America’s New Gunfight: Inside the Campaign to Avert Mass Shootings

Will a new campaign for gun laws quell the mass shootings that are routine in America?

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Correction Appended Jan. 19, 2013

The next great American gun fight began this month with handshakes and smiles in a reunion of old foes at the Vice President’s ceremonial office. Joe Biden knew the drill. Two decades ago, he led the last major gun-control effort in the Senate, enacting a 10-year ban on sales of certain semiautomatics and imposing background checks for gun purchasers using licensed dealers. It was a defining experience. “Guns! Guns! Guns!” he called out from the Senate floor in August 1994. “The single most contentious issue in the 22 years I have been here that relates to the criminal-justice system.”

Now it was starting again, in another gilded room and with many of the same players still sitting on opposite sides of the table, including James Jay Baker, a top advocate for the National Rifle Association. The Vice President’s views on guns hadn’t changed much over the years: “The NRA gained power, and he gained disdain for them,” explains one former aide. But Biden arrived, as always, looking to win the room.

(MORE: Your Brain in Shootout: Guns, Fear, and Flawed Instincts)

So he began with charm, praising Baker for his fairness regarding some issue they both worked on in Delaware. He made a crack to the other gun-owner advocates—“gunners,” he used to call them—about the difficulty of getting Hollywood and the video-game industry to talk about their addiction to violence. Then he laid out the contours of the fight to come, deflecting the harshest policy disagreements to his boss’s judgment. “I am the Vice President, not the President,” he said.

Vice President Joe Biden

Nigel Parry / CPi for TIME

‘I have no illusions about what we’re up against … but i also have never seen the nation’s conscience so shaken.’ —Joe Biden

Biden wanted to send a message, one he had been honing since December in meetings with cops, gun-control groups, clergy, mayors, educators and medical professionals. Ever since President Obama decided to pursue new gun controls after the massacre of 20 first-graders and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary, Biden and his staff knew they faced an uphill battle in Congress. Democrats from rural districts remain wary of gun restrictions, and the Republican House is so dysfunctional that it can’t even pass its own bills, let alone one written by the White House. Even Obama treated guns as swing-state kryptonite during his re-election campaign, hardly mentioning the issue on the trail.

So the public fact-finding mission that Biden undertook in late December was given a second, more vital purpose: to lay the groundwork for a new grassroots movement, a lasting national campaign that would bring together various interest groups to win new limits on firearms—new penalties for gun trafficking, new prosecutions of gun crimes, limits on the types of guns available for sale, requirements for background checks for private and gun-show purchases, regulations for ammunition and limits on the size of gun magazines.

Biden and Obama laid their proposal before the public Jan. 16, with more than a hint of other battles to come. The President immediately signed 23 Executive Orders to prevent future gun violence and proposed new legislation that would, if enacted, amount to the biggest change in gun laws since 1968. “This is our first task as a society—keeping our children safe,” Obama said. “This is how we will be judged.”

The White House does not expect to win many judgments soon. Instead it wants to change the entire conversation about gun politics in America. Republicans in both chambers, resistant to betraying a key constituency, will have to feel the sting of sustained public outrage for the effort to succeed. And Democrats will have to risk short-term ballot-box backlash and take votes they too have resisted for at least 20 years. No one expects either campaign to be easy. “It falls into the larger context of the Republicans’ fighting rearguard battles on immigration and the role of government and on this,” said one Administration official about the coming gun fight. “That’s going to be hard to sustain over time.”

(MORE: Cover Story: The Gunfighters)

But even some Republicans admit that the Newtown, Conn., massacre may have changed the fundamental chemistry of gun politics in the U.S. Before the end of the year, polls were shifting slightly, showing majorities in the country in favor of new regulations on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and universal background checks. A Time/CNN poll found in mid-January that 55% of the country supported stricter gun control, while 44% opposed it. As Biden put it before his meeting with the gun-owner groups, “There is nothing that has gone to the heart of the matter more than the visual image people have of little 6-year-old kids riddled—not shot by a stray bullet but riddled, riddled—with bullet holes in their classroom.” In his meetings with the gun lobbyists, Biden asked his guests to consider the shifting terrain after Sandy Hook. Even evangelical leaders, he said, traditionally a source of Republican influence, were expressing concern about guns. “It’s going the other way,” he told the men across the table. It was a warning and, in its way, a threat.

