You Don't Say

Comments

1
"It is fearsome looking, a carbine hybrid of pistol and long gun with a mouthful of a name: the Kel-Tec Sub Rifle 2000."

It looks scary!

*poops pants*

They mention that it folds, but not that it can't fire while folded. They write about it like it is somehow unique and particularly evil, but it is really a very common gun because of the low price and inexpensive 9mm ammo it fires (.40 also available). It only looks scary to people afraid of all guns, among gun circles most people make fun of it.

As mentioned in the thread about this a couple posts down, the terrorist watch list isn't a perfect system (far from it) and has no real legal standing in this area. Until they have real evidence of something they can't prevent you from doing otherwise legal things. If they have real evidence of something then by all means keep them from buying a gun, but they still have to follow the laws as written.
2
You know what we need? We need a "show your papers" bill for guns. It seems it's mostly illegal guns that do most of the crime. Lawful guns owners will have nothing to fear of course, because they have nothing to hide. We need to take care of this increasing problem in the US....a nation-wide gun inventory!
3
Agree with @1; it's not an especially "scary" gun.

If you're ever in Denver, Dan, look me up. I'll introduce you to my perfectly legal 20 mm. Now that's a scary gun by pretty much anybody's definition. In the meantime, quit raking muck.
4
Another thought... I find guns and abortion to be roughly similar in many ways for the right and left. Every time the right tries to take any small (or large) step to limit abortion in some form, the left gets stirred up about an attack on an individual right. The same thing happens when the left tries to restrict firearms in any way. The difference being that gun ownership is explicitly given as a right in the Constitution and abortion takes some legal interpretation to become a right (and I support both rights).

Extending that analogy, describing a gun as scary looking is no different from describing "partial birth abortion," "dialation and extraction," etc in detail. It has no bearing on the facts, but is an attempt at emotional manipulation for a particular end.
5
I still think about that Michael Moore movie where he gets a gun when he opens an account...what the hell kind of place does that? Give away condoms, and people want your blood, but suggest that some moron shouldn't be able to buy a gun with a cereal box lid, and the "My rights! My rights!" screaming starts...
6
Gun ownership is completely legal - why shouldn't they be allowed to give a gun away? Would you be equally offended if it was a car? There's no difference here.
7
the gun is the least fucked up part of this story.
8
Is it appropriate for there to be judicially-opined constitutional limitations to the First Amendment (i.e., shouting fire in a crowded theatre) or to the Second Amendment (i.e., possessing a machine gun)?
9
Sure thing, Telsa. It's just about exactly as appropriate as jjudicially-opined constitutional limits on a woman's control of her own body. Get my drift?
10
There will always be limitations and no freedom is absolute, very few people will argue otherwise on any issue. The question is where the line is drawn...

Oh, and under federal law you can own a machine gun. WA law prohibits them, but they are legal in many other states.
11
Slight correction. You seem to be pretty up on this stuff, but machine-gun ownership is controlled solely by federal law. States can't override that.
12
Right on, 5280.

When I heard the guy had a gun in the SUV, I actually wondered why the hell he didn't use the gun in some way to make a better ignitor. The folks in Times Square were lucky that this guy was kinda dumb (or really trying to do it on the cheap).
13
Chris: Without getting into too much detail, even that wouldn't have provided enough of a pressure curve to ignite the stuff - even if it was real AMFO (which it wasn't). But I'm not here to give lessons in demolition.
14
I'm not sure what you are saying... They are legal under federal law (see the Knob Creek shoots etc) but states can have more restrictive laws (look at CA for example). If I recall correctly Class 3 weapons (machine guns etc) are not legal in Washington State. Short Barreled Shotguns and Rifles (SBS, SBR) are legal under federal law with an ATF tax stamp, but are explicitly prohibited under Washington State law.
15
States cannot have more-restrictive laws. Seriously. Good luck getting someone from your sttate to sign off on the form - that's another story entirely - but under no circumstances does state law ever pre-empt federal law. It's just not wired that way.
16
@6:

Funny, I've never been able to drive a gun to work in the morning...
17
Maybe because you've never tried. They get great mileage.
18
GUN DORKS, GO COMMENT ON FOXNEWS.COM.
19
Aww, poor baby.
20
People in Washington complaining about easy access to guns in another state? We're in a pretty serious glass house here to be throwing stones. This is a state which has *voluntary* registration for private firearms sales. It is perfectly legal to buy a handgun for cash without performing any sort of registration or background check at all, so long as neither party is a firearms dealer professionally.

My Sub 2000 has been very good to me so far, as have the couple of other Kel-Tecs I've owned over the years.
21
Roger that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of the Kel-Tecs. Good stuff.
22

Hey, Dan. Now that they have a picture and bio of the guy.

Seems like profiling would have worked.

You think?

23
Yeah, it might have. Too bad nobody gives a flying fuck what you have to say about anything.
24

@23. At least I say my piece and shut up.

