A really dumb tweet about guns and a good answer

Here’s something that appeared on my Facebook feed: a tw**t by Fox Business and a response by someone pointing out the flaws. There’s one more difference between trucks, and guns, though. Trucks are not designed or built with the aim of hurting people, while assault weapons are. If we banned trucks, everything would come to a standstill. If we banned guns except for the police, we wouldn’t see much of a difference.

I’m sad because I already hear the calls for gun control dying out. They’re stimulated by mass murders, and then, after nothing happens, people go on to other things. We will not see meaningful gun control in America during my lifetime.

Finally, why haven’t they banned the sale of those devices that easily convert semiautomatic rifles into fully automatic ones (“bumps”, I think they call them). If the sale of new automatic weapons is illegal, which it is, why is it legal to sell devices that convert legal guns into illegal ones.

Here’s a bump (part of a gunstock) ordered legally for $99 from Bump Fire Systems; see how easy it is to install?


  1. GBJames
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    As for me, I agree with Bert Stephens’ opinion piece in todays NYTimes: Repeal the Second Amendment

    • mikeyc
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Stephens is right. Repeal of the 2nd is the only way any real progress will be made. But that is not going to happen.

      We’re all arguing about something we KNOW will not get resolved; we KNOW there will be nothing done about gun violence and we KNOW that many thousands more will die every year. Yet still we argue -and hate each other- over something we know will not get resolved.

      What is that line about insanity and expecting different results?

      • GBJames
        Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        Stephens’ point is that it isn’t going to happen soon, not that it isn’t going to happen at all. The goal is a long way off but it isn’t impossible. The place to start is where he’s at… talking about it.

        • mikeyc
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          I thought that way once, too.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        I do not buy that at all. We have all kinds of laws about different issues including free speech, religion and everything else. The second amendment does not prevent having lots of laws and regulations on guns. If you buy that idea you are just being suckered by the NRA. Apparently something easily accomplished here.

        • Warren Bailey
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

          Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens doesn’t agree with your viewpoint at all and included the 2nd amendment in his book “Six Amendments”


          • Randy schenck
            Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

            Well, I most likely will not take the time to read his book anymore than I would read Scalia’s books. Just saying he was for a constitutional amendment to remove the 2nd amendment does not say anything. If he thought this was required to make any laws regarding gun regulations then he would be even dumber than Scalia with his interpretation of the amendment.

        • GBJames
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          What’s happened, though, is that gun advocates have effectively blocked any and all sensible attempts to limit gun violence. Their success has been driven by the Supreme Court’s decision that “well regulated militia” is an irrelevant clause in the 2nd. This has given the minority who favor unrestricted access to all manner of weaponry to drive public policy.

          In the absence of gun limits of any sort, and the presence of a paranoid subculture of gun toting extremists, we will continue to see a steady increase in the numbers of gun deaths over time.

          Eventually this (IMO) will lead to revoking the 2nd and it will have been caused by the refusal of fanatics to accept any limits on weaponry. Probably not in my lifetime, but then I never expected to see same sex marriage in my lifetime either.

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Mark one up for free speech.

    I know about a correlation of number of deaths or injuries directly from guns with gun laws, but :

    Does anyone reading know if the number of large-scale atrocities correlates with the gun laws?

    Because one argument that doesn’t die is the “some people just randomly up and blow everyone in their path away.”

    If that doesn’t happen where gun laws are active, while in the US it reliably does, … Anders Brevik – Norway? They have anti gun laws?

    • Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      As far as I know: 300K+ people shot and 1500 mass shootings in the last 10 years in the US. No other country has those statistics, at least none that one would call progressive. None of these has gun laws like the US. Sure there are mass shootings in other countries too but those are rare occurrences, not roughly every 2nd day (hey, maybe that’s why it’s called 2nd amendment!). Of course it’s hard to speak of “correlation” in a statistical sense if there’s just one sample of countries with moronic sense of “freedom” (there’s “freedom to” and then there’s “freedom from” – the US only seems to know the first kind).

      But quite frankly, I’ve been watching those US shootings for some decades now. Please don’t change your gun laws! It’s most amusing, really, too read about them followed by the immediate note by some true Christians that “now” was not the time to discuss those laws and how people kill people, not guns and all that jazz. You know how things become funny by excessive repetition?
      Or how gun sales skyrocket after shootings out of fear they might get banned after all? So precious! I think all Americans should have shot family members or kids who shot their siblings or parents. It’s the American way, if there’s anything like that, then it’s that! And KFC obviously.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        I think what I’m getting at is, if the Vegas thing, Bervik, … any of them, , etc. are purely random flukes as certain people argue, then there should be exactly the same number in the USA as in Norway, as in England, as in … etc.

      • Richard
        Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Sometimes, when feeling particlarly depressed or cynical about these events, I suspect that the USA is actually carrying out a long-term programme of culling its population.

    • alexander
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      “Anders Brevik – Norway? They have anti gun laws?” Of course, Norway has gun laws, but as everybody knows, crimes are committed because people transgress laws. But gun laws have limited deaths in several recent terrorists attacks by Islamic fanatics in Europe who had knives instead of guns, causing a limited number of casualties.

    • Chuck
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      There’s this:

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    The pro-gun lobby’s tactic is to push the let’s-show-respect-for-the-families-and-not-politicize-this-tragedy trope. What horseshit!

  4. Barry Lyons
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    This satirical piece is the best thing I’ve seen on the subject:


    • GBJames
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      That’s great!

    • mordacious1
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      If that article is the best there is on the subject, then gun banners are in trouble.

      • Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        How did you get in here?

        • mordacious1
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

          The bathroom window was unlocked.

        • Maroon1990
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          I am completely on board with radical gun reform, or preferably repeal of the Second Amendment. However, I think that piece is direly un-funny. Not at all trenchant/incisive. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are rife with incredibly carefully written sentences, written in exactly the way they were in order to secure enough agreement among the people working on them, many of whom had wildly divergent views. The premise of that “humor” piece is simply wrong.

          • Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

            Maybe, probably not. I’m thinking, similar to the bible, that most of the amendments were vague in order to induce regulation in the future, as the bible is interpreted differently today than in first century Rome. Being that the founders knew they could not envision the future we inhabit and the laws we would needx they were not specific. But lacking common sense then was not a problem that seems common today.
            Humor again is something that is definitely time sensitive as well.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted October 5, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

            I dunno. Take the Fifth Amendment’s Double Jeopardy clause, for instance.

            It provides “nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb” — nothing about imprisonment, or fines, or probation, or any other punishment. And I’m pretty sure the lopping off of limbs was already prohibited by that time, at least as de jure punishment for crime (although perhaps not on plantations as de facto punishment for runaway slaves, as happened to Kunte Kinte on Roots). So, with “life and limb,” it seems the framers were at least as interested in alliteration as in precision of language.

            Plus, they couldn’t even be bothered to spell “offen[s]e” like proper Americans. 🙂

  5. @eightyc
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Lolz bruh, stick to Evolution. What is it with you scientists? You and Krauss continue to pontificate about matters you know nothing about.

    • Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      What makes you think I know nothing about gun control?

      You’re a rude person, and I bid you farewell with no regrets.

      • ohnugget001
        Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        He was rude – an interlocutor who didn’t approach you with respect. I’ll try.

        With regards to the comparison between the two tweets in the article.

        Registering trucks and firearms are not a valid comparison. Trucks are a privilege extended to the populace and monitored/regulated by relevant government authorities. People have no right to own a vehicle except that extended to them by the State. Firearms are not of the same category. They are a right recognized, not given, in the US Constitution and therefore should not be subject to the same regulation(s). Privilege vs right. Unless you wish to argue that every other right guaranteed in the Constitution is subject to being regulated, monitored for individual use, those exercising those rights tracked, a database of said users maintained, etc., the arguments are not equal – nor they should be. One is a privilege the government could take away on a mere whimsical vote; the other a right essentially untouchable.

        What other right do we Americans possess or demand through the Bill of Rights, etc. which require insurance for any damage they might cause? Freedom of speech? Not having to house soldiers against our will in our homes at our own expense? Voting? That last one has surely caused far more death than the cumulative effect of firearms across our nation’s history. And free speech? Probably multiples of more dead due to that right than firearms as well.

        Finally, what other right did we vest in ourselves that we authorized the government the permission to license and test? Literacy tests to be able to vote comes to mind and we all know how that eventually fared. Perhaps some limited versions of the rights we demanded for ourselves, but certainly not an entire right wholesale.

        The Fox News tweet is quite correct; the rebuttal, horrible and easily rebutted.

        Besides, look at the rebuttal again. Would the licensing, testing, insurance requirement, or any other hurdle keep a determined individual from using a truck/lorry to run down a crowd? Of course not. The entire defense of firearms as a right versus the privilege of owning and operating motor vehicles is entirely unnecessary. Just as criminals who have no right to own a firearm use them to take lives, so too would those deemed unqualified by some government agency overseeing who may or may not drive motor vehicles.

