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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Public Shooting Musings

With any change in government policy there are always winners and losers.  Modifying gun control laws would be no exception whether making them stricter of less strict.  Different people will die at different times depending on the changes.

Whenever I put significant effort into yet again contemplating gun control, I start by re-reading "Of Holocausts and Gun Control".  There are many chilling excerpts in it, and the two I found most chilling and focusing are (emphasis added):
"Governments have exterminated or cooperated in the extermination of something like one hundred and seventy million of their own people in the twentieth century"; and

"...it is nevertheless an arresting reality that not one of the principal genocides of the twentieth century, and there have been dozens, has been inflicted on a population that was armed..."
If you think that something like that can't happen here, as explained by the essay mentioned above it almost did at least twice.  Examples include Japanese internment camps during World War II and the violence of the KKK in the south.

I then notice that:
"With a single exception, every multiple-victim public shooting in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed since at least 1950 has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry their own firearms."
This follows the genocide paradigm on a smaller scale.  In this case, the killings are too few to be a statistic, not too many to be a terrible tragedy (to paraphrase Joseph Stalin). We feel the pain of public shootings more intimately than a genocide lost in history, because they are more intimate.  We can watch each parent cry on TV and cry along with them.  We can read the notes that the small children wrote to their parents that they would meet them in heaven as tears well up in our eyes.  Anything but this, we say.  Anything but this, I say.

But then I dry my eyes and realize that the similarity is striking.  Unarmed people are sitting ducks, whether for populations of millions or for a building full of school children and unarmed teachers, administrators and other workers.  Predators are attracted to the easiest prey: the sick, the weak, the old, and the unarmed.  School-zone mass shootings didn’t begin until after passing Clinton’s Gun Free Schools Act. The gun-free zone designation is a giant neon sign to the predator: "We're here and helpless. Kill us."  And killed they were.

So the choices are: take weapons away from predators or arm as many people as possible so there's a chance of defense against the predators.  The former seems impossible.  Building guns is not rocket science. Even if every gun magically were confiscated, anyone with minimum determination could build one and each day it gets easier and easier to do so.

That leaves arming as many people as possible.  School teachers should be heavily encouraged to get concealed carry permits.  They should be reimbursed for training to use those weapons.  Same with administrators and even janitors.

But in the end it is a judgment call, a matter of opinion.  I'm not risk adverse, I value individual freedom and responsibility heavily, I don't trust governments, and I'm wildly skeptical that any form of gun control will substantially reduce access to guns by criminals and psychopaths.  If someone else believes the opposite on most or all of these things, they're likely to reach the opposite conclusion.

Since the process is incremental in either direction, there will be more mass killings, more tragedies and more tears.

80 comments:

Harry Eagar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harry Eagar said...

I can think of at least one mass shooting at a school that happened before Clinton, and I suspect that if I put my mind to it, I could think of others.

It remains the case, however, that the biggest slaughter of schoolchildren in our history came from a thrifty custodian illegally tapping into a pipeline (sounds like Nigeria, but it was in Texas).

And the second-biggest wasn't done with guns, either.

Nevertheless, the thing that strikes me (and I have mentioned this before) as a newspaper reporter is the vast increase in the cheapness, availability and reliability of firearms.

If you recall the plot from "West Side Story," the gang members were armed with knives, pipes and zipguns. When was the last time you heard of a gangsta having to make a zipgun?

There may be other factors at work also. I find it hard to argue, though, that the US public does not yet have enough portable weaponry.

Bret said...

"I can think of at least one mass shooting at a school that happened before Clinton"

Any idea where and when?

"...the vast increase in the cheapness, availability and reliability of firearms."

Soon, you'll be able to print a gun using a 3-D printer. Then they'll be really cheap.

"I find it hard to argue, though, that the US public does not yet have enough portable weaponry."

I wasn't arguing raw quantity.

erp said...

This shooting has nothing to do with guns and everything to do with hare-brained leftwing fantasies like deinstitutionalisation instituted in 1965 along with that other insanity the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act sent us down the slippery slope ever and ever more rapidly.

erp said...

Aieeeeeeeeee. The double whammie strikes again.

Bret said...

Sorry about the double comments. Don't worry about them. If you hit the little garbage pail by one of them (which you did erp), then I'll make it go away.

Bret said...

There's a certain innumeracy involved in the reactions to shootings like this. In the last ten years, about 100 people per year have been killed in mass shootings. According to the CDC, 2,437,163 people died in 2011 from all causes. Therefore, in 2009, the odds of someone who died dying because they were shot in a mass shooting was about 1 in 25,000.

In comparison, given that you died that year: the odds that you died of heart disease was 1 in 4; the odds that you died from some time of accident was 1 in 20; the odds that you died from influenza or pneumonia was 1 in 45; the odds that you died because you committed suicide is 1 in 66; and perhaps the most comparable one is that the odds you died because you were murdered is 1 in 140.

