1) Clay Duke tried to kill several school board members, but missed from a distance of between 6 and 8 feet with his Smith & Wesson pistol. Indeed, over 25 rounds were fired in the small public space, all aimed from a short distance, and only one fatal shot occurred. This puts an end to the idea that if everyone in every public meeting had a pistol that the bad guys would be easily dispatched.

2) Duke had previously been in trouble for a gun related stalking event in which he actually discharged a firearm. Only in a society with very little serious concern over gun ownership could a clearly mentally unstable man who had previously fired a gun in the commission of a crime still be allowed to have a pistol.

3) Once again, a major story in which firearms were used and the press has not even posed the question as to where the firearm came from, if it was legally owned, etc. I know Florida is a fairly lawless state when it comes to guns, but it is still an important issue. What nefarious force causes reporters to be unable to answer this question? Does the gun lobby really control that much advertising in standard news outlets?

4) Duke was, clearly a teabagger, given what we know of his politics. So this particular incident can be chalked up as yet another violent right winger. At least he did the right thing in the end, I suppose.

We need stricter gun laws.

Comments

  1. #1 gwen
    December 16, 2010

    We need sensible laws. It has never made sense to me that driving and voting are considered privileges, but a gun is considered a right.

  2. #2 Azkyroth
    December 16, 2010

    Link? Some of us are in the middle of finals week. :/

  3. #3 dmabu
    December 16, 2010

    take your meds, you little fckers… now we are going to bury you…

    And the lesson from all of this? DOUBLE! What do you want, you little ****ers?
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostradamus THE HIGH PRICE OF REVOLUTION

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    Azkyroth: Most of what I know and have seen is from the TV coverage, but I can give you this: http://tinyurl.com/23l4rao The video is rather chilling. It’s what I woke up to this AM when I went to check the weather.

  5. #5 VIDEO ADDED
    December 16, 2010

    I’ve added the video. It stops before he raises the gun to his own head and pulls the trigger.

  6. #6 Rich Wilson
    December 16, 2010

    Apologies if I’ve shared this before…
    I had only just moved to Atlanta when there was a small news story about some guy who showed up at a car repo place and started raising a fuss about wanting to get some stuff out of his car. Or something. He ended up pulling out a gun, when another customer who happened to be there pulled HIS gun out and shot the first one. Dead.
    End of story.
    No mention of any investigation or questions. Or anything.

    I mean, everyone said dead guy drew first, so what else is there to know?

    Then there was the story about the car and the truck who both tried to merge into the same middle lane. Truck won. Well, until a mile down the road when the driver of the car put a bullet into the cab of the truck injuring the truck driver’s toddler son.

  7. #7 Left Coast Conservative
    December 16, 2010

    Your comments about the marksmanship of the shooter proving ANYTHING about the ability of other people being able to stop this attack with lethal force is simply ignorant.

    You completely disregard any consideration about the level of training that the shooter may or may not have had. If he was really trying to shoot the people seated at the desk, then his level of training was absolutely minimal, bordering on non-existent. He had target shooting conditions, and he missed. He was either a bad shot, or he deliberately missed.

    Either way, he is not excused, because potential victims cannot know what his intent might be, so if armed, they would be completely justified to shoot back.

    I can assure with complete confidence that the shooters lack of competence DOES NOT in any way invalidate the possibility of any one of the victims from being able to shoot the assailant and stop the attack. Your assertion is actually nonsense because all of the victims were unarmed, and their level of training is unknown.

    Any implication from this incident that armed self defense is worthless is in fact worthless.

  8. #8 Jamie
    December 16, 2010

    I am skeptical of your hypothesis that he tried to kill these people but failed due to some inherent difficulty using small arms. I suspect that had he really wanted to kill them they would all be dead.

    Also, I have read some Republicans speculating about how he was obviously a liberal. I haven’t seen any evidence either way. Why do you think he was obviously a Teabagger?

  9. #9 Nemo
    December 16, 2010

    I haven’t read much about this incident either, but I saw two of the board members interviewed on Countdown tonight. Near the end, they said they wanted to correct Keith on one point — they said that the guy who fired back wasn’t a security guard, but “a retired police officer”. Assuming he was there as a civilian, and was carrying… then, I thought, this might be just the kind of story the gun nuts would latch onto as an example where armed citizens stopped a criminal (even though, ultimately, it was reportedly the criminal who shot himself).

  10. #10 Charles Sullivan
    December 16, 2010

  11. #11 Nemo
    December 16, 2010

    P.S. I see now that the AP describes Mike Jones as “district security chief”. So yes, in fact, a security guard. I think the board members were trying to say that he wasn’t just a security guard (as though that were an insult or something).

  12. #12 gwen
    December 16, 2010

    @Left Coast Conservative. You completely over look the fact that the reason they survived was BECAUSE he Duke was a poor shot. If you give everyone gun training, he would have been MUCH MORE lethal, and it would have ended up with many MORE deaths. Duke was mentally unstable. The mentally unstable should not have access to lethal weapons.

  13. #13 Kris Rhodes
    December 16, 2010

    1. You are so confused about gunnery and stress that you wildly extrapolate that one asshole having bad aim means everyone has bad aim. WTF: the same incompetent assumption would prove that there is no multicellular life on the Earth today, since we have no evidence of multicellular life from the first two billion years.

    Not all people with a gun act the same, or have the same competency.

    Watch _The_Unforgiven_, (1992).

    LITTLE BILL
    Faster? Fast was his mistake. If
    he hadn’t of been in such a
    goddamn hurry he would not have
    shot off his toe with his first
    shot and he would have killed old
    Bob.
    (lecturing)
    See, son, bein’ a good shot an’
    bein’ quick with a pistol… that
    don’t do no harm… but it ain’t
    much next to bein’ cool.

    Greg, I love you man, but you’re wrong on point 1. If there was one cool headed Luke in that audience with a gun, that asshole wouldn’t have gone on so long. The fact that security kicked his ass proves my point and not yours.

    I’m not saying that laws should be relaxed; but you’re just damned wrong with your bullshit out-of-the world claims. Fucking-a, look at the video 40 seconds in: if that guy in the foreground had a gun and stayed, he could have ended the baddie at any time. Turns out security did it a little later.

    2.

    Sure. Was he proved to be mentally unstable? Or was it just suggested? Should Julian Assange be ruled mentally unstable? What about Sgt Manning? The legal declaration of (HAS NO LEGAL POWERS) isn’t a power I want my gov’t to have over citizens. I’ll take the assholes with guns if it means we have people like Assange and Manning able to act morally. There’s a balance here; I’ll take the assholes with guns over government crackdown.

    3. You seem pretty psycho in this comment. Does it matter where it came from? How does the story change if it was a legal gun or not? Total psycho asshole is the story. Despicable peace of shit is the story. Legality of the gun is a side note. How much would you have to reign in gun laws to make sure no asshole has a gun? I’ll take the assholes, pls.

    4. Duke didn’t do the right thing. Calling someone a teabagger doesn’t fucking make any difference. Assholes exist in any community. Crazy people exist in any community.

    Most of your 25 gun shots were apparently security gunning down Mr. Duke. I really expect well thought out things from you, Dr. Laden; this is not one of them. This is just a hit job that would be well served to appear on bizzaro Fox News.

  14. #14 Phillip IV
    December 16, 2010

    Kris Rhodes @ #12:

    If there was one cool headed Luke in that audience with a gun, that asshole wouldn’t have gone on so long.

    How much would you have to reign in gun laws to make sure no asshole has a gun? I’ll take the assholes, pls.

    OK, I think I get the gist of the argument – this is one of many concrete examples of an actual asshole with a gun, but we shouldn’t stop assholes like him from having guns, because if there had been a hypothetical responsible gun owner there, the carnage might have turned out better. Or worse, depending. And stricter gun laws might have caused that hypothetical responsible gun owner to be even less present than totally not there, as he turned out to be in practice (these guys seem to be a pretty rare breed, don’t they?). Or something.

  15. #15 Mark P
    December 16, 2010

    Based on reading some of Duke’s notes, I think it’s going to be hard to pigeonhole him on the right or left. I think you can say he was unbalanced. I agree with one of the posts above that he was either not a very good shot (at all) or he was not trying to kill anyone. It would be very hard for a reasonably experienced shooter to miss all of his targets from the distance at which he shot. That indicates to me that he was a nut, but not necessarily a gun nut.

    Did he intend to kill someone? I think that it was a very close thing. Assuming he did not really intend to kill, but rather to be killed, he could very easily have been pushed over the edge and could have killed someone. I think I could tell that in his state of mind, he was very close to that edge.

    Gwen: driving is a privilege. Applying for a license and being given equal access to a license is a right that everyone has. Voting is a right, not a privilege. Gun ownership is considered a right because it is specifically called out as such in the Constitution (like it or not).

  16. #16 POC
    December 16, 2010

    “This puts an end to the idea that if everyone in every public meeting had a pistol that the bad guys would be easily dispatched.”
    Really? If the lady with the purse would’ve had a gun instead of a purse, she could’ve put one in his head then and stopped the whole thing.
    What this DOES show, yet again, is “gun free zones” aren’t “bad-guy free zones”. People who are going to break the law by SHOOTING SOMEONE, aren’t too worried about breaking the law having a gun where they aren’t supposed to.

    “…but a gun is considered a right.” It’s called the Second Amendment.

  17. #17 Jennifer
    December 16, 2010

    “OK, I think I get the gist of the argument – this is one of many concrete examples of an actual asshole with a gun, but we shouldn’t stop assholes like him from having guns, because if there had been a hypothetical responsible gun owner there, the carnage might have turned out better. Or worse, depending. And stricter gun laws might have caused that hypothetical responsible gun owner to be even less present than totally not there, as he turned out to be in practice (these guys seem to be a pretty rare breed, don’t they?). Or something.”
    Actually, the responsible gun owners were following the law and not carrying at the school board meeting. Nothing hypothetical about it. This story is a perfect example of the failure of gun control to stop those who wish to commit crimes. The shooters ineligibility to legally purchase a firearm obviously did not stop him from obtaining one. The gun free zone clearly did not stop him from carrying it into the school board meeting. The limitations of the law certainly didn’t stop him from attempting the illegal act of murder. No, the laws only constrained those already intent on obeying the law. But sure, the solution to problems like this is to make it even more illegaler. Because that has clearly worked so well in the past.

  18. #18 Bruce V
    December 16, 2010

    From the article:

    “This puts an end to the idea that if everyone in every public meeting had a pistol that the bad guys would be easily dispatched.” No actually it proves nothing except perhaps that Clay Duke is a lousy shot.

    “Duke had previously been in trouble for a gun related stalking…” So why wasn’t he in jail?

    “I know Florida is a fairly lawless state when it comes to guns,…” No, once again the “author” is incorrect Florida must obey to same Federal gun control nonsense that every other state must abide by such as the NFA act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, The Brady Bill, The Huges Amendment to the FOPA etc.

    “Duke was, clearly a teabagger, given what we know of his politics. So this particular incident can be chalked up as yet another violent right winger.” GEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ This tripe doesn’t even deserve a comment.

    “At least he did the right thing in the end, I suppose.” Well I don’t suppose, I’m glad. At least he won’t be around for weak minded liberal progressives to ponder his motives; he was a nut; period.

  19. #19 Jeff Sherry
    December 16, 2010

    Over the past 10 years I’ve moved into the gun control camp. There are too many unhinged people using guns to settle real or imagined slights. These people are cowards that inflate their perception of their own power with a gun.

    Off topic: Jenifer, why does any boob need an AK47 or SKS as part of their armory?

  20. #20 Left Coast Conservative
    December 16, 2010

    Here is the bottom line, as I see it:

    The video of this incident clearly shows two things, first that you cannot reason with someone who has decided to die that day, and second, that it takes a Good guy with a gun to stop a Bad Guy with a gun.

    Armed self defense clearly worked.

    Much of the main-stream media is hyping the fact the defense shooter was a “school security guard”, in other words, one of the magic “authorized persons” who have the special training required to use a gun in self defense.

    As a person who has had some self defense pistol training, I can tell you that it is not difficult to reach a level of mastery that would have allowed any member of that school board to effectively resist if not end that attack, especially the woman who tried to hit Duke with her purse. She could have shot him several times with relative safety.

    There are many citizens who are better trained than police officers in the use of firearms in self defense.

