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The Definition of Insanity

Maybe it’s time to try a different approach to mass shootings.

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On Wednesday afternoon, a man was shot and killed in Houston. According to KTRK, the Houston Police Department had yet to identify a motive for the shooting by the end of the day, but subsequent events seemed to suggest that it had been specific to the man who was shot. Less than two hours later, police responded to a call about a different shooting, at a location about two miles away; this victim, like the first one, was a young Hispanic man; the first set of shooters had been driving a stolen car; and per KTRK, neighbors say that the area “is known for gang activity.”

If Americans heard about either man’s death it was because the first of the two was shot outside a medical clinic specializing in women’s health care. “It’s just days after the mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado that killed three people,” noted Sarah Jones at PoliticsUSA. Most Americans didn’t hear about the Houston shooting, however, or any other Houston shootings that happened yesterday; if not for the apparently coincidental detail about the Clinica Hispana, there is no reason to think that they would have.

By contrast, we all heard about the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. Fourteen people were killed at a state-run center for people with developmental disabilities, and their deaths quickly led to a ferocious national debate. The shooting was easy to politicize. The victims were government workers, having a Christmas party. The shooters, who were both shot and killed by police, were a husband-and-wife team. The husband was an American Muslim who had worked for the county for years. He had reportedly met his wife on a recent visit to Saudi Arabia, and brought her back to the United States. As of this writing, the exact motive remains unclear, but authorities have said that the shooting was “possibly terrorism,” and the wife had reportedly posted to Facebook a pledge of allegiance to ISIS.

Mass shootings themselves, of course, are one of the hottest hot-button issues of our time. The reaction to the San Bernardino shooting is by now familiar to most of us. Democrats, in light of this latest senseless tragedy, called for a serious national debate about gun control. Republicans defensively countered that guns don’t shoot people, people shoot people. The debate about San Bernardino will continue for a few days, unless there’s a worse mass shooting in the meantime, and it will probably not spur Congress to action, though Americans are fed up and heartsick, for obvious reasons. There have been so many mass shootings in the United States in recent years that it’s hard to keep track of them all. This latest one inspired a brief backlash to the inevitable calls for prayer, which has not yet proven to be an effective intervention.

But here’s the problem: neither has gun control. Most Democrats would say that’s because we haven’t tried it, because Republicans are beholden to the NRA and other gun-rights groups. And they’d be right. My colleague Robert Draper took a hard look at the NRA’s disproportionate influence over Congress back in 2013, and during the most recent legislative session Texans got a case study in how comically easy it is for gun activists to bully most Republicans. At the same time, it’s far from certain that the United States can end mass shootings by making judicious changes to national gun laws, or greater investments in mental health care, which is the other avenue of intervention most commonly proposed. I think we need to consider alternative interventions at this point, and I’ll propose one, but first I’ll explain why I think stricter gun control is unlikely to solve America’s mass shooting problem.

1. If we’re looking at any given mass shooting, you can identify specific restrictions that might, in theory, have minimized the carnage or prevented the specific incident, had they been implemented and effectively enforced. But you can’t come up with the same specific restriction in each case. It’s possible that better data would clear up which would have the most impact, and since I’m generally in favor of more data, I think we might as well encourage the CDC to study this question. Considering mass shootings as a group, though, the only clear common denominator is the Second Amendment, which is not going to be repealed.

2. Similarly, there is substantial state-level variation in gun laws (and government services), but this variation has not led to a geographic concentration of mass shootings in areas with more liberal gun laws. In general, in fact, there is not a clear connection between gun laws and gun crime. Researchers have occasionally documented a specific effect from a specific change. But overall, as I found while reporting the open carry story, there is little evidence to think that the relative liberality of gun laws is strongly predictive of the rate of violent crime, or to confidently predict that any given change to extant gun laws is going to have statistically significant effects either way. The national rate of gun crime has precipitously declined since the 1990s, and the trend is broadly consistent across states, even though every state has made different changes to its gun laws during the period in question, and some have much more permissive environments than others.

3. In the wake of the San Bernardino shooting, the New York Times reported that thus far this year America has experienced mass shootings every day, on average, and the cumulative death toll is more than 460 people. Those totals, however, count all shooting incidents that left four or more people injured or dead; other accounts define mass shootings differently. Mother Jones, for example, has built a database that treats “mass shootings” as separate from mass murders; as Mark Follman explained in an op-ed at the Times yesterday, the goal is to focus on the “seemingly indiscriminate attacks.” The fact that there is no official definition of mass shootings makes it difficult to be precise about the rate at which such incidents are increasing. But mass shootings are certainly not decreasing. In that respect, they’re an exception to the aforementioned national trend, which is well documented, in which violent crime rates have declined precipitously since the 1990s, as have gun crimes specifically. The decline of gun violence is especially significant because it underlines the uncertainty over whether mass shootings can be most effectively addressed by changes in gun laws. Even if changes in gun laws have affected the overarching rate of gun crime, mass shootings are an exception. Put differently, there are causal factors that explain changes in the rate of violent crime rate. Even if we can’t pinpoint what they are, the fact that mass shootings don’t conform to the trend suggests that there are additional or different causal factors at work.

So if we want to tackle mass shootings specifically, we need to look for a common denominator specific to mass shootings that doesn’t apply to other categories of violent crime. And in thinking about that, a couple of things come to mind.

In 1966 Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the University of Texas’s tower and began what is now remembered as America’s first mass shooting on a college campus.

The era of mass shootings in the United States has coincided with changes in technology, media distribution, and news consumption habits. In 1960 we had televised presidential debates for the first time. Americans who listened on the radio, thought that Richard Nixon won; those who watched on television were more likely to think that John Kennedy had prevailed.

It’s difficult to generalize about all mass shootings, but to the extent that these addled killers can be said to have a “reason,” it’s to get attention. The shooters themselves tend to frame their mayhem in reference to ideological or political ideals, but their commitments vary—the San Bernardino shooting was “possibly terrorism,” the Charleston shooter wanted to start a “race war,” the Colorado shooter was heard saying “no baby parts,” the Santa Barbara shooter was angry at women who had sexually rejected him, the Sandy Hook shooter was a nihilist—and the violence is, of course, self-discrediting.

The people killed in San Bernardino yesterday weren’t the only Americans shot and killed yesterday. They were just the ones whose deaths received national media coverage, as their killers could have predicted, and presumably did.

So here’s my proposal: I’d like to see a moratorium on nationally televised coverage of mass shootings. I don’t think television is an inappropriate medium for covering violent crime; local television, like KTRK, often provides the best coverage of local events. But I don’t think it’s entirely coincidental that America’s most notorious category of violent crime, the one where we’ve made no headway, is the one most likely to elicit blanket coverage across the country in a highly visual medium. This would have to be a voluntary decision on the part of the networks. We obviously can’t ban any media organization from covering mass shootings; as a First Amendment zealot and journalist, I’d object to any such proposals on principle. But if all the networks agree to give it a try—and at the very least to not mention the shooter’s name—none of them are going to lose too much audience share. Maybe it wouldn’t make a difference. But so far, nothing else has.

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  • As long as democrats insist on gun CONTROL we will be at a stalemate.
    Whenever dems make laws it always costs us either our liberties or money.

    • David Gilliland

      Most folks have never been in an armed combat situation. The argument that we all need to carry guns in case a bad guy assaults us is specious. Even people who are trained in armed conflict situations are going to have trouble defending themselves and others with a weapon in mass shooting situations. The vast majority of folks who aren’t trained to know what to do in an armed conflict situation going to be so overwhelmed by fear and the adrenaline that kicks in that they will either be totally ineffective or even as dangerous to the other innocent folks as the bad guy. The truth is that it’s too late for gun control to be effective because people in America are armed to the teeth. Now who do we have to thank for that? Or maybe we should just all walk around with automatic AKs and ARs – yeah, that would make this a great place to live. But this is the kind of assertion that the GOP field of candidates is perfectly happy to enable.

      • WUSRPH

        There you go again…trying to add logic and reason to an “emotional” discussion…….After all, every good ole boy we know when faced with such a situation will step forth as a new Audie Murphy.

        • If you are afraid to carry don’t.

          • WUSRPH

            Fear has nothing to do with it. I have been around guns all my life. They don’t frighten me. It is the people who misuse them that does. Plus my masculinity does not need an artificial extension to make me “Feel like a REAL MAN”.

          • don76550

            You might need that extension to save your life if somebody is shooting at you. Or, you could just chant I.M A REAL MAN just before a bullet slams into you widdle liberal head. Idiot.

          • Garrett Menard

            now there’s some logic.

      • Well some of us are competently trained, are not afraid and can protect the incompetent and afraid. No one said you have to carry. But you are saying I can’t carry.
        Why do liberals want to control everything I do?
        If you don’t want to carry, are afraid to carry, or are just plain incompetent then don’t.
        Meanwhile I will carry and feel secure doing it.
        See how simple that was.

        • BCinBCS

          JBB, what I’m posting is factual and uses logic so I’m certain that its information will be lost on you…but here goes:

          You stated: “Well some of us are competently trained, are not afraid and can protect the incompetent and afraid.”

          In order to be a police officer, one must undergo a rigorous selection process and considerable training, especially in firearms use. Once commissioned as a peace officer, that firearms training continues. Knowing this, let’s explore some facts about police shootings:

          (i) 90% of all studied police shootings occur within 6 feet and are over in 3 seconds;

          (ii) It is estimated that about 50% of rounds fired by the police hit their target;

          (iii) It was actually measured by the New York Police Department that only 34% of rounds fired by their officers hit their target;

          (iv) It was actually measured that when an officer was in a gun fight only 13% to 17% of shots fired hit their target.

          So now we give guns to you and everyone who has a concealed handgun license (with all of the training that entails!) to “protect” us. If in a gun battle a rigorously trained police officer can only hit the target fewer than 2 times out of every 10 rounds fired, then how accurate would you be? And even if you were as good of a shot as the trained police officer, where do you think that those other 8 missed rounds are going?

          (You should know that I own firearms, have taken the CHL course but do not carry.
          Let the insults begin.)

          • Douglas Morris

            its your opinion and your right to do what you do, do not deny me, mine.

          • borgerboy

            bc….I think you should check with your local police to see how often they actually train with live fire weapons. Most departments don’t have the funds to provide ammo for that training.

          • BCinBCS

            bb, so I suppose that those departments that don’t train with live ammunition will have even worse outcomes.

          • MDER

            I beg to differ here. I have a friend who is a LT with the local PD. He is competent and well trained with his weapons. He does not ge the practice time that he would like though. I shot a lot as a kid but very little as an adult, and have always had a natural affinity for hitting a target wether it be a pistol, long gun, bow and arrow, or a dart board. I picked up his wife’s 9mm Glock (which I had never fired) and shot a consistent 3″ pattern at 15 yds (as well as my marksman ranked friend). I tend to go into a state of super calm when hit with an adrenaline rush. Everything becomes more clear and focused for me. I’ve been in confrontations before, and that “calm” has fortunately always led to positive outcomes. I’ve been in accidents, a home fire, and at the scenes of people in physical distress, and mananged to always be the calm one. Long story short, is that all the training in the world with a gun won’t help you if you are prone to panic, or don’t have an eye, or steady hand for hitting a target.

          • BCinBCS

            MDER stated “I beg to differ here” then proceeds to explain how he has a “natural affinity for hitting a target” and goes into a state of “super calm when hit with an adrenaline rush”.

            Do you think that your aim and calmness are the rule or the exception? Should we base our solutions on people like you when the overwhelming majority of people do NOT have those characteristics? I suspect that, as your last sentence implies, the answer is “no”.

          • TrulyJulie

            Just because you can’t trust yourself with a gun doesn’t mean you get to decide I’M not trustworthy with one.

          • Jed

            agreed. those would be two completely different decisions, each of which we should get to make.

