i-59b1eccdb46b8c4561647fb2ff1a5627-glock_guy.jpg
This man supplied some of the weaponry used in two major college mass murders. He is eager to continue supplying these weapons in the hopes that someday a good guy will shoot a bad guy.
Eric Thompson, owner of Topglock.com, is the goto guy if you need guns, especially the widely loved Glock handgun. The gentleman who killed a half-dozen people at NIU got some of his supplies at Topglock. The guy who killed all those kids at Virginia Tech last year also got some of his armaments at Topglock.com. Topglock: Your specialist in tragedy.

We’re having a motto contest for Topglock.com. Here’s my entry:

“Online Gun Suppliers don’t kill innocent college students ….. Crazy guys kill innocent college students. The Online Gun Suppliers just supply them with the tools they need”

Do you have a better motto? Maybe a jingle or a limerick?

TGSCOM Inc is the name of the company owned by Thompson. TGSCOM owns about 100 different web sites, all selling guns with different advertising angles.

Thompson, of course, is cooperating with police. There have been a number of instances where Thompson has helped the police to trace down the source of a weapon, or to verify documentation on a weapon used in some crime or another. He has helped put criminals behind bars in so doing, according to his web site. It is probably fairly routine for him to have to supply documentation after the fact in murders, mass slaying, and so on.

He claims, on his site (no, you won’t find a link here, go find it yourself), that he wants some day to learn that one of his guns was used to stop a tragic crime like the mass murders at Virginia Tech or NIU.

Did you catch this? If you’re only paying half attention to this, please stop now and re-read all of the above and see what conclusion you can draw from it.

Eric Thompson has 100 or so web sites selling guns. He happens to have sold supplies to the killers in these two major school shootings. ( … two empty 9 mm Glock magazines and a Glock holster to Steven Kazmierczak, and a Walther .22-caliber handgun to Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people in April.) It must be true that this guy is providing guns, ammo, etc. to thousands and thousands, and thousands of people, right?

And at this time, when the press goes to interview him, he does NOT have a list of honorable and noble uses to which his guns have been put. He does not have a list of cases where a mass murderer was about to start his slaying, and an owner of a TGSCOM-provided Glock whipped out his or her firearm and stopped the slaying.

He does have a litany of cases where he cooperated with the police in helping them run down a criminal who used a gun purchased from TGSCOM. This involves supplying paperwork required by law. Paperwork that if the NRA had its way, would not be required by law.

Eric does not have any evidence that the widespread distribution of firearms has any effect other than spreading tragedy and mayhem.

Eric Thompson should be stopped, don’t you think?

“Were not just the guys who sell the guns…. we’re the guys who make guns possible. Getyourglock.com….”

[soruce: Yahoo, via CMF]

Comments

  1. #1 Romeo Vitelli
    February 17, 2008

    “Glock: Don’t leave home without it.”

  2. #2 Matt Penfold
    February 17, 2008

    “He has a Glock. Oh Fock”

  3. #3 jim
    February 17, 2008

    1. Currently, most schools have rules forbidding you to carry weapons on campus. (exception: campus cops etc.)
    2. While these incidents are tragic people’s expectation is that school classrooms are safe places.(a reasonable expectation)

    Given those two facts it is unlikely that a shooter will be stopped by a non-security person carrying a weapon. (eg a Glock)

    Eric Thompson’s solution to this problem is for more people to be armed in self defense. I am guessing his hypotheses is that these murderers would not do what they do if everyone was armed. (and that he would make a lot of money selling weapons) My impression is that Eric is a law abiding person and sees the proliferation of weapons as a means to help enforce laws.

    In the case of these mass shootings on school campuses having students and teachers armed would not have deterred these two schooters. (or others instances) Both these individuals were highly disturbed; they had no intention of surviving their ordeal. Their intention was to make a name for themselves to show the world they were not little people.

    Given that I don’t see how arming students and teachers would have helped prevent the incident. In fact, short of running some sort of police state – metal detectors, pat downs , police everywhere – I don’t see how to prevent those type of sick individuals from doing it again. (I don’t advocate a police state.)

  4. #4 samk
    February 17, 2008

    Licensing and background checks do not work. The NIU shooter was properly licensed to own a firearm in Illinois. Yesterday’s background check is tomorrow’s evidence that the system doesn’t work.

    The obvious solution is the confiscation of all firearms that are currently in the hands of civilians. We’ll all be safer.

    Also, if I may do so without being called a troll or worse, I’d like to correct a small factual error. Topglock.com did not sell any weapons to the NIU shooter.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    February 17, 2008

    Given those two facts it is unlikely that a shooter will be stopped by a non-security person carrying a weapon. (eg a Glock)

    Yes, that would be the logic, but the same lack of a glock-armed citizen saving the day is the case for all such incidence, in shopping malls, on the street, etc.