  21. #21 Owen
    December 16, 2010

    From the video it would be hard to discern just what the shooter’s motivation was. It sounds a bit like the guy just was at the end of his rope and wanted to strike out against those he saw as the cause of his problems and make a point with his own death. The right and the left should not try to politicise this kind of tragedy.

  22. #22 Azkyroth
    December 16, 2010

    Any implication from this incident that armed self defense is worthless is in fact worthless.

    It certainly supports the proposition that proliferation of arms, in and of itself, for purposes of self-defense would be worthless as far as preventing violence like this – odds are he wouldn’t have been hit if someone was shooting back, but that a bystander or two would have been.

    Most of the pro-armed-self-defense arguments I hear are of the “give people guns and let them carry them” variety where it’s just taken on faith that they’ll get proper training – when there are multiple reasons they may not.

  23. #23 Fence Sitter
    December 16, 2010

    I’m on the fence, really. I think LCC is correct that if more people were trained in responsible gun ownership and self-defense, and more of these people carried regularly, it might well provide a deterrent to potential mass killers like Duke. On the other hand, he wasn’t dissuaded by any of the other measures in place to deter him, and he was apparently ready and willing to die anyway, so maybe nothing would have stopped him from doing what he did. On the other hand, increasing the number of weapons in circulation increases the risk of misuse–a legal owner may snap, or a legal gun may be stolen or sold illegally. So is the hypothetical benefit of a more armed society greater than the consequences of increased proliferation? Does your answer change based on the fact that mass shooting incidents like this are comparatively rare, compared to more prosaic incidents of gun misuse?

  24. #24 itzac
    December 16, 2010

    A friend of mine posted this the other day and of course talked about the hero who shot Duke. When someone pointed out the inverse relationship between violent crime and hand gun prevalence in comparing Canada and the US, he very clearly discussed the social and economic differences that make the US a more violent place. Then he argued that more guns were the solution. He’s studying law.

  25. #25 Paco
    December 16, 2010

    Ahhh here come the gun nuts!

    Instead of arguing for your wild west fantasies, how about you grow up and pitch in to solve the RELA underlying social conditions that lead to violence in America. Things like:

    wealth disparity
    healthcare availability
    decent educational opportunities
    job opportunities

    And maybe we should try something that works–like model ourselves after other industrialized countries that have proven track records rather than subscribing to some delusion that we can take a different path and end up at the same destination. How’s that been working out?

  26. #26 Jennifer
    December 16, 2010

    @Jeff Sherry
    “Off topic: Jenifer, why does any boob need an AK47 or SKS as part of their armory?”
    Hot brass and boobs are a rather uncomfortable combination. Honestly, I don’t know what my boobs would do with either of these, but that’s not really what you’re asking.
    I personally don’t own either, but I know several people that do. They are enjoyable rifles to shoot and are generally used in target practice, competition, and hunting. They shoot the same calibers as many less demonized hunting rifles. Their designs make them reliable and easy to maintain. And in many ways, safer. The vast majority of rifles that look like the SKS or AK47 that you see in civilian hands are semi-automatic versions of the military rifles, not the full autos seen in movies. I do have a semi-automatic AR15 that I use for target practice and recreational shooting.
    A question for you: Why does anyone need an iPhone? Why should they be able to publish whatever thought crosses their mind at any moment from anywhere as rapidly as they can hit the send button?
    In other words, why is the right protected by the 2nd amendment the only one where the tools should be limited?

  27. #27 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    Left Coast Conservative:
    You completely disregard any consideration about the level of training that the shooter may or may not have had.

    Of course the level of ability or training matters, an that is exactly my point! When the average gun-nut moron comes around screaming that if only everybody had a gun there would be no shooting, they are of average ability. Some can shoot, some are like Mr Clay. This is not a difficult concept.

    I can assure with complete confidence that the shooters lack of competence DOES NOT in any way invalidate the possibility of any one of the victims from being able to shoot the assailant and stop the attack.

    Oh, that makes me feel much better. I just watched a guy on a video empty his extra large clip a few feet from a concentration of people and the only hit he could manage is when he put the barrel of the gun to his own head and pulled the trigger.

    Your assertion is actually nonsense because all of the victims were unarmed, and their level of training is unknown.

    I’m talking about the hooting ability of the assailant, the gun nut with the gun, not the victims, who did not have guns. Jeesh.

    Any implication from this incident that armed self defense is worthless is in fact worthless.

    No it isn’t. On the other hand, any implication that the average gun nut who comes by screaming about how everybody’s gotta carry a gun or we iz all dooomeded is …. well, just look at your idiotic comment!

  28. #28 Fence Sitter
    December 16, 2010

    Jennifer, I can’t speak to the wisdom of the current ‘assault weapons’ ban, but frankly I think it’s pretty rational to limit the amount of destructive power we allow one individual to carry. Are you really arguing otherwise, or am I misconstruing your comment @25?

  29. #29 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    Nemo: “a retired police officer”. Assuming he was there as a civilian, and was carrying… then, I thought, this might be just the kind of story the gun nuts would latch onto as an example where armed citizens stopped a criminal (even though, ultimately, it was reportedly the criminal who shot himself).

    No, that is not correct though I can see how that might be an interpretation. The armed individual who shot (but did not kill) the perp was most definitely a security guard. That security guard was a retired detective .

  30. #30 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    Jamie: I am skeptical of your hypothesis that he tried to kill these people but failed due to some inherent difficulty using small arms. I suspect that had he really wanted to kill them they would all be dead.

    Interesting idea: When you find a data point you don’t like claim that it has a mind of its own and is trying to defy you. By that reasoning this case would be removed from all further consideration.

    How convenient.

    I have read some Republicans speculating about how he was obviously a liberal. I haven’t seen any evidence either way. Why do you think he was obviously a Teabagger?

    Oooh ooooh ooh .. you read some speculation! Brilliant!

    I’m basing my guess (and it is a guess) on the nature of his priors and other facts about him that are all over the news. He was really mad about paying taxes, and acted violently against his now estranged wife. Pretty much fits the bill of the average teabagger.

  31. #31 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    Kris Rhodes: You are so confused about gunnery and stress that you wildly extrapolate that one asshole having bad aim means everyone has bad aim.

    No, not at all. I’m not extrapolating. I’m adding a single data point that you and your gun nut friends are going to do everything you can do to have set aside. I’m pre-empting your coooking of the data.

    Not all people with a gun act the same, or have the same competency.

    Exactly.

    If there was one cool headed Luke in that audience with a gun

    The circumstance in which there is One cool-headed Luke would be extraordinarily rare. Chances are there’d be two or three Dukes, four or five middling shots, and one guy like the security guard.

    And, since they had the armed experienced security guard, they didn’t need the rest of the certain carnage and chaos that would have happened, did they? Case closed, I’d say.

    Point one confirmed.

    2. Sure. Was he proved to be mentally unstable? Or was it just suggested?

    Have you read about his background? Yes, proven. No biggie there. (Hint, this is a blog, not a mental institution. I am not holding myself to your version of some official definition of “nut bag.” The guy was a nutbag, and a system that gives gun rights to nutbags is broken. He had previously used a firearm in an insane attack. Enough said.)

    How does the story change if it was a legal gun or not?

    Finally, an interesting question! This is why I want to know. If it was legal, it means that the way we manage legal weapons should be reviewed. This might have been an unavoidable case, but it might also be an exemplar, along with others, for how to change the law. If, on the other hand, this was an illegal gun in his hands, then was it ever a legal gun? If not, close down S&W, because they are manufacturing illegal guns! More likely, it was once legal. Well, how did that transition happen? What loopholes need to be closed there?

    Unless we know, we can’t even begin to talk about it, can we. Thus the need to know. That’s what Julian Assange would say!

    How does the story change if it was a legal gun or not?

    It matters to me that we have a major political movement consisting of the love of guns, the love of threatening people with guns, along with it’s stupid political motives and positions. Teabagger leaders tell their winged monkeys to show up “armed and dangerous” (and they do: http://tinyurl.com/2facs6w ) or to kill their opponents should the opponents win (which I assume is themeaning of “a second amendment remedy”)

    Most of your 25 gun shots were apparently security gunning down Mr. Duke.

    Maybe not most, but a large number.

    Now, Kris, think about this. Go back and carefeully read my post, your comment, then:

    Most of your 25 gun shots were apparently security gunning down Mr. Duke.

    Again:

    Most of your 25 gun shots were apparently security gunning down Mr. Duke.

    Again:

    Most of your 25 gun shots were apparently security gunning down Mr. Duke.

    Are you getting this yet?

    The guy who can’t shoot fired a bunch of bullets (go watch the video and count them) from point blank range and hit no one. The expert security guy who represents the ideal shot about the same number and made one hit, maybe two.

    Case closed.

    I really expect well thought out things from you, Dr. Laden; this is not one of them.

    Nope. It is one of them, you’re just not thinking this through, and I’m very very disappointed in you. You’ve reacted to what you hear as dogwhistles (though not intended as such) and you’ve imposed your meanings, interpretations, and rhetoric on the situation and have come to the defense of some indefensible position.

    I really do expect better of you, Kirs. Let me know if you want me to delete your comments. They’re kinda embarrassing.

  32. #32 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    Nemo [10]: exactly. Shows the widespread disdain for “rent-a-cops” more than anything else!

  33. #33 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    POCReally? If the lady with the purse would’ve had a gun instead of a purse, she could’ve put one in his head then and stopped the whole thing.

    Yes, POC, you can always say such things post hoc. But Duke had people behind him many times during this event. I assume he did not consider that others would be armed. In a world where they would be, he would not have turned his back, would he?

    My point is not what could have happened (or not happened). My point is that the exchange of fire with 25 bullets fired and only one person killed, by his own hand at zero inches, means something in relation to the argument that if everyone was armed we could fix everything.

    What this DOES show, yet again, is “gun free zones” aren’t “bad-guy free zones”.

    That’s true. And adding more guns to gun free zones does not work.

    By the way, was this a gun-free zone? I was unaware of that. Are you just making shit up here to prove your point or something?

  34. #34 Jennifer
    December 16, 2010

    @Fence Sitter
    Thankfully, the ban on aesthetically displeasing weapons has expired in most states.
    I am arguing what a person should be able to own. The original question was about who needs a particular firearm in their arsenal. I personally know a lot of gun nuts. Every last one of them possesses the rational capacity to decide for themselves what is appropriate to carry for a given situation. I do not live in fear of my fellow citizens. I am well aware of the fact that there are crazy people out there that are not so rational, but they are most definitely in the minority. If every gun owner really was a powder keg just waiting to go off, situations like this would happen far more often. They are news worthy because they are rare. He was a crazy person with a death wish. Had he so desired, he could have created just as much mayhem with that spray paint can and a match. Probably quite a bit more.
    I’m not familiar with Florida’s carry laws, but I assume they are similar to those in my state. In order to be approved for a permit to carry a handgun, I had to pass a background check from the sheriff’s office, another from the state bureau of investigations, and another done by the FBI. I had to take an 8 hour class and pass a test showing that I understood the law and legal ramifications of using a firearm. I also had to prove on a live fire range that I could handle a handgun safely. I am limited to carrying only in non-prohibited areas (schools and government buildings are prohibited) and can only carry a caliber up to .45.
    We’ve already established that Duke couldn’t have passed the background check, so he was carrying illegally. He couldn’t have passed the background check required to purchase the gun, so the possession of it was already illegal. He was in a gun-free zone, and it is illegal to shoot people. Please tell me what power another law would have held beyond those that he was already breaking?

  35. #35 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    Mark P: That indicates to me that he was a nut, but not necessarily a gun nut.

    Maybe, but this is the second time he fired a gun repeatedly to get his way.

    Regarding the intentionality of his aim: I had the same thought, but it’s not relevant. In the long run, some people who shot themselves cleaning their gun actually committed suicide, some suicides were accidents, some singe shots to the middle of the forehead were flukes, some discharges of five or six rounds from close up were not misses but just trying to scare someone.

    When we look at the overall data, we accept that a few cases are improperly classified.

    What we CAN’T do is selectively decide to look hard at some cases to change their classification, and not others. That would be, for instance, what the Republicans tried to do in the last two state-wide election recounts!

  36. #36 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    Jennifer [16]:

    Why do you say this was a gun free zone? I’m not saying it wasn’t, but, well, was it?