        I’d encourage anyone who wants to keep putting these old, tired, and previously/routinely rebutted arguments forward to investigate the counterarguments that easily rebut them first. It’s not as if this is the first or 1000th time the same tired, emotionally driven arguments have been proffered only to be shot down by unemotional, reasoned positions.

        I hope that response was respectable and rational enough to cause you pause as you reevaluate merely just the topics covered in the article, much less other arguments thrown up to take other’s rights which you don’t believe they should have. (Reminiscent of the current argument over the Regressive Left seeking to take the right to free speech from others because they don’t want them to have it, isn’t it?).

        • Historian
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          It is irrelevant whether other Articles in the Bill of Rights do or do not allow any regulation, although there are many regulations regarding limitations on freedom of speech. When the Second Amendment was passed, it was well understood that firearms could and should be regulated. See comment #9 and the article cited there.

          • ohnugget001
            Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

            And firearms have been and continue to be regulated. The main point is that the citizen, who is not otherwise disqualified, is allowed to own a firearm – indeed as many firearms as she wants. In service to the ability to serve in a militia (as well as for hunting, self-defense, etc. which was simply taken as a given) a citizen had/has to own a firearm. The right is not to be abridged because were it to be, the citizen couldn’t own the weapon which they would then be needed to use to serve in the militia.

            Fun fact – look up the Dick Act. Lots of people who complain that militias are outdated, we don’t need them, and otherwise use that excuse to dismiss the right of the citizen to own firearms are themselves by definition already serving in the militia. It blows their mind when they learn they are actually part of the militia already. That fact always amuses me.

            • Historian
              Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

              We agree seemingly that firearms can be regulated. That is a good step. The next issue is to resolve how much. And since you seem enamored with 1789, the answer back then was a lot of regulation.

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

                Enamored? Well, I’m unsure that word is the best to describe my emotional state at the time I wrote that sentence, but 1789 is inarguable an important year in my nation’s history.

                As for regulation of firearms during that year… Perhaps you could enlighten me as to what you refer?

            • Randy schenck
              Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

              Don’t understand why you would use or bring up the Dick act as some proof that we still have militia. The Dick act was required expressly because the idea of militia was outdated. To infer the National Guard is the militia is a lack of understanding. Oh, by the way, you don’t bring your gun with you to the National guard.

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

                I’ll quote from Wikipedia just for simplicity although other sources go more indepth about how the sponsors were attempting to maintain a balance between organized state militias (National Guard) and still not forfeit the unorganized militias as a balance against State overreach.

                “As a result of the problems identified during the Spanish–American War, Secretary of War Elihu Root and other military leaders took steps to reform the Army, including the National Guard. Root’s allies included Charles Dick, Congressman (later Senator) from Ohio and Chairman of the House Militia Affairs Committee, who also served as President of the National Guard Association of the United States.[14] Dick was a veteran of the Spanish–American War and a longtime National Guard member who attained the rank of Major General as commander of the Ohio National Guard.[15][16]

                Dick championed the Militia Act of 1903, which became known as the Dick Act. This law repealed the Militia Acts of 1792 and designated the militia [per Title 10, Section 311] as two groups: the Unorganized Militia, which included all able-bodied men between ages 17 and 45, and the Organized Militia, which included state militia (National Guard) units receiving federal support.[17][18][19][20].”

                In other words, you’re entirely incorrect. The National Guard is A militia, referred to as the Organized Militia. The act solidified even further in law that the armed citizenry continued to possess the same right they already possessed to form A militia whenever they wanted and with whatever weapons were in common use militarily at the time. They/We are the Unorganized Militia.

                That’s why I stated that so many people who argue against the people’s militia concept are shocked when they learn – they ARE the militia.

              • Randy schenck
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

                I do not know where you get some of your ideas about the National Guard or other military institutions. There is no militia today….none. There is the Army, Marines, Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force. Then we have Army National Guard, the Air Force reserves, Army Reserves but no militia. Maybe you know some guys running around in the woods playing cops and robbers or something?

            • Richard Bond
              Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

              I looked up the Dick Act. It refers to how federal government might employ the states’ National Guard, presumably “well regulated militias”, and says nothing to justify private ownership of military weapons.

              To forestall quibbles about whether semi-automatic or fully automatic operation defines a military weapon, when I was familiar with the British army, the standard issue rifle was the FN FAL, in a version that did not have the fully automatic mode.

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

                You’re entirely incorrect. Please read more on the Dick Act. I’ve summarized some in another response which may help you understand the differences between Organized and Unorganized Militias and the obvious requirement that the Unorganized maintain it’s own stock of weapons and ammunition. It also continues the line of historical thought that people’s militias were allowed the same standard of weapon as in common use in warfare at the time.

              • Richard Bond
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

                That stuff about “Organized and Unorganized Militias” is rubbish: a garbled and deliberate misinterpretation put about by gunfondlers. Please learn to read with comprehension. The act is about the National Guards replacing militias. When I see phrases such as “entirely incorrect” in discussions about nuance and interpretation, I have learned over a long career that the perpetrator is struggling with reality.

            • Jeremy Tarone
              Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

              “It also continues the line of historical thought that people’s militias were allowed the same standard of weapon as in common use in warfare at the time.”

              So now the 2nd allows citizens the use of claymore mines, grenades and grenade launchers, modern artillery, anti tank weapons, tanks, predator drones, shoulder fired missiles, auto cannons and the like? And since the US, China and Russia are not signatories to the land mine ban…

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

                Please look the silly arguments up before you put them out there. This strawman’s been answered a million times by now.
                The 2A refers to firearms and related that are in use in contemporary periods, for lawful purposes. Does that sound like a nuke? You can own a tank though. But not a bunch of shells for the main gun (except with certain permits through the ATF, admittedly).

                So, can you outthink all of the legal scholars out there and come up with a way to include grenades, mines, stealth bombers, etc. as weapons for lawful purposes?

              • darrelle
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

                You forgot B-1Bs, F-22s and F-35s.

        • Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

          From the perspective of being a Brit, the idea that owning a gun is more of a “right” than owing a car is just bizarre.

          Which century are you in?

          • mordacious1
            Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

            It may be bizarre to you, but it’s still a fact.

          • ohnugget001
            Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

            I understand your confusion. To be fair, for you probably aren’t as conversant in our Constitution as some of us are, We the People secured unto ourselves rights including those in the Bill of Rights – natural rights endowed upon all men. The 2A is one of many.

            Owning a vehicle is not a right when compared to those in the Constitution. We have no “Right” to own a car. We have the privilege to do so. Just as we have thousands of other privileges. But they are not rights.

            It is factually true that the US Congress could convene tomorrow and vote to disallow all citizens of the US from operating a motor vehicle. The President could sign it into law. A challenge could be made through the courts until it reached the Supremes. And they would almost certainly rule it a Constitutionally sound law – for it is. Congress has broad discretion.

            The same cannot be accomplished for those Rights found in the Constitution that we recognized as natural rights we all have.

            I know it sounds odd to you, but auto ownership, bicycle ownership, etc., are privelges, not Rights. Rights are only found in the Constitution, and automobiles aren’t there.

            This was an interesting lesson I learned early while getting my PoliSci degree.

            And I do live in the same century as you – it’s just that Rights are immune to the passage of time. What was a Right in 1789 is still one today.

            • Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

              … it’s just that Rights are immune to the passage of time.

              You seem to regard the constitution as inviolable as if it were handed to Moses on Sinai.

              The original expectation of the writers of the constitution was that it would be re-written and updated by each generation. It is from *that* perspective that it is bizarre to regard owing a gun as more of a right than owning a car.

              • Historian
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

                You are quite right. These “originalists” view the Second Amendment with the same adoring love as fundamentalists view the Bible – subject to only one interpretation and unchangeable. Of course, the Supreme Court has from time to time radically changed the interpretation of the Constitution, for example, from saying that segregation is just dandy to ruling it unconstitutional. The claim that nothing could change in the interpretation of the Constitution from 1789 is pure bunk.

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

                Well, that’s right. The Constitution is not inviolable. It just takes 75% of the states to change the Bill of Rights or any other amendments. We purposely made it very, very hard because we didn’t want people easily taking rights from one another. We’re very conservative that way. Small c conservative. Just like some would like to restrict the right to freedom of speech or assembly right now because they think it’s “violence” in its own right.

                Good luck getting 38 states to toss on the trash heap the 2A. Ain’t gonna happen.

                And rewritten each generation? Love to see that consensus from the Founders in a quote from reputable sources from you.

                I don’t care what perspective you view the problem from – rights are rights, and privileges are not. Please reconcile yourself to this American fact. It’s partly how we purposely built our system of law and governance to last.

            • Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

              So what?

              The Constitution is not unalterable. Furthermore, the C may be full of great ideas, but it doesn’t posses magic powers. The C does not grant rights. We grant each other rights. The C merely codifies some of the rights its authors thought of.

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

                Exactly. Thank you for supporting my position.

              • Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

                If that was your point, then I completely misunderstood you. Perhaps you could clarify?

                It seemed to me you were claiming we just have to accept the fact that gun ownership is a right instead of an earned privilege, and there’s nothing we can do about it, because Constitution.

