Quentin Patrick thought his home was being robbed. So he fired 29 bullets from an automatic rifle out his front door of his house hitting 12 year old T.J. Darrisaw, T.J.’s 9-year-old brother, Ahmadre Darrisaw, and their father, Freddie Grinnell.

T.J. was killed.

All automatic assault rifles should be banned for ownership by private citizens in the United States. That is obvious and has always been obvious, and only the nuttiest of the gun nuts could possibly think otherwise. This particular incident does not change that, though I fully expect people to use this as an argument in favor of unfettered gun ownership.

Minimally, these weapons should not be allowed in the home. Perhaps they could be kept locked up at the gun club. As long as you don’t let your tiny children use them.

This incident happened in Sumpter, South Carolina. Patrick’s gun was an AK-47, or as the morons who flaunt such weapons often refer to them, because they can’t handle a lot of syllabus in one word, “AK.”

Patrick’s front porch light was on. It was holloween. He emptied the “AyKay” through the front door after he heard someone knocking on the door.

There is probably a lot more to this story, I suspect involving drugs and money. Patrick was a convicted felon.

msnbc

Comments

  1. #1 sailor
    November 1, 2008

    Hey Greg,
    The French (Canadians) get their revenge on the the Republicans for Freedom Fries, and fake a call to Palin.
    Absolutely must listen!

  2. #2 Scote
    November 1, 2008

    Yup, another tragedy. And this one I agree is all too typical. Although people cite “home defense” as one of the prime reasons people need guns, last I heard one is more likely to accidentally kill an innocent rather than an actual perpetrator. And an AK is a very, very bad choice of “home defense weapon” since it uses a very powerful rifle round with high penetration.

    But, I do wish you would be a little more careful in your screeds. One, you seem to be saying the weapon in this case was a full auto, but it is far more likely that the recieve was an ordinary **semi**auto. The term “automatic” in gun terms refers to automatic loading, not the difference between select fire, burst or full auto modes. You wouldn’t be this sloppy in your science posts and you shouldn’t be this sloppy in your anti-gun posts.

    you didn’t provide a link to a news source.

  3. #3 Scote
    November 1, 2008

    …and a cursory Google search
    http://www.huliq.com/3257/71949/quentin-patrick-arrested-halloween-tragedy

    didn’t mention anything about the weapon being full auto.

  4. #4 Stephanie Z
    November 1, 2008

    Oh, grow up, Scote. If you don’t read enough to know that Greg fixes typos and links that didn’t take plenty often, don’t assume he’s just doing it to build a case.

  5. #5 cuthean
    November 1, 2008

    blacks.

  6. #6 cuthean
    November 1, 2008

    same story wherever these locusts descend.

    http://www.pixcetera.com/news/halloween-shooting/40483

    anyone suprised at these pics?

    God help us the next 4 years when the muslim racist non citizen pezident sparks a very real civil war.

    maybe it will be for the best.

  7. #7 greg laden
    November 1, 2008

    Scote…. between you and me, which one of us do you think has fired an AK 47?

    The report I read (msnbc, see link) called the weapon an “automatic rifle” which is of course accurate because that is what this weapon is. Some AK 47s have what you call “full auto” disabled. In any event, I called this an “automatic rifle” because this is exactly what it said in this blog post. As I wrote this post, I thought “The gun trolls are going to want to see this correctly reported.” Funny.

    The normal AK 47 can be operated either as full auto or as a single shot. We don’t know what was used in this case.

    The perp emptied the gun and got off 29 rounds. That could have been either way.

    cuthean: Please explain what you are talking about. Thank you.

  8. #8 Scote
    November 1, 2008

    “automatic rifle” which is of course accurate because that is what this weapon is.”

    You know full well, it seems, that “automatic” without a qualifier is misleading, especially to people who don’t know that all **semi** automatic guns, including pretty much **all** non-revolver pistols, are “automatic **loading**” The equivocation is between automatic loading and automatic fire. Your defense of your use of the unqualified term “automatic” makes it seem like your use is a deliberate attempt at equivocation.

    “Some AK 47s have what you call “full auto” disabled. In any event, I called this an “automatic rifle” because this is exactly what it said in this blog post.”

    Wrong. Pretty much **all** AK knock offs sold in the us are built from the ground up as semi-automatic guns. They are not full auto’s with a disabled feature anymore than a 4 cylinder car is a 12 cylinder car with 8 cylinders “disabled”. All semi-auto weapons that have full auto cousins have to have ATF approved, tamper resistant parts. While that doesn’t mean that some people don’t manage to make illegal conversions in spite of those precautions, it still remains a fact that a semi auto AK knock off is not a full auto version with a feature “disabled”

    “As I wrote this post, I thought “The gun trolls are going to want to see this correctly reported.” Funny.”

    Tell me why I’m a gun troll, please. I’ve commented on one previous gun related post in your blog, and I noted that I’m for regulation of guns. In this very thread I’ve noted that most people will kill a friend or relative by accident rather than an actual intruder. These are not the comments of a gun nut, but the comments of someone who disagrees with some aspects of your posts because your anti-gun posts tend seem to be a bit off the cuff and lacking in the rationality that one might expect on a science blog.

    “The normal AK 47 can be operated either as full auto or as a single shot.”

    If by “normal” you mean the kind used by armies and terrorists **overseas** you’d be right. If by “normal” you mean the kind of AK knock off sold in the US you are utterly wrong. Very few licensed full autos are in the hands of private citizens in the US.

    “We don’t know what was used in this case.”

    And I don’t know if Leprechauns exist, but the default belief is no. Likewise, the most reasonable default in this case is to presume that the weapon was a **semi** auto AK knock off, though there is a small chance that the weapon was an **illegal** full auto–a weapon which is already illegal for almost all people, hence your screed is, in part, misplaced. But, it is clear you are trying to use a rhetorical trick to suggest that it is likely that a full auto was used when there is no evidence on record as of yet that points to such a conclusion.

    “The perp emptied the gun and got off 29 rounds. That could have been either way.”

    Ohhhh. 29 rounds. Tell us, Greg, how many seconds does it take to pull a trigger 29 times? 29 rounds is not a reason to believe a full auto is in use. While you can certainly argue that a powerful semi-automatic weapon is dangerous and should be banned, there is simply no excuse for your attempts to use terms loosely to try and make false equivalencies.

  9. #9 Matt Springer
    November 1, 2008

    Since I seem to be ScienceBlogs resident gun nut, I might as well throw my $0.02 in.

    If the weapon actually was automatic, its possession was already very illegal. Every legal machine gun in the US is already required to be in a registry, no new guns have been added to that registry since 1986, the cost for purchase is at the very lowest measured in the five figures, and purchases of those weapons from dealers and transfers from private owners require a federal background check. There is almost no way in the world this shooting involved an automatic weapon, and it’s an absolute certainty that it did not involve a legal one even if it were automatic.