    You can repeat the argument that a responsible gun owner would have saved the day, but you’re just responding to what you think I’m saying, not what I’ve actually said.

    This is not necessarily a matter of stricter gun laws, though in Florida that may well be the need, but perhaps enforcement, or technology.

    Certainly, tough, having actual conversations rather than just repeating what you assume is a counter argument to what you assume was an argument is not helpful.

    The shooters ineligibility to legally purchase a firearm obviously did not stop him from obtaining one.

    Citation please. Again, I’m not saying your wrong, but I’ve not seen anything about this. Was he ineligible?

    No, the laws only constrained those already intent on obeying the law.

    That is wrong at two levels. First, the regulatory one. Regulations that require safety devices or technologies or means of assurance of some kind (across all technologies and activities, not just guns) do deter crime. For instance, you can’t walk into the back of a bank unchallenged. It isn’t like everyone can wander into the vault but only criminals would steal the money. Second, the law can work as a deterrent or as a way of disarming someone in advance, though admittedly not in all cases.

    But sure, the solution to problems like this is to make it even more illegaler. Because that has clearly worked so well in the past.

    Increasingly, I hear that argument, but it is a false argument. If you compare US gun laws to other, civilized, countries, we have not done anything close here. We have not tested the hypothesis that “more illegaler” works, All of our gun laws are weak and about the same.

  37. #37 Irene
    December 16, 2010

    Left Coast [19]: “Armed self defense clearly worked.”

    That was not armed self defense. It was a security guard. You are an idiot.

  38. #38 NoAstronomer
    December 16, 2010
  39. #39 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    Bruce: No actually it proves nothing except perhaps that Clay Duke is a lousy shot.

    It is an exemplar for what happens when a below average shot pulls out his gun and starts firing. So we agree. What is an enigma is why you don’t think that is relevant. Preconceived notions? You don’t want anyone to take away your toys? You don’t care about your fellow human?

    Regarding differences in states: There are state laws. I’m surprised you did not know that.

    he was a nut

    Well, I was supposing. You are certain. You know what they say …

  40. #40 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    NoAstronomer: Exactly.

  41. #41 Josh
    December 16, 2010

    Greg:

    This guy is not a Tea Bagger. At all. If you read his suicide rant and other postings it directly talks about the class warfare argument on the wealthy, he links to moveon.org and related.

    In fact, he fits right smack dab in the middle of your political demographic.

    Intellecutal honesty would require you to address that in some manner or form. So, point 4 seems to be a tacked on addition. And wrong.

    I would hazard, due to his incrediblely bad aim, that he isn’t a gun nut either. I am not a gun nut, I don’t even have a firearm. But I do like shooting and can put 5 rounds in a 1′ circle at 100 yards with a decent rifle and make a quarter sized hole with most any pistol at 25ft.

    Neither a gun nut nor a teabagger.

    Your point was….?

    Oh, because nobody in the room had a firearm they were safer? Oh, wait, there was somebody there with a firearm, who shot at him and he then shot himself. So that point is rendered useless. Point 1 is then incorrect.

    So, what other point were you going to make? Point 3? That because nobody had mentioned where he aquired the gun (yet) this is some major big issue? In a short time, with an investigation, where he got the gun will be found out.

    Nefarious Force = short amount of time for an investigation.

    That leaves point 2, which really is a valid point.

    Except where you only reach that due to your incorrect conclusion on point 1: Due to there being somebody else there with a firearm, this resulted a far tamer situation then it could have.

    So, 3 points are either incorrect or falsified by any sort of research into the event, and one point is valid only based on the previously corrected points.

    Not much of an argument really. Try a different event maybe to prove your beliefs. It might work better for you. Waco or something. That was a right wing religious gun nut for ya. This, not so much.

  42. #42 Jennifer
    December 16, 2010

    “Why do you say this was a gun free zone? I’m not saying it wasn’t, but, well, was it? ”
    I was making as assumption, but I did go ahead and look it up. According to Florida law, schools and any Governmental Judicial Meeting are prohibited place. So yes, it was a gun free zone.
    http://www.flsenate.gov/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=firearm&URL=0700-0799/0790/Sections/0790.06.html

    “You can repeat the argument that a responsible gun owner would have saved the day, but you’re just responding to what you think I’m saying, not what I’ve actually said.”
    Please cite where I said that a responsible gun owner would have saved the day. I am arguing that the existing laws didn’t stop him and only served to disarm the law abiding. I’m not saying that a responsible gun owner would have saved the day, but that the existing laws didn’t even allow for the chance that one may have. I believe you are responding to what you think I have said and not what I have actually said.
    “Certainly, tough, having actual conversations rather than just repeating what you assume is a counter argument to what you assume was an argument is not helpful.”
    Indeed, you are correct. I ask that you also respond to what I have actually said.
    “Citation please. Again, I’m not saying your wrong, but I’ve not seen anything about this. Was he ineligible? ”
    Yes, he was convicted in 1999 of aggravated stalking, shooting or throwing a missile into a building or vehicle and obstructing justice. He was convicted and sentenced in Jan. 2000 to five years in prison but was released in Jan. 2004.
    http://www2.jcfloridan.com/news/2010/dec/16/school-board-gunman-lived-alford-ar-1227813/

    “That is wrong at two levels. First, the regulatory one. Regulations that require safety devices or technologies or means of assurance of some kind (across all technologies and activities, not just guns) do deter crime. For instance, you can’t walk into the back of a bank unchallenged. It isn’t like everyone can wander into the vault but only criminals would steal the money. Second, the law can work as a deterrent or as a way of disarming someone in advance, though admittedly not in all cases.”
    And clearly, not in this particular case. And since they did not work in this case, again, how would more laws have prevented it?
    Yes, the bank is interested in protecting the money. That’s why they lock it up. They don’t just put it on a table with a sign that says don’t steal.
    “Increasingly, I hear that argument, but it is a false argument. If you compare US gun laws to other, civilized, countries, we have not done anything close here. We have not tested the hypothesis that “more illegaler” works, All of our gun laws are weak and about the same.”
    Other civilized countries? Like the UK where citizens can be prosecuted for acting in their own defense? No thank you.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-516702/Shopkeeper-faces-murder-charge-turning-knife-career-criminal-carjacking.html
    And the gun laws there are quite strong. Or are gun deaths the only violent deaths that count for this argument?

  43. #43 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    Josh, I’ll let his use of guns to get his way in an infantile fit to stand as the argument that he is a gun nut.

    Regarding his teabagger status, what I saw of him strongly suggested he was a teabagger. The evidence you are suggesting may indicate something different, in which case I stand corrected. I’ll look at the evidence, however, I do not expect teabaggers to be consistent, so we’ll see.

    In the mean time, you can provide some documentation to back up your assertions.

    I would hazard, due to his incrediblely bad aim, that he isn’t a gun nut either.

    A good aim, a good aim under stress vs. on the range, or a properly working pistol are not requirements for being a gun nut. This is a guy who runs around shooting at things and people when he does not get his way. This supports the gun nut theory and firmly argues against him being in “my demographic.”

    Again, awaiting references for your assertion.

    Oh, because nobody in the room had a firearm they were safer?

    Who said that? Like most gun nuts (and you are a gun nut, right?) you’ve made up the argument. You’re arguing against the argument you assume is there rather than paying attention to what is there.

    Looking forward to your evidence that Duke was a liberal pacifistic gun control supporter who is not a libertarian.

  44. #44 Jennifer
    December 16, 2010

    NoAstronomer: Sacramento has very strict gun laws and a high rate of crime. Your story only again shows the failure of the laws to prevent crime.

  45. #45 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    According to Florida law, schools and any Governmental Judicial Meeting are prohibited place. So yes, it was a gun free zone.

    Well, there you go then, a perfect example of a case where a gun law can matter. Normally, a gun free zone has checks. This one obviously doesn’t, or if so, they are not good enough. Improve them, this guy would not have gotten in.

    I am arguing that the existing laws didn’t stop him and only served to disarm the law abiding.

    That’s fantasy and totally unsupported. It is easy to not allow gun nuts like Duke in the room with his gun. You just have to do it.

    I’m not saying that a responsible gun owner would have saved the day, but that the existing laws didn’t even allow for the chance that one may have.

    Moot.

    I believe you are responding to what you think I have said and not what I have actually said.

    No, I read what you said. You are, however, saying that you think I’m responding to what I think you said because you think that if you say back to me something you think I said that you’ll somehow be saying something …. oh never mind.

    I believe you are responding to what you think I have said and not what I have actually said.

    I did. Twice now.

    And clearly, not in this particular case.

    My point exactly. This is not hard. This could have been avoided by putting the regulations that already existed into effect. I’m guessing that they were being ignored.

    how would more laws have prevented it?

    How many times do I have to subtly suggest that you are responding to what you think I’m saying rather than what I’m saying? Most, maybe nearly all the time, respecting the existing laws (by all involved, including those implementing the regs) is probably enough.

    In a southern state, I won’t say which, 10 months after 9/11, I was waved past a medal detector into the Federal Building by someone who knew someone who knew someone who knew someone, and thereafter walked unnindered into the chamber of a federal judge who did not know me.

    He greeted me, and my response was “Judge, your security in this place sucks” and his response was “well, there’s not much you can do to stop someone if they really want to get in.”

    He was wrong. All they had to do in my case was not wave me around the security check point. They don’t wave anyone around the checkpoits in airports. It may well be that in Panama City they don’t even have check points.

    really, Jennifer, this is not hard.

    how would more laws have prevented it?

    Shall we now turn to teen suicide where you can demonstrate to the rest of us that you are a truly evil person because you think it does not matter?

    Jennifer, you and the term “reasoned discourse” do not belong in the same universe. Don’t be a douchebag unless you want to be treated like a douchebag.

  46. #46 Irene
    December 16, 2010

    Here it comes, the two-step:

    Step one: NoAstronomer: Sacramento has very strict gun laws and a high rate of crime. Your story only again shows the failure of the laws to prevent crime.

    Step two: Racist fear based arguments about gun possession and use.

  47. #47 Tyler DiPietro
    December 16, 2010

    Am I missing something, or does the gunman turn around and pace several times before he decides to open fire? He should have been taken out the second he did that.

  48. #48 Jennifer
    December 16, 2010

    Sorry, my use of “reasoned discourse” is an inside joke with my readers. It is referring to the spin and moderation that anti gun types like to use rather than having a conversation. It’s sarcasm. Yes, the lowest form of humor. I’m not the one being a douchebag, but I am flattered that you decided to visit my inconsequential corner of the internet. If you’d like to treat me like a douchebag here, that is your right. Personally, I will stay above personal attacks.
    “I believe you are responding to what you think I have said and not what I have actually said.

    No, I read what you said. You are, however, saying that you think I’m responding to what I think you said because you think that if you say back to me something you think I said that you’ll somehow be saying something …. oh never mind.”

    You stated that I had said a responsible gun owner would have saved the day. I did not. But you apparently thought that I did.

    You tell me that my question of how more gun laws would have prevented this situation is irrelevant. You end your original posting with the statement, “We need stricter gun laws. ” How is my question irrelevant?

    Teen suicide is certainly a heart-breaking thing. Just look at the rate of suicide in Japan where gun control is probably strictest in the world.

    If it makes me evil for believing that intervention and help will do a far better job of preventing teen suicide than further regulation of a tool, then I’d rather be evil.

  49. #49 Jennifer
    December 16, 2010

    “Here it comes, the two-step:

    Step one: NoAstronomer: Sacramento has very strict gun laws and a high rate of crime. Your story only again shows the failure of the laws to prevent crime.

    Step two: Racist fear based arguments about gun possession and use.

    Posted by: Irene | December 16, 2010 3:09 PM”
    Well that’s quite a jump from what I actually said. But I suppose it fits the stereotype you’ve already laid out for me. Careful, I might not fit that box you want to put me in.
    Ever wondered about the roots of gun control? Gun control was originally enacted to keep the freedmen from rising up against their betters. But don’t let facts and history get in the way of your assumptions.

  50. #50 Josh
    December 16, 2010

    Thank you for the direct reply! I enjoy a good debate.

    First, lets maybe define ‘gun nut’ a bit better. A ‘Gun Nut’ is, I think we could agree, far different then “a Nut with a Gun.”