There are a lot of ways to die, but one of the least likely, and less likely than the common causes listed above by several orders of magnitude, is that you died because you were in a crowd during a mass shooting spree.

While unbelievably sad, it makes little sense that the occurrence of mass shootings should have more than a really tiny influence on policy.

Bret said...

Oops. The first 2011 above should be 2009.

Harry Eagar said...

I don't understand why my posts double. It happens when I use an elderly computer.

And I don't get the garbage can most of the time. I don't have it now.

The Orangeburg Massacre. I'd have to look up the date. Perhaps before your time.

Bret said...

Only three people were killed in the Orangeburg massacre (at least according to Wikipedia). The quote said, "in which more than three people have been killed...". It was also police who were shooting and the victims were probably unarmed.

Peter said...

I think you are right that is comes down to opinion, or perhaps philosophical conviction. I've spent some time in the past few days trying to make sense out of American and international statistics on gun ownership and homicide rates, etc, and it seems to me neither side can honestly use them to prove what they want. Once you get by a few opening truisms ("You can't commit a gun crime without a gun." "It's dangerous to confront an armed intruder with a pillow."), you can use them to support pretty much any argument you want. Just one example: obviously there is some connection between the astounding number of guns in the States (around 300 million--about half the world's total)and your firearm homicide rates, which are very high when compared with Europe and the Anglosphere and surprisingly low compared to almost everywhere else, but if there were a straightline correlation, your homicide rate should be much, much higher.

erp said...

Am I the only one wondering why the massacre in
Chinese school
on the same day as the one in Connecticut got virtually no play?

Could it be that 20+ children were killed by a madman with knife, not a gun, so there was no propaganda value in exploiting it.

Nah.

Annoying Old Guy said...

erp;

I certainly don't wonder about that.

Bret said...

erp,

In some fairness to the MSM, as far as it's known at this point, nobody died in the Chinese attack.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] I can think of at least one mass shooting at a school that happened before Clinton …

"I don't like Mondays."

And this.

—-

The NYT Op-Ed page has been in full gun-control froth since last week. Not one of the editorials seems to have taken on board some brute facts, glanced in the direction of unintended consequences. Each of them is absolutely abusive of the Constitution.

- 300 million guns are not going away. The government could take many of them, thereby leaving a disarmed citizenry to face well armed predators.

- The rate of murder-suicides is approximately 3 in a million (i.e., of a million people, three will kill themselves after killing someone else). The rate of murder suicides involving strangers is far, far, less.

- They continually criticize the Supreme Court for holding that the 2A is an individual instead of collective right, thereby trashing both the English language and the rest of the Bill of Rights. Along the way, they each completely failed to note the obvious alternative: if they think it is so important to confiscate guns, then by all means supersede the 2A with a new amendment.

- Not one editorial has mentioned that two of the deadliest cities in the U.S., Chicago and D.C., have essentially eliminated the right to meaningful self-defense.

- Nor did any of them even mention the notion of self-defense. (Which, I suppose, shouldn't be too surprising coming from a bunch of collectivists.)

Perhaps most astonishing, though, is that the demands for gun control (where they really meant to type "confiscation") are, in effect, subsuming the obvious views on the 2A of a significant majority of Americans to the predations of a half-dozen lunatics.

Okay, perhaps less astonishing than the complete absence of a call to do something meaningful about the sole cause (as erp has pointed out) of the problem: crazy people


[Peter:] Just one example: obviously there is some connection between the astounding number of guns in the States … and your firearm homicide rates, which are very high when compared with Europe and the Anglosphere …

Time to disaggregate the statistics a little bit, and compare like against like. Absent African-Americans, the U.S. homicide rate suddenly starts looking a lot more like Europe's. (Just as claims about the U.S. healthcare system spending more and delivering less than in Europe. Compare European-Americans against Europeans, and the life-span difference vanishes. It doesn't make sense to treat as a gun or health care problem that which is due to a whole host of other things.)


[Bret:] But then I dry my eyes and realize that the similarity is striking.  Unarmed people are sitting ducks …

The best answer is to allow (but not require) teachers and administrators to concealed carry weapons provided a) thorough background check and b) weapons instruction similar to the FFDO program.

Whether many take that on is beside the point, which is to put these killers in the position of not having any idea how many armed and angry people they will be confronting.

Harry Eagar said...

If Orangeburg won't do, how about Kent State?

I picked up my MSM the day after the Newtown news broke and turned to an inside page (where, indeed, the Chinese attack was reported, briefly) to find a column-long story about 2 cops who responded to a call in Kansas City and were shot dead.

So the sure knowledge that somebody nearby is armed -- even 2 somebodies -- and even if the somebodies are, presumably, well-trained, alert and ready to shoot, is not, it seems, nearly as great a deterrent to a gunslinger as some would have us believe.