    You can buy AK-47s pretty easily (I could own one in about twenty minutes if I were willing to blow a large part of this month’s paycheck), but they are not automatic weapons and they cannot be converted short of a skilled and well-equipped machinist wiling to risk a long stretch of hard time. Functionally they amount to the same thing as your average semi-auto hunting rifle, in more compact and spooky-looking furniture. In any case the shooter as a convicted felon was already breaking the law by possessing a firearm in the first place.

    If I had my way he’d be hanged at dawn, but for better or worse I’m not the guy making the laws.

    “There is probably a lot more to this story, I suspect involving drugs and money.”

    Wouldn’t surprise me a bit. I would bet large sums of money that gun crime in this country would drop like a stone if we had a drug policy that even remotely approached sanity.

  10. #10 greg laden
    November 1, 2008

    Your defense of your use of the unqualified term “automatic” makes it seem like your use is a deliberate attempt at equivocation.

    Don’t be absurd, and don’t tell me what I’m thinking, especially when I am being very clear in telling you what I’m thinking! I directly quoted the report, and used the exact words. I agree with you that there is widespread ignorance. Had the news report been more specific I would have reported the more specific information.

    Wrong. Pretty much **all** AK knock offs sold in the us are built from the ground up as semi-automatic guns

    This was not reported as a “knock off” it was reported as an AK 47, virtually every single one of which that I have ever seen or heard of is manufactured as a fully automatic rifle.

    It is quite possible that this was some kind of knock off. Take your complaint to MSNBC about that if you feel strongly about it.

    Tell me why I’m a gun troll, please.

    I didn’t say that. I said that I was expecting gun trolls to complain about this when I wrote the post so I was careful to report exactly what I read. I didn’t call you a gun troll.

    However, you are starting to look a little like one …. but I’m not sure yet.

    If by “normal” you mean the kind used by armies and terrorists **overseas** you’d be right. If by “normal” you mean the kind of AK knock off sold in the US you are utterly wrong. Very few licensed full autos are in the hands of private citizens in the US.

    That may well be. All of my experience with AK 47’s and Belgians ias been the kind used by armies, other security forces, mercenaries an terrorists overseas. I’ve never been near one in the US. Again, I don’t know anything about the knockoffs. I do look forward to finding out what exactly this bozo used to kill the kid on his front porch.

    Ohhhh. 29 rounds. Tell us, Greg, how many seconds does it take to pull a trigger 29 times? 29 rounds is not a reason to believe a full auto is in use.

    How is it that you snarkily contradict me when we are saying exactly the same thing? Perhaps I’m missing the point. As I say, I do not know the kind of weapon it was, I only know what the MSNBC report said, and I reported it exactly as I read it in order to avoid … the … gun … trolls. . Not that you’re ag un troll or anything.

    I guess I’d much prefer to be lambasted by someone making assumptions out of clear statements than to be lambasted for making my own assumptions.

    Given that MSNBC is a major news network, and they called this an automatic weapon, I’m leaving open the possibility that these 29 bullets was a burst. Or maybe not. I await the truth.

    One newspaper report mentioned a mysterious 7K in cash, and this dude’s priors were mainly or all drug related.

  11. #11 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    November 1, 2008

    cuthean – I am surprised that you are so scared.

    If the conservatives hadn’t been so willing to turn over so much power to the White House during the Bush years you wouldn’t have to worry so much about Obama, would you? You forgot that this is still a republic and we get to vote in a new leader.

    Fortunately, I don’t think that the Obama administration will be as power-mad as the Cheney-bush administration, so loosen your panties a notch.

  12. #12 greg laden
    November 1, 2008

    Do we think that cuthean, who writes to us from the Long Island area, is making comments that should be thought of as a threat to the President of the United States, as in an Assassination Plot? Because I could call someone.

  13. #13 Phil
    November 1, 2008

    It’s already illegal for a felon to own a firearm. In this case, I don’t think it would have made much difference semi or fully auto. Shooting blindly outside your house, felon or not, is not what I would call responsible gun ownership.

  14. #14 greg laden
    November 1, 2008

    One of my neighbors blindly shot in the general direction of a sound in his house and killed a more or less innocent teenager last year. Many of the folks in the neighborhood lauded him for it. I don’t think he was ever charged with anything.

  15. #15 Ahcuah
    November 1, 2008

    Laden definition of “gun troll”: Anybody who actually knows something about guns and disagrees with him.

    As far as I can tell, the MSNBC story did not say it was full auto. Yes, they did say it was an AK-47 (and it may well have been, though even possession by this guy was illegal), but another thing folks who pay attention to these things learn is that the media is usually pretty ignorant about what they call guns, and whether one is auto or semi-auto.

  16. #16 Stephanie Z
    November 1, 2008

    Funny, Ahcuah, I thought the definition was “someone making assumptions out of clear statements.”

  17. #17 Rick
    November 1, 2008

    From the Internet Dictionary: “Troll … a regular commenter on blogs pushing an agenda at the expense of maintaining a grasp on reality. There are several kinds of trolls which differ in the style of their trolling, including concern trolls, flaky trolls, and of course the most defensive humorless and evil because of what they believe, the gun-nut trolls…”

  18. #18 dreikin
    November 2, 2008

    Normally, I usually assume someone’s being honest when they claim what they said is not what they meant. However, in this case I have to agree at least somewhat with Scote. The article you linked *doesn’t* state that it was automatic – they call it an assault rifle (as of the time I checked, anyway). He’s also been previously arrested, according to that same article, on drug charges – which makes it highly probable that it was illegal for him to have the gun in the first place.

    You’re jumping the gun on this one – trying to make a case for one thing when the facts are barely in. And some of them don’t even support your assertion! You don’t even bother to make note of the possible misinterpretations in the main article, either.

    Perhaps a more fitting post would have been “Quentin Patrick: The Newest Poster Boy for More Effective Gun Control”.

  19. #19 greg laden
    November 2, 2008

    dreikin: Kiss my ass, you offensive troll. When I say it said “automatic” … and when I explicitly say that I double checked that, that is the way it is.

    The story has been updated. They may have removed “automatic” but they seem to have replaced it with “assault rifle.”

    According to MSNBC, the kid was shot with an assault rifle. What is someone doing with an assault rifle? They should be banned!!!

    Tolls: Cary on, shift to “assault rifle” sub theme …..

  20. #20 dreikin
    November 2, 2008

    Greg, you are an idiot. I’m not a troll, and I’ve even defended you before vs Zuska. I NOTED that that’s what it said at the time I read the article and that wasn’t even my main point – just something I thought you should update. My main point was that it was ALREADY illegal for him to have the gun (as I understand it), so using this as support for more regulations is misguided – this only supports tightening up enforcement of regulations that already exist.

