Eighteen year old woman with AK-47 and shotgun threatens to shoot up her school

From today’s Washington Post (click on screenshot), we have the story of Alexis Wilson, an 18 year old woman who was arrested because she told a friend she had guns, showed the friend a video of her firing the guns, said that she hated the people in her old high school, and then added that she wanted to ““shoot 400 people for fun.”

Wilson had a checkered history and other signs that she might have become a shooter. As the Post says,

The 5-foot-7, baby-faced teenager is an anomaly as a female suspect allegedly plotting a mass shooting, but police described her as a serious threat.

The high school she allegedly targeted had suspended her once for bringing a knife to school and again for displaying swastikas on her personal belongings, a school resource officer told the sheriff’s office. Her booking photo shows Wilson wearing a T-shirt referencing “The Anarchist Cookbook,” a 1971 book advocating for violent civil disobedience that has been found among the belongings of school shooters. On Facebook, Wilson had liked a documentary about the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.

“A female can pull the trigger just as easily as a male,” Morris told KTUL Monday. “It’s rare, it’s different. I don’t know that there’s been a female accused of this.”

. . . Stites and Jordan [police officers] collected an iPhone with a purple case, an AK-47 with six magazines and a 12-gauge shotgun with a stock sleeve for extra shells from Wilson’s bedroom.

. . . After she had been suspended in her freshman year, she said she completed a program at Thunderbird, a military academy in Oklahoma that advertises itself as an alternative option to public school. She said she tried to re-enroll at McAlester High afterward, but she hadn’t been allowed to start classes this fall. Wilson explained the alleged threat by saying she had been trying to convince her co-worker that “not everyone that owns a gun is a bad person,” the police report said.

. . .At the end of the police interview, Wilson told the officers that she used to feel “suicidal and borderline homicidal” toward her classmates at McAlester High because of the bullying she faced. Jordan asked her if she thought about hurting anyone at the school.

“Not recently, but she has in the past,” the report says.

Well, Wilson clearly needs therapeutic help, and I hope she gets it. I also think that yes, it’s okay for the police to arrest her, for she made a threat to her friend and there were other signs that she could have become a shooter. Too many of these signs have been ignored in the past—resulting in tremendous loss of life.

But what I want to know is this: how the bloody hell did Wilson get an assault weapon with magazines, much less a 12-gauge shotgun? Did she buy them legally, or borrow them from her parents? Either way, those guns shouldn’t have been available to her. If we went to the Scottish system of gun control, they wouldn’t have.

This won’t happen in my lifetime, but Wilson should not have been able to legally obtain any gun, much less an assault rifle that could kill lots of her ex-classmates.  I’m with Beto O’Rourke on this one: yes, let’s take the assault weapons out of the hands of Americans. They have no use except for mass killing of other humans. And that’s just a start in the banning and confiscation that should occur.

I’m just glad the cops arrested her (making a threat is a felony) before she was able to use those guns.

77 Comments

  1. rickflick
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m not too surprised an 18 year old woman would be [allegedly] part of the gun violence lot. Rare for women, but still, I’m sure there are a lot of disgruntled women.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Most of us don’t get shoot em up disgruntled until we’re middle aged & by then our backs hurt too much to do any real damage.

      • rickflick
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        LOL.

      • Helen Hollis
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 1:22 am | Permalink

        I seem to recall a situation in Tasmania way back. Scared me then

        • Deodand
          Posted September 18, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

          That’ll be the Port Arthur shooting. The aftermath of that bought out the Gun Nuts (Ready to oppose ‘Jackboot Johnnie’ Howard) and the conspiracy theorists who measured the pixels on the television screens and determined the guns were too short and therefore the whole thing had been faked by the UN to take away the guns.

          Not that Australian farmers liked the Gun Nuts, it seems they had a habit of shooting anything that moved (Wildlife, cattle, sheep…) and anything that didn’t (road signs, farm machinery…).

          It’s also the reason that John Howard was a better PM than Kevin Rudd, when it came down to it, Howard sold his policy and won the day.

          Rudd, when the opposition appeared dropped his emissions trading policy like a sack of spuds and sprang a ‘wealth tax’ that actually had mining magnates taking to the streets with signs (prepared by their employees of course…) to protest.

