July 24, 2012

"People don't stop killers. People with guns do."

A column from 2007, after the Virginia Tech murders.

Instapundit has been calling attention to it, including the way it's now #1 on the “Most Popular” list at the New York Daily News.  I'm especially glad to see that, because it was the Daily News that published the editorial with the despicable (and titillating headline) "Blood on hands of Obama, Mitt and NRA!"

The subheadline was "Condolences are empty words - what actions are you gonna take?"
We can see actions Instapundit recommends.

88 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I've read several articles that question how a person with a gun would have fared against Holmes' SWAT attire. Speculation up and down both sides of the argument.

I've not quite understood how a government entity like a state-supported school can blanket ban weapons. But maybe the Constitutions of Virginia and Tennessee and Wisconsin address gun rights a bit differently than the Federal Constitution.

AFG said...

Ya ok. So a guy gets up and starts shooting in a theater, a second audience member carrying a gun stands up and starts shooting at him. How exactly do the 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc people know who to shoot? This would be a recipe for more bloodshed in this instance. A dozen people in a theater all assuming they are identifying the correct threat and taking appropriate action. Easy to see how this would turn in to a much, much worse scenario.

tim said...

"tactical" does not mean bulletproof. Think wannabe. He was wearing nylon not kevlar do he was as bulletproof add you or i.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Those 3 guys who died shielding their girl friends I assume would have had something of a shot had they been armed. Aurora is an area where you'd pretty much be arrested if you carried a gun. OTOH if you set out to mass murder people you only have to carry once.

tim said...

Afg, I can find you thousands of crimes stopped by good guys (civilian) with a gun (one in Aurora even, that was intended as a mass shooting), with the help of google. Find me just a couple that have taken place as you posit.

Phil said...

How exactly do the 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc people know who to shoot? If guy one keeps shooting after guy two stops shooting, shoot guy one. Pretty fucking obvious, frankly.

TosaGuy said...

"I've read several articles that question how a person with a gun would have fared against Holmes' SWAT attire. Speculation up and down both sides of the argument.

I've not quite understood how a government entity like a state-supported school can blanket ban weapons. But maybe the Constitutions of Virginia and Tennessee and Wisconsin address gun rights a bit differently than the Federal Constitution."

I've worn body armor while I was being shot at. You don't stand there as Mr. Invinsible when that is happening. While a person shooting back may not have hurt him, he would have been forced to react...thus changing the dynamic of the situation.

The way I understand the WI concealed carry, places that ban CCW assume the responsibility for a person's safety....rendering them liable if something happens.

Oso Negro said...

Then there was the whole oh it was too dark idea. IT WAS BRIGHT ENOUGH FOR THE JOKER TO SCORE 62 HITS. Any chance was better than no chance for those 12 dead. There are no guarantees. But do you know why marines ALWAYS assault through instead of run when ambushed? Your odds of survival in a fire fight significantly increase when you return fire. Run and you just get shot in the back.

Jay said...

AFG said...
Ya ok. So a guy gets up and starts shooting in a theater, a second audience member carrying a gun stands up and starts shooting at him. How exactly do the 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc people know who to shoot?


HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Um, it would be the guy with the dyed red hair wearing the body armor.

MadisonMan said...

Then there was the whole oh it was too dark idea.

Movie theaters are not dark, unless the guy shot out the projection booth.

Jason said...

Jeez, AFG is a fucking idiot.

Shoot the guy standing up in the front of the theater who shot first. The one carrying the AR-15 who was throwing the grenades. The one shooting into the crowd instead of away from it.

Good lord, why are libtards such obtuse fucking imbiciles?

MikeR said...

I really have a hard time understanding anti-gun people's point of view on this subject. Their brains seem to turn off when they see a gun. Dangerous!! Isn't it obvious that places where guns are forbidden are exactly the places that are high risk for incidents like this? Isn't it obvious that even insane murderers would know that, and where guns are allowed, go somewhere else?

Shanna said...

Shoot the guy standing up in the front of the theater who shot first.

Seriously. 'Which one of these people should I shoot' is only a problem if you come in when people are in the middle of a shootout. It's probably best to figure that out before you shoot anybody in that situation.

This one on the other hand? Maybe shoot the guy who shot at a baby. That's probably your bad guy. Sheesh.

edutcher said...

This is a fight Bloomie & Co just won't win.

They want a populace dependent on government ("you didn't defend that"), but the hard, cold reality, as Insta likes to say, is that, "When seconds count, the police are just minutes away".

PS Carrot Top in CO was looking for body count, so that weapon wasn't being fired with deliberate, single shots. It would have been easy to spot him.

tiger said...

From the Professor: 'I'm especially glad to see that, because it was the Daily News that published the editorial with the despicable (and titillating headline) "Blood on hands of Obama, Mitt and NRA!"'

Yeah, but weren't they also responsible for the 'Headless Body Found In Topless Bar!' one, too?

Prof. Reynolds' article is good and the point needs to be made (again!) that, as will all things banned, it is the criminals that ignore the bans; in this case the 'gun free zone' nonsense.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Daily News To Victims: DROP DEAD.