  21. #21 Lassi Hippeläinen
    November 2, 2008

    As an engineer and a lieutenant I know a bit about Kalashnikovs. They are designed for firing in full auto, with semi-auto as an option. No sane person would fire 29 shots one by one.

  22. #22 Scote
    November 2, 2008

    “As an engineer and a lieutenant I know a bit about Kalashnikovs. They are designed for firing in full auto, with semi-auto as an option. No sane person would fire 29 shots one by one.”

    If you are talking about the **military** model not sold in gun stores you’d be right. But, there is no evidence in this thread that that is the case. Civy models are all semi-auto **only**.

    Second, “No sane person would fire 29 shots one by one.” Er, that is not a very accurate statement. First off, we are not talking about a responsible person. Second, you are assuming the weapon was full auto, and there is no current evidence in the thread that it was. Third, as a “lieutenant” you also know that select fire is more accurate (not that the irresponsible alleged criminal in the OP worried about accuracy).

  23. #23 greg laden
    November 2, 2008

    dreikin: I will accept your apology for calling me a liar, because apparently you didn’t mean it.

  24. #24 richCares
    November 2, 2008

    an idiot shot 29 rounds through a door killing one child and wounding another plus the father and some idiot talks about semi vs auto or lying about semi vs auto. A child is dead!

  25. #25 Scote
    November 2, 2008

    “an idiot shot 29 rounds through a door killing one child and wounding another plus the father and some idiot talks about semi vs auto or lying about semi vs auto. A child is dead!”

    In order to do something about a problem you need to understand the problem and deal with it rationally. Calling me an idiot and ranting does not solve the problem. Trying to imply that the gun was a machine gun can create a false problem and a subsequent false solution. If, for instance, the OP said the problem of gun violence in the news article is too many machine guns and that such incidents represent a trend, and the gun was not, in fact, a machine gun and does not represent a trend then the efforts base on such a false assumption would not result in a reduction of harm–especially since machine guns are already illegal to posses for all but a handful of specially licensed individuals. If, on the other hand, the problem is correctly stated (in arguendo) as being the legality of semi-automatic rifle caliber weapons with 30 round clips, then, perhaps, subsequent efforts to regulate such weapons might have an actual effect.

    Details matter. You can’t reach a proper answer if you can’t formulate an accurate representation of the issues involved. Does anyone think for a second that Greg would be so sloppy in his profession? Or let, say, creationist get away with sloppy terms and equivocation? I tend to think not. I’m not sure why Greg’s standards of discourse seem to slip when the issue of gun violence comes up.

    BTW, Greg, I did not try to tell you what you were thinking. My comment was expressly qualified as being based on how your usage appears and is not a claim as to your actual state of mind:

    “Your defense of your use of the unqualified term “automatic” makes it seem like your use is a deliberate attempt at equivocation.”

    Your indignance is not justified by my statements.

  26. #26 greg laden
    November 2, 2008

    Scote: Your statement made it seem like you are a total fuckwad. OK with that? Good.

    Back to the topic: Has anyone seen any more actual information about this firearm?

  27. #27 Scote
    November 2, 2008

    “Scote: Your statement made it seem like you are a total fuckwad. OK with that? Good.”

    You rile easily. No qualification needed.

    I might note that I’ve tried to stick to calm discourse, to be reasonable, make concessions in terms of rational gun control and avoid name calling. I’m not sure how I managed to raise your animus given all of that, but that isn’t my intention. My intention is to argue for an accurate characterization of the issues involved so that any solutions will be based on real problems and not imagined ones. I hope you agree that such an approach is desirable. And, given the salacious news value of an illegal machine gun, and the lack of mention of any such thing, I’d say it is more likely than not that the weapon in question was not a machine gun.

  28. #28 greg laden
    November 2, 2008

    Scote: Machine gun? Why are you bringing machine guns into this discussion?

    The first report was “automatic weapon”. The revised report was “assault weapon.” I have not seen a report that has used the term “machine gun.”

    There is a difference between a gun and a rifle. Your statements make it seem like you can’t keep your facts straight. People who know nothing about firearms should keep their holes shut, don’t you think?

  29. #29 Stephanie Z
    November 2, 2008

    Scote, you have filled the comment threads of two posts trying to throw Greg’s credibility into doubt, using up much of your own in the process. You’ve babbled on about what you think Greg is doing, when a simple “Source, please?” or “Can we get more details before talking about this?” would have done just fine. You’ve hypothesized about what is “more likely than not” while getting on Greg’s case for repeating what was reported.

    In doing all that, you come across as someone much more anxious to shut down any conversation on the topic than to make sure such discussion is rational. In short, you come across as a gun nut.

  30. #30 Scote
    November 2, 2008

    I’m glad you’ve suddenly decided to be a stickler for terms.

    I used the term “machine gun” in order to use an unambiguous term for a full auto.

    As you, I think, know “automatic” can refer to automatic loading or automatic fire. A 1911 pistol is an “auto” as in “automatic loading.” Such a gun is also a “semi-auto” as in “semi-automatic fire.” Thus the casual use of the term “automatic” without qualification is ambiguous, as we can see in this incident where you have repeatedly stated you don’t know if the weapon used was full auto or not, but are keeping the possibility in mind apparently because term “automatic” was once used in a news report and you seem to think that term might have been referring to “automatic fire” rather than “automatic loading”. Thus, I used the term “machine gun” to refer to weapon featuring fully automatic fire. Under US law, the term machine gun refers to any gun capable of fully automatic fire, so my use of the term is completely correct in a discussion of the use of and the legality of machine guns in civilian hands, though the military uses specific designations for various classes of automatic fire weapons.

    Nice try at a smack down though. Once again, I’m surprised at your animus. You seem to be trolling your own blog–which, is your right as the blog owner. But I’m disappointed by the venom directed at me since I’m trying to be fact based and not enter into personal attacks.

  31. #31 Scote
    November 2, 2008

    “In short, you come across as a gun nut.”

    In what way? I’ve argued for the accurate use of terms in this thread so that any solutions to problems can be based on accurate descriptions of the issues involved. How would that make me “a gun nut?”

    If you read my posts I think you’ll find I’m a moderate on gun issues, neither for banning all guns, nor for eschewing gun regulation. I don’t think civilians should be using AK style weapons for home defense and I don’t think criminals, mentally ill or irresponsible people should be allowed to posses guns. I think requiring type specific tests to buy guns, including proficiency on the range may be a good approach.