          • TrulyJulie

            In your dreams, Jed.

          • Jed

            perhaps. but correct nonetheless.

          • TrulyJulie

            You’re not expected to “give” John any guns. You’re just not allowed to take away the ones he already owns. Simple.

          • don76550

            You should know that gun enthusiasts tend to be far better shots that police officers. I have outshot many of them in target shooting.

        • don76550

          Considering the hatred liberals have for guns, I will respect their feelings. In a shooting situation I promise to never use my gun to protect a liberal. After all he should be fully protected by writing “gun law” on a piece of paper and waving it at his assailant or chanting “kumbayah” or whatever. See how that works out for them. Me, I have used a gun twice in my life to thwart a criminal attack, fortunately without having to fire a shot. You liberals will not take that ability away from me.

      • allmaya

        When that couple assassinated two LV Metro cops on a meal break in Las Vegas last year, they repaired to a nearby Walmart. In the Walmart, a “good guy with a gun (and a CCL)” tried to take them down and was killed himself.

        • djltx

          Non of the folks in California were armed and they were killed also…so what is your point. I would rather have a fighting chance than no chance.

          • Kozmo

            It’s only a matter of time before some bystander at one of these shootings whips out a weapon, thinking he or she is going to protect themself, and is either going to shoot a wrong target or going to be mistaken for a “bad guy” by a cop and shot reflexively. Armed civilians are not going to put a stop to these atrocities, more likely they will make them more lethal and harder to control.

          • Douglas Morris

            this is a risk they take..better this happens if successful and less die in the end, NO..war is war and islam is at war with Liberty here and abroad..once we wrap our collective heads around this..Liberty will win out.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Most mass murders in the U.S. are not Muslims.

          • Douglas Morris

            so far.
            give them a year or two more..

          • dave in texas

            Exactly. I mean really, who doesn’t know that crossfire is always the best thing in a shooting situation?

          • Indiana Pearl

            See above.

          • djltx

            Maybe, maybe not…I would take the chance…better than being a sitting target, better than relying on help that might never come…who are you to say I do not have a right to protect myself?

          • WUSRPH

            I cannot think of a worse thing than an amateur, untrained in combat opening up in a crowded theater or in any crowd situation.

            It is not like a fire fight between trained soldiers in a combat situation whose instincts have been accustomed to instantly reacting to the source of the
            fire. We are talking about Joe Smooh who took a few hours in a CHL class and goes to the target range every couple of years…..trying to figure out what is
            happening in a situaiton of panic, screaming, shooting, yelling and people stumbling away for the source of the danger. In such a case, even a trained person would try to figure out what is going on…..before blasting away….

          • djltx

            You do know most police men do not have combat experience either…I think we have already seen the worst that could happen.

          • Douglas Morris

            18 yr old amateurs have gone off to war for 100 years in America..and younger before that..and of course you’d figure your target before shooting willy nilly…yea gods…

          • WUSRPH

            By the time they get to combat those 18-year-old “amateurs” have had dozens of hours of training. Your movie theater hero comes no where near that level of experience.

          • Gary Denton

            Happened in Houston, a good guy saw a car being hijacked, pulled out his gun and missed and shot the victim in the head.
            Happened in Oregon, there was an armed civilian on campus. He wisely stayed hidden because when the cops arrive he knew they are going to take out all the guys with guns.

          • allmaya

            My point was to reinforce the point made by Mr. Gilliland.

            And I did.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Bingo!

          I also read that about six audience members were carrying concealed weapons when Gabby Giffords and others were shot. They wisely decided to let the professionals take charge of the situation and realized as well that the cops would think THEY were the perp.

          • John Johnson

            “I read…I read…I heard…I heard”. Do you swallow absolutely everything you read or hear if it supports your agenda? It would seem so.

        • Douglas Morris

          a risk you take when you CCL and get involved..its a personal choice…at least he stood and delivered his best rather than cowered in a corner hoping the other guy gets killed and not him..

      • borgerboy

        tell me david, where can I buy any automatic AK or AR?

        • WUSRPH

          Go to your next local gun show….Buy an AK or AR (semi)…they ask around (quietly) for where to get the conversion parts…It won’t take long to get them.

          • djltx

            But that would be illegal…see how bad guys get around all sorts of laws?

          • Douglas Morris

            your ignorance is amazing…please leave moms basement and get educated before repeating HORSESHIETE..

      • space2k

        Simple solution: if you carry, just point your gun and everyone all the time, then you’ll be ready.

  • spenceke

    You’re probably right about mass shootings, but research seems to indicate that states with stricter gun laws have fewer gun-related deaths: http://www.nationaljournal.com/s/53345/states-with-most-gun-laws-see-fewest-gun-related-deaths

    • Erica Grieder

      Worth pointing out- thank you. In my view though when we’re comparing a state like Massachusetts to one like Alabama there’s an abundance of things about the latter that are more likely to play a causal role in its relatively higher rate of violent crime. (Not that I’d rule it out- but that’s why I think it would be good to have the cdc on this)

      • dave in texas

        It would be great to have the CDC be able to study this, but I have serious doubts as to whether or not the NRA’s representatives in Congress will allow even a step as small as that.

        • WUSRPH

          In fact, as you probably know the NRA got the Congress to specificially forbid the CDC from studying gun violence.

          http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-07-02/quietly-congress-extends-ban-cdc-research-gun-violence

          As to Erica’s suggestion for an TV-ban. I would favor less coverage, but not a ban. Leaving it to the Trolls of this world to spread rumors and falsehoods without any clarification by the major media would only make the situation worse.

          • Kozmo

            I don’t like the idea of the “ignore them and they’ll go away” approach. Seems pretty feeble (not to mention impossible to enforce and a shackle on true reportage) and hardly addresses the tough issues.

          • borgerboy

            wusrph….and you think the media would provide unbiased and truthful coverage? Think again.

          • Douglas Morris

            the congress said they cant continue to use OUR MONEY to try to do away with a RIGHT followed by 56% of the nation AND to rehash what they’d already found..Guns save more lives than take them. read somre more, you’ll get there eventually

          • BCinBCS

            Absolutely agree with you DM.

            I hate it when the CDC studies zoonotic deaths because it’s just an attempt to do away with animals and studying nosocomial diseases is them trying to eliminate hospitals and their study of traffic deaths is their nefarious way of doing away with cars.

            That CDC…a left wing political action organization out to get your guns and turn all of us into Muslims.

      • Unwound

        just a couple of figures worth chewing on regarding the efficacy of gun control. its pretty strictly enforced here in toronto. our homicide rate is 1.34 per 100,000 people. my hometown of fort worths is 4.4. 2/3 of the guns used in crimes here are smuggled in illegally from the united states.

        • WUSRPH

          It is clear that where there are less guns their is less use of guns in crimes and in shootings/suicides, etc. That may be because they are just harder to get. It may also have something to do with the nature, traditions and history of the area.. Our history, particularly in some regions, and our “myths” in our movies, media and literature may just have made us a society where guns are going to be more present and more often used no matter what the laws may say.

          • borgerboy

            so, in addition to banning guns what would you do with baseball bats, kitchen knives, rocks, and other perfectly good murder weapons?

          • WUSRPH

            If they were used as often to kill people as guns it would be appropriate to take a look at them. You can kill some one with a chair leg it you try hard enough…but guns make it so much easier.

          • Unwound

            yes they should be banned too

        • Douglas Morris

          because its too damn cold to go outside unless you have to 9 mo out of the year eh?

      • Unwound

        this was also a recent propublica detailing a program that actually seemed to work in reducing gun crime- which is now a casualty to budget cuts.

        https://newrepublic.com/article/124445/beyond-gun-control

      • WUSRPH

        Including some of the factors I listed in responding to Pearl’s question about us old Southern men and guns (above).

        • Indiana Pearl

          Not really a question so much as what the stats tell us . . .

    • Rules of Blazon

      Other countries, too.

    • donuthin2

      Guns themselves may be more of a symptom of a larger problem but certainly a tool of those who are totally obsessed with guns in an absolute. The 2nd amendment argument is ludicrous unless we are willing to take it to the extreme and allow any kind of weapon, including nuclear. How could any reasonable person argue against closing the loopholes, what harm could come from it? It is not a like of brains on the part of congress, but rather a lack of fortitude to face the NRA. If there is any chance the CDC study could begin to unravel the root cause or at least a common denominator, it should be conducted ASAP. I do think the media has some culpability in playing to the mentally unstable and those who have no capacity to think critically.

      • Rules of Blazon

        Ludicrous? There’s a darn good reason Jesus put the right to bear weaponized anthrax in the Constitution!

      • djltx

        Straw argument, you cannot bear a nuclear weapon and according to the supreme court it is not a weapon commonly used by foot soldiers…this is the rational a lot folks who have no clue use.

        • Kozmo

          If the 2nd amendment was really as holy as it’s often interpreted, we’d be allowed to own fully automatic guns, grenades, mortars, anti-tank missile systems — these are all carried by “footsoldiers”.

          It’s ludicrous for militia-types to pretend they could genuinely topple an oppressive government with their peashooters anyway. This isn’t the 18th century; modern state governments all have a monopoly on war-winning weapons and material.

          • djltx

            Not commonly carried by a foot soldier except for fully auto weapons, which technically are not banned but current restrictions should be lifted…on your second point, as soon as our government places tanks or bombs our neighborhoods they would have already lost the war….

      • BCinBCS

        I have long maintained your position, donuthin. If the reason for the 2nd amendment is for protection against bad people and bad government, then *any* weapon should be allowed, including a nuclear device, because if the inevitable government oppression occurs and we must revolt against it then it is incumbent that we have comparable arms with which to resist! And don’t worry about the nukes since the only protection against a bad person/government with a nuclear bomb is a good person with a nuclear bomb. (What could go wrong?)

      • borgerboy

        donuthing….give a way a “RIGHT” and it is forever gone.

        • donuthin2

          I know, I know and I say it even after having lost so much by losing my right not to wear a seat belt.

    • Douglas Morris

      yes, Connecticut, California, Colorado are all those wild west open gun law areas..Much of our Crime is perpetrated by criminals on criminals lets discount that and see what we get. Denying free men use of arms is an anathema proclaimed for 5000 years..

    • Douglas Morris

      READ a few things please folks.

  • Rules of Blazon

    Television is obviously still the most prevalent and impactful visual medium in our society, but its importance is diminishing as that of other (mostly social) media increase.

    Assuming for argument’s sake that all networks immediately agreed to your proposed moratorium, it’s hard for me to see how that would effect a positive societal change:

    Facebook, Twitter, etc. would still blow up (with images and video footage) within seconds of the next incident.

    News websites, blogs, etc. would still post relentlessly, including images and video footage.

    I don’t find your proposal objectionable (and wouldn’t mind if the networks adopted it), but it doesn’t seem to amount even to a drop in the bucket.

    What troubles me most is your (implicit) suggestion that a purely voluntary measure should take the place of something compulsory. To state the obvious, we have an extremely serious crisis on our hands, and it is therefore crucial, in my view, that we begin by addressing it through legislation.

    • Kozmo

      Marijuana plant = illegal, bad. Prohibited by government fiat! Pot smokers jailed! Guns = legal, benign, ownership encouraged by legislators and corporatists alike! Too bad so many accidental or preventable deaths result. Collective shrug. Lucky thing no mass murders by pot smoking were committed this week.

  • dave in texas

    I have no idea why gun rights proponents are always so damned scared of any and all efforts to do anything about gun violence. They’ve won, it’s over. If the slaughter of more than 20 schoolchildren at Sandy Hook didn’t cause any movement on the issue, and it didn’t, and if efforts to keep possible terrorists on the no-fly list from being able to buy guns are met with fierce resistance, and they are, then the game’s over.

    • donuthin2

      Because they are mentally challenged and do not have a real life.

    • jammerjim

      I’d argue that Sandy Hook is what put gun control back in the debate arena.

