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December 21, 2012

Comments

This would actually not be that crazy if it was a private security guard making $9/hr instead of a cop doing the same thing but making four or five times as much.

The better option is obviously to just give the principal or whoever a gun. We put fire extinguishers in school in case there's a fire, we don't hire full time firefighters.

It's the 2nd Amendment, a right. Why do gun owners need to justify a need?

When they start chipping away at the 1st Amendment, will you have to justify a need to run this blog?

The NRA has never been able to accept the concept of a middle ground on gun control. In its worldview, there are only two alternatives: (a) complete prohibition of all non-police/military gun ownership, or (b) no restrictions whatsoever on gun ownership. Even the most modest gun control measures invariably will lead to (a).

Per the Heller case, owning a gun for self-defense is an individual right. One which has some limits, but, broadly speaking, the same features that are useful to criminals (detachable, high-capacity magazines, semi-automatic fire, etc.) are also useful to law-abiding citizens. It is important to note that, even after the 1934 NFA, machine guns were still legal to own, they merely required a license and were taxed. However, given the (I think) Marbury precedent, even the NFA might be found unconstitutional (the power to tax being the power to destroy). The 1986 ban on sale of new receivers rests in large part on ATF's interpretation of FOPA.

Shoot, for hunting, you could kill a deer with a bow. Or a spear. No one needs guns, until you're in a situation where a gun is the difference between life and death. Like in San Bernadino, or Detroit, where the police (who aren't legally obligated to protect citizens anyway) have been budget-cut into ineffectiveness.

You refuse to entertain any conversation about urban whites' need for guns to defend against blacks. A perfect example was 3 days ago, when I upbraided a 240 lb. black guy for pissing on the sidewalk. When he started toward me, I had to take off running precisely because I had no gun. If I'd had one, I'd have shot him in the balls.

[HS: So it's a GOOD thing you didn't have a gun, otherwise you'd be sharing a jail cell with George Zimmerman.]

The NRA refuses to get into a conversation about what guns people need for whatever people do with guns (hunt?).

Good for them, that conversation is hard (impossible?) to win and very very easy to lose.

We don't have to tell you why we "need" anything. That's, er, --was-- the whole point of America. We get to have anything we like, unless the government has a very, very compelling reason why not.

Prediction: After all is said and done, much will be said, and nothing will be done. No new gun regulations will pass the House.

"It's the 2nd Amendment, a right. Why do gun owners need to justify a need?"

Because the line on the Second Amendment has to be drawn somewhere. Unless you believe private possession of nuclear weapons should fall under the right to bear arms.

@HS: "The NRA refuses to get into a conversation about what guns people need for whatever people do with guns (hunt?)."

Playing devils advocate...

Why should they? The 2nd Amendment guarantees a personal right to keep and bear arms. The people can exercise their rights for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reason at all. Rights are not subject to demonstrating a "need" -- that's why they're called "rights". If you don't like the 2nd Amendment, your remedy is to repeal it. Good luck with that.

I suppose the NRA doesn't want to talk about the real reason for the 2nd Amendment: Shooting government employees who infringe on our liberties. That's why it's in the Constitution, a political document. If the right to bear arms had anything to do with hunting animals, then there ought also have been an amendment recognizing the right to own a plow, an even more necessary tool in an agrarian society. But to point that out today would be inflammatory. What kind of nuts could imagine that our government could ever be tyrannical?

Steve Sailer has a great comment about this today. He says the REAL issue to Blue Staters is to keep guns from dangerous NAMs; but they can't talk about the issue that way. So they claim it's to keep guns out of hillbilly rednecks. But the latter DO need guns for home protection in rural areas.
http://isteve.blogspot.com/

@Discard is on the money.

This is not theoretical.

An overwhelming majority of the killing that has occurred in the last 100 years has been governments killing their own citizens on purpose.

Consider mass murder by the government against citizenry in:
China (cultural revolution)
Germany (holocaust)
USSR (many purges, gulags, mass starvations)
Cambodia
Yugoslavia
North Korea all the way to today
Cambodia
Iraq under Saddam

It is said that murder of the citizenry by the government in Communist countries alone totals more than 100 million, i.e. 17 holocausts.

Every instance of the government killing the people including disarming the people. To cite the only instance of the above that bothers Jewish people consider the disarming by the German government of Jews prior to the holocaust.

[HS: (1) So the NRA should discuss what guns people need to defend themselves from the government (but of course they won't); (2) yes, all Jews should own a gun, but Jews are like horses in that you can lead them to water but you can't force them to drink (or buy a gun).]

Culling feral hogs is easy, commonm, and important non-defensive use of large capacity magazines and semi-automatic reloading.

The purpose of the Second Amendment is the "security of a free state." Anti-federalists feared that the transition from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution would give the central government too much power. The Amendments are largely a set of restrictions on federal power (e.g., the central government cannot establish a national church, etc.) Prior to 20th century incorporation cases, state governments could and did establish churches , could regulate speech, and so forth. I'll be happy to see Obama replace Thomas or Scalia, and see the Supreme Court reverse itself on Heller and MacDonald.

One should especially consider the present situation in South Africa as instructive for a distant American future.

In that case, the government doesn't actually have to implement a holocaust itself at all -- it merely has to be passive or slow-footed and let the people to what they want to do anyway.

The unofficial S.A. national anthem is "Kill the Boer" -- sung happily by politicians who need to drum up votes.

The peaceful and legally armed white farmers in South Africa feed much of the African continent by day while defending themselves against genocide by night. They are often unsuccessful, but they are successful at saving themselves often enough to continue their way of life and keep everyone fed (including the Zimbabweans who came to SA after starvation followed when they chased their own white farmers away).

America had extraordinarily high murder rates 20 years ago until police forces began to come down really hard. If organizations like the NAACP and the SPLC got their way in terms of criminal justice and sentencing, I have no idea how bad things would get for the majority cum minority.