    A gun nut is somebody who supports gun ownership, yes, but far more then that. They know different guns by sight, owns several, reloads, NRA card, subscribes to Guns and Ammo and either hunts or regularly shoots. Take, oh, 3-4 of that list and you are there. I am at…2 –

    All I see is: A nut with a gun.

    There is no real comment about his history of being part of the NRA or anything. Just that he has a gun, can’t shoot it, is nuts. That might work enough for your definition, but those who support firearm ownership think it is a really big stretch. I don’t know a single gun ‘nut’ that can’t hit a person sized target 6′-8′ away. I can do it with my eyes closed. And have.

    So, maybe you want to revise your commentary to “Nut with a Gun” in the same way a person who can’t drive a car, is crazy, and drives over people is a “Nut in a Car” instead of a “Car Nut.”

    Moving on:

    Me: Oh, because nobody in the room had a firearm they were safer?

    You: Who said that?

    You did state in your original point:

    “This puts an end to the idea that if everyone in every public meeting had a pistol that the bad guys would be easily dispatched.”

    Hence my paraphrasing. Maybe incorrectly? Did you mean to say:

    “This SUPPORTS the idea that if everyone in every public meeting had a pistol that the bad guys would be easily dispatched.”

    I might have gotten it wrong then. Because the one guy in the room with a firearm, a retired police officer, did shoot him, wound him, and then Duke commited suicide before harming anybody else. I imagine the ‘nut with a gun’ would have been less likely to have gone there if it wasn’t a ‘gun free zone.’ And wait, it was a gun free zone? Well, then it just didn’t happen, right? Because obviously there can’t be a gun there.

    Snark aside: You may have me on political affiliations.

    He links Media Matters, 9/11 truthers, Moveon.org, and various sites that talk about the problems with capitalism and how the wealthy control the world. Seems very Tea Party with that. In fact, his biggest issue is the issue with wealth disparegy and the need for equality. That is exactly the opposite of Libertarin or Tea Party thoughts. a complete 180 degrees.

    His views on gun rights haven’t really been figured out yet, but he did consider himself a freedom fighter. He is described as a gentle giant just frustrated with the economy and his wifes job loss.

    So, no, not a liberal pacifist. A nutcase? Yes. So any trying to rationalize his choices really doesn’t make any sense.

    Truth is, he was crazy. So no matter what laws are in effect, he was going to do something crazy. No matter what his political leanings, he will do something crazy.

    And when his wife lost her job, he did.

    And you assigned a political motive to it, just because you really don’t understand it. He had a gun, and it seems as if just because of that he is a Tea Bagger gun nut and this is proof that the media is bought off because you don’t know who supplied him a gun.

    Again, you state: “This is a guy who runs around shooting at things and people when he does not get his way. This supports the gun nut theory and firmly argues against him being in “my demographic.” ”

    As my younger far more liberal friend would say: Really? Really??

    He was a nut case with a gun, and it seems you painted him with the only brush you have when it comes to gun owners.

    Please get a few more brushes. He was a nut. He had a gun. And he wasn’t a tea party member, nor would any law have prevented him from doing exactly what he did. He had a strong issue with class warfare and the wealthy and his wife was teachers union. Those are liberal bastions.

    Where is your proof (besides holding a gun) that he was a tea bagger? You have nothing but… ah, a theory. He was crazy and because of that, a Tea Bagger. Good luck with that one.

    Hard to really put him in the box you have. And it wouldn’t matter if he did.

    The guy was nuts.

    And your points are all your conjecture based on him having a gun and being a nut.

    It shows us exactly how narrowly you judge the world.

    (Thank you for the debate. Really.)

  51. #51 Fence Sitter
    December 16, 2010

    Other than declaring a particular area to be a ‘gun-free zone,’ and punishing people caught carrying there, are there any actual safeguards to keep guns out of these places? I always thought gun-free zones were like school zones: an administrative construct designed to increase the penalty for misconduct, rather than a genuinely controlled space.

  52. #52 Wyatt
    December 16, 2010

    Fence Sitter, I’m not sure where you live, but in my part of the country, government buildings that are gun free zones have guards at the doors and metal detectors.

  53. #53 Jennifer
    December 16, 2010

    @Fence Sitter
    Around here, most schools do not have guards or metal detectors. Some government buildings do, most do not. Many banks have signs on the doors, but no means to actually enforce the policy.

  54. #54 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    So, why do people own guns anyway? To display how upset they are, apparently!

    Again, the story does not indicate the legal status of the gun. The press cowers before the NRA once again: http://tinyurl.com/29qwryq

  55. #55 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    A propos the current conversation regarding gun free zones, anyone who has not seen this may want to see this: http://tinyurl.com/27gpmjx

  56. #56 Josh
    December 16, 2010

    “So, why do people own guns anyway? To display how upset they are, apparently!”

    You know, if you just ask a gun owner instead of guess like that then you might really find out. I doubt watching the video you posted is your only experience with guns, but you are acting as if it is. But just a note: You are incorrect, Sir. So wildly incorrect that I am afraid to ask you what color the sky is.

    “Again, the story does not indicate the legal status of the gun. The press cowers before the NRA once again:”

    Legal Status of the gun right now is: “Evidence.” Nothing more or less.

    As if the press will know yet where he got it, but not put it out because of the NRA. Or the cops. Or anybody besides Duke himself. The person who sold it to him, or from whom he borrowed it, or stole it from might, just might know about that gun. Really, poor attempt at drama. Maybe wait a few days till your comments can catch up with the reality of dealing with an attempted murder/suicide. Did you expect a bar code? Maybe GPS tracking? Breadcrumbs? A signature on the gun from everybody who owned it previously?

    Maybe I need to take back the comment that I doubt this is your first experience with guns. I suggest some history channel forensics shows or something. CSI isn’t even that good, and they are pure fantasy.

    You can be smarter then this. I am challenging you to be.

  57. #57 Jennifer
    December 16, 2010

    I don’t feel I have enough information to make any kind of judgment in the Rosenberg case, but here is a different point of view.
    http://www.popehat.com/2010/12/09/the-empire-strikes-back/
    And the guy pointing his gun at his wife and kids: douchebag. I hope they throw the book at him.

  58. #58 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    I guess I should have said this explicitly: People are generally ignorant about hand guns to the extent that it is often thought that if you point one at someone and pull the trigger, you might hit the person you’re aiming at instead of some innocent bystander.

    It is interesting to note that the number of bullets per effective hit is seen as so odd by many viewers of this video (out of ignorance) that many are actually proposing that Duke was using “caps” or blanks.

    He wasn’t.

  59. #59 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    Legal Status of the gun right now is: “Evidence.” Nothing more or less.

    Your willfull ignorance is impressive but unamusing. You know damn well this is not what I’m talking about.

    Really, poor attempt at drama. Maybe wait a few days till your comments can catch up with the reality of dealing with an attempted murder/suicide.

    New here? We’ve been over this before. There won’t be more information, 9/10 times. It just isn’t discussed.

    Josh, if your objective is to make an utter fool of yourself, you’ve gotten just where you want to be.

    Still waiting for evidence to support your first point. That will be your next comment.

  60. #60 Josh
    December 16, 2010

    “Still waiting for evidence to support your first point. That will be your next comment. ”

    Or else you are going to take away my first amendment rights?

  61. #61 Jennifer
    December 16, 2010

    Awe Josh. You went there. *sigh*
    Although you have freedom of speech, Greg has no obligation to facilitate that right. He publishes our comments at his discretion. This is Greg’s little corner of the internet to do with as he pleases.

  62. #62 Richard Simons
    December 16, 2010

    If, as some people seem to be claiming, allowing people to freely carry guns is good for deterring criminal activity, why does the US, which has a very high rate of gun ownership, also have a higher rate of violent crime than most other Westernized countries?

    I have heard it suggested that controlling the ammunition would be easier and more effective, as it is made in very few factories. Also, adding tracer elements to the shell casings could make it easier to track down the source, as is done for explosives.

  63. #63 Josh
    December 16, 2010

    ^^^ Not me. I write more.

  64. #64 Richard Simons
    December 16, 2010

    “Or else you are going to take away my first amendment rights? ”

    I thought the right to bear arms was for the purpose of forming a well-armed militia. How many of the people wandering around carrying arms actually belong to a properly trained militia?

  65. #65 Richard Simons
    December 16, 2010

    Sorry – wrong amendment.

  66. #66 feralboy12
    December 16, 2010

    To those who believe an armed society is a secure society: you need to stop imagining a bunch of YOU walking around armed in order to keep our public places safe from muckers like that. Instead, imagine guns in the hands of a)that guy that cut you off in traffic this morning, signaled left and hung a right; b)that office manager who freaked out and hyperventilated when he got a papercut; c)your idiot neighbor who can’t keep his dog in his yard; d)that jerk in the store who wanted a refund for something he didn’t buy at that store and argued with the cashier for ten minutes; e)all those people who aren’t nearly as good at stuff as they think they are.
    People aren’t really that good at sizing up potentially dangerous situations, and allowing each citizen to decide when lethal force is justified is a recipe for carnage.

  67. #67 Josh
    December 16, 2010

    ^^^ Not me. I write more.

    The other ‘Josh’ Posting as me: Please find your own voice. This is the internet, but I find it just as unkind for anybody to put words in my mouth. I would never reply like that. Very poor form.

    Not willful ignorance, that is a joke. Next time I will put up a :) for ya.

    As for expecting them to know the who what where and history of a firearm, already, I would use your phrase of willful ignorance. I mean, what is the legal status of your lamp? Your computer? Your desk? They seem like silly statements. Unless you killed somebody with them, then I can see where they would become “Evidence.”

    So the legal status for a firearm involved in a shooting, would be Evidence. Beyond that, the legal status of a firearm not used in a shooting would be about the same as your lamp/computer/desk. That is: Your property.

    Unless you stole it. :)

    (See, I used the smilie to show you that I am joking, no hard feelings, etc.)

    Pre 9/10 times? Because of… what, police need to ask the CIA, the new outlets and the NRA permission to what exactly?

    You say your views are not like Dukes, but if your stating 9/11 conspirocy and Duke put it up on his website you might be making my point more then his. Just sayin’.

    Though, I will say, if you want me to comment on something, the proper way to be would be to ask, not state. Such as:

    “You still haven’t produced evidence to support your first point, could you please do that?”

    Which I would so kindly reply:

    My first point was (to fill in those late to the game,) my first point was two in fact. My position is he is not a Tea Bagger, nor a Gun Nut.

    Lets take a few seconds to look at that. What did you mention for you supporting argument. Ah, he went around and shot people (paraphrasing.) That does not make somebody part of any political affiliation.

    The Tea Party (Per wikipedia:) It endorses reduced government spending, lower taxes, reduction of the national debt and federal budget deficit, and adherence to an originalist interpretation of the United States Constitution.

    That is it really. So what did he write?:

    “My Testament: Some people (the government sponsored media) will say I was evil, a monster (V)… no… I was just born poor in a country where the Wealthy manipulate, use, abuse, and economically enslave 95% of the population. Rich Republicans, Rich Democrats… same-same… rich… they take turns fleecing us… our few dollars… pyramiding the wealth for themselves. The 95%… the us, in US of A, are the neo slaves of the Global South. Our Masters, the Wealthy, do, as they like to us…”

    And he links to moveon.org plus what I mentioned before. Here is the link to Gawker, which does state everything I mentioned, what sites he links to, his comments, and even where I mentioned he consideres himself a Patriot:

    http://gawker.com/5713637/the-facebook-suicide-note-of-school-board-shooter-clay-duke

    So, my point that he isn’t a Tea Party individual is covered there. He makes no comment about the size of government, not reducing taxes, adherence to the Constitution, or any of that really. It was a standard issue rant about class warfare and how capitolism keeps him down. Your point that he a Tea Party member is based on a theory of yours that links gun carrying nut cases… to Tea Partiers?

    In this case of You said/Me said, I used his own comments. You just assumed. No happy face for this. Your view of the world states that somebody who is literally nuts, and has a gun and tries(?) to kill somebody (instead of poisoning the water, driving a car or using a bomb) is by association, a Tea Partier.

    Yes, I am new here. I was looking for some information and googled a bit, found your site and it’s conclusions, and intellectually couldn’t not post.

    Your assumptions were far to thin to let pass. I was hoping for more to bad them up, but you really haven’t brought any facts. Some SWAG’s, yes.

    But your assumptions are really bias. I am actually surprised that you can, in one sentence state he was a gun nut, then a few posts below that mention your belief (like mine) that any competent gun owner could actually hit somebody 6′ away.