      • helenahankart
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 3:43 am | Permalink

        Another triumph for the decadent western office lifestyle!

      • TJR
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

        Clearly women are being excluded from the gun violence and spree killer communities.

        On a serious note, it always surprises me how few bullied teens end up shooting their bullies. Never forget how vile children can be to each other, and how all-encompassing it can feel to the victims.

  2. Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Shame on the classmates who may have bullied her. If America wants to stop shootings at school a great starting point is kids.

    I tell my kids, 12 and 15, that if they see anyone at school who looks like they are really down or being bullied just to say ‘Hey, how are doing?” A five minute conversation or even just listening can potentially turn a person’s life around.

    • Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Smart advice !

    • Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      All would agree! Regular reinforcement of this would help on this problem. But it won’t eliminate bullying, and it won’t eliminate mass shootings since those are all the result of bullying.
      But any bit helps.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Good advice, but in many cases that would not suffice, I fear. At any rate, it is always a positive to involve the involuntary loners, if in a sincere mode.

  3. Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    When I lived in California many people told me of friends and relatives shot dead. The most striking was a woman in her early thirties who had been married twice but both husbands had been shot and killed. It seems to me that a possible way forward is a proper respect for the Second Ammendment, to insist that all gun owners be members of an organised militia, and that all guns are to be kept at the militia’s headquarters.
    Remember, it takes over fifty years to disarm a country. About two million more deaths. George in France

    • Filippo
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      sub

    • Murali
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      ‘proper respect for the Second Ammendment’

      However, Isn’t the SC interpretation (2007) that the people do have a right to own weapons regardless of whether they are in a militia?

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        That SC ruling is a travesty. The SC is not untainted with travesties of Justice, just think of the 2000 presidential election. And I’m sure any law student could add a few more.

    • merilee
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      But weren’t Australia and New Zealand basically disarmed overnight?

      By the way, great way to show people that not all gun owners are bad people…

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        Not ‘disarmed’. But multi-shot semi-automatic rifles were banned.

        However, in both countries (I think), most handguns were already illegal, as were full automatics, and we don’t have any ‘constitutional right to bear arms’ or even ‘states rights’ to muddy the waters.

        So it was a step, but a much easier one than it would be in the US. The climate is different.

        cr

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted September 19, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

        As said above Australia was never awash with handguns. It was a very serious offence having a handgun and not being in a club.

        Primarily the major difference is that self defense or home defense is not an acceptable reason. For any kind of gun. If you put that as a reason on your application it would be rejected.

    • Mike Deschane
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      The second amendment is obsolete and needs to be repealed.

      The US military, and most advanced countries military’s, can put a “well armed” militia on the ground most anywhere in the world in a matter of hours. A civilian militia would be cut to ribbons in very short order.

      I emphatically agree with our host that there is no reason for anyone outside the military to own an assault weapon.

  4. DrBrydon
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    You have to be eighteen in Oklahoma to possess a pistol or long gun, so she could legally have her own.

    • Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      An AK-47 is a select fire weapon, which is to say you can fire single shots with it or you can fire bursts. As I understand it, that would be illegal even in the USA…

      ** does some research **

      OK, if it was manufactured before 1968, she could legally own one, but the ATF would know about it.

      Most likely though, it’s not an AK-47 but a semi automatic version thereof, much like the AR-15s which are like M-16s but are only semi automatic. Incidentally, if you want to trigger a gun fondler (pun intended), telling them that people only by AR-15s so they can pretend they are back in ‘Nam fighting the Viet Kong works a real treat.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        Incidentally, if you want to trigger a gun fondler (pun intended), telling them that people only by AR-15s so they can pretend they are back in ‘Nam fighting the Viet Kong works a real treat.

        Does that work even without the reminder that the Viet Kong won that particular war. Or do you save that for triggering the second apoplectic fit? With malice aforethought.

        • Posted September 18, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          Yes it does. The first time I used it, I said “people only buy AR-15s so they can pretend they’re back in Nam”.

          It sent my interlocutor ballistic, metaphorically.