[HS: So is the answer more guns, or fewer blacks?]

Gun control is one of the few issues that non-liberals have been winning on in recent decades. For example, it is much easier to carry a concealed gun now than say in 1975 in most states.

I own two guns for fun and I keep them around for self defense of my house too. So I fully support gun rights. However, I just don't see why semi-automatic rifles need to be legal. If you have to have a semi-automatic rifle to go deer hunting, well maybe you should find a new sport.

However, semi-automatic pistols are another story. I own a revolver and a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, and I would much, much rather have the semi-automatic if I was ever confronted with a true self defense situation. It just gives you more fire power to fight pack in a short burst of time. (Also, this pistol is a whole lot more fun at the gun range.)

I agree with Auster, no one needs to own an assault rifle.

Guns are designed to kill and I don’t see how the number of bullets it can hold indicates if the bullets are useful for self-defense or not, and statistically the overwhelming majority of semi automatic rifles are owned by law abiding citizens; so as I see it the burden of proof of sinister intent in semi automatic gun possession is only met in extreme circumstances, and even then a well trained and equipped general population will provide the quickest response time, as good people always outnumber bad, and they will do what they have to, to protect themselves if so empowered, anything less just increases response time and the body count.

I’m not opposed to mandatory background checks assuming non violent offenses are not normal disqualifiers, but it probably won’t help much as the recent cases I can think of involved “borrowed” or stolen guns, and when taking everything I’ve already written into account an armed and well trained population is still the most effective response. We don’t have a gun problem in the US we have a mental health problem- with or without guns.

" So the NRA should discuss what guns people need to defend themselves from the government (but of course they won't);"

No. This is not an academic debate. The NRA is up against a force which wants to disarm the American citizen, and which cares nothing for the constitution.

The NRA should do nothing which plays to the hand of the freedom grabbers. It should employ whatever tactic that it believes will win. Period.

Objectively, NRA's responsibility for gun killings is nil. Therefore with that premise in mind, any "common sense" concession they make to the gun-control crowd is a surrender of a proverbial inch, after which there will be demands for more concessions.

NRA is nothing more than Left's current object of hate, like Chic fil-A several months ago. If they hold a hard line on gun rights, then (a) it's an alpha thing to do, and (b) libs won't hate them any more than they'd hate them otherwise.

Larry Auster is an urban conservative. Gun issues is unfamiliar territory for him.

Some data would be a good place to start. Is there a database anywhere of various types of weapons that compares their overall ownership to their criminal use? There are tens of millions of 12 gauge shotguns that are rarely used to commit criminal homicide; while I suspect semi-automatics have an extremely high ratio.

For people who do not own gun, you should visit a gun range and you will find people there super friendly to each other. You know why.

Nuclear weapons also contributed long peace between major powers. Without nuke, we might have several world wars aready.

Mutually assured destruction brings peace. Fear=repect. When we are afraid of each other, we also respect each other.

I disagree with Auster about a lot of stuff, but at least the man has a coherent philosophy, and allows his perspectives to be dictated by that philosophy. Most other hardcore conservative intellectuals, like Scalia and Bork, also understand that the constitution allows reasonable limits to be placed on the kinds of guns that Americans can own without infringing on the citizenry's right to self-defense.

The trouble is that the NRA, which is essentially a corporate lobby, has propagandized a lot of stupider conservatives into embracing a dogmatic party-line that has no coherent philosophy behind it whatsoever. Their message, at its heart, is simply "buy more guns, especially the most expensive kind."

The obstinace you're seeing from some Republicans at the moment nicely highlights the degree to which this is truly the party of dumb people controlled by corporate interests.


"[HS: (1) So the NRA should discuss what guns people need to defend themselves from the government (but of course they won't); (2) yes, all Jews should own a gun, but Jews are like horses in that you can lead them to water but you can't force them to drink (or buy a gun).]"

These Jews are drinking water on their own: http://jpfo.org/

Why, in this day and age, would a regular citizen need a semi-automatic weapon (which is what I assume Larry means by "firing scores of bullets in rapid fire")? People who ask this question are almost always urban SWPLs who've never truly felt threatened or endangered in their life. It's not hard to come up with a couple scenarios.

How about the '92 LA Riots? Shop owners in Koreatown had to defend their own shops from looting:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQjrB5RT6K4

There's nothing inherently wrong with a semi-automatic rifle. While they are capable of very rapid repeat shots, a lever action (or, in the case of a shotgun, a pump action) is almost as fast. Magazine capacity is the issue, and that's something which can be addressed without banning any particular types of firearms.

I may have missed this part of the story, but many schools today have metal detection screening upon entering the premises. Seems to me this makes more sense than an armed guard getting in a shooting match with an assailant around confined kids.

"fewer blacks"

Adam Lanza was white.

I don't get involved in Auster's conversations, but I checked out the exchange you linked to. Someone wrote:

"that for rightful liberty to prevail, the people must have the ability to exercise greater force than the government. If they do not, the government can and eventually will become a tyrant."

What a dumb comment. It's pretty obvious that the government has way more force than all the gun owners in the country. And I would include drug dealers in the latter. One bombing raid and it would all be over. Do they still use B-52?

An amazing comment by Auster, whose primary virtue as a blogger is alerting everyone to the extreme danger posed by blacks, exemplified by the cascade of attacks on whites since Obama was elected. Say you're walking with your girlfriend at a park when two blacks with a gun approach (like the boyfriend/girlfriend in OK City last year). You have a gun but it's only 10 rounds. You're scared, they're moving, you fire all ten and you don't hit anything. Anyone think that's unrealistic? There is nothing outrageous or impractical about having a 20-or 30 round clip, to kill just TWO savages.

"Assault" weapons are adult toys for white proles, and white proles really like these toys.