The complete absence of public interest for your opinion seems merely to provoke you into posting the same unread item 2 or three more times.
25
Propane is also easy to obtain. Much easier, in fact. Perhaps that is a more germane point to make about the construction of a propane-fueled bomb. Just sayin'.

26
Yeah, dipshit. That's why there are people there saying "right on, 5280." Show me one instance of someone saying "right on, SROTU" and I'll shut up.
27
You know, I don't know you from Adam. But I see your bullshit posts, and I see the way the rest of the folks here treat you, and I've gotta figure you're one step up from Will in Seattle for being the biggest, most full-of-shit horse's ass on Slog. So go ahead, dildo, prove me wrong. Say something useful.
28
5280: I'm pretty sure the only reason people buy handguns and machine guns is to have a way to kill people.

"U.S. Leads Richest Nations In Gun Deaths"
The United States has by far the highest rate of gun deaths -- murders, suicides and accidents -- among the world's 36 richest nations, a government study found.
http://www.guncite.com/cnngunde.html

Okay, so while guns are legal, as you say, I'm just looking at the numbers here, which indicate that there is more gun-related violent crime in the States than in any other industrialized country. And just a thought: Maybe what worked for a bunch of elite white guys 200 years ago could be re-examined for relevance from time to time... (and before you go all "F U, Canadian" on me, I'm American, too, my family has lived in the States since the early 1600s.)

29
@17:

Clearly, you're joking. For one thing, pretty much every piece of iron I've ever handled doesn't even have a gas cap, let alone a gas tank (although the FN P90 I tried out a couple of months ago sure seemed sporty enough when it comes to that).

And while Newton's Third Law of Motion certainly comes into play, I cannot imagine anything short of a BAR could exert enough backwards force to propel a 190 lb. person such as myself forward any distance at all, let alone get me from home to work and back each day without expending several thousands of rounds, which, at today's prices would probably make the equivalent motive potential of a gallon of petrol seem like a bargain in comparison.
30
Ah. I can't go all "FU Canadian." Well that sucks.

But really, I can and will, because it's a different mindset. And your Canuck mindset says "all things tjat could possibly be harmful in any way, shape or form are bad and must be banned."

Here in the good ol' USA, most of us have the brains to understand that you don't blame inanimate objects for evil deeds, you blame the stupid dumbassed motherfuckers who perpetrate them.
31
Comte: This is why you need to handload your ammo. Much cheaper. :-)
32
@28:

And that doesn't even take into consideration the fact that, at the time the Constitution & Bill of Rights were enacted, HANDguns were extremely rare, and for the most part considered effete or novelty weapons, good only for dueling purposes (which, BTW was illegal at the time) or extreme close quarters combat. I would hazard that more than 99% of all the firearms in the U.S. at that time were single-shot, muzzle-loading rifles; repeaters, revolvers and other multi-shot firearms were barely a gleam in anyone's eye in 1791 when the Second Amendment was enacted.
33
@30:

Riiiiiiggghhhht. That's why Canadians are never allowed to touch cigarettes, whisky, beer and loose women...

Seriously, can't you do better than that?

And handloading several tens of thousands of rounds of ammo every week may be "cheaper" in absolute standards, but I'll bet the dude picking up the spent brass up-and-down the street is probably going to rake in more $$ than it would be worth for me to try to get my ass to work and back using a percussive weapon as a motor vehicle.

Piss fucking poor analogy dude, admit it.
34
Well of course it is. Good thing I'm just fucking around or I'd be mortally offended and have to challenge you to a duel.
35
@9: Not quite. The body is the grounds for philosophy — of Lacan, Derrida, Sartre, etc. — and even metaphysics of the self.

In other words, the body cannot be removed from the self (except, for now, in Avatarland). This is the crux of the issue with a woman's sentient, self-conscious authority over her own body under her own terms being controlled by an authority external to her self. Denying that from her is denying the self from sentient, self-conscious authority.

Alas, neither the First nor Second Amendments are germane to this analogy. Anything outside of the person is no longer part of the self and thus under the jurisdiction of law within a locality. Even speaking verbally is an act of separation from self, because once uttered, it cannot be un-uttered, cannot be brought back into the person, and thus is not part of the self.
36
@ 15 - That's really only true if federal law has completely preempted the field. I'm not sure whether this has been litigated (or if there is an express provision in the relevant regulations specifying "field preemption"), but you can have state regulations that go above and beyond the strictures of federal regulations.

Whether you'd be able to PASS those state regulations, that's another question. Yet another question is whether it's good policy. And those are questions I will not get into.
37
@30 "your Canuck mindset says "all things tjat could possibly be harmful in any way, shape or form are bad and must be banned."