    Samk: I carefully chose the word “supplies” and “armaments” etc. to avoid saying that specific firearms were sold to the shooter. Perhaps “weaponry” is the incorrect word (I take it as meaning appurtenances as well as firearms).

  6. #6 Matthew Platte
    February 17, 2008

    samk: How? What percentage of your greatly expanded police force would turn out to be equally disturbed as this year’s *civilian* mass murderers?

  7. #7 Lassi Hippeläinen
    February 17, 2008

    Shooters on a suicidal rampage can be stopped only by shooting them. So this guy is selling guns and hoping that they will be used to shoot people.

  8. #8 Sam Thornton
    February 17, 2008

    Lassi Hippel�inen said:

    “Shooters on a suicidal rampage can be stopped only by shooting them.”

    Strictly speaking, this may be inaccurate. There’s no logical reason non-lethal force — for example, rubber-bullets debilitating gas — could not be employed to stop anyone in their tracks.

    While fixating on shootouts does seem an attractive option in interactive games, it may not always be the most desirable option in real life.

  9. #9 Ian H Spedding FCD
    February 17, 2008

    Eric Thompson should be stopped, don’t you think?

    So the local Chevy dealership should be shut down? After all, Chevy’s kill and injure a lot of people on the roads. Some people here probably drive one. Shame on them!

  10. #10 jgardner
    February 17, 2008

    yeah, because the 100+ students would be equipped with rubber bullets or debilitating gas.

    If the students can’t even protect themselves with guns, where are they going to get “debilitating gas”?

    If it takes the cops 5+ minutes to show up with rubber bullets, then most of the time these incidents are already over: the shooter turning the gun on them self.

    Shooting rampages don’t work themselves out peacefully. once you’ve shot people, the cops aren’t just going to come in with flowers and ask you nicely to stop.

  11. #11 Matt LaCrosse
    February 17, 2008

    These shooting as always tragic and we should take measures to avoid seeing this happen again. I don’t buy the idea of guns not killing people. If this guy didn’t have the guns, he wouldn’t have been able to harm so many people with them.

  12. #12 Matt LaCrosse
    February 17, 2008

    These shootings are always tragic and we should take measures to avoid this happening again.

    I don’t buy the idea of guns not killing people. If this guy didn’t have the guns, he wouldn’t have been able to harm so many people with them.

    I made some corrections, ignore previous post.

  13. #13 Stephen
    February 17, 2008

    Indeed.

    In the USA in 2006 there were 17,034 murders. If the Netherlands had the same murder rate, that would convert to just under 1000. But in the USA lots of people own guns, whereas in the Netherlands there are practically no civilians at all with guns to stop the bad guys. So in the Netherlands there must have been several thousand murders, right?

    Actually there were 150. And in 2007 slightly fewer.

    But never confuse the NRA and its friends with facts.

  14. #14 Virgil Samms
    February 17, 2008

    Online Gun Suppliers don’t kill innocent college students …

    Guns don’t kill people. Bullets don’t kill people. Massive tissue damage and blood loss kills people.

  15. #15 Curtis
    February 17, 2008

    Students should also be supplied with helmets because I guarantee you far more students die on college campuses each year from head injuries than from crazed shooters.

  16. #16 TomH
    February 17, 2008

    I guess what disappoints is that either way you go, there is distortion. Greg, you specifically used these words (copied and pasted from the page above): “He happens to have sold guns to the killers in these two major school shootings.”

    Carefully chosen or not, those words are incorrect and you knew they were when you wrote them. I don’t like the fact that so much hardware can be purchased without any sort of check but twisting the story to make someone seem even MORE responsible isn’t the answer either.

    I’m not sure what is but I do know that confiscation isn’t the answer. If you can’t keep guns, cellphones and drugs out of maximum security prisons, there is no chance at all that widespread confiscation will be the answer throughout the country. I really don’t know what the answer will be but I do know that as long as the hyperbole continues, the answer will elude us.

  17. #17 Greg Laden
    February 17, 2008

    Tom, you are right, I made an error.

    On the other hand, I did not kill anyone, nor did I abet or aid such a travesty.

    Tom, do not speak so blithely of hyperbole and at the same time make the absurd statement that perfection is required to achieve even incremental positive change. That is the same old argument we hear all the time from gun nuts.

    You can’t stop people from speeding when they know there are no cops around, so why have traffic laws. You can’t stop date rape, so why have any laws against violence against women. Criminals will always get guns, so why not just let everyone have whatever kind of gun they want, whenever they want it, without regulation.

    I know you are not saying that specifically, but you are making exactly that kind of argument. And you can certainly make that argument, but don’t be so holier than thou about it, please!