Before the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 was passed, a company called Intratec used to make a 9mm assault pistol called the Tec-9. You've seen them on television a hundred times. After the ban, they were able to sell the exact same gun with the exception of the threaded barrel. The new gun was called the AB-10 (After Ban) and it was sold new with a 10-round clip. It still accepted 30- and 50-round clips, though, and the AB-10 was used with a 30-round clip by Dylan Klebold during the Columbine High School shootings.

If a new assault weapons ban is passed, all of the guns, clips, ammo, etc. that are currently legal will be protected by a grandfather clause, and TONS of this stuff will be produced before the ban goes into effect. It'll all still be legal to own, and likely sell, of course, at a huge markup.

One thing the federal government will not do in the short or medium term is start confiscating existing, privately owned guns. That's the main thing that could make a long term difference when it comes to reducing gun violence, and the short term consequences would be horrific. Too many white proles would lose their minds, and I wouldn't necessarily blame them.

I don't know what we can do to try and prevent mass murder, but gun violence in general is primarily a NAM problem, and I don't see how we fix that with bans on "assault" weapons.

Plus, the whole 3D printing of guns thing . . .

It is a fact that the worst, most dangerous enemy of any people is their own government.

Discard and others are sort of hinting at the issue. The Constitution was written by (the only) successful revolutionaries. The Second Amendment is intended to provide citizens with the means to overthrow a despotic government. It has nothing to do with hunting or even personal defense against criminals.

We are not there yet, but the long-term trend of our history is towards despotism, and several Presidents have already dabbled in it. Under current law, the President can arrest and imprison without warrant, arraignment or trial any person (including Americans in the USA) suspected of being a terrorist.

Semi-automatic rifles are necessary for a successful overthrow. In fact, the inclusion of the militia clause suggests that any weapon proper to militia company can be kept and borne by a citizen. This would include crew-served automatic weapons, mortars and RPGs and mines. Of course, none of those existed 230 years ago.

With the passing of the Generation of the Revolution, this aspect of the Bill of Rights became muted, if not forgotten. Also, the failed secession of the CSA put the whole concept of armed revolt in limbo. Someday, hopefully very long from now, our descendants will have to avail themselves of their right to keep and bear arms.

"The NRA has never been able to accept the concept of a middle ground on gun control."

This is because they are not stupid. They know the Left plans to salami slice gun rights to death. Once they accept the "middle ground" which is closer to total prohibition, the Left will demand they accept a new "middle ground" that is even closer to total prohibition.

" the line on the Second Amendment has to be drawn somewhere."

It is very clear -- THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

"Steve Sailer has a great comment about this today. He says the REAL issue to Blue Staters is to keep guns from dangerous NAMs"

I don't even believe it. They are happy with armed NAMs because they think those NAMs will only kill proles, not SWPLs.

"[HS: So is the answer more guns, or fewer blacks?]"

Yes!

Obama and the Democrats should spend less time worryinhg about the guns owned by law-abiding white people and more time worrying about the guns that are in the hands of NAM criminals.

I do think it makes sense in terms of debate for the NRA to start their side of the argument this way.

The left has great success by pushing the envelope with things that are utterly outlandish until they become the reality.

If the NRA started the conversation in favor of mild gun regulation, draconion regulation would result.

There is a lesson here for the right. You have to occupy the right and not the center. If you occupy the center the result will be swift motion to the left.

The left is already on this, talking about taking all guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens in plain violation of the 2nd amendment.

Even the mainstream talks of eliminating all semiautomatic guns which includes everything but what? Six-shooters? Muzzle loaders?

Yeah I'd trust a guy making a paltry $9 an hour to patrol my children's school with a loaded firearm. No chance for that scenario to go horribly wrong.

I think the gun lobby (I'm not a gun owner, so I'm just supposing here) is much like the abortion lobby. They view their rights as being under attack by the other side. Broadly speaking, a majority of people favor some restrictions on gun rights and abortion rights, but in some general sense think they should exist.

However, the abortion lobby refuses to budge on things like partial birth abortion, and the gun lobby refuses to budge on high capacity magazines, not because either group really cares about that particular thing, but rather because they fear that once they give in, they'll be open to placing more restrictions and more restrictions. It doesn't help that those that sponsor partial birth abortion bans or high capacity magazine bans are politicians that actively support the repeal of all abortion and gun rights laws respectively.

@Dan Morgan: "I just don't see why semi-automatic rifles need to be legal. If you have to have a semi-automatic rifle to go deer hunting, well maybe you should find a new sport."

Many hunting rifles are semi-automatic. Google is your friend.

@Lara: "no one needs to own an assault rifle"

Please define "assault rifle". Be specific. The definition should be based on objective characteristics of the gun, and not how scary it looks, or how popular it is with people you don't like. Unless your intention is to ban semi-automatic hunting rifles and handguns, make sure your definition doesn't include them (and if that is your intention, all I will say is Good Luck With That).

What would be the upside for to NRA to concede anything to its liberal detractors?

One upside, one incentive?

How does it work out when any conservative institution, group, or individual compromises with liberalism? The answer: the left takes another inch.

"This would actually not be that crazy if it was a private security guard making $9/hr instead of a cop doing the same thing but making four or five times as much."

Would you want a guy making $9/hr protecting your kids? I'm sure most of us wouldn't. And we wouldn't want him having a gun either.

The NRA remained silent for a week and then came out with a very carefully crafted statement in a very controlled news conference.

That's because they are masters if PR. Whatever clumsiness is being attributed to Pierre's demeanor, I am sure the message of a cop in every school was fully focus group tested and researched. I suspect a majority of Americans agree with it. I suspect it will have the support of public safety and teachers unions.

Since when in the last 20 years has the American public said "no" to the idea of having more police?

Auster and other so called conservatives who want to ban "assault weapons" are betas who feel threatened by guns but also the idea that black people might own guns.

Also, many farmers and landowners need "assault rifles" to effectively control coyotes, feral hogs and other nuisance animals.