Dante said...

I think this question really is about what kind of society you want to be. Looking at certain demographics, the guns don't seem to help. Both sides are armed in gang wars, and a lot of people are dying.

The question is do you want to live in the UA flight 93 world, or the insensate world were government pretends to take care of everything.

I know which world I want to live in, and it's not the government thinking they own everything I've ever done. Isn't that what Obama believes?

That's not socialism, folks, that's communism.

roesch/voltaire said...

Interesting how these NRA phantasy scripts avoid mentioning the 4 Lakewood police officers who were shoot, even though armed-because that runs counter to their story. Sixty rounds shot in less than a minute gives one gun or no gun only time to duck. There are sensible laws such as limiting the clip size and very careful background checks for folks who want to buy M-15 etc that could be put in place and would not take guns away from law abiding citizens.

AFG said...

I have just been called a "libtard" for suggesting that there would be confusion among a large group of people all trying to shoot the same person in the dark. Did you not see where I stated: "This would be a recipe for more bloodshed in this instance."

Jason - I'm not liberal, but I guess I still might be an obtuse fucking imbecile, if you say so! Just trying to acknowledge how complicated the situation would be in real time.

elkh1 said...

Tax the behaviors that you don't want, e.g. tax smokers, tax those who don't buy health insurance.

So Obama must tax the criminals and the insane, and tax those who don't own a gun to defend themselves.

leslyn said...

Everyone who"s crying "shoot in a crowded theater" has no clue about the reality of the situation. You're shouting "fire" in a crowded theater (remember that one, legal gurus?) only with bullets flying everywhere from multiple shooters,.who notoriously do not hit what they're shooting at under stress.

And under stress, in the dark, with people screaming and trying to get out , and multiple shooters (in more than one scenario here) how is it you know who to shoot again?

"Movie theaters are not dark." Which ones do you go to? Oh yeah, that one with the recliner at home.

I can't begin to deal with the rest of all the stupidly unrealistic comments here. Just this one:

tim said,

Afg, I can find you thousands of crimes stopped by good guys (civilian) with a gun (one in Aurora even, that was intended as a mass shooting), with the help of google. Find me just a couple that have taken place as you posit [without a gun].

Try Flight 93, for one. If you're not too weenie to admit that going unarmed up against men with knives is a heroic act. Meanwhile,.Tim, but your cites where your mouth is.

P.S. Jay. The "HA HA.....s" make you sound like a mule.

leslyn said...

Everyone who"s crying "shoot in a crowded theater" has no clue about the reality of the situation. You're shouting "fire" in a crowded theater (remember that one, legal gurus?) only with bullets flying everywhere from multiple shooters,.who notoriously do not hit what they're shooting at under stress.

And under stress, in the dark, with people screaming and trying to get out , and multiple shooters (in more than one scenario here) how is it you know who to shoot again?

"Movie theaters are not dark." Which ones do you go to? Oh yeah, that one with the recliner at home.

I can't begin to deal with the rest of all the stupidly unrealistic comments here. Just this one:

tim said,

Afg, I can find you thousands of crimes stopped by good guys (civilian) with a gun (one in Aurora even, that was intended as a mass shooting), with the help of google. Find me just a couple that have taken place as you posit [without a gun].

Try Flight 93, for one. If you're not too weenie to admit that going unarmed up against men with knives is a heroic act. Meanwhile,.Tim, but your cites where your mouth is.

P.S. Jay. The "HA HA.....s" make you sound like a mule.

EMD said...

There are sensible laws such as limiting the clip size and very careful background checks for folks who want to buy M-15 etc that could be put in place and would not take guns away from law abiding citizens.

These laws still would not have prevented what Holmes did. He was a law-abiding citizen (outside of a speeding ticket.)

EMD said...

Try Flight 93, for one. If you're not too weenie to admit that going unarmed up against men with knives is a heroic act.


I don't think we're precluding Flight 93 as heroism. But airplanes are notorious gun-free zones.

Apples and oranges.

leslyn said...

"Condolences are empty words -what actions are you gonna take?"

God help us, nothing like inflammatory rhetoric to honor the victims.

What does this mean? Assassinate Holmes? Shoot your mean neighbor as a tribute? what actions are you gonna take?

Shanna said...

suggesting that there would be confusion among a large group of people all trying to shoot the same person in the dark.

That doesn’t sound like confusion, it sounds like coordination.

Everyone who"s crying "shoot in a crowded theater" has no clue about the reality of the situation. You're shouting "fire" in a crowded theater (remember that one, legal gurus?) only with bullets flying everywhere from multiple shooters,.

1.They were already in the ‘FIRE’ type of situation. It's not like more bullets from people who are trying to shoot the guy who is trying to shoot you are going to cause additional panic.

2.You are just assuming people have terrible, terrible aim

3.You are also assuming there were tons of people in the way, when they probably either dropped to the ground or headed for the exits. Whether the person was likely to hit innocents depends on where they were in the theater. If multiple individuals were armed, the odds that one of them would have a good shot (without civilians in the way) are much greater.

how is it you know who to shoot again?