Kiss My Constitution

For Baker and the rest of the NRA brass, the Biden effort had the feel of a dark prophecy finally fulfilled. For a year, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre had been warning Americans of “a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment.” He said gun owners needed to ready themselves for an assault on their rights if Obama was re-elected. And the uptick in gun and ammunition purchases across the country after the election suggested that many gun owners agreed. At rallies LaPierre would warn that Americans had been lulled to sleep in the first term. “That lying, conniving Obama crowd can kiss our Constitution!” he would call out to applause. Now it was happening.

“They see this as their best shot, and it is a shot that they are taking, and they are coming right at us,” David Keene, the NRA’s president, said a few days later in an interview with Time. The group, which says it has more than 4 million members and spent about $20 million in the 2012 election cycle, was getting ready—reviewing the polls, keeping in touch with its members and calibrating message strategy. “We’re doing all the things you would do if you were expecting a really serious battle,” he said.

(FROM THE ARCHIVES: TIME’s Gun Covers, 1968-2013)

Keene welcomed some of the ideas Biden was preparing, like increased federal funding for school security and more aggressive prosecution for felons who illegally attempt to buy weapons. Keene was even willing to entertain an expansion of the background-check system for gun shows, where roughly 40% of gun sales take place. “I’m interested to see how such a proposal would be workable,” he said. But he expressed concern about the entire approach of the Administration and about anything that sought to limit the types of firearms and magazines available for law-abiding citizens. “We are saying the question that Americans are asking is ‘How do we protect our kids?’ The question is not ‘How do we ban guns we don’t like?’”

Most worrisome for the NRA was the clear sense that something else had changed since the 1990s, something Biden didn’t harp on in the meeting but was counting on nonetheless: leverage. “They, for the first time, have money and coordination that they did not have before,” Keene said. Millionaires and billionaires were stepping forward. Gun-victim groups were organizing. Social-networking campaigns were being prepared. Celebrities had been recruited to carry the message. This new fight over guns would be fought over old fault lines but on new terrain, with new tools, many of which were just proved very effective in the heat of a nationwide campaign. Biden, this time, had backup. “The public wants us to act,” he said.

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433 comments
MikeMcMullen
MikeMcMullen

In the print version of the article above, it seems that the author is intending to misleading the reader. An irrelevant comparison between the fire rate of a "musket" and an "assault rifle" is made, omitting the fact that all semi-automatic firearms such as pistols, revolvers, and autoloading shotguns have essentially the same fire rate as the "assault rifle", since one can only buy a semi-automatic "assault rifle". Another graphic implies that there is a fully automatic mode on civilain versions of the ar-15. A third graphic states that a 600 round magazine is available for $25.95. This magazine is actually for an air-soft gun, not a firearm (as corrected in the following issue). The article does not address how an "assault rifle" is functionally different from any other common semi-automatic rifle. 

PaulNicholson
PaulNicholson

America's main problem re: gun violence is blatantly obvious: it's your unfair, dog-eat-dog society. Unfortunate Americans who can't "make it" and achieve "The American Dream" are so disenchanted with the (often) unfairness in that society they sometimes want to rebel violently. That rebelliousness is helped along by the ease to buy weapons.

The Swiss - or anywhere in W. Europe - analogy is pretty unfair because European society is a lot more fair than in the US. Our welfare states look more kindly on the poor, we don't lock unviolent criminals up for 20 years, etc. And of course we don't execute anyone or give them obtuse sentences of 200 years.

The right wing Republicans are dinosaurs and a scourge on attempts to bring American society into the 21st century. Too bad that all the sensible, realistic and intelligent Americans have to combat such madness, with the understanding that their leaders' scolding of other regimes is so hypocritical.

LeonardoFantastico
LeonardoFantastico

The article Jan, 28 page 28 is misleading about the High Capacity Clips.  The photo shown is an AR 15 and below the photo the latest shootings listed are Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora and Newtown.  The largest massacre in US History with guns was committed by Seung-Hui Cho using 2 hand guns (not an AR)..A 22-caliberWalther P22semi-automatic handgun and a 9 mm semi-automatic Glock 19 handgun. Both are pistols.   Tucson Shooting was also misleading in the same manner.  Jared Lee Loughner used a 9mmGlock 19semi-automatic pistol with a 33-round magazine. Not an AR like the photo in the article.  I know the article was listed as high Capacity Clips and in the case with Tucson that was a fact. Not in Virginia Tech. Standard clips were used.  The New Town tragedy to this day has a very haunting feel when I read about it. The shooter had 3 guns with him and others found outside the school.  2 handguns and an AR15.  It is my understanding he mostly used the AR but the reports are not specific enough for me to discover the exact toll per gun with this tragedy. Aurora is also a situation where the message in the article is skewed. The shooter used a 12-gaugeRemington 870 Express Tactical shotgun, first at the ceiling and then at the audience. He also fired a Smith & Wesson M&P15[11]semi-automatic rifle with a 100-round drum magazine, which malfunctioned after reportedly firing fewer than 30 rounds. Finally, he fired a Glock 22 handgun. 