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

                In such a long thread now, we may be getting lost. But I think I agree with pretty much everything you said in your last comment to me. The Constitution is alterable, albeit with great difficulty. It’s not magic, we can change it. It reflects natural rights we recognize all people have, not rights we bestow upon each other via the document – we just acknowledge them there, as well as in the Declaration of Independence to some extent.

                But, it is true that the 2A is one of those rights, and not at all a privilege. Being able to purchase a pack of bubblegum is a privilege that you could be stripped of tomorrow. Owning a firearm is a Right that cannot. That’s the way the Constitution and the means to make laws in the US works. The ability to own a firearm is a guaranteed right. Not an earned privilege. Except you have to be an adult, non-felon, etc. There are some limitations we’ve conceded over the centuries for sound reasons.

                But we can change that to no longer being a Right. 2/3 of Congress and ratification by 38 states. But that just ain’t gonna happen.

              • Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

                Ok. Based on your replies to other commenters, it seems your point is “changing gun laws would be very, very hard”.

                None of us disagree. That doesn’t mean we can’t say that’s what *should* happen. At one time, abolishing slavery, allowing women to vote, and marriage equality were all similarly pie in the sky. But guess what.

            • Richard Bond
              Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

              The right enshrined in your precious constitution is for members of a “well regulated militia” to keep their muzzle-loaded muskets at home. Since you are so pedantic about sticking to a two-century old script, might I suggest that you stick to it properly?

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

                It is partially about citizens being able to keep firearms “of contemporary use” (not muskets as you erroneously state). It’s also now been decided under Heller and McDonald what we (mostly all) already knew, and that is that the 2A allows citizens to possess those same weapons and use them for other purposes as well, such as self defense or defense of a third party, sporting competitions, or hunting, etc.

                These are questions that are no longer in doubt having been ruled upon by the Supremes. It is settled law.

              • Richard Bond
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

                So please point to the phrase “of contemporary use” in the second amendment. You are making up stuff.

            • Richard
              Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

              Fine. Keep right on with your 30,000+ gunshot deaths and 70,000+ gunshot injuries each year. Just please refrain from exporting your insanity to the rest of the world.

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

                I hope we enact legislation, social programs, or other solutions to curtail the large number of suicides by firearm each year in the US. That is the largest portion of our firearm deaths. That should be our immediate concern.
                Our second largest source of firearm deaths is from criminal activity. Specifically, it is from criminal activity in large urban centers. Young male on male violence. This should be our next priority.
                The remainder are but a small, even minute percentage of the overall deaths. I’m unsure how to keep accidental deaths from occurring outside of mandating training. I’m unsure how to keep mass shootings from occurring – at all. That may simply be a horrible, but statistically minute price we pay to maintain a Constitutional Right, as callous as that may sound.

                As for exporting our “insanity”. You’re welcome to do as you wish in your own nations. We’ll do what we want here. Don’t let us get in the way of governing yourselves however you want. Give us the same courtesy.

              • Richard
                Posted October 6, 2017 at 4:31 am | Permalink

                “minute price we pay to maintain a Constitutional Right, as callous as that may sound”

                A *minute* price? Over thirty thousand deaths each year, and you think that’s *minute*? Yes, you sound very callous. And it’s to maintain an out-dated “right” for which there is no longer any need whatsoever. Somehow countries in the civilized world (I was going to say “rest of the civilized world”, but I don’t think the US counts as civilized in this regard) manage to get by without being awash with guns, and I don’t think we are any less free than Americans.

                And yes, the American obsession with guns does look insane to the rest of us.

            • Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

              No you don’t understand. The thing we Brits find bizarre is that you haven’t repealed the Second Amendment yet. It is so obviously wrong.

              It’s also extremely poorly drafted. I’d say it’s wording has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths.

            • Historian
              Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

              To nugget:

              My, oh, my. For all these years I thought one purpose of the Supreme Court was to interpret the Constitution in light of changing circumstances and the ambiguity of many of its clauses. How wrong I was as were all those Supreme Court justices who thought the same thing. We all should have known that the meaning of every phrase in the Constitution is self-evident and that any fool could see that, just as our evangelical friends view the Bible. While we’re at it, let’s get rid of the one person, one vote required in certain elections dictated by a clearly rogue Supreme Court since there is nothing in the Constitution discussing this.

              I am not going to change your mind and have no expectation to do so. But perhaps some readers who are not familiar with the Constitution will realize how ludicrous is the right-wing originalist view of the Constitution.

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

                Well, you can talk down to me all you want, but it doesn’t make your position any better than if you had been polite.

                The Supremes interpret the law against the Constitution in a variety of ways, but most notably the way that the original laws were written. Far more of them are “originalists” which is more a misnomer than most realize.
                But challenges do occur, especially when one right conflicts with another – that’s the bulk of what they rule upon.

                BTW, your allusion to Evangelicals and ridding ourselves of one person one vote are called Non Sequiturs. They’re meaningless to the conversation.

                Fortunately, in Heller an McDonald the wording was clear to those in the majority and the law is now settled. It will be a long, long time before a Court will ever think of reversing itself on those decisions.

                And I’m sorry about your attitude. It’s always more more fun to interact with well-meaning people than condescending ones such as yourself. Especially when you have no facts to back up your position – otherwise I’m assuming you would have cited them.


            • Jeremy Tarone
              Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

              “These are questions that are no longer in doubt having been ruled upon by the Supremes. It is settled law.”

              As pointed out by others, ‘settled law’, even at the supreme court level has changed. Including the 2nd.

              Change doesn’t require changing the 2nd, it only requires changing the supreme court justices.

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

                Doubtful. They are loath to completely overturn prior decisions. It may get tweaked far in the future, but that requires a left leaning court, and that’s now three decades away, if not far further.

            • Posted October 5, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

              Thank you for your polite comments, many of which I actually agree with (as do many here). I only wish to respond to this comment you made;

              “We the People secured unto ourselves rights including those in the Bill of Rights – natural rights endowed upon all men. ”

              “Natural Rights” in modern usage refer to the rights conferred on all people to “Life, Liberty and Estate (or property)”.

              The Bill of Rights, or the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, does address a few of these (the 4th, 5th and 8th amendments, for example). The 2nd, however, like the 1st, codifies a civil right, not a natural one. Civil rights are not only subject to limitation (who gets them and when) and restrictions (what form those rights may take), they can be stripped away entirely.

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

                Appreciate the civility.

                I think you answered your own question when you used the word “Life”. Self defense is a natural right. The 2A flows naturally (no pun intended) from that natural right.

                Here’s a pretty good explanation from a better source than I.


              • Posted October 5, 2017 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

                Thanks for the link. For what it’s worth no where in that piece did Dr Lund discuss Natural Rights. Indeed, he never even mentions it. The piece is part history, part apologetics and it does explain why those who support 2nd amendment rights focus their arguments on self-defense, but there is no discussion about the fundamental natural right to self defense. The only time it is referred to, even obliquely, is in the headline.

        • Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

          No you haven’t rebutted the rebuttal. The Fox tweet seeks to draw a comparison between guns and trucks. Do not complain that the rebuttal makes an invalid comparison, it wasn’t the rebuttal that made the comparison, it was the original tweet.

          Pro gun: Guns are like trucks. We wouldn’t be having this debate about trucks, therefore it’s absurd to have this debate about guns.

          pro gun control: But we already have truck control

          Pro gun (you): Ah, but trucks are not like guns.

          Direct your arguments at Fox Business, they are the ones that drew the comparison.

          Moreover, if the substantial difference between trucks that can be regulated and guns that can’t be regulated is the US Constitution, change the f***ing constitution.

          • Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

            Good point.

          • ohnugget001
            Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

            I think you’ve misunderstood the analogies being made and maybe my argument in support.

            To simplify, if two different people on the same day in the same city killed 100 people each, one with a firearm, one with a truck, would some people opposed to firearm ownership or there allies be calling for the elimination of both firearm and truck ownership?

            Of course not. Such is perceived hypocrisy of those who seek to undermine the 2A.

            And FOX drew the correct comparison. I’m just not sure you’re understanding the equivalence.

            • Posted October 5, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

              I seek to undermine the Second Amendment because it is a stupid and bad law.

              Nobody calls for the elimination of truck ownership because trucks are useful objects and furthermore not many people are calling for the elimination of firearms only stricter controls.

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 5, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

                Just because you say it’s stupid and bad doesn’t make it so. Assertions are not proof.

                “Nobody calls for the elimination of truck ownership because trucks are useful objects…”

                So are firearms. So, the same logic you state for trucks applies to them.

                “… and furthermore not many people are calling for the elimination of firearms only stricter controls.”

                Sure. Some want some stricter controls. But you know what’ll happen. As soon as they get a little appeasement here, they’ll want it there. And when they get it there, they’ll want it someplace else. Learn from history for that’s just how people who want to take your rights away operate.
                Haven’t we been having this same conversation on WEIT over free speech for ages now?

              • Posted October 6, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink


                Just because you say it’s stupid and bad doesn’t make it so. Assertions are not proof.