    If he was a Tea Party Gunslinger, he would have been competent enough to shoot somebody.

    So, in reply, I request you comment on your assertion that he is part of the Tea Party and (maybe a bit ad hoc, a Gun Right proponent.) You claim he is. You state that his core beliefs replicate Tea Party beliefs, and that in those TP beliefs (as believed by the TP as a whole) is a strong belief in resolving an issue by using a gun.

    Or even, maybe, proof he supported any Tea Party belief? A meeting he went to? A donation? We will find out about those most likely before we find out the ‘Legal Status’ of the firearm.

    Josh

  68. #68 Josh
    December 16, 2010

    Jenn:

    I sure as hell wouldn’t go there, I totally agree this is his blog and he can kick me out if he wants. Or call me names, ban me, or otherwise. He is reviewing my comments before posting, which is fine by me.

    Greg: feel free to continue.

    Sadly, whomever posted that really doesn’t understand me either.

    Josh

  69. #69 Josh
    December 16, 2010

    Feralboy— the irony of you posting about manners in a gun society with that name. Love it!

    But I disagree. Three points:

    The Swiss, whom have a far larger gun culture and far larger gun ownership have a far lower rate of any crime. It is no big deal to see people taking guns on the train or otherwise.

    Towns that mandate gun ownership in each house have a far lower level of crime and accidental firearm death. Your claim would produce exactly the opposite result.

    And finally, our own past. The US used to have far more firearms used in a carry manner then before. Crime happened, but gun crime was rare. One of the first bank robberies happened with a gun and people were surprised. The time it happened a cop borrowed a gun from a gentleman, and with the other gentlemen in the area stopped the robber.

    It might make people nowadays agast, but it was how things were back then. And there are 3 comments to refute your claims.

    So why the gun deaths in the US? Look up the CDC, they have a break down of the list. 50% of gun deaths are suicide, of which 50% are done by people over 85. A large portion of the rest is from criminal on criminal crime over drugs. Te Crim/Crim over other stuff, followed by criminal vs regular people.

    As this guy proved, the laws can not stop guns from being used. Nor can they keep people from owning guns. But 1 person with a firearm can stop a bad situation from getting worse.

    Josh

  70. #70 Josh
    December 16, 2010

    Greg:

    Thank you for the debate! I see you haven’t had a chance to review my other comments, so I will see what reply you have for me tomorrow.

    If you would please, can you drop the comment by the other ‘Josh’ or possibly mention that the sock puppettry is not appreciated (if you feel so, you might like it, I don’t know…)? I would not be so rude.

    I am done with the internet till tomorrow, have a good one. :)

    Josh

  71. #71 Warren
    December 16, 2010

    Hi, Greg! It’s definitely been a shootin’ season everywhere lately. We’ve had a couple of incidents here in my own small town in just the last 10 days or so. The most recent one involved a white-trash drug user threatening his girlfriend (and her kids) because he was upset about a stereo; prior to that, a 19-year-old put an end to a string of assaults (one of which involved brass knuckles being used to beat up a 13-year-old) by shooting the main perp with his Glock 9mm.

    Interestingly, the perp survived, despite being hit several times. This suggests to me that the shooter was not aiming for the center of his body – or he was a crappy shot.

    There must be something in the air.

    “Clay Duke tried to kill several school board members, but missed from a distance of between 6 and 8 feet with his Smith & Wesson pistol. Indeed, over 25 rounds were fired in the small public space…”

    Most 9mm weapons hold 10 rounds; some, I believe, go up to 12. Without knowing exactly what Duke was shooting with, a safe guess would be a 9mm, or possibly a .32. If there really were 25 rounds fired, there almost certainly had to be more than two shooters.

    Not contesting your account; just pointing out that, if the reports are of 25+ rounds being shot, something doesn’t add up.

    “This puts an end to the idea that if everyone in every public meeting had a pistol that the bad guys would be easily dispatched.”

    You’re probably right. Many people who carry don’t have a lot of training regarding stance, aiming, or even how to properly fire. Clearly Duke did not. You never hold a pistol with only one hand, and you don’t squeeze it like a squirt bottle. The simple motion of jerking on the trigger causes the muzzle to deviate just as the round is firing, with the result that you completely miss your target.

    A well-trained shooter can drop all his rounds into center-mass on a silhouette at 25 or more feet, but never by shooting one-handed and spraying lead all over hell and back. Unfortunately, as you suggest in the original post (and others point out), not that many people have that sort of training, nor do they put in any practice.

    Simple, largely-unregulated gun ownership is probably not the answer to these types of situations. After all, we don’t let just anyone hop behind the wheel of a car and drive. We expect them to show some skills, expect them to be licensed, and heavily regulate the use of their vehicles – and those aren’t even designed to the exclusive purpose of killing.

    I’d feel more at ease about the idea of civilian gun ownership if there was some kind of requirement to show competency, responsibility, and probably mental health as well.

    “Duke had previously been in trouble for a gun related stalking event in which he actually discharged a firearm.”

    That’s simply insane. His right to own should have been suspended immediately after that incident, probably permanently, or at least until he’d been given a clean bill of health by repeated psychiatric evaluations over the course of several years.

    “Once again, a major story in which firearms were used and the press has not even posed the question as to where the firearm came from, if it was legally owned, etc.”

    These are relevant questions, to an extent – my fiancée is a journalist, and as policy they do not state the ethnicity of a criminal unless it’s relevant (as in the police putting out a description for someone who’s not yet been caught), because the ethnicity is not usually germane to the crime. Mentioning ethnicity could be seen as editorializing.

    I suppose a similar thing could be argued here. Whether Duke got his gun legally or not isn’t as relevant as the fact that he was a nutcase who decided to throw a tantrum with a pistol. However, there is certainly validity in the idea of investigative journalism, where instead of simply reporting the story, some background is also sought. In cases like that, yes, we’d want to know how he got the gun, because it’s part of the history.

    “Duke was, clearly a teabagger, given what we know of his politics. So this particular incident can be chalked up as yet another violent right winger.”

    Or, at least, someone who seemed to self-identify with them. I’m not sure that I’d characterize right-wingers with a propensity toward violence – just extremism, anger- and fear-based politics, racism, sexism, homophobia, and religiocentric arrogance. The violence is really just the icing on a perfect cake of shit.

    “We need stricter gun laws.”

    Yes, I think we do as well. If the laws were to change, I’d be happy to remain compliant with them in exchange for a continued right to own a pistol, and the sense I’d have that my fellow law-abiding citizens (those who chose to carry as well) would be less likely to be complete nutballs – or such crappy shots that they’re more a danger to bystanders than to any criminals.

  72. #72 Miguel
    December 16, 2010

    feralboy12
    “To those who believe an armed society is a secure society: you need to stop imagining a bunch of YOU walking around armed in order to keep our public places safe from muckers like that.”

    It is not imagination at least in Florida. One in ten Floridians have a concealed weapons permit. Out of 1,910,349 permits issued, only 168 have been revoked for misuse of the gun (0.009%) and 5,170 for crimes committed after issuance of the permit (0.27%). When you compare with the percentage of total felons in the USA (6.21%, a Floridian with a Concealed Weapons Permit is 23 times more law obedient than your average citizen.
    More and more people are legally using their guns to defend themselves. The trend is so set even the mainstream media is accepting and starting to report such cases without using the standard expressions such as “vigilante” or “took justice in his/her own hands.” There is no high moral ground in being unarmed and dying or letting others be killed because some silly law says you must be because a group of scaredy cats have unfounded fears. The idea that “blood will run free on the streets” and “every argument at the supermarket checkout will become a shootout” have been long disproved. Florida’s Concealed Weapons Permit is over 20 years old, the “experiment” over and the principle works.
    Will legally owning a gun will eliminate all criminal activity? No, of course not. We are well aware of that. Will it gives me a chance to survive a deadly force encounter? Of course it does and denying such obvious truth is misguided and dangerous. We do not demand that everybody must have a gun, but we defend the right of those to choose to do so. When politicians PROMISE that a particular Gun Control legislation will make us safer, they are betting with my life and I will not accept such idiocy.

  73. #73 Warren
    December 16, 2010

    Miguel @72:

    You’ve overlooked a crucial point, I think, in your comment. Concealed carry permits come with training. I don’t believe we’re arguing against training and tracking of safe gun ownership; I think instead we’re saying that a gun, in the hands of an untrained or unskilled person, is dangerous to that person, to innocent bystanders, and (only occasionally) to actual criminals.

    Going through the training necessary to obtain a CC permit brings (ideally) a level of skill that is closer to the ideal of an armed civilian. Part of what is often overlooked by those who push Amendment II is the adjective “well-regulated”. Well-regulated does not mean give a gun to just anyone who asks for one.

    For the record, I do have a CC permit, and firearms. That does not mean I think they should be freely available to any untrained, untutored person; quite the opposite.

    You not only have to know about safety; if you think you’re keeping a gun for self-defense, you have to be able to use it correctly, hit your target, and be willing to fire it with lethal intent if you draw it.

    If those factors are not all present, a gun owner is playing games with his own life, and the lives of others.

  74. #74 Greg Laden
    December 16, 2010

    The vast majority of children who commit suicide with firearms are probably using legally own firearms owned by people who use them legally right up to the moment they allow their 14 year old daughter to blow her head off. That should be addressed.

    I agree with Warren’s points but I don’t think the training is sufficient. Many gun owners will come from a gun owning culture with carries with it a certain amount of fire-arms respect and health fear, but for others it is only the weekend course (and I dare say, if you live in the Twin Cities there’s a reasonable chance you got your training from … oh, never mind, if I mention his name he’ll probably come after me).

    I would like to see more training and followup, and I’d like to see a push to locate and do something appropriate with all those casual guns sitting a round in people’s houses that they may not even remember are there but are quite available for stealing or some nasty use.

    I was as a relatives house a few years ago. The lady of the house said “Oh, Greg, since you’re standing right there, can you get the place mats out of that drawer.”

    So I opened the drawer and pulled out a wad of placemats and guess what came rattling out quite unexpectedly!

    0.38, loaded

    “Oh, that’s where that is … my brother gave that to me 30 years ago, then I found it the other day and then I forgot where I put it”

    Yeah… it was in the drawer next to the silverware, first or second place a burglar would look.

    Warren, I don’t have time to read your longer post now, but I’ll make two quick comments; First, the robber that got shot up was a bad guy, but just being a bad guy does not warrant a death sentence. Had he died it would have been a tragedy. Regarding the 25 shots; That was reported by the police, about 25 shots, roughly half by Duke, half by the security guard.

    Which, again (and again and again and again) is my point. Two people both close to their targets both trying to hit their targets and the only bullet that did it’s job (killing the target) was fired point blank and self inflicted. One other bullet, maybe two, could have hit Duke (from the looks of it on the video).

  75. #75 POC
    December 16, 2010

    I don’t feel I need to rehash what Josh and Jennifer have already said very well to make the points that you question in my earlier post.

  76. #76 TQ
    December 16, 2010

    Well, I for one am certainly glad that I am always legally armed in my home state of Indiana. I fail to see how this guy is an obvious “teabagger.” Was it because he mentioned taxes? Enough with the stereotypes already. Everyone wants to be Jesse Jackson. The bottom line is that people can be crazy and more laws will not stop criminals…..after all, they are criminals and their perogative is BREAKING THE LAW. Through obvious logical observation, one should come to the conclusion that more restrictive laws will only give the “criminal minded” a larger playground to excercise in. I simply don’t understand what gun control really had to do with this. If anything, those school board members should have been armed so they could have ended the threat immediately. Alot good that lady with the purse did. Trade the purse for a .357 and there would have only been one shot fired. Same result in the end. The bad guy is dead and everyone is happy. For once I wish some of you would look at this logically rather than from a politico propoganda filled agenda.

  77. #77 Warren
    December 16, 2010

    Greg:

    Freely conceded on the point about suicide, and about leaving weapons lying around casually. It’s insanely dangerous, actually irrational.

    There’s an electronic gun safe that fits under a bed, and it has a recession on its surface in the shape of a hand. You put your hand on it and use your fingers and thumb to press in a five-digit sequence. This seems like a good type of safe to me; it can be opened with one hand, in the dark, but it keeps the guns locked away from curious children and felonious housebreakers.