The guy with body armor and red hair who is shooting babies?

Jay said...

roesch/voltaire said...
background checks for folks who want to buy M-15 etc that could be put in place and would not take guns away from law abiding citizens.


Um, background checks for buying an AR 15 are already required.

Note: the shooter in this Colorado case did not have a criminal record.

Jay said...

slyn said...

And under stress, in the dark, with people screaming and trying to get out , and multiple shooters (in more than one scenario here) how is it you know who to shoot again?


You really, really, are an idiot.

Jay said...

leslyn said...

Try Flight 93, for one. If you're not


Flight 93 did not involve a shooter.

Imbecile.

leslyn said...

"Condolences are empty words -what actions are you gonna take?"

God help us, nothing like inflammatory rhetoric to honor the victims.

What does this mean? Assassinate Holmes? Shoot your mean neighbor as a tribute? what actions are you gonna take?

Jay said...

Everyone who"s crying "shoot in a crowded theater" has no clue about the reality of the situation. You're shouting "fire" in a crowded theater (remember that one, legal gurus?) only with bullets flying everywhere from multiple shooters

Thank you for revealing you are utterly incapable of understanding basic facts and reading comprehension.

Everyone here is dumber for having seen your comments.

edutcher said...

roesch/voltaire said...

Interesting how these NRA phantasy scripts avoid mentioning the 4 Lakewood police officers who were shoot, even though armed-because that runs counter to their story.

More interesting is roesch's Fantasy that omits those cops were ambushed and 2 were hit before anybody knew what was going on.

A point is always better if it's grounded in the truth.

leslyn said...

Everyone who"s crying "shoot in a crowded theater" has no clue about the reality of the situation.

Neither of course does leslyn, but that's never stopped her so far.

And under stress, in the dark, with people screaming and trying to get out , and multiple shooters (in more than one scenario here) how is it you know who to shoot again?

the guy with the automatic weapon, shooting into the crowd?

"Movie theaters are not dark." Which ones do you go to? Oh yeah, that one with the recliner at home.

I can't begin to deal with the rest of all the stupidly unrealistic comments here.


And leslyn is the expert on stupidly unrealistic comments.

As for the darkness of theaters, leslyn hasn't been in a multiplex with those little lights down the aisles, has she? The lights are down, but you can see well enough to go to the bathroom

Also, the emergency door was propped open and there was doubtless ambient light from the parking lot and the door opening itself silhouetting him from outside.

leslyn said...

"Condolences are empty words -what actions are you gonna take?"

God help us, nothing like inflammatory rhetoric to honor the victims.

What does this mean? Assassinate Holmes? Shoot your mean neighbor as a tribute? what actions are you gonna take?

leslyn said...

Who here has any training or experience with identifying good guys/bad guys and shooting the bad guy in the dark?

Anyone? Anyone?

Silly rabbits.

TosaGuy said...

"Who here has any training or experience with identifying good guys/bad guys and shooting the bad guy in the dark?"

Does 20 years in the infantry with a combat tour count?

Jay said...

leslyn said...
Who here has any training or experience with identifying good guys/bad guys and shooting the bad guy in the dark?



Me.

By the way, idiot, you understand that a movie theater has this big light projecting images on a screen, right?

Or are you going to carry on pretending that movies are pitch black (and don't have lights near the exits and up the aisles)?

Or, are you going to carry on that it was some big mystery who started shooting?

Note: only someone who has no situational awareness what so ever asks these idiotic questions that you're asking.

TosaGuy said...

An AR-15 is not an automatic weapon where it fires repeatedly until you let up on the trigger. It is a semi-auto where one trigger squeeze equals one shot fired and the weapon cycles to load the next round.

In a dark environment, you shoot at the very identifiable muzzle flash of a person firing at the rate of one bullet a second.

An peacefully armed citizen probably would not have been able to stop this tragedy and it is indeed debatable that he could have had much impact. We will never know. However, the presence of that peaceably armed citizen would not have made the situation worse. Knee-jerk gun control laws only target the peaceably armed citizen, never the person intent on committing harm.

edutcher said...

leslyn said...

Who here has any training or experience with identifying good guys/bad guys and shooting the bad guy in the dark?

The muzzle flashes from the only guy shooting would be a dead giveaway.

Apparently, this clown was actually walking up to people and dispatching(sp?) them. That would also make him quite indentifiable.

leslyn said...

Yeah, TosaGuy, and you've been silent on whether everyone should go armed to the movie theater. u

You knew going in who the good guys were on your side, and how to identify them, and you (mostly).had a plan (although the purpose of some plans seems to be to go to shit)--and you were trained, probably over and over how to clear those buildings, not shoot the innocents, and restrict your fire in close quarters. (All I know is USMC, and they had weeks of specialized training before going to Iraq and A-stan)

Am I wrong? Or is picking out one bad guy in the dark among several other""self-defense" shooters wiles in the middle of a crowd trying to flee, an easy thing?

Than you for your service.

Jay said...

leslyn said...
Who here has any training or experience with identifying good guys/bad guys and shooting the bad guy in the dark?