In all situations it was determined that the shooters were mentally deranged some how. The guns didn't cause the problem.  Laws in some of the cases were enacted to help prevent this. 

The largest killing of school children in US history did not even involve a gun..Bath Michigan. Again, no guns just a person who had obvious mental problems.     


edkollin
edkollin

I am not a gun owner, never have been and maybe on the merits the law is ok but I am just sick of bad people and fear deciding how we live.  Pre 9/11 if people made an argument we need guns to protect against tyrannical government I would have called them nuts too. But with cameras everywhere, Patriot Act, National Defense Authorization act, more and more of your local police obtaining drones and other invasive technology why should I trust assurances that they don't want to take our rights away? And after Katrina and Sandy I wonder how wrong the "preppers" are.   A lot of arguments around that things said having no relevance today while that may be true in some cases this quote "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" from  the 1759 book "An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania.   published by Ben Franklin is scarily prescient. 

Apologies for weird fonts


JackAckerman
JackAckerman

I had a question about the math. If the AR-15 can only shoot 45 rounds in one minute, how was the shooter able to put 11 bullets in one child and averaging 5 -6 bullets in the others - a total of 20 children in a very short amount of time? The math doesn't add up. Just think he would have had to spend 15 seconds shooting just at one child.

JeromeC.Borden
JeromeC.Borden

I looked at the map and noticed a couple of missing items. We have Campus Carry in Utah while Arizona does not. On the other hand, Arizona has Hotel Carry while Utah does not. These are two factors in the Brady score which gave the two states a zero. The question is which state will get a Minus Two on that scale?

Meanwhile, Connecticut has a high Brady score and New York was even higher. How did that work out? Colin Fergusen's rampage on the LIRR which killed Rep. McCarthy's husband was enabled by the Sullivan Law which effectively disarms law abiding New Yorkers.

Your chart will be useful if I need to move. New York and California tops my list of places to avoid. I used to live in CA; thank goodness for BRAC-95 which got me out of there.

BobMcKay1
BobMcKay1

The author lost all credibility with me when I saw this phrase:
"And most mass shooters don’t use assault weapons anyway. They prefer pistols, often with many bullets in the clip."

There is also a graphic on page 28 that depicts a MAGAZINE as a CLIP.

Last time I checked, CLIPS are what bullets are stored in before they are loaded into a MAGAZINE, which locks into a weapon. A primitive journalist who does not know this simple difference does not get any respect from me because his firearms knowledge is obviously limited.

Whatanotion
Whatanotion

Holy Cow!  It's like the "paranoid that they stole the Indians land " crowd is at it again.  It'll be the minorities fault that the majority had to pull their superior weapons and shoot everybody because they had to strike first before a mushroom cloud might emanate from some barrio of engineering Mexicans somewhere.   Oh yeah, they're not crazy.  

 THEY DO NOT HAVE ---------- ANGER MANAGEMENT ISSUES.  

 And Rick Perry can spell goodern anyone.

dlee4
dlee4

If only 50% of the teachers were armed a mass shooting would have been prevented.

paulejb
paulejb

Barack Obama's 23 part manifesto on guns can best be summarized in the words of William Shakespeare's Macbeth: "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

By the way John, since you don't believe in regulating firearms at all per the second amendment, should felons and mentally handicapped people be allowed to own any type of weapons they want as well?

jmac
jmac

"Will a new campaign for gun laws quell the mass shootings . . "   A prime minister in Australia says it will as he fought for gun control in 1996 with great results.  The article is in today's NY Times titled "I Went After Guns.  Obama Can Too."    He ends the article by saying, "Few Australians would deny that their country is safer today as a consequence of gun control."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/opinion/australia-banned-assault-weapons-america-can-too.html?ref=global 

Piacevole
Piacevole

When DISCUS was the platform TIME used for comments, I used to regularly sigh with exasperation at it.