(I note, in passing, that erp's and Guy's versions of the Chinese attack, obtained from some non-MSM source, seems not to closely match what happened according to tout le monde.)

erp said...

Tour le monde are usually full of hot air.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Mr. Eagar;

I have no "version" of the Chiense attack. You're making stuff up again.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Kent State as an example of what?

Peter said...

Absent African-Americans, the U.S. homicide rate suddenly starts looking a lot more like Europe's.

Can you back that up statistically, Skipper? As far as I can see, cutting out black on black crime (and, BTW, why would you?), which is the large majority of black crime, will cut your rates by at most half. Which is a lot, but not enough to bring you down to where you want to go.

erp's point is interesting if you don't take it too far. The liberal side is so fevered about gun control they don't even want to consider there are other ways to kill people. I'm having fun up here on a few sites that are trashing the "gun culture" by pointing out that gun control does nothing to prevent non-gun homicides. Canada, despite a high rate of gun ownership (although nothing like yours) counts only 30% of its homicides as gun-related, whereas the figure for the States is about 65%. I have suggested this leaves us open to inflammatory headlines like "Canada's non-gun homicide rate twice that of U.S." Few appreciate the joke.

But that still won't get you where the NRA wants to go.

erp: Bret is right--no reported deaths. But there apparently was a knife attack on a primary school in China in 2010 that did kill twenty kids, and I'm given to believe there were others. Astoundingly, the MSM is not reporting that China is a sick society where everyone is prone to knifing their compatriots.

Harry Eagar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harry Eagar said...

Link to your better source, please?

erp said...

The details is the Chinese attacks aren't important. What's important is that the left want us to be helpless and dependent.

Why no comment on why violent mentally disabled people aren't removed from society?

Harry, ya want links, read the msm and then check Drudge.

Hey Skipper said...

[Peter:] Can you back that up statistically, Skipper?

Here.

A new study of homicide among young black males prompted this latest editorial. James Alan Fox and Marc Swatt of Northeastern University found that the number of homicides committed by black males under the age of 18 rose 43 percent between 2002 and 2007, while the number of gun homicides by this same group rose 47 percent. Homicides by white youth during that period decreased slightly. But more significant were the different homicide rates that the report calculated, which no news story dared to divulge. Whereas the report’s graph for white homicides over the last 30 years plots the rate in increments of 10, the black rate is demarcated at intervals of 100. The highest homicide rate for whites over the last three decades was 32 homicides committed per 100,000 males between the ages of 18 and 24 (reached in 1991), whereas the highest homicide rate for blacks was approximately 320 homicides per 100,000 males between the ages of 18 and 24 (reached in 1993).

Even this apparent ten-to-one disparity between black and white homicide rates doesn’t tell the full story. Fox and Swatt include Hispanic homicides in the white rate, though they do not disclose that they are doing so (both the inclusion and the silence about it follow FBI practice). Hispanic crime rates are between three and four times that of whites—meaning that if one excluded the Hispanic homicides from the white rate, the black-white differential would be even larger than ten to one.


Regarding life expectancy, the Centers for Disease Control has all kinds of tables regarding race and mortality.

As far as I can see, cutting out black on black crime (and, BTW, why would you?)

Depends on the subject. If we are talking about the effectiveness of the American healthcare system, then it makes sense to talk about healthcare, and not the knock-on effects of slavery, Jim Crow laws, institutionalized racism, etc. Similarly, if the subject is how much more violent American society is than Europe because of lax gun control laws, then it is best to start by comparing European Americans vs. Europeans. To do otherwise is to cloud the magnitude of the problem by involving issues that are outside the problem in question.

Eighty percent of black children are born to single mothers, which probably has a great deal to do with the African American crime rate; the cause and effect relationship between pervasive black family breakdown and guns is a little harder to find.

Look at it another way. The availability of guns is not high on the list of reasons why there is so much crime within African American communities. Since gun control isn't the answer to that problem, then that problem shouldn't be held against American gun laws (except, perhaps, by noting the overlap between criminality and jurisdictions where meaningful self-defense is impossible).

… which is the large majority of black crime, will cut your rates by at most half. Which is a lot, but not enough to bring you down to where you want to go.

I'm not saying that American society is as peaceful as in Europe; rather, that once having gotten rid of confounding factors (Not only the legacies of slavery and pervasive institutionalized racism, but the far higher criminality of a concentrated first generation immigrant population, as well. Europe and Canada either don't have those at all, or in far smaller proportion than the U.S.), American society outside those populations is remarkably peaceful and crime-free.

How many people from outside the U.S. reading the gross statistics would come to that conclusion?

Hey Skipper said...

Interesting how the NYT and it's ilk, in advocating their bizarre view of the 2A, forget about ...

... this, or this.

The problem is violently insane people. I know, let's take away people's ability to defend themselves against violently insane people.

And to think collectivists brand themselves as the reason based community.

erp said...

skipper, peaceful or robotic? and not only are lefties proponents of reasoned discourse, but are compassionate to a fault.

