You left out the three 76- and 79-year old threats to his precious liberty.
Criminals and psychopaths will find ways to get guns, and they'll get them cheaply and easily, regardless of the second amendment.

Just sayin'.
Let's hope that he and whoever assisted him get what's coming to them as swiftly as is possible. And that goes for anyone who might have been involved in any illegal transfer of a firearm.
It's actually quite interesting to look at the many ways people die in this country. Guns are way, way down on the list. Cars (of course), bicycles, electrocutions, slips-and-falls in bathtubs, bicycles - they're all ahead of guns on the list. In fact, if you discount suicides and legitimate cases of self-defense, just about everything down to crossing the street is ahead of guns.

Why don't you find something useful to write about?
Goldy is a troll.
How about gun stats in murder, 5280? Apples and oranges.

The phrase "for the purposes of a well-organized militia" always gets removed from the "right to bear arms" quote. We are nuts.
Gun control is dead, dead, dead, dead, dead.

We can debate the merits of AZ's lax gun laws, but I don't know any specifics other than that you can carry concealed without a license. That's stupid, of course, but I don't see how licensed CWC would have helped. @ 2 is absolutely right there.

What I would like to know is, does AZ require background checks or waiting periods for buying guns? Are there gun show loopholes if they do?

Those questions lead to these: when and how did Loughner acquire his gun? Does he have anything on his record (mental illness or felony convictions) that would reasonably mean he shouldn't have been able to legally acquire a gun?

We need to know these facts before this tragedy can legitimately affect the gun debate. Until then, Goldy's statement is rooted in a wish that there weren't so many guns out there, which is an immature attitude.
What about the fact that mental health continues to be the lowest priority and the least funded public health endeavor? No amount of gun restriction would have made this psychopath any less violent, and as already stated, those restrictions do little good to prevent the wrong people from obtaining them.
@6, the stats aren't broken out. Murder, suicide, suicide-by-cop, legitimate shootings of any sort - they're all lumped together. Anyone who tells you they know what the breakdown is beyond that is lying.

Oh, and the phrase "for the purposes of a well-organized militia?" Funny, that's not in my copy of the Bill of Rights. You must have a different one.
hey Goldy, I'm pretty sure He could have killed alot of people in many ways...just off the top of my head, explosive devices and believe it or not.....driving a large vehicle into the crowd surrounding the congresswomen.
If you think taking guns out of this equation somehow would've changed the outcome you are just fooling yourself. I'm all for grand idealistic liberal dreams but I've definitely come to terms with the fact that any more gun control than we currently have is an unrealistic and worthless expectation. I think we need to look no further than humans themselves to end problems like these.
I'm generally very live-and-let-live when it comes to guns. Have all the guns you want, just don't ask me to get one, and don't point the damn things at me.

But the argument that is sure to show up here soon - that if everyone had a gun things like this wouldn't happen - is just hopelessly utopian. If everyone had a gun in a situation like yesterday, the body count would be even bigger, because it would have been a circular firing squad. Mostly because the sort of people who would insist on bringing their gun to something like that tend to be the sort of people who lose their heads when the chips are down.

Having a gun and knowing how to use it is a lot different than having a weapon fetish.
I look at gun control like I look at drug control.

You can interchange either "drugs" or "guns" for all the "its" in the paragraph below and it works exactly the same:

Making it illegal doesn't stop people from getting it, and criminals obviously don't give a shit about legal/illegal anyway. If you really want it, you'll find a way to get it. The only thing that happens when it's illegal is that the people who would likely use it responsibly are pissed off that they can't legally have it.

U.S. is number had around 7 gun homicides per 100,000 in 2004. U.K. had .07 in 2002. In the U.K., "Gun ownership levels have traditionally been low. This was the case even before the imposition of modern firearm legislation. Hunting with firearms was always a relatively elite activity and 'gun sports' relatively uncommon. Recent mass shootings by persons with licenced rifles and hand guns have led to what is believed to be some of the strictest firearms legislation in the world." (…)

So yes, fewer guns = fewer gun homicides.
Don't retreat- reload!
10 - i'd wager that getting and operating a gun is much easier and has a higher probability of success than those other methods. and a gun nut is going to use a gun. period.
How come psychos and criminals can always find a way to kill -- knives, bombs, pit bulls, giant lasers -- but gun nuts can only find one and only one way to protect their precious freedom?