  5. GBJames
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Yup

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Glad to hear you are coming around a little to my thinking. All of those weapons of war should be removed from our society. As I have said before, the hand guns should go as well. The shotgun is perfectly legal as long as the ammo is legal. Double O buckshot is illegal in many states but otherwise, a shotgun is for hunting. Just as a note on regulations – you are not allowed to have a shotgun assembled in a automobile unless it is in a gun case. Otherwise it must be broken down. That is why most people have gun cases for their shotguns. I am speaking specifically of Iowa law. You cannot shoot the gun from in the car or on a road. You cannot shoot across a road. All of that would be illegal. You cannot shoot any gun in the city limits either. These common sense laws should tell us one thing. Unless you are using a shotgun for hunting or sport shooting, why would you have one?

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Collector? Historian? There are a few more categories exceptions could be made for.
      I also do not understand why it is so difficult to create a register of all guns with their ‘bullet track’ signature. It would in no way impede the Second, even if we accept the 2007 SC decision has some merit (which it has not, IMMO).

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        Not sure I understand what would be accomplished with a “bullet track” signature. Sounds extremely bureaucratic. Would not work on shotguns. Most of these mass killers end up dead or caught so what does this gain?

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted September 18, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          What would be accomplished is there will be less lawlessness regarding guns, and that owners know that shots fired from their gun can be traced to them. They would be more carful with their guns. It would help to change the climate around guns.
          With modern technology I do not think it would entail a large bureaucracy, but even if so, so be it.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted September 18, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

            owners know that shots fired from their gun can be traced to them.

            I’m not a machinist, and don’t have much access to tool shop facilities, but I am pretty sure that a little searching and a little practice would allow me to modify a gun sufficiently to change the breech and rifling “fingerprints” of a weapon to no longer match a set of “fingerprints” taken at the manufacturer.
            They are mass-produced devices, after all. If you can get a car’s cylinders re-bored to a larger size and re-grind the valve seats, then I really doubt there is a small town in the world where the equipment to “re-fingerprint” a gun isn’t available.

    • Llola
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Randall, I agree with everything you said. However, it seems to me that we the people have, by default, come to a difficult-to-verbalize decision in the U.S. People are willing to accept random shootings and the deaths of adults and children if that’s what it takes to maintain access to assault weapons and hand guns. If a majority of Americans across the country felt differently, we would vote differently.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        How do you square that with the 90% or so of the US population that favours stricter gun control?

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        I think maybe you are a little behind the times. The young people are demanding more gun control. They would prefer to go to school and make it home alive. Just saying that people want guns does not give anyone the right to want any gun. That just does not fly and has nothing to do with the second amendment. Guns were initially produced for hunting and hunters. There is also sport shooting – skeet or blue rocks. But that is about it. If you think you need a gun to protect your family, get a shot gun, learn how to use it and then put it someplace locked up where no one can get to it or steal it. Never leave the gun loaded in the house.

        • Lola
          Posted September 18, 2019 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

          I think you completely missed my point. Of course wanting guns doesn’t entitle people to have them. No one is permitted to own a personal nuclear weapon, for example.

          Unfortunately, many people who claim to want stronger gun laws continue to vote for candidates who do not support stricter gun laws. I hope the young people who came out after the Florida shooting come out to vote. As long as Americans don’t hold elected officials responsible for supporting policies to stem gun violence, then it doesn’t matter how many surveys say that 90% of Americans want stricter gun laws. Politicians respond to votes. The only way public opinion matters is if it will change someone’s vote. So my feeling is that anyone who votes for political candidates who don’t support stricter gun laws are in effect saying that mass shootings are the price we pay for having easy access to automatic weapons.

    • chewy
      Posted September 18, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      In Wyoming, unless you special order, you can’t buy a pickup without a rifle and a shotgun in the gunrack behind the driver’s head. Lever action Winchester rifle and pump Remington 12-gauge come standard.

  7. Diana MacPherson
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Glad women are bucking the male dominated trends. Now we just have to get up our numbers for serial killings.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Tell that to Elizabeth Bathory.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Still nowhere near parity.

        • tjeales
          Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

          No new male serial killers until parity is achieved.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Yep, I was going to say ‘A great step for feminism!’

