Kristof on Gun Control


It's time U.S. citizens stood up to the NRA. There's more protesting at abortion clinics than there is outside NRA office windows. That should change. Politicians would notice.
That's a badly researched article. And he wasted 9 paragraphs on junk.

1. The decline in vehicle-related deaths corresponds to declines in the economy, as stated in the link he provides. NOT due to the safety features that he claims.

2. "We’re not going to eliminate gun deaths, any more than we have eliminated auto accidents." But then he completely neglects to compare the death rate for the two categories.

3. "Likewise, don’t bother with the argument that if more people carried guns, they would deter shooters or interrupt them." The only people making that argument are the nutcases.

4. "More Americans die in gun homicides and suicides in six months than have died in the last 25 years in every terrorist attack and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined." More people die on our roads in any single month than have been killed by terrorists. But it is a meaningless statistic UNLESS you want to transfer funding between the two categories.

5. "A starting point would be to limit gun purchases to one a month, to curb gun traffickers." Possibly. That's a different issue.

6. "Likewise, we should restrict the sale of high-capacity magazines so that a shooter can’t kill as many people without reloading." Again, possibly. But even if you restrict the magazines to 10 rounds, that still 9 deaths and a dead shooter. When most of the "mass shootings" have resulted in few than 9 deaths. So the final impact will be very limited.

7. "We should impose a universal background check for gun buyers, even with private sales." Not relevant in this particular instance but many people here have been advocating that.

8. "Let’s make serial numbers more difficult to erase ..." How?

9. "... back California in its effort to require that new handguns imprint a microstamp on each shell so that it can be traced back to a particular gun." Again, not really relevant in this particular incident but okay.

10. "But we don’t shrug and say, 'Cars don’t kill people, drunks do.'" Yes, we do. That's why there's no call to ban cars. But we want to increase DUI penalties.

Most of his suggestions have nothing to do with this specific incident but with random gang violence and straw buyers. Not bad but difficult to support as "protecting the school kids".
His examples of Australia and Canada are not very good because they both have universal health care.
By way of comparison, look at how many guns (and what type) are in the homes of citizens in Switzerland.
fairly unbalanced is typical gun loving denialism. quibble, question, deny at length. bottom line: caanada germany france uk japan all the 30 nations with strong gun controls have far less deaths by gun; nowhere near the horrible massacre rate we have; and largely do not have the bottom 10% of their society plagued by endemic gun violence to the point moms don't let kids play outside the way our society has it.

take fairly unbalanced dismissal of canada and australia as off point since they have universal health care. what the flying fuck? how is that relevant? and switzerland, please, THOSE guns are the most highly registered and regulated in the fucking world, when you die the government comes to your fucking house to get your army issued rifle out of the hole in the floor. switzerland shows gun controls work. see, if kristoff would limit himself to this specific incideent eg with ban on AWs, then unfairly unbalanced would say "but that won't solve all gun problems!" so if he lists lots of things, unfairly unbalanced says "that's not directed at this specific problem!" it's alljust more fucking gun lover bullshit designed to distract us from the reality proven in about 30 nations that GUN CONTROLS WORK TO CUT DOWN DEATH AND MASSACRE. they work like sewer systems work. it's proven beyond debate. also proven: no nation has been shown to be more safe, by spreading 200 million guns around and allowing assault weapons. NOT ONE. the faux debating of the gun lovers is fauxney, and it's time we just said fuck you you're full of it.
Idealized gun ownership should be like idealized abortion: safe, legal and rare. Emphasis on the rare.
There's no need to "debate" guns in this country. We already have a national policy on guns. It's called the second amendment. It's not going away. Deal with it.
Ladders don't kill people, gravity kills people.
That's right.
So the only REAL debates will probably be:

1. Which guns and/or accessories will be permitted at which levels of authorization. Example: what paperwork and background checks have to be filled out to own a revolver versus a Browning M2 machine gun.

2. Under what conditions can a person be LEGALLY deprived of his right to own a gun (and how many) in each category? And how to appeal that decision.

And everyone needs to realize that this will only be about NEW purchases.
Probably only from licensed dealers.
Obama is NOT going to come to your house and take away the guns you already own.
#2 Argument #6

So far, and as we know the information is always somewhat hard to verify, what I read was that the shooter broke in through a window. He went down a hallway a few hundred feet but police had been called by that time and entered the building. In very short time he had shot several people in the hall, and then corralled not one but two classrooms of children and killed each and every one of them.

I researched it on Wikipedia, and 27 is the highest number of dead in a rampage shooting in US history (sadly, there have been much higher numbers abroad).