Anyone? Anyone?

Silly rabbits


Note: about 30 witnesses were easily able to identify the "bad guy" and a few of them were under 18.

Idiot.

leslyn said...

Well, Jay, you're not someone I'd call to have my back.

It's not like you not to blow your own horn. Enlighten us.

P.S. guys, did you forget that you're positing two or more sources of muzzle flash?

Paul Zrimsek said...

If I really and truly can't tell who's who, I guess I'll hold my fire. Note that in this case there is already at least one person shooting back, which improves the chances of survival for the rest of us considerably.

Bruce Hayden said...

Interesting how these NRA phantasy scripts avoid mentioning the 4 Lakewood police officers who were shoot, even though armed-because that runs counter to their story. Sixty rounds shot in less than a minute gives one gun or no gun only time to duck. There are sensible laws such as limiting the clip size and very careful background checks for folks who want to buy M-15 etc that could be put in place and would not take guns away from law abiding citizens.

I wasn't sure what an M-15 is, but it turns out to be the ArmaLite version of the AR-15 design (which was sold by that company to Colt in 1959). Both are, of course, semi-automatic, as contrasted with the militarized M-16, capable of selective fire. The ArmaLite M-15 versions of the AR-15 appear fairly pricey, running from maybe $1,000 to $1,6000, in dozens of variations. Wikipedia lists 30 manufacturers of AR-15 variants, in calibers ranging from .22 to .50. I am assuming that you are really talking about AR-15 variants or look-alikes, and not specifically the ArmaLite products. And, I do wonder why you are not also including the ubiquitous Soviet designed AK variants.

What must be remembered here, is that we have 2-3 generations over more than 40 years of military veterans trained on this type of weapon. This is the weapon that they were taught to shoot with, and, no surprise, is the type that they prefer to this day. It is light weight, sturdy, accurate, reasonably reliable, and highly modular and modifiable. And, the weapon that they know the best. I am assuming that you would prefer those owning rifles to be limited to WWII era M1 Garand type weapons, or maybe even WWI era Enfield's. After all, they aren't as scary looking as all that black aluminum.

The AR type weapons have continued to steadily evolve from the early M-16s that jammed in the jungles of Vietnam. One thing that they have going for them is their almost complete modularity. Calibers can be easily swapped, sights and other accessories easily added and replaced. No surprise that it is probably the most popular rifle design these days in this country. Just like a car nut might want to switch rims, a lot of gun nuts love switching accessories, etc. on their AR-15 type weapons, something that is vastly more difficult on older rifle designs.

I should add that with Heller, et al., it is probably unlikely that a ban on this type of weapon would survive a 2nd Amdt. challenge. It is similar enough to the rifles used by our military these days, that it would likely have even passed muster under the 1939 Miller case (which suggested that the 2nd Amdt. was limited to weapons that the military uses - except that the weapon in that case was used by the military) (and, not, as my SIL would suggest, the military of 1776, but present day). (And, yes, the military switch out accessories on their modular M-16s and M-4s maybe even more frequently).

Jay said...

leslyn said...


P.S. guys, did you forget that you're positing two or more sources of muzzle flash?


How idiotic.

You understand the 'bad guy' stood in front of the lighted screen and started shooting, right?

You understand that any subsequent "muzzle flash" would not be simultaneous to that position (and likely sound of the weapon) right?

I mean, it is almost as if you're pretending that someone sitting facing the screen the "bad guy" stood under and started firing couldn't notice that, or something.

Again, to ask these idiotic questions, you must have zero situational awareness.

LoafingOaf said...

The link to the "Blood on hands of Obama, Mitt and NRA!" piece doesn't work.

TosaGuy said...

"Yeah, TosaGuy, and you've been silent on whether everyone should go armed to the movie theater."

Read three posts up.

Very few people conceal carry and if they do, you will probably never know. I have a permit and never carry. I do prefer that I have the option to do so, as well as having the ability to bypass all the stupid gotcha gun rules the DNR has for deer hunting.

The point that you refuse to understand is that a peaceably armed person is not the problem. Some people hold the peaceably armed citizen as a fix-all, prevent-all in a shit-storm of a situation; that is an impossible bar to meet, but the fact that a peaceably armed citizen may have been able to change the dynamic of a very bad situation can not be dismissed through a strawman ten-person, wild-west shootout fantasy.

Peaceably armed citizens may not always be part of the solution, but the are not part of the problem. The only thing disarming them does is making certain people feel better. It will not increase safety or lessen these tragic incidents.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Then there was the whole oh it was too dark idea. IT WAS BRIGHT ENOUGH FOR THE JOKER TO SCORE 62 HITS."

-- On one hand, Holmes just hand to point and fire in the general direction of people to score hits. People firing on him, while not firing into pitch black against an opponent they could not see, actually had a specific target to hit. Their shot would be much more difficult, but possibly doable for someone with training. I don't know; I wasn't there so I'm not sure of the particulars, and I've never fired a gun, so I don't know how hard the shot would be.

But, hitting people, in general, seems like it is harder than hitting a person, in specific.

Crimso said...

