August 28, 2015

"[G]uns, for many Americans, are a sort of secondary, symbolic car: another powerful symbol of autonomy and independence."

"The attachment to them that so many Americans show—unique among the civilized peoples of the world, and at a cost so grave that the rest of that world often turns away, appalled—is nonetheless understandable to anyone who comes late to driving: to have potentially lethal power within your grasp is an immensely empowering drug. Cars are obviously in a different category, because their benign use is so much greater than their lethal one. But they are tools of the same country, of which I am now a citizen."

Writes Adam Gopnik, who learned to drive late in life. This empathy with gun owners — in The New Yorker — only goes so far. Guns are "almost entirely symbolic." The only "useful social functions" of guns is "in hunting or in killing varmints."
No lives are saved, and no intruders are repelled; the dense and hysterical mythology of gun love has been refuted again and again... 
That sounds hysterical. Not dense. But hysterical.

Gopnik ends with a plea to regulate guns at least as much as cars:
If we only achieved, in the next few years, a regulation of guns equal to that of cars, we would be moving toward the real purpose of autonomy, which is to secure the freedom from fear as much as the freedom to act. Symbols matter. Lives matter more.
And analogies are very, very tricky.


MadisonMan said...

How would treating guns like cars have prevented the shooting in Roanoke?

Grackle said...

Regulate low-impulse control young male negroes.

False Grackle

Barry Dauphin said...

I guess Adma's got to earn a living some way. He knows his audience. The New Yorker is a small business, and, like any small business, you've got to keep your customer base happy. New Yorker regulars can achieve their dose of cathartic outrage and moral superiority and reassure themselves of their intellectual superiority, since Gopnik has tried to play anthropologist and mingle with the natives. All is well, we are right but must suffer the cretans who live in flyover country, with the low, sloping foreheads-- oh, that was David Carr (but that is a distinction without a difference).

raf said...

"a regulation of guns equal to that of cars"

So: every state must recognize the validity of a license issued by another state, no matter how liberal their criteria; non-legality of residence cannot be a bar to issuing a license; operation without a license is punishable by a small fine (if any)most of the time; operation under the influence of drugs/alcohol can be ignored multiple times; possession is so important to a normal life that chronic offenders are still given probation so they can continue to (theoretically) support themselves; strict enforcement against protected "minorities" is discriminatory ...

That kind of regulation?

PatHMV said...

No lives are saved, and no intruders are repelled; the dense and hysterical mythology of gun love has been refuted again and again

I see this a lot in sloppy opinion and analysis writing. They believe something, so they declare that the "debate is over" and cite vague "studies" and "refutations" to assert that not only that their point is correct, but that it is so correct it no longer is entitled to debate over whether it's right on not. It's a clear sign that the writer should not be taken seriously.

T said...

Here we go again!

"'The only "useful social functions" of guns is "in hunting or in killing varmints.'"

As a knife's purpose is to cut, a gun's purpose is to shoot. What is cut or shot (or shot at depends entirely upon the user of the tool. Glue guns? Nail guns? Staple guns? Cookie guns (yes my late mother actually had something called a "cookie gun")? Squirt guns? Caulking guns? Nerf guns? The list goes on.

At the very best, Gopnik's claims reflect sloppy language which betrays the sloppy thinking giving rise to his essay. Just as Piers Morgan, he's motivated by an ulterior agenda.

machine said...

248 mass shootings in US in the 238 days of 2015...

just peachy...let's not change a thing.

bbkingfish said...

Is all exaggeration "hysterical?"

I thought I knew I knew the meaning of the word "hysterical," but maybe not. I'm straining, but I just don't see hysteria in the passage you cited. Please explain.

Teutoburgerwald said...

Wow. Just wow. Is he actually saying we need more regulation of the individual to secure autonomy? To him, 1984 was more a handbook than a warning, it seems.

Scott said...

I think defending yourself against an attacker who is bigger and stronger than you is a useful social function. Guns empower people this way. They are not perfect tools, but they are still better than any alternative.

JackOfVA said...

In every state that has moved to a "shall issue" concealed handgun permit system, or has adopted "constitutional carry" (no license required) the identical two stage result has been:

1) Liberals say blood will run in the streets as concealed handguns are in the hands of the public

2) A few years later when the statistics are in, the prove crime has gone down and the permit holders have an unlawful shooting arrest rate that is a fraction of that of the general public and in some states below that of the police departments.

But, ultimately, the 2nd amendment isn't about hunting or even self-defense from goblins. It is rather an outgrowth of the events between 1775 and 1783 (Treaty of Paris) and preventing an oppressive government from subjugating the citizenry. Ultimately, this country was born at the point of a gun, and the founding fathers were sufficiently astute to recognize a similar event might be necessary in the future, despite their best efforts at a constitutional republic.

As the left's ideological hero, Mao Tse-tung famously said "political power grows out of the barrel of a gun." It's not an accident, therefore, that the political left fervently embraces gun control.

campy said...

"I think defending yourself against an attacker who is bigger and stronger than you is a useful social function."

They go into the category "varmint" in my book.

Scott said...

@camppy: LOL

traditionalguy said...

Outlawing Jehovah's Witnesses might work better than outlawing planned show off murders by trained liars to themselves and others. And it is about time we went ahead outlawed murders anyway. Or at least make murdering into a hate crime so it will be taken more seriously. Then the people would obey the law.

Scott said...