                It’s stupid because it allows people such as yourself to hide behind it instead of introducing proper regulation for machines that are pretty dangerous in the wrong hands. It’s bad because it’s worded extremely poorly. What was the point of putting the “well regulated militia” part in, if it is irrelevant to the right in question? And yet people like you can argue that the well regulated militia part is irrelevant.

                So are firearms. So, the same logic you state for trucks applies to them.

                Firearms are only useful for killing things. AR15’s are only useful for killing people. Very few people have the need to kill people. Trucks on the other hand are a means of transport. its of people have the need to transport things.

                If you seriously think that the ownership of forty functional weapons, including weapons for killing people is a right that is “natural”, I despair. How much blood do you need on your hands before you see sense?

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 6, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

                This conversation is reaching its end because I sense you’re unwilling to really listen and sincerely consider your opponent’s POV and arguments. It also seems your lack of historical knowledge is leading you to poor conclusions as well. You just keep calling us or our ideas “stupid” or “bad”. We’re getting nowhere with you refraining from actually considering our positions and the rationale(s) behind them. I’m truly sorry that is occurring.

                “It’s stupid because it allows people such as yourself to hide behind it instead of introducing proper regulation for machines that are pretty dangerous in the wrong hands.”

                I’m not hiding Jeremy. I’m right here delivering sound defenses to multiple attacks on my rights and liberties. And I’ve yet to fail in successfully defending them yet within the comment section of this article. You and others may disagree, but the arguments I (and others) have given have stood up to scrutiny from high school debates to opponents commenting on this article, to cases decided in the Supreme Court. And they’re the highest arbiter.

                And we have plenty of regulations regarding what can be owned pursuant to the 2A. What can be added or subtracted from a firearm. Who can lose the right to own one. And plenty of other regulations. So don’t try and use a blatantly false argument, provably wrong just by citing laws we’ve enacted to qualify the 2A over our nation’s history. Lying (or ignorance) isn’t going to save your position or undermine ours, Jeremy.

                “It’s bad because it’s worded extremely poorly. What was the point of putting the “well regulated militia” part in, if it is irrelevant to the right in question? And yet people like you can argue that the well regulated militia part is irrelevant.”

                Yes, the 2A is worded funny to some from our 21st century perspective, but its meaning is not in dispute. Well, some less knowledgeable in our founding documents may dispute it because they don’t read history texts or the actual texts of the debates that took place over that amendment during the ratification process. But those people are merely ignorant which is a condition that can be reversed and rectified.

                The well regulated militia section is called a prefatory clause. It establishes a reason, but not necessarily the only reason as later ruled by SCOTUS, that individual ownership of firearms may not be infringed. I don’t know who is stating the prefatory clause is irrelevant to the right guaranteed in the 2A, but they are provably in error.

                And yet, the well regulated militia portion of the amendment may also be argued as unnecessary, or perhaps better still, at least incomplete as the 2A has numerous times been interpreted as a right endowed to a qualified citizen to own a firearm regardless of if they serve or are even qualified to serve in a militia. That comes from the operative clause of the amendment. That section is “…the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” From that operative clause, the reason for ownership is irrelevant. The prefatory clause was/is important to anti-federalists because they sought to limit the power vested in the federal government, fearing it would come at the expense of the states and the citizenry. Thus, they insisted that the militia portion be formally a part of the amendment such that the federal government could not easily (i.e., through a Constitutional Amendment) remove the state’s and the people’s rights to own weapons so as to counterbalance any standing army, as it was referred, that the federal government may eventually raise.

                And that logic still holds today. All 50 states have what the Dick Act came to refer to as Organized Militias, which easily balance the federal forces maintained on US soil, and the people are free to participate in militias which, if necessary, could number in the 100s of millions given our current population, were it necessary to offset some tyrant at the federal, or even state or local level. The 2A continues to work as planned despite the misunderstanding of many people as to the wording and why it is worded in such a manner. Those clauses are important.

                “Firearms are only useful for killing things. AR15’s are only useful for killing people.”

                Nope. Firearms are useful for sporting activities. They function as competitive weapons in organized matches. Sometimes, they’re just plain fun to use to go out and plink pop cans and other targets. You’re completely wrong with that assertion. And more seriously, sometimes they, without even being fired, are excellent means to deter someone(s) else from committing violence – and by only being brandished and not fired.

                “Very few people have the need to kill people.”

                So what? But when they do, I bet the first thing going through their head is, “Damn, I wish I had a gun like my attacker does.”

                “Trucks on the other hand are a means of transport. its of people have the need to transport things.”

                And yet when evil minded people decide to go kill masses of people, if they don’t have a firearm, a truck at high velocities can kill multiple people just like a firearm. Worse, a truck can be backed up and run into a crowd again. And then driven to another site and used again. And again. They’re just as dangerous if not more so under optimally selected conditions. Imagine a petrol tanker driven into that concert crowd in Las Vegas and detonated in the center of them all. It’d be hundreds dead and thousands in burn units across the US instead of what actually occurred. So, yeah, trucks can transport all kinds of things. Remember Tim McVeigh?

                “If you seriously think that the ownership of forty functional weapons, including weapons for killing people is a right that is “natural”, I despair.”

                That is what I believe along with 10s of millions of other Americans. I’m sorry you’re in despair, but if someone qualified to do so wants to own 40 legal, well maintained and usable firearms for their own lawful purposes, then more power to them. That’s their right. And that right is more important than your despair or happiness.

                “How much blood do you need on your hands before you see sense?”
                Knock off the hyperbole. It’s unimpressive. I’ve currently no blood on my hands, Jeremy. I’ll kill only for my nation, self-defense, and the defense of third parties – including you if someone was attempting to murder you. Meanwhile, instead of misdirecting your anguish, anger, and misunderstanding of firearm ownership and more specifically, firearm violence in the US, at me and other 2A supporters, why don’t we do something together about the real problems associated with firearms in the US causing that average of 33,000 firearm deaths annually. Let’s start with suicide. About 2/3 of all annual firearm deaths are suicides, predominantly males. About another 1/3 are violent crimes, 1/2 of which are committed by young males upon other young males, of which 2/3 of that 1/2 are young black males murdering other young black males. The remaining 1500 or so deaths are primarily accidents, self-defense, or miscellaneous. See:


                Jeremy, I’m the one who’s seeing sense here. I’m the one with the research results on my side of the argument. I’m the one with the best – the winning – legal arguments. And I’m the one with the best moral argument derived from the natural right of self-defense. Assuming you’re one of these morally and factually confused individuals, common sense is not on the side of those of you who would disarm all the law abiding firearm owners. Or dilute the right as to be useless.

                Read about the topic, especially well researched and regarded articles that dispute your beliefs. If you do, and you’re honest with yourself, you’re going to have little choice but to change many of your positions on this topic.

                My best to you, Jeremy.
                Take care and goodbye.

              • Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

                The conversation is reaching its end because you refuse to accept that the Second Amendment is just a law made up by humans rather than some sacred eternal truth.

                You want to defend yourself against people with guns? Make it harder for them to get guns. You want to reduce the suicide rate? Take the guns away and provide proper health care, including mental healthcare.

                You know that more toddlers kill people with guns in the US than terrorists, right? Make it harder for toddlers to get guns by making their parents keep them in a secure location.

                You talk about statistics. The NRA successfully lobbied to make it illegal for the CDC to collect statistics on gun deaths? Why would they do that? Unless they know that the results would be bad for the gun lobby.

                You can only fire one gun at a time. Why is it remotely reasonable to have forty? Can’t you at least accept that that is somewhat excessive?

        • xray
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          That, it seems, is a perfect excuse to repeal the 2A. That would take care of that so-called “natural right”.

          But stricter regulation is truly what is called for. In fact, I’d be happy to go back to Original Intent and say that we are all free to carry around muzzle-loading muskets. Hunters could take it as a more sporting challenge.

          Far stricter regulation is not only required, but allowed within the context of the 2A. We seem to have to problem prohibiting people from carrying around grenade launchers, missile launchers, and atom bombs. We should have no problem prohibiting similar weapons of mass murder, such as those used in Nevada.

          • Jeff Lewis
            Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

            One minor quibble – as long as you’re going to allow hunting, don’t make it ‘sporting’. Let hunters use the best tools available for a quick kill, rather than injuring and maiming animals because the weaponry was insufficiently lethal.

          • ohnugget001
            Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think you understand. You CAN’T take away natural rights. That’s the whole point. The 2A is merely an extension of the acknowledgement that everyone has the right to defend themselves against attack to the best of their ability.

            Going back to muzzle loaders has already been addressed. This is a silly argument that annoys the hell out of people who really desire an earnest conversation. This is the same as restricting the First Amendment to oral speech in a town square and a newspaper only. No radio. No optical cables. No movies or recorded music on digitized devices. And definitely no internet. The 2A has been interpreted to mean firearms which are consistent with those in common use in the contemporary time, especially as it relates to martial use (since the militia is for martial purposes).
            And do you really think think the Founders didn’t think the state of the art related to each of the amendments might change? They were already experimenting with forms of machine guns at the time.
            BTW, nukes, etc aren’t firearms or small arms as was repeatedly discussed around this issue. Look these arguments you’re making up before you put them out there. They’ve already been beaten over and over. Stop relearning by making the same mistake as others, please.

