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Monday, December 17, 2012

Why Don't the Police in Kansas Carry Guns?

Posted by on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 6:11 AM

I can only assume—based on the gun nut logic sloshing around the Internet over the last week—that the police in Kansas are unarmed. I haven't read the story, just going from the headline. I'm assuming that the police in Kansas are unarmed because if the police in Kansas had guns then they could've taken the bad guy out, right? I mean, the gun nuts keep insisting that one armed teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary could've taken out a madman with two handguns and a high-powered rifle. If that's true, well, then surely a cop with a gun—two cops with guns—could've taken out one guy with one gun in Kansas.

That's how it works, right?

Or maybe not.

UPDATE: Neil Steinberg's lastest column for the Chicago Sun-Times:

Twenty children shot down. As horrifying as it was, our fellow Americans buffed the horror to a hallucinatory sheen. The shootings are an Obama conspiracy to push gun control! This illustrates the urgent need to end gun-free zones! If only those teachers were armed...

Shades of the offensive fantasy that—since I’m Jewish—gun nuts feel obligated to send to me, floating the notion that had only the Jews of Europe been armed before World War II then, golly, the Holocaust would never have happened. Pretty to think so. But the Polish Army was armed. The French Army was armed too. Didn’t help them much. Guns have their uses, but if they were the magic totems of protection that gun advocates seem to believe they are, then we’d all live in a very, very safe country.

And, obviously, we don’t.

There could have a been a police officers’ convention at the Sandy Hook School and those kids would still be dead. Police officers, if you haven’t noticed, are shot and killed too, despite their training, despite their guns.


Comments (25) RSS

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I don't think teachers should be armed, but this interpretation of that argument is just dumb.

I am fairly certain that the folks who are suggesting this idea are pointing out that such an armed teacher would be able to react far quicker (being at the scene already) than any police (unless there were police stationed at the school?)

There are good arguments against arming teachers in schools, but this is definitely not one of them.
Posted by Chrisdude on December 17, 2012 at 6:20 AM · Report this
Adam Lanza's mom owned quite a few guns. They don't seem to have made her safer. Quite the opposite in fact.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 17, 2012 at 6:58 AM · Report this
--MC 3
Ken, I think the irony filter may be disabled in your browser. Check your settings.
Posted by --MC on December 17, 2012 at 7:03 AM · Report this
smajor82 4
@1 follow the links. Notice he is talking about Kansas, not Connecticut, when referring to the police. Police in Kansas responding to a call were killed by someone with a firearm.

If 2 trained police officers on alert get taken out by one guy with a gun, does it follow that a high school humanities teacher with a pistol would have stopped a guy with an assault rifle and a bullet proof vest? Dan thinks the answer is "no" (I agree), which is the point of his post.
Posted by smajor82 on December 17, 2012 at 7:06 AM · Report this
Probably an inconvenient time to report that the shooter at San Antonio's China Garden restaurant and Santikos Mayan Palace 14 theatre was wounded by an off-duty sheriff's deputy and was later apprehended.

No points for guessing the suspect was a male under the age of 40.
Posted by so much gummint tyranny this week, eh lads? on December 17, 2012 at 7:11 AM · Report this
Seems like Adam Lanza's Mom was not just a gun owner; she was the very archetype of the responsible gun owner, i.e., a "prepper". Trained her sons to shoot, so they could better deal with the coming apocalypse. Except her son was the apocalypse. Oops. Her militia could have been more "well-regulated."…
Posted by Eric from Boulder on December 17, 2012 at 7:16 AM · Report this
Also, no points for guessing that the shooter confused "end of romantic relationship with fellow restaurant employee" with "government tyranny".

What is government tyranny? If you ask Ian Stawicki he would say getting booted out of a cafe for picking fights with patrons.
If you ask Dinh Bowman he would say getting body damage on a BMW.
If you ask Radcliffe Oughton he would say having a court order filed against him in a divorce motion.
If you ask Jesus Garcia he would say the end of a romantic breakup.
If you ask James Holmes he would say "ablee blee gubba gubba herp derp."
If you ask Adam Lanza he would say losing an argument against Mommy.
Posted by but drones and wiretapping are okay on December 17, 2012 at 7:22 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 8
I wonder who's child will be shot today?
Posted by Pope Peabrain on December 17, 2012 at 7:28 AM · Report this
Dan, you forgot reports are that Adam Lanza also had on body armor. I'd add that in when referring to the absurdity of the gun-nut arguments.
Posted by Jersey on December 17, 2012 at 7:56 AM · Report this

Whomever it is will be up against 80X as many parents whose children are killed in automobile violence.