    If you think I’m a gun nut then you have a very, very low bar. I think you confuse my tenacity for accurately discussing the issues with pro-gun zealotry. The two are not the same thing. We can’t come up with effective solutions to a problem if we don’t first accurately describe and measure the problem in the first place.

  32. #32 Greg Laden
    November 2, 2008

    Scote: Nice try. You know nothing about firearms, obviously, and can’t read the Wikipedia entries fast enough to keep up with this very high level and detailed conversation, or so it seems. I’m not saying that, tyough. Just saying that it seems that way. YOu understand, yes?

    All machine guns and fully automatic rifles should be banned. All assault weapons and short stock rifles should be banned. The supposedly “legal uzi of last week in Massachusetts and this “AK 47″ murder of two days ago are at two ends of the spectrum of the kind of responsible individual that can be involved in these killings. The weapons involved may also be two disparate points in the range of weapons involved.

    All the arguments about enforceability, about how criminals can do whatever they want in ours society so just let them do it, all the arguments about whether a weapon is automatically loading (which is called “automatic” or automatically firing “which is also called “automatic” or more lately, but confused gun nuts “full auto”) are out the window. Out. The. Window.

    Scote: Two children are dead because of you and the rest of the NRA sucking gun nuts. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    You are some kind of monster. Or prove otherwise, up to you.

  33. #33 Scote
    November 2, 2008

    “Scote: Nice try. You know nothing about firearms, obviously”

    Ok, there is your thesis. Now provide some examples of where I have been factually wrong in this thread.

    I’m surprised to find out from you that I’m both a gun nut and **completely** on the subject of guns.

    “Scote: Two children are dead because of you and the rest of the NRA sucking gun nuts. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    You are some kind of monster. Or prove otherwise, up to you.”

    Amazing. I hate to see one of my otherwise favorite blogs douched up with such wild and unfounded rhetoric.

    Again, I’d like some specificity on your part. How, exactly, am I, a moderate on gun control and a non-NRA member specifically because the NRA is so radical on the subject of gun control, responsible for the children who died in this incident?

    Your accusation is not founded in evidence or sound reasoning and certainly does not represent a rational response to anything I’ve said in this thread. I almost have a hard time believing that the post I’m responding to is by the actual blog owner, seeing how devoid of careful argument it is–certainly unworthy, IMO, of any bloger let alone response by a Science Blogger, who I tend to expect some semblance of reasoned argument from.

  34. #34 Stephanie Z
    November 2, 2008

    Greg, I think the science bloggers need to band together and recognize their own special brand of troll. I’m debating on names, though. The not-sciency-enough troll? The you-didn’t-use-citations troll? The limit-scientists-to-their-field troll? The scientists-must-stay-out-of-politics troll? None of them are quite satisfying.

    Scote, I already told you why you come across as a gun nut. When the subject comes up, you get rude and start rule-changing.

  35. #35 Matt Springer
    November 2, 2008

    The first report was “automatic weapon”. The revised report was “assault weapon.” I have not seen a report that has used the term “machine gun.”

    “Machine gun” and “automatic weapon” are synonyms. The legal definition for both is a firearm which is capable of firing more than one round per trigger pull.

    “Assault weapon” is ill-defined (and in fact the definition 1994 Assault Weapons Ban specifically had nothing to do with automatic weapons at all), but the fact that the revised report bothered to change the term used probably means that the gun was not in fact automatic.

  36. #36 Greg Laden
    November 2, 2008

    Ok, there is your thesis. Now provide some examples of where I have been factually wrong in this thread.

    1) mixing up gun and rifle.

    2) treating all ‘facts’ about firearms from the perspective of a American Gun Nut and as such discounting the realities of the technology from the perspective of manufacture, most typical uses (for ‘assault weapons’ e.g. military and security forces), and the technological realities.

    You are just playing. It is like you are trying to talk about rail transport and all you know is stuff about your HO model rail road set.

    Amazing. I hate to see one of my otherwise favorite blogs douched up with such wild and unfounded rhetoric.

    What? You can’t take a joke? You are one of my jokiest commenters!?!?!?

    certainly unworthy, IMO, of any bloger let alone response by a Science Blogger, who I tend to expect some semblance of reasoned argument from.

    What does it take to get this message across: Judge me and tell me how to blog and I’ll kick your ass every time. Every. Time.

    Stephanie: It is a subset of concern trolling. It might be the “I’m worried that you’re not as good as the other scienceblogs.com bloggers” troll. Or, perhaps, “sbling rivalry troll.”

    Matt: Not according to Scote and a lot of other people.

    You are confused because the 1994 assault weapons bad included a section called “definitions” as all bills with technical terms do, and in it the distinctions among automatic/semi-automatic/selective fire, and rifle, gun, carbine, etc. were all muddled up. The fact that the framers of this bill totaly fucked it up is of no interest to me in my never ending quest to get everything about firearms exactly right.

    All you and Scote are doing is trying to confuse the readers and discredit me because you think you disagree with me. A typical republican tactic. Next think you’ll be telling people that I consort with terrorists (which may or may not be true) and that I want to raise everyone’s taxes!>!?!?

  37. #37 Greg Laden
    November 2, 2008

    Judge me and tell me how to blog and I’ll kick your ass every time.

    Clarification: I’m not talking about telling me I’m wrong about something, and I’m not talking about disagreeing with me. If you tell me I’m wrong and you’re wrong, don’t expect me to agree with you. But I don’t mind being corrected in a polite manner (impolite corrections never go well). We can certainly disagree. But don’t take what I’ve written as evidence of nefarious inetions or actions when it is not. Yes, I do write with a fair amount of allusion that not everyone gets, but when I want to make a point I make it, i don’t hid it. Construing such things in a away that attributes non-existent nefarious intentionality to what I’ve written will result in the old balls being sliced off every time. Such things are not appropriate behavior and are not tolerated.

    Scote, we probably actually don’t disagree on this issue very much at all, but I am left totally wondering what your position on this is: Should this guy have been allowed to own XYZ (not that we assume he was following the law) is an open issue as far as I can tell . I hope we are all agreed that popping close to 30 rounds out his front door was not OK under any circumstances.

    As to the third grader who killed himself with the Uzi while following in his father’s footsteps, similar issues can be raised.

  38. #38 Matt Springer
    November 2, 2008

    I’m not trying to discredit anyone, I’m saying that given the words in the updated article the gun probably was semi-auto only. Doubly so given that there has not been a foreign-manufactured AK-47 (automatic or otherwise) legally imported into the US since 1968. The domestic manufacture of automatic weapons for the civilian market has been banned since 1986. Your suggestion of banning automatic weapons is effectively already in place to everyone but those who are willing to go through the the fairly huge background checks, red tape, and $12,000+ worth of expense to have a pre-ban weapon transferred to them.