Seems like you think the bad guys are all James Bond and MacGuyver and the rest of you have only ever had one idea.
Crazy laws won't keep crazy people from doing crazy things. Only mental health care will.
Sorry, gun control is not the same thing as prohibition, as we have for so many drugs.
If, as it now appears, Loughner was recently rejected by the Army when he tried to enlist then whatever background checks Arizona may have for gun purchasers are meaningless, because the Army will take almost anyone breathing these days. Of course criminals and crazies can get guns anyway because guns are everywhere but that is mostly because we have no meaningful or sane gun control laws. We are awash in guns and crazies and that is a bad combination.
Well said, ratcityreprobate.
#4: For people ages 1-40, the top causes of death are 1) cars, 2) guns. Accidental poisoning in children is a distant #3, but nothing else is even close. Bicycling, electrocution, and falls are orders of magnitude down the list.…
@9: It took me about 10 min to find the stats for number of total homicides 1999-2007 (and crude rates & those age-adjusted to the 2000 US population), by US region, as well as the number of gun-related* homicides. Across the country, adjusting for age, about 66% of homicides involved a gun. This varied by region, with the lowest percentage in the Northeast, and (surprise, surprise) the highest in the South and West. Data source:

Region Deaths Pop. Crude Rate Age-Adj Rate
All homicides
Northeast 21004 487683354 4.3 4.4 (per 100,000)
Midwest 31643 587368343 5.4 5.4
South 69673 940745886 7.4 7.4
West 34644 595747836 5.8 5.7
Total US 156964 2611545419 6 6

Gun homicides
Northeast 13351 487683354 2.7 2.8 63.64% % of total
Midwest 21243 587368343 3.6 3.6 66.67%
South 47883 940745886 5.1 5.1 68.92%
West 23648 595747836 4 3.9 68.42%
Total US 106125 2611545419 4.1 4 66.67%

*Here are the gun-related categories (ICD-10 codes): X93 (Assault by handgun discharge), X94 (Assault by rifle, shotgun and larger firearm discharge), X95"
"(Assault by other and unspecified firearm discharge)"
Previous paraphrase was from memory, 5280, here's the exact text - same point- “ 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. ”
This was the 18th century. We can evolve. @13 has the comparative stats. We are bizarre with our right to guns hysteria. Where's my god given bazooka?
@7 Please explain how wishing there were fewer guns out there is immature.
I prefer the version that was actually ratified by the states:
"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."

That last comma in the version approved by Congress is unnecessary.
According to the Tucson Star, Loughner purchased his gun - legally - on November 30th from Sportsman's Warehouse in Tucson, despite having a criminal record.
@19 That's not true. The "Army will take anyone" stereotype emerged during the Vietnam War when, with low enlistment (for obvious reasons), the military would take anyone willing, including convicted criminals.

The military has a fairly strict screening process. Felonies are usually disqualifying, though you can occasionally waiver off a possession charge if it's been three or four years. Any kind of mental health issue in your medical history is an instant disqualifier, and you won't get a waiver for it. In fact, soldiers that get PTSD in Iraq/Afghanistan are almost always discharged - after they get back.

In fact, since the recession started, all branches of the military have easily met their recruiting goals and have become more selective. It's become much harder to fudge some things to get in.
Sorry - that'd be the Arizona Daily Star...
Thanks for this, Goldy. Still quite pleased about your staff writing gig.
And I'd also like to point out: Every man (and quite a few women) in Switzerland undergoes military training in their 20's - two years of service, or something like that. After they're done, they are *given* their service weapon(s). Shooting in Switzerland is a national pastime, and going to the range is even regarded as a family activity.

This isn't like a hunting rifle or little glock pistol. It's a fully automatic assault rifle; the kind that is very illegal here.

Yet Switzerland has nearly no gun violence.

There's obviously a difference in culture, but it still bears pointing out.
Sounds like Switzerland has a well-organized militia.