Yeah, that must explain our stance on cannabis, eh? I'll admit, I do look at the world differently after living here for 20 odd years, there is definitely a less violent, defensive mindset that is pretty appealing. And I disagree with your idea that we live in some sort of nanny state here, I mean, you can't even travel to Cuba or marry someone unless tab A fits into slot B, that's a lot more "big brother" than what I live with. And BTW, nuclear bombs are "inanimate objects" as well, and I sure as fuck don't want those given away by the local bank...
38
@37: You clearly don't live in Québec. ;)
39
@38 No, dear, more like Houston north...
40
On an unrelated note, there's a really nice article here about a speed skater who just came out
(http://outsports.com/jocktalkblog/2010/0…)
and is interviewed by writer Lee Suckling in the Australian magazine DNA...somehow, at midnight my time, a writer for a gay magazine who is named "Suckling" seemed kinda funny...
41
@39: Oh! Edmonton! At least the nights are shorter this time of year.
42
@34:

In which case I'd probably opt for a Claymore or some other heavy broadsword over a piddly little dueling pistol. You might punch a hole in my gut, but one good, clean swipe and you'd be bacon for the cat, if you receive my meaning. ;)
43
@41 Ah, Calgary, actually....where everyone and their dog works for Shell...nights are shorter, which makes it easier to see all the freakin' snow that's still on the ground :(
44
@42 Or if you want to avoid jail time, you could just send him up here and we'll leave him out for the bears...
45
@43: Ah, so Dallas Nord. I'll explain the nitpickiness (being from Houston originally):

Calgary and Dallas are where all the petrochemical companies and financial centres are based, whereas Edmonton, like Houston, is sort of the less glossy, less cosmopolitan (don't laugh: Calgary got '88) of the pair. Plus, Fort McMurray is Edmonton's Beaumont (even though, granta, one is seven hours away versus two). Houston and Edmonton, being less diversified economically, are more beholden to the whims of oil prices.

Though, true, Shell have a big presence in Calgary as they do in Houston. And, well, Amsterdam, but you get the idea.
46
@39: See, Québec is Canada's take on the nanny state.

There are also a lot of nannies in Québec. Completely and utterly a coincidence.
47
Has any one of the "gimme mah gunz" people here actually READ the Second Amendment? Listen:


A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


Did you see that part in, oh, I don't know, the first four words about a "well regulated Militia"? A well regulated Militia. Read Federalist No. 29. There, Alexander Hamilton expands on the nature of the phrase and Amendment, and how government regulation of firearms is so very important. I thought about quoting it here, but there's so much good stuff in there that I'd have just ended up pasting the whole thing. Suffice it to say that the Framers did not contemplate any fool being able to wave around automatic weapons with impunity--they thought that the people would be a good backup to the army, and wanted them to be equipped and in training for it.

Firearms were much less common in those days, and manufacturing much less advanced. The idea behind the Second Amendment was an armed citizenry under the command of the government, not random yahoos shooting whoever they like. Anyone who says otherwise is dead wrong on both original intent (Scalia's--the favorite jurist of the paleoconservative crowd--favorite hobbyhorse) and on modern application.
48
@ 47 - Alright, I'm actually not sure how I feel about Heller. On the one hand, I tend toward civil libertarianism, including on the Second Amendment. (I think Hugo Black was right - the 14th Amendment should have just incorporated all of the Bill of Rights against the states, rather than leaving the task of selective incorporation to the courts.) On the other, the idea put forth in the Heller decision that the first half of the Second Amendment does not limit, but simply informs the rationale behind, the second half is a little viscerally discomforting. And yet, your hilariously simplistic (and on some points completely erroneous) reading has my pinko-liberal-East-Coast panties so bunched up I somehow find myself on the side of Colonel George Taylor.

First off, I assume the most salient passage that you rely on from Federalist No. 29 is this:

It is, therefore, with the most evident propriety, that the plan of the convention proposes to empower the Union "to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, RESERVING TO THE STATES RESPECTIVELY THE APPOINTMENT OF THE OFFICERS, AND THE AUTHORITY OF TRAINING THE MILITIA ACCORDING TO THE DISCIPLINE PRESCRIBED BY CONGRESS."


Federalist 29 did focus on the desirability of maintaining state militias, but makes no mention of the role of the individual and whether there is an individualized right to keep and bear arms. It focuses instead on the role of the State in maintaining its own military capabilities, even under conditions of a more strengthened Union. (Keep in mind, the Articles of Confederation created a much weaker central government than the Constitution did.)

More to the point, it has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. Federalist 29 was published in January of 1788. James Madison didn't even propose the Bill of Rights until 1789, and he presented them to the First US Congress, not to the Philadelphia Convention. The Bill of Rights wasn't adopted until 1791. So unless Hamilton was not only brilliant, but clairvoyant, it seems a bit unlikely that he was talking about the Second Amendment. (Also, if Hamilton really was so psychic, you'd think he'd have anticipated this debate and made some explicit note about whether or not the right to keep and bear arms extends to individual, non-militia actors.) Arguing that Federalist 19 "expands on the nature of the phrase and Amendment" is patently absurd, and requires an (intentional?) ignorance of the chronology here.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


Again, I am really not 100% sure where I stand on this. But your assertion that the language here baldly and obviously states that the protection of gun ownership ends with the state militia is misguided. It's not an absurd interpretation, but it's far from the only straightforward interpretation. The language here really doesn't expressly lay out militia membership (and yes, we'd hope that all state militias would be relatively well-regulated) as a precondition of "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms." Unless the Framers intentionally used obfuscating (and incorrect) syntax, "shall not be infringed" does not - and grammatically cannot - refer to the "militia," but the "right of the people." (As an added note, the copy of the Amendment that was circulated to the states omitted that first and third comma.)