    It really doesn’t make any difference to the gun control debate either way except to say that even if a bill had been passed which magically vaporized all more-than-one-shot-per-trigger-pull guns on October 30, this terrible crime would probably still have happened.

  39. #39 Scote
    November 2, 2008

    Greg, I think you are right that we probably don’t differ that much on this issue. But while I’ve tried to remain pretty factual I feel you’ve been rather over the top and divisive. Take this example you just posted.

    “All you and Scote are doing is trying to confuse the readers and discredit me because you think you disagree with me. A typical republican tactic.”

    Am I trying to discredit you? Not generally, no. I am trying to get you to use clear, and unambiguous language. And for that I’ve been baselessly pilloried. You hint at our possible agreement at the same time you suggest I’m using “typical Republican tactics,” even as you can’t point to any extreme or “typical Republican” views espoused by me, because I’m not an extremist, or a Republican. I’m Democrat in favor of reasonable gun laws. But to oppose you on a narrow factual basis generates a considerable amount of animosity directed back at me.

    “I hope we are all agreed that popping close to 30 rounds out his front door was not OK under any circumstances.”

    Of course not. I’ve been very clear on that point, and on the fact that a rifle chambered semi-automatic weapon is not an appropriate home defense weapon. I have not defended the alleged assailant ever or the circumstances–ever.

    “treating all ‘facts’ about firearms from the perspective of a American Gun Nut”

    Again, I think you are fulfilling your preconceptions–my posts do not represent the perspective of an “American Gun Nut” from any objective analysis based on the record in this thread. Once again, you are straying from reasonable inference of facts into near hysteria land, which continues to surprise me.

    Me: For responsible gun laws, including the possibility of competence testing

    Gun Nuts: Not.

    Me: For background checks and record keeping for efficient tracing weapons used in crimes.

    Gun Nuts: Not.

    Etc., etc., ad nauseum.

    You seem very determined to stuff me into the square hole you have conveniently cast me into based on your seemingly unswayable preconceptions, not based on the actual text and arguments of my posts.

    “mixing up gun and rifle.”

    I don’t believe I’ve done that, and if by chance I have the difference is immaterial to the argument at hand, unlike the difference between a fully automatic weapon (already illegal) and a semiautomatic weapon (legal), where the difference is germane to the issue of this incident and to gun control laws. Calling a fully automatic AK, for example, a machine gun is, in fact, accurate in terms of the legal definition, regardless of whether the weapon is a sub-machine gun or an actual select fire assault rifle. And, of course, the definition of “assault rifle” is also problematic since there are historical, military, popular and state and federal definitions of the term. In the case of this incident, the “assault rife” issue is not so germane as the fact the assailant was using a high capacity clip in a rifle chambered semi-automatic weapon–the penetration and quantity of the bullets was the issue, not whether the weapon was a so-called “assault rifle.” I say that because you need to aim your self at the actual problems in order to try and solve them, so identifying and defining the problem accurately is the first and most critical step in proposing solutions. I would hope that we can all agree on that.

  40. #40 greg laden
    November 2, 2008

    Matt: Get real. These guns are not banned, overall, sufficiently, or in any real way. Second, again, the argument that enforcement is imperfect therefore don’t enforce at all is silly. Where would tax law be!?!? Ha!

    Scote: I’m glad you do not feel you are a gun nut. I was thinking originally that you were not.

    Matt, I’m not so sure about. But he’s young and maybe needs to experience a bit more life.

  41. #41 David Irving (no relation)
    November 2, 2008

    Fortunately, self-loading rifles are no longer obtainable in Australia (except that farmers can get rim-fire self-loading rifles).

    However, when I joined the Australian Army, the personal weapon for most soldiers was the FN SLR, a 7.62 mm semi-atoumatic rifle. Although it didn’t have a setting for fully automatic fire, it could be made fully automatic by disabling the safety sear with a match stick (or so I’m told). What are the chances that a civilian-model AK-47 could be “converted” as easily?

  42. #42 katastrofa
    November 2, 2008

    I think this whole discussion is stupid. We have a guy who shot at kids. He did it with a rifle, but he could have done it with an automatic pistol as well. The problem America has is that it is so easy for such guys to obtain guns. I don’t think that obsessing over the details whether this was this or that kind of gun is going to help in resolving this problem.

  43. #43 Scote
    November 2, 2008

    “What are the chances that a civilian-model AK-47 could be “converted” as easily?”

    In the US, very little.

    While it is the case that some semi-automatic guns (yes, Greg, I’m calling them guns, since that is how we collectively refer to them, we don’t talk about “rifle control” but “gun control”) could be converted by relatively machining machining conversions to the sear, that is no longer the case. All semiautomatic rifles in the US have to be resistant to easy conversion to automatic fire, including the AK knock offs sold in the US.

  44. #44 Scote
    November 2, 2008

    errata:

    :relatively machining machining conversions: should read :relatively minor machining conversions:

  45. #45 greg laden
    November 2, 2008

    I have no idea why one would spend a dime on an “assault rifle” … military style carbine … that does not have selective fire.

    The better term is “firearm” for the general case.

    Gun control sounds like pest control. I favor “sensible firearm ownership, use, and safety regulation.” … FOUSR…

  46. #46 rj
    November 2, 2008

    Well, Greg, for a “scienceblog” contributor, you have committed what I will forthwith call “scienceblog malpractice”. Your post on this incident contained multiple factual errors and inaccuracies, as Matt has pointed out. You posted this story without bothering to do any fact checking whatsoever. When other posters tried to correct and inform you, you attacked them. You were wrong.
    If this were just a random “Greg’s blog” it wouldn’t matter and could be dismissed like your average pseudoscience blog. But when you post under the guise of “scienceblog”, you have a responsibility to do some basic fact checking. You know, “evidence-based”, and all that that implies.
    Just as an example, you posted:
    “The normal AK 47 can be operated either as full auto or as a single shot”
    WRONG. This is not Afghanistan. In the USA, virtually all legal AK-type rifles are semiautomatics and cannot easily be modified to fully automatic. See below for exceptions.

    “This was not reported as a “knock off” it was reported as an AK 47, virtually every single one of which that I have ever seen or heard of is manufactured as a fully automatic rifle”

    BULLSHIT. You are making this up. Based on your uninformed comments, you have obviously never seen an AK and I can absolutely, positively guarantee that you have never seen a fully automatic one unless you have served in the military. In the USA those are extremely rare, very expensive, and are illegal to possess unless you have the required federal license. Possession of an unlicensed full-auto weapon is a Federal offense punishable by very long prison sentence. And by the way, if the shooter was in fact a convicted felon illegally in possession of a firearm, then gun control laws would not have prevented this tragedy.