If people who are supportive of "gun" rights have blood on their hands, how about the people who think alcohol should be legal? Aren't they therefore complicit in causing the deaths of people killed by drunk drivers?

Jason said...

Leslyn: Who here has any training or experience with identifying good guys/bad guys and shooting the bad guy in the dark?

I do, leslyn. Over 20 years of it, plus a combat infantry tour.

Know what? So did some of the dead and wounded in that theater.

Plus, and more importantly, they were there at the time. Unlike the cops, who came just in time to count the dead.

Kirk Parker said...

AFG,

"This would be a recipe for more bloodshed in this instance."

So find us an example already.

R/V,

The only fantasy is in your own feverish imagination; the NRA does not--and never has--claimed that being armed is a guarantee against anything bad happening. And if you can't see the immorality of disarming the victims by government fiat...

LoafingOaf said...

AFG said...
I have just been called a "libtard"


Well, that's just how it goes at Althouse ever since she devolved into just another conservative blogger. Her comments sections are filled with right-wing bullies and trolls, some of whom cannot post a message without adding "idiot" or "libtard" or "imbecile".

Because you're a total moron if you wonder, even for just the sake of argument, how effective some moviegoers packing pistols would be when the dark theater is blindsided by a lunatic with an assault rifle, body armor, gas mask, tear gas, etc.

As for the second piece Althouse linked to, it is a strange thing that Romney has flip-flopped on guns from when he was governor to when he seeks the White House, yet he offers no explanation for his change of heart. It does leave one feeling he is just bowing to the gun lobby to win an election.

That gun lobby is considerably more extreme on gun rights than the population and they should not be allowed to stifle all debate. Nor should the despicable hillbillies Althouse has attracted, who have made it their hobby to stomp on everyone who disagrees with them. I support concealed carry licenses in my state but that does not mean we cannot have reasonable restrictions on the military arsenals some folks are acquiring. Some of these NRA types are perfectly okay if folks include weapons that can shoot down airplanes in their personal arsenals.

This Colorado nutcase was apparently ordering an assload of packages filled with military gear, ammo, and weaponry in short order and you'd think that would trigger some sort of alert.

Kirk Parker said...

leslyn,


"Who here has any training or experience with identifying good guys/bad guys and shooting the bad guy in the dark?"

I have, too.

Michael K said...

"Because you're a total moron if you wonder, even for just the sake of argument, how effective some moviegoers packing pistols would be when the dark theater is blindsided by a lunatic with an assault rifle, body armor, gas mask, tear gas, etc. "

It couldn't have been much worse, could it ?

There is no discussion of the previous Aurora shooting which was stopped quickly by an armed person who shot the perp. The armed person was an off-duty cop but the principle is the same.

Jay said...

That gun lobby is considerably more extreme on gun rights than the population and they should not be allowed to stifle all debate.

Really?

How do they "stifle debate" and when does this happen?

Further, it is nice to see you can't grasp the concept that the NRA is popular because the position they are espousing is popular.

Because you're a total moron if you wonder, even for just the sake of argument, how effective some moviegoers packing pistols would be when the dark theater is blindsided by a lunatic with an assault rifle, body armor, gas mask, tear gas, etc

That isn't a fair reading of leslyn's question, and it ignores her continued idiotic responses.

I'd also add that the gas mask is a big fat target and even if I were able to graze it, it would contort and/or malfunction causing a major distraction for the shooter.

EMD said...

That gun lobby is considerably more extreme on gun rights than the population and they should not be allowed to stifle all debate.

Their work in Chicago and Washington, DC has been most impressive, would you not agree?

EMD said...

This Colorado nutcase was apparently ordering an assload of packages filled with military gear, ammo, and weaponry in short order and you'd think that would trigger some sort of alert.

So you favor tracking individual purchases then?

TosaGuy said...

"That gun lobby is considerably more extreme on gun rights than the population and they should not be allowed to stifle all debate."

In this instance, the definition of "stifle" means that the anti-gun side's argument is not accepted by most people.

It's not the message, it's that people can't hear the message!!!

Rusty said...

Some of these NRA types are perfectly okay if folks include weapons that can shoot down airplanes in their personal arsenals.


Funny story.

I'm in the train station in Zurich Switzerland gonna take a train to Basil and then Lyon. It's like five in the morning and I had slept in the taxi from the airport so I was still half asleep.
I see these two punks-colored mohawks, spikey hair, leather jackets and tight jeans-struggling with this long........thing coming my way. Turns out they are carrying the Swiss equivalent of our .50 cal heavy machine gun. One of em has the handles and the other the barrel. Their buddies are behind them carrying their bags and assault rifles and the tripod for the machine gun. We road the train together. They were on their three month obligatory militia manuvers.The Swiss army is basically all armed citizens. They keep their fully automatic assault rifle in their homes with 300 rounds of ammunition.

With the right tax stamps($200.00) and a background check I can own any full automatic weapon I can afford. For a little more I can own a functioning cannon. Not just me. Anybody.

I mention this just in case you aren't worried enough.

LoafingOaf said...