      I may have missed a lively debate somewhere else, but from my perspective, the decline in overall crime and the corresponding decline in homicides pretty much put gun control on the back burner. Sandy Hook changed that, and so represents only the first rumblings of a potential avalanche.

      Said avalanche may not happen, or may be much smaller than expected, but I’d hardly call the issue over.

      • dave in texas

        Fair enough, I guess, but it’s pretty disheartening that efforts to do anything at all after Sandy Hook, no matter how small or how token a gesture it might have been, were so easily swept aside without even very much debate.

      • Indiana Pearl

        Social scientists posit at least two causes for crime reduction starting in the early 90s:

        1) removal of lead from most of the environment in the 1970s, and
        2) the “abortion dividend.”

    • WUSRPH

      There “fear” is most likely a sort of “camel’s nose under the tent” or “first, they came for…” or “give ’em an inch” feeling. It has noting to do with the practical realities of the situation but then emotional responses usually will outweigh logic and reason. What they really have to fear is not a gradual chipping away of their rights, but as JP suggested “bad things happening to gun owners” as a result of an outburst of public anger and disgust over the current situation and trend.

    • vietvet3

      Yes, the NRA won. Absolutely the most irresponsible, bloodthirsty, power and profit-driven org ever. They are lower than the man-boy love org.

      • You dems love some NAMBLA

        http://www.nambla.org/

        • Indiana Pearl

          So does Denny Hastert.

      • borgerboy

        vietvet…just renewed my NRA membership this morning on line.
        Semper Fi
        vietvet 1968-1968

      • donuthin2

        And they are effective only because of cowardly, get re-elected at any risk elected officials.

    • Kozmo

      Someone after Sandy Hook wrote to the effect that if society accepts the murder of children in this way, then it was already all over for gun control. And so it has come to pass.

      • BCinBCS

        Concerning Sandy Hook School: Has the position of the NRA on the 2nd amendment changed over the years?

        In the 1920’s and 1930’s, the NRA helped write and lobbied for the first gun control laws. And here is the opinion of the NRA concerning guns in school zones in the late 1990’s: “First, we believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools. That means no guns in America’s schools, period … with the rare exception of law enforcement officers or trained security personnel.”

        Oh, and do you know who else was for gun control? Ronald Reagan. Reagan signed the Firearm Owners Protection Act in 1986, supported the Assault Weapons Ban in 1994 and advocated for the Brady Bill in 1995.

  • Jerry Patterson

    While there are things we could do to at least minimally reduce venue shootings, the problem is gun control advocates are solely focused in passing stuff that won’t make us safer (closing the gun show “loophole”, banning mean looking black weapons, etc.) and they are perfectly willing to waste whatever political capital they have on these largely useless efforts. There are bills in Congress that would decrease the likelihood that nut jobs can get guns, but they’re opposed by Democrats because they’re not on the “approved list” of gun control measure such as mentioned above. We don’t have a gun problem, we do have a nut job problem and that’s more a result of 1st amendment freedoms than 2nd amendment freedoms. JP

    • dave in texas

      I at least partially agree with you, Senator. A lot of the proposed legislation is simply window dressing, but I’d argue that closing the gun show loophole doesn’t fall under that category. Yes, of course, a determined criminal will be able to find a gun somewhere, but that doesn’t mean we should make it so appallingly easy for him. But you’re right, efforts to pass legislation are largely a waste of political capital. As my despairing comment above notes, this seems to be a settled issue. Forget political capital; there’s no political will to do anything about any of this. We seem to have determined as a society that massacres like Sandy Hook, San Bernadino, Colorado, Virginia Tech, and the like are a price we’re willing to pay for “liberty.”

    • Rules of Blazon

      “We don’t have a gun problem” is an aggressively ignorant statement. Our society is drowning in readily-accessible firearms, and that is an enormous problem. As more people reject politicians who pretend otherwise, the more likely it becomes that the forthcoming legislative solution will be more restrictive of what you are calling “2nd amendment freedoms.”

    • WUSRPH

      There is no doubt that laws, by themselves, are not THE solution to the problem of what the NRA would call the “misuse of guns”…..Things like mandatory background checks on ALL gun purchases (including long arms) and closing the “gun show loophole” can help. It does not have to be as easy as it is to purchase a gun.
      According to Justice Scalia, in the 2nd Amendments case, the right to own a gun is NOT absolute. There can be justifiable restrictions on who, where and when. I, in this case, agree with Scalia and with former Judge Bork, as well.
      Of course, as some have said, you can kill someone with a knife or a chair leg…but is too hard to kill many at the same time. The only efficient way to do that is with firearms, gases or explosives and, by far, firearms are easier to transport and use.

    • John Johnson

      Amen.

    • jammerjim

      Perhaps you could list a few of these measures. No need for bill numbers or anything, just a rough list would do.

      And I hope they aren’t things like “give teachers guns”.

    • Vik Verma

      What are those bills?

      • Jerry Patterson

        One is by Senator Cornyn, having to do with mental health reporting which could be in the NICS database. There are others as well. The Dem’s are opposed because they want to make political points on universal background checks and assault weapons bans – measures that won’t make us safer to any measurable degree and will not pass. Both parties do this kind of crap.

  • bj1650

    Instead of calling for self-censorship of national television news perhaps the country would be better off, Dear Ms. Grieder, if, perhaps, you could start by cutting out all the duplication you force on your hopeful readers?

    Of course, it is true that not all of us get to watch “KTRK-TV,” which seems unfortunate since you are not asking the LOCAL electronic media voluntarily to censor their news coverage. GRIEDER WANTS TO KILL THE (electronic) MESSENGERS OF OUR CONTEMPORARY REALITY. But leave the NY Times alone so various bloggers (including Ericka) can get news and information for their subsequent written perspectives.

    Further, Ms. Grieder, the various shooters do not MERELY WANT ATTENTION–as you so superficially announce–but in most cases have political and religious and/or other mental or internalized issues, for which they seek support in this most murderous way. They do not need television for their inspiration since–as you probably know–much of the thinking and encouragement for mass shooters comes from digital outlets, blogs and other social media whose messages can be mostly opposite from yours!

    Incidentally, I thought you did a nice job incorporating the Houston shooting into the national nightmares brought on by gun violence. Although your thesis: ‘Guns don’t kill people, only copycats seeking attention kill people,’ reminds one of similar arguments, on the other side, by the NRA and its leadership and lobbyists–along with the political leaders who sublimate to these pro-gun forces.

    WE DON’T HAVE SOLUTIONS, YET, but be sure to keep those Houston shootings out of site of the rest of the American people–unless they read newspapers or local TV news. Erica–one cannot help but admire your striving for solutions to our mass murdering nightmares, but you are no where any closer than anyone else with an ethical and practical solution.

    LET US KEEP WORKING TOGETHER AND THINKING ABOUT WHAT TO DO.

    Thanks again, for this effort, but PLEASE do not suggest censoring other journalists: SHOULD TEXAS MONTHLY BE REQUIRED TO STOP COVERING THE murder-promoting TEXAS Legislature? HOW ABOUT BARBECUE, since everyone except North Carolinians and folks from Kansas, knows about the Texas Barbecue attention seekers and copycats. Please forgive or learn from this paragraph reducing your suggestion to its absurdity. Kind regards to you, Ms. Grieder, and have a thoughtful weekend.

    • WUSRPH

      The only complaint I have about your comments is your suggestion that what they do to pig meat in places like North Carolina, etc. has anything to do with barbecue.

  • John Johnson

    Guns are already out there. The toothpaste is out of the tube. They have strict gun laws in France. The shooters still had weapons. If a terrorist needs a weapon, they will get a weapon. New laws won’t deter them. I heard someone say that it would be like trying to outlaw bad breath. If those calling for reform can tell me explicitly how a law would be written to do more than just make it more difficult for a law abiding citizen to purchase guns, I would be all for it, but, as far as I know, that has never been offered up?

    • Rules of Blazon

      I hereby offer the FFLRA (Federal Firearm Licensing and Registration Act):

      Federal legislation (with an express preemption provision) requiring a license for legal ownership of a firearm, conditioning the license on passage of a training course and a safety test, and requiring annual renewal; restricting the number and type of firearms (and the amount of ammunition) that an individual can lawfully possess, and requiring their registration; allowing a three-month grace period from the effective date to surrender all non-registered firearms.

      • Jerry Patterson

        Of course none of this will ever pass the Congress because “gun confiscation” or “getting permission” from the government to exercise a constitutional right is unconstitutional. In the meantime, lets not proceed on something all could agree on such as mental health and jihadi screening. It doesn’t have the sizzle that the gun show loophole has.

        • Indiana Pearl

          “Well-regulated militia” is part of the wording of the Second Amendment. Now we have Somalia.

        • Rules of Blazon

          It’s no more disruptive than getting a drivers’ license is to my First Amendment right to peaceably assemble. So it sure looks Constitutional to me, and Justices Sotomayor, Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Obama (plus anyone else Hillary appoints) are likely to share my view, not yours.

          • Jerry Patterson

            Drivers licenses are “shall issue” and you get one if you meet the criteria-just like Texas CHL. The program you describe has too many requirements to be a shall issue. Have a good weekend! JP

          • Rules of Blazon

            You too.

          • WUSRPH

            I agree that under the Scalia opinion you cannot prohibit most persons from “possessing” a firearm. Doing so would definitely be “unconstitutional” (altho it was not always considered to be such in the past). You can, however, put restrictions on its use outside the home. It would never pass but it is “possible” (but not “probable”) that a law that says: “Have all the guns you want in your residence, but not outside of it” could be constitutional. I also agree that with the multi-millions of guns already in this country, restricting purchases of certain types would immediately keep them out of the hands of the bad guys. However, over time the pool of available weapons would grow smaller (a lot of time admittedly) making it harder for them to obtain. It took us many years to get into this mess. We are not going to get out of it tomorrow. Nor is their a magic bullet solution since confiscation is not possible.

        • squidpuppy

          Senator, your understanding of that constitutional right is different than mine. We clearly have the responsibility to regulate – the word is right there in the 2nd amendment. it is not like you have to struggle to see that word in there and know that ‘regulate’ has a well understood meaning. The SCOTUS in Heller did leave room for regulation. I believe that was explicitly stated. (tho the dissents in Heller did make much more sense to me. b/c I do not agree with the “modern” interpretation of the 2nd amendment as a wild-west free-for-all that ignores the intent and the meaning of words ‘militia’ and ‘well regulated.’)

          what is the upper limit for amount of ammunition a person should be able to lawfully possess? 1000? 2000? 4000?

          I think gun owners should be required to have liability insurance covering their use of the firearm. I think a federal tax on all ammunition should be imposed so that we can pay for more level one trauma centers to treat gun shot wounds. I think some types of ammunition – larger sizes and hollow point and probably others – ie. armor piercing – should not be allowed at all. Universal background checks on all gun purchases are just common sense. close the loophole.