    I’d like to see a program where the gun manufacturers give them away to anyone who wants one. It might be better still to require their purchase when you buy a gun, or that you offer proof that you already have one. It wouldn’t guarantee that they would actually be used, but it would at least be a reasonable step in the right direction.

    “I agree with Warren’s points but I don’t think the training is sufficient. Many gun owners will come from a gun owning culture with carries with it a certain amount of fire-arms respect and health fear, but for others it is only the weekend course…”

    You’re right, that’s not adequate; however, it is still better than the zero training a lot of gun owners get – unless they come from a family with a history of healthy respect for guns, and have been aware of their dangers and uses from an early age.

    It’s not unusual for licensed drivers to have to go in and renew from time to time. It might be a good thing for that to happen with gun owners as well. Perhaps once a year you go through a refresher course in safety, prove that you can handle the weapon carefully, and pass a shooting test. It’s still less than ideal, but we expect our police officers to know about firearms safety and proper handling; I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect the same of gun-owning civilians.

    This would not comprise an infringement of the right to keep and bear arms; it would instead shift focus onto the “well-regulated” aspect of Amendment II.

    “Warren, I don’t have time to read your longer post now…”

    :D

    Yeah, my logorrhea hasn’t quite met the proportions of a King or a Rowling, but I can carry on a bit sometimes.

    “…but I’ll make two quick comments; First, the robber that got shot up was a bad guy, but just being a bad guy does not warrant a death sentence. Had he died it would have been a tragedy.”

    My fault; I wasn’t clear there. Robbery wasn’t the motive in that crime spree I mentioned. There were three people driving around in a red pickup, asking passersby who wore any blue clothing about their gang affiliation. They were wannabe Bloods.

    They robbed a homeless man, then used brass knuckles on a thirteen-year-old boy’s face after terrifying him out of his pocket change. After that they encountered the 19-year-old who shot the leader.

    The leader approached the intended victim with his knucks on. The 19-year-old drew his weapon and warned the three assailants off; when the continued approaching, he shot the leader. I believe he exercised due restraint, and he was under direct physical threat by three individuals.

    He wasn’t arrested, and the county attorney has said he won’t be charged.

    As to whether the would-be gangsta’s death might have been a tragedy … we might have to agree to disagree on this one. Anyone who beats the shit out of a child has, to my mind, more or less forfeited any claim he might have on being called human.

    “Regarding the 25 shots; That was reported by the police, about 25 shots, roughly half by Duke, half by the security guard.”

    That really is amazing. Most guns can’t carry that many rounds and still be pocketable. Duke was clearly untrained and an idiot in the use of firearms (as well as in other ways), but the security guard should have been able to drop him with only one shot, especially at that distance. I know by experience at the gun range that I would have been able to.

    At least, given ideal conditions. Adrenaline might have thrown the guard off … well, guard. Shaky hands don’t aim well.

  78. #78 TQ
    December 16, 2010

    @Greg Laden

    Now that I have read the rest of your comments, it is clear to me that you are poorly educated on this subject matter. You are obviously afraid of inanimate objects and don’t believe in individual responsibility and liberty.

    I truly believe that you have good intentions, but that does not change the fact that you are far from correct. Your tune would change drastically the second a violent encounter to you or a loved one changes your life forever. Are you gonna claim responibility when a law abiding citizen is robbed and murdered by an illegaly armed person? Trust me sir, if history has shown us anything, it’s that all laws will be broken. Why make it easier for the bad guy?

    Do yourself a favor and look at the real statistics and educate yourself on the constitutional rights. Do it before it’s too late. Life doesn’t always give you a second chance and regret is a bitch.

  79. #79 Warren
    December 16, 2010

    TQ @78:

    You probably couldn’t be more wrong about Greg if you tried. You’re not engaging in a discussion with him; you are instead engaging in a discussion with a caricature inside your own head that does not, in any fashion, represent Greg.

    Try looking at what he’s actually saying, parse it into digestible chunks, and respond to his arguments intelligently, rather than with ad hominem drivel, unless that’s too hard for you to do — in which case, just bow out of the entire discussion right now before you embarrass yourself further.

    The intellectual level here is high. Try to meet those standards. Based on what you’ve posted here so far, you seem like exactly the kind of gun owner that I, as a gun owner myself, am ashamed of.

  80. #80 amy2x
    December 17, 2010

    Clay Duke was a Lefty Pinko.

  81. #81 Jennifer
    December 17, 2010

    Thought you might appreciate an update. Duke’s gun was legally purchased. The law required him to turn it in after his conviction in 1999, but he did not.
    http://www.newsherald.com/news/gun-89386-one-panama.html
    I have enjoyed this debate. Sorry I missed so much last night. Tis the season for parties and such. Although we clearly disagree, I appreciate you keeping the conversation open and ongoing for as long as you have.

  82. #82 Greg Laden
    December 17, 2010

    Interesting. So what can be done? The police prioritize what they bother with. Perhaps a person with some sort of violence/gun related reason the gun is no longer legal for them (as opposed to just an ordinary felony) who don’t turn in their guns should be checked on more diligently. That would be a minor and perhaps somewhat effective tweak in the regs.

    I’ve been busy too, mostly baby duty.

  83. #83 daedalus2u
    December 17, 2010

    Jennifer #42, the article you linked to about a shopkeeper who might be charged following the stabbing death of the person who attacked him was 2 years ago and had a follow-up.

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article855234.ece

    The shopkeeper was not charged with murder or manslaughter.

  84. #84 wyatt
    December 17, 2010

    What was that sound? Jennifer’s credibility crashing.

  85. #85 pbjosh
    December 17, 2010

    Greg:

    So, what can be done? I think you mention part of it, and I totally agree:

    Education and the production of a healthy ‘gun culture.’

    But a little background – I am from Alaska (not Anchorage.) So I was raised with firearms my entire life. It is a wholey different culture in how you treat and respect firearms. I grew up with guns in the house, guns in the car or truck, and they were no big deal. But we never touched them unless we were shooting.

    I moved down here, and it was an entirely different culture. People had an innate fear of firearms. I was rather surprised. Watching a buddy of mine (very liberal democrat) turn into a ‘gun nut’ when he came home and the robbers were just leaving. With no healthy background in firearm possesion he took a bit to come around and get healthy with a firearm. And he is one smart guy.

    Your comment that:

    “I agree with Warren’s points but I don’t think the training is sufficient. Many gun owners will come from a gun owning culture with carries with it a certain amount of fire-arms respect and health fear, but for others it is only the weekend course ”

    I feel is spot on. We do not have the gun culture we once had, nor do we have the gun culture across the US like we have in some small areas, nor is it like the gun culture in Switzerland.

    We have changed from a culture that had a respect and healthy fear to one that has an irractional fear and almost no respect. They are often glorified in music and inner city culture, brandished in false bravo, flashed as intimidation – but rarely treated with the respect they need to be.

    I do my part, taught my daughters how to shoot and how to respect a firearm. Watching my 10yo drill a target shooting a .22 through peep sites, or taking a couple rounds through a buddies AR was allot of fun. She loved it, an now has a comfort and respect level for firearms that few have.

    Basically what the NRA does the most. Train people on how to correctly use and respect firearms.

    Working to bring firearm ownership and respect up to a safer level will take some work. Just adding laws, being afraid of guns hasn’t and doesn’t seem to work.

    Josh

  86. #86 Josh
    December 17, 2010

    In Defence of Jennifer:

    For basic crime rates in the UK vs. previous crime rates:

    http://reason.com/archives/2002/11/01/gun-controls-twisted-outcome

    http://www.fff.org/comment/com0512f.asp

    Both state (and link to) reports on the dramatic increase in crime following what has become some of the toughest gun regulations in the world.

    Following that, cases where people defending their property from burglars or otherwise:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-want-selfdefence-law-to-be-clarified-706535.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraph-view/6845889/We-must-bring-in-a-better-law-on-self-defence.html

    It doesn’t take long to find many others. Or stories here in the US where somebody defended themselves with a firearm. I have 2 co-workers who have stopped a crime because they have a firearm, one was an assult on a neightbor and another was an attempted rape.

    No law, no police officer, nobody else could have stopped that from happening. Except somebody there who happened, in those rare occasions, to have a firearm.

    I don’t see how Jennifer’s credibility is really all that in question.

  87. #87 Jennifer
    December 17, 2010

    Good! I’m glad he was not charged. It isn’t a unique case, unfortunately. It was just the first I found in a quick Google search. Thank you for the update daedalus2u
    And wyatt, I’m sure you never found me credible in the first place.

  88. #88 Jennifer
    December 17, 2010

    Thank you Josh. I hadn’t had a chance to put in the further research.
    We will never move forward in the fight against crime by demonizing the tool as opposed to the criminal that wields it.

  89. #89 James G
    December 17, 2010

    So, allow me to throw out a simple fact here, and see where it sticks..

    The State of Texas compared their list of all Criminal Convictions with their list of all Concealed Handgun License holders, for the year 2007. They found that only about 0.26% of all criminals convicted that year, were licensed to carry. For the record, Texas also does not require training to obtain a CHL.
    (http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/chl/ConvictionRatesReport2007.pdf)

    That would seem to indicate that CHL holders are overwhelmingly law abiding, would it not?

  90. #90 Greg Laden
    December 17, 2010

    And you point would be … ?

    Oh, I’ll save you a couple of rounds of bs. Consider fishing licenses. People who have fishing licenses are more law abiding than those who do not. And, if you go and check 10,000 people who are fishing for licenses, those that do not have them will be more likely to have other legal counts against them.

    This is not about gun ownership, it’s about compliance. Compliant people comply. Many laws are about compliance. You have breathlessly pointed out an uninteresting and widely known tautology.

    So, again, your point?

  91. #91 James G
    December 17, 2010

    The point is that laws only affect criminals, not the law abiding. Compliant people comply? Exactly. It is already illegal to use a gun in the way that Mr. Duke used it, it was already illegal for him to even have a gun, so what makes you think MORE laws, MORE control will stop people like Mr. Duke?

    Let’s entertain your scenario, and a sweeping law is passed tightening the rules on purchasing guns far beyond what they currently are. How will any new law affect any of the illegal guns already in the hands of people like Mr. Duke? How will making it MORE illegal to illegally purchase guns, stop criminals from purchasing guns on the streets?

    Just how do you propose getting all of those illegal guns off the streets? Because that is the only way ANY law or rule will be effective.

  92. #92 billnut
    December 18, 2010

    I believe it was the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan who pointed out there is a 200 year supply of guns and a 2 year supply of bullets in the USA. Therein lies the answer.

  93. #93 Greg Laden
    December 18, 2010

    It is already illegal to use a gun in the way that Mr. Duke used it, it was already illegal for him to even have a gun, so what makes you think MORE laws, MORE control will stop people like Mr. Duke?

    Duke legally obtained a gun. Then, he violated the law in such a way that he was to relinquish his permit and no longer own the gun. He didn’t. But there was no follow up or enforcement. There could have been, and there should have been. That is a change. This is not hard.

    Let’s entertain your scenario, and a sweeping law is passed tightening the rules on purchasing guns far beyond what they currently are.

    Did you really come all the way over here to my blog to tell me what my scenario is?

    James, you’ve come to the discussion with ingrained presumptions about what those who do not totally agree with you must be thinking, and you spout the tired old arguments that we’ve heard a thousand times before, pretty much out of the NRA pamphlets. That’s not where we’re at here, buddy. Catch up.

  94. #94 Josh
    December 20, 2010

    I think John (and I might be wrong) is trying to say is summed up quite well in this cartoon:

    http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog/uploaded_images/2007_04_22_nacho-705846.jpg

    The text which goes:

    A sociopath, a gun control advocate, and a law abiding citizen are sitting in a bar.

    The sociopath pulls out a gun, threatening the advocate and the citizen.

    The advocate immediately calls for stricter gun control laws,

    On law abiding citizens.

    Which is really what ends up happening. The end of your post Greg was:

    “We need stricter gun laws.”

    Which, short of extreme cases, wouldn’t have stopped this guy, because he is crazy, and hence, not following laws.

    On the other hand, due to the laws you would care to put in place, the situation that happend this weekend would have been entirely different:

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50895646-76/sharp-pursel-family-police.html.csp?page=1

    Long story short, woman borrowed gun just in case BF just released from jail came over. BF was at his house, grabbed a knife, said he was going to kill her, and stalked her down. Family called police after he left. Police arrived to find him dead after attacking GF and almost attacking the 17yo neice of the BF’ GF. She happened to have the borrowed firearm.