We got Sportsman's Warehouse.
So how is our gun crime rate compared to England's, eh?
@2: do criminals and psychopaths in, say, Canada, always get guns cheaply and easily? or Australia? England?

perhaps you believe they can do so because in America we already have so many fucking guns. we're swimming in guns. 5280 takes a bath with 3 handguns and an assault rifle every morning.

our militia, being so neccessary to our security, sure as fuck isn't very well-regulated. it doesn't appear to be regulated at all. i want to see marching up and down. i want to see musket-loading practice on the village green.
Without taking sides on this one, here's a story:
I once caught a cab in downtown Tucson. The cabbie was wearing sneakers, jeans, T-shirt, baseball cap, and a sidearm in a shoulder holster. One and only time I've ever seen an openly armed taxi driver. I asked him about it, and all he had to say was "Blacks and Mexicans." When we got to the turnoff for the airport, he pulled over into the emergency lane, so that he could lock his weapon in the glove compartment and put a windbreaker on to hide his empty shoulder holster, all the time muttering about what a hastle the gun-free airport rules are. When we pulled up to the curb at the aiport, another taxi was pulling out too slowly for his taste, so after honking twice, he actually pulled up and touched bumpers with the cab in front. The cabbie in front unfolded his huge frame out of the cab and came back to see what the hell. My cabbie jumped out -- he was a bantam-weight guy over matched by about seven inches and 80 pounds. But he went to chest-to-chest with big guy, and they exchanged heated words. I wondered if my guy remembered his holster was empty.
My point here is simply that the only taxi driver I ever saw deliberately try to provoke a fight with a fellow taxi driver was also the only taxi driver I ever saw wearing a sidearm.
I've said it before (in a thread about hatchet-murderer Michael LaRosa) and I'll say it again: we have freedoms that most of (aside from those who'd prefer more of a police state) feel very passionately about. And, to put it bluntly, every year some innocent people are going to die as, in effect, a "sacrifice" for everyone to have those freedoms.

We could lock up everyone who seems disturbed -- like LaRosa, or the Virginia Tech murderer who slaughtered over five times as many people as Loughner did -- and that would have saved the lives of 33 innocent people but, in doing that, we'd also be trampling on the freedoms of people and the vast majority of Americans would not be willing to do that.
A lot of the money being directed towards the drug war could be very easily redirected to better policing of legal and illegal gun trafficking.

That's one thing I thought was interesting. Presumably, according to the language of the second amendment, ownership of firearms would be contingent upon membership and regular attendance in civil militias. It wouldn't necessarily be a bad idea, providing a public medium for the pedagogy of safe weapon handling procedures and also an opportunity to censure those not observing such regulations properly. Perhaps to own a firearm, one would necessarily have to serve in some sort of armed capacity, continuously, within the state apparatus; one continuously serving as a reservist simultaneously would have the right to possess his own firearms. All this social engineering is so much fun, despite is unlikely implementation. The civil population, at least, ought be much more invested in its methods of defense and offense; then, I would imagine, people would think twice about risking themselves in foreign adventures.

On a more general note, the rate of fire-arm related deaths compared to other means is no argument against better firearm regulation. All that argument brings to the fore is the knowledge that better regulations against other means of manslaughter ought be arranged as well; in this light that argument is nothing more than a red herring.
Goldy, so how about sayin' what your solution would be?

If you are going to try and disprove what @9 said, you might want to acquaint yourself with the definition of homicide first.

Homicide simply means the deceased was killed by another human, as opposed to natural causes or accidents not involving another human.

Homicide is not = murder. What you want is to show murder statistics. Simply saying more guns equals more gun homicides proves nothing and is tautological.

As a lawyer and former cop, I can tell you accurate handgun stats for the USA as a whole DO NOT EXIST. We do not separate justifiable homicide from criminal homicide (I.e. Murder or manslaughter, etc.)

There also aren't accurate gun murder stats for the UK, Canada, or Australia as a whole.

So, please understand you do yourself and the gun control cause a great disservice by citing such stats and making the fundamental error of conflating murder w homicide.
America could never become the UK, and I say this as an Englishman.

However! Urgutha: Sometimes you are insightful, but on this point you are an idiot. The UK is swimming in drugs just like the USA, and all attempts to stem the tide fail. But there are next-to-no guns. I had never even seen a gun until I stepped foot over here in my 20s. Why do you think that is?