This one seems to be worse, though.  It won't allow editing, and it doesn't deliver directly to a comment being replied to, either.   And it hangs up a lot.  I don't know whether that's the program, or my computer. 

What <I>else</I> ya got, TIME?

nchimpsky
nchimpsky

No doubt, all the the narco war players will realize that these measures are in place & give up quietly.

AndyClark
AndyClark

@PaulNicholson The 'problem' is too random and rare.  Most violence is among friends and family...emotionally charged.  The most common weapon of injury AND death is not the firearm, it is the "blunt object".  The entire problem in this regard is America's obsession over "mass deathh" while we happily ignore decentralized death.  Every year, 30,000 die on our highways, at least half the time driving for no particular reason, often sleepy or impaired.  So...we forever focus on 9/11 and a few school massacres and whatever dead kid Nancy Grace is selling.  That national obsession ALLOWS the decentralized death to continue and the social restrictions cause the conditions that lead to the next massacre.  Stop focusing on mass-death.  Focus more on the sum of the decentralized death...treat it like a mass-death.

edkollin
edkollin

@LeonardoFantasticoThe Bath School Disaster of 1927 referenced above was rarely mentioned after Newtown and is a little known event. What you constantly hear about Newtown being the largest school shooting in U.S.  history is factually correct it is misleading because more people were massacred and wounded at Bath. The similarities between Newtown and Bath were that it was a massacre of elementary school children by a psycho who also killed members of his family. Since dynamite was used and not guns it is an inconvenient truth for liberals. Since the psycho was a school board member who was reacting to a vote raising taxes that effected him personally it is an inconvenient truth for Tea Partiers. 


SteveKuzj
SteveKuzj

@JackAckermanTheir math is way off. Like handguns, semiautomatic assault rifles can fire bullets just about as fast as you can pull the trigger with your finger. The biggest limitation to your firing rate is the size of your clip and how fast you can reload the gun. The average person with a 100-round clip/drum (they do make these for AR-15s) could fire all 100 bullets in semiautomatic mode in less than 1 minute.

Piacevole
Piacevole

How about New Mexico?  In Albuquerque, some kid named Griego killed his whole family (both parents, three siblings)  and was headed to a mall to, in his words, :murder more people.  He evidently used a .22 on his family, but also had the obligatory AR-15 to use at the mall.  This happened Monday, January 21.

He evidently did most of the shooting at point-blank range while he was at home, and he intended to "eventually be killed exchanging fire with law enforcement." 

If someone intends to be killed, how much do you suppose he takes into consideration that there may be people with concealed-carry guns there?  He's looking on it as sort of a contest: how many can he kill before the police (whom he knows to be armed) kill him?  The mall as shooting gallery. . .   A "first person shooter game," I suppose.

SteveKuzj
SteveKuzj

@BobMcKay1 You are correct, but the term "clip" has widely become used interchangeably with "magazine."It's just one of those things that caught on over the years, despite disagreement among gun owners.

Piacevole
Piacevole

A primitive gun nut who thinks that people care about the terminology used to describe the device which kills them has a few problems with credibility, too.

Piacevole
Piacevole

If 50% of the teachers were armed, they could have had an even more awful massacre.

Being "armed" is not the same thing as being "prepared to do the correct thing in a sudden emergency."  In fact, most people do not do the "one right thing" when necessary.  They hesitate, they try to figure out what's happening, they are stunned by the reality.  These are not necessarily bad things: but when facing someone (or several someones) who already know what they re going to do, and have no concern with whether they, themselves, die. . . it makes for a difference in behavior.  Quite frequently, even trained personnel don't do that "one right thing" in the clinches.  And more than one cop has been disarmed and shot with his own weapon.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@paulejb 

You would certainly know a lot about sound and fury signifying nothing.

jmac
jmac

@paulejb I watched Fox News tonight and I think you have it wrong.  The noise was deafening - and obviously going nowhere as they dug deeper and deeper into their pile of extremists to shout the opposition.   You know they've reached rock bottom when more and more of them bring out the impeachment rhetoric.    In the meantime, Republicans released a paper stating that they had lost House votes in the last election by 1.1 million  -  and only held seats due to redistricting.   Clever maps and Karl Rove tactics and Frank Luntz word-play  can only take you so far.  