    In both cases though, the loose gun laws that you see not fit ended up producing the same result. In both cases the sociopath was dead because the law abiding citizen had a fire arm. And stricter laws might have restricted the people who protected themselves and others with the gun from having access. In that case, like on a school campus, we know the results. Lots of deaths.

    It is the Consequences of Good Intentions that we feel you are missing with the knee-jerk-like action of yelling for more gun control that happens, like the cartoon says, every time some sociopath does something… sociopathic.

    While you can argue that more laws may have prevented this, it is just as easy to state, with some good links, that the counter to this could have happened also. More deaths due to stricter gun laws could have happened just as easy if the first sociapath had not had somebody there to shoot at him, and also if the 17yo girl did not have a gun to protect herself and her aunt.

    Then we would have the outcome of long and expensive court cases, and maybe just jail for a bit, or some meds. And the law abiding citizen following stricter gun laws would be dead.

  95. #95 Chris
    December 20, 2010

    “Clearly a teabagger”…..what a douchebag mentality you have.

  96. #96 Greg Laden
    December 20, 2010

    Josh, I have suggested that the fact that this “sociopath” had a legal gun, then his status changed so he could not own it legally , but kept it anyway, is the failure of the current system and that should be fixed, presumably by looking at the appropriate enforcement agency and getting tough with them. They dropped the ball for this, that should be noted, and their procedures should be reviewed and updated so something like this (the ignoring of the change in status) does not happen again.

    You, in the mean time, continue to assume that you know what I am thinking or saying without paying any attention to anything other than the voices in your head that explain how the pro-gun control world works and thinks. This is starting to get embarrassing. For you.

    Chris, at the time I wrote that it looked like he was. More information has come to light suggesting that he wasn’t. That does not mean that I don’t have a douchebag mentality, of course, but it may speak to your objections. I suspect you may be a teabagger.

  97. #97 POUNCER
    December 20, 2010

    I happen to be a school board trustee for a community in Texas. Our schools, and the administrative center in which public meetings are held, are designated “gun free” zones. Also, “drug free” zones. Also, “No Texting While Driving” zones. Also, during significant portions of daylight hours, “low speed” zones. Also, inside, we have “no gang” laws/policies; “no bullies” policies, “no inappropriate attire” rules, no student-controlled pharmaceuticals zone, no inhalent, spray paint, permanent marker zones … etc etc for several hundred pages … We will be debating a “No Camera Phones” rule next month in response to a local incident of “sexting” that got out of control.

    It is not at all cleat to me, as a pragmatic matter, how all these laws, policies, declarations, and good wishes can be “enforced”. Spot-checked, sure. Set out as desirable goals, even.

    But — upthread — the issue / comparison of firearms to iPhones resonates. While it may be argued that nobody NEEDS a camera phone; is banning such a thing the best way to control abuse? Nobody NEEDS a Sharpie, and self-expression under the first amendment is only slightly chilled by the anti-grafitti rule.

    But personally, I’d like to be able to focus on the people more and their –possibly abusable — possessions much much less.

    Yes, firearms included.

  98. #99 Josh
    December 20, 2010

    I have no assumptions of what you are thinking Greg. You are internalizing I think. I do not play in other’s intents.

    When you have, repeatedly, stated that we need stricter gun laws, and I point out some fallacies of that, I am not playing in my own assumption, I am taking you at your word.

    When you added, for no reason I can fathom, the Tea Party label to the the person who did this based on your internal process, and I called you on it, I wasn’t playing with the voices in my head. I am calling you on what you wrote.

    You might want to take a second look at your first words. That is why I use them here again and again.

    You did state he was a tea bagger, and did state that ‘this is why we need stricker gun laws’ in exactly the same way the catoon mentions.

    If there is something else you think, thought, would like to ammend, please do. But your first statement wasn’t really defendable on the sparce amount that was written.

    It would be hard to make to many assumptions based on it, and most of your further posting, that are outside of what I have written. Again, I am not guessing at your thoughts, I am debating exactly what you wrote.

    Trying to make me go back on what I wrote, without finding a factual rebuttal, instead debasing my character, or stating that I am well, crazy, talking to myself, does show me one thing:

    You have absolutely no way to defend against my comments. Your rebuttal is basically a very interesting version of name calling. I haven’t seen a fact brought up, a link, a thoughtful, well written tearing down of my comments.

    I was hoping for some meat to back up your inital claims. And instead you are telling me that I should be embarassed? Why? Because you said so? Since you don’t bring anything else to back it up, I suspect you should be embarrassed. I am not.

    See, with the:

    “…continue to assume that you know what I am thinking or saying without paying any attention to anything other than the voices in your head that explain how the pro-gun control world works and thinks. This is starting to get embarrassing. For you.”

    No meat – lots of fluff. Last post I did was try and put together a defence of John’s comments. I did, with humor, and a couple of links.

    You brought internalization. Come on, I want some meat. This is thin gravy at best.

  99. #100 Greg Laden
    December 20, 2010

    We probably do need stricter gun laws, depending on which area of gun ownership and which area of the country you are looking at. But that is not what we are talking about here. Here, we are talking about holding those responsible to account, be it the gun owners who let their kids blow their heads off because the guns are not properly secured, the gun lobby (nuts included) and industry for resisting improvements in built in safety devices, and local authorities for enforcing the existing laws.

    I’m not debasing your character, I’m jut pointing out that you are missing the point.

    I’m also kinda busy right now. There’s an epic game about to start! I promise I’ll look back at your post and sling some meat, or shit, or whatever, your way, soon.

  100. #101 Josh
    December 21, 2010

    Hope you enjoyed the game! Hardly worth posting if there is a good game on – who were ya watchin’?

    Okay – the point may have moved a bit from your post, so I think I can stay a bit more on topic. (And I won’t comment about moving goal posts.)

    For who is responcible, I wonder how you would comment on this issue:

    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20101210/NEWS03/101210008/Person-who-left-keys-in-car-responsible-for-wreck-when-car-stolen-court-says

    Where as the court determined that the people who left the keys in a car are responcible for another person stealing the car, and then causing damages with said car when it was in an accident.

    Would you say it was the theif or the car owner who are liable for damages?

    Are the actions of the theif’s wholey there own? Or do they get to share them with somebody who stole their vehicle?

    I used to make the point that it take hundred of decisions to actually pull the trigger at another human being.

    The decision to buy the gun, how much, what type, who to buy it from, who to steal it from.

    Followed by the actions to load a gun. Which ammo, opening the box, taking it out and then the loading process. Then putting the magazine in the gun. Then setting it up to fire, releaseing the safety, pointing it, shooting it. All of those are rehashed before and after the decision.

    At the point they pull the trigger they have to have made decision after decision after decision that would lead them to that point. Even in the case of the sociopath in the video, he had a final post, a plan, and didn’t expect to survive. He was crazy, but he had made decisions all along.

    To then point back to the gun manufacture… or a law, or a situation what could have been changed, and to avoid the complexity of the poor choices of that individual… there is a logic step that is missed there in the emotional need to punish somebody or something.

    It comes back to personal choice involved in the individual who commited the crime. Most laws punish those who have already committed a crime. They can not prevent a crime from happening. That has to come from a point of social mores, community, and inherant mutual respect. If not, then the well of decisions that lead up to the choice to commit a crime all easily allow for justification. And as the video shows, he felt justified in his postion and actions.

    If there was more education concerning firearms, then there would be less crimes committed with them. If we had a healthy gun culture instead of a fearful one then there would be fewer stupid decisions.

    But if there was locks on all the gun, say, in the situation linked to before, the 17yo girl and her aunt would be dead right now.

    And we would be back to laws having Un-intended Consequences of Good Intentions.

    And for a bonus fun question: Is the Car Thief a Tea Bagger? (oh, so had to put that in there…)

  101. #102 Greg Laden
    December 21, 2010

    Josh, the “you are responsible for the bad shit someone does with your car” theme is part of my model for what people do with guns. It is perfectly reasonable that the owner of a poorly secure car is in part responsible for bad stuff that happens because of that lack of judgement. It may come as a surprise to many, but if you pay attention in drivers ed, they tell you this. Lock your car and take your keys, don’t loan your car to your drunk brother in law, etc. That is part of how our society has worked for decades with cars. I say, do this with guns too.

    More so with guns, in fact.

    Would you say it was the theif or the car owner who are liable for damages?

    That is a false dichotomy, and it is not for me or for you to say. The law and precedent is pretty clear on that. Did you not know that? Do you own a car? Better learn it!

    And for a bonus fun question: Is the Car Thief a Tea Bagger?

    Probably not. Probably, the person who left the keys in the car and is surprised to be taken to task for it is! Depends on what kind of car. Was it a jacked up Ford pickup with a king cap and a Hemi?

    Anyway, see this:

    http://tinyurl.com/26ntosn

  102. #103 Stephanie Z
    December 21, 2010

    Josh, saying that no law or regulation of manufacturer could change what happened because a criminal had to make so many decisions then claiming that gun education would stop crimes goes beyond inconsistent. Now you’re just trying to win an argument, as supported by the “goalpost” comment. Also as supported by your harping on the unintended consequences of making gun ownership safer in general without recognizing the consequences of failing to act. Also as supported by your relegating Duke to the category of sociopath with no better evidence than “He did something with a gun that I’m claiming no normal person would do under any circumstances” and then suggesting that’s evidence to support your position that no normal person would do that.

    If your reaction to life and death circumstances is to publicly try to score points in an argument, perhaps it’s time for you to take a step or two back. You’re not the advocate for your position you’re trying to be.

  103. #104 Josh
    December 21, 2010

    Steph:

    Of course I am trying to win the argument. If there was no point to be made, I could just slap Greg here on the back and say “Way to go” and keep on truckin’.

    The reason for having this internet comment banter is to test my position against his. I was hoping for a good back and forth because it helps to test mine. I might be wrong on a quote, have a fallacey when it comes to a logic argument, or just be looking at something wrong. Testing my own bias as it is (since I realize we all have it, especially myself.) I do this allot because I have found that I used to rely on my bias, and I was quite wrong about allot of things.

    That being said, I used to believe in more gun control also.

    I don’t think education will stop crimes. It will reduce deaths, mostly accidental, but also quite a few intentional, like the recent one I posted. There are plenty where a person has stopped crimes against themselves and others. A more gun friendly culture like the US used to have, or other nations like Switzerland does, or small communities in the US that are by law required to own a firearm all showed far lower amounts of crime, and lower amounts of accidents.

    What is being stated as making gun ownership safer often isn’t, that is what I am saying. I think you might miss that possibility:

    By having more pevailent gun ownership (I agree, better CC training, quite a bit is abismal) but also more training and respect of a firearm in general will go a long way to reducing firearm accidents and also firearm intentional deaths because law abiding citizens like myself would be more likely to carry, and hence more likely to provide the instant force required to stop somebody from killing another person.

    And that forcing, through laws requiring gun locks, registration, restrictions of certain firearms, often produces an environment where people are less able to protect themselves.

    I will agree that taken to either extreme (just handing out guns to every one vs. a removal of all firearm they can.) neither makes any sense. Nations that banned firearms normally have ran into more crime then nations that didn’t. Sure, less deaths by guns. More deaths by knifes, and increasingly more crime in general because the assaliant knows that they person they are attacking is not carrying a firearm.

    And there in lies the argument. Does reducing firearms across the board reduce crime? Does it protect you more? Or does increasing firearm reduce crime?

    Here in the US it is fairly clear:

    Towns that require firearms have less crime.

    Towns that ban handguns have more.

    Your statement:

    “If your reaction to life and death circumstances is to publicly try to score points in an argument, perhaps it’s time for you to take a step or two back.”

    If by banning firearms we produce more crime, and hence deaths, and you take this argument as seriously as you are, then I would suggest you change your position.

    And if you missed the Duke issue earlier, he was a nut case, and shouldn’t have had a firearm in his possesion after his 1999 breakdown. The argument of his sanity wasn’t really in question. His ownership of a gun (or the legal status of the gun) and what law enforcement should do about it was.

  104. #105 Emily
    December 21, 2010

    citizens like myself would be more likely to carry, and hence more likely to provide the instant force required to stop somebody from killing another person.