          • Jerry Patterson

            Squidpuppy, I know your opinions are sincerely held, and I respect what you’re saying. However, like most folks who are on the gun control side, you are lacking in knowledge on the subject such that when you comment, you hurt the credibility of your arguments. I too suffer ignorance on many subjects, but guns isn’t one of them. You’re correct, the 2nd doesn’t prohibit regulation, but all regulations must be reasonable, same for regulating the 1st, 5th etc. In the 18th century the words “militia” and “well regulated” meant all able bodied men, and practiced or proficient, respectively. Throughout the Bill of Rights, the phrase “rights of the people” is used, just as it is in the 2nd. Are we to believe that the founders meant an all encompassing right of the people everywhere in the BOR except in the 2nd? I probably have 2000 rds of ammo and 50 firearms accumulated over the last several decades. I buy in large quantities because its much cheaper, and out of fear the “illegal ammo” idea will get real traction. Requiring liability insurance is a way of curtailing gun ownership, just as requiring liability insurance to exercise free speech on the premise one might slander or libel another would be. There’s a lot of carnage on our highways and none of the required insurance funds trauma centers. Ammo is intended to be lethal, and the right to arms is for the purpose of defending against criminals, invasion from within or without, and yes, an oppressive government. So should we be limited to .22 ammo only? The purpose of having a gun is primarily to stop a threat, and “non lethal” bullets don’t do that well. Believe it or not, the CDC in 1995 determined there were somewhere between 500,000 and 3 million defensive uses or firearms in the U.S., the overwhelming majority of those encounters didn’t require the discharge of the firearm. The 2nd amendment has nothing to do with hunting or target practice. You mention large bullets and hollow points. In fact hollow points are frangible and because of that are less likely to penetrate a wall and kill an innocent person in the next room, but they are designed to kill, and thats the whole point of having them. Also, there is no such thing as a special “armor piercing” bullet. The term is used to intentionally mislead, just as the undetectable plastic gun canard was used by the gun control folks when the Glock pistol was introduced. They knew the Glock was easily detected by scanners, but they lied to the public. Any deer rifle will penetrate body armor. Handgun rounds probably not. If there were such a bullet, wouldn’t cops are the military use it? We respectfully disagree. The good news is we live in a country where we can! JP

          • squidpuppy

            touched a nerve. tho.

            I do not think your excuses for not taking steps in the law are valid – since I’m not a gun expert you get disgusted by my ignorance & take “sides” against me and won’t make an effort at passing some sensible, middle-road gun reforms. .. uuhm.

            I disrepectfully disagree!

            I am advocating making ownership of guns more regulated and more difficult and a little more expensive. But not impossible. We regulate and study auto crashes and require insurance for automobile operators/owners. And cars aren’t even designed to kill… but they do. they kill about the same number of people as shootings do. about 30K per year …and we don’t even allow the CDC to study gun violence. There is nothing in the constitution that bans the study of americans’ violent injuries- that is congress blocking the gunshot study.

            may I suggest…pepper spray, a very effective non-lethal method of stopping or deterring a person who wants to harm another person. If you want to feel safe in your home pepper spray and a large dog or two work wonders.

            There are people on the scene at mass shootings who have a concealed weapon and choose not to use it in the moment. they chose to not spring into action. so I think it is a hollywood myth that a civilan who carries a weapon is able to protect anybody. I don’t want to confiscate your gun collection. I want laws that make people choose pepper spray on their own …instead of stockpiling ammo in fear that it will be banned. Just make it an economic decision.

            I don’t want confiscation of guns but I would support buy back programs.

            I want more level one trauma centers.

            I do want to see fewer toddlers shoot their parent or sibling or self tho. Just like I want fewer drownings…if there’s a way, why not do it? My gun-ignorance is not a valid excuse.

            I want you to spend time with a trauma center doctor if you haven’t and maybe see the world from a gun shot victim’s perspective. maybe find some survivors of a mass shooting who were shot and listen to them.

            That is why I’m asking for laws that make it a bit of a hurdle to own a gun. I think private gifts or private sales of guns should all be sent thru the official background checks process.

          • Jerry Patterson

            If somebody is intent on doing me harm, I’m going to use the most effective deterrent I have, and pepper spray is not an effective deterrent to a guy doing meth, and I don’t have time to ask him if he’s hopped up or not. I’m not opposed to the CDC reporting factual info. I am opposed to the CDC editorializing. You mention those who have a handgun during a shooting and who choose not to use it. Exactly! That disproves the usual assertion that CHL licensees have no judgement or discretion as to when to employ their weapon! One has to make a tactical decision at the point of being confronted with a gunman. In some cases there’s nothing to be gained, in other cases there is. You have to wait for the right moment. Thanks for pointing that out. It’s still a shame that the two sides can’t find something they agree on, because there is room to do so. The problem is, as I said before, your side is still chanting the same talking points that won’t pass (at least at present), and won’t make a measurable difference in reducing gun violence.
            Passing legislation that stops the broadcast media from mentioning the shooters name or or showing his picture would make a difference, but there are serous constitutional issues. If we could ignore the 5th amendment guarantee or Miranda rights we would be safer because truly guilty murderers would not go free due to police or prosecutorial misconduct. It’s that pesky bill of rights again. We are trapped in Liberty, and liberty results in bad outcomes on occasion.J P

          • Jed

            squidpuppy’s summary of the point of heller, in scalia and the other opinions, was spot on.

            presumably you meant something else by your reference to “lacking in knowledge.” there is no need for you to go into the history of the constitutional interpretation of gun control. for squidpuppy’s benefit, since it’s right there in the thing that squidpuppy referenced, which is the controlling case at the moment. or do you lack that knowledge?

      • RofB, you just proposed exactly what JJ said has been offered up before – a law that makes it more difficult for a law abiding citizen to purchase guns, but does nothing to deter or prevent criminals from obtaining them.

        Do you really believe that criminals are going to register their firearms or turn in all non-registered firearms? How easy do you think it would be for criminals and cartels to just bring in more guns from our insanely porous southern border?

        • Rules of Blazon

          What I believe very sincerely is that unless there is an earnest, good-faith, genuinely bipartisan attempt at a legislative solution to the gun crisis that is signed into law very soon, we will get something like my proposed FFLRA irrespective of the issues you raise.

        • Indiana Pearl

          70% of guns in Mexico come from the U. S., not the other way around.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smuggling_of_firearms_into_Mexico

      • John Johnson

        Yeah, right. You can forget about that one.

      • Simply replace the words FFLRA with Carbon Credits etc. Dems always say we just want to help and somehow we always end up with larger government and a new tax.

    • Kozmo

      Why should guns be EASY to purchase anyway? Why are they easier to buy than cars (and less regulated)? When does my right to not be shot by random psychos trump your right to convenience?

      The weapons used in the Paris attack seem to have been smuggled in from Belgium. Anything that makes these crimes harder to pull off should be encouraged. If weapons flooded France like they do the USA, there would be a lot more of these massacres. The US has gotten off lucky, and we should thank two big oceans for this more than anything else.

      I mean, if I were a terrorist, I would be salivating at how easy it would be to come to the USA and buy all the guns I wanted easy as pie at any gun show, no questions asked. No smuggling necessary. A few dozen jihadists could shoot up shopping malls in a dozen states on the same day with weapons purchased legally and easily and blow the entire Christmas shopping economy apart.

      We’ve been extremely lucky.

  • Jed

    (2) there is if you compare countries.

  • Jerry Patterson

    Y’all need to move away from the talking points of the left, and to be fair, my side needs to move away from their talking points as well. There is no such thing as a “gun show loophole”. That is simply pejorative phrase coined by the anti gun lobby to fool the public. Go to a gun show and you will see the overwhelming number of transactions are by gun dealers who do a NICS check. If anyone is in the business of selling firearms, they must have an FFL, and they must do a background check. If you must use the term “loophole” the term should be “private transfer loophole” which if closed, would require me to do a NICS check for the shotgun I gave to my son last Christmas. There’s also the myth of the “online sales loophole”. A gun purchased online must be mailed to an FFL dealer who does a NICS check when the buyer picks up the gun. Assault weapons are another myth. Since the passage of the National Firearms Act in 1933, you cannot lawfully own or buy an assault weapon w/o permission of the BATF, permission of the local sherriff, life time registration and submission to ATF inspection, and paying a tax. That process takes a year. I know, I have a fully automatic weapon. As a retired Marine, I can tell you a weapon that is not full auto capable is not an assault weapon even if it looks the same. Actually, the alleged increase in lethality of so called assault weapons comes from the high capacity magazines and if you were honest you would call for their ban. Here’s the bottom line, those who say “we must do something” ARE the problem. We shouldn’t do something, we should do something that actually has an impact such as no guns for those on the no fly list, and better mental health and jihadi screening. Firearms homicides are down 50% in the last twenty years, from 7/100,00 population to 3.5/100,000. As I said, we have a nut job problem and repealing the 1st amendment would do far more than repealing the 2nd amendment to make us safer. Of course we can’t repeal either of them. JP

    • Rules of Blazon

      The heck we can’t. Keep denying there’s a gun problem and watch what happens.

    • dave in texas

      A ban on high capacity magazines, although a great idea and something that should have happened years ago, has no more chance of passage in this Congress than I do of becoming czar of all the Russias. Same thing with no guns for people on the no-fly list, which has already gotten ferocious resistance in Congress.

      • Jerry Patterson

        And, a high cap magazine ban wouldn’t make us any safer. There are millions of unserialized high cap mags out there, and changing out a magazine is so quickly and easily done that there’s no benefit to banning high cap mags. I don’t understand the no fly deal, unless the issue about folks finding themselves on the list for no reason can’t get off because of the bureaucracy. If there’s a will, there should be a way to fix it. I hate to say this, but while one side wants to create a list of folks who are allowed to have guns (I oppose that) maybe we should create a list of folks who can’t have guns, but only if there is a simple, reasonable, and don’t have to hire a lawyer method to get off the prohibited possessor list.

        • dave in texas

          Agreed, but only up to a point, about the high capacity magazine ban. It closely follows the argument that, since there are already more firearms than people in the US, it won’t do any good to ban firearms. Which is true, and which is also why you’ll never hear me calling for any kind of firearm ban or confiscation. Shoot (pun definitely intended), I own guns myself. Yes, there are already millions of high cap mags out there, but again, I don’t see anything wrong with making it more difficult to acquire them. Even if it only makes a difference around the margins, it’s still making a difference. Agree with you all around on can/can’t own lists.

          • Jerry Patterson

            I understand your point. As long as I can keep mine I’m OK with it! I also support the one gun a month law…as long as it requires you to buy one gun a month. Just kidding. I have too may guns I’ll never shoot already. JP

          • dave in texas

            Heh. Well, while I do want to keep my guns, my opposition to a ban or confiscation scheme is due to the unshirted chaos that would certainly ensue if someone was actually stupid enough to try it. It would make the mayhem we’re seeing now look like a walk in the park. You have a good weekend, Senator.

          • Jerry Patterson

            You too Dave. JP

          • WUSRPH

            I hope neither of you is ruling out the “voluntary” programs where people are paid to turn in their unwanted guns. I recognize you will get a lot of junk, much of which does not work, but if keeps two guns from killing someone it may be worth it.

          • dave in texas

            Oh no, not ruling that out at all, but I have my doubts as to how effective they actually are. Fewer would be better, of course, and the symbolism of it is valuable, but buy-back programs strike me as having kind of a spit-in-the-ocean effect.

          • WUSRPH

            Now, Jerry, if you were a better shot you would not need so many bullets in your gun. My excuse is that my eyes are not correctible to 20-20. What is yours?

          • Jerry Patterson

            The possibility of a target rich environment…

        • I think that the key to any “gun control” legislation, whether it is a list of prohibited owners, prohibitions on magazines or ammunition is to make sure that there are solid and easily executable elements of due process built into it.

          Mandatory safety education, annual licensing similar to automobile ownership are other reasonable ideas I have seen put forth.

      • Rules of Blazon

        More vodka and caviar, your majesty?

        • dave in texas

          heh. Yeah, that’s exactly what I meant. It’s OK. I quit drinking some years back, anyway.

  • Indiana Pearl

    Old white conservative males in southern states are most likely to own guns. Why?

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/07/15/the-demographics-and-politics-of-gun-owning-households/

    • WUSRPH

      That is a very complex question with an even more complex answer. Among the dozens of factors that would have to be considered would be everything from where a large plurality at the least originated (Scot-Irish) and the history and traditions of those regions to the impact of a strictly structured social order in which there was a perceived need to protect your status and “honor” thru the brutalizing impact of slavery and the fear of slave rebellions/retribution to such things as the rural nature of the South for most of its history. A good social scientist could spend a life-time exploring the questions and some probably have and will.