            • Posted October 5, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

              Can you define the difference between a natural right and an unnatural right? It seems to me that the second amendments just a law made up by humans. That doesn’t seem very natural to me.

            • Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

              How does a natural right to defend oneself necessitate gun ownership? This seems like equivocation to me. “Owning a gun is a right.” “How so?” “Well, self-defense is a right; same thing.”

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 6, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

                This article can explain it far better than I.


                Here’s another mechanism to understand – a thought experiment that should convince you if you approach the debate with no preconceived opinion – an open mind.

                Imagine you’re a 100lb woman whose home just had a door knocked in by 2 200lb men intent on raping and killing her. She has no option to escape. Can you see how that firearm suddenly becomes what we refer to as The Great Equalizer? Without it, she’s likely doomed. With it, she’s as powerful as another 200lb man about to be attacked by those same intruders, or a little old lady in a wheelchair, or a teenage boy trying to defend his younger siblings, etc. As long as each of them are armed appropriately. Without it, that right to self-defense still exists, but is functionally moot in the face of overwhelming odds.

              • Posted October 6, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

                A gun may well be the best way to defend oneself in some circumstances. Likewise, a car may well be the best way to be able to pursue gainful employment in some circumstances. Yet for some reason the “best way” argument works for guns, but not for cars. That’s what we call special pleading.

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 6, 2017 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

                I’m so sorry, Beef.

                I’ve read, reread, and walked away for a while and come back and re-reread your comment. I’m willing to defend my arguments even against the serious charge of a fallacious argument, but I’m flailing here. I’m apparently and admittedly not getting enough information from what you wrote or what I wrote above your comment to extrapolate what you might mean. I’m not seeing what it is you’re rejecting in order to respond back – except to admit I can’t determine where your complaint, my error, or whatever the problem is, lies.

                Nor am I laying the blame with you; it very well is my lack of understanding.

                If you still want me to defend my position, an act I’m perfectly prepared to do, could you assist me? Can you be more specific, or otherwise denote what specifically you see is in error?

                I’d appreciate the guidance.

                Thanks and take care.


              • GBJames
                Posted October 6, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

                Can we talk of the defense of thousands of people in a crowded concert audience when a mentally unstable gun nut opens fire with an arsenal far beyond anything required for hunting?

                It seems to me that fantasies about little old ladies in wheel chairs fighting off intruders carry little weight in comparison to the real world horror of gun violence in the US.

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          The privilege you cite is only for operation on public roads isn’t it?

          I doubt the government could prohibit vehicles or anything else as private property for private us, as long as it wasn’t really dangerous.

          • darrelle
            Posted October 5, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

            Yes. There is nothing in the US Constitution that defines owning a vehicle as a privilege or denying the right to own one. However there are several passages in it that provide for rights to enterprise, commerce, property and the like that could certainly be invoked to protect against the government trying to preclude private individuals from owning vehicles and other material things. The claim that the Federal Government could pass legislation outlawing private ownership of cars and that it would be perfectly Constitutional, per the history of precedent interpretations to date, is ludicrous.

        • Sameer
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

          I am not a US citizen but I live in the US. So excuse my ignorance of US constitution but I have a question about what you wrote:

          Registering trucks and firearms are not a valid comparison. Trucks are a privilege extended to the populace and monitored/regulated by relevant government authorities. People have no right to own a vehicle except that extended to them by the State.

          Isn’t the right to own a truck part of the right to property? Also the way I see it, registration and licensing is part of acquiring the privilege of “driving a truck” and not “owning a truck”. I can buy a truck or even an airplane if I have the money but it will be illegal for me to drive/fly it around without the appropriate license. Why can’t a similar construct work for guns? You can own all the guns you want, but if you want to use them then you have to register your guns, get a license for the appropriate gun type, get insurance for accidental damage to another person’s life/property etc. This can be enforced by your gun license being checked every time you buy ammunition. How would this violate the right to “bear arms”?

          • ohnugget001
            Posted October 5, 2017 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

            Let’s assume you do have a right to property. That says nothing about the government’s vested ability to state what property you may have a right to own. Without an amendment specifically directed towards trucks, you have no right to a truck. You merely are granted a privilege by the government to own one. And you have to learn how to drive it. And keep a license current. And pass an eye exam every few years probably.

            Not at all like the 2A and firearms. And do you really want it to be that way? Now, you’ve set a precedence that anytime you want to write a blog article on your website, you’ve got to get government permission to exercise your 1A rights. Or do you want to bring back literacy tests to be able to vote? And so on.

            Why should legal firearm owners be singled out and put on a registry, etc. and no other people exercising their other rights are required to? That doesn’t seem right or fair or just or equal to me. In fact, that’s a vaseline coated slope.

            Do I need insurance to march on a public square? Do I need to produce an exemption card stating I’m not required to house a federal soldier in my house each time I’m asked to do so?

            See why singling out those who exercise one right leads to the argument that if we can register and track those people, why not the ones exercising that right ass well?

            • Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

              “…do you really want it to be that way?”

              This is a bad slippery slope argument. It already is that way, as Sameer wrote, with cars, with controlled substances, with most things that are useful but dangerous. We require licensing to make sure as best we can that the user knows how to and can be relied upon to avoid the danger. Not requiring licensing would be the crazy thing.

              • ohnugget001
                Posted October 6, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

                I’d agree with you on the slippery slope but the most important point, which makes the argument locktight, is that we’re talking about a Right not a Privilege. Apples and oranges.

                Every other example being bandied about is a privilege. From cars to controlled substances, none of these are objects that come with the Right to own them. The government can take away the privilege to own any of them tomorrow and it would pass constitutional muster. The same is not true of a right. They are two classes of “things” that a citizen can possess, and only one of them cannot be infringed.

                That’s the critical difference that most people struggle with until that lightbulb suddenly goes off above their heads.

                Here’s my truly friendly advice; make things easier on yourself to more easily see the point. Replace guns with the right to vote. Or assemble. Or write a blog post on the internet. Or another Right you possess as a citizen and compare it to a car. See the difference now?

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted October 6, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

                001 – you’re making a distinction without a difference, and one that is patently ridiculous to everybody outside the US and to many within it too. A ‘right’ does not depend on some accident of history and what the framers of the Constitution happened to have thought of (or, rather, had afterthoughts about).

                And incidentally, that ‘right’ to write blog posts on the Internet depends on the willingness of a hosting supplier to host your site and of ISP’s to carry it. Try arguing that ‘right’ if Youtube takes down your videos or Twitter closes your account. 🙂

                To return to the car analogy, it’s almost a pity the framers of the Constitution never thought of legislating for the right to unimpeded and expeditious travel. I suppose now we’d have the more retarded petrolheads arguing that drivers licences were an infringement of their liberty and speed limits were unconstitutional…


    • Darrin Carter
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Maybe,if Scientists were Allowed to study the issue we would have facks.

    • Dragon
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Right! Scientists of all the people in the USA should never be providing their opinion. They are taught to evaluate evidence and avoid their own internal biases, so we should never listen to them.

      Only arms manufacturing lobbyists and internet trolls (preferably Russian sock puppets) should be providing their opinion.

  6. J.Baldwin
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I saw a segment on CNN this morning about “bump” stocks. The interesting point they made but seemingly ignored was that such devices make assault weapons far less accurate. It seems to me that a less accurate weapon would result in fewer deaths. Maybe bumps should be required instead of banned.

    • mordacious1
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Apparently, not if you’re firing into a crowd of 30,000 people.

      • J.Baldwin
        Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        Idk, not to minimize the carnage or the horror of it all, but the guy fired thousands of rounds into a huge crowd and killed 59 people. It’s not unreasonable or implausible to suggest that the inaccuracy of the weapon limited deaths. His seemingly high kill rate (relative to other mass shootings) appears to be a function of the crowd size/density, not his choice of weapon.

        And, just for the record, I am an ex-cop and a former U.S. Army marksman. I have considerable training in the use of guns. However, I do not own any guns and haven’t owned any in nearly three decades. But I do know this, a well-trained shooter, using a common hunting rifle w/a scope and a limited-capacity magazine (i.e. a weapon and accessory that nobody is seriously seeking to ban under “common sense” gun control) could have killed more than 59 in such a target-rich environment.

        • darrelle
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think the main factor in the Las Vegas incident was the crowd size and density. That certainly was a factor, but other mass shootings have taken place in high density crowds and not resulted this number of deaths or, particularly, injuries. I think the main factor that allowed this shooter to take such a toll was his location in a room on the 32nd floor of a huge hotel. This gave him an excellent vantage point to shoot over a large area, pretty much the entire venue, without obstruction and, key I think, it gave him a lot of time to shoot unhampered before anybody could get to him.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          I’ve just recalled that the British Bren light machine gun, in its original guise, was considered *too* accurate for battlefield use and had to be ‘de-accurised’ (an awful word I just made up).