@JacoOfVA: I am still waiting for blood to be running in the streets of Burlington Vermont; a city in a state that has never had significant laws restricting the ownership or concealed carry of firearms.

kcom said...

Ultimately, as the Founders and Mao recognized, power comes from the barrel of a gun. The Founders aim (as opposed to Mao) was to ensure, in the final analysis, that the power to decide their fate always remained in the hands of the people. No oppressive government would be given carte blanche to do whatever the hell they wanted. The only way to ensure that is to keep the means to resist, guns, in the hands of the people. The Founders did so, very deliberately.

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Scott said...

Since the majority of mass murderers are Democrats and the majority of people opposing abortion are Republican, why not a bifrucation of rights based on political belief.

Republicans should be allowed to have as many guns as they want.

Democrats should be allowed to have as many abortions as they want.

Simple, n'est pas?

SJ said...

Say, can we regulate cars like we regulate guns?

You can't sell a car across State lines without going through a licensed Dealer.

Every sale at a Dealer goes through a background check first. If you share a name with a convicted felon, expect it to take three days to clear.

States like Illinois and Massachusetts require an in-state CarOwnersID for you to legally bring the car into the State. Massachusetts has arcane rules which can cause legal trouble if you have unlicensed car-parts in your possession.

In places like Massachusetts and California, the local Sheriff or Chief-of-Police can deny you a CarOwnersID or a GeneralUse-Permit forever...and you don't have any avenue of appeal.

JAORE said...

The only "useful social functions" of guns is "in hunting or in killing varmints."

Wow, did I waste that money spent at the range punching holes in paper. And just think of all those idiots breaking clay pigeons. Don't they know that's not hunting?

As to the assertion that guns don't stop intruders..... that boy needs to get out more.

hawkeyedjb said...

Ah, to dream. We can't possibly deport 11 million illegal residents, not without becoming a police state. With this I agree. But to ferret out and confiscate 200 million guns? A lefty wets himself at the prospect. A make-work project of unprecedented ambition, as we hire - what? - ten million constables to go about the business of rounding up all those weapons? And in the end, you inconvenience the law-abiding in order to make life easier for criminals, and to assuage the soft and delicate conscience of those who write for les journaux bien-pensant.

For there is, in the end, nothing short of confiscation that will satisfy. All the control measures and registrations and hoop-jumping will never stop the shootings, because for the most part they are not carried out by people who submit paperwork and wait in line. And of course those measures also do nothing to stop the exceptions, the otherwise law-abiding, like Vester Flanagan. What, exactly, would your controls and papers and checks and loophole-closings do about Vester Flanagan?

traditionalguy said...

Let's get this straight. We will have peace when we have eliminated the Peacemakers that Colt sold to make men free from being the hunted prey of others that had weapons. Oh, well I am confused. Weapons are the problem. So we will need to confiscate rocks and sticks too.

Gahrie said...

1) Guns are more than a symbol of autonomy and independence, they are tools that support autonomy and independence. Which is why the Second Amendment was added.

2) The U.S. does not lead the world in homicide. We are actually pretty middle of the road. Subtract street violence by gangs, and we are in the lower half of violent deaths. It isn't the's the gang violence that is the problem.

JAORE said...

Oh yeah, I forgot to add, he is a condescending little snot, isn't he. Poor Daddy was a "rural" man, don't you know. So he had to soil his hands with guns.

He has no empathy with gun owners, despite our host's pronouncement. He gets a thrill out of driving. I recall that same thrill when I turned 16 (yes there were cars then). But his "empathy" is rooted in the belief that that thrill is the sole reason people own guns, poor self deluded imbeciles that we are. And we, along with the NRA are the cause of mass deaths.

If that is empathy you can have it.

Scott said...

@traditionalguy: And scary looking knives too, like they do in Great Britain.

Virgil Hilts said...

We all know the arguments on both sides, but I still think Mark Steyn's -- In the Absence of Guns -- -- from 2000 is one of the best essays in support of the second amendment. Owning a gun is and should remain a right not a privilege.

Bruce Hayden said...

Guns are symbolic, but not only symbolic. The statistics he depends on are pretty much entirely made up. The methodological problems are well known and well documented.

Here in MT, there is a gun in pretty much every vehicle. Typically a handgun in the glove box though, instead of the rifle in the back window of the truck. Why? Much is the culture. But it isn't just cultural - a couple years ago, a brown bear attacked a guy about 30 miles west of here. He survived, because he was armed. The grizzly did not. The feds had been relocating problem bears there without really telling everyone. And then there was the robbery of a convenience store in the next town to the east. One suspect didn't make it out of the parking lot, and the other two, running for the state line 30 miles away didn't make it, despite the only deputy on duty that night being most of an hour away. And then, again, got a call last night after midnight from a friend back in CO. He had just hit a decent sized elk. His first call was to his insurance agent. His second was to me. I told him to call 911. Sure enough, the elk was still alive and suffering when the state trooper showed up a half an hour later. Leaving it suffering so long most likely wouldn't have happened here in MT.

Bruce Hayden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bay Area Guy said...

Thank God for the 2nd Amendment. Without it, Charlie Hebdo type murders would be more frequent.

The Left loves to control people and institutions, but gun ownership thwarts this a bit.

Peter said...

There are at least two questionable assumptions here.

First, a car is not very useful unless it can be driven on public highways and streets, yet when it is so driven its registration (or lack thereof) becomes highly visible to everyone, including police. Whereas a handgun is easily concealed, and thus registration could not be as effective in controlling public use.