      • Indiana Pearl

        Global thinking is required. We nibble around the edges so far. Why are old white guys so fearful? The civil rights movement?

        • WUSRPH

          It is somewhat trite to say, but probably still basically true that it is not so much the Civil Rights Movement as much as what it represented—-the emergence of Blacks into a more open society where they could and do compete directly with whites. In a social structured society (as the South was much more than the north) the only pride a Poor White (some added the word Trash to the phrase) could have was his standing ABOVE all blacks, etc. That is now challenged. But that is only a very small portion of why the South is different and more violent. All the things I mentioned (above) and many others are part of the answer.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Did you read Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature”? He posits a reduction of violence in the world over time. His “murder map”‘of the U.S indicates higher rates of violence in the south which he attributes to a culture in the southern male of “honor,” in other words, old white guys get their tails in a knot more easily than old white guys elsewhere (run on sentence).

            There’s also an urban/rural divide and a racial divide. Black and brown folks want more gun control than whites.

          • WUSRPH

            A reduction of violence in the world over time is a nice thought….however, there are trends and developments already that suggest that that “over time” may be longer away than you would hope. Climate Change unless brought under some control, by itself, raises the prospect of food and water shortages in many parts of the world that may give rise to the greatest episode of large groups moving across the Earth since the Goths, Huns and Vandals crisscrossed the Roman Empire. This movement can be peaceful. But that is unlikely as the “haves” defend what they have from the “have nots”. (And we should not be so sure that we, at least in major parts of this country, will be the “haves”.)

        • BCinBCS

          Pearl, there is also a deep hunting tradition among some gun owners. Many of my relatives hunt(ed) and that is how I, now an old white guy, was exposed to the gun culture. (I don’t hunt but I LOVE to target shoot.)

          • Indiana Pearl

            My father taught me to shoot a revolver when I was seven years old. He called it “the old equalizer.” He also took me hunting and fishing, taught me how to skin a squirrel, and make squirrel stew.

            My father was a very fearful man.

  • Jerry Patterson

    I’m soon to tire of this debate and my final? comment relates to the proposal from Rules of Blazon. Don’t you understand that when folks like you advocate such draconian unconstitutional measures you make my side even more entrenched and less likely to support legislative measures that are doable and could make us safer? Don’t you know that when your side still refuses to embrace the fact that allowing citizens to carry handguns hasn’t resulted in the carnage you predicted we know you’re a hoplophobe and serious discussion with you is fruitless? When members of Congress state “no one should have the right to buy automatic weapons” (they haven’t since 1933) or “the 2nd Amendment doesn’t give you the right to own a tank or bazooka” (of course it doesn’t, we already know that) it becomes apparent that these members of Congress are stupid or lying or both and we refuse to deal with them? JP

    • Rules of Blazon

      I had to look up “hoplophobe.” (That shoe does not fit me personally, by the way.)

      See my response to Robbie C. My point is that unless our “sides” work something out and pass it into law very soon, we will ultimately get something like what I outlined — or even a modification of the Second Amendment.

      • Jerry Patterson

        You make a good point. Bad things for gun owners will happen sometime if there ain’t some REAL progress.

        • Jed

          bad things are already happening for a lot of others.

  • Jus’speakin’th’truth

    A moratorium on coverage (“If we don’t show it, it didn’t happen”) is almost as insane as prayers…

  • 1st amendment guarantees us the right to speak that upsets some as they want to control what we say…

    2nd amendment guarantees us the right to bear arms and that upsets some as they want to control what we do….

    The left is out of control and wants a totalitarian dictatorship.

    • WUSRPH

      Neither the first or second amendment is absolute. Ask your boy Scalia. He will explain it to you. Plus the first amendment guarantees only that the GOVT. shall not infringe your right to speak. He has nothing to do with whether the rest of us have to listen to you or to tolerate what you say.

      As to dictatorships—I haven’t seen any Democratic candidate advocating making lists of all Muslims in America and putting their places of worship under surveillance.. Nor has any Democrat advocated dragging American citizens out of their homes and shipping them overseas with their foreign born parents. GOP Candidates (PLURAL) have advocated both.

      • It must hack you off that Americans are protected by the 1st and 2nd amendments….

        • WUSRPH

          In fact. as I have said many times…I consider the Bill of Rights to be the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT DOCUMENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY. To me it is what made American different and superior to all other nations at the time of its adoption and, altho others have followed our lead, still makes us the shinning beacon of liberty to the world. But as usual, you do not care about the truth. You only care to make attacks. I pity you.

          • You sad old fool…..it is you I pity

          • WUSRPH

            I guess my pity of you serves no purpose other than to recognize how worthless of a life you have lived and how it has so poisoned you.

          • WASSUP why do you feel the need to personally attack? Are you not capable of discussing an issue?
            Look I get it you’re afraid.
            I respect your right to be afraid, now respect mine.

          • WUSRPH

            If I saw the world with your distorted vision I too would he very, very afraid…as you clearly are. But fortunate I see it as it is.

          • You see what the DNC tells you too….nothing more nothing less….

          • WUSRPH

            I am fairly confident that you have a closer relationship to the DNC than I do. (You are more than likely one of those political weirdoes who signs up with the opposition in order to be on their mailing and e-mail list so you can keep track of what “the enemy is up too.:”)

            Personally, I throw their stuff (and the stuff I am always getting from the GOP, as well) into the trash unopened.

            The last candidate I contributed any money to was Leticia VDP last year. The last one before that was John McCain in 2000. (I am still trying to get off the right wing mailing lists to whom he sold my name

            I did do some volunteer work for a few candidates over that period, such as for Hillary in 2008. But nothing for anyone so far this year….although I will probably at least put up a sign or two for a local candidate. And I have not had or wanted my picture taken with a candidate in more than 20 years…..You, however, are still trying for that Cruz shot.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Booksie is ” . . . a crazy old fat guy who has no friends.” “Old” is one of the descriptors.

          • BCinBCS

            And more importantly, the willingness of Americans, including the military, to follow the dictates of the Constitution make the U.S. the shining beacon of liberty to the world.

          • WUSRPH

            The Election of 1800 was perhaps one of the most significant events in American history. The lesson it taught us and the world about America has sustained us ever since, with the exception of 1860. I only hope the extremists of the far right and of the far left do not forget it in their demand that all of us live, think and act like they do.

  • allmaya

    Good discussion this.

    And little of it addresses the core of Ms. Grieder’s suggestion, namely, some restriction on reporting about mass shootings. If we can prohibit publishing the names of rape victims, it would seem we could prohibit publishing the names of mass shooters.

    Mass shooters are clearly crying out for attention.

    Let’s face it, millions of people are emotional about their need to own 68 firearms. There will be no significant gun control legislation at any point in this country. So if we a a society want to try something to stop these horrors, we need to start thinking outside of this tired box of gun legislation. I thank Ms. Grieder for at least trying to open this debate.

    Also want to thank Jerry Patterson for his openness to trying some gun control measures. The absolute stone inflexibility of the NRA makes me less likely to listen to their arguments.

    • Jed

      withholding attention from those seeking it in order to discourage their bad behavior is a parenting strategy, not a governing one.

      • allmaya

        True that. But why can’t we at least just try this? Try something like this with a five year expiration.

        You know, empiricism.

        I see very very limited choices in our societal toolbox here. Yes, there are other ideas in terms of gun control measures, but they aintgonnahappen.com.

        • Jed

          well if it’s voluntary, i think we know how it will turn out. but sure, you are welcome to try.

          but if you wanted to end coverage, it would have to be made mandatory, which as eg notes is unconstitutional. some amount of gun control has been ruled by SCOTUS to be consistent with the 2nd amendment (even scalia says so). whereas restricting news reporting (particularly but not exclusively political reporting) has been generally found flatly unconstitutional via the 1st.

    • Rules of Blazon

      If the “68 firearms” was an Alarm reference, I’d like to acknowledge the brilliance.

      • allmaya

        Oh how I would like to claim that brilliance!

        But alas, it is the number of guns a relative copped to having when queried over Thanksgiving.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Gun ownership is down from previous decades, so fewer people are owning more guns. Why? My family did not own guns. My spouse’s family did not own guns. We do not own guns. Few people I know own guns. So what’s the deal?

      There is an inchoate fear within a subset of the population that is assuaged by guns. What is the origin of that fear?

      • allmaya

        There was a movie made about your question Indiana: “Bowling for Columbine.”

        And, at the end of the movie, the moderator is just as puzzled as he was at the beginning.

        But let me take a stab.

        I like to travel. Have been to 61 countries (and, no, I am not a trustafarian, I simply never had children). What I have concluded from my travels is that Americans are more socially isolated than people are anywhere else.

        Mother Teresa said something to the effect that the loneliness in America is far more harmful than the poverty in India.

        Wouldn’t it make sense that this isolation breeds fear?

        • Indiana Pearl

          Possibly. Watching cable television does as well.

          Our society has changed significantly following WWII – civil rights progress, women’s rights, gay rights. There’s a subset of the population that fears change and think guns will save them from change.

          • TrulyJulie

            There’s a subset of the population that recognizes that another Hitler is able to happen anywhere the people are not vigilant to defend their liberties – a subset which understands that the only way American freedom was won from a tyrannical federal government was by the sweat, toil, and service of men and women who understood the need for self-defense and took it upon themselves to act accordingly. You may choose to call that fear. We call it diligence.

            “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” Thomas Jefferson

    • Hugh Everett

      The ultimate objective of the left is a steady, incremental outlawing of all private ownership of firearms.Americans will not cooperate with abridgement of the Second Amendment, and Democrats will pay a heavy price in the 2016 election.

      • allmaya

        Mr. Everett, if you will re-read my point above, you will see that we agree. I wrote:

        “There will be no significant gun control legislation at any point in this country.”

        Gun control is not going to be even in the Top 5 issues in the 2016 election. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, do you know what percentage of Texans have hunting licenses? 7%. And I would wager that culturally, the vast vast majority of this 7% would be voting R anyway.

  • WUSRPH

    I know I said I was tried of Cruz….BUT this article from NY magazine may be of interest. It tries to knock the props out from under his argument that the reason he can win next year is because there is an army of evangelicals out there who have not participated in the past but will flock to the polls to vote for him. It argues that they just are not there……..

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/12/ted-cruzs-imaginary-evangelical-army.html?om_rid=AAXQ58&om_mid=_BWYfV3B9IkYh9C

    • When Cruz wins you’ll be the first to jump on the band wagon.

      • WUSRPH

        As you used to say: Hah-Hah-Hah.

  • WUSRPH

    Here is a logical and rational analysis of the gun problem from the conservative National Review. It does not find universal background checks to be that bad of an idea. It is fortunate that the NR is not dependent on the NRA for its advertising revenue.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/nrd/articles/427936/fewer-guns-less-homicide

    • Jed

      leftist rag. they probably wish they had thought of the mommy strategy first!

  • I’m amazed that anyone would think that criminals won’t obtain guns if there is the lib utopia of gun control. If they don’t have access to guns, then they will use explosives or poisoning the water supply or something else.
    But JBB then that would be illegal!!!!!

    Does anyone really believe that murders began when guns were invented?

    You liberals are just going to have to face facts….you’re terrified of guns.

    • WUSRPH

      You mean Cain didn’t use a gun? Of course, Sampson used the jawbone of one your direct ancestors. (Which is almost as absurd of a statement as your entire post.)

      • I get it you’re afraid…its ok I’m not.

        • WUSRPH

          The only thing we have to fear is fear itself…..especially since there is absolutely no chance in billions that you will ever be in a position to affect any of us.

          • I respect your right to be afraid. Now go hide behind the women and children and let the men protect you.

      • dave in texas

        “jawbone of one of your direct ancestors” made me laugh out loud. Nicely done.

