Shootings require guns

Our lawmakers need to stop the excuses and false rationales. Other countries have mental illness. Other countries have video games. Other countries have racists. But only the US has frequent mass shootings. Why? Because only the US has more guns than citizens. Only the US allows civilians to own military-style weapons.

You can’t have a shooting without a gun. Hence the name — shooting. (Stop deflecting with arguments that knives or baseball bats can kill.) You can’t have a mass shooting without a gun capable of killing many people quickly. That requires a gun designed to do exactly that — an automatic military-style weapon such as an AK-47 or an AR-15. Or a lesser gun with a bump stock. Or a very well trained gunman.

The common denominator in mass shootings is not mental illness, video games, or racism. The common denominator is guns. Regulating anything else is changing the subject and dodging the issue.

 

48 comments

  1. In 1967 I was living with my wife and 3 sons, ages 6, 4 and 4 (twins), in Charleston, SC. It was, of course, a time of great racial angst. MLK was ascendent and coming to town. I decided to buy a pistol, a revolver, for “self-protection.” I took the wife to a firing range and showed her the basics, thinking that she would at least have that if society were to break down while I was at sea. So, I understand the motivations of IMa, et.al. An assault rifle would be an excellent choice if that were to happen, so would an RPG launcher for that matter.
    I was never comfortable with the pistol in the house, because of the boys especially, and after MLK was assassinated, I sold it.

    Columnist Doyle McManus had a very interesting column on gun policy in Canada in our paper this morning. It backs up what PT says in her post here.

    1. Obviously I agree with McManus. It’s distressing to see how much better Canada has done with this issue than we have. But I disagree with people who say it’s too late now to do anything; there are already too many guns here. That’s no reason not to try; we have to start somewhere. You don’t throw up your hands and let a raging fire keep burning.

      I think you were wise to get rid of the pistol with kids in the house. A tragic number of children die in shooting accidents in their own homes, simply because parents didn’t properly secure their guns (or because the kids were able to defeat the precautions taken). And too many school shootings take place because of a teen’s easy access to parents’ weapons.

  2. 40 million people in the United States have a diagnosable mental illness, yet we don’t see 40 million people opening fire in public places. It’s a gun thing. Not a mental illness thing.

    It’s stuff like this that makes me want to blog again, but, well, you know my track record!

  3. I don’t have any answers, but I know the problem isn’t JUST guns. In the 50’s when I was in high school nearly everyone with a car/truck brought their guns (in their vehicles) to the school parking lot.  We went bird and deer hunting before and after classes.  Some of us had semiautomatic weapons.  Others had lever, bolt and pump actions yet nobody shot people.  What changed?

    1. Maybe you just ran with responsible kids? Nobody had military-style weapons? A black president triggered southern whites? A racist president made hate and violence acceptable? I don’t know. But it’s obvious that in recent years we’ve become a more divided society, exemplified and encouraged by our leaders. And of course, when one or two mass shootings get lots of publicity, they serve as examples of what wannabe copycat shooters might be able to do.

      What’s changed? I think society has changed. And not for the better. But I don’t have any answers either. Lots of things I’d like to see done, but I’ve no hope that any will happen.

    2. What changed? I agree with PT about no assault rifles in the population and leadership, but, speaking of “publicity”, the internet. A lot of people who otherwise wouldn’t talk so wildly are finding an audience because of it. A lot of people who otherwise wouldn’t pay much attention to politics or hear so much bigotry and xenophobia, are finding it there. When everybody has a video camera, fame and/or notoriety can be attained easily by anyone who can scrape up a few hundred bucks. Also, I must add that the NRA itself is vastly different from in the 1950’s. Back then it was primarily focused on gun safety.

  4. I agree with most of Jim’s and PT’s points.  I don’t believe law abiding citizens should have their human right to self defense suspended to deter criminals who don’t care about obeying laws.  A lot of societal changes have occurred that we don’t want to talk about… safety nets of every variety… group rather than individual responsibility… etc

    1. But we aren’t talking about completely banning guns and your right to self defense. I see nothing wrong with requiring licenses, tests to get licenses, registration of guns, banning of military-style weapons. None of those things ban your right to self defense. To mention an often-used example, we register cars and license drivers. And that certainly hasn’t limited the number of cars on the road.

        1. There were no cars when the Constitution was written, just as there is no militia today. (I don’t care what the Supreme Court says. That militia clause was included for a reason.)

      1. I’m 100% in favor of removing from office lawbreakers (makers) who attempt to circumvent the constitution with poorly thought out, pandering to their ignorant constituents, ideas.  In a few years they’ll be coming for my nuclear ionic disruptor ray gun because (they’ll say) none of the founders could ever have guessed the military could possibly invent such a thing.  That’ll be the time for their recall.

        1. If you mean voting them out of office in the next election, that’s what elections are for. But wouldn’t you have voted against them in the first place? (In which case you already had your say.) And if they were duly elected by the majority of voters, should a single-issue recall election with far fewer voters be able to overturn that? I have mixed feelings about that, especially if the recall election is financed by out-of-state interests. It’s expected that you won’t agree with everything an elected lawmaker does, but recall elections (in Colorado at least) are far too easy. If you don’t like what a lawmaker does, vote them out of office in the next election.

