibility, it is not beyond reason. This has been fostered by threatened governmental intervention into normal law-abiding citizens lives and President Obama’s stated intent of “changing America as we know it”. These gun owners do not want their country changed for themselves, their children or their grandchildren. Many of them are current and former military and law enforcement. While they certainly do not advocate mass killing and would be the first to ban weapons in the hands of the mentally unstable, they will defend their right to own and employ these weapons to the death if necessary.

    Unless gun control advocates are willing to physically confiscate these guns, legal restrictions will not be have effect, and will do nothing more than hand the NRA and gun owners the evidence that the fears they have always had are coming true. Legal gun owners are law-abiding citizens and know from the outcomes of investigations into the recent mass shootings that virtually all of the shooters are mentally disturbed individuals who would have used any means possible to carry out their murders. Certainly, these shooters should not have been able to legally possess firearms. Legal gun owners generally support the restrictions on certain classes of individuals being able to obtain or possess firearms of any type.

    Democrats generally hate the NRA for its influence in congressional elections, where the NRA overwhelmingly supports Republicans. Any method that produces gun control legislation will serve to weaken the NRA and therefore its influence. Lower NRA influence means eventually reduced NRA financial support to Republicans and less attacks on Democrats. Therefore, to Democrats, the exploitation of mass killings is an expedient political tactic. After all, in politics the only thing that matters is winning.

  37. drtomaso says:

    The Israeli experience seems to be a popular myth of recent construction. The simple fact is that Israeli teachers, excepting some rare cases in the settlements, are not presently armed. Further, Israel has extremely strict gun control- you basically are allowed a single pistol, but only if you served as a officer (captain or above) for two years, or live in the settlements (less than 5% of the population), and there is strict licensing and periodic inspection/re-certification, including a mental health assessment. Assault rifles, like the Bushmaster in this case, are completely banned. Their society is highly weaponized due to a compulsory draft, but since 2006, weapons are not allowed off the bases, though this was enacted to curb suicides, not homicides.

    Gun rights activists looking to Israel for a model should be very careful- they might just get it. Their lack of fire-arms homicides seems to be the result of strict gun control and near universal military training- not a libertarian utopia where everyone is packing.

  38. BajaMike says:

    The tragedy at the school us undeniable. The fact that people will look for a way to stop such a tragedy in the future is understandable. But, there is a very real need (and a Constitutional Right) for people to be able to defend themselves.

    I spend a considerable part of my time in Baja, Mexico, although, I’m a US Citizen. Last year over 5,000 Mexican citizens were brutely murdered by guns in the hands of criminals. In this country where guns are all but illegal for anyone not in the army or a part of the police organizations the criminals murder civilians and each other at unbelievable rates. Here, the criminals have guns, they get them as military surplus from overseas. They have full automatic weapons, rocket launchers, grenades, .50 caliber sniper rifles, and they are all completely illegal here- and they are a very, very serious threat to the civilian population which is unarmed.

    If you wonder how safe the country will be when guns are illegal, just ask a Mexican. When guns are illegal, only criminal have guns- cliched as it is, its true.


    BR: Do you think having access to military automatic assault rifles is whats required to be able to defend yourself?

  39. drtomaso says:

    Also learned something (admittedly on a blog, so YMMV): if you are licensed to have a firearm in Israel, and lose it- even if its stolen- you do jail time.

  40. drtomaso says:

    Oh, and you’re allowed one (1) box of ammo- 50 rounds max. Want to practice? You have to buy the ammo at the range, and all brass has to be accounted for.

    I did however read that all Israeli schools are fenced, and the gate is manned by an armed guard. So there’s that. Note that that isn’t an untrained teacher- its a professional who’s duty it is to restrict access to the school to authorized and unarmed persons.

    I did also read of one school shooting in Israel where an off duty IDF soldier retrieved his weapon from home and went to the school, shooting the gunman. Again, note that this is a trained professional.

  41. thetruthseeker says:

    Why is it that in practically every mass shooting the perpetrator is on pharmaceutical antidepressants? I think this might be the first issue we should be addressing. Do guns make it easier for people to kill? Yes. Do guns make it easier for people to defend themselves? Yes. Do I want to live in a society in which the only people allowed to own guns are the police and military? No. Is the second amendment about hunting? No. Is it implausible to think that our government could be become dictatorial towards its own people? No. Why people in this country think that America is immune from the tyranny that has occurred throughout history all over the world, is beyond me. Could one of the reasons it has never happened is because we have an armed populace? Yes. Is it the only reason? No. However, I think it is something worth noting.