Bret said...

Hey Skipper: "...it is best to start by comparing European Americans vs. Europeans..."

What do you propose is causing the difference between European Americans and African Americans? In other words why does ancestral origin make a difference?

Hey Skipper said...

Bret:

Europe does not have a population that was subject to chattel slavery, vicious and persistent discrimination, institutionalized racism or the more gentle, but no less terrible, ministrations of the Great Society.

America does, and that group has Africa as its ancestral origin.

Harry Eagar said...

So far as I know, Adam Lanza was neither violent nor insane.

At least, there is so far no evidence that he committed any violent act until the last 2 hours of his life.

So, what's your point?

erp said...

Skipper, did you forget about serfs, Russian peasants, not too mention Jews ... slavery was a way of life in ancient times and modern Asia and Africa ... yet the only ones who can't adjust freedom here in the U.S. are the ancesters of slaves freed 150 years (7+ generations) ago ... and Bret, it has nothing to do with skin color. We have met and people from Haiti and equatorial Africa with the darkest skin hues on the planet who have come to the U.S. and made their way without the baggage of whining and begging for handouts.

Harry, we actually know very little about Adam Lanza and his past habits. Probably because what is known doesn't advance the narrative of the gun control cabal.

We do know about his "crazy" survivalist mother and exactly how many rounds of ammunition she had stored. Now as they say in the news biz, that's noos we can use.

erp said...

This sums up how we got from then to now very nicely.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Your link is broken, I think this works.

erp said...

thanks.

Peter said...

Skipper:

Thanks, that was interesting. Yet I have to wonder whether the most important statistic of all is the one that shows most countries tighten their gun laws, not on the basis of a reasoned evidenced-based approach to reducing crime and homicides, but in a panic in response to visceral public waves of horror and anguish at these kinds of atrocities.

Harry Eagar said...

Home-schooled. Gun nut. Dweeb.

Poster boy for the conservatives, I'd say.

You can have him, erp.

Harry Eagar said...

Home-schooled. Gun nut. Dweeb.

Poster boy for the conservatives, I'd say.

You can have him, erp.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] So far as I know, Adam Lanza was neither violent nor insane.

How far from zero is "so far"?

By any even faintly rational standard, on December 14th Lanza was both violent and insane. Now it is entirely possible he woke up that morning de novo, but somehow I doubt it.

My point is that collectivists hope to impose a collective "solution" on what is an extremely rare, and individual, problem.

Some round numbers: in the last thirty or so years, there has been something like 100 million people in the population from which nearly all mass shooters come: 18-34 yr old males. Of that 100 million, maybe a dozen have committed this kind of atrocity. So the collectivist mindset is to deprive people of the ability to meaningfully defend themselves individually against not only the extremely rare mass murdering lunatic, but all the other predators out there.

Then the collectivists will brag about the reduction in gun deaths, without noting for a second that their collectivist "solution" imposes upon people the status of permanent potential victim. Nor will collectivists notice all manner of unintended consequences (just like they don't notice the victims of an entire laundry list of collectivist "solutions" that are OT here). Self defense is practically a meaningless concept in England, and hooliganism is rampant.

Alternatively, of course, collectivists could go the other direction, and allow states to set their own standards, and states could allow schools their own latitude. No one worries about the fact that a substantial number of American airline pilots carry a gun in the cockpit. Why should we worry about such a thing for school staffs?

[Peter:] Yet I have to wonder whether the most important statistic of all is the one that shows most countries tighten their gun laws, not on the basis of a reasoned evidenced-based approach to reducing crime and homicides, but in a panic …

Being more individualistic in the U.S., I suspect we will be far less prone to panic. Also, we have the benefit of several decades of states liberalizing their gun laws, all completely absent the confidently predicted onslaught of murderous mayhem.

You'd think the reality based party would notice.

erp said...

Harry, If I had him, a lot of kids would still be alive because no way would I have allowed him to have access to violent computer games, a car ... and even if your socialists want people like him to raise havoc to make your propaganda points for gun control, none in my family would have been allowed to do so.

Harry Eagar said...

The teenager next door to me is mentally ill and violent -- so much so that his parents sometimes call the cops.

That's not Adam Lanza, who people describe as shy and retiring to the point of antisocial. Maybe in his bedroom he pulled the wings off flies, but the evidence so far shows no violent acts.

erp, the rightwinger, says she wouldn't have let the kid have a driver's license. In reality, his rightwingerm, prepper, gun nut mom filled the house with guns without locks and taught him how to use them.

I'm pretty sure a liberal mom wouldn't have done that.

Face itm, erp. Whatever led to this breakout, it wasn't leftism. It was rightism. You've got him. He's yours.

erp said...