  • Garrett Menard

    don’t talk about them & they will go away or at least be a local problem ? really ?

  • “While they were originally sold legally, with magazine locking devices commonly known as bullet buttons, the rifles were subsequently altered in different ways to make them more powerful, according to Meredith Davis, a special agent with the ATF.”

    https://pjmedia.com/trending/2015/12/4/atf-says-weapons-used-in-san-bernardino-shooting-were-illegal-in-california

    Do the gun control nuts just not understand this?
    The guns used by the Islamic Terrorists were illegal.

  • Douglas Morris

    with far too numerous statements to address and the need to run I just have to say, the amount of folks wanting the surrender of arms, the surrender of Freedom and Liberty all I can say is enjoy that boot heel on your throat and remember it wont matter if its the left boot or right…

    • Jed

      or if it has “NRA” stenciled into the rubber sole?

      • Douglas Morris

        well, Jed,,,or is it Jeb…exactly when did the NRA try to take freedom from YOU,,remove your Liberty? oppress you in any way of form, and I mean YOU DIRECTLY not some fantasy strawman argument,,,please, where did they touch you, show us on the doll please..

        • Jed

          every bullet that finds its way into an innocent body is on your soul. good luck with that.

  • Common sense will never guide any discussion with democrats.
    Look back on Sept 11 2001. We had to reorganize our government after the damage done by the Clintons left us defenseless.
    Fast forward to 2008 and look at what the Obama admin has done to Homeland Security.
    The Obama admin can’t even utter the phrase Islamic Terrorists and we’re to trust them with more regulations?

  • Fantasy Maker

    As usual, reactionary liberals use this to go off and try to exploit their agenda. The guns in California were all purchased legally, it is appears that this health department Muslim was mad at his co workers over something. No new laws could have prevented this.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Wrong.

      • Fantasy Maker

        Pathetic reply, do you have anything of substance to add are you just that ignorant?

        • Indiana Pearl

          Ignorant? Me? If you read the news today, you’d know that the motive seems to be an affinity for ISIS (religion) and possibly a workplace dispute.

          Do your homework before you make a fool of yourself.

          • WUSRPH

            A “workplace dispute” that may have involved another employee who kept challenging the eventual shooter’s faith as not being a true religion.

          • Indiana Pearl

            More to be learned about the “workplace dispute.” The right wing stuck to the “bank robbery” motive for several days.

  • donuthin2

    Mental stability is very hard to determine at least until the subject commits a crime that is a strong indicator. Unfortunately, merely showing uncontrollable anger or even controllable anger probably doesn’t meet the criteria. In my mind, those who are obsessed with owning every kind of gun and against any additional regulations show signs of irrationality that would disqualify them. I know that I am probably in the minority, at least in Texas. A few on this blog show signs of mental instability that would limit their ability to own guns in my view. Even those that argue the constitutional issues are so irrational that I question whether they should own guns beyond a limited few.

    • 1 in 5 have mental issues…1 in 5 in the US are liberals prompting this famous quote “liberalism is a mental illness.
      Sounds like all we have to do is keep the guns out of liberals hands.
      I propose we register liberals and when they try to purchase guns they undergo a psychological test.
      And we know that many shooters who kill innocent people often get their gun from someone else. So that is the next step prosecute those who own guns that are used in crimes. ie a gang in Mississippi sends guns to Chicago to a gang buddy. Prosecute both. But what if a gun is stolen? my my my big government can’t solve any of our problems.
      Now we’re getting somewhere….huh libs?

  • George Erb

    It’s a simple as this for me: there are evil, demented people out there with a perverted religious zealotry that inspires them to walk into a disability center and kill innocent folks. I carry because if this is world we now live in, if there is no assured way to keep those evil bastards from getting the weapons needed to inflict such harm (which realistically there isn’t) then I will do my best to shoot straight and hit my intended targets to protect myself, my family, and my community despite the adrenaline. My fight or flight guttural reaction will be fight, thank you very much. Taking my guns away, or making me out to be an incompetent villain for carrying one WILL NEVER STOP the kind of terrorism we saw in San Bernadino. Only good guys with guns and the willingness to carry them will.

    • WUSRPH

      I agree about there being “evil, demented people out there” but I find that they are not just those with “a perverted religious zealotry”. There certainly are some irrational religious zealots out there—Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish or whatever—but there are some who fit your description with no religious connection of beliefs at all. How do you explain them?

      • George Erb

        Indeed. You are correct. I did not mean to imply all bad actors are demented from a religious perversion (though I have never been exposed to any information to implicate Hindu or Buddhist folks as bad actors, but that aside), just that the current fear is that ISIS would support and export such violence in the name of their religion AS THEY KNOW IT, not as it is. In any case, if I’m watching a movie and someone starts to shoot the place up, I won’t be wondering about their motivation(s) but rather how quickly I can pull my weapon and negotiate to take a shot, and of course, that my aim is true. I really am done trying to explain the bar acts of others. But I think you’d have to agree that in these modern times, no one has ever been fearful of offending a Christian

        • WUSRPH

          Religious intolerance is not limited to Christians, Muslims and Jews…It is universal..

          • George Erb

            Define intolerance. On the surface I agree. But there are benign intolerance that’s more stupidity, and there’s violent intolerance which is scary.

          • WUSRPH

            I think violent attacks involving the destruction of Muslim houses of worship and the murder of Muslims by Hindu fanatics qualifies as “violent intolerance” . The same goes for Burmese Buddhists. As well as for Egyptian Christians attacking Coptic Christians and Muslim Extremists killing Muslims of other sects (Sunni v. Shite, Allawaites, or Druse etc ) or Kurds. It ain’t all Arabs killing Christians.

        • WUSRPH

          Which “gunman” are you going to aim at when several of you have pulled guns and are exchanging fire across the darkened theater? Picking the one doing the most shooting might not work…because it might be a “good guy” responding to the bad guy….Picking the one most are shooting at might work….you’d assume if several were shooting at him he must be the bad guy….but what if there are several bad guys shooting at one good guy?
          It seems simple when you say you will fight back…but things can (and do) get very, very complicated, very, very fast in a fire fight.

  • WUSRPH

    The Texas GOP party executive committee today voted down two major proposals. The first would have a “should Texas secede from the Union?” proposition on the ballot. The second was to move their State Convention away from Dallas so that people like the Troll would not have to be worried that some female undergoing a transgender transition might come into the men’s room and hassle them. Somebody must have told them about how the last time we seceded worked out just 150 years ago last April. Darn, had they put that on the ballot, it might have given some of us an excuse to vote GOP. I, personally, haven’t done that since 1970.

    • All bored state workers automatically vote dem as instructed…

      • WUSRPH

        If they do, it must be because their Republican bosses tell them to do so since, as you keep reminding us, the GOP has controlled all levels of state government for the last 20 years.

        Now you be careful in those Dallas bathrooms…..You are probably just the type the female transgenderites will find especially appealing you being such a self-declared “MAN”..

        • Do you find me especially appealing?

          • WUSRPH

            Repellent is more like it…Remember, I have seen what you actually look like.

          • Or so you think…
            Here’s what is important I don’t care what you look like.
            I’m just here to teach you how to discuss issues….

          • WUSRPH

            It isn’t your body that is repellent…although, like most of us, you do not resemble the “American ideal”….It is your thoughts.

            As to discussing issues. I do and have, but it is hard to discuss anything with a man who begins with the at least once daily declaration that “All Democrats are evil, liars, cheats, 47%ers who are to stupid to think” and so forth and who thinks that constitutes discussion.

          • You will learn how to think and discuss issues….or maybe you will quit again.

          • WUSRPH

            I learned both from real experts years ago….there is nothing that can be learned from a ideologue like you.

          • Ok then I will teach you how to stand and pee…like a man.

          • WUSRPH

            I supposed you also have competitions to see who can pee the farthest. Something for little boys like you who never grew up.

      • Indiana Pearl

        Since your “business” sucks state funds big time, you are “prima facie” a state worker.

  • Diary of a liberal…
    “Dear diary They told me he was the smartest person ever.
    They gave him a Nobel peace prize….
    They said if you didn’t agree with him you were racist….
    I feel like such a fool…they lied.”

  • WUSRPH

    The New York Times ran an editorial on its FRONT PAGE this morning. This is the first time since 1920 that the Times has printed an editorial anywhere other than on its editorial page.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/05/opinion/end-the-gun-epidemic-in-america.html?
    emc=edit_th_20151205&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=7620800&_r=0

    Needless-to-say, it is about guns and terrorism. The NRA and friends and most on the political right will, of course, condemn it because (1) it is the NY Times and (2) because they will not like what it says (even thou many of them will not bother to read it).

    Anytime the Nation’s “Paper of Record” feels so strongly about a subject, it behooves us all to consider what it has to say. Please at least read it before attacking it.

    • the NY Times has no credibility…and is mostly used to line the bottom of bird cages.

      • Indiana Pearl

        The Blaze is used to wrap up used kittly litter.

        • TrulyJulie

          Really? Using a DIGITAL news-source to wrap up kitty litter *is* quite a feat.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Those who should most read this piece won’t do so.

  • Indiana Pearl

    Christian non-combatant Ted Cruz plans to carpet bomb the middle east:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/cruz-isil-bombing-216454

    • WUSRPH

      “collateral damage” (dead wives and children) are acceptable to a “old Testament” Christian like Cruz and his Daddy but that guy who brought us a “New Convenant” of love they neighbor, do unto others and stuff like that might have some trouble with this idea.

      • Indiana Pearl

        More like Calvinism than OT Judaism . . .

        Ted is an ACOAA – Adult Child of an Alcoholic. These individuals have a distinct psychological profile:

        http://www.searidgealcoholrehab.com/article-adult-children-of-alcoholics.php

        • WUSRPH

          Actually, he is just trying to “out Trump Trump”….who came out for killing their families earlier in the week. Ted is desperate to be attractive to the people who are avid for Trump but he has one problem with many of them—he’s a foreigner and a Hispanic.

          There’s a lot of that “kill all of them” stuff in the Old Testament……Those coming back from Egypt were particularly savage when it came to “ethnic cleansing” of the area.

        • John Johnson

          What are you?

      • John Johnson

        No. No they don’t. No we won’t. As I have stated before, if pushed hard enough, I believe the Middle East will eventually get lit up…and I would not want to be a Muslim living here in the U.S. It is only going to get worse.

    • WUSRPH

      I think all candidates for public office (above the state level) should be required to complete a course in military history, strategy and tactics. Maybe if they learned something about it before shooting off their mouths public discourse on subjects like what to do to ISIS would be just a tiny bit more realistic. In this case, I would require Cruz to have read at least a summary of the results of the Strategic Bombing Survey from WWII and/or an analysis of the effectiveness of the bombing of Baghdad (“Shock and Awe”) and Vietnam. Of course, it wouldn’t stop him from making political statements for their political effect but, at least, he would know that what he was talking about is hogwash.

    • WUSRPH

      While more bombing (which is underway) will certainly help—especially it if it “targeted” at strategically important sites—such as fuel, etc.—might help… the very fact that he is advocating this and Trump is advocating killing the families of ISIS members, is is just another justification for a requirement that all candidates for public office (above the state level) should be required to complete a course in military history, strategy and tactics before filing for office. Maybe if they learned something about it before shooting off their mouths public discourse on subjects like what to do to ISIS would be just a tiny bit more realistic.

      In this case, I would require Cruz to have read at least a summary of the results of the Strategic Bombing Survey from WWII and/or an analysis of the effectiveness of the bombing of Baghdad (“Shock and Awe”) and Vietnam. Of course, it wouldn’t stop him from making political statements for their political effect but, at least, he would know that what he was talking about is less than hogwash.