    BR: These are not mutually exclusive issues — the US has lots of people on anti=depressants with lots of access to automatic and semi-automatic weapons.

  42. stevenp says:

    Israel restricts the number of guns one can have, and checks who can get them, because they don’t want Palestinians to get them (whether you think this is good or bad is a different question). Once you have one, you can carry them all over. Remember the guy on a rampage with a bulldozer? He was shot by a citizen, not by security as the press reported. Have you seen the photos of IDF girls at the beach on the weekend (wearing bikinis and carrying their rifles because, yes, it is quite serious to lose one because they don’t want Palestinians to get them).

  43. stevenp says:

    Here’s a video from Swiss Radio that shows it from a Swiss perspective. It was made when there was a referendum about no longer having people store their government issued assault rifles (real assault rifles meaning that they are selective fire between semi and fully automatic). The referendum was soundly defeated. I have some male Swiss friends. They are in the reserves for approximately 20 years, like all males. They either have assault rifles or pistols at home (it depends on whether you are an officer and what your function is). Afterwards, they have the option of keeping their weapon. Switzerland is the safest country in Europe.

    I think we should be looking at our mental health system, and also the widespread use of prescribed drugs (Prozac, etc.). I guess it is ‘easier’ to just give someone pills, but there are side effects. I think it is a false economy, you think you are saving money by giving them the cheaper pill, but the costs show up later.


    BR: Mandatory military service is an idea worth exploring . . .

  44. Adam Lanza: the medicalisation of evil

    As a medical historian whose research focuses on a time and place very alien to our own, I rarely comment on current events. However, in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which left 20 schoolchildren and six adults dead, I would like to discuss briefly what I would characterise as the “medicalisation of evil”.

    Anyone who has been watching the news over the past few days will have heard the gunman, Adam Lanza, described as “sick,” “disturbed” and “defective”. The perpetrator may indeed have suffered from mental conditions that led to his homicidal attack, but even before anything was known about Lanza (including his name), many people in the media assumed a crime of this magnitude could only be committed by a mentally unstable individual. Very little discussion – if any – was given to the role of personal responsibility in this tragic event.

  45. efischer, in Canada we cannot own a weapon for self-defence: not guns, not a spray, not a baseball bat by the front closet nor a club under the front seat … upon threat of being charged with possession of a dangerous weapon. Only the Swiss, Poles & Americans have not yet ceded their basic rights the state. They can engage in fifth column activity. The rest can only cower when things go south…

  46. The data contradicts what many of you are suggesting:

    Gun ownership versus Gun deaths
    click for larger graphic

    No, lots of gun ownership does not reduce homicide rates

  47. Moss says:

    The 2nd amendment has been taken out of context in support of gun ownership as a right. What are the responsibilities that gun ownership conveys? What about common sense and general gun safety concerns?

    The NRA, like most lobbying groups, has hijacked the discussion by intimidating many politicians.

    Just follow the money since it is a very big business.

  48. SkepticalOx says:


    Mandatory military service may also get people to think twice about their government being so gung-ho about invading some far-away country. The U.S. was in two wars for most of the 2000′s (and still is in one), not counting all the other little skirmishes (Libya, etc.), and the average American seems pretty disconnected from the effort.

    Also, both Switzerland and Israel, both countries gun-advocates here have trotted out, both have mandatory military service. I wonder if they’d be up for that?

  49. mikderby says:

    Barry – thanks for posting the “Gun ownership versus Gun deaths” chart. A picture is worth 26 words….

  50. bart says:

    BR: Do you think having access to military automatic assault rifles is whats required to be able to defend yourself?

    The difference between a semi-automatic hunting caliber rifle for “defense” and a military (semi) automatic assault rifle is tiny. There are high capacity magazines available for hunting rifles (silly in my opinion, but they are actually available).

    I didn’t think that automatic (machine guns and similar) were part of the discussion.

  51. stevenp says:

    “Gun ownership versus Gun deaths” chart

    There are 3 key things:

    1) There have been versions of this chart sent around, but see this link (towards the bottom of the linked page). She makes corrections to the data, and you get different results.

    Also, my guess is that it is counting suicides since they have Switzerland so high. Restricting gun ownership will only change the method of suicide. Also, are they including police shootings (as some studies d0)?