BJ1017
BJ1017

@DonQuixotic If the felons paid their debt to society, and they are no longer on parole or probation, then  they should be able to own anything they want because then they are free citizens just like you and me.

As for mentally handicapped people, their guardian/caretaker should decide what's safe and what's unsafe for them to own.

Shinji_Hirako
Shinji_Hirako

What's wrong with crazy parolees packing deadly weapons that can fire 100s of rounds through brick walls?  Why do you hate the 2nd amendment? <end snark>

grape_crush
grape_crush

Formatting is friendlier, at least (see the pencil at the bottom left of the text entry box for functions). No need for tags.

No blockquote, 'tho...and no editing, which is a huge fault.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

It's not the guns, it's the....

mental state

drugs

video games

unenforced laws alread on the books

society's fault

woman to blame

Wasted away again.

jason024
jason024

@nchimpsky The narco war was over once America became addicted and foreign governments became complicit in the drug trade. 

AndyClark
AndyClark

@edkollin @LeonardoFantastico  Thank you, good thing the nutjobs don't read history books, yet.   I must tie this into the Brazil Nightclub deaths and other historic mass-death such as 602 mostly moms and kids at the Iroquois theater, 1903.  In today's world, a small amount of gasoline at a crowded football game would likely cause hundreds or possibly thousands of trampling deaths.  The military prefers to use various bombs and incendiary to kill large numbers.  Unless you happen to have an A-10 Warthog or maybe a couple helos with min-guns, bullets are a slow way to do "it".   They should blame the nutjobs because firearms are a lot of fun on the RANGE, they are not for killing people, and I don't hunt. They are just plain fun, nothing more and it sorta pisses me off when  people don't get that.  Hear is truth bros and sistas:  if you never fired a rifle...try it on the range.  You will most likely enjoy it a LOT.

BobMcKay1
BobMcKay1

@SteveKuzj @BobMcKay1Yes, the term "clip" is misused by the uninformed, much the same way that a reporter in the mid 90's mistakenly once called a semi-automatic weapon an "assault" weapon. The mistake caught-on, although it is technically incorrect.
By definition, an "assault" weapon is not available to the public-at-large because an "assault" weapon has the capability to fire in full automatic mode, unlike an AR-15, a basic .22 semi-automatic long rifle in someone's closet that holds 14 rounds underneath the barrel, or a semi-automatic pistol in a cop's holster. The action all of those is identical. "Assault" weapons are only available to the military, some law enforcement agencies, and a few collectors.

Gun grabbers think that adding some black plastic over the barrel, raising the front sight post, adding a pistol grip, and painting the rifle black magically turns it into an "assault" weapon. Wrong. Changing the action to fully automatic turns a weapon into an "assault" weapon.

Al Capone's men used an "assault" weapon. It was known, back then, as a "Tommy Gun", a shortened version of the name "Thompson Sub-Machine gun". Rat-a-tat-a-tat...

BobMcKay1
BobMcKay1

@Piacevole Primative gun nut? Oh, I see. it's time to start the personal attacks already. Gun nut?

If this faux reporter had done even some basic research, he would have known the correct terminology to utilize on his graphical illustrations and in his words. Clip and magazine are basic, primitive, beginner-level terms. It is readily apparent that this faux reporter has not arrived at that level.

Now, go out and put your sign in your yard proudly declaring your staunch opposition to guns, and then you can broadcast your glee to the world that your household does not contain any guns. Put your money where your hypocritical mouth is.

JeromeC.Borden
JeromeC.Borden

@Piacevole Utah has had "campus carry" for a long time which means somebody on this campus might be using her CCW. Now, it's the criminal's turn to ask himself "do you feel lucky?" It has been working well for us. There are several other states with similar policies and the number is growing. The best part is that it costs the State of Utah nothing.

Piacevole
Piacevole

Impeachment?  For a freshly re-elected president with rising approval ratings?  While the House of representative approval ratings are in the single digits?  After a slaughter of children?  Yeah, that sounds like Republicans.

Do they understand that the majority of Americans want better control over deadly weapons, essentially, from a public health point of view?  Have they read any of the several articles from emergency room physicians about trying to patch up people who have been shot up?  Some idiot with a gun can do damage in microseconds that competent and experienced medical staff needs hours, days, to repair, and perhaps it cannot be done at all.