      But then I thought I might get in trouble for it.

      But it seems I just said it anyway. Ah well…

      🙂

      cr

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Only a matter of time till the distaff half of the US population gets in on the assault-weapon mass-shooting action.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      They don’t call them ‘equalisers’ for nothing. 😉

      (Or is that an archaic term from my teenage blood-n-thunder trashy novels?)

      cr

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        A “roscoe” is the term I remember from the hard-boiled detective novels. But, yeah, sometimes an antihero like Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe or Mike Hammer would come across a “dame” or “moll” who kept a snubnosed hidden in her purse, or strapped to a thigh.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        “The Equalizer” was my old rock hammer’s name. A kilogram head on a 45cm shaft, all rocks were equal, but some would get more equalized than others.
        (No, it wasn’t overkill. Trying to get a fresh surface off a 3 billion year old lump which had spent most of it’s life 30km below the surface being pattern welded to toughness needs a certain amount of equalisation. One of the PhDs (“Dr Toxic”, lab mate to “Uncle Horrible”) I’d mountaineer with routinely carried a 3kg sledgehammer for fondling granites and granitoids with.)

        I left the damned thing in a car park near Durness, while loading a 25 kilo cube of the Great Unconfrmity into the back of the car. Vale. I’m sure it’s happy in it’s new home.

        Crap, I nearly got shot over that thing. Happy days.

  9. SpiderHugger
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    “But what I want to know is this: how the bloody hell did Wilson get an assault weapon with magazines, much less a 12-gauge shotgun? Did she buy them legally, or borrow them from her parents? Either way, those guns shouldn’t have been available to her.”

    You were speaking rhetorically, right? Those are legal firearms and she’s an adult, so she probably just bought them.

    • Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I thought it was clear that I was speaking rhetorically from the last sentence. My real question is “How does this madness come to be?”

    • Jim Danielson
      Posted September 17, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Not adult enough to drink alcohol, but adult enough to own firearms.

      • Richard
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        Not adult enough for First Grade, but adult enough to be given a rifle:

        https://www.latimes.com/nation/la-xpm-2013-may-01-la-na-nn-kentucky-boy-accidental-fatal-shooting-sister-20130501-story.html

        • Jim Danielson
          Posted September 18, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

          Uh oh, you’ve got me started.
          To me, this points out the lunacy of American gun culture:

          “Family members describe the shooting as a tragic accident”

          “In this part of the country, it’s not uncommon for a 5-year-old to have a gun or for a parent to pass one down to their kid,”

          “Her family kept the Crickett rifle in what they considered to be a safe spot, Cumberland County Coroner Gary White told the CNN affiliate”

          A safe spot is an actual safe. Putting it in the parents unlocked closet isn’t safe. It staggers the mind the number of people who have children and don’t secure unsupervised firearms.

          “It’s just one of those nightmares,” he said, “a quick thing that happens when you turn your back.”

          Except this hardly ever happens in other countries. It happens in the USA on a regular basis, mostly because so many see a child getting a hold of a loaded gun “an accident”. In other countries it’s negligence. The parents would be charged and while waiting for their court date they’d have their guns taken away because they have demonstrated they are too irresponsible to have them.
          Possibly their children too.

          In most countries people have to demonstrate an understanding of firearm safety, laws and regulations and their responsibilities before they can get a gun. In the vast majority of the US any idiot can get a gun and they frequently do.

          In many US states it isn’t even a crime to leave unsupervised unsecured guns around children. Some have laws on safe storage but no punishments so it’s difficult to impossible to charge parents. In some areas it’s impossible to get a jury to convict and almost as hard to get a civil award.

          It never surprises me how often gun nuts talk about personal responsibility except when gun folk are irresponsible. Suddenly it’s just a tragic accident. If you fall off a ladder you can sue the ladder company, but leave a loaded gun around a 3 year old and most of the time, in most of the country it’s:
          “Whoops! What are you going to do?”

          One would think daily reports of dead or maimed children (3 dead a day, many more maimed, GOK how many close calls) would be enough of a deterrent to get people to secure their firearms.