Sorry you are, as usual, 180 degrees off the mark. A driver's license is a privelege, not an entitlement and since he wasn't self supporting had no right to anything else ... and again you misstate what conservatism is all about. It's taking responsibility and a child like that is quite a handful, but could have been managed by a supportive family working together 24/7 to provide positive outlets for him.

Having a very bright kid isn't far different from having a very slow kid. They both need the support of their family to learn how to navigate a world not built for them.

It can and has been done.

I have no idea what you mean by a rightwinger except that they are equally, in your lexicon, nazis and southern evangelicals.

LOL. (Sorry I've been around teenagers a lot lately :-)

Harry Eagar said...

I am not familiar with the laws of Connecticut, but I'm pretty sure you are not required to be self-supporting to get a driver's license there.

Harry Eagar said...

I am not familiar with the laws of Connecticut, but I'm pretty sure you are not required to be self-supporting to get a driver's license there.

erp said...

No, but you need money for the license, money for driving lessons, a car to use for the test and proof of insurance ...

Hey Skipper said...

The NYT is running a series of articles on gun control, which prove several things.

First, collectivists won't be satisfied with control, only outright confiscation will suffice.

Second, in the Fisk tradition, collectivists have powerful antibodies against coherent argument.

And finally (see the link to related editorials), the odds of the NYT, the Fort Knox of unexamined ideas, will run a counterargument are precisely nil.

erp said...

... and that Harry is why reading the newspaper is antithetical to gaining information nevermind insights.

Harry Eagar said...

Recall the story of the gun nut I worked with. A certified shooting safety instructor.

One night, he told his teenage son to pick up his Xbox cord from the floor.

The boy didn't, so his father got out his .45 and shot at him 9 times. Typically, he missed 8 times from 18-inch range. One shot did blow his son;s brains out, though.

So that;s the kind of guards LaPierre wants at each school?

I am totally cool with confiscation.

Harry Eagar said...

Recall the story of the gun nut I worked with. A certified shooting safety instructor.

One night, he told his teenage son to pick up his Xbox cord from the floor.

The boy didn't, so his father got out his .45 and shot at him 9 times. Typically, he missed 8 times from 18-inch range. One shot did blow his son;s brains out, though.

So that;s the kind of guards LaPierre wants at each school?

I am totally cool with confiscation.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Police officer kills son after argument - I can only presume this means you support no guns for police, either.

erp said...

aog, sorry to say, police loyalties are now with their fellow union members. They are no longer defenders of the innocent as their behavior in Michigan clearly showed.

I remember as a kid feeling totally safe and secure because all those tall policemen in blue hats it seemed were there just to make sure us kids would be okay.

Too bad kids can't have that same feeling in today's world.

Thank you Harry and all your fellow propagandists for destroying our country. You won't be among those at the table Harry and I hope you live long enough to have that made abundantly clear to you.

Harry Eagar said...

The2A contemplated a well-regulated militia. We never got that.

It was a failure. About time to acknowledge that and disarm.

erp, if you had grown up with dark skin, you wouldn't have felt safe around the police. And you wouldn't have been.

About time for you to acknowledge reality.

erp said...

Harry, you forgot I grew up in NYC, not the deep south where I wonder if even down there, there was the kind of widespread mistreatment of negroes that you seem to have seared into your memory. I went to school with all kinds of kids. The high school I went to had 7,000 students of every different imaginable human beings on the planet. I never saw or heard of any police brutality, but of course, that was before the police became union thugs.

Was it perfect? No. Was it better than it is now? H*ll yes.

City hall dems tore down neighborhoods to build projects for the betterment of the bottom line of their cronies and the detriment of the residents. Welfare destroyed family units, women were left to the ravages of instability, kids had no fathers ...

You know all the wonders of the great society.

Careful what you ask for, you might get it.

Annoying Old Guy said...

"The2A contemplated a well-regulated militia"

Really? At the time of the Founders, all of those citizens who owned military grade rifles, were well regulated? Or do you think the Founders just weren't aware of the wide spread ownership of such?

"if you had grown up with dark skin, you wouldn't have felt safe around the police"

Glad to see you acknowledge the racist origins of gun control, to take weapons away from uppity negroes. Of course, that's always been a Democratic Party tradition.

Bret said...

The "Of Holocausts and Gun Control" link at the start of my post has more info on the racist origin of gun control.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] I am totally cool with confiscation.

Of course you are. As a collectivist, you are bound to be cool with looting.

I'm not sure what point your anecdote has, but surely gun confiscation can't be it. After all, would it have been better if Dad bludgeoned his kid to death with a baseball bat? If he had, would we all agree that baseball bats were the problem, and needed immediate confiscating, no matter how many people like baseball? (Or keep baseball bats under their beds as protection against intruders?)

You, and the NYT editorial page (in what must be the most fact challenged drivel to sully my computer in quite some time), need to be explicit in what you desire: the complete submission of any right to self defense to the collective.

The2A contemplated a well-regulated militia. We never got that.