Mebbe we should be a bit more like Switzerland. Apart from the bit about cheese and clocks. We don't let people drive cars without a licence, and living without a car is much of a pain in the ass than living without a gun.
@28 What a depressing post. The elites tank the economy for the middle and lower class, and get more soldiers to enforce their economic priorities. Everybody wins except the majority! Yay! Fuck.
ABW @39: I did not use the term murder in my post @22. It is you who are apparently conflating homicide, murder, gun stats, etc. It is clear that guns in this country are a public health menace, given the stats from the cause-of-death information.

I leave it to you lawyers to sort out among the stack of bodies the numbers of these homicides that were A-OK and NRA-approved.
We're "swimming in guns" here? Sure, the U.S. has lots of guns, but more than any other country, per person? Canada has lots of guns. Hell, in Switzerland, the adult males are required by law to have a gun in the house, a fully automatic assault rifle, even!

So if the problem as some see it, is that we have too many guns here, and the gun control laws aren't reasonable and sane, and there's not a good enough militia, then what's the solution?

I see comments about "we need more reasonable and sane gun control laws." Ok, like what?
I'm sure I'll be shot for this, but shouldn't we at least give it a try? If we reduced the number of guns in criminal's hands by 15% that's %15 fewer gun crimes. It seems worth it to me. If you are a non-violent person without a record, go to town, own a gun. Great. But it's in the public interest to keep guns out of the hands of killers. We should make an effort to do so.
read the paper ever?

take a look at all the recent slayings in seattle by knife.
Wrt to gun stats, what we need to know and do not have are

1. Per capita rate of gun suicides
2. Per capita rate of all suicides
3. Per capita rate of attempted gun suicides
4. Per capita rate of attempted suicides
5. Same data for other similar nations. (note: uk wouldn't count bc of size, racial, socio-economic, mental health issues)
6. Data for USA as a for each state and regions win states

If illinois' gun ownership is primarily downstate, but all gun murders are in Chicago, state level aggregate data tells you nothing

Then you need the same data for justifiable homicides as a separate group, same data for criminal homicide (requires a trial and verdict), and a category for cases where we can't tell if it is a justifiable homicide or a murder

Then we need to tease our shooters by illegal gun possession, legal gun owners, and authorized state agents (cops, rangers, marshals, soldiers)

As this data does not exist now...and I can tell you what does exist is reported in a way such that all data is suspect, we simply don't know what is going on.

So trotting out gun stats in a discussion about gun regulation as some sort of trump card is ultimately fruitless- irrespective of which side does it.

Of course, I realize that this point will be lst on many on both sides. The 2nd amendment is much like the 1st amendment. People base their pov and arguments on political identity and fear more than facts and civics. The left fetishizes the 1st wo seeing other free countries have restraints on speech but wants to go the opposite way on the 2nd amendment. The right does the converse.

And everyone touts bogus stats wo understanding what they mean or going beyond the 2nd amendment.

I don't care what side you are on. If you haven't read the Militia Act and the furor that followed it (omg, were going to fine poor white men who can't buy a personal firearm!) and read the context of the 14th amendment wrt to former slaves owning guns...and then read and understood all the major supreme court cases on both the first and second amendments, you really shouldn't be coming out w definitive statements as to what the framework us.

Most constitutional law scholars (who aren't idealogues) struggle.

This doesnt mean the unlearned can't discuss the issue, only that they should not come at it as if their pov is the only sane or correct one. Or use the stats are clear in support of my position or the constitution is clear.

As someone who has been on the front lines of the gang/drug/gun war and spent decades wrestling w the American constitution and it's underlying social contact, I can say anyone who comes at this w absolutes doesn't understand anything
@ABW, WTF difference does it make whether the person holding the gun intentionally or unintentionally killed another human being with said gun? Accidental gun deaths increase my desire to have less guns in the world. Arguing semantics here is pretty obtuse.
@45: hatchet. your reading needs to be more well-regulated.

@43: yes, we're swimming in guns.… see @31 for the difference between Uhmurka and Switzerland. their militia is WELL-REGULATED.

as to the solution: i already laid out my facetious solution, but realisitically, there is no solution. there will be an Amoklauf shooting, of one type or another, somewhere in "the greatest country on earth" nearly every week for the remainder of your adult life.
@43: Okay, how does this sound: Everyone can have a gun if they want. But first they have to prove the very reasonable expectation of expertise and responsibility that goes with a lethal device (much like driving). We could just have some sort of licence system with training, tests, and what-not, but I say let's go the whole hog and make it a spell in the military/police.