          And I’ve noted in the past, if the government wants your weapons, nothing you own will stop the US military. Nor will a piece of paper called the Constitution.

        2. And I’ve noted in the past, if the government wants your weapons, nothing you own will stop the US military.

          That’s what Great Britain thought. What we thought in Vietnam and still think in Afghanistan.

          Nor will a piece of paper called the Constitution.

          When enough people think like that, the war will begin and we’ll see whether the liberty and freedom it guarantees are worth more than just a piece of paper.

        3. So your AR-15 will protect you from a bomb or missile? I don’t mean to be flippant, but I really don’t think the government is going to come politely knocking on your door to confiscate your guns.

    1. So why didn’t they say “citizenry” instead of “militia”? And either way, it specifies “well-regulated.” It certainly isn’t well regulated right now. It’s hardly regulated at all.

    2. My weapon of choice in that circumstance wouldn’t be an AR-15 and the government would need to know if I had one beforehand… or else I guess it would just come knocking on your door too.

      When the US government starts using bombs and missiles against it’s own citizens… hopefully you would join the revolution against it.

        1. I don’t think protecting oneself from the government is a logical reason for owning a gun.

          Millions of innocent people who believed that have been murdered by their governments.

  5. Citizenry would include women and children, whereas militia only includes able bodied men… such as those who had weapons similar to those used by the British regular army in its failed attempt to control the American colonists.  As you said, the states have failed miserably in their obligation to arm and train (regulate) their militias.

    1. True about militia, but by today’s standards, sexist not to include women.

      I do worry about enforcement of any new laws that might be passed. If more than half of Colorado’s counties (and their sheriffs) refuse to enforce our new red flag law … we may already be past the tipping point and into anarchy. And in this state they even punish the lawmakers who pass the new laws by calling special recall elections that immediately remove them from office (no waiting for the next election). The NRA comes in to finance such moves.

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

      When the government ignores it’s limits, it might be considered necessary.  What would you do?

      1. If we were in some third world country or a dictatorship or something, I might prepare myself to fight. But in this country, no. For me that’s not a valid reason to be buying guns.

      2. I think ImA has a point. Wouldn’t have said that two years ago but look at what has happened since. The president lies, distorts, bends, dissembles regularly. He flouts the rules and uses his office to enrich himself and his cronies and the senate lets him. He even uses the military for political purposes. Following his examples, white nationalists are encouraged and ascendent. Our government isn’t what it used to be. The press is increasingly on food stamps and local papers are in decline, thanks to the internet. . There is a tension in society. In short, I’m not as confident in the stability of society as I was before. I will still support universal background checks but I have no illusions that the gun problem will improve in the few years I have left on this blue marble.

        1. While I remain hopeful that a new president and perhaps a more sensible Senate will do something meaningful, I still don’t see how allowing more guns into society is a solution when too many guns are the problem. You don’t ignore a growing cancer.

        2. The cancer isn’t guns, it’s the willingness of a growing number of people who think they can justify using them unlawfully… not too unlike to the conditions that existed during the prohibition era.

          This is going to sound bigoted, but a very real break from the past (relatively peaceful) times is that quality firearms are much less expensive.  Almost any punk can afford a stamped out Armalite Rifle (AR) clone.

          While the Hatfields and the McCoys control the house and senate, don’t look for any magic solutions.

        3. Another reason to make military-style weapons difficult or impossible for civilians to obtain. Meanwhile, I put a great part of the blame squarely on Trump’s doorstep. That, and the growing gulf between the haves and the have-nots in this country. And as Jim has pointed out, the internet. Social media have done very little to police their users and hate spreads anonymously and unabated.

        4. I am definitely in favor of sensible gun control measures. I’m just saying that I understand ImA’s concerns about self-protection, whether that be from skinheads, white nationalists, or government gone amok.

        5. Jim is right on the mark.  Since I can no longer touch type (broken hand didn’t mend properly) I didn’t mention all the new reasons for us to reconsider our place in this society, but Jim covered most of them.  Trump has created two distinct groups that don’t want a peaceful political atmosphere.  Evidence of this is the possibility that PT would even suggest that the military might actually obey orders to bomb citizens who had committed no acts of violence.  This diatribe is taking a long time.

          Furthermore… background checks can be a good thing, but not as they (limited, unrelated, voluntary, uncirculated) are now.  e.g. A felon discovered trying to buy a gun is not prosecuted and that discovery isn’t communicated to the various jurisdictional entities.  etc., etc.

        6. I only mentioned the bombs as evidence that your guns would be useless against a determined government. Frankly, what’s really crossed my mind is the concern that if society continues to fracture as it is now, we might ultimately have another civil war. At least, that’s the way the media make it look — and in doing so are worsening the problem.

  6. I completely agree. Shooting requires guns. It’s so sad that those with the power to make changes and save lives are more concerned with holding on to their power. I don’t see things changing anytime soon.

      1. The only hope I have is that God will soon step in to change things. Psalms 37:10,11 says, “Just a little while longer, and the wicked will be no more; You will look at where they were, And they will not be there. But the meek will possess the earth, And they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” I pray that peace comes soon.

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