I want millions of White conservatives armed with sufficient firepower to give the government pause about any future actions. It's not so much a single person being armed with enough firepower, it is the cumulative effect of millions - maybe tens of millions - of White conservatives having this available.

As our government potentially comes under the control of an anti-White coalition, this becomes even more imperative.

"I may have missed this part of the story, but many schools today have metal detection screening upon entering the premises. Seems to me this makes more sense than an armed guard getting in a shooting match with an assailant around confined kids."

How exactly would a metal detector stop a determined assailant like Lanza? Couldn't he just shoot the unarmed guy working the metal detector and keep walking?

Metal detectors *and* armed guards would be another matter, but metal detectors were suggested as an alternative to armed guards.

[HS: So is the answer more guns, or fewer blacks?]

Both.

"Yeah I'd trust a guy making a paltry $9 an hour to patrol my children's school with a loaded firearm. No chance for that scenario to go horribly wrong."

I'm not sure how I feel about putting armed guards in schools, but if we were to do this, the kind of ex-cops who would otherwise do something like drive armored cars part time would probably be safe.

In most other Anglophone countries shooting massacres result in gun bans and guns becoming increasingly taboo.

The NRA is trying to avoid this situation occurring in the US, so resists all measures great and small.

John,
I don't know anything about guns. I just don't understand why anyone needs to own a gun that fires a lot of bullets in rapid succession. I didn't think that was necessary for either self defense or hunting.

Auster also wrote:

"Such high capacity weapons are needed to defend oneself not against ordinary crime, but against large-scale minority mayhem, which has occurred numerous times before and is extremely likely to occur again."

I really wish we'd all stop piddling our panties in mortal dread. Newtown and other mass shootings have not changed the fact that your chances of being murdered are lower today than they've been in decades.

By the way, you missed the weirdest part of the NRA press conference,

"Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2012/12/21/nra-boss-bashes-medias-failure-to-cover-kindergarten-killer/

You want a high-capacity, semi-auto for the inevitable, 10 year plague of Black riots and rioters seeking to kill as many Whites and Asians as possible.

No one wants to say it. But that is the reality. Ask the Korean shop owners during the Rodney King Riots.

Black periodically like locusts engage in mass riots: Detroit 1943, Detroit 1967, LA 1967, NYC and LA in the 1990's. It is a form of ethnic cleansing and statement of dominance and power. Blacks are big on that.

You want "an assault rifle" in the likelihood of a Black riot; the same way you want airbags and seatbelts in cars. You may not need it, and hopefully never will, but if you do you do.

Besides, if you have a lot of people who can shoot, you have the base of an infantry that is effective, just the American WWII forces being able to drive, repair common vehicles, and proficient in shooting gave them a qualitative edge over German and Japanese forces. Widespread gun ownership and familiarity is justified by the requirement to deter attack by a large conventional force.

Switzerland has approx one assault rifle per household. Almost murder free.

The average death rate per year from these shootings is around 20 in the US. Even fucking Kleiman thinks this is a distraction.

Gun murders are usually by pistol. Almost none are by assault rifle.

HS,

Note that almost all of these deaths were inspired by Marx:

*China (cultural revolution)
Germany (holocaust)
*USSR (many purges, gulags, mass starvations)
*Cambodia
Yugoslavia
*North Korea all the way to today
Iraq under Saddam

Your boys at work! Your bros!

"I just don't understand why anyone needs to own a gun that fires a lot of bullets in rapid succession. I didn't think that was necessary for either self defense or hunting."

Because they're a hell of a lot of fun at the range!

"The NRA refuses to get into a conversation about what guns people need for whatever people do with guns (hunt?)."

As I and others explained to you before, the problem is that the Cathedral never stops at some reasonable point because whenever they regulate something they always look for excuses to expand their power. If the left succeeds in banning more guns then this single regulatory act will create more Cathedral bureaucrats who, being unaccountable bureaucrats, will want to create more regulations against more and more types of firearms.

Speaking for myself, if I thought the Cathedral would be sated with one more particular ban on certain classes of guns then I *might* be willing to entertain giving them their ban.

But since Western bureaucracy has no self control, I don't trust giving any more ground to the Cathedral.

Last time I looked the 2A was about creating "well-regulated militias" and far from "keeping the gubmint in check" it was helping out the government in times of insurrection and rebellion. In other words, they're there to help government keep the people in their place and there have already been a few time where militia groups have indeed done that instead of bringing down gubmint like Libertarians aspire to.

"It's the 2nd Amendment, a right. Why do gun owners need to justify a need?"

Because the line on the Second Amendment has to be drawn somewhere. Unless you believe private possession of nuclear weapons should fall under the right to bear arms.

I think the 2nd Amendment is about having the right and ensuring the freedom to defend yourself and also includes the collective right to defend itself from a tyrannical government or foreign aggression. That is part of American history and the reason why it was included in the Bill of Rights. Does anyone really think that framers were concerned about hunting when they included the 2nd Amendment or justifying need? Would the Civil War have happened with gun control in effect?

A nuclear weapon, although a deterrent, cannot be used defensively. Many prohibited conventional weapons can.

I'm not advocating that people should be allowed tanks. But, if the country and its citizenry hadn't decayed so much, it's imaginable to me anyways, a nation of strong independent thinkers, where these rights would not negatively affect society.

"Yeah I'd trust a guy making a paltry $9 an hour to patrol my children's school with a loaded firearm. No chance for that scenario to go horribly wrong."

I'm not sure how I feel about putting armed guards in schools, but if we were to do this, the kind of ex-cops who would otherwise do something like drive armored cars part time would probably be safe.

I'm not sure one ex-cop is enough, especially if he is recognizable as the guy with the gun. It would probably be better for a % of the teachers, if they volunteer, to go through a selection process and given training and temporarily deputized (only during school hours) to conceal carry. I mean we already entrust them with our kids, don't we?