"So you favor tracking individual purchases then?"

There should be some sort of alert to authorities when someone all-of-a-sudden starts purchasing rush orders of assault rifles, thousands of rounds of ammo, bullet proof body armor, tear gas, etc.

Jay said...

LoafingOaf said...

There should be some sort of alert to authorities when someone all-of-a-sudden starts purchasing rush orders of assault rifles, thousands of rounds of ammo, bullet proof body armor, tear gas, etc.


And then what?

Say the local sheriff showed up at this guy's house and he said "I'm a PhD candidate in Neuroscience"

The Sheriff would then say ______?

You do understand your bumpersticker slogans have no correlation to the real world, right?

The Godfather said...

In the "conversation about guns" that some people think we should have, can we at least agree that "gun free zones" are useless (at best)?

LoafingOaf said...

Jay: Say the local sheriff showed up at this guy's house and he said "I'm a PhD candidate in Neuroscience"

The Sheriff would then say ______?

You do understand your bumpersticker slogans have no correlation to the real world, right?

Turning to reality, we had a guy who was withdrawing from his PhD program, had dyed his hair orange, was posting on AdultFriendFinder that he was looking for a girl who would visit him in prison, and was quickly accumulating assault rifles, thousands of rounds of ammo, tear gas, gas mask, body armor, explosives, etc. Who knows what other things were going on?

Seems like he was coming unhinged to me, and a red flag putting him on someone's radar screen might have stopped this. The media interviewed a guy from a shooting range Holmes was trying to join and he stated that when he called Holmes back he was freaked out by the message he heard on the answering machine:

Rotkovich did know he probably didn't want Holmes to join the membership at his shooting range, about 20 miles east of Byers, Colo.

"I called him back a second day and a third day, and the third day I'm thinking, 'I'm not impressed with what's going on, no.' I told the staff, if this guy shows up, nothing happens till I meet him. I want to see him."

So, the person at the firing range noticed other red flags.

It's too bad he could so quickly accumulate his weaponry and accessories because whatever was setting him off in the short term may have passed had he had to wait. And I don't know why you're so convinced that one red flag would not have revealed other red flags. Holmes was going completely off the rails.

And who knows, maybe just Holmes becoming aware the authorities were concerned about him may have woken him up from the fantasy world his mind was in. We don't know what would have happened had he been on the radar before his attack, except that the chances of him being stopped before he ever fired off one bullet would have been much, much higher.

LoafingOaf said...

I don't believe that people of sound mind and/or no ill intentions accumulate the sorts of things he was accumulating in such a short period of time. I think it indicates someone who is planning something unhinged. Some of the places he was ordering gear from are primarily intended for people in the military and police forces. This guy was rush ordering a whole bunch of shit that, taken together, pointed to someone about to do something bad.

Matthew Sablan said...

In Loafing Oaf's story: Responsible gun owner/range operator notices something is wrong took steps within his power to mitigate disaster; every other system set up by society failed to do anything.

Conclusion: Gun owners need even more restrictive red tape on their lives.

Matthew Sablan said...

I highly doubt that he would have been stopped. The VA Tech shooter, for example, was known to have problems and had red flags painted a mile wide and high. Same with the Fort Hood shooter.

Society rarely does anything about crazy, dangerous people until they actually do something crazy or dangerous. Buying things, in a legal fashion, that other people simply don't like should not be enough to risk ruining someone's reputation with a visit from the police.

EMD said...

There should be some sort of alert to authorities when someone all-of-a-sudden starts purchasing rush orders of assault rifles, thousands of rounds of ammo, bullet proof body armor, tear gas, etc.

From whom, exactly?

FedEx? The USPS?

EMD said...

Turning to reality, we had a guy who was withdrawing from his PhD program, had dyed his hair orange, was posting on AdultFriendFinder that he was looking for a girl who would visit him in prison, and was quickly accumulating assault rifles, thousands of rounds of ammo, tear gas, gas mask, body armor, explosives, etc. Who knows what other things were going on?

Seems like he was coming unhinged to me, and a red flag putting him on someone's radar screen might have stopped this. The media interviewed a guy from a shooting range Holmes was trying to join and he stated that when he called Holmes back he was freaked out by the message he heard on the answering machine:


You seem to assume that there is a omniscient agency out there assembling all of these items into a coherent narrative, in the present time, that can step in before anything bad occurs.

You know it doesn't work that way. It's the connecting the dots bullshit that only happens on Sherlock.

Does AdultFriendFinder consult with gun range owners? Do we coordinate credit card purchase information with attendance at PhD programs?

Does dyeing one's hair red constitute abnormal, criminal behavior?

Only in conjunction with all of these other scattered, near-random events do we see patterns emerge. Usually too late.

It's understandable after an event like this to try to see how the system failed.

Matthew Sablan said...