I know, it'll never happen. But it would certainly fit the spirit of the "armed militia" thing. And people who cry loudest and longest about gun rights seem to me to be the same folk who understand the value of public service and would welcome it. Am I wrong?
Emmas bee,

I'm trying to help you here and you don't seem to get that.

Saying more guns = more gun homicides is like saying the USA has more cars than the uk, so we have more car accidents.

It is not helping your case at all.

And your response to me shows you didn't get what either post 9 said or what I said. I don't care if the author of 9 is correct on their overall gun stance or not. They are correct on this point. Ignoring it or shifting the argument by posting homicide stats isn't helping your case.

You have potentially alienated people who may be allies.

Do you not get that.

A bit of advice as to what to do in the alternative to bolster a control argument: read about Switzerland. Read about new Zealand. You might find provable facts to help you.

But given your last sentence to me, it seems you are more interested in insults than facts.

I am not, have never been, nor will never be a fan of the NRA.
43/UF: Hell, in Switzerland, the adult males are required by law to have a gun in the house, a fully automatic assault rifle, even!

I suspect that the U.S. has far more disturbed people per capita than Switzerland and I'm sure their culture is not as soaked in violence as ours is so their higher per household rate of gun ownership doesn't result in nearly as many murders from guns. (By the way, I learned about how armed-to-the-teeth the Swiss are years ago, from reading John McPhee's La Place de la Concorde Suisse, which I'd highly recommend.)

42/emma's bee: It is clear that guns in this country are a public health menace

They clearly are. Even passionate supporters of the right to bear arms would, I'm sure, agree that guns are used to murder a lot of people every year. So what would you propose to address this?

It does matter beyond semantics and if you can't see the difference between suicide, accident, murder by gang banger, shooting your rapist in your own bedroom, and a cop shooting a man about to murder another, I don't see how we can even have a discussion.

What is done with the gun, by whom, and why matters. So does the issue of whiter or not the same harm would occur wo the gun matters. Would the suicide have occurred wo the gun? Usually yes. The accident? Usually no. The gang murder? Most not done w legal guns, and knowing many gangs up close and personal, I'd say they'd make their own bombs if it came to it.

So, yes, it matters. A lot.

People who say it's all the same make it harder for those of s who want safe
It amazes me how many people here seem to presume I don't favor gun control. Crist on a cracker, sometimes people are their own worst enemies, alienating people who might be on their side.
45/SR: take a look at all the recent slayings in seattle by knife.

Knives are obviously used to kill people. But the huge difference between a knife and a gun is that you can kill so many more people with a gun. The Virginia Tech murderer slaughtered 32 people. Had he been armed with a knife (or knives) he would have killed some but probably only a few. Loughner wouldn't have killed and wounded so many people with blades instead of bullets.
Why do we value every single life when there's such rampant overcrowding. and people are still having 3+ kids per marriage?

Cull the herd, I say.

You get a gun, and you get a gun, and you get a gun. EVERYBODY GETS A GUN!!!

/"Are you being sarcastic?"
//"Man, I don't even know any more."
@43, @51, et. al. - U.S. = 90 guns per 100 residents, #1 in the world; Switzerland is number 3 with 46 per 100. The ownership rates for Switzerland do not take into account the military issue firearms. Switzerland is also able to regulate guns strictly on a national level, so there's that. Rounding out the top five? Yemen, Iraq & Serbia. Wonderful dinner company, I'm sure.
I get that the second amendment is there, can't be ignored, and we could fight forever about comma splices, but I've never understood why we don't just treat guns like cars:

You can own as many as you want, of any kind, but you have to have insurance for each one, and you have to have a license to use it. To get that license you have to take a class/test, and prove that you know how to use it. People who mis-use cars get their licenses revoked - they can still own the damn thing - they just can't operate without a license.

Would it eliminate gun violence? no. Would it stop someone from getting one without a license if they really wanted it? no. But it would at least put a tracking and training method on them and not violate the second amendment. Plus it honors that whole "well-regulated" part that the NRA loves to skip.
Right on, Goldy! Only weak, insecure people need guns.
57/el ganador: but I've never understood why we don't just treat guns like cars

Personally, I like that idea but we treat them differently because there's no amendment stating "the right of the people to keep and drive cars shall not be infringed."