    Again, if you are posting under the guise of “science” you have a responsibility to do some fact-checking. You now have no credibility. Please limit your unsupported rants to a non-science site. Sheesh.

    BTW Thanks, Matt, for providing some facts.

  47. #47 Stephanie Z
    November 2, 2008

    rj, why do you assume that Greg must have seen AK-47s only in the U.S.?

  48. #48 Matt Springer
    November 2, 2008

    “Matt: Get real. These guns are not banned, overall, sufficiently, or in any real way.”

    No seriously, do the experiment. Go the the gun store and ask about getting a AK capable of burst fire. They will probably not even have one unless they have a special separate license, and the price would be sufficient to buy you a new car. And on the off chance they have one, they will not sell it to you without you having gone through the required licensing process. They will happily sell you a semi-auto-only for a much smaller price, but it will not shoot more than once per trigger pull, period. And under US federal law it is specifically designed to make modification as difficult as possible.

    Trust me, I’m a gun aficionado. (I don’t have the money to be a nut!) Don’t tell me what’s banned and what’s not unless you can describe a way to actually get an automatic rifle without tens of thousands of dollars and a federal license. There’s a reason only two murders have been committed with legally owned NFA automatic weapons since 1934.

    You could try the black market, but illegal acquisition is also difficult – good figures are hard to come by, but of gun crimes in the US only a tiny, tiny fraction are committed with illegal machine guns.

    To sum up: this was almost certainly not a machine gun crime in the first place, and even if it were a complete ban would not have prevented it – the gun in question was not acquired from the finite pool of legal NFA weapons and thus would have already been banned since 1934.

  49. #49 Scote
    November 2, 2008

    I agree with some of what rj says, but just as I disagree with Greg for making claims based on assumptions I also disagree with rj for making the certain claim that Greg has never seen an AK unless he has served in the military. While rj can certainly speculate, it is wrong to make such a claim as fact.

  50. #50 greg laden
    November 2, 2008

    RJ: You too are playing with your HO train set. Stephanie has guessed right. I have never seen a “US” AK, and the more I hear about them the more I want to laugh at all of you gun nuts. You are so sensitive about some regulation coming along and taking away your train sets. Interesting.

    But, anyway, welcome to my blog, we can always use another gun nut. But please do refrain from telling me how to blog. And if you call me a liar again I’ll come right through the interubes and rip out your internal organs. I know how to do that. Got it?

    (For those watching … this is how you’ve got to talk to these gun nuts or they won’t respect you.)

    Also, just so you know, I’m a blogger, not a journalist. when I pass on a story as I read it it is to get a discussion going (as we have here) not to serve as independent reporting. I a not a journalist and I do not pretend to be.

    Matt: My statement was built on facts. They are not illegal. Although it is interesting to hear how hard they are to get. That’s better than nothing.

    By the way, your assertion about two murders makes me want to ask this: What were the weapons used by those bank robbers that used the “automatic weapons” back some 15 years ago or more? Somewhere? Anyone remember that incident? (later immortalized in a movie). Just curious.

    Not only have I handled the equivalent of an AK 47 (Belgian made), but I have had the suckers pointed at me with very serious intent. I’ve had them fired over my head. I once tried unsuccessfully to wrestle one from someone who seemed like he wanted to kill me with it. Lucky me. I was not successful, but he was out of ammo! Yea, I’ve played at both ends of these weapons before, carted them around, all of it. They are very scary. They are not toys. And no, they are not appropriate collectors items or sportsman’s toys or (and I’m speaking of all assault weapons here) appropriate for handling by third graders.

    You people … you pansy ass gun nuts who have never had anyone try to kill you with an automatic weapon … need to grow up.

  51. #51 Jim Lippard
    November 2, 2008

    It has been illegal for a civilian to purchase a newly-manufactured machine gun in the United States since 1986. The number of legal machine guns in the U.S. owned by civilians can’t go up, only down.

    There are only two cases of homicide in the U.S. with legal machine guns since 1934, when the Treasury Dept. first restricted machine gun ownership. One of which was a Dayton, Ohio police officer killing a police informant in 1988.

    The gun in this incident was almost certainly either a semi-auto or illegally modified.

  52. #52 greg laden
    November 2, 2008

    … and we are once again messing around with the terms? By most widely used definitions, an AK 47 is not a “machine gun” …. maybe a sub machine gun but that isn’t really correct either. It is an automatic firing carbine assault rifle. There is a certain amount of overlap in theory, but in practice, not really.

    If I’m a marine and you’re a marine supply E5, and I say “Hand me the Machine Gun, Quick” you are not going to hand me an assault rifle. Or visa versa.

  53. #53 Matt Springer
    November 2, 2008

    When I say machine gun, I mean under the legal definition – capable of more than one shot per trigger pull, regardless of whether a semi-automatic mode can be selected. If you go to your local gun store and look at their rack of AKs, none of them will have any mode other than semi-automatic. None of them can fire in any automatic mode, period. The option to select fire is not included in those weapons, all of which are required to be constructed in the US under US law. It has not been legal to buy an AK-47 manufactured outside of the US since 1968.

    The robbery you’re talking about was the famous North Hollywood shootout, noteworthy for the extreme rarity of such crimes. Their weapons were constructed at the factory as purely semi-automatic weapons which were thus not covered under any automatic weapons ban because they were not automatic weapons. An absolute total ironclad ban on everything automatic would not have stopped the criminals from buying those very weapons, because they were constructed as only one shot per trigger pull weapons. They managed to perform the difficult and highly illegal task of modifying these ordinary guns for automatic fire.

  54. #54 Matt Springer
    November 2, 2008

    Forgot to mention: in the North Hollywood shootout, wherein the two robbers fired thousands of rounds from their illegally home-machined automatic weapons, exactly two people were killed. The two robbers.

  55. #55 Greg Laden
    November 3, 2008

    Matt: If those weapons were not legal to buy, then they would not have bought them. The logic you are using here is … interesting.

    I knew only they had been killed, but I think the local cops may have a different opinion than you as to whether or not this event was meaningful as reason for more restrictive access to firearms.

    And again, I find it unsatisfying and confusing to have this special subset of definitions that gun nu … ah aficionados … use in their toy gun market. And AK 47 is only a “machine gun” because that term got misused and eventually codified in some seemingly irrelevant documents.

  56. #56 Bee
    November 3, 2008

    What the hell difference does it make exactly what kind of fast-firing weapon this murderer used? And what difference does it make that he’s been in trouble with the law before? Your news is full of instances of righteous gun owners shooting perfectly innocent people, often kids or teenagers, for no other reason than sniveling paranoia combined with laws that say you can get away with shooting a ‘possible threat’ that you can’t even see.