Also, authorities were aware of the purchases: Bass Pro Shops released a statement saying that employees at a Denver store followed all laws when they sold two weapons to Holmes. "We want to offer our deepest sympathies to the victims and their families," said Larry Whiteley, manager of communications for the company. "This is an unspeakable tragedy, and we join with all Americans in offering our prayerful support. Based on the records we have reviewed, personnel in our Denver store correctly and fully followed all Federal requirements with respect to the sale of one shotgun and one handgun to the individual identified in this incident. Background checks, as required by Federal law, were properly conducted, and he was approved. Again, our hearts go out to the victims and their families. We also offer our support and appreciation to the law enforcement and emergency response professionals and all others who responded to give aid to these innocent victims." Source. The problem is that, unless you want to disarm innocent civilians, this is a risk of a free society. Especially one that refuses to acknowledge the other behavioral red flags. Should we start requiring mental health professionals to alert the authorities whenever someone seems less than perfectly mentally fit? What if someone starts buying subversive books?

Shanna said...

Yeah, if you called the authorities and said 'this guy seems off' they would say 'oh well wait till he kills someone' because we don't institutionalize people anymore and he had done nothing illegal.

Maybe somebody could have watched him, but last I heard the Dept of Homeland security was too busy watching for southern ex military types rather than PHD candidates.

leslyn said...

Jason said...
"Leslyn: Who here has any training or experience with identifying good guys/bad guys and shooting the bad guy in the dark?"

"I do, leslyn. Over 20 years of it, plus a combat infantry tour."

"Know what? So did some of the dead and wounded in that theater."

"Plus, and more importantly, they were there at the time. Unlike the cops, who came just in time to count the dead."

Jason, silly remarks were being made about how "easy" it would be in the circumstances to target this guy, especially if there were several armed defender-shooters.

Please know that I take nothing away from the victims.

Unless you have a police officer stationed in the theater, I don't think you can expect them to materialize on the spot in this situation either.

leslyn said...

Jay said...
"LoafingOaf said...

"There should be some sort of alert to authorities when someone all-of-a-sudden starts purchasing rush orders of assault rifles, thousands of rounds of ammo, bullet proof body armor, tear gas, etc."


And then what?

Say the local sheriff showed up at this guy's house and he said "I'm a PhD candidate in Neuroscience"

The Sheriff would then say ______?

"I don't care if you're fucking Stephen Hawking, your neighbors complained ([someone has to complain] that you're building a bunker in here full of guns and what all, and they're afraid for their children.

"Now, you're not doing that, are you? Building a bunKer?

[Anser} No.

"And you don't have anything dangerous to children do you?"

[Answer} No.

"Then you wouldn't mind if I came in and just checked it out so I can reassure your neighbors, would you?"

{Answer: Almost always] Ok.

But the bottom line is still, if he is in possession legally, he can be checked out by the police all you want, but he can't be arrested or stopped until he is committing or has committed a crime.

That's called civil rights, and you can't enforce them selectively.

leslyn said...

You seem to assume that there is a omniscient agency out there assembling all of these items into a coherent narrative, in the present time, that can step in before anything bad occurs.

There's a TV show where that happens, and Tom Cruise made a movie about it, but we don't have it in real life.

Jay said...

LoafingOaf said...

and was quickly accumulating assault rifles, thousands of rounds of ammo, tear gas, gas mask, body armor, explosives, etc. Who knows what other things were going on?


Your "bulletproof vest" meme just died.

Jay said...

leslyn said...


Jason, silly remarks were being made about how "easy" it would be in the circumstances to target this guy, especially if there were several armed defender-shooters.


Um, it would be easy.

He would be the guy in front of the screen who fired the first shots.

Again, these responses indicate an incoherence that is quite frankly, staggering.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I don't care if you're fucking Stephen Hawking, your neighbors complained ([someone has to complain] that you're reading a bunch of books they don't like and what all, and they're afraid for their children.

"Now, you're not doing that, are you? Reading conservative literature?"

[Anser} No.

"And you don't have anything dangerous to children do you?"

[Answer} No.

"Then you wouldn't mind if I came in and just checked it out so I can reassure your neighbors, would you?"

---

Also, there's a whole right to being protected from unlawful search and seizure. Why should Americans have to waive THAT right to engage in their Second Amendment right?

Matthew Sablan said...

It's funny; if a cop were to insist he be allowed to search your house because a co-worker complained he thought you did drugs, we'd hear endless (and justified!) complaints that citizens should not need to consent to unlawful searches based on witch hunts and hearsay.

Change illegal drugs to legal guns, and all of a sudden, liberals DON'T believe in the rights of the accused and protecting against invasive searches.

Asking someone who is arrested for ID? Outlandish invasion of civil liberties.

Asking someone to search their house because they bought a legal product? Perfectly reasonable.

Jay said...

LoafingOaf said...
I don't believe that people of sound mind and/or no ill intentions accumulate the sorts of things he was accumulating in such a short period of time.


Ok, but you're still at the bumper sticker slogan level.

You can't articulate whom would do what in this scenario.

Especially given multiple retailers who used both online and in person.

Jay said...

Hey, remember Cindy Sheehan's absolute moral authority?

Victim's Brother To MSNBC: The Families Won't "Politicize This" For Your Gun Restriction Agenda

leslyn said...