          “Initial versions of the weapon were sometimes considered too accurate because the cone or pattern of fire was extremely concentrated. Soldiers often expressed a preference for worn-out barrels in order to spread the cone of fire and increase suppressive effects.”

          Increased suppressive effects = dead people, of course…


          • Richard
            Posted October 6, 2017 at 4:58 am | Permalink

            I saw a YouTube video recently which compared the Bren with the German MG42. Apparently the MG42 was relatively inaccurate (*), and so was good in defence: it could spray suppressive fire over a large area. In contrast, the Bren was as accurate as a rifle (it was sometimes even used for sniping, in single-shot mode), and was better for attack: it could lay down fire on a single enemy position whilst other soldiers in the section advanced on that position. Also the Bren could be fired from the shoulder or the hip as well, and could be used whilst advancing, whereas it was only practical to fire the MG42 from a fixed position because of its recoil.

            Horses for courses.

            (*) one British soldier who took cover in a very shallow depression only 80 yards from an MG42 position found that they were unable to hit him, even though the German gunners fired repeated bursts at him over a 45 minute period.

            Note for ‘Aliens’ fans: look closely at the Colonial Marines’ “smartguns”, and you will see that they are modified MG42s on Steadicam mounts!

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted October 6, 2017 at 5:29 am | Permalink

              I certainly don’t wish to denigrate the Bren. It was a beautifully-made piece of ordnance.
              Obviously the advantage of accuracy is situation-dependent, but I guess the conditions for ‘suppressive fire’ would be not much different from the conditions for shooting up a crowd.


              (A collector friend of mine had one, along with a number of other automatic weapons, including a Vickers and a Thompson. I’d say, as a piece of machinery, the Bren was the most satisfying of the lot.

              As a collector in New Zealand, he had to have an approved strongroom to keep the guns in, a safe to keep the firing pins or bolts in, each one had to be registered with the police, and he would have lost his collector’s licence for any transgressions).


              • Richard
                Posted October 6, 2017 at 6:16 am | Permalink

                No denigration asumed! 🙂

                Sensible gun laws in NZ – a pity they are not universal.


                A former colleague of mine had a son who did air-softing, and one occasion he was stopped by the police whilst carrying his son’s “weapons” in the boot of his car. The police wanted to look in the boot, so my colleague told them that yes, they could look, but he had to explain first: he was worried they would get the wrong idea when they saw his son’s paint pellet-firing modified Bren gun!

        • Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

          But I do know this, a well-trained shooter, using a common hunting rifle w/a scope and a limited-capacity magazine (…. could have killed more than 59 in such a target-rich environment

          And injured more 500?

          Inside ten minutes? [interval Paddock actually fired his weapon]

          One death every 6 seconds and 50-60 injuries on top of that in same interval.

          With panicked and moving targets?

          As we say in New Zealand, yeah, right.

          • Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

            Excuse my poor mental arithmetic above.

            One murder approx every 10 seconds.
            Plus about 8 or 9 injuries in the same interval, every 10 seconds.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Sometimes when there is doubt, better to say nothing than let the cat out of the bag. Any knowledge of guns will tell you that automatic weapons fire is less accurate, however, when firing into 20,000 people accuracy is not required. Bump stops or conversions kits aside, the items that need to be eliminated are the guns themselves. If a sport is needed, take up walking.

      • J.Baldwin
        Posted October 5, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        I don’t disagree (see above)…I might only add that prohibitions, as a general rule, have a pretty terrible track-record.

    • Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      If bump sticks do decrease the accuracy of the gun, then that only makes the argument that guns and gun paraphernalia need to be easily available for self-defense, hunting, and target practice even more ridiculous. In those scenarios accuracy matters very much. Accuracy is less important if you’re indiscriminately trying to take down o bunch of people all at once.

      So no, I don’t think bump stocks would improve the US’s gun violence stats. Seems to me the only reason they’re available is because the manufacturers want to make money selling them to people that have, frankly, a perverse fascination with instruments of death.

      • J.Baldwin
        Posted October 5, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        That’s a good point. I don’t think one could argue the need for bump stocks on the basis of self-defense or hunting where, as you say, accuracy matters. However, from a potential victim POV, I might want my mass-murderous shooter forced to shoot with a less accurate weapon.

        Although, for the record, I didn’t mean to seriously suggest the requirement of bump stocks as policy, even though I see now that my hastily written comment could be read that way. I was kind of just thinking out loud.

    • Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Really?! Really?!

      What do you think happens to the bullets that miss whatever it is that you are aiming at? I know on TV and in films they mysteriously evaporate, but that is not real life.

      • J.Baldwin
        Posted October 5, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        Um…most of the shots missed the crowd. That’s kind of my point. What happened to the shots that missed? They fell harmlessly (thankfully) to the ground or were embedded in walls and other objects.

        Your comment seems to suggest that you think the shots that missed hit, which is only true if he was aiming at a particular person and missed that person but hit an unintended person. The problem is, there were no unintended people. He was firing indiscriminately into a crowd and, for the most part, missed. The CNN report I mentioned in my original post didn’t acknowledge that the bump stock, which was the object of their reporting, made the weapon less accurate and I thought that was interesting. I wasn’t seriously suggesting bump stocks should be required.

        • darrelle
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

          I don’t know. At some point volume of fire is going to become an advantage over accuracy in certain conditions. Like shooting into a dense crowd. I don’t know what rate of fire that may be in a given set of circumstances, but it seems possible that in the circumstances of this incident a bump stock could have enabled more deaths and injuries. Particularly if the shooter wasn’t a good marksmen in the first place.

        • Posted October 5, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

          You were talking in general terms in the post to which I responded, not about the Las Vegas shooting.

          The idea that a gun spraying bullets all over the place is better than them all hitting the target, is horrifying.

          Talking about this specific case, yes lots of bullets missed but on the other hand vastly more bullets were fired than would have been without the bump stock.

  7. Travis
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Guns (bearing arms) are a constitutional right whereas driving is a privilege. Both tweets are dumb.

    Now I’m not saying “no regulation is allowed” but you do have to draw the line somewhere. You can’t just say “just add this regulation or this regulation or this one” and so on until it effectively is no longer a right… right?

    I’m not going to pretend to know the answer to the problem, but the US has guns and is kind of stuck with them. Driving leads to a lot of death all the time but we all recognize the power of vehicles, despite them not being a constitutional right.

    and no I’m not some gun-toting southerner or anything.. I’m Canadian. Though I do often argue a counter position on this site so other commenters mistake me for being a US citizen :p

    • Travis
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      I’d like to add that I used to be a lot more in the “more gun control” camp. It took a few years to change my mind even if only a little. I do think it would help liberals if they would be more honest with their intentions, because I think there are two camps, with the second hiding among the first because it is the more reasonable position.

      1) Those who want to add some restrictions
      2) Those who don’t think owning a gun should be a constitutional right.

      I don’t plan to sub to the email list for this post so don’t expect me to come back to reply to much, but I will try to pop in later today to see what is said.

    • Jeremy Tarone
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      The US 2nd is not absolute. It is subject to restrictions and regulation. You can not draw a line in the sand and do no more for the very reason of this post, technology marches on, societies change, regulations need to keep up.

      As pointed out by an Australian comedian, the 2nd amendment is an amendment. It is not chiselled on a stone tablet and handed down from on high by God.
      Not that most of us here have would any respect for such fictitious authorities.

  8. Randy schenck
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    There will be no gun control laws in this country. The ignorance of the tweet you showed explains this. The only conversation from the gun people comes from ignorance and will remain so. Maybe one day, far off into the future they will all kill each other.

    Look at your congress and see the hypocrisy. Just on the news, a congressman from Pennsylvania, Tim Murphy will not be running again because his mistress says he tried to tell her to get an abortion. Murphy is a big player in the republican pro-life, anti abortion group. No doubt a good gun lover as well.

    • ohnugget001
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      “Maybe one day, far off into the future they will all kill each other.”

      C’mon, Randy. That’s not cool. Just because you disagree with a group of people on a topic is no reason to wish death upon them. You sound exactly like the SJWs of the Regressive Left wishing all white men would die believing it would eliminate racism. It’s a foul belief and immoral position for them, and equally for you.

      “The only conversation from the gun people comes from ignorance and will remain so.”

      Do tell. Please enlighten me as to how all of the arguments I have supporting the 2A in America are derived from ignorance and how I’m incapable of learning, of changing my mind either through self-reflection or better arguments encountered vis-a-vis my ideological opponents out there in the marketplace of ideas. I’m fascinated to know how you can tell that I personally, a stranger to you, am currently ignorant and destined to remain so.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        My reference to killing each other is what we call sarcasm. Used to convey contempt or to mock. However, I have heard nothing from you supporting the second amendment so I cannot say if they might be ignorant. The tone, however, that I hear is sanctimony.