It was a failure. About time to acknowledge that and disarm.


Of course that is the way a collectivist would read what is clearly meant as an individual right, because to do otherwise would require actually taking the Constitution seriously, rather than as an impediment to Progressive Thinking.

The answer here is obvious: pass a confiscatory amendment to the Constitution.

---

Full disclosure: I own a revolver, a .44 dual chambered to accept rounds powerful enough to put down a bear.

Which we have in my neck of the woods. Last summer, there were three attacks within a five mile radius of my house. My neighbor had a grizzly charge him; thankfully for the bear, because my neighbor had drawn his weapon, it stopped while still about 50' away. The summer before, we had our own bear encounter in our backyard. During the summer, every time I take the dog for a walk, I see bear scat.

Somehow, I find the notion that I should disarm in the face of predators extremely unpersuasive.

Harry Eagar said...

I used to be the person visitors to the Des Moines Register saw first. Our doors never closed.

Some came armed. I dealt with them. Never had to shoot a one.

If the Bill of Rights did not care about the militia, why does it mention it? I understand that Americans do not know how cowardly our militia was, but Canadians do.

What American knows the name Lundy's Lane?

Don't try to pull history on me. I know way more of it than you do.

The origins of gun control were private in the republic. Prior to the republic, slave codes forbade blacks to have firearms.

Later, corporate ranch owners forbade firearms on their properties -- the XIT, for example, did not allow its employees to own firearms or horses.

erp, you can disbelieve in White terror all you want, but all you have proven to me is that you never went uptown. The Amsterdam News used to hang a banner out its window in Harlem. It read: A BLACK MAN WAS LYNCHED TODAY.

That banner flew in Manhattan almost as many days as it did not fly. Until the New Deal.

Then the lynchings were stopped and the banner was no longer needed.

erp said...

Harry, you have no idea how comical you are, do you? The Amsterdam News had a banner and that banner was the, you should excuse the expression, the gospel, truth and after the new deal, the propaganda value of lynching was no longer required, so they stopped, or at least, the banners stopped.

Did it ever occur to you to wonder how the lynchers coordinated their efforts, so only one darky a day was lynched. In the days before cell phones and i-Pads that must have been some mighty fine organizing.

Harry Eagar said...

Skipper, I hope you never try to stop a charging grizzly with a pistol, 'cause he'll get you. He may die later, but he'll get you.

You'd be better protected with one of those little carbon dioxide-powered klaxons, and save money too.

Annoying Old Guy said...

"Don't try to pull history on me. I know way more of it than you do."

"It's not what he doesn't know, it's what he knows that just isn't so."

Why does the 2nd Amendment mention militia? That's a good question that has been long debated. I think it was to avoid the federal government having a monopoly on organized troops, that is to preserve a State's right to have a militia that is not directly part of a federal army. One could ask why the 2nd states "the right of the people to keep and bear arms [emphasis added]" if the Founders meant only a state militia.

erp said...

the left's historical perception is distorted by centuries of propaganda and potemkin village-sized lies.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Skipper, I hope you never try to stop a charging grizzly with a pistol, 'cause he'll get you. He may die later, but he'll get you.

Thanks for your concern, but, in this case, wrong. A .44 is a good sized round to being with; my revolver is built to handle a 340 gr round. I don't practice with it, because the recoil is painful -- three rounds did it for me.

Provided I hit the bear -- my son and I fire a few boxes of specials in the spring and mid-summer -- it's going down.

If the Bill of Rights did not care about the militia, why does it mention it?

Here is why.

Read the whole thing.

Harry Eagar said...

I already knew why it mentioned the militia, but that was not my point.

My point is historical -- we never got the well-regulated militia.

It turns out that a well-regulated militia is not necessary to operate a nation of our sort; we have gotten along well without one for ocer two centuries.

If the Foinders were wrong about needing a militia, then it follows there is no reason -- in the Constitution -- for citizens to have firearms.

As for charging bears, I have read enough stories about how they kept charging even though wounded many times to doubt whether a high-volocity round will stop one.

Annoying Old Guy said...

You mean this "National Guard" I hear about is just made up? You might also consider the possibility that the Founders had a slightly different idea of "well regulated militia" than you do. I know, it's almost impossible to conceive how *anyone* could have a different view of facts and history than you, but I just wanted to put it out there.

P.S. I would go back and quote this - "If the Bill of Rights did not care about the militia, why does it mention it?" - to point out that you asked, but that would be wrong, because I shouldn't try to use history on Mr. Eagar. Now I understand what he meant.

Harry Eagar said...

I mean it is not well-regulated and has never been necessary to the security of the country.

You might look up Lundy's Lane or Kasserine Pass to see how it performed.

To my great regret, the Post published a fabulous story about how the Second Amendment does work in practice, but on Christmas Day when few will have stopped to read it.