You may cite the Norway shooting, but there the killer bought his guns in less restrictive Eastern Europe.

It seems to me that having such weapons that can kill so swiftly needs to be questioned. The rifle was hardly even a "gun" but a projectile launching killing machine.

However, I also think, for those who support guns, if there ever was the feared takeover, the government would have weapons as good as "militia" would want parity.

No easy answers. P = NP ?

you are correct
#8 - How much research did you do? I keep hearing that the VA Tech incident had higher numbers...

Jesus, you're terrified gun control is coming to your town tomorrow aren't you?

There's been a flood of reasonable analysis recently showing a path to greater gun control in the next few years, but nobody thinks it will be easy, or that it is likely to go all that far.

I guess the fearful reaction makes a lot of sense though. Fear is the basis of loving guns. Fear is what conservatives values are all about.

So we get it. You're scared you're going to lose your guns, and it's left you a bit addled. Not able to articulate clearly or reason well. So sorry.

Sorry, I guess you're correct.

I was looking at:

Rampage Killers…

But now noticed it excluded "School massacres"…

Which ranks Newtown as 3rd.


No, see right there you're 5280s supposed gun-rights ally, and the two of you clearly are way far apart. He doesn't support any of that shit. Not even close. He's an NRA shill and he supports them 100%.

So you guys have plenty to debate, and so do we all. It's just political tactics to try to bluff the other side into backing down by pretending it's all settled. The GOP has recently shown that trying to shut down the argument before it starts is a loser with the electorate. Voters want to hear you stand up and defend your position, not shout "shut up" every time the other side speaks.

It's also funny to hear these big fat lovers of the Constitution going around trying to squelch the political process and give public participation in political decisions short shrift. Hypocrisy abounds.
@5: You've always been the bravest commenter on here. Do you wonder whether the dead kids' parents will return the Christmas gifts they'd bought for them, or maybe just donate them to charity?
If you have a point to make, then make it.
Posting insults is not making any points.
You cannot post any specific suggestions for a law (or laws) that would have prevented this specific incident.
All you have are insults.
They'll probably hang on to them for a while, partially out of sentimental feeling and partially because they're probably not even thinking about returning them. By the time they do think of what to do with them, it'll likely be too late to return them. My guess is they'll put some in storage and give others to their friends' kids.

What do you think they'll do with them?
@16: Yeah, something along those lines sounds right. Just something I was thinking about this morning.
#14 my world, they'd be arresting you right now.

@18: Neat.

You're not making any points. If you were, I'd take notice. I'm just having fun mocking you because you're a clown.

The way to act like gun control has no chance of passing is to act like gun control has no chance of passing. But you're all a flutter. Why is that?

And what country are you from?
If one of my fellow liberals wants to propose changes that would have prevented this specific tragedy, that's fine. I'm happy to discuss the matter.

But the way I see it, anyone proposing gun laws beyond that are merely using this terrible tragedy to further their personal agenda.
I dunno. Can I be an "NRA shill" when I'm on their payroll? I don't think so.
"The way to act like gun control has no chance of passing is to act like gun control has no chance of passing."

Yeah. You might want to think about that a bit.
Or not.
So if you have specific suggestions, post them.
Or not.
Posting insults is not making any points.
But if that is all you have then that is all you have.……

Yeah. Personal agenda. Wanting to prevent people from getting shot is just some personal proclivity. Like enjoying show tunes or wearing boxers. Personal shit. Taking on the NRA is so fun and personally rewarding that lots of us just like doing it for kicks. And whooopee! Here's our chance to go to town and further our personal agenda that has no other possible rational justification.

It's just a wild, wacky coincidence that every other industrialized county in the world except the US shares the same inexplicable "personal agenda". What are the odds?

Anyhoo. Are you fairly.unbalanced's sockpuppet? Or is he yours?
Maybe you should look up some facts about Switzerland.
Hey #24

Instead of getting all kicked out of shape, why won't you just admit it outright that you're exploiting a terrible tragedy to advance your agenda?

Why are you so upset that I'm pointing out the obvious?

After September 11, responsible people suggested things like increasing security at sea ports, and nuclear plants, and many many other changes unrelated to air travel. None of them would have prevented terrorists from commandeering airplanes and crashing them into buildings.

Did anybody suggest that was "exploiting a terrible tragedy"? Yes! Yes, many, many buffoons, clowns and trolls suggested that was exploiting a tragedy. Nobody listened to such talk. Except maybe joke writers for Jay Leno and Jon Stewart who needed somebody to make fun of during serious times. Or people who liked dicking around with inane internet trolls.