How many of these things is it going to take before the absolutist Second Amendment people get it that there really aren't ANY "absolute rights," if one lives in a society.  There are good reasons why people can't defecate on the sidewalk, and it isn't just modesty.  There are reasons for garbage collection, and they aren't just esthetic.  There are reasons for the many constraints on our behavior that most of us accept without even thinking about them, having learned them as children.

A hermit on an island may do whatever he wishes.  Someone in a society must accept limitations.

Piacevole
Piacevole

"Paying a debt to society" rarely is the equivalent of a "make whole" deal for the victim(s).  That's one thing.  Another thing is that "doing time" rarely results in the person in question becoming less impulsive, more empathic, or improved in general level of maturity.  In other words, it often exacerbates rather than curing any unfortunate tendencies.

As for the "guardian/caretaker" of a "mentallyhandicapped" person making decisions about what's safe and what's unsafe for them to own. . . did Nancy Lanza a lot of good, didn't it?  The problem with guns (well, one of the problems) is that they don't have any personal loyalty, and actually owning them is not a prerequisite to using them.  Merely HAVING them does the trick.

JeromeC.Borden
JeromeC.Borden

@DonQuixotic @nchimpsky Only at the Federal Level. Some states have restrictions in place that go beyond the useless 1994 Ugly Gun Ban. California used to be at the top of that list until Gov. Cuomo signed the NY law to move them to the top. According to the wheel chart, seven states have that dubious distinction. How is "gun control" working for the Mexicans? Those guns come in from all over the world, including a couple thousand from the BATFE (Fast and Furious).

CrazyCloud
CrazyCloud

@DonQuixotic @nchimpsky please list how this banned stop people from acquire assault weapons altogether in this country   Now if one violent crime took place doing the ban then the ban itself is useless. Using the argument that is being used for gun control now.  One incident is too much and constitues fallacy with the system. 

nchimpsky
nchimpsky

@DonQuixotic @nchimpsky

The vast majority of gun violence is drug related....but instead of addressing the failed "war on drugs", Biden has gone after the low hanging fruit which will do NOTHING to curb gun crime.

BobMcKay1
BobMcKay1

@Piacevole @BobMcKay1 If you are referring to Nehemiah Griego, there were several existing laws that were broken, as is the case in the school shooting. For starters:

He broke an existing law by stealing a gun. He broke an existing law by murdering his mother. He broke an existing law by murdering his father. He broke an existing law by murdering his 2 sisters. He broke an existing law by murdering his brother. He broke an existing law by transporting a loaded weapon in a vehicle.

As-is the case with all criminals, he had no respect for any sort of law that restricted his access or use of a lethal weapon. The school shooter also illegally stole a weapon, then illegally killed his mother, then illegally transported a loaded weapon, then illegally carried a weapon onto school grounds.

What NEW law would you recommend be passed and implemented?

BobMcKay1
BobMcKay1

@Piacevole @BobMcKay1 If one wants to have a discussion about what really kills them, then one should be discussing a ban on all blunt force "assault" objects, since the deaths from those "assault" weapons outnumbers the total number of gun deaths by a 20-1 ration. Ban assault baseball bats, assault hammers, assault golf clubs, and assault tire irons.

As far as my own personal fears about my eventual demise, I am more worried about being killed by a drunk driver, since alcohol was a factor in half of all highway deaths. Last year, that number was over 18,000 poor souls. Thus, the odds of being killed by a drunk driver are far greater than being killed by a bullet. Since you feel that people don't kill people, guns kill people, we should ban cars, since cars kill people, drunks don't, and by an overwhelming number.

If the issue is really about wanting to save lives, perhaps your focus should be where the deaths are occurring--in cars.

Piacevole
Piacevole

@BobMcKay1 @Piacevole "Primitive" was your word.  I am merely turning it back on you.  Think of it as a ricochet.  There are several reasons why I don't use yard signs, which I won't go into here.  But the real point of my comment, which has eluded you, is that people don't actually concern themselves with the terminology about what kills them.  I also note that you didn't address the Griego problem at all.

Piacevole
Piacevole

It seems that men (or boys) bent upon massacres expect that they'll be killed in the event.  In fact, they're sort of counting on it.  Their only concern is that it might interfere with their body count, so they want to maximize that before they, themselves, are brought down.

Delightful thought, isn't it?