Now you have time, and I commend it to you:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/freedomworks-tea-party-group-nearly-falls-apart-in-fight-between-old-and-new-guard/2012/12/25/dd095b68-4545-11e2-8061-253bccfc7532_story.html?hpid=z1

ROTFLMAO

Hey Skipper said...

I mean it is not well-regulated and has never been necessary to the security of the country.

You are missing the point, and in precisely the same way collectivists missed the point in Citizens United.

IMHO, the writers the 2A codifies the inherent right of individuals to self defense. The entering argument that we are all equally entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. None of that means anything unless we are also entitled to defend those things against encroachment. The militia clause is ultimately a self-defense provision against what was then seen as the biggest threat: tyranny.

But simply because the Constitution cites the biggest perceived threat doesn't obviate all "lesser" reasons for self defense. The collectivist notion of the 2A is ridiculous -- no one at the time would have done anything other than heap abuse upon the notion that individuals should be prohibited the means of defending themselves.

And even now, outside the UN or other similarly pathetic precincts, if you put the argument against the 2A in those terms -- which is the only way to put it honestly -- then the reception will be scarcely any warmer.

But while I think that is the ultimate justification for the 2A, that isn't my point, which is this: the 2A (as does the 1A) clearly limits the power of government.

Just because you don't like that limit doesn't mean you, or the government, gets to wish it away. Because to do so amounts to spitting upon the idea of contractually limited government. It is certainly possible that it follows there is no reason -- in the Constitution -- for citizens to have firearms.; unfortunately, it is in the Constitution that citizens may have firearms. Just as it is in the Constitution that Congress may not abridge the freedom of speech.

So, by all means, get a confiscatory amendment passed. Or get an amendment passed that allows the government to authorize speech.

But until then, and I suspect "then" will amount to very long time indeed, tough.

As for charging bears, I have read enough stories about how they kept charging even though wounded many times to doubt whether a high-velocity round will stop one.

My next door neighbor did just that. Granted, he did it with a rifle, but at the range from which he fired, whether it was a .44 from a pistol, or a 30-06, would scarcely matter.

When looking at the range of alternatives, though, I would far rather be in the position of dealing with a bear that has been hit once or twice than one that hasn't. The latter is your choice. Pretty safe for a Hawaiian, but not so much for an Alaskan. Perhaps you would see it differently if you had skin in the game.

Annoying Old Guy said...

As usual, I fail to see the point to Mr. Eagar's cite. Perhaps he meant it as an example of how the 1st Amendment works in practice?

As for his incidents regarding the National Guard, I'll take those seriously when Eagar agrees that police incident indicates that the police are not well regulated and should be abandoned as a failed experiment. For someone who claims to know the sweep of history, he is amazingly taken with what are effectively anecdotes.

Harry Eagar said...

Amusing. An armed police force has arguably been a failure.

There is no argument about the militia, however.

A few doors down from where I work, there is a disused police station. Disused because it has windows and the cops are afraid to work in a lighted window.

Funny thing. I work behind a lighted window-- with a big neon sign reading CASH -- and I'm not afraid.

erp said...

funny indeed. you have the police to protect you. they only have their union thug bosses to rely on now they've gone over to the dark side.

Harry Eagar said...

I was puzzled to think what event marked the move of the police to the dark side.

It couldn't be that they stopped shooting schizophrenics. They did that 64 times last year.

Was it when they accepted orders to stop racial profiling? When they began treating women who alleged they had been raped with sympathy instead of giving them the third degree? When they stopped rigging the sergeants' exams so that only whites could pass?

Dark doings all, but it hardly seemed sufficient to tar the boys in blue with so black a brush.

Then it hit me (slaps forehead). Of course! It was shutting down the red squads.

erp said...

It was when the police started working for their union bosses, not the people who hired them, to wit, their disgraceful behavior lately in Michigan.

Hey Skipper said...

Harry:

An armed police force has arguably been a failure.

Then make the argument. I hope it isn't the same one claiming pacifism is a wonderful idea.

Harry Eagar said...

Well, in my county, the police force was armed with .38 revolvers for 80 years and never once fired one seriously.

Some years ago, they decided they had to have 9mm automatics. A gun nut friend of mine argued strenuously that they didn't need 'em but if they had 'em they'd use 'em.

He knew his guns and his gunmen. They have done so.

It is far from obvious, from having reported police news for two generations, that officers need to be armed routinely. They were not in England, with no particular problems.



Annoying Old Guy said...

A failure due to too much upcannon is hardly the same as a failure of the general model (otherwise we'd have to declare water poisonous because people have drunk themselves to death with it). Further it may be that trends were leading toward police use of firearms and the police recognized the trend before it peaked. And even if true would be accurate for your particular situation - generalization to the entire country does not automatically follow from that.

However I will agree that it is a general and disturbing trend of police to upcannon for status and power rather than utility, with many SWAT departments having no point except for providing cool toys to the police.

Hey Skipper said...