[The real area for argument here is whether the "militia" passage informs the meaning of "the people" - whether "the people" are individuals, or citizens of the state in service of the state. But on that point, the language is pretty inconclusive. Which, ultimately, is why I'm not 100% sure how I feel about Heller.]

Heller doesn't completely eviscerate any and all regulations. It's entirely possible that banning certain types of guns would fall under those "reasonable" regulations mentioned by the Court. I'd argue that it does - but that's a debate for another time.

Also, Larry Tribe doesn't agree with you. And as far as liberal legal scholars go, you really can't do much better than Tribe. (He does think the specific concealed handgun ban at issue in Heller should have passed constitutional muster, but agrees that the Second Amendment protects more than a collective right to own and use guns in the service of militias.)

In any event, I'm all for reasonable regulations of gun ownership - requiring licenses and safety courses, keeping the felon-possession statutes in place, some limitations on precisely what weapons a person may own (I really don't think anyone in the NRA thinks you should be able to own a nuke). But there is room for debate on where those lines should be drawn. I'm willing to bet I'd like to see more regulations in place than 5280, for instance, and I think there is room for reasonable debate there. But arguing that there is no right to gun ownership beyond that in the service of militias? NT, that puts you well outside the realm of respected liberal legal scholarship.

In other words: Con Law. Ur doin' it rong.
49
@42: Unless claymores were unlike all other large, two-handed European swords of the era, they were intended primarily for punching holes in people's guts (that is, stabbing), as swinging them around in combat would tend to be injurious to the other people on your side (not to mention being absurdly slow with such a large blade).

I'd rather use a blade as well, but a dagger or short sword is more than sufficient (see: Tueller Distance).
50
cont: Actually, all you anti-gun folks should look up the Tueller Distance too. Within 21 feet or so, if you've got a gun and the other guy's got a knife, you're likely to lose. Most actual on-the-street confrontations occur within that 21-foot distance. Should we start banning knives now too?
51
Wow. I always forget how batshit insane Americans can be when it comes to guns. Just another reason not to visit anymore, I guess.
52
Comte, NT, et al, there's a serious problem with your arguments regarding the intent of the Constitution's framers. No, they couldn't have imagined today's guns and how lethal and misused they are, but they also couldn't have imagined the internet, which has been just as harmful when a few malicious individuals decided to pick on a vulnerable teen. (That's one example - you know that there are many, many more.) They also couldn't have imagined cable news networks and the parade of phony experts trying shape opinions there and on AM radio. (At least most pamphleteers in the old days really were experts, no matter how biased.)

So... Using the argument that "uzis weren't around in 1787" to support gun restrictions is like saying "Fox News wasn't around in 1787" to support free speech restrictions.
53
28
What liberals and Socialist Nanny Staters fail to realize is that the US IS different from all other industrialized states.

Very different.

Real Americans believe in personal freedom.
And personal responsibility.

Freedom of Religion.
Not state supported religion. Which most of the enlightened industrial world still clings to.

Freedom of Speech and Press. Ours are a quantum level greater than other nations'.

Freedom to bear arms.
And use them.
To kill People.
Yeah, @28. We own guns in case we need to kill People.
To protect ourselves and our family.
Are you European Liberal Socialists allright with that?
No?
Fuck you.
And if people misuse their guns?
Put them in prison.
Just like when they misuse cars or alcohol or perscription medicines.
Body count too scary for you?
Move to a nation of sheep.
Don't run with the wolves if it is too scary for you.
You may not have what it takes to be a Real American.

It gets to the heart of the complaints of Real Americans that the country is goinfg Socialists.
(and, please spare us the egghead definition bullshit about 'state controlled means of production blah blah...'
when a Real American talks about Socialism he means the people depending on the government for things they should depend on themselves for...)

We ARE becoming soft and Socialists.
Whining for the government to provide our health care.
And protect us from the stupid greedy mortgages we took out.

It has been going on for a century.
Where is it written that the government is responsible for providing pensions and health care for old people?
We did fine for 150 years before Socialist Security came along. Came along and bankrupted the Federal Government...

America IS different from the rest of the 'industrialized' nations.
Unfortunately, we are becoming less different every year.
And less American.
54
47
We've all read it.
And,
unlike you,
understood it...

Did you see that part in, oh, I don't know, the last fourteen words (they call that the PunchLine...) about " the right of THE PEOPLE to keep and bear Arms, shall NOT be infringed"?

What part of NOT is difficult for you to understand?

Regulate your militia.
Regulate it well.
It doesn't affect WE THE PEOPLE.
We are not in your regulated militia.