        • ohnugget001
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

          My apologies, Randy. I did not take it as sarcasm. Emotions run high and hot and I’ve read far worse than what you wrote and it was thoroughly meant. Like I should shoot my family then myself to make the world a better place. And worse.

          Hopefully having learned that you’ll forgive me my mistake and empathize with my position as the minority voice accustomed to ideological opponents who seek to do nothing but harass and emotionally demean/harm those they simply are ideologically on the other side of a contentious topic.

          And for the record, I firmly stand as a supporter of the 2A. Just so there no mistake as to my position going forward.

          Thank you.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      “Maybe one day, far off into the future they will all kill each other.”

      That is a conclusion profoundly to be wished, but unfortunately pie-in-the-sky. It seems likely they will kill a lot of other people first.


  9. Historian
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Historian Saul Cornell has posted an interesting historical analysis of the Second Amendment. He argues that Scalia and other “originalists” misunderstand totally the purpose of the Second Amendment, which was to maintain a free society through militias (being well regulated).

    Cornell writes:

    “So a free state’s security was something other than procuring the self-defense of a society’s individual members. It was, rather, a collective enterprise: In the eighteenth century, the security of a free state was accomplished by a well-regulated militia—a local institution, composed of citizen soldiers. And as the wording of the amendment makes plain, that militia was subject to extensive regulation by government. Indeed, militia statutes were typically the longest laws on the books in early America.”

    He continues:

    “As long as there have been guns in America, they have been extensively regulated, both by common law and statutes. Gun regulation did not fade away after the adoption of the Second Amendment; it increased.”

    He concludes:

    “In Heller, Scalia dismissed the idea that courts ought to engage in a form of ad hoc interest-balancing to arrive at a reasonable trade-off between public safety and the rights of gun owners. The problem with Scalia’s argument is that both common law and the Second Amendment itself affirmed such an approach. The right of individuals to arm themselves under common law was always balanced against the need to preserve the peace. The Second Amendment itself reminds us that the right to keep and bear arms must serve the goal of preserving a free state. The havoc wrought by gun violence saps the vitality of a free state. And in the wake of the mass carnage in Las Vegas, even ardent gun advocates would be hard pressed to plausibly contend that our current balance is what the Founders had in mind when they wrote the Second Amendment.”

    The entire article is well worth reading, particularly by those who have “Second Amendment” tattooed on their backs. It may not succeed in ending their pathological need to maintain weapons whose only purpose to kill, but they will probably stop babbling that they are supported by the Founders.


    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      The article should be read by all who simply do not understand or take the time to look at the history. Obviously, Scalia did not know what he was talking about.

      Also, take a look at the Declaration of Rights of Virginia, written several years before the Federal amendments. That a well regulated militia composed of a body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper natural and safe defense of a free state/ that standing armies in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.

      George Mason, like most all anti-federalist were paranoid about STANDING ARMIES. All they could think about was the British and the new American, with a standing army would be just like Britain. But you see, he added the whole thing into the Virginia law without declaring a right to bear arms. Too bad he was not there to help out with the bill of rights.

      Ironically, the anti-federalist were somewhat ignorant of war. Washington was well aware that militia was a damn poor fighting force and he needed a trained standing army, something he never really had.

  10. BJ
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    “I’m sad because I already hear the calls for gun control dying out. They’re stimulated by mass murders, and then, after nothing happens, people go on to other things. We will not see meaningful gun control in America during my lifetime.”

    Apparently, the Dems are too concerned about 2018 midterms to speak out forcefully about or bother trying too hard for gun control reform now: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/04/democrats-gun-control-las-vegas-243424

    When even the Dems are saying, “ah, screw it, we don’t want to risk losing any votes by saying too much or actually trying to get legislation passed” after the biggest mass shooting in American history, you know we’re screwed.

  11. sabre422
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    It is illegal to modify a legal shot gun by sawing off the stock and barrel, as it can more readily be concealed… probably assumed to be used for criminal activity.

    Modifying your car’s pollution control equipment is illegal.

    There is a long list of alterations to regulated equipment that can get you fined or jailed though the vast majority of them won’t cause severe carnage. Yet modifying weapons similar to those used in the LV killings doesn’t get a slap on the wrist.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Very true. The regulations on such things as sawing off the barrel of a shot gun is a good example. It only has one purpose because it also ruins the shotgun. The choke in a shotgun is in the last two inches or so. Therefore, cutting that off takes all the choke out and it is nothing but a scatter gun. It is worthless for what the gun is made to do. Regulations in many states also limits the number of shells allowed in the shotgun and also requires that you have your gun in a case or broken down when transporting in a car.

      Why do you suppose they limit the number of shells in the gun for duck hunting? And yet this guy in Vegas has 60 and 100 round clips for his weapons. We want to protect the slaughter of ducks but not humans.

  12. Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I don’t pretend to know the answer to this problem with guns. I myself own guns. When I’m out on the farm, miles from another person, I need a gun. I have chickens. And I shoot coyotes.

    • darrelle
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think any significant number of people in the US want gun control so restrictive that it would prevent someone from owning a gun in the circumstances you describe. I don’t think you’ll ever have anything to worry about. Even in countries with much stricter gun controls, for two examples England and Germany, people can own guns under the circumstances you describe.

      • Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for that info!

        • Richard
          Posted October 6, 2017 at 5:45 am | Permalink

          See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firearms_policy_in_the_United_Kingdom for more info if you are interested.

          A rough summary:

          airguns: treated as firearms
          handguns: banned
          shotguns: you require a police-issued Shotgun Certificate
          rifles: you require a police-issued Firearms Certificate, and must have a valid reason (self-defence is not considered a valid reason)
          (semi-) automatic weapons: not bloody likely!
          anything else: how long a prison sentence do you want?

  13. Negasta
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    “If the sale of new automatic weapons is illegal, which it is, why is it legal to sell devices that convert legal guns into illegal ones.”

    AFAIK, a firearm’s internal mechanism must be capable automatic fire for it to be considered an “automatic weapon”.

    The bump stock isn’t part of the weapon’s mechanism, so a weapon fitted with it is not considered automatic.

    This is the ultimate case of keeping with the letter of the law, while violating the spirit.

  14. Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m a “gun nut” who opposes all additional (so-called) “gun control” laws. However, I’m in favor of allowing a bump-fire device ban to pass. This ban appeals to those who only know about guns through playing video games and the movies. Which is to say nearly the entire “gun control” movement. (I’m not necessarily saying Dr. Coyne falls under that category.)

    Bump-fire devices are not popular among gun enthusiasts because firing a gun that way renders it far less lethal. It’s just too inaccurate. They are considered gimmicky novelty items not used by serious shooters. Even the Vegas shooter could *probably* have murdered even more if he had fired at a lower rate but much higher accuracy. If you work out the simple trig, even an increase of a couple of degrees in elevation angle makes him miss most of the crowd.

    Many gun-banners, including most lawmakers, are completely ignorant about even the most basic technical aspects of firearms. They still regularly confuse “assault weapons” with fully auto military assault rifles. But if you watch a YouTube video of someone using a bump-fire device, it “looks” scary and lethal. That’s as much as they care to understand.

    Thus a bump-fire ban is a perfect meaningless bone to throw the “gun control” movement who wants to “do something.” Of course it will have zero effect on reducing gun homicides, but more importantly, it will not further infringe upon the civil right if personal self-defense.

    I see many Republucans have slyly expressed support for such a ban. Maybe they are smarter than I’d for which I’d give them credit.

    • xray
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      I couldn’t care less about “the most basic technical aspects of firearms”. I leave that to you “gun nuts”. It is enough to know that military weapons should be reserved for the military. There is no legitimate reason for such weapons in the hands of civilians. They are not needed for “personal self-defense” — that is for certain. Some gun nuts claim such weapons ensure their “freedom” from gov’t tyranny, as if their little pea-shooters will hold off the 101st Airborne.

      Until the 2A is repealed, I say you are welcome to your muzzle-loading musket. But anything more should be very heavily regulated. I vote for those running for Congress with this in mind.

      • Posted October 5, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        You just demonstrated my point. Military weapons have been banned for civilians for quite some time. You blather on about banning things about which you are completely clueless. It’s scary that such imbeciles are allowed to vote.

      • Posted October 5, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        >>>I couldn’t care less about “the most basic technical aspects of firearms”. I leave that to you “gun nuts”.<<<

        All public policy should be grounded in subject matter expertise. Would we want, say, climate change policy, or health care policy, or the tax code, to be set by people who boast of their indifference to "the most basic technical aspects" of these subjects? In these and in so many other areas of life, technical details that may appear trivial and inconsequential to non-experts can make all the difference in whether or not a proposed policy is actually effective.

        • Posted October 5, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          Sure, experts should do the work of drafting the regulations in all the detail required to make them effective. But non-expert concerned citizens can certainly grasp the big picture and can make valid points in the discussion.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      I think your comments express very well why many of us here do not believe anything reasonable is possible in talking with the so-called other side or gun nuts as you call yourself. On might even consider it a lost cause, if you will.

    • Historian
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      “Bump-fire devices are not popular among gun enthusiasts because firing a gun that way renders it far less lethal.”