          Actually allowing a 5 year old unsupervised access to a deadly weapon is insanity. I recall one article where a 5 year old was given a .22 rifle, it was kept in his bedroom behind the door. The parents thought it was safe because they took away the ammunition. Who could have guessed a five year old might not hand back all the ammunition?

          It’s just so frustrating.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        “Old enough to die for your country, but not old enough to vote for it.” As I pointed out to the Army Recruiting Ossifer in the Q+A after he’d done his thing of “travel the world, meet interesting people and murder them” presentation in Careers lessons.
        Somehow, that didn’t make me popular with the staff who had arranged this important guest speaker. I can’t imagine why.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted September 19, 2019 at 12:45 am | Permalink

          I gather you opted for ‘travel the world, meet interesting people and make yourself unpopular’ 😉

          cr

  10. Max Blancke
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    The fact that she is wearing orange with steel bracelets is a sign that in this one case, the system worked.

    Also, the gun is likely not an AK47. If it is, then it would be super illegal to possess. Probably an AK “styled” gun, of which many are sold. Pedantic details, but there you go.

    The idea of taking guns from Americans is an interesting problem, even if you look at it from a detached perspective. We are not really talking about textbook assault weapons, which are incredibly rare. We are discussing seizing “assault-styled” weapons, which are defined pretty broadly. But, it does seem to be true that AR styled guns are the most popular rifles currently being sold. I would probably concede that most gun-owning households possess at least one.

    But the math is interesting. Something like 100 million Americans legally own guns. With spouses and adult kids still at home, we might guess 50 million households to be searched for contraband. I am no cop, but I would assume that there is a minimum size police team that would be required for each search of a home potentially hiding contraband guns. The last I read, there are approximately 600K police officers in the US. And rural communities like mine have very few police officers, and nearly 100% of households are armed.

    I would not assume that turning in a gun would take you off the search list. I also cannot guess how many people would voluntarily consent to having their home searched for contraband. Some percentage of people will be uncooperative. Some percentage of surprise searches will result in accidental shootings, either of the police or the homeowners.

    The problem we want to solve, as I understand it, is to reduce the number of murders committed in the US where rifles are used. I cannot find the exact number, but if we assume that all murders in the US using rifles used AR15s, the number seems to be 415 deaths, as of last year. If you subtract the number of those murders committed by people who already are prohibited from owning a gun, you come up with 83 murders by legal gun owners using rifles. Assuming the Washington Post numbers are right.

    It does not take a very high percentage of adverse incidents while kicking in those 50 million doors to dwarf those 83 murders. I guess the question I would ask is how many deaths are acceptable in our quest to disarm and pacify the rural population.

    If you want to actually work on gun violence, we might start by disarming and breaking up criminal gangs, who are responsible for much more violence than farmers and ranchers. Oddly, it is hard to quantify gang violence, as apparently keeping records of gang members is problematic.

    • Posted September 17, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      The problem we want to solve, as I understand it, is to reduce the number of murders committed in the US where rifles are used.

      If that’s the problem “we” want to solve, then we are wrong. The problem you should be trying to solve is the number of deaths and injuries caused by firearms generally including suicides and accidental deaths and injuries.

      If you are going to concentrate on one class of firearms first, then handguns would be it, but why limit yourself in that way?

      the number seems to be 415 deaths, as of last year. If you subtract the number of those murders committed by people who already are prohibited from owning a gun, you come up with 83 murders

      Your logic is faulty. Where do you think people who own firearms illegally get them from? Do you think they steal them from the factory? No, they get them off people who bought them legally. If you can’t buy them legally, you can’t pass them onto somebody illegally.

      • max blancke
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        I was specifically addressing the call in the article and in the news to confiscate “assault weapons”.

        Guns are not large or complicated objects like fusion reactors. They are fairly easy to manufacture, and someone with a the logistics of a drug smuggling operation already in place could certainly smuggle them in. Or steal them from police or the military. A possibly unexpected aspect of the possibility of criminals turning to illicit manufacture is that it is easier to make a full auto submachine gun than a semiauto rifle. The British spent quite a bit of time in WW2 designing such guns that could cheaply and easily be manufactured by partisans in covert shops.