And OUR Right to Bear Arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.
55
@52 FTW
56
The no fly list contains anyone the government wants to toss on there for investigation. There is no oversight. There is no formal process to check who is on it, and why, and how they can be removed if it is a mistake. In America we are innocent until proven guilty.

So I'm fine with instant checks to buy guns because that background check system can be disputed and seen - the no fly / terrorist watch list can be kept secret.

I agree with you @52 completely
57
Holy crap...go to sleep for 6 hours and all hell breaks loose...

@45 That makes sense...people here always say Houston, I guess because of the Shell people (especially west of Calgary, in Springbank, where there are more Texas accents than Canadian, and I volunteered at my kids' school with a former Junior League leader...gaaa)

@52 I don't think anyone is suggesting that our Framers' inability to predict the future means the constitution is now irrelevant, but that what was appropriate in the late 1700s is perhaps not always appropriate now. The truth is, most gun-related deaths in the States do not happen because Pa was protecting the virtue of his daughter from marauding brigands. People who keep handguns in their houses are more likely to end up shooting the wife by mistake, or having a curious 5 year handle it than actually shoot a home invader. Yes, I know there are responsible gun owners, but I'd guess they are outnumbered in large numbers by people who don't store their guns properly or who bought the gun with the intent of using it to kill. (And as someone whose husband has his hunting rifles locked up in a gun safe in the basement, and the key to it hidden elsewhere, the time effort alone in getting the gun out makes it more likely that the average person is storing their gun unsafely, especially if they plan to use it to defend themselves.) There are a disproportionate number of gun-related deaths in the States compared to other industrialized nations, and I think that bears questioning.
58
To the Troll @53 (AKA Toby Keith):
So, have you used you handgun to protect your family lately? We never had anyone break into our house in all the years I spent growing up in the States, but tell me, is it like the wild west now? See, I would have considered myself a Real American, too, given that I've voted in every election since I was 18 and have family ties going back forever, but I guess in your mind, a Real American is someone who is very, very scared. Scared of change, scared of progress, scared of his neighbours, scared enough that he needs to "hole up" in his house with his guns and survival gear. Tell me where you live, Toby, and I'll promise never to visit, as I've lost my kevlar vest, but I will send you a condolence card and a box of cookies...must be very unpleasant to be in your skin, and a little sugar might help.
59
"Holy crap...go to sleep for 6 hours and all hell breaks loose..."

My sentiments exactly. Good morning, everybody.

"Yes, I know there are responsible gun owners, but I'd guess they are outnumbered in large numbers by people who don't store their guns properly or who bought the gun with the intent of using it to kill."

Um, no. By my rough calculations, there are 100,000,000 gun owners in America (no shit). The most recent numbers show a little more than 20,000 gun deaths a year, which includes suicides (a respectable number) and legitimate shootings. So, I'd say the vast majority of gun owners here are quite responsible, thank you very much.
60
@ 57, indeed it does bear questioning. I'm not pro-gun by any stretch of the imagination. I used to be hardcore anti-gun, though, but have largely given up hope of any sort of broad regulatory mechanism for dealing with the issue. A, because guns are just too big a part of our culture for gun control to ever be embraced by the nation as a whole, and B, because the current SCOTUS is making sure that the Second Amendment is as broadly interpreted as possible. I support waiting periods, background checks, banning felons from owning guns, and banning automatic weapons for private ownership, and would like to see thing more restricted. But the sheer number of guns out there makes most laws ineffective.

(BTW, I hope my comment @ 52 can't be reasonably interpreted to say that I think the Constitution is irrelevant. It's anything but. I'm just pointing out that the framers had no crystal ball, and it's something of a fallacy to argue what their viewpoint might be if they could see today's America.)

Now, taking this step back has allowed me to take a fresh perspective on the debate. I read about gun tragedies all the time, but I also know that there are millions and millions of guns out there, and millions and millions of people go through their entire lives without shooting someone, or being shot. It tends to put things in perspective, and makes you think that maybe gun violence gets disproportionate attention.

Granted, gun violence is higher here than any industrial country, as you point out. That's not good at all. But it's not like other industrial countries are panaceas of love and brotherhood. We know that stabbings happen a lot in the UK, for example. (You have a better chance of surviving that kind of attack since you can fight back, but still. I knew a guy who was stabbed six times, but survived since the attacker missed anything vital. He'd surely be dead if he was shot six times.)

I guess the point of my post is, What do you suggest we do about it? Obama won't be able to replace any of the conservative justices on the SCOTUS unless one of them retires or dies, so any new regulations are virtually DOA. There's so little popular support for gun control that Democrats no longer even try to oppose them, and actually there are a lot of high profile pro-gun Dems these days (Howard Dean, Jim Webb, Jon Testor, and I think even my governor, Bill Ritter). That was unimaginable even 10 years ago.
61
@ 57 - Please don't think my post was meant to shut down discussion of these relevant policy considerations. But saying "Just read the Second Amendment!" (as did NT) really doesn't get us very far. Again, even legal scholars on the left acknowledge that bearing arms is not simply a collective right. (Just ignore the "real American" rhetoric, btw.) The relevant question these days is, what level of regulation is appropriate?