I agree with this excellent article by Megan McArdle; other than arming some school officials, there's nothing that we can do to prevent future mass shootings:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/17/there-s-little-we-can-do-to-prevent-another-massacre.html

snip

You don't need a special kind of gun to shoot civilians. You just need a gun. A handgun, a shotgun, and a rifle are all pretty deadly at close quarters, and Lanza went to the school with all three. (He left the shotgun in the back of a car). You don't need a military style rifle, or a high-powered scope, or a pistol grip, or a detachable stock, because concealment is not a big issue, and you don't need much aim to put a bullet into someone at ten feet. Nor can you stop these shootings by restricting people to hunting rifles, which for some reason people seem to think are less deadly than regular guns. The truth is the opposite: it takes a lot more wallop to bring down an elk than a person, and a couple of rounds of buckshot or a .30-06 would have had the same, horrible results. Even a ban on semi-automatics is no panacea in a world full of powerful shotguns.

You can, to be sure, name one or two things that might make a marginal difference: ban extended-capacity magazines, and require background checks for private sales. As a proponent of reasonable gun control that in some ways goes farther than current rules (I'd like to require that people pass a shooting and gun safety test before they can own a gun), these rules don't strike me as crazy.

But we are back to generic solutions. These "reasonable controls" would not, in fact, have done much to stop the horror at Newtown; Lanza's problem was not that he didn't know the four rules of gun safety, or that his aim was bad. And Lanza didn't buy the guns, so a background check would not have stopped him.

Could we go bigger? Should we ban the relatives of anxious sad sacks from buying guns? How about family friends? (Michael Carneal broke into a friend's house while they were away for Thanksgiving and stole the guns he used to shoot up his Kentucky school.) The question answers itself; the kind of all-knowing surveillance regime that this would require would be both impossible, and intolerable.

Reducing the magazine sizes seems modesly more promising, but only modestly. It takes a few minutes of practicing to learn how to change a magzine in a few seconds. Even if you banned magazines, forcing people to load the gun itself, people could just carry more guns; spree shooters seem to show up, as Lanza did, with more guns and ammunition than they actually need. In this specific case, it might well not have helped at all. Would Lanza really have been gang-rushed by fast-thinking primary school students if he stopped to reload?

Reducing the body counts a bit is obviously a very worthy project; I am okay with outlawing magazines that contain more than ten bullets. But this will in no way prevent people from going on murderous rampages. We are not talking about an end to spree killing, only about a (perhaps) very slight reduction in its deadliness. And if you ask how I can possibly know this, the answer is that we did ban these magazines for ten years, between 1995 and 2005, as part of the "Assault Weapons Ban" that some would now like to bring back. During which time there were a number of tragic massacres, including those committed by Kip Kinkel, Michael Carneal, and the Columbine killers. Overall gun deaths fell, but they'd been falling before. When the AWB expired in 2004, they stayed steady.

Sigma, could you comment about eliminating the third year of law school? There are some proposals to eliminate the third year because it's supposedly worthless but Law professors don't want to lose 1/3rd of the tuition they currently garner from law students lest there be mass layoffs of law profs:

http://www.businessinsider.com/tom-keefe-jr-wants-to-change-law-school-2012-12

Keefe, who does double duty as a plaintiffs' lawyer and called himself "unconventional" during the interview, suggested cutting law school curriculum down to two years to save students money.

He took over control of SLU law this semester after former dean Anette Clark penned a very public resignation letter attacking the university's president for using the law school's money to keep the entire university afloat and for leaving her out of big decisions.

While it might seem strange for a law school dean to suggest such a drastic change that would take money away from the school, Keefe isn't alone in wanting to slash the third year of law school.

New York University Law completely revamped its third year of law school and now allows students to study abroad during their third year.

Stanford Law School has also overhauled its third year and now allows students to pursue joint degrees, The New York Times reported in October.

Washington and Lee University School of Law also jumped on the bandwagon and replaced its third year with clinics and outside internships.

http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2012/12/18/does-law-school-have-a-future/

Salaries are a major factor, with some law professors at elite or large law schools earning in excess of $350,000 to $400,000 annually. These sums significantly outpace other legal remuneration, except for the 10% in the upper ranks at top law firms.

One solution, he says, is for professors to teach more courses each academic year to cut back on law school salary budgets. Other schools could rely more on part-time professors and offer two-year degrees to shave the overall tuition bill.

"I just don't understand why anyone needs to own a gun that fires a lot of bullets in rapid succession. I didn't think that was necessary for either self defense or hunting."

I just don't understand why anyone needs to drive a car that guzzles gas creates greenhouse gases in rapid succession. I didn't think that was necessary for transportation.

I just don't understand why anyone needs to eat meat that results in the deaths of millions of animals. I didn't think that was necessary for a health.

I just don't understand why anyone needs a cell phone that utilizes strip mining and destroys natural beauty. I didn't think that was necessary for communication.

The list goes on...

It's about freedom.

There's an astonishing amount of ignorance on the left about existing gun laws. A prominent lefty in NYC tech circles tweeted recently that conservatives should be willing to have the same requirements for getting a gun as they demand for voting. What a stupid statement.

Here's an application to register to vote to vote in NJ: http://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/form_pdf/voter-regis-forms/bergen-voter-reg-form-062212.pdf

And here's an application for a firearm permit in NJ: http://www.njsp.org/info/pdf/firearms/sts-033.pdf

"The NRA refuses to get into a conversation about what guns people need for whatever people do with guns (hunt?)."

HS, if you as a Jew, and with your self-stated high-level of intelligence, can't understand that there is more of a need than just "hunting" for firearms, after 6 Million of your fellow Jews were slaughtered like meek lambs within living memory, then there is no hope for you.