    Thanks for pointing out the error, I’ll fix it.

  18. #18 Nomen Nescio
    February 17, 2008

    i don’t get your intention with this post, Greg. are you trying to hound mr. Thompson out of business, or what?

  19. #19 raindogzilla
    February 17, 2008

    Personally, I yearn for a return to the times of broadswords. If we were all equipped with those beauties, this kind of stuff would never happen. Hell, neither Cho or Kazmierczak could have even swung one. And for the genius comparing handguns to automobiles? FAIL!

  20. #20 havoc
    February 17, 2008

    I won’t sit here and make any kind of argument about the U.S. bein safer if we all have guns or somethin… but the fact is I enjoy hunting and there’s nothing wrong with that, so what gives the government the right to take away my guns because some nut went and shot a bunch of people? Um… nothing. It’s protected by the Constitution, and taking away people’s guns violates their rights. It’s pretty simple. There’s no need to bring those silly arguments into it.

    Instead of being reactionary and usin things like this to say we need to take away everyone’s guns, why don’t we actually be intelligent and look at WHY things like this happened… and no, I don’t mean “because some internet dude supplied him guns…” I mean what caused this guy to be so desperate as to go out and do this? What is wrong with our society that drives people to the point that they would kill somebody… and that after it happens, instead of tryin to find a real solutions, we have a bunch of reactionaries talkin about takin away guns as if that would make it all better?

  21. #21 Greg Laden
    February 17, 2008

    Nomen

    In the 1960s, Ralf Nader sued the auto makers for making unsafe cars. That was part of a broad effort, that was successful, to make driving much safer. Ultimately this came from regulation. There is a strong correlation between love of guns and how much you gag when you hear the word regulation. But at the moment, the situation is out of control, the pro-gun yahoos have only one solution to offer (leave us alone and we’ll get more guns) and that is unacceptable.

    I am asking if we can do something other than placing the responsibility entirely in the hands of the victim. The people who make a living peddling blood and gore and tragedy can and should be held responsible, not for specific acts of violence, but for their role in the larger picture.

    Nomen and Havoc: It may be the case that one or the other or both of you are making two errors here, one not to important (but annoying) the other fatal to your position.

    The annoying one is assuming you have any idea what I am thinking. You believe there to be two positions out there on guns, and you are trying to fit me into one or the other of them. That’s annoying.

    The other is much more serious and very typical in this sort of argument. That is, to round up all the blame and place it squarely in a spot where dealing with this problem will not cost you one iota of effort, money, or responsibility. Heaven forbid that your hobby be slightly threatened. Grow up, man. No one is trying to take away your right, Havoc, to kill Bambi with a weapon that could kill an animal ten times larger from twice the usual range. You are more than welcome to do that.

    (And don’t assume I’m anti hunting. I’ve done plenty of hunting. I just don’t like to use guns on unarmed animals. I just don’t find that even slightly challenging.)

    Listen … Everyone … everyone … involved in this whole complex causal chain, the manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, hunters, other hobbyists, collectors, public and private agencies that use guns, everyone, has to take responsibility that widespread gun availability gives YOU something (your career, your business, your testosterone fix, your false sense of security) and costs the rest of US something. We who don’t really care about guns personally are getting quite tired of your immature whining.

  22. #22 Greg Laden
    February 17, 2008

    raindogzilla:

    You are correct, sir! Non projectile weapons = mutually assured serious bruising and slashing = peace. Bring back the broad sward and the mace.

  23. #23 grieve
    February 17, 2008

    “(And don’t assume I’m anti hunting. I’ve done plenty of hunting. I just don’t like to use guns on unarmed animals. I just don’t find that even slightly challenging.)”

    I love this argument. Did you stop to consider that some people hunt for the food and not the sport of it. Some wild game is hard to come by in modern grocery stores, though it is admittedly better than it used to be.

  24. #24 grieve
    February 17, 2008

    Check out: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

    Homicide of any kind doesn’t even make the top ten.

    Of the top 15 homicide is last, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr55/nvsr55_19.pdf, and only accounts for 0.7% of all deaths.

    Every time there is some public shooting every one gets all up in arms about gun control. If I am going strictly by the leading causes of death, I think I would set my sites on steak, bacon, eggs, and a sedentary lifestyle.

  25. #25 havoc
    February 18, 2008

    I generally agree with what you said in your response. I thoroughly agree that “[t]he people who make a living peddling blood and gore and tragedy can and should be held responsible, not for specific acts of violence, but for their role in the larger picture.” That’s basically what I’m sayin when I say that we should look at the real source of what makes people do these things rather than having a knee-jerk reaction to these things.