Honestly, I think the whole enterprise of divining original intent is misguided anyway. At the time the 14th Amendment was drafted, for instance, we can be pretty sure that desegregation of public schools did not fall within the meaning of "Equal Protection," in part because DC Public Schools (under the direct auspices of the federal government) remained segregated. Does that mean that Brown v. Board of Education was wrongly decided? I'd hope not.
62
"I knew a guy who was stabbed six times, but survived since the attacker missed anything vital. He'd surely be dead if he was shot six times."

Matt, there's a classic photo that most cops have seen of one of the perps in the FBI shoot-out in Miami. He was hit by 29 9 mm rounds and didn't go down until one of the cops grabbed a 12-gauge. People routinely survive being shot, especially if it's a handgun. (BTW, that shoot-out is one of the big reasons why very few cops carry 9 mm guns any more.)

Which doesn't alter the point of your statement at all, and it's a good one. Sorry if I've digressed, but I wanted you to get the facts straight.
63
@60 "I guess the point of my post is, What do you suggest we do about it?"
Ah, now you're asking the impossible...change. Okay, if I were God for day? Machine guns? Illegal. What possible rational reason can anyone have for owning a machine gun? Handguns? Severely regulated. Their purpose is to kill people, full stop. I would love to know the statistics for people who have actually used a handgun to protect themselves versus numbers of handguns used in violent crimes. Hunting rifles? Locked up in the gun safe. Reality, though, none of this would ever happen. Too many people like Toby @53 whose motto is Babies, Guns and Jesus. You're right, other nations have different kinds of violence (like all the stabbings in the UK), but there is definitely a different mindset in the States that is really hard to identify until you spend a lot of time away from there. It's a sense of entitlement, the "we're the best, rah rah, USA" attitude that I remember so clearly feeling when I grew up there, and that now, seeing it from the outside looking in, makes me sad, and sets the US apart in an isolationist way. So honestly, until attitudes change, and people like @53 no longer see themselves as having to defend against the liberal-pinko-socialist agenda 24/7, then I don't think people will ever be willing to consider comprehensive gun restrictions. It's worth remembering that other nations have freedom, too. Freedom to get sick and not worry that they'll have to sell their house to pay for it, freedom to marry who they want, travel where they want, go to public schools that aren't scary versions of private ones... So, in response to the pro-freedom and guns commenters: There are many kinds of freedom; they don't all involve handgun ownership.
64
58, toby keith is a democrat. FYI.
65
@64 No shit? Okay, I'll call him an oxyMORON instead, thanks for the heads up.

@59, 5280:
"By my rough calculations, there are 100,000,000 gun owners in America (no shit). The most recent numbers show a little more than 20,000 gun deaths a year, which includes suicides (a respectable number) and legitimate shootings. So, I'd say the vast majority of gun owners here are quite responsible, thank you very much."

I don't doubt your numbers, but I guess I should have specified I was talking about handguns, and I don't think there are actually statistics out there that show numbers of handguns vs. rifles in households (at least that are available to the average joe like me, perhaps as an ex-cop, you have access, anecdotal or otherwise that would help). So, I'm thinking about what I've personally witnessed, which may be unreliable, but...people I know who have rifles for hunting tend to keep them locked up in gun safes, because they aren't intended to be used for personal protection. People who have handguns, from what I've heard, want them a bit more accessible than that, and that is where the trouble lies (in my family, my grandfather kept a gun--an antique Smith & Wesson revolver, no less--under the towels in the hall closet, as kids we were taught, "don't ever take the last towel!). So, for every person who as a handgun for self-defense, how many handguns are purchased with the intent to harm? How many people have used their handguns in self-defense versus the number of people injured/killed by improperly stored handguns?
66
Suspect's House That He Couldn't Afford Proved Easy to Obtain.
67
@ 62, thanks. I kinda knew that six bullets had the same potential to miss anything vital like six knife wounds, but taking 29?

Actually, did you read an autopsy on the guy? Is it possible that he was bleeding to death but was so high (imagining Tony Montana here) that it took a shotgun (still picturing Tony) to bring him down?

@ 63, why stop there? If I were God for a day, I'd eliminate ALL weapons and give people the wisdom to sort out differences peaceably. Why not use the full power? :)

In seriousness, it kinda shows that there's no real cure. Mandatory training and licensing are good ideas, but sometimes that old NRA slogan, which used to piss me off so much, rings more and more true the older I get - namely, that outlaws are more of the problem than guns.

I'm glad Dan posted this since it provoked a pretty good discussion. I wonder what HE would like to see happen.
68
@67
" I wonder what HE would like to see happen."

Hmmm, if Dan were God for a day? Probably ban all guns and make all men look like Ashton Kutcher...
69
Ah, Matt, you've come over to the dark side. Welcome. (By the way, I can give you a deep discount on an NRA membership.)

Yeah, I actually have seen the autopsy report, and you're quite correct. He was so fucked-up on drugs I doubt he ever felt a thing.