But only gunshot children victims are useful in the Liberal Cultural Assault on American Liberty.

Posted by Why Do You Hate America? on December 17, 2012 at 8:03 AM · Report this
@10, why don't you drive your gun to the local supermarket, and pick up a loaf of illogic?
Posted by Petey Manstraw on December 17, 2012 at 8:40 AM · Report this
Simone 12
A few weeks ago I found some kids back in my high school days who I used to know and now that they are all grown up they are exactly that type of gun nuts who love their guns, think Obama is taking their guns away, and believe that conceal and carry offers the best protection. They believe these things even in the face of facts. I'm glad I can call them kids who I knew in H.S and not friends.
Posted by Simone on December 17, 2012 at 8:41 AM · Report this


you have to put those guns in the hands of Real Men to get the MoJo.....
Posted by The French "Army"?! hahahahahahahahahaha on December 17, 2012 at 8:44 AM · Report this
The article about the Kansas Police Officers does suggest a refinement to the arming teachers argument, in that a third officer, who fired shots was uninjured.

Clearly, it is not enough to arm and train our teachers in military tactics, they also need to fire off a few rounds whenever anyone enters the school; only then will our children be safe.
Posted by Tule River Reservation Aparently Not A National Tragedy on December 17, 2012 at 9:04 AM · Report this
smajor82 15
@5 - So the presence of someone with a gun in the area failed to prevent the killings and also failed to put an end to the life of the shooter? So your point is what exactly?

To all the gun nuts - let's pretend we live in a world where armed teachers can reduce the body count in these massacres by 50%. These events are rare. How many people die due to there being dozens if not hundreds of guns in schools with thousands of kids around? Gun owners don;t have a great track record of safety. In fact, if you keep a gun in your house, it's more likely to shoot someone you know and love rather than an intruder. Why would guns in schools be any different?

News flash - actual evidence suggests that gun bans work. Look at Baltimore, D.C., and Australia for really nice examples.
Posted by smajor82 on December 17, 2012 at 10:16 AM · Report this
emor 16
War on cars?
Posted by emor on December 17, 2012 at 10:33 AM · Report this
Case in point, the Lakewood police murders. 4 armed policemen were gunned down in a coffee shop and the suspect basically got away. If only they were armed.
Posted by garumph on December 17, 2012 at 10:52 AM · Report this
So many assume that having a gun means the law-abiding owner (LAO) will win - that the gun won't jam, that the bad guy won't fire first, that the LAO will be a sharpshooter with one, disarming kill-shot, that nobody will step in front of the bad guy or the LAO. Fewer guns means less gun violence - taking the largest sample-size, the stats prove this. You want your guns? You shoot at a range? No worries - store them there. You hunt? OK - go through a "hunting course" and use guns designed for hunting, not designed to kill humans (assault weapons and semi-automatic handguns). Would I be sad by a total gun ban? No but I don't expect that. But I do expect more control and a commensurate reduction in gun violence. Cars? Knives? Bats? Pipes? Fists? All can be deadly but none are designed to be so.

Full disclosure: I have been held up at gunpoint (about 20 years ago). Neither my wife nor I was armed and the asshole got away with 15 dollars. If I had been armed, I think of the possible outcomes: I could have disarmed the guy simply by pulling my piece. I could have disarmed the guy by wounding him. I could have disarmed the guy by killing him. Or I could have missed and ended up getting my wife killed. Or getting myself killed. Or both of us. Or, even, all three of us (an immediately non-lethal/non-disarming kill shot). Have I ever wished I had been armed? No fucking way, not now, not ever. 15 dollars and a sense of security is what he took (both of which I can work to recoup (and have done)). He did not take my life, my wife's life and I did not have to live with the fact that I could have been responsible for my wife's death or even this guy's had I only been "partially" successful.
Posted by From the South (as in CA) on December 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 19

It's interesting to me that the gun nuts don't understand the fundamentals of shooting for self-protection. Cops are trained to shoot at the torso, because it's the largest target, the easiest to actually hit, and the best bet for stopping whomever they're shooting at.

