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Jocko

Sandy Hook Elementary School

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I was born in 1967 and I can't remember any crimes 'back then' where a crazed gunman went to a public place and tried to kill as many people as he could for no apparent reason and then killed himself.

Personally, there are two reasons for this:

1. The availability of information is instant now. Until recently, most people received their news through newspapers, which often were a day or two behind.

2. Believe it or not, people like watching news about bad things. If they didn't, the news wouldn't show it. It's all about ratings.

In truth, there's no proof of an increase in the past years (http://www.kjrh.com/...-half-since-90s):

shnsmass.jpg

This amazes me. Hard to believe mass murders aren't higher now. Maybe it's the media coverage. I wonder if there would be a difference if it were broken down to "profit motivated" (home/business robberies gone bad, gang related, drug related, etc.) and "random" such as Sandy Hook, Va. Tech, et.al.)

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Stats don't always show the whole picture.

What people do is use personal bias to manipulate what the numbers mean, or even to change the methodology to make the numbers show what they want. Often, this is made to "prove a point" or attempt to change opinions with the "fudged" numbers.

Without doing the numbers myself, I can't verify the numbers given above. However, if someone is simply giving the numbers, there's no way to dispute them. One other thing to consider when looking at the chart above is that it's not based on "per 100,000" or some other level field. Therefore, the fact the numbers have remained stagnant, and even dropped, shows the incidents at a ratio level have dropped.

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1. If more guns make everyone safer, we should be the safest country in the world. We have something around 300 million guns, but we are far from the lowest gun death rate in the Western world.

2. We are the only country in the Western world that takes this approach to firearms, and the gun nuts in this country are the only ones that don't see it. Other Americans have figured it out, Canadians, the British, Australians...just not the people living here making up for some other inadequacy.

That's not how it works, it depends on who has them, demographics, history, etc. As you say, there's 300 MM already here - so we take away those from the very people who'll obey the law and aren't the problem? If you could white-sheet it and start over, then this is a relevant debate. Maybe you only have 100 MM after a ban. But they'll be in all the wrong hands.

And, before the insults fly, the facts in that are just wrong. Finland and Switzerland, for example, have HIGHER rates of firearms ownership (it's practically required in Switzerland). Both have far lower rates of violence. In the mid-20th century, British firearms ownership was higher and they had virtually no restrictions - you could buy a shotgun right on the street. But even then their rates of violent crime were far lower than the US. So the causality argument is simply wrong on its face.

3. When the Bill of Rights was ratified, "arms" consisted of blackpowder rifles for the most part. I'm all for a strict interpretation of the 2nd Amendment if we base it off of what weapons were available at the time.

Fair enough - CNN and your local newspaper are then limited to only using hand-operating printing presses. Since we're all about Original Intent and all...

4. I am tired of the comparisons with cars or knives. Like ump_24 said, cars are regulated heavily. (Although I think it should be harder to get your license and renew it) You have to have insurance, you have to register your car, pay taxes on it, safety standards are always being improved, roads safety is improving....etc etc. Furthermore, the purpose of cars is to transport people or goods from Point A to Point B. The purpose of guns is to shoot things, mainly people. If you fail to see the difference, I can't help you.

People also keep pointing out the knife attack in China. Guess what? Those 22 kids are alive, and the 20 in Connecticut aren't.

Guns - like cars, cans of gasoline, barrels of fertilizer, and airplanes - are amoral tools, to be used for good or ill depending on the operator. By the way, the biggest mass murders in US history all involved those three things, not a gun in sight. The purpose of any tool is what the human behind it gives it. Of course weapons can kill - they can kill an innocent kindergartner or a violent burglar.

You're right, the China knife attack is a bad example. A better one is the approx million or so times a year when the presence of a weapon averts a crime, either through direct use or simply being brandished. The stats are there, in numerous refereed studies.

5. No matter how many fantasies people have about it, a gun enthusiast saving a bunch of people by getting into a shootout with the gunman is not based in reality. The NYPD shot 10 bystanders during the Empire State Building shootout. It is incredibly easy to get a CCW permit and it requires no actual training, just a class in most places. Society is full of people that are not bright enough nor well trained enough to safely protect others. I'll take my chances against one gunman rather than having some wannabe hero returning fire and having double the rounds coming at me.

Alright, this is just unconnected to reality. Every time a state expands CCW, we hear this "Wild West' fantasy, and it never has happened. And CCW holders prevent crime with regularity. Google "Nick Meli". Don't know him? He's the CCW holder - lawfully obtained - who was at the Oregon mall. He didn't shoot because he was concerned about someone in the background and didn't want to hit them. But as soon as the gunman spotted Nick, he shortly thereafter took his own life. What would the body count have been if Nick wasn't there, not only with his CCW but also exercising discretion - as his training taught him. This was just last week. So 'never' just happened, as it does all the time.

If I thought that a ban or any of the proposed restrictions would save one child, I'd melt them down myself. But I simply don't think they will. And all the while we're going to waste enormous time and energy debating silly things like banning the sale of a tiny fraction of rifles because they're painted black or look scary instead of solving root causes like lack of mental health treatment, lack of reporting for background checks, etc. And it's only a matter of time till we're here again.

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http://www.nbcnewyork.com/nbcnewyork/pm_107633/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=NTx8PDCZ

Sad that this is what it has to come to but glad my town is taking the initiative.

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http://www.nbcnewyork.com/nbcnewyork/pm_107633/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=NTx8PDCZ

Sad that this is what it has to come to but glad my town is taking the initiative.

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