Canuck: You are probably right that handguns are more of a "problem" (I don't believe that's a correct statement) than long guns. Mostly because that's what people tend to have within easy reach within the home, but also because that's what they carry on the street. I don't know too many people who walk around with shotguns or SMGs under their jacket. Though I do know a few, and have done it myself. All cops.

I guess my point continues to be that people who obey laws aren't the problem. Therefore, passing more laws will never solve anything.
70
I thought it was very telling on how last weeks This American Life about urban myths, Iraqi refugees were shocked at how easy it was to buy a gun in the US.
71
For the uninitiated, SMG = submachine gun. And you'd be fucking amazed at what those Secret Service guys have under their jackets.

And yeah, this is a great conversation. Funny how that works. Mostly everybody's stayed civil, nobody's resorted to theatrics or name-calling. Hard to believe it's the Internet.
72
The real question is why, rather than building one of the dumbest bombs in history, he didn't just shoot people with his gun?
73
I think the world might actually stop spinning if I agree with you, mortal foe 5280, but you may be right about the "more laws" thing, as it's the under the counter/stolen guns that probably cause most of the issues. We have the same thing going on here, where hunters are slogging through reams of paperwork to register their rifles and shotguns, and they really aren't the reason for the registry in the first place.
74
5280: Comment on @35 would be great. Thx.
75
Way too philosophical for me to address at this early hour, Telsa. Wait until I've had a bit more to drink.
76
To the Pissing in his Panties Pussy @58

So, has any big bad gun nut used a gun to threaten you or harm your family?

Real Americans are not scared of guns.
They are not scared of their neighbors owning guns.
They do not live in fear of other peoples' guns and
they do not want to interfere with the rights of others to own guns.

If you are scared of guns don't own one.

But leave the Rights of Real Americans alone.
77
Canuck, you're no mortal foe. You're not enough of a dumbass to qualify for that label.

It's kind of funny, though - we've been having discussions on Slog about guns for years now, and slowly but surely, once people put their emotions aside and look at things logically, an awful lot of them start listening to what I'm saying and start agreeing with me.

You know, I have to agree that, when looking at this through the emotional filter of "I don't want to get shot," all the gun-ban arguments look really attractive. But, for better or for worse, once you throw the emotions out the window and look at the problem logically, it's not something that imposing further hardships on law-abiding citizens will cure. This is why both I and the NRA favor strong enforcement of the laws that are already on the books, and not new ones.
78
35
The baby a woman carries is not "part of her self".
It is a separate unique human life.
Thanks to the Miracle of Life the Mother gets to host the child that she acted to create inside her for 9 months but it is not "Her".
79
Oh, and @76: You're not helping the cause. In fact, assholes like you are actually hurting it. Shut the fuck up already.
80
It's "Pissing in HER Panties Pussy" to you, @76. And I don't wear panties, I wear a thong with a maple leaf on it.
81
79
now now
when you suceed in changing the world by french kissing slogs rectum we'll try it your way.....
82
Thank God I'm not you're Grandpa, dickweed. I'd probably have to shoot myself if any of my kids grew up as fucked-up as you are.
83
@ 76, oversimplified & presumptuous.

@77, good points. I've expressed my concerns about gun ownership before, not as well as Canuck, but I also have a respect and interest in them.
84
@80: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA WIN.

p.s., I wouldn't even know if you could even find a thong panty anymore, much less one with the maple leaf. Def not La Senza. Maybe the Zellers clearance bin? :P
85
@84 Hanky Panky thongs, all I wear. Your jeans will thank you (no maple leafs, though...) Stay away from La Senza, definitely not stretchy enough!
http://www.hankypanky.com/Thongs
86
@63 ". . .there is definitely a different mindset in the States that is really hard to identify until you spend a lot of time away from there. It's a sense of entitlement, the "we're the best, rah rah, USA" attitude that I remember so clearly feeling when I grew up there, and that now, seeing it from the outside looking in, makes me sad, and sets the US apart in an isolationist way."

I don't live outside the US but I certainly agree with you.

A major aspect of current anti-intellectualism is to militantly maintain the superiority of all things US-ian. (I refuse to use the term "American" to refer to only the middle part of The Americas).

They won't even consider that any other society might have a better way of doing something. It seems to me this has always been a characteristic of US provincial thinking, but recent trends have taken this to ridiculous extremes.

It is like questioning any one thing knocks down their whole house of cards. Which makes sense in a group whose entire belief system is built around the worship of a single book, I guess.

I love my country, but in recent years have become more and more disillusioned about its citizenry. Too many have simply not developed or have no desire to use critical thinking skills and call those of us who do - unpatriotic.

In the past couple decades I have engaged many conservatives in debates and the level of hysteria is palpable. They seem equally emboldened and threatened by the very processes they rhetorically revere.

I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that those who worship the Bible would also be prone to accept as gospel the words of those who validate their faith, fears and delusions.

Forget nation of sheep, it's now a nation of the willfully deranged.