Well, in my county, the police force was armed with .38 revolvers for 80 years and never once fired one seriously.

Some years ago, they decided they had to have 9mm automatics. A gun nut friend of mine argued strenuously that they didn't need 'em but if they had 'em they'd use 'em.

He knew his guns and his gunmen. They have done so.


Post hoc, meet propter hoc.

(Besides, unless your evidence is anything other than anecdotal, there should be a an increase in police shootings that parallels the replacement of wheel guns with 9mm semi-automatics. Otherwise, and otherwise is the correct option here, what?)

It is far from obvious, from having reported police news for two generations, that officers need to be armed routinely. They were not in England, with no particular problems.

And in England, people drive on the left side of the road with no particular problems. To do so here would be a horror show.

Also, the tense in your last sentence is telling. They are now, because they had particular problems then.

---

I wonder how many children (age less than 14) drown per year, compared to being killed by guns.

Drownings: 700

Gun deaths: 375

Time to ban pools, right?

Unless you are a pool nut.



Hey Skipper said...

Well, in my county, the police force was armed with .38 revolvers for 80 years and never once fired one seriously.

Some years ago, they decided they had to have 9mm automatics. A gun nut friend of mine argued strenuously that they didn't need 'em but if they had 'em they'd use 'em.

He knew his guns and his gunmen. They have done so.


Post hoc, meet propter hoc.

(Besides, unless your evidence is anything other than anecdotal, there should be a an increase in police shootings that parallels the replacement of wheel guns with 9mm semi-automatics. Otherwise, and otherwise is the correct option here, what?)

It is far from obvious, from having reported police news for two generations, that officers need to be armed routinely. They were not in England, with no particular problems.

And in England, people drive on the left side of the road with no particular problems. To do so here would be a horror show.

Also, the tense in your last sentence is telling. They are now, because they had particular problems then.

---

I wonder how many children (age less than 14) drown per year, compared to being killed by guns.

Drownings: 700

Gun deaths: 375

Time to ban pools, right?

Unless you are a pool nut.


erp said...

Skipper, diving boards have been banned from back yard pools for decades now. I wonder how many lives have been saved by that daring move to protect drunks from jumping off the high board?

As a long time observer of the human comedy, I find one of the most hilarious hypocrisies of the left is their manic attempt to legalize marijuana, no doubt, for the "children" while simultaneously using the same hysteria to ban guns also, need it be said, for the children.

Also, as far a pot goes, let it be legal, but also force users to register and give up their drivers' licenses. Stoned drivers are lethal, guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens are as harmless as potheads nodding off on the couch.

Bret said...

The argument for pot and licenses could be made ten times over for drinking and licenses. Probably not the best path to go down.

erp said...

That would work for me too.

Harry Eagar said...

The argument of the county police for rearming was that they had to counter the (imaginary) arsenals of the new-era criminal.

They have now shot to death about 6 people in 15 years (v. 0 in 80).

None was armed with a modern firearm. In fact, none was armed with any firearm, and it is arguable whether some were armed at all.

Most were using a deadly weapon (a car). One had a sword.

No local cops have been shot, or even shot at. Several have been killed by being run over at traffic stops.

There are exceptions, though not in my county. In Honolulu 20 years ago, an experienced sergeant pulled a truck on the freeway early one Sunday.

As nearly as could be guessed, the driver was on his way to murder his girlfriend and his agitation led to conspicuous driving.

He had an Uzi and came out firing. The sergeant had a .38. The sergeant was hit 9 times, all in non-vital places. He killed the machinegunner with one shot.

An unusual performance all around and the last time, I believe, anybody tried using a submachine gun to complete a crime in this state.

While interesting from several points of view, these vanishingly rare events don't matter much compared to the millions of Americans shot to death or wounded thanks to the oversupply of guns.

Hey Skipper said...

The argument for pot and licenses could be made ten times over for drinking and licenses.

There, in a sentence, is the other unacknowledged problem for confiscationists.

(The first being their eagerness to "control" guns "for the children", in contrast with their acceptance of more dangerous swimming pools. Difference? Collectivists like pools.)

By any imaginable measure, alcohol causes far more mayhem than guns -- ignoring for the moment whether guns truly cause anything.

So why not confiscate alcohol, or do background checks and provide alcohol licenses only to those who can use it responsibly? Or put alcohol under government lock and key, where it can be consumed only under supervision?

One answer is the pool answer: collectivists like alcohol.

The other is that prohibition was a profound failure, and the other schemes would get no electoral traction.

Oddly, in areas where there are no constitutional limits, collectivists are happy to accept the status quo, no matter the harm to the children.

But where there is a limit on government power, they want to step all over it.

erp said...

harry, millions of Americans killed by guns? really? when and where?

skpper, prohibition was a blanket take-a-way of booze, not a license to drink responsibly for people who would lose their privileges for even one infraction. that would work for any debilitating substance.