As my anti-Semitic grandfather told me: "If those *&^%ing Jews had unleashed a hellfire of bullets and double-ought buckshot the first few times the SS came knocking, history would have been a lot different!"

To expand upon what my ancestor passed on to me:

If the members of the SS didn't know if they would make it home to their families when they left for their shifts, history would have gone a lot differently.

Out of those 6 million Jews, subtract 1 million who are too old to fight, subtract 1 million who are too young to fight, you're left with 4 million people who could've taken out one nazi scum-bag for every one of them.

With a little bit of training, a family of 4-5 Jews each with guns could take out the 3-5 SS thugs who come to take them away. Yes, the SS might retaliate, and burn the entire city block to the ground (Which is basically what the nazis did in Warsaw) but it would be worth it! That family of 4-5 Jews could save the lives of 400-500 Jews in some other nation down the road.

Aside for a few Jews in Warsaw who had the testicular fortitude to stand up for their lives, believed in something enough to fight for it, and brutally fought back, your people walked willing to their deaths. By the millions. Because they were told to.

"Don't ever let them tell you what to do! They don't have the right!" Is another of my grandfather's quotes.

I must be honest, but I have little to no respect for the victims of the holocaust, but on the flip-side I have a lot of respect for the Israelis...

The NRA isn't sincere about either of these proposals.

Their announcement is simply a red-herring tactic to muddy the waters and redirect outrage. It's Trolling 101--the more outrageous and ludicrous, the better: focus on those ridiculous NRA dullards rather than the school children of Newtown, CT! They just want to weather the storm and to facilitate the general public's cooling-off and return to complacency.

I can't say I disagree. All in all it's probably for the better to avoid emotional and reactive legislation/regulation based on extremely rare events. I'm fairly confident that on an annual, nation-wide basis, the reduction in home invasions (and concomitant robbery, rape, and murder) due to widespread firearm ownershaip is greater than the number of mass-shooting fatalities.

Overall murder rates (i.e. consideration of NAM on NAM murders) might be another story, however.

I propose getting every NRA member into a school and shooting them.

Gil,

>>>Last time I looked the 2A was about creating "well-regulated militias" and far from "keeping the gubmint in check"

State-run militias. Partly to check federal government. Obviously? Governments go bad all of the time (commies in the 20th century, etc.) so the idea that citizens should at least be a potential nuisance to the biggest gang is pretty straightforward.

SoNAM, how many regime where taken down by noble everyday people with guns?

On the other hand, in the case of the Ludlow Massacre the militia attacked U.S. citizens - the very opposite of what Libertarians think their supposed to do but what is expected of them by the Constitution.

"I don't know anything about guns."

You and every other DWL.

@ Nicolai Yezhov: I propose getting every NRA member into a school and shooting them.

Come try it.

"Their announcement is simply a red-herring tactic to muddy the waters and redirect outrage. It's Trolling 101--the more outrageous and ludicrous, the better:"

The NRA's proposal is the only defense that might have stopped Lanza. As Megan McArdle notes all other proposals are unworkable for various reasons:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/17/there-s-little-we-can-do-to-prevent-another-massacre.html

Gil,

>>>SoNAM, how many regime where taken down by noble everyday people with guns?

I don't think it's about that. Governments always have the printing press, better communications, and more and better guns. So they will win a total fight. They are the biggest gang in any country.

It's about dispersing power to make citizens into a credible threat. It's about raising the costs of rounding people up en masse. Politicians know that if they push too hard, there's a nation of well-armed ex-military that will target them. The most stable and least oppressive government in the world (Switzerland's) also has the best armed populace, with assault rifles and trained riflemen in most homes.

Are you saying that you wouldn't have wanted the miners to be able to arm themselves post-Ludlow? That's a little strange.

[HS: Switzerland also has no blacks. And no large cities. It's hardly shocking that a rural country with no NAMs is going to have a low crime rate, regardless of gun control laws.

Although Switzerland is interesting also because it combines both left-wing and right-wing governmental philosophies.]

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

The question is, what is the definition of "arms".

If you want to take an originalist approach, then it would be limited to arms that were available in 1791 when the Bill of Rights was adopted. This would limit it to muskets, swords, bows and arrows, spears, crossbows, ect.

Currently people are not allowed to buy machine guns (collectors with special license still can), shoulder launched anti-aircraft missiles, nuclear bombs, and many other military weapons. Why is that? They are "arms" used by military today.

If the 2nd amendment guarantees citizens can own semi-automatic rifles with high capacity magazines, then it guarantees citizens can own personal nuclear weapons too.

The 2nd amendment does not say anything about arms useful for hunting or personal defense. If we can outlaw personal nuclear weapons, there must be some other unwritten standard being applied.

If everyone has a "right" to own a weapon, then criminals will own those weapons. We have apparently made some decision that we don't want criminals with nuclear weapons or full automatic machine guns and outlawed them. We could do the same thing with high capacity magazines for example. Not outlawing high capacity magazines means we are willing to tolerate criminals carrying semi-automatic weapons with high capacity magazines and occasionally using them to kill large numbers of people.

Maybe if Obama offered something in return for giving up hi-cap magazines or the other silly features that define an "assault weapon" there would be progress.

Why should lawful gun owners give away something for nothing? Offer to strengthen some fundamental gun rights as part of the exchange and many gun owners would likely be willing to deal. Someone remind Obama he is the great uniter.

Guns, militias, and what they are good for is discussed the The Federalist, #46, I think. Look it up yourself.
The Federalist was written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. It is authoritative on the meaning of the Constitution, since the writers were the authors of the Constitution. The Federalist was written to convince the people to ratify the Constitution. Gun ownership is a political right, ensuring that the people can defend themselves against tyrannical government. Anything else is a lie.

"I'm not sure one ex-cop is enough, especially if he is recognizable as the guy with the gun. It would probably be better for a % of the teachers, if they volunteer, to go through a selection process and given training and temporarily deputized (only during school hours) to conceal carry. I mean we already entrust them with our kids, don't we?"