87
@76, 78, 79: Did your parents not love you guys when you were little?
88
@78: Others have called your douche-canoe cowardice as an anonymous whiny fuck, but you forget one thing (well, no, you forget many things, because you belch the cheap rhetoric of a simpleton):

"A separate unique human life", as you put it, cannot be counted on a census tally. It cannot respire on its own. It cannot exist separate from its host before a certain threshold of time — absent aggressive medical technology (that is to say, humans "play god" by building the infrastructure of neo-natal intensive care wings in hospitals to override nature's natural course, but somehow it is considered an acceptable social and moral compromise to exercise a god complex control then and there). It is functionally a parasite in another's host body, in the sense that it feeds and taps out all resources from whatever enters the host. Because of this parasitic relationship (not all parasites are detrimental, but nevertheless is still a parasite), it cannot be construed as separate from the host.

Carrying back to my original case in @35, you cannot separate the body from the self, and anything within that self's body is "in her person" (like saying "the wallet was on her person", except in this case, that which is contained in the body is even more embedded and less removable than that which would be on the body).

So what makes this problematic is that if you argue the "separate unique human life" tack and assemble a legal claim for wresting away a woman's authority over her own body (and thus, over her self, as for now the self and the body are legally treated as one in the same), then you have acknowledged that removal of a parasite is uncomplicated and natural because it is, after all, "separate and unique" from her. But that is not the case. Rather, it is very difficult to dispose or extract that which is "in her person" because it cannot be "separate and unique" without it ceasing to function, just as removing the parasite from a host can result in the parasite's demise. So the consequence is that a woman's legal authority over her own body — her liberty, as you will — is denied. What you've argued is that as soon as a woman is pregnant, she becomes a ward of the state, as the state exercises authority over her body and her self until the parasite leaves her body and is counted officially (via birth record) as a "separate and unique" person.

As for "unique"? Maybe later on after the parasite is autonomously able to respire on its own and can be counted by the census, but there's nothing unique about this symbiosis beforehand: every placental and marsupial animal species share that commonality. Further, if the self terminates the body or has her body terminated, then all that which was existing parasitically in her body also terminates. Once the parasite no longer needs a direct connection to the host body for all of its functionality, then you have a separate entity, a wholly "separate and unique" entity that can be counted, that can be physically separated from the former host body without its instant termination, that can be recorded legally, and that can be considered a citizen of the U.S. (or wherever). Until then, no sale.

But go ahead: spend the rest of your life being a simple-minded douche-canoe. Anonymously comment like a coward so you can speak the rhetoric of a polity in the U.S. which dictates an aggressive control over potentially half its citizens, a control which is completely antithetical to liberty — i.e., "life, liberty, and TPoH" (unless this doesn't mean anything to you and yours) — over that which is inside the realm of that citizen's body.

Also, remember: suicide is punishable by death.
89
@86 Well said. I have often wondered if the majority of conservatives in the States have become more conservative and reactionary in the last 10 years or so, or whether it just seemed that way to me because I've lived elsewhere for so long. After reading your post, it solidifies my belief that the former is true, sadly.
90
@89: I'm thinking they have. By a huge margin. It really does look like a tilt towards what one would call "extreme right", such as Austria's Freedom Party led by the late Joerg Haider (which, if I recall, received at least 20 percent of the total vote the year he was making major headlines the world over).
91
@54: The people as a whole are supposed to have the right to keep and bear arms. That does not mean that individuals are entitled to have whatever weapons they want. There's a reason that things like switchblades and heavy machine guns are not allowed in the hands of John Q. Public, and frankly, anything that's not a hunting rifle, a hunting shotgun, or a handgun should at the least require a special permit and probably should be banned outright.
Not to mention, the first part of the Second Amendment (the part about the militia) clearly implies that the well-regulated militia is the reason for the right to bear arms, not for private gun ownership.
92
@ 91 - Actually, as I noted above @ 48 and 61, even left wing constitutional law scholars agree that the Second Amendment creates an individual, as well as a collective, right to bear arms. The bit about state militias was more or less meant to reassure the states that, even with a stronger federal government under the Constitution (in contrast to the Articles of Confederation), state autonomy would continue to be a guiding value.

Of course, the right to bear arms is subject to reasonable regulations. And perhaps requiring special permits for things like automatic weapons would be good policy. But I'm hardly an expert in this area, so beyond things like safety courses and requiring ownership of gun safes for gun owners, I don't really know what sensible public regulations would consist of.

@ 5280 generally - Here's the thing--if every gun owner were a member of the NRA, I wouldn't be so uncomfortable with widespread gun ownership, even of things like SMG's. Most NRA members I know are very responsible gun owners who actually know what they're doing - but they're not the ones we have to be worried about. (For instance, I'm not sure if you have kids, but if you do, I'd be willing to bet you'd take precautions like using a gun safe and very carefully explaining to your kids how guns work, so that they appreciate the awesome responsibility one takes on when he has a gun in his hands.) I'm not saying this means we should have widespread gun bans, but that's something to be considered.