    2) You have to to look at Gun ownership versus all illegal homicides. If a society is able to drastically reduce the number of firearms (Australia and UK), the number of guns used in homicide will of course decrease. But so will the self-defense by firearms and the deterrence of criminals who are no longer afraid to be shot. After Australia banned all centerfire semi-automatic rifles, and most semi and pump shotguns, homicides by firearm went down. However, the overall murder rate stayed essentially flat because other methods were used. However, according to the Australian Institute of Criminology, between 1996-98 assaults rose 16%, armed robberies rose 73%, and unlawful entries rose 8%. and Jacob Sullum, “Guns down under,” Reason, Australia, p. 10, 10/1/00

    Meanwhile, the UK is the violent crime capital of Europe.

    3) You can’t just pull statistics from different countries and compare them. For example, the US statistics are based off of charges being filed. 3 assailants means 3 charges, so it counts as 3 homicides. In the UK, if 3 people are charged and there is a guilty verdict, it counts as 1 homicide; if there is no guilty verdict, it counts as 0.

    The British media has remained quite critical of authorities there for “fiddling” with crime data. Consider some of the headlines in their papers: “Crime figures a sham, say police,”910 and “Police figures under-record offences by 20 percent.”11 “Police are accused of fiddling crime data,” * British police have also criticized the system because of the “widespread manipulation” of crime data: a. “Officers said that pressure to convince the public that police were winning the fight against crime had resulted in a long list of ruses to ‘massage’ statistics.”12 b. Sgt. Mike Bennett says officers have become increasingly frustrated with the practice of manipulating statistics. “The crime figures are meaningless,” he said. “Police everywhere know exactly what is going on.”13 c. According to The Electronic Telegraph, “Officers said the recorded level of crime bore no resemblance to the actual amount of crime being committed.”14 * Underreporting crime data: “One former Scotland Yard officer told The Telegraph of a series of tricks that rendered crime figures ‘a complete sham.’ A classic example, he said, was where a series of homes in a block flats were burgled and were regularly recorded as one crime. Another involved pickpocketing, which was not recorded as a crime unless the victim had actually seen the item being stolen.”15 * Underreporting murder data: British crime reporting tactics keep murder rates artificially low. “Suppose that three men kill a woman during an argument outside a bar. They are arrested for murder, but because of problems with identification (the main witness is dead), charges are eventually dropped. In American crime statistics, the event counts as a three-person homicide, but in British statistics it counts as nothing at all. ‘With such differences in reporting criteria, comparisons of U.S. homicide rates with British homicide rates is a sham,’ [a 2000 report from the Inspectorate of Constabulary] concludes.”16

    9Ian Henry and Tim Reid, “Crime figures a sham, say police,” The Electronic Telegraph (April 1, 1996). 10Tim Reid, “Police are accused of fiddling crime data,” The Electronic Telegraph (May 4, 1997). 11John Steele, “Police figures under-record offences by 20 percent,” The Electronic Telegraph (July 13, 2000). 12See supra note (Crime figures a sham…) 13Ibid. 14Ibid. 15See supra note (fiddling). 16Dave Kopel, Dr. Paul Gallant and Dr. Joanne Eisen, “Britain: From Bad to Worse,” (March 22, 2001).

  52. stevenp says:

    “BR: Mandatory military service is an idea worth exploring . . . ”

    LOL, my post was more along the lines about what the Swiss think about having real assault rifles in their homes and the referendum to change it. And also to show that it is possible to have high amounts of firearms per household and still have little violent crime.

    But I see your point, as well as the other one about how military service might cut down on the wars. If we had a draft to do all these wars (rather than hire contractors to fill the gaps) and if we had a tax increase to pay for all of it, maybe we wouldn’t have so many wars.

  53. stevenp says:

    There used to be a lot more access to firearms in schools with fewer problems. As late as the 1980s, (I am told by people older than me and not from California ) people used to bring rifles and shotguns to school in certain areas (usually during hunting – they would leave them in their cars or in the Principal’s office), had school shooting teams, made single-shot shotguns in metal shop, and re-finished wood stocks in wood shop. Have we become more mentally ill over time? This could be a part of it due to social issues. Have we done a poorer job in treating it? Could be, it is ‘cheaper’ to give pills than do other treatments and hospitalization. Could these pills have side effects? This could also be a part of it. Finding out if the prescribed drugs are having these side-effects will be a good step in figuring out what to do next. I remember after Columbine, there were questions raised about this, but I don’t think anything resulted. This article brings that issue up again…

  54. bart says:

    Murders by weapon type, 2011

    murders” 12,664 100.0%
    firearms” 8,583 67.8%
    Handguns 6,220 49.1%
    Rifles 323 2.6%
    Shotguns 356 2.8%
    unknown)” 1,684 13.3%
    “Knives or
    instruments” 1,694 13.4%
    weapons” 1,659 13.1%
    “Hands, fists,
    feet, etc.” 728 5.7%