Matthew Sablan,

Also, there's a whole right to being protected from unlawful search and seizure. Why should Americans have to waive THAT right to engage in their Second Amendment right?

It's deceptive of you, Sablan, to selectively omit my conclusion:

But the bottom line is still, if he is in possession legally, he can be checked out by the police all you want, but he can't be arrested or stopped until he is committing or has committed a crime.

That's called civil rights, and you can't enforce them selectively.

Would you like to point out the violation of rights in my answer to the scenario? The point was that the police can ask to see, and if allowed, they can; but even then there is nothing to be done if the weapons, etc have been acquired and possessed legally.

I made a point of saying one can't selectively enforce civil rights.

How on earth do you twist that around to Americans being forced to waive any rights, connected with anything lawful, including guns?

leslyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leslyn said...

Matthew Sablan said,

"I don't care if you're fucking Stephen Hawking, your neighbors complained ([someone has to complain] that you're reading a bunch of books, like Catcher in the Rye, they don't like and what all, and they're afraid for their children.

"Now, you're not doing that, are you?

[Answer} No.

"And you don't have anything dangerous to children do you?"

[Answer} No.

"Then you wouldn't mind if I came in and just checked it out so I can reassure your neighbors, would you?"


Sablan, with a little change this sounds like the schoolboard.

Matthew Sablan said...

"But the bottom line is still, if he is in possession legally, he can be checked out by the police all you want, but he can't be arrested or stopped until he is committing or has committed a crime."

-- No, actually. That's the problem. The police cannot just elect to randomly check people out because they are doing things the police don't like. That's the whole point of civil rights. The police cannot choose to exercise power and authority because they don't like what you did. A police officer asking for permission to search your person or home is coercive; they need a good reason. Doing something legal some people don't like is not a good reason.

The very under-pinning that it is not a violation of someone's rights, so long as they are only massively inconvenienced and have their reputations risked, but not actually jailed, is the same reasoning people dislike racial profiling or profiling people in hoodies. People doing perfectly legal things should not be elevated to higher levels of scrutiny because you feel uncomfortable.

leslyn said...

Sablan. The scenario has a complaint. The police can stop by to check out the complaint and ask for permission to enter. They can also run "wants and warrants" and criminal history checks. They can run the license plate on his car if they can see the plate from where they have a lawful right to be.

Why is it you have a problem with that? There is no violation of rights, no unreasonable invasion of privacy.

The scenario was based on a complaint of dangerous weapons and materials. What do you want, that it NOT be checked out, just because it involves weapons?

A police officer asking for permission to search your person or home is coercive; they need a good reason. No. They do not. There has been no stop or detention in this scenario; there is no Fourth Amendment issue; asking for consent does not invoke a Fourth Amendment right. United States v. Mendenhall, 446 U.S. 544 (1980)

leslyn said...

The reason police don't ask for permission to search your person or home all the time is because it would be a pointless waste of time.

A "good reason" is legally necessary for a detention or nonconsensual intrusion; but not legally necessary for consent.

As a practical matter, "purposeless" consents are not done because they would be, as I said, a pointless waste of time.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Sablan. The scenario has a complaint."

-- A complaint on what? Would you consider it OK for the police to knock on a door because someone next door complained his neighbor was Muslim? He was worried about Muslims? You need more for a valid complaint than "They are doing something I don't like." Yes, police CAN check out people, if they want. But to simply investigate people because they are doing something the officer dislikes is an abuse of their power. If they ran every license plate with a political bumper sticker they disliked, it would be equally so.

"Why is it you have a problem with that? There is no violation of rights, no unreasonable invasion of privacy."

-- Targeting people unfairly actually IS a violation of people's rights.

"There has been no stop or detention in this scenario; there is no Fourth Amendment issue; asking for consent does not invoke a Fourth Amendment right. United States v. Mendenhall, 446 U.S. 544 (1980)."
-- Reasonableness is a case-by-case basis. This is not being stopped in public and questioned. This is the police knocking on your door with a vague, at best, complaint to search your house -- not even reasonable cause. Specifically, with traffic stops, those are considered potentially coercive because of the nature of the meeting. Showing up armed, in uniform at someone's door is equal in that potential.

Matthew Sablan said...

I'm pretty lazy, but here's one of the first examples of what I'm talking about to come up on Google. At what point does the police asking to search your house for no good reason become coercive? There are probably other state cases asking the same question.

leslyn said...

-- A complaint on what?..."They are doing something I don't like."

Sablan. the scenario has a complaint that the neighbors are afraid that their neighbor is dangerous. Yes, it includes the collection of weapons. What is it you are trying to say, I ask again? That they SHOULD NOT LOOK, SHOULD NOT ASK?

Specifically, with traffic stops, those are considered potentially coercive because of the nature of the meeting. Showing up armed, in uniform at someone's door is equal in that potential.

No, it's "decidedly" not equal, because the person is not detained, for one thing. Read Mendenhall, Oh Lazy One. It's still good law.

And then stop being deceptive and acknowledge that I said, "As a practical matter, "purposeless" consents are not done because they would be, as I said, a pointless waste of time."

What is it you have to "win" here?

leslyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.