I'm sure many teachers would volunteer for some extra money. The teachers already go through some background checks. They can go through another one similar to what law enforcement cadets go through. Teachers already have all day access to hundreds of kids.

This is a far better alternative to ex-cops, who may not like being around kids to begin with but wants a job. Or the $9/hr TSA types. I can imagine them being effective in urban high schools, but what are they supposed to do at preschools and elementary schools on a day-to-day basis? Watch TSA videos on youtube?

"Because the line on the Second Amendment has to be drawn somewhere. Unless you believe private possession of nuclear weapons should fall under the right to bear arms"

Bill Gates should try to buy a destroyer with some cruise missiles that have conventional warheads and see if the govt tries to stop him. He can cruise Puget Sound. That would be more useful against the govt than a semi-automatic weapon if the reason to bear arms is to protect yourself from govt tyranny.

Virginia Tech and Columbine High School had police officers on campus. The Columbine cop called for backup. The VT cops had trouble getting into the building because the murderer locked the door. Increased police presence does not make the patrolled area any safer.

Shooting is difficult. Even people with extensive training in gun usage, such as police officers, shoot innocent bystanders. Using a gun to shoot people at random is easy; using a gun to hit one crazy moving target while fearing for one’s own life is very difficult.

Was I the only one watching the press conference and expecting someone to shoot Lapierre.

We need military style weapons because the U.S. is on a trajectory of slow collapse and there is a high probability of low intensity warfare in the continental U.S. within the next century.

Your AR-15 probably won't help you resist the U.S. military but it will be very useful when starving NAM city dweller militias are given tacit approval to start foraging in the countryside.

Gotta laugh at liberal hypocrisy to keep from screaming over it. The content of ideas seems to be completely irrelevant. Wayne LaPierre, president of the NRA, suggests armed guards in schools and the MSM goes ballistic. Bill Clinton pledged money for police in schools one year after Columbine. Don't recall any liberal hysterics.

How is 10 rounds any more arbitrary than 1 round? Since it isn't, if you agree that you can limit the number of rounds a firearm fires, you've basically agreed to give up your firearms.

The left wants to take ALL firearms away from the citizens (Northeastern Semi-Conservatives want to let them). Give them an inch and they will take a while, the complete uselessness of their "reasonable" regulations which won't stop the next massacre, will only be justification for the next ban.

The nut-whose-name-should-be-expunged-from-history could have done as much damage with a trapdoor springfield rife (1 shot rifle) or something similar, unarmed children and simpering liberal female school teachers aren't going to fight back, they are going to sit there and cry while you take all day to shoot them.

Magazine and type (semi-auto) restrictions won't stop the next nutjob. And they are a chink in the second amendment that the left desperately wants. Legislation that won't work, and the left wants - lets all support that, K?

"The VT cops had trouble getting into the building because the murderer locked the door. Increased police presence does not make the patrolled area any safer."

Virginia Tech's campus is harder to defend because their campus is much larger than an elementary school. Grade school guards would have a better defensive advantage because they would be monitoring a smaller perimeter and fewer points of entry.

"Gotta laugh at liberal hypocrisy to keep from screaming over it. The content of ideas seems to be completely irrelevant. Wayne LaPierre, president of the NRA, suggests armed guards in schools and the MSM goes ballistic. Bill Clinton pledged money for police in schools one year after Columbine."

They knew Clinton wasn't serious.

The left also hates the NRA's proposal because it would create fewer government regulatory jobs than new and ineffective gun laws would. The more liberal policies fail the better for the left because their policy failures lead to more jobs for them. This is true of all of their policies.

For example, if America solved its obesity epidemic by encouraging food manufacturers and citizens to embrace a high fat & low carb diet regimen the left would stand to lose health department jobs because there would be fewer health problems associated with obesity for liberal bureaucrats to wring their hands about.

>>>HS: Switzerland also has no blacks. And no large cities. It's hardly shocking that a rural country with no NAMs is going to have a low crime rate, regardless of gun control laws.

Libs want to turn this into an opportunity to grab semi-automatic rifles that look military because libs hate the the same whites that you enjoy denigrating. Blacks don't murder with rifles; they murder with pistols. Almost no gun murders are with rifles. Libs don't know this because total gun-ignorance is a mark of high status.

I'm pointing out that Switzerland has spree killing and murder rates similar to disarmed, small, white countries even though it's better armed than the US. This "assault weapon" thing is a liberal distraction. (And Switzerland is the only of these countries that listens to its citizens concerns about immigration.)

I have a long post on this up now on my site. Basically, the government starting in the 70's, that is the 1670's, with Bacon's Rebellion, practiced anarcho tyranny, allowing Indian raids and micro-regulating (and not allowing defense or counter-attack) the settlers. That happened over and over again, with variations of corrupt officials in league with bandits. I mean at least five times I can think of off the top of my head.

Gun rights are a response, and deeply American cultural response, to anarcho tyranny. The refusal of governments by incompetence, corruption, politics, or all the above to provide protection.

If it's illegal for me to own a nuclear weapon, then it must be illegal for me to own a semi-auto rifle? And then, I suppose that since it's illegal for me to own a semi-auto rifle, it must be illegal to own a lever action too?
In the 1930s the U.S. Supreme court decided that the sort of weapons protected by the 2nd Amendment were the sort of weapons carried by the typical infantryman. In that particular case, the Court found that outlawing sawed off shotguns was OK because they were not typical infantry weapons. Presumably, that is why there is no Federal prohibition of fully automatic belt fed machine guns.
Just for sport: If the 2nd Amendment only protects the right to own flintlocks, does the 1st Amendment only protect the use of the sort of printing presses available in 1789?