Second (and perhaps more obviously), he simply assumes that guns are not useful for self-defense.

IF you assume these two things then the author's argument becomes somewhat reasonable, but then it becomes a form of "assume a can opener" argument.

Scott said...

"Owning a gun is and should remain a right not a privilege."

@VH: If one believes that a right does not exist until government declares it, then there is no significant difference between rights and privileges.

Rusty said...

OK. Let's regulate firearms like we regulate cars.
I don't need a drivers license to own a car. I just need a license to drive one.
I can own as many vehicles of any type I want or can afford.
See where the logic breaks down?
And then there's this.
There are roughly 300 Million (big number) firearms in the hands of roughly 100 Million (another big number) citizens. If any significant(and by significant I mean anything over 1/2 of a percent) percentage of those citizens decide they don't like your gun control policies there isn't a goddamn thing you can do about it.
So once again I'm not surprised by the number of homicides by firearms that occur in this country. I'm impressed that there are so many citizens who are responsible firearm owners.

Chris N said...

The view from behind the pen of many New Yorker pieces is one of true cultural authority.

As someone who's scored high on many media quizzes, and is an early member of the Brownstone Constabulary (Empathic Ethicist Pop-Neuroscience Narrative Wizard here) I can speak with similar authority.

Oh yes, I have discharged a 'firearm.' I have driven one of your 'automobiles.'

I know what kind of society we should have.

James Pawlak said...

Mr. G. is a liar. There are several studies (One under the Obama Administration) as demonstrates the usefulness of armed citizens in: Generally suppressing crime; And, in keeping such good citizens from being murdered/maimed as opposed to unarmed sheep.

Monkeyboy said...

Ahh the "treat guns like cars" argument which proves the speaker knows nothing about gun laws.

To add to what SJ and Raf said, I can own a 200mph Lamborghini or a home made mud truck with no restrictions and no registration as long as I don't take it on public roads.

Looking forward to boxing up my machine gun and taking it to the range.

Scott said...

@Chris N: That is the most perfect description of the New Yorker editorial persona that I have ever read. Love it!!!

Anonymous said...

I hope someone out there is clipping and saving stuff like this; in a week or two they'll be back to saying "of course no one is talking about taking anyone's guns away". This is one of those moments when the mask slips.

Chris N said...


Thanks, look for my upcoming 3,000 word piece on the intersectionality of overfishing, how pigeons think like humans, the Kennedy business school, and modern dance.

See you at Aspen!

Scott said...

@Monkeyboy: What kind of machine gun? Can I watch you shoot it? :-)

Hagar said...

Commenters above are correct; Mr. Gopnik is as ignorant about cars as he is about guns.

And he is not that good on journalism either.

Bruce Hayden said...

One thing that I do find interesting - that the more progressives and the like make noises about gu control and, ultimately, gun grabbing, the harder it is going to be. Mentioned above were the 300+ million guns owned by 100+ million people here in the US. Not mentioned is that there really aren't that many people who could actually go out and seize the guns. If we armed the military, and suspended Possee Comitatus, there might be a couple million potential gun seizers (and the latter would effectively be a declaration of war against the American public). Absent that, we are talking probably fewer than 100k armed federal agents, and a comparable number of local LEOs in Blue states. Which means maybe a 1,000 to one ratio. But, of course, military, ex-military, and LEOs are some of the most pro-gun/pro-2nd-Amdt people in the country, and it would be silly to expect them to arrest their family and friends from the range.

Still, the gun grabbing rhetoric has an effect. More and more guns are going under ground - both figuratively and literally. Figuratively, unused guns often sell for more on the secondary market than they cost new. Many are willing to pay extra for firearms that the BATFE can't tie to them. Often, it isn't all their guns, just some of them, JIC the govt ever comes to take away the guns that they bought through a FFL. And literally -,burying perfectly good, often new, guns, along with thousands of rounds of ammo.

caplight45 said...

"A well traveled people, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and drive cars, shall not be infringed."

Hey, it's in the Constitution.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

If we only achieved, in the next few years, a regulation of guns equal to that of cars...

1. The reason "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" is that the Government not regulate the right of the People to defend themselves - ultimately, if necessary, to defend themselves against Government.

2. SFAK there are few or no laws regulating the ownership of cars. The operation of cars on public property is regulated. So the writer would support unrestricted ownership of firearms, peaceful open carry everywhere by anybody, but restrictions on actual use of the firearm in public?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Clearly Gopnik is an archetypal beta male.

He learned to drive late in life, doubtlessly because the idea terrified him. He never saw himself as being in control of the mechanical beast, only that it could kill. This is entirely in line with the gun-haters view that anyone who gets his hands on a gun will become a homicidal maniac, therefore guns have no redeeming social value.

The truth is, the vast majority of gun owners-- I would venture to say all gun owners except for a vanishingly small minority-- understand the responsibility attached to gun ownership, and that while guns may be used for evil ends, it is the individual who decides between good and evil. It is the individual who is ultimately accountable.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Firearms and motor vehicles have this in common: they amplify physical power of the un-aided human body. So do industrial explosives, electric saws, cooking stoves, etc.

Gopnik's insight is that an acute awareness of this power is a part of accomplishing competence or mastery of these tools. The rest of the article is Pferdscheiss.

Widmerpool said...