    It’s just plain jaw-dropping to see a story like this followed primarily by arguments about what kind of gun was used and what its limitations might be. Missing the point, neighbours. Another kid is dead. Hope you feel safe.

  57. #57 Greg Laden
    November 3, 2008

    Bee: Touche.

  58. #58 Jim Lippard
    November 3, 2008

    Greg:

    The North Hollywood shootout case is one where the police successfully killed the criminals because they went to a nearby gun shop and obtained legal semi-automatic weapons and ammo, which they used to kill the criminals. Their service revolvers and shotguns were ineffective against the criminals because they were wearing body armor. This led to issuing AR-15s to police officers around the country.

    http://www.cnn.com/US/9702/28/shootout.update/

    There was a brief attempt to prosecute the law enforcement officers and the gun dealer, because they hadn’t completed the appropriate paperwork for the weapons before taking them and using them.

  59. #59 Greg Laden
    November 3, 2008

    Jim: Yes, I remember that. This is why I brought this up, because it was an moment of transition.

  60. #60 Jim Lippard
    November 3, 2008

    Bee: It’s not irrelevant to point out that taking away legal automatic weapons will have zero positive consequences, since legal automatic weapons owners aren’t killing people or committing crimes. Likewise, it’s not irrelevant to point out that there were multiple laws violated in this case, which demonstrates that having the right laws in place isn’t the problem. You don’t solve enforcement problems by passing more laws (unless they are *better* laws). I think the responses that are appearing here from advocates of legal guns are expected in light of Greg’s statement that “All automatic assault rifles should be banned for ownership by private citizens in the United States. That is obvious and has always been obvious, and only the nuttiest of the gun nuts could possibly think otherwise.”

    I disagree that it’s obvious, and calling it obvious doesn’t constitute an argument or empirical support for the claim.

  61. #61 greg laden
    November 3, 2008

    Except that it is.

    What is more important here, as I think Stephanie has pointed out, is the nature of the ‘gun-nut’ (and I use that term affectionately) reaction. The gun-nuts have their own little list of terms that are ‘correct’ even though some of them can be shown to be contradictory or incorrect in the broader sense, and these pedantic issues are used to diffuse the essential point: That we have too many firearms often of too dangerous variety in too many hands with not enough regulation.

    The terminological issues surrounding the term “automatic” is probably the best example of this. It is like the word ‘gene’ … everybody knows what an “automatic weapon” is but what everyone means each time it is used is different. The legal definitions that get stuffed into a law, the way the press generally uses the word, and the meaning of the word in real life settings (military/security) are utterly different. The phrase “full auto” has emerged, I think,as a result of confusion among gun-nuts playing with their toys, or perhaps four syllables was some kind of maximum cognitive limit (aut o mat ic load ing, aut o mat ic fire ing … yea, that could be it).

    I find it insulting to me, to the dead child’s family, to all humanity to take an outcry of outrage about misuse of firearms and felonious murder and force the discussion into one of pedantic yammering about gun terms mainly being used by dickless suburban yuppies who very much wish they were someone they are not. And I mean that with total, sincere affection, of course.

  62. #62 Scote
    November 3, 2008

    “I find it insulting to me, to the dead child’s family, to all humanity to take an outcry of outrage about misuse of firearms and felonious murder and force the discussion into one of pedantic yammering about gun terms mainly being used by dickless suburban yuppies who very much wish they were someone they are not.”

    My, my, that is, perhaps, the tallest high horse I’ve seen in a long while, practically a high horse on stilts.

    What your self-satisfied but impotent indignation seems to be is a call for irrationality and for the supremacy of emotional outrage over effective thought and reason.

    When you are talking about a problem as wide and serious as gun violence it behooves one to be careful and accurate when analyzing the problem and working on solution–and details like definitions matter, they matter to how the solutions will be implemented and to whether or not the solutions will be effective. You are doing a great deal of tap dancing to cover up that fact but you are acting with the kind of lack of reasoned thought that the gun nuts you like to bash so much, who react reflexively. You, IMO, are doing the same thing in the opposite direction, bashing anyone who advocates care and precision when crafting solutions to the problem. You, yourself, have tacitly acknowledged how critical getting the details right is in your criticism of the 1994 “assault weapons” ban, yet your attitude calls for more of the same ill thought out and emotional approach.

  63. #63 Scote
    November 3, 2008

    I should add that this seems like an odd venue for somebody to advocate an anti-intellectual approach to gun control.

  64. #64 Stephanie Z
    November 3, 2008

    I should add that this seems like an odd venue for somebody to advocate an anti-intellectual approach to gun control.

    So you can demonstrate once again that you’re concern trolling? Seriously, dude.

    Scote, you’re doing exactly what I was talking about. You’re working very hard to limit participation in this discussion to people who agree with you by suggesting that anyone whose technical understanding of guns doesn’t exactly match yours (including the limitations of your experience) shouldn’t be allowed to participate even in a discussion of principles. The principle in this case is that some guns are by design more dangerous than others and that we have a vested interest in, not just having laws that reflect this reality, but in making a strong statement that fetishizing these things is stupid.

    When you are talking about a problem as wide and serious as gun violence it behooves one to be careful and accurate when analyzing the problem and working on solution–and details like definitions matter, they matter to how the solutions will be implemented and to whether or not the solutions will be effective.

    It also behooves one to realize that we all have a voice in this, the problem effects all of us, and the problem is ill-defined and will stay that way until we actually start talking about it. If you actually want to engage in discussing the problem, your knowledge of guns may be of use. Crowing about that knowledge to make yourself a gatekeeper on the entire conversation doesn’t fly.

    And try to remember that you never whined about science content on Greg’s blog when you were playing caption games.

  65. #65 Scote
    November 3, 2008

    What I see, Staphanie, is you giving Gregg a wide berth for outrageous emotional outbursts that serve nothing but Greg’s sense of emotionally indignant theatrics. Take this statement:

    “I find it insulting to me, to the dead child’s family, to all humanity to take an outcry of outrage about misuse of firearms and felonious murder and force the discussion into one of pedantic yammering about gun terms mainly being used by dickless suburban yuppies who very much wish they were someone they are not.”

    It is a cry for people to **stop thinking** because they should be “thinking of the children.” A fine demagogic appeal to emotion and an ironic one for a science blog (and no, Greg, I’m not “telling you how to blog,” though that is one of your fav. attacks to use on critics), I’m criticizing you for being outrageously anti-intellectual on this issue. Being emotional can certainly be motivating, but it requires a **rational** follow up to actually be targeted and effective, and both you, Stephanie, and Greg have been lashing out at anyone who suggests that reason and precision should be used to formulate solutions, tossing out ad hominems and invectives at every turn.

    So, Stephanie, why not tell us specifically what you think would be a good series of proposals, ones that have a realistic chance of being passed and not overturned by SCOTUS?