Regarding the utility of semi-auto rifles in fending off government tyranny, as depicted the the Federalist #46: The U.S. has about a dozen divisions, including the Marines. Several of them are scattered around the world. Eight divisions, totaling about 40,000 actual infantry, are going to suppress mass disorder in a country of 300 million? Or does anyone envision carpet bombing the suburbs?

"Lawrence Auster, who is a hardcore conservative"

Certainly helps to explain why I'm not a conservative. Everyone (excepting, criminals, politicians, and the insane) should be required to own a an assault rifle, to protect their property and liberty.

"Because the line on the Second Amendment has to be drawn somewhere. Unless you believe private possession of nuclear weapons should fall under the right to bear arms."

I shouldn't be surprised that this asinine red herring gets used so frequently, because it indicates the intellectual dishonest of the anti-gun crowd.

National governments have great difficulty building nuclear weapons, even when it is a top national priority and they have outside assistance, as they often do. A private person would not have the resources to build a nuclear weapon unassisted, and especially in generating enough fissionable materials. If a national government provided the person with a weapon or fissionables, then they would hardly be deterred by a ban. A ban on private ownership of nukes is thus unnecessary, and any talk along these lines is nonsense. As Discard says, the goal is to create a ludicrous top to a slippery slope which has a total ban on private ownership of weapons of any kind at the bottom.

It's ridiculous to think that banning guns or high cap mags will stop massacres. For one thing, plans are readily available in books and internet showing how to make them. Its involved but nothing the average person couldn't do. But people wouldn't even bother. They'd make other things like McVeigh. The deadliest mass murder in a school in US history was in 1927 and killed 38 children. Do you know why you've never heard the media mention it? Because it didn't even use guns. That's why.

[HS: No, the average person is stupid and CANNOT understand plans in books or on the internet. And the average mass murder has low future time orientation and is unable to plan in advance.]

*

"I propose getting every NRA member into a school and shooting them." Nicolai Yezhov

If every NRA member were in a school then it would be a very safe school.

*

"The 2nd amendment does not say anything about arms useful for hunting or personal defense. If we can outlaw personal nuclear weapons, there must be some other unwritten standard being applied." mikeca

You're right. Amendment 2 isn't about hunting. It's about keeping the federal gov't in its place. Comparing guns to nuclear warheads, chemical weapons or even biological warfare is a straw man because no one considers them conventional weapons. They're WMD's and their use is banned even in wartime.

**

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igerQd0dpHY&t=0m25s

“A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” – George Washington

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

“The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.” – Noah Webster

“A government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a Republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace.” – James Madison

“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” – Richard Henry Lee

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.” – Patrick Henry

“This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty…. The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.” – St. George Tucker

For libs who are embarrassed by their total ignorance of guns, I recommend this post:

http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/an-opinion-on-gun-control/

I wish the U.S. Supreme Court had a majority focused on the "well regulated Militia" part of the 2nd Amendment - and that this majority would issue an opinion that essentially says, "Dear Proles, we know that you love your guns. But, if you want to play with them, you'll have to do so as a member of the police or military."

"You're right. Amendment 2 isn't about hunting. It's about keeping the federal gov't in its place. Comparing guns to nuclear warheads, chemical weapons or even biological warfare is a straw man because no one considers them conventional weapons. They're WMD's and their use is banned even in wartime."

What about mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, or shoulder launched anti-aircraft missiles? Those are pretty standard conventional weapons today. They are not currently available to civilians to my knowledge.

Look at the Syrian rebels. They desperately need better weapons than AK-47s. Do you really think that a bunch of civilians with AR-15 rifles are going to take on a modern army like the US army?

This is not 1790. The world has changed. The "arms" used by modern armies are far more destructive then they were in 1790.

Do you seriously want mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, or shoulder launched anti-aircraft missiles to be legally available to civilians?

If civilians can own those kinds of weapons, then criminal gangs certainly will. Do you want drug gangs using those weapons?

[HS: Switzerland also has no blacks. And no large cities. It's hardly shocking that a rural country with no NAMs is going to have a low crime rate, regardless of gun control laws.

Even Switzerland has black people.

They even have black police in Geneva.

Zurich is a pretty good sized city. It's metro area is 1.8 million

mikeca: at 07:28 PM: Has anybody been advocating civilian ownership of mortars, rocket propelled grenades, or shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles? Your straw man is getting frayed.
BTW, criminal gangs already have whatever weapons suit their purposes, including fully automatic AK47s. They apparently have no need for mortars, otherwise they'd have them. Whether or not Americans can own AR15s has no bearing on the matter.

"mikeca: at 07:28 PM: Has anybody been advocating civilian ownership of mortars, rocket propelled grenades, or shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles? Your straw man is getting frayed."

If you read my whole post, you would see I was arguing that in the 21st century a rebel group needs more fire power than just AR-15/AK-47 like rifles. If the argument is that the 2nd amendment gives citizens the right to own the weapons needed to overthrow the government, then that would have to include more powerful weapons like the ones I mentioned.

Your right. Nobody is arguing that citizens should be able to own those kinds of weapons. The world has changed since 1791. Only very extreme fringe groups today believe that citizens should own the kind of weapons to overthrow the US government by force.

We are applying some different standard to what weapons citizens may own, and we could change those standards. We could repeal the 2nd amendment too.

Given the total dis-functionality in Washington and the extreme nature of the current Republicans in the House and Senate, I don't expect anything will be done. There will be a lot of political posturing and name calling, "Republicans are gun nuts!", "Obama wants to confiscate your gun!", but no real action.

mikeca: The argument IS that the 2nd Amendment recognizes (Not "gives". Constitutional rights are inalienable.) the right to own weapons in order that the citizens have the means to defend themselves against tyranny. That's not opinion, that's what the Founders said. Google "The Federalist", #46.
Tyranny is not enforced by tanks and jets, but by secret policemen knocking at the door. We have absolute military dominance in Iraq and Afghanistan. But we don't rule those places. Ragheads with AK47s do.

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