And yet the murder rate continues to decline:

National Murder Rate

Tank said...

One of many places a handgun might have been handy.

Or a drivers license.

One of those.

khesanh0802 said...

Guns are already more regulated than cars. You do not have to sign any Federal paperwork to purchase an auto ( ignore the loan part). Even to purchase a long gun one must certify that one is not a felon. To purchase a handgun requires even more information and in many cases requires you get a "permit to purchase" from your local law enforcement agency. To complete the purchase requires a records search by and approval from the Feds.

A gun is a tool. Different guns like different tools can be used for different purposes. Used properly the tool causes no harm, but may give great pleasure in the result of its use. Used improperly it may cause harm to the user or others.

An amusing anecdote is that many who have shied away from guns become real enthusiasts when they are introduced to the challenging games of skeet and trap. I have seen it happen many times.

Chris N said...

Sorry, that's Kennedy School Of Government. Hope the folks at TED aren't reading

Birches said...

Vester Flanagan could have killed those two with a shotgun just as easily as he did with a handgun. He could have stabbed them both very effectively, especially considering how well he planned the documentation of his crime.

What happened to those reporters is awful, but not extraordinary when compared with the rest of crime in the US, except that it happened on live TV and affected one of the largest groups of navel gazers that ever existed.

Matt Sablan said...

"Ahh the "treat guns like cars" argument which proves the speaker knows nothing about gun laws."

Or car laws. Someone said that we should regulate guns like cars, and I asked him if he thought illegal immigrants should be allowed to get driver's licenses and handguns or neither. said...

I am fine with regulating guns like cars.

Anyone can sell any car to anyone anywhere without the need to go through a dealer or even anything more than a handshake.

Anyone can use a car without regard to age, ability or the need to pass a govt test.

I can transport a car anywhere, including across state lines without so much as a by your leave from anyone.

I can own and/or manufacture any car parts I care to and sell them to anyone I care to without restriction.

No insurance is required.

I probably missed a few.

It is up to the owner of the property to determine what restrictions, if any, they want to place on car ownership and use.

Most roads are govt owned so the govt gets to set the regulations for use of cars there. But nowhere else.

I would be OK with regulating guns the same as cars.

John Henry said...

Bruce Hayden said:

If we armed the military, and suspended Possee Comitatus, there might be a couple million potential gun seizers (and the latter would effectively be a declaration of war against the American public).

Do you think it would be a million? Or even a hundred thousand?

Everyone in the military takes an oath to uphold the Constitution. (or did when I joined anyway) We also had it constantly drilled into our heads that we not only had the right but the obligation to refuse any illegal order.

So, take out most of the Navy and Air Force from this enforcement and you are left with a few hundred thousand Marines and soldiers to do the enforcement. How many of them might look at this kind of order "Go out and take guns from law abiding citizens" and think 1) Unconstitutional, at least as they individually understand the 2A. and 2) Illegal order

"Sir, with all due respect, I believe that order to be illegal and cannot obey it."

I have a great deal of faith in our military. Perhaps that is because I served with and know many military people.

Unlike many of Gropnik's ilk.

John Henry said...

I learned to shoot in school in 3rd grade. It was part of the curriculum for all boys and girls. (Also learned archery) Qualified on several weapons in the Navy. Never had any interest in owning a firearm. Or a Lamborghini, either. Now I am thinking I need to go out and by a few and several hundred boxes of ammo and bury them in my yard. Just to be on the right side of this issue.

I am also a member of the NRA and GOA for the same reason. I don't want to own a gun. I do, definitely, want the right to own a gun.

For those who wonder where I went to school, Alexandria VA, literally within sight of the Washington Monument. Only integrated school in VA in the 50's. Yeah, the school was teaching black kids to shoot too.

Dr Weevil said...

Does he really allege that "No lives are saved, and no intruders are repelled" by gun ownership? I'm pretty sure George Zimmerman is only alive today because he owned a gun and used it. (That so many are doing their best to make him wish he were dead is a separate issue.)

I've read that since banning guns, the rape rates in Australia and the UK have reached levels two and three times the U.S. rate. (One's twice, the other thrice, but I forget which is which.) In so far as deaths counted in the total of U.S. 'murders' are justified homicides of rapists and attempted rapists - not to mention murderers and attempted murderers - I consider them a very good thing, at least compared to the alternative. Of course justified homicide is not even a misdemeanor, much less a felony, but it's still counted as homicide in international comparisons.

mikee said...

I first read the "treat guns like cars" crapola in the 1980s. I'm sure it has been around longer.

I became really interested in the anti-gun arguments when Heller v. DC was under discussion at the Supreme Court, partly because online blog comment sections were alive with arguments from both sides.

I have not read a novel argument from the anti-gun side since then. Despite refutation beyond any reasonable person's criteria, the same old canards get trotted out, cycling from "treat the guns like cars" to "more guns, more crime" to "common sense gun restrictions" to "we only want to ban some guns" and so on.

When every single argument has been refuted not only by logic, but by factual data supplied in many cases by their own side, one can only conclude that anti-gun people are arguing in bad faith, to achieve not their stated goals of less crime or fewer deaths but political power, and will stop at no lie, slander, ploy or scheme to achieve their end.

Roll back from where we are now in gun control: it is the only path to less crime and more exercise of individual rights.

Michael K said...

Machine drops in for a drive-by

Blogger machine said...
248 mass shootings in US in the 238 days of 2015...

just peachy...let's not change a thing.