    • WUSRPH

      While more bombing (which is underway) will certainly help—especially it if it “targeted” at strategic important sites—such as fuel, etc.–rather than wasteful carpet bombing, the fact that Cruz is proposing this is only another reason for a requirement that all candidates for public office (above the state level) should be required to complete a course in military history, strategy and tactics before filing for office. Maybe if they learned something about it before shooting off their mouths public discourse on subjects like what to do to ISIS would be just a tiny bit more realistic.

      In this case, I would require Cruz to have read at least a summary of
      the results of the Strategic Bombing Survey from WWII and/or an analysis of the effectiveness of the bombing of Baghdad (“Shock and Awe”) and Vietnam. Of course, it wouldn’t stop him from making political statements for their political effect but, at least, he would know that what he was talking about is less than hogwash.

      The fact is that air power cannot defeat something like ISIS which
      is as much of an idea as it is a physical thing.

      • donuthin2

        If we could ever effectively find a way to screen for mental stability to own guns, we should quickly require political candidates to go through the same screening.

  • WUSRPH

    But I thought he only voted his conscience and never for political reasons:

    From Politico:
    Cruz flips vote on ag issue critical for Iowa

    With the Iowa caucuses less than two months away, Ted Cruz seemed to have an epiphany Thursday night on one of the state’s — and agricultural lobby’s — biggest issues in Congress. The GOP senator from Texas initially voted with fiscal hard-liners to retain $3 billion in crop insurance cuts that were made as part of a budget deal approved in October. After a visit to the Senate cloakroom, Cruz returned and flipped his vote to side with farming interests, which ultimately prevailed. The crop insurance votes were part of a debate on a highway bill, which Cruz opposed on a final vote, calling it fiscally irresponsible.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Everything Cruz does is political.

      • John Johnson

        And how about our WPE distorting intelligence reports for political gain just before the ’12 elections? How about Harry Reid lying about Romney and then saying, “it worked, didn’t it?” when confronted with his lie. Any grenade lobbed in one direction can justifiably be thrown back where it came from. Both sides suffer from the same weaknesses and afflictions.

        • Indiana Pearl

          “WPE”! Blah . . .

        • WUSRPH

          But, as you have told us several times, Cruz is above all that. He is fighting the “go along to get along” Washington insiders and fighting against all these “special interest” programs—except. it appears. when it is good politically for him not to.

          • John Johnson

            Where did I ever say he was “above all that”? What I have said is that he pokes everyone in the eye and has never seemed to be beholding to any special interests. He hints at reigning in Wall Street and Big Banks, getting rid of the ACA, shutting down Fed gov departments, changing the tax code, and doing away with subsidies (until this weekend). I have asked Konni Burton, who is in Iowa campaigning for Cruz, to explain his farm subsidy flip flop when voting on the transportation bill. It appears he thinks that winning Iowa is more important than staying the course. I don’t like it. I expect him to say that the little farmers need help and he did not want to put the screws to them…that the mega farmers are the ones needing to be removed from the subsidy roles, and that he will get this changed as President.

  • WUSRPH

    A articulate and worth reading alternative to the NYT view that stresses the constitutional reasons and the “first they came for ….” arguments against one of the gun control proposals being put forward that would ban people on the “no-fly list” from buying guns.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/12/let-suspected-terrorists-buy-guns.html#

  • Democrats say “trust us” if you just allow us to take an inch on gun control, we will never try to take a mile……..
    hahaha

  • The wordsmiths or as they like to call themselves the “smartest people in the world” love to assign labels, ie one writer actually wrote this, “I’m a communitarian not a libertarian.”
    Here’s how we Texans do it, you’re a liberal or a conservative. So pick a side and no fence sitting.
    You either want to control other’s lives or you mind your own business.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Folks say you’re from Louisiana.

      • Folks say you’re from up North…

        • Indiana Pearl

          So are you a Texan or an alien?

          • American and you?

          • Indiana Pearl

            American born since the 1600s.

          • You were born in the 1600s, or have been voting since then?

          • Indiana Pearl

            Your not a native Texan. Stop with the macho stuff.

          • I’ve wrestled many brown breasted bed shakers so you don’t scare me.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Is a bird in the trees in your back yard?

          • Indiana Pearl

            I was born yesterday, but not last night.

  • Speaking of the definition of insanity..

    “BREAKING: Senior defense official: Defense Secretary Carter to open all combat jobs to women in historic change.”

    Numerous DOD studies have shown all male units are more effective in combat.

    • Indiana Pearl

      How would you know? You’ve never met one. You never saw combat.

      • tell us about your combat experience….you didn’t? OIC.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Nope, but I’m not bragging about my courage either.

          • This is Texas, it ain’t bragging if you’re doing it

          • WUSRPH

            You seem to do a lot of bragging about your manhood. Maybe you do more bragging than walking.

          • It ain’t bragging ifn you can do it. You however can’t do it.

          • Indiana Pearl

            “Tell us what you didmin the war, Daddy.”

            You can’t.

          • actually I can but why waste my breath on those who like to call our vets baby killers and spit on them.

          • Indiana Pearl

            I’ve never called our vets “baby killers” or spit on them. You, however, make frequent references to rape, pederasty, and excretory functions.

          • Yes those comments are the majority of my comments…..hahaha
            wow in the gin already….

          • Indiana Pearl

            No sir. Not stupid either.

          • Convince me…..so far you’re all hat and no cattle…

          • Indiana Pearl

            No hat and no cattle . . . not my shtick.

            You’re a phony . . . not a native Texan, never saw combat.

          • I keep forgitting you don’t speak Texan

          • WUSRPH

            No, but they are the only ones that make sense.

          • WUSRPH

            There he goes bragging again. Of course, the biggest braggarts always turn out to be the least able to do what they are bragging about.

          • said the blowhard….

          • WUSRPH

            If you notice, I don’t do that much bragging…My record supports itself….Unlike you, I don’t have to inflate my accomplishments.

          • I’m pretty sure you’re nothing but hot air…..

          • WUSRPH

            You are “pretty sure” about a lot of things that are totally false……

          • Indiana Pearl

            Low T . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            What does that mean?

          • You ain’t Texan you won’t get it.

          • Indiana Pearl

            You ain’t Texan either! Show us your birth certificate!

      • John Johnson

        Is that your position? That no one can comment on military combat or military policy unless they have been in the line of fire while wearing a military uniform? Really?

        • I’m never surprised by how the left hates our vets.

          • Indiana Pearl

            You’re the guy who insulted vets recently by calling them names.

            PHONY!

          • Actually I didn’t, are you imbibing again

        • Indiana Pearl

          If they’re going to beat their chest about “heroism,” absolutely. I was in the Brownie Scouts. All same same.

          • John Johnson

            I must have missed the chest beating stuff you refer to.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Try harder.

  • Another great day in Texas….

    “Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 910, the Texas Open Carry Bill for Concealed Handgun Holders, into law. The law becomes effective on January 1, 2016.
    and
    Abbott said he will be signing the Campus Carry Bill (SB 11) into law later today at another location.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2015/06/13/texas-governor-signs-open-carry-bill-into-law-campus-carry-also-signed/

    Meanwhile dems worship at mosque with terror ties…

    “POLITICS
    House Democrats Attend Service at Virginia Mosque ‘In Solidarity With American Muslims’

    Dec. 5, 2015 11:33am Kaitlyn Schallhorn

    A group of House Democrats attended a prayer service at a Northern Virginia mosque on Friday and expressed their solidarity with the country’s Muslims.
    The mosque of choice for the elected officials, as reported by the Washington Times, is the same mosque that Anwar al-Awlaki, an accused al Qaeda recruiter, served as an imam at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Washington Examiner reported that some of the hijackers worshipped at the mosque as well as the Fort Hood shooter.”

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/12/05/house-democrats-attend-service-at-virginia-mosque-in-solidarity-with-american-muslims/

    are dems tone deaf? I betting they are more than tone deaf, I suspect there is some stupid mixed in there, too.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Breitbart and The Blaze have no credibility.

      • Of course not Brietbart broke the Lewinisky scandal
        Brietbart offered a cash challenge for proof when ex-speaker Pelosi falsely alleged tea partiers were calling her and other dems racists names….not one shred of proof turned up.
        Andrew Brietbart became a legend exposing dems…as the msm media tried to cover for them.

  • WUSRPH

    As long as anyone is considering gun control legislation that cannot be passed, why not add a law prohibiting the purchase by civilians of any long arm (more than a pistol or revolver) that resembles a military firearm. Half the reason the gun-tooting types buy the things is that it lets them dream about being special forces, Seals or front-line combat troops. If they had to buy rifles that look just like plain old hunting rifles it would take virtually all the fun out of it and the reason for the purchase. (Me, I’d be perfectly happy with a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch style rifle. Its action is the perfection of the M-14 military weapon but it looks like any other old rifle.)

    • John Johnson

      Agree. The mini-14 is a great rifle, but the cat is out of the bag. How many of the assault rifles are already out there? You going to suggest that people come forward and divulge and register current weapons and ammo they own? Not going to happen.

      • WUSRPH

        As I said “gun control legislation that cannot be passed” but isn’t it sad that so many need these kinds of deadly toys to make them feel powerful. Are their male egos that tender?

        • John Johnson

          Could not tell you. All I know is that you are not going to get the American gun owner to register weapons they own that are currently not registered. That is a nonstarter. If a bill was offered up that banned the purchase of assault style rifles while also addressing the addition of the mentally ill and others to the no buy list, maybe it would get more traction.

        • Male egos? You’re such a feminist pedant. Men like guns because we see them as a tool and admire different ones for different reasons, not something to be afraid of because it is noisy.
          Now if you seriously want to talk about a male ego lets talk about liberals and their cars.

          • WUSRPH

            It is more than pathetic that you apparently need a hard steel extension to make you feel like a man.

          • is that your fantasy?

          • WUSRPH

            No, but it certainly appears to be yours. I bet you just shiver all over whenever you play with your gun.

    • I have one of those “military” firearms. Part of the allure is that you can buy parts and customize them to your heart’s desire. Assembling the rifle is fun in and of itself. This makes owning a rifle that the average person can afford easier since you can buy the parts as you can afford them. Another alluring thing about them is that you can choose the caliber of ammunition you wish to fire with it. Then there is the ability to easily make the rifle fit any body size from very short armed to some one with long arms. Another feature is that the lower – this is the part with the serial number that you have to buy or have shipped to a FFL holder to obtain.

      The only real difference between a traditional looking rifle and a
      military style rifle is how it looks. There is a world of difference
      between a semi-automatic and a fully automatic weapon. I have fired
      both.

      Let’s define single action/manual feed, semi-automatic, automatic for those who throw these terms about guns without understanding what they mean.

      Single action manual feed – one shot fired per trigger pull, casing is ejected and new cartridge is inserted manually into the firing chamber by either a lever, bolt, or by inserting the cartridge by hand.

      Semi-automatic – one shot fired per trigger pull, casing is ejected and new cartridge is inserted automatically into the firing chamber.

      Automatic – multiple shots fire upon trigger pull, casings and cartridges are automatically inserted into the firing chamber.

      Cartridge – bullet, gunpowder and firing cap.

      Here’s a fun fact, many of the traditional looking rifles are semi-automatic. So are many shotguns.

      BTW I am a woman so no testosterone rush here.

      • WUSRPH

        “Another feature is that the lower – this is the part with the serial number that you have to buy or have shipped to a FFL holder to obtain.”

        Actually, you may be able to get the lower without going thru a FFL holder. There is a company here in Austin that sells “incomplete” lowers to people all over the country. They are complete except for a couple touches of machining and the firm sells you the tool to do that. It is the same outfit that was pushing the 3-D printing plastic gun. There was a lengthy story in the local media about it recently.

        • Yes, you can buy a lower that hasn’t been finished without going through an FFL. It’s basically a chunk of un-machined metal. And unless you have some experience with using a machine to hollow out the proper amounts from that metal I wouldn’t consider that lower safe to fire, nor is it easy to do even with a “tool”. It’s really not a DIY project for amateurs.