    We tried that. It was called the wild wild west. There were more homicides per capita then and there than at any other time in our nations history. Most of us have moved on from that.

  105. #106 Josh
    December 21, 2010

    (Ah, this was better thought out and typed, but the internets ate the first one.)

    Greg:

    Perfect meat for this argument! Thank you-

    And to use the tired out but still relevant car analogy:

    In the ex-family relations is a guy in jail right now for killing his best friend while driving.

    Both cases the tool was used wrong, a bad decision was made, and both of these men lost their best friend. Horrible. Nasty. And incredibly sad. Given that there is 308 Million people in the US, this will happen. There will be accidents.

    But interestingly enough, the chance of somebody dying as a child is (and hence, by a friends hand) is 29 times higher due to a car accident. And don’t get me started on backyard pools, bathtubs, even 5 gallon buckets. I just looked it up to check my tired mind and make sure I was correct. Wow.

    But, uhm, I don’t see the argument for banning 5 gallon buckets, pools, or automobiles.

    Talking of which, the car stolen was a Mercury Grand Marquis, of which the grandson left the keys in it. Maybe boat theft would be a better charge!

    So, to make it clear, if somebody stole your car and killed somebody with it, just because you forgot the keys in it, do you feel you are liable? As is, equally responcible for that person’s death? And that it doesn’t ride entirely on the shoulders of the crimial who stole the car?

    And maybe Ford for building the boat? I mean, car.

  106. #107 Josh
    December 21, 2010

    Emily, these comments are exactly why I do these debates. Thank you! And for your info:

    http://www.examiner.com/gun-rights-in-minneapolis/dispelling-the-myth-of-the-wild-west

    •In Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, Dodge City, and Caldwell, for the years from 1870 to 1885, there were only 45 total homicides. This equates to a rate of approximately 1 murder per 100,000 residents per year.
    •In Abilene, supposedly one of the wildest of the cow towns, not a single person was killed in 1869 or 1870.

    •DC – 183 Murders (31 per 100,000 residents)
    •New York – 494 Murders (6 per 100,000 residents)
    •Baltimore – 281 Murders (45 per 100,000 residents)
    •Newark – 104 Murders (37 per 100,000 residents)

    You state:

    “We tried that. It was called the wild wild west. There were more homicides per capita then and there than at any other time in our nations history. Most of us have moved on from that.”

    Your claim that the ‘Wild West’ worse then now is incorrect. You have an incorrect factoid, or meme. The Wild West was decidely tame in comparison to our nations capitol.

    Which until recently, banned handguns.

  107. #108 Greg Laden
    December 21, 2010

    But, uhm, I don’t see the argument for banning 5 gallon buckets, pools, or automobiles.

    Nor do I see an argument for banning handguns.

    Pools are regulated in many communities, and if you have one over a certain size, you better tell your insurance agent because they probably require it, and it will affect your rates. Regulation of automobile use and safety? Yeah, a little, I’d say there is some of that…

    Mercury Grand Marquis,

    Probably not a teabagger.

    So, to make it clear, if somebody stole your car and killed somebody with it, just because you forgot the keys in it, do you feel you are liable? As is, equally responcible for that person’s death? And that it doesn’t ride entirely on the shoulders of the crimial who stole the car?

    Forgot? Negligently left? Was careless? Had a good excuse? All those things would be considered, just like if I discharged a firearm into another person the exact circumstances (out of anger, accidentally, target practicing in my townhouse and shot through the wall ,etc.) would be considered.

    Equally responsible? Probably not. I don’t think there’s a jurisdiction where that is the case. Ride entirely on the actual killer? A common mistake. Guilt is not a pie we divide up. The killer is no less responsible because I left the keys in the car than if he hotwired the car or bought the car from me first. But do we get to add me in for being negligent? (and leaving the key in your car is against the law)… yes.

    And maybe Ford for building the boat? I mean, car.

    Often there is a hitch on the back of the Ford pickup. Sometimes for a boat.

  108. #109 Josh
    December 21, 2010

    Mercury Grand Marquis,

    Probably not a teabagger.

    Actually, more likely IMHO. I figured you would catch me on that one… :)

    As for the rest: good points. In the case I cited, the grandmother, who wasn’t driving nor was she the one who left the keys in the car, it was her grandson. And the courts are still saying she is liable in a suit the names her, her grandson, and John Doe.

    The case is here:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/45204854/Tenn-Newman-v-Jarrell

    It seems there is an issue of where the car was parked. If on private property then it was okay, but out in public they can be held liable.

    I am kinda of flabbergast, but I think you are more correct on this point! I am going to check on my states local laws. From where I came from (Alaska) we just left the car running in the winter at the store so it wouldn’t freeze.

    Off to look at Wa State Law…

  109. #110 Greg Laden
    December 21, 2010

    the grandmother, who wasn’t driving nor was she the one who left the keys in the car, it was her grandson. And the courts are still saying she is liable in a suit the names her, her grandson, and John Doe.

    Yup, that’s how it works. The owner of the vehicle is responsible, to some degree, for what happens, depending. The complexity that someone else got her keys then left them in there does not obviate her responsibility, though I assume most juries and judges would see it as minimal.

    From where I came from (Alaska) we just left the car running in the winter at the store so it wouldn’t freeze.

    That was probably illegal. I do remember being rather put off when I heard of a person in Minnesota, in my own neighborhood, getting cited for this. In that case, she had the car running to warm it up AND the car was locked (Two sets of keys, obviously) but was still cited. I always look both ways before doing that here.

    I also leave my car unlocked routinely up north unless the vehicle has alcohol or narcotics in it.

  110. #111 Stephanie Z
    December 21, 2010

    Joshie, you can’t read. The “just” is important in my statement. You don’t actually care or believe what you’re saying. You’re just tossing it out trying to duel in someone’s parlor. Discussion does not mean argument. Try figuring out the difference and you’ll find out why you’re consistently being reminded that you’re fighting against a straw Greg.

  111. #112 Josh
    December 21, 2010

    Stephanie Z,

    I do care about what I am saying. Please don’t play with a straw me, nor call me Joshie. Only my better half and my sister get to (None of my 4 daughters get to either.)

    Though I am confused, maybe at that is straw and what isn’t. Per wikipedia:

    “A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position.[1] To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position”

    I think Greg made it very clear that he feels there needs to be stronger laws on gun ownership, and also that nut cases are tea baggers. His own words are:

    “Duke was, clearly a teabagger, given what we know of his politics. So this particular incident can be chalked up as yet another violent right winger. ”

    and

    “We need stricter gun laws.”

    Then followed it with

    “It matters to me that we have a major political movement consisting of the love of guns, the love of threatening people with guns, along with it’s stupid political motives and positions. Teabagger leaders tell their winged monkeys to show up “armed and dangerous” (and they do: http://tinyurl.com/2facs6w ) or to kill their opponents should the opponents win (which I assume is themeaning of “a second amendment remedy”)”

    I really could go on – I don’t think I need to though to prove to you that I am not arguing with straw, but with a person who believes that the assaliant was a tea bagger/Tea Party supporter, and that tea party members are gun nuts and gun nuts are willing to kill anybody at any time and that they are working together to keep us unsafe by keeping laws from being passed that he things would benefit everybody.

    Because he said it. In these posts.

    I am kinda dumbfounded, really. Where I am calling Greg on a position he doesn’t hold? I am putting up cases of similar issues, and discussing items outside the realm of the his post in a fleshing out of his position, but I don’t hold much in the way of who Greg is besides what he has put out there. I do not have an internalized picture or stereotype of who he might be, or who he is beyond this and a few other post of his I picked up. I am not painting him with a single brush, as he does so adamantly with gun supporters/tea baggers.

    I would say the staw argument falls right in his, and maybe your, lap.

    I called him on that in fact. The total lack of research into the political past of a crazy person he quickly associated the actions of with a political party he doesn’t understand or agree with.

    That would be more in line with the setup for a straw man. Per wikipedia again:

    “The straw man fallacy occurs in the following pattern of argument:

    4.Inventing a fictitious persona with actions or beliefs which are then criticized, implying that the person represents a group of whom the speaker is critical.

    This sort of “reasoning” is fallacious, because attacking a distorted version of a position fails to constitute an attack on the actual position.”

    What Greg did to Duke was exactly this. Greg has shown his distain for the shooting, and his distain for Tea Party members by calling them Tea Baggers.

    So, no, I am not attacking a straw man. I am attacking a straw man argument against tea party members and gun right supporters.

  112. #113 Josh
    December 21, 2010

    Stephanie:

    One addition.

    You, nor anybody, ever, will know what another person cares or believes. You will never, can never, know another person’s intent.

    And nobody will know yours. Unless you clearly state it, and even then, it might be fallacious. So nobody can know.

    You know your intents, I know mine, and that is the way it will always be.

    Claiming to know somebodies intents, beliefs, cares, puts you on the same shelf with psychics and mind readers.

    I have done it before also (and might have done it here on a post or two) but I don’t know either.

  113. #114 Greg Laden
    December 21, 2010

    Josh: a person who believes that the assaliant was a tea bagger/Tea Party supporter, and that tea party members are gun nuts and gun nuts are willing to kill anybody at any time and that they are working together to keep us unsafe by keeping laws from being passed that he things would benefit everybody.

    I stopped thinking he was a teabagger way back when more information causing me to change my mind started to show up. He probably isn’t. I’ve said this previously.

    Tea party members around these parts tend to be gun nuts, or supportive r there of. Michele Bachmann really is a teabagger, she practically invented the phrase, and she really does ask her supporters to use their connections to gun ownership to threaten the political opposition. Kill anybody at any time? Now we’re talking straw, man!

    Greg has shown his distain for the shooting, and his distain for Tea Party members by calling them Tea Baggers.

    Do you not disdain the shooting? Seriously? Is Duke a hero to you? Do you not disdain the Tea Party Members (teabaggers, as they orignally called themselves until they found out about the sex act)? Are you a teabagger?

    Regarding laws, regs, and enforcement vis-a-vis guns, I am NOT making a simplistic argument that guns should be banned or that new strict lawas are needed. I am making the argument that we need to be realistic, understand the data and respect what it means, and change how we do things in some cases mildly and in some cases drastically. I think everything is on the table, including new laws, but also including alternatives to new laws.

    We wouldn’t be having this conversation if the gun nuts respected the rest of society more. But they don’t. thus, they must be regulated. For the most part existing lawas probably give sufficient basis for that. But if not, so be it.

    I’m not sure I’d use the phrase Straw Man, and I suspect Stephanie would not either. A straw man is an argument that the arguer sets up to argue against. Here, you’re misunderstanding (or misrepresenting) my arguments, I suspect because you sense that I’m not on your side on the “my gunz iz my toyz leave dem alone!!!” argument, so you assume that I have the standard anti-gun arguments. I don’t, you’re wrong.

    That, I suspect, is why Stephanie used the term “Straw Greg” rather than “Straw Man.”

  114. #115 Stephanie Z
    December 21, 2010

    What Greg said. Also, if you want your name respected, respect the names of the people you’re dealing with.

  115. #116 Josh
    December 22, 2010

    I wrote quite a bit before I hit this point in my typing. Then…

    “We wouldn’t be having this conversation if the gun nuts respected the rest of society more. But they don’t. thus, they must be regulated.”

    Really?

    I could go back to my post about nuts with guns being different then gun nuts, but I don’t think it is worth it. I really don’t think you understand, or choose not to. It… it is worthless to respond to you. I was thinking the blog on science blogs, high on the google search would produce a great environment to have my views challenged, but your opinions are based on my previously mentioned weak gravy.

    Your bias is so overriding and ignorant of both the Tea Party and of Gun owners/supporters that we can not share a common ground as to the morals of average people, because you seem to not phathom that they might be. Enjoy your memes, your echo chamber, and your sophomoric knowledge.

    I am just walking away unimpressed.

  116. #117 Grant Smith
    December 22, 2010

    Gun control laws would not have stopped this idiot from killing a man. Give your head a shake. Someone crazy enough to murder his fellow human being is capable of doing such with or without a legally obtained firearm. Let’s assume that when one crosses the line mentally and decides they will kill, they will then make it their priority to get their hands on a murder weapon.

  117. #118 Anon
    December 24, 2010

    I didn’t read all of the comments so apologies if this has already been answered. Greg, when you say we need stricter gun laws, what specifically do you propose be done?

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