If those nasty Americans had not been on that train in Belgium, the shooter could have exceeded your total in one day.

chuck said...

has been refuted again and again

Assumes facts not in evidence. The hysterics at The New Yorker need a lie down.

RAH said...

Ummm NO This argument has been refuted so many times . Before antis write an article about gun regulation they need to do research So tired of the same idiotic ideas that have been demolished before.

Dr Weevil said...

Which argument "has been refuted so many times"? There's no way to tell, mostly because your "antis" could be either anti-gun or anti-gun-registration.

SteveR said...

If you want to "regulate guns", you'll have find them. Have a look around. Didn't find any? I didn't think you would.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Main purpose of a gun has always been this evergreen need: protection against a tyrannical government.

Quaestor said...

It looks to me that Gopnik is the one peddling a mythology of gun love.

William said...

Americans are famously inventive and adaptable. This includes our malevolent psychotic subset. There's no reason to suppose that Flanagan, absent a gun, wouldn't have found some other way of exorcising his demons. He could have gone all Suge Knight on their ass when they crossed the street.

William said...

If Suge Knight gets off--and there's a good chance he will--I wonder if he will lose his driver's license.

William said...

If I ever engaged in workplace violence, my weapon of choice would be a chainsaw. I want to hear screams, see severed limbs, and feel the warm flush of arterial blood rinsing my face. I had worse jobs than Flanagan.

CWJ said...

Normally I ignore "Machine's" drive-by's. but this quote got me.

"248 mass shootings in US in the 238 days of 2015..."

If this were true, I would think that there would be almost nothing else on the news. Must be a very interesting definition of the word "mass." "shootings" may have an interesting definition as well.

Must be the same people that defined 1in5 women suffering rape or attempted rape.

John Henry said...

Norway has some pretty strict gun control laws. How could this possibly have happened there? Everybody know that the US is the only place where mass murders happen. Right?

The 2011 Norway attacks were two sequential lone wolf terrorist attacks by Anders Behring Breivik against the government, the civilian population, and a Workers' Youth League (AUF)-run summer camp in Norway on 22 July 2011. The attacks claimed a total of 77 lives. (emph added-JRH)

The first attack was a car bomb explosion in Oslo within Regjeringskvartalet, the executive government quarter of Norway, at 15:25:22 (CEST).[1] The bomb was made from a mixture of fertiliser and fuel oil[13][14] and placed in the back of a van.[15] The van was placed in front of the office block housing the office of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and other government buildings.[16] The explosion killed eight people and injured at least 209 people, twelve of them seriously.

John Henry

John Henry said...

I pretty much never watch TV anymore but was seeing CNN while eating breakfast in the hotel. Pretty much can't avoid it.

They were going on and on about the two reporters and how terrible it was and how can text our sympathy to that great sympathy box in the sky. The parents were on talking about how more gun control is needed.

Meanwhile, in Baltimore, where legal gun ownership is tightly controlled, there have been 218 murders up to 8/26/15. Who speaks for these victims? Who expresses sympathy to their parents, children, spouses? Oh, right. Nobody. They are mostly black so who gives 2 shits? They will never even be mentioned on the news.

Baltimore is not even that big a city. 218 murders in 8 months. Guess which party has controlled the city since forever.

In case anyone is interested, here are the victims, so far. More details at the link

Karim Bonner
Josphat Kobia
Leon Fleming
Matthew Thomas
Brian Chase
John Walsh
Robert Thomas
Troy Preston
Darius White
Anthony Richardson
Troy Pinkney
Donte Downer
David Hall
Harry Smith
Jason Ballard
Dashawn Allbrook
Marlon Harvey
Davon Johnson
Stephen Foreman
James Smith
Stephen Vaise
Victor Underwood Black
Marvin Barrett
Tavares Swinson
Derrick Dargan
John Imbragulio
James Williams
James Maurice Edward Jr.
Malik Fuller
Unidentified Man
Kevin Mason
Jawan Goode
Leedell Brown
Owen Crayton
Anthony Reese
Dwayne Reid
Markez Jones
Djuan Tillett
Tameka Mobley
Terrell Walston

(Continued next comment)

John Henry said...