    I definitely think it’s safe to say some of the opinions that were voiced in this thread (and happen frequently in the media after these sorts of things) were knee-jerk reactions. Even if this guy hadn’t gone and shot a bunch of people, there was still something wrong with him mentally and he would’ve dealt with it in some other way (likely harmful to himself and/or others). I think that puttin all the focus on guns is unproductive. There are deeper issues that need to be addressed. Someone earlier was talkin about the Netherlands havin such a low murder rate… they implied that it was because there are “practically no civilians” with guns there. But if you really look at it, there are a lot of differences between the U.S. and the Netherlands that I would say have at LEAST as much impact as civilian access to guns.

    …anyways, I’m not all for anyone and everyone bein able to get whatever gun they want. In Ohio we have to go through a safety course (like a week long) before we can get our hunting license. Older people I know were opposed to it, but I think it’s pretty logical. Ignorant people shouldn’t be able to go out there shootin crap on a whim… and they probably shouldn’t be able to go out and buy a gun on a whim, either. But it’s a thin line because it IS a protected right.

  26. #26 Lee Harrison
    February 18, 2008

    Okay, so it’s been correctly stated that currently gun ownership is a protected right.

    So effin’ what? Does that automatically derail the debate and any attempt to deal with this ridiculous gun culture your country seems so wrapped up in? America has changed its constitution before. Hiding behind ‘rights’ is just a way of avoiding any need to answer a simple question: is private gun ownership unnecessarily harmful?

    And to the nimrod who compared guns with cars: yes cars kill people, usually accidentally. This is well known and acknowledged – that is why car manufacturers have been pushed to make their products safer, why you have traffic laws, street signs, speed limits, areas set aside for car use (ie roads), licensing and training requirements, etc.

    But the major point that you missed/ignored/don’t give a crap about?

    Cars have a primary purpose that does not include killing. There is a need for cars beyond their ability to pulp flesh and bone when applied at high speeds.

    What is the primary purpose of guns? Is there a need for them that transcends their ability to cause massive tissue damage?

    Aren’t you, in fact, deliberately comparing apples and oranges to make a rather silly rhetorical point?

  27. #27 MartinM
    February 18, 2008

    If I am going strictly by the leading causes of death, I think I would set my sites on steak, bacon, eggs, and a sedentary lifestyle.

    And if people were going around force-feeding steak to others, that would be relevant.

  28. #28 MartinM
    February 18, 2008

    Okay, so it’s been correctly stated that currently gun ownership is a protected right.

    Strictly speaking, gun ownership which bears a reasonable relationship to the upkeep of a militia is a protected right. But your point is a good one, nonetheless.

  29. #29 Nomen Nescio
    February 18, 2008

    Greg, i called you out because i read your posting as being largely a bunch of unsupported, heavily emotionalized, demonizing of a man who had, himself, done nothing wrong. sort of like calling the Chevy dealer names when one of the cars he sold was involved in a vehicular homicide. i wanted to know what you hoped to achieve by posting such a screed, because i didn’t think you could have been unaware of what you were writing.

    by way of answer, you gave me more of the same. observe:

    No one is trying to take away your right, Havoc, to kill Bambi with a weapon that could kill an animal ten times larger from twice the usual range. You are more than welcome to do that.

    (And don’t assume I’m anti hunting. [...]

    frankly, after that first sentence, i will assume you’re anti-SOMETHING, with a vehemence that has clouded your reason. i think you could do your own causes better credit by stepping back from your emotions, here, and applying a measure of cold logic to what you’re saying.

    then again, given that those causes are likely opposed to my own, perhaps i should be riling you up further instead. oh well…

  30. #30 Greg Laden
    February 18, 2008

    I love this argument. Did you stop to consider that some people hunt for the food and not the sport of it.

    Yes, I stopped to think about that one day. Thought about it so much that I wrote a PhD thesis on it. Still thinking about it.

    grieve: You are correct in that homicide in the US today is not the main cause of death, and that people get quite heated up about this sort of thing. But let’s take that argument and look at it in a more general way.

    Do you like your liberties taken away by a capricious government? Well, don’t worry about that, and certainly don’t waste my time talking about it. It only happens now and then. Most people’s money drains through their hands because they pay for food, shelter, and transportation. Only a tiny bit is stolen by muggers. Being mugged is not a problem. Have you been mugged? Do you think it was a problem? Well, you were wrong. And so on.

    Havoc: I am not sure I’m ready to say that I understand the relationship between gun ownership and specific regulations and gun violenece. As you point out, there are lots of differences between the Netherlands and the US, for instance. Canada has a much lower rate of gun violence but higher rates of gun ownership than the US. There could be a relationship but it is not obvious. Personally, I’m very impressed with Michale Moore’s argument in Bowling for Columbine.