      At last, the truth comes out. Lethality is of prime importance to gun enthusiasts. Just the thought of killing people turns them on, even if it’s only in their fantasies.

      • Posted October 5, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        I suppose it would have been more precise to state bump-firing renders a gun far less accurate. Yes, it’s considered desirable to actually hit only what you are aiming at, if for no other reason than to minimize collateral damage. You think that’s a *bad* thing? How bizarre.

    • Desnes Diev
      Posted October 5, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      “Bump-fire devices are not popular among gun enthusiasts because firing a gun that way renders it far less lethal”

      What’s the rationale to look at the most lethal gun? Are you planning to kill someone? Are “gun enthusiasts” like psychopaths that looked for deadly weapons even if they have no use for them, just in case?

      • Posted October 5, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        No, the point is a more accurate gun is better. It’s generally considered a good thing to hit only what you intend to hit. Spraying bullets at a wide dispersion is extremely dangerous. Who is the psychopath here? UFB.

        • Randy schenck
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

          Just a question for ya. What do you hunt with weapons like the ones this guy had in Los Vagas?

          • Posted October 5, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

            I don’t hunt myself. All we know about the guns the Vegas shooter used is that they were semi-auto rifles chambered for .223 and .308 rounds. Both calibers are used extensively by hunters for all types of game.

            • Randy schenck
              Posted October 5, 2017 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

              You do not hunt yourself and possibly never have hunted anything yet you consider yourself qualified to speak about guns and accessories. Do we all know that the guns used by the Las Vegas guy are not used by hunters? None that I ever heard of. These are guns for city boys and people like the mass murderer to play with. Maybe they go to bed with them (you know, make love to them).

              You say the cartridges are use by hunters for all types of game? But you did not name any of this game or where the hunter uses it. I can tell you, in the few places they use these cartridges to hunt, they are not using them in guns like the mass murderer used.

              I only mention this and single out these issues to show that most gun nuts and any people who have guns like this or like to talk about guns like this, know almost nothing about hunting or guns that hunters use. They only know about what they see on TV or in all the gun magazines or at the gun shows where these people hang out. Possible they watch a lot of war movies and then go buy a few of these weapons of mass destruction.

        • Desnes Diev
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

          I agree that if you wish to fire bullets it’s better to be accurate. I also agree that there are careful gun users (hunters, range shooters) but I don’t think they should be qualified as “gun enthusiasts”. This because they use guns for a purpose (hunting or sport) and not for the sole pleasure to fire a lethal weapon.

          • Stuart A Milc
            Posted October 5, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            Is firing a gun “for the sole pleasure to fire a lethal weapon.” a bad thing?

    • Posted October 5, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      You think those calling for stricter regulation would be satisfied with that bone?

      Infringing on the right to self-defense? To allude to the OP, do you consider the licensing of drivers and registration of vehicles an infringement on any of your rights?

      Finally, the Courtier’s Reply? Again with the truck analogy, I don’t need to be an accomplished mechanic in order to see that passing tests and meeting other requirements to receive a driver’s license is a good idea.

      • Harrison
        Posted October 5, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        Driving is not a right. It is a privilege. Ergo no amount of arbitrary hoops to obtain a license is infringing on anyone’s rights.

        I don’t really get how that’s a “Courtier’s Reply” either. There’s nothing at all analagous between “you should have some technical expertise before wading into a technical topic” and “you should read our book of woo before you can dismiss it.”

        • Harrison
          Posted October 5, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          And for the record I disagree with the assertion by here and elsewhere that non-experts are not entitled to an opinion about gun control. I just don’t think that assertion counts as a Courtier’s Reply.

          I do agree with dfj79 above that expertise should be given greater consideration than non-expertise though, as a matter of principle. And I am myself a gun control advocate.

        • Posted October 5, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          Negativevariance and ohnugget both argued that guns are one means by which you exercise your right to self-defense. So driving is similarly one means by which you exercise your right to pursue a career. If you want to argue that you don’t need to drive to pursue a career, then I will argue you don’t need a gun to defend yourself.

          Yes, it’s a Courtier’s Reply. As I already wrote, I don’t need to be a mechanic to understand the laws regulating driving.

          • Posted October 5, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

            That’s a classic false analogy. Of course it’s not a Courtier’s Reply. Many proposed “gun control” laws specifically target some technical aspect of firearms, such as rate of fire, caliber, magazine capacity, barrel shrouds, etc. FFS, in this very thread, the poster “Xray,” after proudly flaunting their ignorance, then made a hilariously false claim about what type of guns are currently legal.

            How is one supposed to evaluate proposed legislation without understanding wtf they are talking about, at least at the most basic level? This willful ignorance is bizarre. It reminds me of creationists who refuse to attempt to learn even the simplest facts about evolution.

            • Posted October 5, 2017 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

              Well that’s their problem. There are plenty of regulations we non-experts can talk intelligently about, i.e., laws addressing who can have access to guns, what sorts of tests/background checks/waiting periods/etc should be required. That’s perfectly analogous to my mechanic/driving laws analogy.

              Furthermore, this is a discussion on a blog, not the capitol floor. If I make an erroneous claim about guns, you can correct me, but I’ll jump in if I want.

            • xray
              Posted October 6, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

              I made no false claim about what type of guns are currently legal. I made a claim that many guns now legal should in fact be *illegal*. Military-style weapons, whose sole purpose is to kill many people at once, should not be in civilian hands. They clearly are in civilian hands right now. There is no justifiable argument for such weapons of mass murder.

    • Richard
      Posted October 6, 2017 at 5:52 am | Permalink

      Yes, only someone who has a massively-detailed in-depth knowledge of every aspect of firearms could possibly be trusted to have an accurate opinion on whether 30,000+ gunshot deaths a year is a Good Thing or a Bad Thing.

  15. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    I can’t help laughing at this idiotic argument that “driving is a privilege but owning a gun is a right” – because the Second Amendment.

    Only in the USA… Literally. It’s an argument that could only possibly be made in the USA.

    Along with the adulation (when convenient) of the Constipation which seems to be regarded as some sacred object written in stone and the only bastion against ghastly unnameable consequences. (Socialism?) And in particular the Amendment-which-can-never-be-amended, only interpreted to suit its devotees. While every other provision of the Constitution gets quietly overlooked if necessary.

    (The Eighteenth – how did that work out for you guys? Oh, it got repealed. See, it is possible.)

    I must admit I’m looking at all this from the outside. At times I feel uncomfortably like the fashionable voyeurs in the 19th century who used to frequent asylums to laugh at the antics of the inmates. Courtesy of CNN and the Intertoobz…


    • Posted October 5, 2017 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      It’s not just you. But we do have the benefit of an outsider’s perspective.

      • Posted October 5, 2017 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

        Well, I’m an insider and I agree with you and infiniteimprobabilit(y).

    • xray
      Posted October 6, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the whole “natural right” thing is philosophically bogus, something that is usually on the playground of theocrats. These are rights that God supposedly gave us, or Nature, or something. An assault rifle is just so natural, you know, especially, I suppose, when it compensates for a tiny penis.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted October 6, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Rights vs. privilege is a theme for some – I’d suggest a false dilemma?

      Example : voting is called a privilege while written words on voting instructions say multiple times – perhaps depending on the state – voting is a right.

      Result : stunned. Lesson : don’t get stunned – learn the differences between rights and privileges. Not saying I know this cold, but working on it. I think Chomsky would call this propaganda terms – “rights” and its (false) alternative “privileges”.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 6, 2017 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        I’d say there’s a sliding scale, and necessity also comes into it.

        For example, in the first half of the 20th century, driving was definitely a ‘privilege’. But now, in most communities (except possibly urban city centres), it has become a virtual necessity. And hence the ability to drive (subject to obtaining the necessary licences) is surely as much a ‘right’ as many other aspects of modern life that we take for granted.


        • ThyroidPlanet
          Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:23 am | Permalink

          Gee, why don’t I look up these damn words at last he said:

          Excerpts from Google by typing “define:______”

          a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.
          “education is a right, not a privilege”
          synonyms: advantage, benefit; More
          prerogative, entitlement, right;
          concession, freedom, liberty
          “senior students have certain privileges”

          Right (this is trickier):

          a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way.
          “she had every right to be angry”
          synonyms: entitlement, prerogative, privilege, advantage, due, birthright, liberty, authority, power, license, permission, dispensation, leave, sanction, freedom; historicaldroit
          “you have the right to say no”
          the authority to perform, publish, film, or televise a particular work, event, etc.
          “they sold the paperback rights”

          … without looking elsewhere for better definitions, I’d have to say there’s no big difference between “right” and “privilege”, and – and I go cynical here – anyone saying there is is trying to take them away from someone else.

  16. eric
    Posted October 5, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    If he’s going to compare guns to trucks, then I have a solution.

    Liberals will agree to zero gun regulation, if conservatives will agree that, like trucks, we charge ~$30,000/unit.

  17. Diane G.
    Posted October 6, 2017 at 3:17 am | Permalink


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