Davon Jordan
Alton Wallace III
Daniel Brooks
Sterling Day
Jarrell Hicks
Andre Robinson
Travis Dixon
Victor Gwaltney III
Kemmontay Mitchell
Jeremy Ward
Felicity Shelton
Carla Harrison
Steven Jackson
Jamar Green
Tyrone Damon
Tywaun Short
Billy Vines
Kevin Hill
Mark Nicholson
Jamal Rosebourgh
Troy Palmer
Carvell Jones
Nicole Torain
Reanna Greene
Daquain Tate
Tierell Wilder
Kareem George
Tyleah Fenwick
Martin Brooks
Ricky Chambers Jr.
Andre Hunt
Davon William Johnson
James Maurice Johnson
Freddie Gray
Yogesh Sheth
Byron Showell
Khai Hebron
Jorvon Beatty
Keith Watts
Rodney Vandette Johnson
Melissa Anne Bingham
Armand Parrine
Paul Smith
Ivan McBroom
Matthew Hughes
Harry Davis
Odell Stewart
Louis Hicks
Tahil Yasin
Shawn Scott
Tiffany Chisholm
Wade Purvey Jr.
Eric Diggs Jr.
Shawn Hickman
Kelvin Warfield
Melody Johnson
Michael Smith
Jarmar James
Darell Alston
Charles Adams
Tyrin Diggs
Hassan Fields
James Mckoy
Bruce Fleming Jr.
Umika Smith
Charles Jackson Jr
Shaquil Hinton
Charles Dobbins
Keith Leon Booze
Jennifer Jeffrey
Kester Browne
Eladio Bennett
Justin Mensupha-Bey
Ronnie Thomas III
Kevin Hart Jr.
Terrell Patterson
Tony Moody
Gerald Smith
Jerod Richardson
Montez Parker
Tyrone Hamber
Calvin Bryant
Malcolm Alonzo Rodgers
Kevin Jones
Arnesha Bowers
Ronnie Walden
Elery Hudson
Andrew Powell
Antoine Johnson
Jamon Corprew
Curtis D. Mitchell
Jerome J. Grant
Steven L. Bass
Michael S. Montgomery
Pernell Morris
Henry MacArthur
Bernard Dorsey
Alan Durant Gilbert
Leasia Carter
Cory Turman
Tommy David Thomas
Marcus Warren
Jose Alejandro Cartagena
Brian Augins
Ivan J. Cox Jr.
Nathaniel Wheeler Jr.
Josh Remus Burnett
Keith Glascoe
Edward Burroughs
Derwin Jones
John F. Davis
Lamont Randall Jr.
Gerald Thompson
Jaqueline Parker
Antonio Anderson
Eric Forrester
Gary Jackson
Gregory Higgins
James Ricardo Smith
Tyrell Hardy
Darrius Johnson
Dante Barnes
Marvin Coston Jr.
Frederick S. Taylor
Steven Justin Lewis
Tyrone Johnson
Robert Lee Jackson
Ronald Davon Penn
Terron Singleton
Damon Tisdale
Delvin Trusty
Shyteak Lawrence
Albert Mullen
Sina Masoodi
Raja'ee Naneem Sincere
Jefferson Bolden
Clerow Myers III
Daquan Mason
Damon L. Ramsey
Charles Diggs
Jaswinder Singh
Marcus Downer
Michael Polston
Franklin Grayson
Lorad C. Warner
Marquis Tisdale
Teon Simms
Jermaine Mitter
Donte Dixon Jr.
Gregory Tynes
Terrence Boyd
Alvin Phillips
Darod Rosenburough
La Tonya Denise Battle
Tranell Dansbury
Robert Mullins
Christopher Giles
Steven Krug
Jerome Smith
Dontaye McDaniel
David Lamont Nolan
Sheldon Eubanks
Timothy Fancher
Franklin Morris
Tyrik Adams
Marquise Caldwell
Melvin Heckstell
Kevin Carey
Paul Passley
(Tentative) TJ Bryce
Unidentified Man
Richard Dabbs Jr.
Thelonious Monk
Unidentitfied Man
Raykwon Young
Unidentified Man
Keenan Stanfield
Unidentified Man
Unidentified Man

Lewis Wetzel said...

People who believe that gun ownership in the US is unregulated go into the idiot bin.
I invite any person who believes that legally owning a firearm in the US is unregulated to go into a gun store and try to buy a hand gun. For many people it will be the closest and most intimate interaction they have with the State in their entire lives. Although the right to bear arms is guaranteed by the Bill of rights, permission to own a firearm is giving grudgingly by the State, if it is given at all.

Achilles said...

"No lives are saved, and no intruders are repelled; the dense and hysterical mythology of gun love has been refuted again and again..."

Hitler couldn't have said it any better.

Expat(ish) said...

Remember "mass shootings" is being redefined by "activists" from the standard CDC definition.

IIRC correctly it is now 4 or more people *shot* not killed in one incident.

I'm not sure that they don't have a more useful definition, but it's not what you think.

Personally, I want all these shooting numbers segmented by citizen/illegal, un/lawful ownership, and accident/crime/suicide/protection.

Then we can talk about rolling back policies and regulations that don't solve actual problems and can argue the merits of ways to attack areas where we don't like the outcome.


Lewis Wetzel said...

There is no constitutional right to "hunt or to kill varmints." If hunting and killing varmints was made illegal across the United States,you would still have a constitutional right to bear arms. This must drive people like Gopnik insane.

David Spence said...

From Charles C.W. Cooke, Oxford grad and native of England, nails it:

Chuck said...

Vester Flanagan II had a driver's license, and he passed a background check. He had never been committed to a mental health treatment facility. I don't know if he had been prescribed any psychiatric medications; I'll permit the reader to imagine either one; he did or did not take something like an anti-depressant. I don't think he had any serious criminal history. Let's presume, arguendo (for reasons you'll find out shortly), that he had been arrested previously (as with his employment termination, in which he had been walked out of the tv station by police in response to a 911 call) and charged with disorderly conduct.

How, exactly, does anyone think that Flanagan should have been "screened" for criminal and/or mental health qualifications to purchase a handgun?

That's the thing with Adam Gopnik, and Hillary Clinton, and anyone else proposing "mere common sense solutions to gun violence;" what they are in fact proposing are some sort(s) of personally invasive investigation into each and every gun purchaser, and that someone with Vester Flanagan's record would be denied the right to purchase a gun.

By those measures, I am quite certain that Ta-Nehisi Coates and Cornel West would both be denied the right to own a gun.