    I’ll start. I think that the purchase records should be computerized–the last report I saw was that the federal records are deliberately kept inefficiently to make it difficult to trace owners. Then, a cracks downs on gun stores who supply an inordinate number of guns that wind up being used for crimes should be implemented.

    Your turn.

  66. #66 Stephanie Z
    November 3, 2008

    No problem. I think a background check should be required for any transfer of gun ownership, with both parties responsible if the check isn’t done. It should be free for the first three or so transfers in a year to avoid putting a burden on family transfers. There should also be reasonable timing built in for estates and waivers available from licensed dealers for transfer to them.

    Next?

  67. #67 Scote
    November 3, 2008

    Basic written competence testing for all gun purchases. Testing may not be scored by an interested party (ie gun stores). A certificate should be good for a limited number of years.

    California already has a requirement for a test to purchase handguns, though, IIRC, it is scored by the gun dealer.

  68. #68 Greg Laden
    November 3, 2008

    Test fires to keep a ballistic record.

    Fingerprint ammo (isotopic ally/chemically).

  69. #69 Scote
    November 3, 2008

    Yes to ballistic record. Tentative no to ammo “fingerprinting.” Last I heard the utility of fingerprinting ammo was limited.

    Also, proper blind studies on the accuracy of ballistic matches should be required. The FBI and other agencies are surprisingly resistant to proper studies on forensic matches and some forensic techniques, like bite matching, and their associated alleged statistics border on pseudo science.

    So, those were some easy ones. What about things that might have affected the situation in the OP?

    Let’s look at some of the general “particulars.”

    1)A person with no respect for law or human life

    2)A gun possessed by someone with no respect for law or human life–which makes them more dangerous and able to kill more efficiently or even accidentally

    3)A gun possibly illegally possessed by a felon.

    4)A powerful gun that cause extensive collateral damage:

    A) High capacity magazine
    B) High penetration rifle chambered rounds
    C) Semi-automatic fire

    5)All of the above used in a domestic environment.

    So, to prevent the deaths in this incident you need to address these issues.

    1)A person with no respect for law or human life
    –can’t really fix that easily, though this is an extensive societal and cultural problem. The US has more murders per capita than just about anywhere, and that can’t be attributed just to availability of guns. We also lock up more people per capita than anyone, so just jailing people isn’t the answer, either. The problem is outside the scope of this thread.

    2)A gun possessed by someone with no respect for law or human life–which makes them more dangerous and able to kill more efficiently or even accidentally
    –so, how do you keep guns of these people’s hands? Background check are a start, but IIRC most guns used in crimes are obtained illegally, often stolen. So, crackdowns on shady gun-dealers and requirements for gun safes may help–but the later could backfire the way high security car locks did, encouraging more carjackings as a way around the physical security. Unintended consequences are a bitch, just one more reason that careful thought is required. Overall, though, more safes would probably help some, but I’m speculating at the moment.

    4)A powerful gun that cause extensive collateral damage:
    A) High capacity magazine
    –We’ve had magazine bans, where high capacity mags were grandfathered in and new mags were limited to 10 rounds for pistols and such. I don’t know what effect this had on crime or death rates. It is worth checking the stats.
    B) High penetration rifle chambered rounds
    –This is a critical part of the equation, but how do you address this without affecting hunters–an no, hunters don’t need AK knock offs, but I’m talking about the amo. In Australia, IIRC, the ban “military” calibers, but, again, that isn’t a solution.
    C) Semi-automatic fire
    –Unless we make all guns bolt action, I’m not sure how this can be solved. The issue isn’t semi-automatic, either, it is that multiplied by magazine capacity times ease of magazine changes.

    5)All of the above used in a domestic environment.
    –again, I’m not sure how to solve this. It is already illegal to discharge a firearm in city limits (well, in cities I’ve lived in).

    So, the problem is a confluence of issues, all of which combined to create the severity of the incident in the OP and that confluence is what the convoluted Assault Weapons ban tried to address, but it is a complex issue with many competing interests and laws, so the solutions aren’t as simple as one might wish, nor do I claim to have all the answers.

  70. #70 Elizabeth
    November 3, 2008

    Watching patiently from the sidelines waiting for the dust to settle: Whatever made me think that this initial pretend effort to speak clearly and honestly about the issues was going to turn into a stinking pile of bullshit?

  71. #71 Scote
    November 3, 2008

    “Watching patiently from the sidelines waiting for the dust to settle: Whatever made me think that this initial pretend effort to speak clearly and honestly about the issues was going to turn into a stinking pile of bullshit?”

    I’m trying to be sincere, specific and useful, and I’m showing my work, explaining my thinking. If you disagree with some of the assumptions and/or conclusions I’ve made why not be more specific and explain your disagreement and reasoning, lest your own post be the kind that you claim mine is?

  72. #72 Chrissie
    November 3, 2008

    Gun control would be giving the government more control over “We the people…” The issue shouldn’t be about whether there should be gun control or not. The issue is that attaining a gun should be a bit harder. Most crimes that are committed are ACTUALLY committed by people who own a handgun illegally. The majority of people who have obtained a handgun the legal way (filling out the paperwork, waiting the specific time frame, and then so on and so on) are USUALLY not the people who committ the crimes with said handguns. This guy, Quentin Patrick, already had a criminal record so why and how did he come to own an AK-47 (who cares if its semi- or auto-?)?

  73. #73 Rich
    May 5, 2009

    Maybe every vehicle should be governed to 65 MPH since most speed limits don’t exceed that. We should also not allow any person to drive that has had a moving violation until they can prove they will be a better person and more reasonable. More people are killed each year from car accidents then from guns. Maybe we SHOULD lock are guns up at the gun club so when someone breaks in your house, you can sit there and watch while someone RAPES your wife and kills your KIDS in front of you. I’m sure you will feel much safer knowing no one was shot. Guns, Cars and everything else requires a reasonable person to use them correctly. I have 11 years in Law Enforcement and in 95% of the gun crimes I have had to deal with 95% of those people who had a gun weren’t suppose to have a gun in the first place mush less even be out of jail for crimes that have done in the past. You make that next person that plans on Robbing, Raping, or victimizing someone have the fear running in their mind that the person i plan on harming could be armed and could harm. I care for everyone no matter who you are but we have the right and responsibility to defend ourselves and others. If i see someone trying to hurt someone else and I have any life in me at all Badge or no Badge i will give 100% of everything I have to help and if we stand together we can put the fear on the criminals rather then living in fear ourselves. GOD bless everyone. Rich

  74. #74 Stephanie Z
    May 5, 2009

    Skipping the blessing, I do love how Rich invokes rape and child murder to help us live without fear.

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