Post them for whom? You? You can't read.

What about Switzerland? Their comprehensive mental health care system? Their refusal to sell guns at gun shows to crazies and criminals? How Switzerland has half as many guns per capita as the US? How their homicide rate is one sixth the US? Their noticeable lack of kooks killing children in schools?

Any other facts about Switzerland do you want to talk about?

By the way, what country are you from? I only ask because of how you know not doodly squat about US civics. Nothing personal, am I right?
@27 I consider myself a reasonable person, although subject to my personal biases as is every human. I haven't been offended by anything you have written, in fact nodded in agreement at your first posting that precipitated the beatdown. A little snarky? So what. Still accurate.

Your first main point is that the conservative mind comes from a place of fear. Hasn't that been proven scientifically? The definition of conservative is "don't change anything" -- because... why? Fear of the unknown? Fear of new ideas? Fear of loss of control? Fear of new ideas?

I don't understand why those folks are piling onto you. Maybe it is that layer of snark -- it has set them off. I just see logic. If that is of any comfort.
So you're trying to play the "September 11th" card now?

"None of them would have prevented terrorists from commandeering airplanes and crashing them into buildings."

Nor have most of the changes to the airline industry.
Except for reinforced flight deck doors.
And the TSA has yet to catch a single terrorist trying to get on a plane.
Yet the TSA keeps failing their own tests of whether someone can get a gun onto a plane.
Despite all the times the TSA searches children and old ladies.

So, all that money spent without anyone being caught trying to get on a plane.
And the few cases where someone was on a plane have been stopped by the other passengers.
And that is your model for valid changes to the law?

Got it. Soft on terrorism. Soft on guns. Soft on... what else? Bestiality? Marketing expired milk? Cheating at checkers? No doubt. No doubt. Soft, soft, soft.


They pile on to me because I make them pile on. It's what I want them to do, and they cannot but obey. They want to ignore me, but I don't let them. They're like my anti-flying monkeys.
No, you managed to miss it, again.
You're uninformed on subject A. Gun control.
You're uninformed on subject B. Switzerland (lots of guns and they used to keep fully automatic rifles at home but very little gun violence).
You're uninformed on subject C. Terrorism. The TSA spends a lot of money (and searches a lot of children and old ladies) without catching any terrorists. The money could be spent on mental health care.

And instead of working to become better informed, you just post insults here.

Go ahead, post a single specific suggestion for a new law or laws that would have prevented this specific incident.
You won't because you cannot.
But you will continue to post insults.
I dunno if its already been said but the 30,000 gun related deaths include 16,000 gun-related suicides. I wonder if the 300 ladder deaths include suicide by hanging. Should we ban ladders and chairs because they lead to ladder and chair related suicide?
@11 it is indeed a shitty article. If you can't agree with that because the article supports your point, you shouldn't have the right to participate in life or politics.

What country are you from? Wrongistan?

Here. Read. Switzerland used to be into all that guns galore nonsense, but that was back in the day. Too much suicide, too many rampages. Same old same old. They cracked down.

Poopy head. What country are you from?
"Switzerland used to be into all that guns galore nonsense, but that was back in the day."

Switzerland had low gun-related violence rates even with fully automatic rifles being kept at home.

"Too much suicide, too many rampages. Same old same old. They cracked down."

You are lying.
From the Wikipedia article: Police statistics for the year 2006 records 34 killings or attempted killings involving firearms, compared to 69 cases involving bladed weapons and 16 cases of unarmed assault.

You can choose to be uninformed.
You can choose to lie.
But the facts are the facts.
People looking for models on which to base American society always look to Europe.

European countries are unlike America. America is vast, whereas the entire continent of Europe is small, and that smallness is subdivided into multiple small countries. America is diverse, whereas European countries are comparatively homogenous. America's self-definition is its body of laws, whereas European states define themselves based on ethnicity, religion, language and customs that date back thousands of years.

We are not Europe. We are nothing like Europe.

If you must search for a model, base your model on our cousins, Canada, Mexico, Brazil. Look for vast countries, with much diversity, such as Russia (more Eurasian than European). Look to Africa, where one large country contains multiple ethnicities, languages, cultures, religions, traditions.

What was the experience of a small ethnically homogenous country beginning with an S? Who cares, we are a large, diverse nation that is neither Swiss, Swedish, Slovakian, Serbian, or Slovene. We have more in common with Saskatchewan than we do with Sicily.