        There seems to be an impulse to believe that making guns illegal will eventually disarm criminals. That belief relies on a bunch of assumptions, beyond the likelihood of smuggling or illicit manufacture.

        Suicide is a complicated issue. My understanding is that about half of suicides are committed with firearms. I do not know what percentage of those despondent people would use other means if a firearm was unavailable. Some of the other popular means of suicide pose quite a bit of danger to others. Driving into oncoming traffic, for instance.

        • rickflick
          Posted September 18, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          …eventually disarm criminals. That belief relies on a bunch of assumptions…

          The point that’s been made many times is that in countries where stricter laws are in effect, restriction seems to help quite a bit. The biggest problem I see is that there are so many guns in all sorts of conditions already in circulation. Getting that mess under control sounds like a nightmare.

        • Posted September 18, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          If all you can do is throw up crappy objections to actually doing something about gun violence, then you’ll just perpetuate the problem.

          All the things you mention in your second paragraph would theoretically apply to any of the countries like mine that have proper gun control and, guess what, it turns out they’re not a problem. It’s much harder to smuggle guns in or steal them from the police are military than it is to go to the nearest Guns-for-U and buy them. It’s also harder for amateurs to manufacture guns that are more dangerous to the target than the operator than you might think. Even in a simple gun like the British Sten, the bolt and the spring and the ammunition have to be carefully calibrated to make the action cycle properly.

          There seems to be an impulse to believe that making guns illegal will eventually disarm criminals.

          It does. In the UK, even the criminals don’t carry guns as a rule. Why not? Because if somebody sees you with one, it is guaranteed to end in an armed response and jail time. Not to mention illegal guns are quite hard to get hold of.

          • max blancke
            Posted September 18, 2019 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

            I think it is fortunate that gangs and criminals in the UK are less likely to try to acquire and use guns. They do seem to be pretty stabby, though.

            Perhaps the gang situation is different culturally than the one on North and South America. It is an interesting issue.

            • Posted September 19, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

              We have between 200 and 300 knife homicides each year or about 0.5 per 100,000. The USA had about 11,000 gun homicides in 2016 (that excludes suicides and accidents) which is more than 3 per 100,000.

              So which would you choose? I’ll go with the stabby rather than shooty.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted September 18, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Step one would be to require full photo ID, fingerprints etc for purchase of any sort of ammunition, as well as bar-coding (DNA-fingerprinting, “Smart Water” marking, there are various suitable technologies) every item of ammunition so that a bullet or casing can be unambiguously linked to the buyer. Buyer and shooter share joint and several liability for any crime committed with the ammunition.
      No, it wouldn’t stop gun crime. But it would hugely reduce the size of the population you need to investigate.
      A gun without ammunition is a poorly designed club.
      Ammunition deteriorates with time. Slowly, in current designs ; improved designs could deteriorate more rapidly. That would be part of revising the economics of the gun market so that the profit centre for the manufacturers is in sale of ammunition, not of ammunition dispensers. It’s the same as the profitability of hydrocarbon fuel sellers is consistently better and more reliable than that of companies that sell hydrocarbon fuel burners which move between locations.

      • max blancke
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Do you know how much time it takes for ammo, stored in a dry place, to become unusable?

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted September 18, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

          Exactly, no. But I do know that the military, in theatres like Afghanistan and Iraq (not exactly high corrosion climates, compared to the tropics), do their in-theatre training, “test firing” etc with the older ammo from the Stores specifically to make room for new ammunition on their regular “best before” schedule. Since the next office along from the Stores are the Beancounters, they must have misfire statistics to justify this.
          Of course, they could just take the out-of-date ammo down to the local dump. The enemy, being inherently stupid, would never think to go there and stock up themselves. Or doesn’t that quite work?

          • max blancke
            Posted September 18, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

            I sort of asked that as a rhetorical question.
            The answer is that ammo stored in a dry place lasts pretty much forever. This was not quite as true for corrosive ammo used up until the early years of the 20th century.

            The first military rifle to use modern smokeless powder was the French Lebel of 1886. I have a Lebel, and have fired century-old ammo in it with no problems to date. That ammo is much more corrosive than modern ammo, so it requires that the gun be cleaned after use.