    Regarding “The Right” …
    I’m pretty sure that Americans as a whole do not all agree that “gun ownership is a right.” I think at least 40 percent of Americans believe that “the well regulated militia” is the National Guard. I think a lot of Americans have no basic problem with people owning guns but do not see it as a constitutionally protected right.

    Furthermore, American’s opinions have nothing to do with an understanding of the constitution, unfortunately…

    Nomen: No soup for you.

  31. #31 butthole
    February 18, 2008

    “Thought about it so much that I wrote a PhD thesis on it”

    haha, must be nice to not do real science

  32. #32 Julie Stahlhut
    February 18, 2008

    Speaking of non sequiturs: Where did hunting weapons come into the discussion? At no time has anyone here ever suggested that hunting weapons should be banned or confiscated. Hunting weapons are designed for hunting, not for gunfights — and a deer rifle is much harder to conceal than a handgun. Who hunts deer with a Glock pistol?

    At any rate, confiscation or banning of handguns would do for guns what Prohibition did for alcohol; there’d be even more of a black market in weapons than there is now. But, it’s food for thought that there are a lot of “law-abiding citizens” out there who have no criminal records, would not be considered clinically mentally il, and would never rob a bank or commit an armed sexual assault, but still have some serious anger management problems. And those are the ones I worry about. Someone who is determined to rob a bank will get hold of a gun, or else figure out a way to commit the robbery without a gun. But the nice guy next door who got fired from his job and dumped by his SO in the same week might — or might not — be able to resist getting his own Glock out of storage and shooting either himself or the next stranger who takes his parking space.

    Government regulation can’t prevent all of these incidents any more than motor vehicle safety laws can prevent all fatalities, but it’s worth remembering that 100 percent of us will become enraged or depressed at some time in our lives. And I would hope that anyone who considers buying a handgun will also consider under what circumstances he or she would expect to use it.

  33. #33 Greg Laden
    February 18, 2008

    Who hunts deer with a Glock pistol?

    I think his name was Nate, and it was a moose. To this day he wears the coat he made from the hide.

    It was not a Glock, but it was a handgun. People living and working in the Rockies from Wyoming north through Canada, and up in Alaska (Nate’s home) routinely carry large caliber handguns.

    But yest, that is certainly not your points, Julia.

    We need to identify the social pathology that converts personal rage or psychosis into mass killings, and we need to transform the nature of crime so that being heavily armed is not the standard way to play that game.

  34. #34 K. Signal Eingang
    February 18, 2008

    “Topglock.com: Guns don’t kill people. We can help.”

  35. #35 the real cmf
    February 18, 2008

    Stephen above notes that “whereas in the Netherlands there are practically no civilians at all with guns to stop the bad guys,” I might add that as you note, the gun murder rate is also lower, but dude, I mena, the Netherlands? When was the last time they were needed or used to fight global warfare, and their boys were manipulated from birth to shoot anything that moves?

    Besides, they have legal prostitution, and really good weed, so no doubt the testosterone has legal outlets….

    and Greg notes that :”We need to identify the social pathology that converts personal rage or psychosisinto mass killings,” and I might just add : see note above about legalized prostitution, and good weed….

  36. #36 Arnaud
    February 18, 2008

    Probably too high to be able to shoot straight…

  37. #37 Nomen Nescio
    February 18, 2008

    Martin, that point may be debatable; indeed, it may become one of the issues in a case soon to be heard before the Supreme Court, District of Columbia v. Heller. the petitioners in that case (subjectivity alert, here) have a handy archive of pleadings and filings online:

    http://www.gurapossessky.com/news/parker/pleadings.html

    the amicus briefs sometimes make heavy reading, but can be worthwhile.

  38. #38 Tom
    February 18, 2008

    “If I am going strictly by the leading causes of death, I think I would set my sites on steak, bacon, eggs, and a sedentary lifestyle.”

    The day that my love handles can kill you at a range of a hundred-plus yards, you might have yourself an argument there.

  39. #39 grieve
    February 18, 2008

    grieve wrote: I love this argument. Did you stop to consider that some people hunt for the food and not the sport of it.

    Greg responded: Yes, I stopped to think about that one day. Thought about it so much that I wrote a PhD thesis on it. Still thinking about it.

    I laughed out loud when I read that.

  40. #40 Locksley Fairchild
    February 18, 2008

    I think you are right.

    We need to restrict and regulate everyone involved in this whole complex causal chain. The first place we need to start is with the violent videogames, films, books, websites, comics, etc. that always seem to be at the heart of these things. They glorify exactly this type of behavior.

    The purveyors of this violent stuff must begin to responisiblity for the promotion of these violent fantasies. We who don’t really care about these forms of so-called “entertainment” are getting quite tired of the immature whining about the First Amendment.