          • WUSRPH

            The difference between what you are talking about and the product this Austin firm provides is that their lower is virtually finished. It requires only a couple of minor changes and they provide both the instructions on how to finish it and the equipment you need. It is much more than a chunk of un-machined metal and can be finished by anyone able to follow their simple instructions. In short, they have found a way to sidestep the FFL requirement.

          • I remember the 3d printing article about guns and the firm here in Austin, I’ll need to do some research but what you are describing is troubling. I also would have reservations on how safe such a firearm would be made with one of those parts.

  • squidpuppy

    Erica this is the only thing I have read that makes sense. I’d love to see a moratorium on the cable news coverage of mass shootings. I’d also love for the CDC to study in detail the phenomena. Thanks for your writing. It is a pleasure to read a well considered and well constructed perspective on this.

    The circus on national news could well legitimize the mass shooting act. . . would it be useful to medically/psychologically study the surviving perpetrators of mass shootings? Like we studied Ted Bundy to see how he ticked and understand why he killed? Have we learned anything about motives from Tim McVey or the Aurora shooter?

    • squidpuppy

      I know McVey was not a shooter but it could be instructive as a perp of mass murder..

    • WUSRPH

      After the UT-Tower shootings of 1966 Gov. Connally created a special commission to find out how a “good American boy…former Marine” could do such a thing. After months and months of study, the best they could come up with was that he had a small (pea-sized) brain tumor. In a bizarre touch of irony, the so-called “campus carry” law will go into effect on the 50th anniversary of Charles Whitman’s killing spree. Coincidence or someone’s weird idea of a symbolic date?

  • Unwound

    ban them all. im going to turn my chefs knife into the police department tomorrow

  • motorcyclerider

    Mother Jones, defined Mass Shooting as 4 or more victims if I recall.

    Then they turned that upside down to say that no one has ever stopped a Mass Shooting with their personal gun….because citizens with their personal guns pretty much ALWAYS have stopped such things before 4 or more folks were murdered.

    Therefore, personal guns are never used to stop Mass Shooting. Darkly hilarious and hypocritical.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Got any data to support that hypothesis?

      Personally, I’d rather not have a freaked-out “good guy with a gun” anywhere near me in an active shooting episode. They’re just as dangerous as the demented shooter.

      • WUSRPH

        As I understand it, FEDERAL LAW establishes the 4 dead standard for calling something a mass shooting…not Mother Jones.

        • Gary Denton

          Mother Jones can’t decide on what standard to use but protested low standards.
          FBI uses 4 dead.
          Shootingtracker is the best maintained database and uses four dead or wounded.

  • Douglas Morris

    your facts are fine and probably some truth buried up there somewhere..not sure of your sources..and I highly doubt you’re a gunner in any form or fashion.and the majority of police I’ve known, and running food and liquor ops for 40 years, I’ve met a lot of them, I would say 90% of LEO are NOT Gun Guys and only qualify if and when they have to and rarely shoot their weapons..Personally, I am trained on combat handgun, rifle and shotgun. I shoot weekly, I know dozens of others who are as well and there are 10’s of 1000’s of trained military vets out there walking around with the average sheeple..under stress no one knows how they’re going to react. No one knows they’re going to get all rounds on target. BuT using last weeks episode alone, were one person legally armed, had trained with their weapon and taken out both these asshole islamists after the first round or two or at least managed to get them to tur and run as cowards don’t take return fire very well, and accidently 1 or 2 innocents were hit by said return fire BUT 12 or 13 more people were still alive or 15 or 16 less people were wounded..you think that sucks and want to disarm We the People, you’re nothing more than a left wing fascist who’d walk my children to the gas chambers were you ordered by Fearless Leader..

    http://controversialtimes.com/issues/constitutional-rights/12-times-mass-shootings-were-stopped-by-good-guys-with-guns/

    • BCinBCS

      Douglas, I could agree with you somewhat until I read that I’m “nothing more than a left wing fascist who’d walk (your) children to the gas chambers were (I) ordered by Fearless Leader. That reveals your true colors, an ass.

      First – so you’re a “gunner”. BFD. You admit that most LEO’s are not as well trained as you and neither are most civilians, including most who take concealed handgun carry courses. Yet you think that the solution is to arm everyone. Well what happens when as WUSRPH stated:
      “Which “gunman” are you going to aim at when several of you have pulled guns and are exchanging fire across the darkened theater? Picking the one doing the most shooting might not work…because it might be a “good guy” responding to the bad guy….Picking the one most are shooting at might work….you’d assume if several were shooting at him he must be the bad guy….but what if there are several bad guys shooting at one good guy?”
      And that doesn’t take into account the statistics that I quoted about trained police or the probability of what would happen with even less trained civilians. So I see your solution to the problem as not much of a solution.

      Second – it appears that you get most of your exercise by jumping…to conclusions. You stated that I want to “disarm We the People”. Wrong! (bad jump) I support the Constitution. I also support the restrictions to the rights granted in the Constitution. I suspect that you think that I don’t own guns. Wrong again. As a matter of fact I’ve taken a CHL course and know what a joke it is for preparing a person for life threatening emergency situations. And yes, I’m a damned good shot but even so, I suspect that my aim would be horrible in an active shooter situation and so would that of 99% of most people. So again I repeat: I see your solution to the problem as not much of a solution.

      • Douglas Morris

        BuT using last weeks episode alone, were one person legally armed, had trained with their weapon and taken out both these asshole islamists after the first round or two or at least managed to get them to tur and run as cowards don’t take return fire very well, and accidently 1 or 2 innocents were hit by said return fire BUT 12 or 13 more people were still alive or 15 or 16 less people were wounded..you think that sucks, answers? You’d rather I die on my knees, I refuse to, nor will I allow another, including you, if giving the option. and lastly, I am not an ass, I’m a prick…and proud of it..and you still rather see the loss of a dozen innocents rather than the loss of one while protecting the majority? and I’m an ass

        • Douglas Morris
        • BCinBCS

          DM, I stand corrected: As you state, you aren’t an ass, just a prick. (-:

          I want to reiterate, I’m not trying to take away your guns. I am trying to point out the stupidity of your argument that in a public setting “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”. You and Really Disgusted posit that it’s better to shoot at a gunman or terrorist, even with collateral damage, than to do nothing. And, on the surface, that’s true.

          But let’s do a thought experiment: Suppose I’m a terrorist or someone wanting to become famous by perpetrating a mass killing. Because your argument is so convincing, everyone in the U.S has armed themselves and I know that when I pull my gun it’s going to elicit a hail of return fire. According to you: problem solved. Right?

          Well, I may not be the smartest terrorist in the world but it wouldn’t take a lot of mental power to realize that instead of shooting up the place all I would have to do is bring some pipe bombs.

          Now I can hear you thinking: “Yea, but we would shoot you before you could get more than one exploded”. But what if I lit most or all of them and then proceeded to throw them? What if, like most terrorists and mass killers, I didn’t expect to get out alive so I used a suicide vest?

          Again, I don’t want to take away your guns. I’m merely trying to point out that your solution to the problem is not much of a solution. (It’s like that asinine solution to the immigration problem – build a taller, longer wall. If they do, I’m going to invest in companies that sell taller ladders.)

          • Douglas Morris

            well, now you’re wrong on two points…guns and the wall between our WELFARE STATE and the rest of the world…the Muslim fundamentalist in Cali last week had pipe bombs, a “pipe bomb factory” were the exact words,,and thankfully the don’t know sheite about making pipe bomb ignition systems..you fail to answer my argument, just continue with the strawman arguments..what ifs etc.typical alinskyite argumentive form, so I”m done, You’re wrong. and I will Not be disarmed, my Grandchildren wont be disarmed and God help those looking thru the rose colored glasses seeing our society NOT failing, our cities turning to crumbling ruins full of crime ala Detroit and an increased threat if ISlam knocking on your local mall at Christmas time with actual full auto AK’s and real grenades thanks to our Open border policies we’re currently observing..I have nothing else to argue with you, please enjoy POTUS Hillary’s reign over a once free America and embrace the ruins that will remain..

          • BCinBCS

            Overreacting there a little bit Douglas?

            Your cult of victimization and your fearfulness explains a lot about you attitude toward guns.

            Ya know, I grew up in the same type of fearfulness except instead of Muslims it was communists. I guess every generation has to have its boogeyman.

    • Really Disgusted

      Better to have the opportunity to get any rounds on target than not having the option!

    • don76550

      Exactly right

  • This may not be the definition of insanity but it should be the poster for it….
    Praise allah

  • “We’re in greater danger today than we were the day after Pearl Harbor. Our military is absolutely incapable of defending this country.

    Ronald Reagan”

    Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/pearl_harbor.html#PoDkWAbaiEum0zlH.99

    Remember our vets on this Pearl Harbor day.

  • Gary Denton

    Australia had a conservative gun culture like us. They had a bad mass shooting and said enough is enough and all states heavily regulated guns in 1996 with strong federal support.
    Since then they have had two mass shootings, defined as four or more casualties while we have had thousands.
    This year we have had over 380 mass shootings. They have had zero.
    Let that sink in.
    In addition to almost no more mass shootings murder rates are down as are successful suicides and shootings of all kinds.
    Did this eliminate violence and crime in Australia?
    No, of course not, but they saw the mass shooting problem and almost completely fixed that while still permitting responsible adults to have guns.
    I am licensed to carry guns but I don’t.

    • Jerry Patterson

      Your 380 mass shootings number is bogus. It includes people shot during gunfights between gangs for example. Read the recent article in that bastion of conservatism, the Washington Post, that debunked that number. Quit using the Violence Policy Center talking points. They’re full of lies. While the NRA clearly has an agenda, and I don’t always agree with them, they don’t fabricate their numbers like the VPC.

      • Gary Denton

        And gun fights between gangs are not mass shootings?
        The “bastion of conservatism, the Washington Post”, at least we agree on something. That So-Called-Liberal-Media hasn’t been liberal since the 70’s, if then. Check some of the editors and columnists of that magazine
        The Violence Policy Center clearly states their definitions, unlike the NRA which has to redo it’s wall statements when they change their policies and is still afraid to post the complete 2nd Amendment.

  • Gary Denton

    The article is incorrect. States with more regulations tend to have have fewer gun deaths.

    • BillMiller66

      States like Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Utah as opposed to places like Camden, Chicago, and Washington, DC?

      In New Hampshire, any adult not otherwise disabled by law can strap on a handgun with no license needed. Oh boy, New Hampshire must be a pretty dangerous place, right Gary?

  • Here’s some logic so democrats won’t get it….
    The democrat said “I can’t understand why someone needs so many guns.”
    So I said “why does a musician ie a guitar picker need more than one guitar?”
    silence…..the low information voter was tone deaf much like our prez.

  • At least we’d have a chance and not be helpless sheep. And since you’re throwing around numbers,how about the numbers on the bad guys’ shooting abilities. I guess in your antigun world,the thugs are a bunch of cold blooded,superefficient killing machines that hit their marks every time without blinking. Since I belong to the been in a gunfight club,I can assure you that it’s beyond chaotic and happens in a flash. I’d rather die on my feet than on my knees.

  • don76550

    I would take limiting journalist sensationalizing these crimes a step further. If any link could be found between sensationalized and excessive coverage and another tragedy, that journalist should be arrested and charged as an accessory to murder. When some of these propagandists start going to jail, maybe they will rethink their incredibly irresponsible behavior.

  • don76550

    Some common demonators in mass shootings – they are in gun free zones. The shooters are either democrats or come from democrat families. Most are on psychotrophic drugs imposed by school for no legitimate medical indication. School get more money per student for those they put on drugs. Those drugs alter the brain. Violent video games desensitize individuals to killing. Violent video games has been used by the military for exactly that reason. The news media sensationalizes these nuts and glorifies them, thus inducing copy cat killers.