            I don’t think we have been producing noncorrosive smokeless ammo for long enough to know when it can be predicted to be generally unreliable. Sort of like the old question about how long a well made copper roof lasts. We have only been building them for 500 years, so we just don’t know.

            The standards that the military uses are obviously more stringent. They require zero failures ever. It may be that my WW1 ammo fails at a rate of 1/1000, but I have just not got there yet.

            So if the plan is to ban the sale or production of ammo, and wait for it to age to unreliability, it is going to be a long wait.

          • Posted September 18, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            Unfortunately, Max is right about how long it takes for ammunition to become unusable.

            Paul Harrell has a video addressing this problem and he shoots some old ammo to test it.

  11. Evan Plommer
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Where does all this youthful anger come from?

  12. Jon Gallant
    Posted September 17, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    We can assume Ms. Wilson got her AK47 and her shotgun by claiming to be a collector. Personally, I deeply resent the oppressive regulations that bar me from obtaining a machine gun, a bazooka, an RPG, and a ground-to-air missile system for my own collection. It is due to that conspiracy of Democrats and world-federalists to eliminate my God-given 2nd Amendment rights.

    • Richard
      Posted September 18, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Give me your exact map co-ordinates, and I’ll send you one of my ICBMs…

    • Posted September 18, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      You’re being sarcastic, I dare say, but I did have an acquaintance online years ago who insisted that the 2nd Amendment gave him the right to own a tank (and ammo for same) …

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        I refer the honourable gentleman to my reply under (10) above, concerning the profit potential of ammunition sales. Without the ammunition, his tank is just a way of inefficiently burning diesel hydrocarbons without troubling over much about finding a parking space for his profit engine.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted September 19, 2019 at 12:54 am | Permalink

          Q: Where can you park a tank?
          A: Anywhere you like.

          As Kenny Everett demonstrated –

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PD6qdzQvHhE

          cr

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted September 20, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

            It was done in real life some time back in the 90s. I think it was someone with a grievance over the Poll Tax. Got from Essex-ish well into London before the police persuaded him to give up.

      • max blancke
        Posted September 18, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        People own tanks. You don’t get to keep the guns live, but the vehicles themselves are available.
        https://www.ebay.com/itm/1974-CVRT-Sabre/254355888267?hash=item3b38cad88b:g:TskAAOSwUfBdbrCu

        • Posted September 19, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

          That’s why I asked at the time about the ammo – as mentioned, my correspondent insisted that the ammo was protected by the 2A.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted September 19, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      High Five!

  13. Posted September 18, 2019 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Making murder-threats — repeatedly — is something that definitely requires serious investigation. The kid needs to be examined by more than one licensed psychiatrist. That’s something more than the “red flag” laws provide.

    And BTW, was that a real, functional, *select-fire* AK47? If so, then how did she get hold of it without the year-long and thousand-dollar licensing process?

    • max blancke
      Posted September 18, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Upon further inquiry, I find that it was not. It was an AK-47 “styled” gun. Which seems to me to be an absurd thing.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 19, 2019 at 1:08 am | Permalink

        Not at all absurd. The AK is an excellent and practical design, simple, reliable and easy to maintain, and it will just keep on working after all sorts of abuse. (This, from my arms-collector friend). Even if manufacturing a solely non-auto version, those advantages continue.

        The Chinese made vast numbers of their Type 56 – it was one of those that my friend had.

        Calling them ‘AK-styled’ is a bit like labeling every SUV ‘Jeep-styled’. They’re that shape for a good reason.

        cr

  14. Roger Lambert
    Posted September 18, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Beto O’Rourke: “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47…”

    Karl Rove: “Thank you, Beto, for insuring 100% Republican voting turnout for the next 20 years, by prematurely calling for something that may well be unConstitutional anyway because of the last three SC gun cases, and impossible under current political conditions.” (pops cork on $5000.00 bottle of champagne)

  15. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted September 18, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    a T-shirt referencing “The Anarchist Cookbook,”

    One of the great works of comedy of our time. It serves a great public service by turning angry people with grievances into burned and tattered patients as they try to turn their anger into dead strangers.


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