  41. #41 grieve
    February 18, 2008

    Do you like your liberties taken away by a capricious government? Well, don’t worry about that, and certainly don’t waste my time talking about it. It only happens now and then. Most people’s money drains through their hands because they pay for food, shelter, and transportation. Only a tiny bit is stolen by muggers. Being mugged is not a problem. Have you been mugged? Do you think it was a problem? Well, you were wrong. And so on.

    Overall I think this is a poor analogy, but I see the point you are trying to make. The point I am making, and should have made more clearly, is that for any choice we make there is a trade off. Choosing to have lenient (compared to most nations) gun control laws allows the occasional mad man to go on a killing spree. Choosing to make everything from corn gives us heart disease and diabetes. You seem more upset about the former than the latter, even though the latter causes more deaths.

    I can only assume you are more upset about homicides because there is a specific agent to blame. The person wielding the gun, but you argument here is to get angry at the person supplying the gun. In fact you don’t seem to assign any blame in this article to the killers themselves. Even though they wielded, aimed, and fired the gun(s). All your anger seems to be directed at Eric Thompson.

    In a separate comment you say:
    Listen … Everyone … everyone … involved in this whole complex causal chain, the manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, hunters, other hobbyists, collectors, public and private agencies that use guns, everyone, has to take responsibility that widespread gun availability gives YOU something (your career, your business, your testosterone fix, your false sense of security) and costs the rest of US something. We who don’t really care about guns personally are getting quite tired of your immature whining.

    You obviously care about guns, you just don’t care to own them. And from this post it appears that you do not want anyone else to own them either. The gun retailers, hobbyist, collectors, etc that I have known or known of have been some of the most responsible people I have ever met. I realize this is anecdotal, but, so it seems, is most of your data.

    I hardly think it is immature to try and defend a right you believe in. Every federal law, or even state and local law, takes something from someone and gives something to someone else. This exchange can be incredibly complex, and fully exploring all possible outcomes of changing gun control laws seem very reasonable to me. And certainly before any real changes are made I would hope they were carefully weighed and measured against the results of reputable scientific studies where possible.

  42. #42 the real cmf
    February 18, 2008

    It isn’t the medium, nor the messages of that medium, but rather the lack of other, equally tantalizing mediums that is the problem. Remember, that most of America has great sexual angst in the formative years, and instead of decent discussions, acceptable outlets, or non shame based reception to this angst, young boys are fed steady streams of war porn, violent movies, games, etc….one news report “The guy had tattoos all over his body, done in the last six months that portray scenes from horror films.”

    Yet no one suggests that all of the war porn that this last regime in Washington has generated is the cause…worse, young men are drowned (smothered) in media messages about “girls and body image”, anorexia, V-day telling them they are all rapists, etc, but who is tackling the bigger issue of boys and body image? Boys who are taught to compete with impossible messages of bigger is better, brawny is bold, etc?

    It is always nice to single out the one mentally ill guy who does this crap, and excorciate the Holden Caulfields raher than show some guts society wide and address the body crumplings that males endure from birth–when the John Hinckley’s show up in the news ( was he really that bad….?)everyone jumps on the story, but when we see a woman throw her eleventeen kids off a bridge, the media message is all about the mental illness, post partum depression, and womens limited choices–but rarely broaches the deeper negative words of “psychosis” and “violent tendencies” and all of those other words that describe violence that we routinely ascribe–proscribe–onto males….as if these string bean killers with bad teeth, funny smiles, crooked eyes, and weird tattoos are different?

  43. #43 Greg Laden
    February 18, 2008

    grieve: You’ve made the mistake of assuming too much of what I believe, and using that as part of your argument. You (and most people, really) have to break out of the old and tired arguments and start thinking creatively.

    CMF: Right. It is not the case that, say, the US has more of the kid of crazy people who shoot up students in the classroom, or more of the kind of criminal that operates with a hair trigger (literally) compared, say, to Canada. Same people, same angst, same neuroses, but a different social context.

  44. #44 the real Holden Caulfield
    February 18, 2008

    Yup.

    Yet sadly, there is little initiative, and no discussion in these times with the more leftern view points to engage in dialogue about boys. We expect the right to tell us to “man up”, and all of that, but sadly the left is chock full of that same ideology, at least as far as boys are concerned: a tacit understanding that we need to come to the aid of girls, teach them to be cops and scientists and soldiers ( as long as they don’t actually have to fight in the trenches), and do nothing at all to nurture the definitions of boys into more humane contexts.

    The social beating that males take in this culture is more brutal than that women suffer, because it comes from all sides. Ironically, this boys girlfriend has been interviewed (today) and she notes that his mother was ‘depressed and on many medications’ etc, and this kid fits the profile ( not that this profile exists officially mind you) of so many boys who inherit the mothers emotional states–not at all unlike that homeschooled kid who went nuts a few months ago.