Piacevole
Piacevole

One of the problems with "insanity" (a term something like pornography: I can't exactly define it, but I know it when I see it) is that people in its grasp think they're just fine, thank you.  They think their perceptions, their behavior, is quite reasonable.  Thus, we have the current situation in the Republican party.  They >genuinely thought< that Romney was going to win the White House.  Remember all summer long, the insistence of their adherents that we on the other side were "increasingly desperate," "frantic," and various other indications of despair?

Meanwhile, they were also saying that the polls that showed that Mitt Romney was in serious trouble were "skewed," and "flawed."  Then, after the election, the story was that the voters had made a terible mistake.  Anything, everything, except the truth: that they completely misread the situation, and were quite wrong.

How, indeed,  does insanity persuade sanity that the sane ought to abandon their considered positions and embrace the crazy?  Where could this be considered to be a winning strategy but in an asylum inhabited by, run by, the certifiable?  And they won't even consider undertaking therapy.

jmac
jmac

@Piacevole David Brooks has an hilarious article today bemoaning the fact that Democrats in the next four year might play the 'Republicans are crazy' plan to win back the House.  Well, duh, Republicans ARE crazy.  He says at the end, "This isn't the Washington I want to cover" and "how will Republicans respond to this onslaught?"   How, indeed, does a party taken over by insanity respond to those showing they are insane?  He'd better look at the silver lining - only a handful of these nuts have taken over the Senate - it could be a lot worse.  

MrObvious
MrObvious

@CrazyCloud @DonQuixotic @nchimpsky 

Your argument seems to be that since you can't do something then don't do something? Yet gun control (not only here but in other countries) work/ Will it stop any madman? No. But I take the 'good' news of a madman with a hunting rifle shooting up a school by killing a few and wounding others over a massacre in minimum time.

I'm not saying that any of it is 'good' - I'm saying that reasonable arguments focus on a common sense approach and not the absolutism of black and white.

nchimpsky
nchimpsky

@mantisdragon91 @nchimpsky @DonQuixotic 

We are not in disagreement here  --   our murder rate should be much lower.   But the gun laws proposed won't achieve that end.    The real problem is drug violence.

nchimpsky
nchimpsky

@DonQuixotic @nchimpsky 

Hardly.   But not something that is addressed by magazine capacity, background checks etc.

It's called bad parenting.   Guns should be secure.   Period.

jason024
jason024

@nchimpsky @DonQuixoticWhat is wrong with that merging homicide and suicde data? A senseless shooting death by a gun is death by a gun.

nchimpsky
nchimpsky

@DonQuixotic @nchimpsky 

It would appear (see my reply above where you posted the hyperlink) that the Daily Beast is merging homicide & suicide data.     So much for integrity.

nchimpsky
nchimpsky

@DonQuixotic @nchimpsky

Really? I think the Daily Beast needs to come clean on it's facts. For instance, take Wyoming:

#10, Wyoming
Gun deaths per 100,000
: 14.5
Permissive gun laws: 8th out of 50

To this I politely say, caca. Wyoming's murder rate is one of the lowest in the country. According to the Wyoming Uniform Crime Report, in 2011 there were 15 murders, 11 by firearm. The population in Wyoming was 564,554. That is 2 murders per 100,000 people.

faithinall99
faithinall99

@nchimpsky-He's correct. The FBI has all the stats.  Go check it out.

nchimpsky
nchimpsky

@DonQuixotic @nchimpsky 

You are right .... drugs  have little to do w/ mass shootings.    Unfortunately,  assault weapons bans won't stop them either.   So why not address the real problem?

Ok...  I'm all ears.   Give me a URL that demonstrates the lax gun law thing...

Piacevole
Piacevole

These various massacres. . . how are they related to drug laws?  There is no indication that the problem in Sandy Hook had anything to do with drugs.  Virginia tech, ditto.  Tucson, ditto.  The Colorado theatre shooting, ditto.

But in each of those cases, had a gun not been used, the deaths would have been fewer.  Perhaps there would have been no deaths at all.

Are we really willing to hold still while our children, our elected representatives, completely random people, are shot?  I don't think so.

nchimpsky
nchimpsky

@DonQuixotic @nchimpsky 

Without addressing the root cause, blaming the gun is futile.   Our drug policies need to be reassessed.    As for your assertion that the per capita gun crime rate is highest in states w/ lax gun laws......phooey.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@nchimpsky @DonQuixotic 

If you're trying to argue to me that the war on drugs is largely futile I agree, but giving up on doing anything about gun violence (which by the way is highest per capita in states with the laxest gun laws) because of that doesn't solve anything.