Wait; stop; don't answer that. I know what you are going to say. That denying Ta-Nehisi Coates and Cornel West the right to a firearm makes sense to you. I was afraid of that.

Sigivald said...

The only "useful social functions" of guns is "in hunting or in killing varmints."

Sporting (as in target shooting, be it informal or competitive) is not "useful social function", I guess.

Screw those guys, and their "social function" shibboleths.

(His belief that self-defense never happens is adorable in its ignorance of evidence, though.

Oh, indeed, one is very, very unlikely to have to shoot someone in self defense, absolutely.

This is both a) good and b) not how we measure defensive utility.)

Lewis Wetzel said...

The Gopnik article is a good example of why the elites are so despised in the US. It's not that Americans are anti-intellectual, but the that the elites are so stupid. Look at the Gopnik piece. He makes the required reference to the gun use of himself or a family member ("The few useful social functions that guns do have—in hunting or in killing varmints, as a rural man such as my father has to do—can be preserved even with tight regulations, as in Canada. ")
Who gives a flying f*ck if Gopnik's father shoots a gun? This does not advance any kind of argument, pro or anti gun. It is posing. It is Gopnik saying that he is the kind of person who has a father who shoots a gun. That is all. It is not even anecdote, for Christ's sake.
"(The incident last week on the French train is good evidence of this point: unarmed defenders disarmed a terrorist with a military-style weapon. A huge proportion of luck and an inestimable supply of courage aided them. But the possession of guns played no role at all.)"
More stupidity. Hey, let's disarm all of the anti-terror cops! They might get lucky once in a while and take down and armed terrorist! Why do we give any cops guns! The French train incident proves that they don't help at all!
A real intellectual, committed to reason, would have asked himself the counter factual question: if the French train gunman had not been stopped by the unarmed men, and had killed a lot of innocent people, would this have shown that arming the passengers is a good idea?

furious_a said...

"The incident last week on the French train is good evidence of this point: unarmed defenders disarmed a terrorist with a military-style weapon. A huge proportion of luck and an inestimable supply of courage aided them. But the possession of guns played no role at all."

Neither did it at Fort Hood or Chattanooga...uh, except for the gunmen.

furious_a said...

"The incident last week on the French train is good evidence of this point: unarmed defenders disarmed a terrorist with a military-style weapon. A huge proportion of luck and an inestimable supply of courage aided them. But the possession of guns played no role at all."

Like the Provos said to Margaret Thatcher after Bristol: we have to be lucky only once, you have to be lucky every time.

Skipper said...

The ultimate goal of regulation of cars was never their elimination. We know that the regulation of firearms is intended to ultimately outlaw them, period.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, it is to your credit that you recognize the following statement of Gropnik's as being hysterical:

"No lives are saved, and no intruders are repelled; the dense and hysterical mythology of gun love has been refuted again and again."

It's also a flat lie. Every issue of American Rifleman includes six to eight summaries of instances where an armed person successfully defended himself or herself and sometimes other people from muggers, armed robbers, home intruders, rabid animals, or the like with a legal gun. Here's an instance when a 14 year old chased off two burglars with a .22 rifle.

Gropnik points to the successful disarming of the Moroccan terrorist on a train in France as evidence that we don't need guns to fight back successfully. Is he nuts? Hey! If you could promise me that anyone kicking down my back door in the middle of the night will have a jam on the second or third round chambered I suppose I could take my chances with hand to hand combat, but if you aren't going to guarantee that then I'll stick with my .357, thanks much. Fort Hood and Chattanooga show what can happen when the terrorist guns don't jam, and the death toll stopped at five in Chattanooga only because one of the people attacked had a gun with which to fight back.

Gropnik references the attack on the news reporters in Roanoke. But suppose we do a little gedanken experiment and imagine that Vester Flanagan had not been able to acquire his Glock legally. How does Gropnik propose to prevent him from acquiring one illegally? Despite laws against fully automatic weapons, enforced at Waco, TX, with enough vigor to kill 21 children -- eleven of them under five years old -- fully automatic weapons routinely find their way into cities like Chicago, Washington, and New York. It simply has to be much easier to acquire an illegal handgun than an illegal AK-47. But let's suppose he couldn't get a gun illegally, either. Would Gropnik have been happier to watch a video of Flanagan hacking Alison Parker and Adam Ward to death with an axe or machete? Now that might make for a truly viral video among the truly sick minds of this country.

Look, Gropnik can make a decision not to defend himself if attacked; that's his natural right. But I won't let him make that decision for me.

Ken Mitchell said...

"Gopnik ends with a plea to regulate guns at least as much as cars:"

I'd LOVE that! I can buy as many cars as I can afford, and I don't need to get some government permission.

I have a driver's license in California, which allows me to drive anywhere in the country. I can drive my car on the public streets without needing a different permit for every state. I don't need governmental permission to drive my car from one state to another. If I purchase a high-powered car, there are no special restrictions placed on it. I can sell my car to another person, and don't have to take my car to a government-licensed used car dealer and pay special transfer taxes.

Cars vs Guns comparisons are invariably corrupted by the fact that most non-gun owners have NO CLUE how many laws and regulations are ALREADY applied to firearms purchases.

RonF said...

"Those who, in the face of all the evidence, still insist that guns are not the cause of the American epidemic of gun violence ..."

Then explain to me why Americans have had guns for 200+ years but we are only seeing these kinds of things recently.