  45. #45 El Christador
    February 18, 2008

    And at this time, when the press goes to interview him, he does NOT have a list of honorable and noble uses to which his guns have been put. He does not have a list of cases where a mass murderer was about to start his slaying, and an owner of a TGSCOM-provided Glock whipped out his or her firearm and stopped the slaying.

    To be fair, it’s possible that he’d be less likely to hear about incidents where guns he sold were put to good use, because there’s no particular reason for anyone to contact the gun vendor there, except maybe to tell him about it to cheer him up, whereas in bad uses of the guns, it’s probably reasonably common for investigators to have a reason to contact the vendor. That is, the number of incidents he’s aware of isn’t necessarily a good reflection of the true number o incidents, because it may be that information about good vs. bad incidents doesn’t get back to him with equal efficiency.

    This also does not preclude the possibility that the actual quantity of bad uses there have been of guns he’s sold outweighs the actual quantity of good uses there have been of guns he’s sold. (Probably we would want a weighted total, weighting according to the degree of badness/goodness of the use, rather than a plain count. I don’t think this affects anything in this post anyhow.)

  46. #46 Greg Laden
    February 18, 2008

    El Chris: The classic pro-gun noble use is that you are about to kill a room full of children and I pull out my piece and blow you away. I would think the police would still run down the ownership of my gun, so yea, he would probably know about that.

    “Bad uses” that a person gets away with would not be reported back to the dealer, of course.

    The larger point is that no one has yet pointed out a case where a legal gun owner shot dead (or at least stopped, by shooting him) a guy who was shooting students or mall goers or whomever. Fort his strategy to be taken seriously, the very least that needs to happen it that it has to have happened once or twice!

  47. #47 Ian H Spedding FCD
    February 19, 2008

    http://www.claytoncramer.com/gundefenseblog/blogger.html rel=”nofollow”>Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog

  48. #48 DuWayne
    February 19, 2008

    Julie –

    I routinely carry a pistol with me when I hunt. While I am a pretty good shot with a rifle or a shotgun, shooting a living creature is extremely challenging and I do not want to make anything suffer. So I carry a forty five to help ensure that any suffering is as minimal as possible. That said, it’s been a few years since I’ve been hunting. Having kids rather restricts my time.

  49. #49 grieve
    February 19, 2008

    You’ve made the mistake of assuming too much of what I believe, and using that as part of your argument. You (and most people, really) have to break out of the old and tired arguments and start thinking creatively.

    I have to make some assumptions, as I can only go by what you post. Tell me what assumptions I have made.

    As far as tired arguments go you have to realize that yours sound just as tired to me. We both keep repeating them, because we both believe them to be right.

    The classic pro-gun noble use is that you are about to kill a room full of children and I pull out my piece and blow you away. I would think the police would still run down the ownership of my gun, so yea, he would probably know about that. Emphasis added by grieve.

    In a case of self defense the owner of the gun is present and accounted for, alive, and normally cooperates with the police. The owner would have all the paperwork the police needed. They would have no need to investigate the ownership of the gun, unless there were some reason to disbelieve the gun owner.

  50. #50 Greg Laden
    February 19, 2008

    grieve: You might be right about how an investigation would proceed, but without actual cases I would not assume it.

    As to assumptions and my argument, that is easy: I don’t have an argument. I’m seeking answers.

    On the broader picture that has been mentioned of dramatic events being actually a small part of the statistics, yes that is true but most actual political or legal change seems to happen because of dramatic events (as we are now seeing in relation to the Virginia Tech and NIU events).

    As to hand guns: The person I mentioned above, by the way, was walking in the woods not hunting, when he accidentally found himself face to face with an angry moose. The way he describes it is this (paraphrasing): “There was the moose, I drew and shot with the barrel of my gun inches from the moose’s head. It was totally automatic, I didn’t realize I had even done it until the moose went down.”

  51. #51 Muse142
    February 19, 2008

    I really don’t think that Eric Thompson is really The Bad Guy here. Guns, yes, are used by people to kill people. Crazy people use them to threaten and shoot innocent people — a bad thing. Criminals use them to threaten and shoot their victims — a bad thing. Cops use them to threaten and shoot crazy people and criminals — a good thing! Eric Thompson thinks that regular, sane people should also be trained to use guns to threaten and shoot crazy people and criminals. If this were more commonplace and effective, it might actually be a good thing. (I am aware that it’s not very effective, or commonplace, besides other flaws in that plan.)