Both Holmes and Lanza wore body armor, so, not only are patrons in a dark movie theater and teachers in a kindergarten supposed to be packing, they're supposed to be master marksmen capable of taking out the shooter with a headshot in one go.

You know what scares me more than raving mentally ill people owning guns? "Responsible" gun nuts knowing less about how guns actually work than *I* do.
Posted by keshmeshi on December 17, 2012 at 11:57 AM · Report this
It was Mama's guns that were used to kill Mama and all the children and adults. It was Mama's car he drove to the school. He lived with Mama in Mama's house. Mama's karma is a bitch.

This man was a coward to the core. He shot his gun-totin' Mama while she slept. He killed very young children, for God's sake. As soon as he saw police, he shot himself.

Cowardly POS with a survivalist Mama. It's all about the fear -- and a coward's response to the fear.
Posted by karmamasabitch on December 17, 2012 at 12:14 PM · Report this
Fnarf 21
@18, by far the most likely outcome in your incident would have been either you or your wife shot, probably both. A mugger by definition has the jump on you; he's got his finger on the trigger before you even know he's there. The worst possible thing you could have done is try to pull out your weapon. You'd be dead before your fingers touched the metal.

Oh, and your assailant would have gotten not just the fifteen dollars, but another clean firearm out of the deal. When the cops came upon your dead bodies, they would have had no way of knowing you had had a gun on you, or what kind it was, or what its serial number was -- that piece would have been clean as a whistle and hugely valuable for some further series of crimes, including murder.

So I'm sorry you were held up -- it must have been terrifying -- but I'm really, really glad you didn't have a firearm that day.

@19, also, the first responding officer to the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin was shot fifteen times. But I'm sure one of these internet cowboys could have taken the bad guy, right?
Posted by Fnarf on December 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
@21: exactly (and great observation in your last point)

Some years ago (fall '90), there was an incident at Henry's Bar in Berkeley (at the Hotel Durant, near the Cal campus) when a heavily armed man took the bar (full of college students) hostage. There were reports of him forcing some guys to molest some of the women (the blonde ones) with carrots that he had brought. One young man was shot and killed. I knew a few people in the bar that night. I also heard others (who were not in the bar) say, "Oh, I would have taken him out" (or words to that effect). Really? What if you had failed? Of the 67 people known to be in the pub (almost half mananged to escape at the outset), 2 were killed - the gunman and the one young man. Hey, hero - if you had failed, perhaps the body count would have been 38. And perhaps you'd have been spared so you could live with your action. The good guy's gun never jams, right?
Posted by From the South (as in CA) on December 17, 2012 at 12:36 PM · Report this
Much of the death in CT could have been prevented like it was in Oregon last week.…
Posted by MotoGevur on December 17, 2012 at 2:36 PM · Report this
Remember, kids. Guns don't kill people. People willing to kill people kill people.

Somehow that little snippet of logic never registered with the NRA that maybe, just maybe, arming the whole population wouldn't do fuck all to stop "The Bad Guys". Maybe "The Bad Guys" are the ones who make people dead, regardless of whether they're acting in self defense or not. Because like it or not, 80% of us aren't killers under *any* circumstances. That's a well-researched fact.

So with that in mind, it doesn't matter one way or the other if the entire population is armed. Or maybe it does, and it's just better all around if it's not.
Posted by gromm on December 17, 2012 at 4:20 PM · Report this
@23 if the killer was stopped in his tracks and convinced to commit suicide by the vague sight of a man, hiding from the killer, who *might* have a gun, we may as well all carry water pistols for the same effect. Or an "is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me".

The CCW guy is not a great example of "if we all had guns, this crap would never happen again". But, nice try.
Posted by originalcinner on December 17, 2012 at 5:26 PM · Report this

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