All alliteration aside, please select a model more representative of the society whose trends it is supposed to predict.

Ah! Wikipedia? "The encyclopedia that anyone can edit"? That's their motto, right? Figures a guy who wants just anyone to be able to buy a any gun would believe information he got from just anyone.

What country are you from? Are you Russian? You seem kind of Russian. I'm getting that Vitaly Borker vibe.
"Figures a guy who wants just anyone to be able to buy a any gun would believe information he got from just anyone."

The facts are the facts.
You can choose to be uninformed.
You can choose to lie.
All you have are insults.

And you cannot post a single specific suggestion for a law or laws that would have prevented this specific incident.
@40: the weapon the guy used to kill kids was legally purchased by his mother for recreational use. If such a weapon had been made illegal to sell or purchase some time ago, I imagine that she, a "responsible" gun owner would not have gone out of her way to buy it. This particular gun carried a large magazine and was able to kill a lot of kids in a short amount of time.

So let's say that guns like that were not legally available. Would it prevent everyone from getting them? No. Would it prevent this guy's problems from erupting into violence? No. Would it have meant that when he went into his mom's gun cabinet to act on his rage, there would be a gun with a smaller magazine that would've meant it took him longer to kill as many kids, leaving more time for police to show up, more time for doors to be locked, ultimately prevented some of these deaths? Yes.

I don't know why the standard of "preventing" a tragedy is the only measure that would spur you into supporting a law, since laws really aren't capable of preventing anything. But it's enough for most people. You'll see.
A single specific suggestion for a law which would prevent this from happening again: outlaw all types of guns in the US, with several penalties, both $$ and time in prison.

Before you say the standard crap of "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws would have guns", these mass shootings aren't done by criminals.

I have no doubt that if this guy's mother knew that guns were illegal and she'd face huge penalties for possessing them, she wouldn't have them. I have no doubt that if gun show proprietors and gun shop owners knew what they'd face, they find another business.

Most people obey the law. But you have to make the law first. To NOT make the law and say "It wouldn't work" is craven.
"A single specific suggestion for a law which would prevent this from happening again: outlaw all types of guns in the US, with several penalties, both $$ and time in prison."

So would police carry guns as they do now?
Just making sure that you're specific on this.
I'm guessing that you'd still want the military to have guns.
How about non-police security guards? Guns or no guns?

So you want to take away the guns from the 99% of the population that have never committed a crime with a gun.

"To NOT make the law and say 'It wouldn't work' is craven."

Look up Prohibition.
Stating that a law will not work is often as simple as understanding basic human nature.

Actually you are the liar (or you are ignorant). Gun laws in Switzerland have recently changed.

From what you yourself posted from Wikipedia (guess you didn't read it all):

"Prior to 2007 members of the Swiss Militia were supplied with 50 rounds of ammunition for their military weapon in a sealed ammo box that was regularly audited by the government. This was so that, in the case of an emergency, the militia could respond quickly. However, since 2007 this practice has been discontinued. Only 2,000 specialist militia members (who protect airports and other sites of particular sensitivity) are permitted to keep their military ammunition at home. The rest of the militia can only get their ammunition from their military armory in the event of an emergency.[9]"

"The rules laid out above were changed on 1 December 2008 as Switzerland joined the Schengen treaty; and all member countries must adapt some of their laws to a common standard. Following the draft of the Swiss government for the new Waffengesetz (weapons law), these points will change:

Unlawful possession of guns will be punished.

Gun trade among individuals will require a valid weapon acquisition permit. Weapons acquired from an individual in the last ten years (which did not require a weapon acquisition permit) have to be registered. As a central weapons register was politically unfeasible, the authorities hope to get an overview of the market through this registration requirement.

Every gun must be marked with a registered serial number."………
You should learn to read verb tenses before you start accusing people of lying.
So you fail at English.
The Constitution is a living document and we've addressed several amendments over the centuries to take into account social and technological changes. We should obviously not approach changing our Constitution swiftly and without considerable thought, but as much as I enjoy shooting guns, I believe we need to take a long look at our laws and the impact one's "freedom" has on others. If your freedom merely annoys me because I don't like your words, no big deal since a careless word does no damage. But if your freedom directly puts my or my families lives in jeopardy since a single careless mistake very likely ends one of those lives, that adds significant weight to the calls for change.
Details aside, any comparison with Switzerland seems ridiculous without acknowledging that all of those guns came with responsibility and accountability: you had to have military training, and I think the gummint would have some stern questions if you came up short on the round count, or you went to, say a political rally, with your military issued gun.