    But at least Eric Thompson really does want to stop crazy people and criminals from shooting innocents. He really, really wants his guns to be used For Good And Not Evil. He wants to help police catch criminals. Your implication is that Thompson would stop keeping records if the gov’t didn’t force him to, and that he prefers to sell guns predominantly to criminals. Reading his site, this seems very much not to be the case. He seems to be a responsible supplier, and torn up over the fact that crazy people have used his guns. Is this blatant contradiction why you won’t link to it? Or are you afraid that a reader will go there, buy a gun, and shoot up a school?

  52. #52 Nomen Nescio
    February 19, 2008

    if i were walking in the kind of woods where a moose-sized animal could just suddenly step out of the underbrush within arm’s reach of me before i noticed it… honestly, i’m not sure what manner of weapon i’d want to have with me, but i’d certainly not wish to go there unarmed.

    really, that’s pretty amazing. it’s either an unusually inattentive human or a very, very tight woods.

  53. #53 Monado, FCD
    February 19, 2008

    This might be inappropriately humorous, but I like, “Accordions don’t play ‘Lady of Spain.’ People play ‘Lady of Spain.'”

  54. #54 Greg Laden
    February 19, 2008

    The idea of it being “normal” for private citizens to mete out death via a personal firearm when other citizens do certain things is something I would consider an advancement.

  55. #55 the real cmf
    February 20, 2008

    Greg, I think you mean an advancement of some argument, right? Otherwise, it sounds kind of chimp like to consider killing others an anvancement 8;-)
    BUt there was that case in Colorado where the security guard, a former MPD cop, wasted a would be killer who was going to gun down a church. Granted, security guards are paramilitary, but still, it was a church ( and you know th’ lawd works mysteriously).

    Too, there was that case two or three years ago in MPLS where [if memory serves me right] a concealed carry legal gun owner shot a bouncer in the back:
    http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=96950

  56. #56 grieve
    February 21, 2008

    Greg: You might be right about how an investigation would proceed, but without actual cases I would not assume it.

    As to assumptions and my argument, that is easy: I don’t have an argument. I’m seeking answers.

    I can easily find out about the self-defense cases, then we can both stop making assumptions about it.

    I am a little confused. It sure sounds like you are making the argument that Eric Thompson should be stopped, don’t you think? I mean it does end with a question mark, but I really assumed it was rhetorical. Maybe that was one of the assumptions that I made. Since you avoided telling what I assumed about you earlier I can only guess.

    In that case the answer is no. Eric Thompson should not be stopped from running a legal online business.

    The idea of it being “normal” for private citizens to mete out death via a personal firearm when other citizens do certain things is something I would consider an advancement.

    This is really confusing. At this point it just sounds like you are outraged at a mass killing (completely understandable), but your arguments (for?/against?) seem to be all over the place. Do you even know what your own stance is on gun control? And why are you so reluctant to just spell it out?

  57. #57 Greg Laden
    February 21, 2008

    Do you even know what your own stance is on gun control?

    No, I do not. Is there some reason that I must have a rigid stance, other than that everyone else seems to have one? Is this difficult for you?

  58. #58 R N B
    February 21, 2008

    Back to the original post – let’s look at the reported facts.

    We don’t even need to compare US with Canada or Europe. Even just in the case of Eric Thompson, the reports seem to suggest that so far his sales may have contributed to at least two mass shootings and untold single shootings. And so far the reported facts suggest that his sales have contributed to precisely zero terminations of mass shootings.

    As I’ve said elsewhere, increased gun ownership should result in increased chance of the very rare “dozen people mass shooting” being reduced to a “half dozen person mass shooting”, so on that point Eric is right. But it also produces increased chance of the much more common one-off shooting. There is undoubtedly a percentage of people who react violently to the slightest perceived affront, if more of them have guns then more people will be shot.

  59. #59 grieve
    February 21, 2008

    No, I do not. Is there some reason that I must have a rigid stance, other than that everyone else seems to have one? Is this difficult for you?

    No it is not difficult for me. It actually makes your post and comments less confusing to me. There is no reason to have a stance rigid or otherwise on any particular issue, but living in an ambivalent state for an extended period of time can be frustrating.

    The passion of your post and comments implies that you have some stance on gun control, but maybe you just don’t like Eric. ;)

  60. #60 Greg Laden
    February 21, 2008

    I was put off by Eric’s statement, but in fairness, what I have heard or think he said may not bear much relation to what he actually said or thinks….

    My stance could be characterized this way: There is no reason to believe that a society has to be riddled with gun violence. Our society should not be. Also, and this is not really a stance as much as an anti-stance: I think that the typical positions out there that people tend to hold are mostly self serving and unrealistic, relying more on rhetoric than on actually working towards finding solutions. That applies to “both sides” (and there really does seem to be two sides).

  61. #61 grieve
    February 21, 2008

    MartinM: And if people were going around force-feeding steak to others, that would be relevant.

    I guess you have never lived in Texas. ;)

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