These killings have come about due to American culture, that's for sure. But it's not gun culture. It's that due to the influence of the left there is no longer respect for life in America. Children can be cut out of the womb at the whim of their mother (and the father has no say). Criminal violence is glorified in music and movies, and the consequences are shown to be favorable. The concepts that the basis of a civilized society is intact families and the rule of law is vilified, and so are the people who hold it. The very idea of what a man, a woman, and a marriage are have been deliberately obliterated.

It's a path to ruin, and now ruin is what we see. Guns are not the cause of this violence. They are merely the symptom. American society did not have a problem with the presence of guns before. The culture needs to change, not the guns.

dbp said...

If guns were regulated like cars, they would be far less regulated than they are now.

"By Eugene Volokh December 23, 2014

Cars are basically regulated as follows (I rely below on California law, but to my knowledge the rules are similar throughout the country):

(1) No federal licensing or registration of car owners.

(2) Any person may use a car on his own private property without any license or registration. See, e.g., California Vehicle Code §§ 360, 12500 (driver’s license required for driving on “highways,” defined as places that are “publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel”); California Vehicle Code § 4000 (same as to registration).

(3) Any adult — and in most states, 16- and 17-year-olds, as well — may get a license to use a car in public places by passing a fairly simple test that virtually everyone can pass.

(4) You can lose your license for proved misuse of the car, but not for most other misconduct; and even if you lose your driver’s license, you can usually regain it some time later.

(5) Your license from one state is good throughout the country."

Brando said...

I don't care why someone owns a gun just like I don't care why they own a car or anything else--as long as they're not going to use it in an unsafe or criminal manner. Can't the left wing moralists just stick to that? I don't try to deconstruct why they own pot.

richard mcenroe said...

"That sounds hysterical. Not dense. But hysterical."

It's dense, too. The already substantial number of assaults and others crimes documented by law enforcement is, if anything, low, when you consider that people who may have purchased a gun illegally for protection aren't going to report it unless shots are actually fired.

CWJ said...

Expat(ish) @ 12:21,

Thank you for that. Just wondering for "Machine" endorsed standards, if I were to discharge a weapon in the presence of 4 people would that count as a "mass shooting," or do I actually have to hit them? If the latter, do I have to hit them all, or is one or more enough? How many bullets would I need to fire? Would say three misses and a hit count?

Gee, agenda-driven statistics are hard.

Expat(ish) I do hope you know that you are definately not the one I'm mocking here.

Jim Bullock said...

I'm about to be provocative, but there's a point. Provocatively, maybe we should regulate cars more like guns.

The ability to move freely seems a fundamental right. In a society that's adapted to cars, effectively if you don't drive, your life is exponentially harder. At least half of that is the *adaptation of the infrastructure to cars* not *simply being unable to go 50mph in a powered box.* Seriously. Try to walk (or bike) to get somewhere. The impediments and risks are *all* accommodations to cars.

Accommodations to cars in the infrastructure turn not being able to drive one, effectively into not being able to move freely. Plus that infrastructure is in large part paid for by imposed general taxes, levied whether you drive or not.

Perhaps the government should be required to have an articulable, specific objection, to a specific person, before removing the freedom to move at will, which is embodied in a car they could otherwise procure and operate.

Don't get me started on money. Why is a government ID required to open a bank account? The autonomy to move one's own assets and participate in the retail economy seems fundamental.

The point is, you can learn a lot about a position, and the consequences of yours by taking and arguing the extreme opposite position. It makes you think more broadly. And, in the end, honestly.

Gahrie said...

The purpose of the Second Amendment was to protect the ability of the people to overthrow a government that has lost the consent of the governed.

RobinGoodfellow said...

Guns stop crimes hundred of thousands of times a year.

I don't think he really wants to see the day when guns are regulated like cars.
-anyone over the age of 15 could take a simple test and get a license to operate one with adult supervision
-anyone over the age of 16 could take a simple demonstration test and be issued a license to have one almost anywhere
-anyone over the age of 18 could own one
-there would be no waiting period to purchase one
-a firearms license issued in one state would be valid in all states
-no license or insurance would be required to own or carry one on your own private property
-just like automobile fuel, ammunition would be readily available for purchase without restriction

Guildofcannonballs said...

"played no role at all"

But guns played a role in the crime, and guns could have played a role in preventing the crime from becoming as bad or becoming worse.

But the idea there is a role for guns to play or not is disturbing; like it's all movies or virtual roles not reality so let's get a double espresso and talk! about how to make things better for everyone out there.

*UPDATE so I guess "role" is the proper term ergo "playing" must be my beef with the phrasing.

an actor's part in a play, movie, etc.
"Dietrich's role as a wife in war-torn Paris"
synonyms: part; More
the function assumed or part played by a person or thing in a particular situation.
"she greeted us all in her various roles of mother, friend, and daughter"
synonyms: capacity, position, job, post, office, duty, responsibility, mantle, place;

TobyTucker said...

Yes, drivers are licensed and cars are registered but somehow that has NOT prevented something like 30,000 people a year losing their lives in auto accidents, not to mention all those injured and the property damage incurred. This analogy has some flaws, eh?

Nichevo said...

Plus think how many cars and drivers are involved in crimes without being lethal? Go shoot up a bank and make your getaway. What did you roll up in? A car! Escape in? A car! Drive-bys? Delivery of fake jewelry, tainted meat, carrying off of loot, kidnap victims, bodies for disposal? Cars! Ban cars and you ban all automotive related crime.