But it would at least put a tracking and training method on them and not violate the second amendment.

But the argument opponents of that idea would put forth is that it does violate the 2nd. They would argue that what you're suggesting infringes on their right.

Plus it honors that whole "well-regulated" part that the NRA loves to skip.

We can all debate forever about what that part means. It sure implies to me that the framers intended the "right to keep and bear arms" to be in the context of a well-regulated militia -- if not, then why mention a well-regulated militia at all? -- but it doesn't specifically say that and the courts have apparently held that the right is an individual right, unrelated to service in a militia.
Constitutional scholars, consider brushing up on Heller and McDonald before debating, or even misquoting the Second Amendment.
We have a "well trained militia" here in Seattle called the SPD and that doesn't stop them from murder and mayhem. This guy was an idiot and so is Goldy's statement. Don't ask Goldy for a solution ask his muse Darcy Dumbshit Burner. Oh right she couldn't go to congress so she won't do anything for the community. Goldy your taste in people matches the insights of your comments.
How about we try the Swedish method? Mandatory 2 years - hell, even 1 year - of service in the nation's military. Then you can have all the guns you want.

You ever want to learn how to handle and respect a gun, just have a drill sergeant give you lessons. You will not need to be taught twice.
Since this is flamebait for both sides, let me try and offer a balanced response that neither side wants to hear. On one hand, it's far too easy to get a gun in this country. Like a car, they let a person control something with a lot of force, capable of a lot of damage. Of course, if someone doesn't have a driver's license, they can still steal a car and still use it to run over people. But at least we don't sell cars to people without a license. A license that provides minimal assurance the person knows how to safely handle a car and isn't crazy and a license that's taken away if someone can't drive a car safely. Isn't not unreasonable to require such things to buy and own a gun. Now, the facts the lefties don't want to hear. One of the men who tackled and held down Jerod was also a legal gun over who had a gun with him. If the suspect had been able to reload, this sane, lawful gun owner would have likely been the only thing to stop Jerod from killing a lot more people. So sorry right wing gun nuts, sorry left wing gun haters, the issue isn't as black and white as you both want it to be.
@ 24, I'll answer this way - wish in one hand, shit in the other, and see which one fills up first.
@ 26, if that's true, then this is a case for stricter laws in AZ - namely, laws that prevent the mentally ill and felons from legally buying guns.

While criminals (esp. habitual felons) will be undeterred by that, such restrictions do keep some of the affected people (the ones who don't know how to get a gun from the black market) from getting them.
@46 and 50: you seem rather thin-skinned for a supposed lawyer and law-enforcement professional. In addition, you are throwing out ridiculous red herrings. My stats @22 are of the recorded number and rate of *homicides*, by region, for the period of 1999-2007. I said nothing about suicide or accidental deaths. I said nothing about "legal interventions", which are defined as ""injuries inflicted by the police or other law enforcing agents, including military on
duty, in the course of arresting or attempting to arrest
law breakers, suppressing disturbances, maintaining
order, and other legal action" (see…).

You are right, though; to understand the real impact of guns on our culture you would need to look at these causes. Below are some additional firearm-related death tallies (same info format and source). So, for the 9-year period 1999-2007, guns were used to kill a total of 269,871 people in this country. By pointing this out, I become a raving left wing gun hater, I suppose. It's a fair cop.

Intentional self-harm (suicide), 1999-2007
Region Deaths Pop Crude Rate Age-Adj Rate
Northeast 15856 487683354 3.3 3.1
Midwest 32053 587368343 5.5 5.4
South 67353 940745886 7.2 7.1
West 36794 595747836 6.2 6.3
Total US 152056 2611545419 5.8 5.8

ICD-10 Codes: X72 (Intentional self-harm by handgun discharge), X73 (Intentional self-harm by rifle, shotgun and larger firearm discharge), X74 (Intentional self-harm by other and unspecified firearm discharge)

Legal intervention involving firearm deaths
Region Deaths Pop Crude Rate Age-Adj Rate
Northeast 247 487683354 0.1 0.1
Midwest 462 587368343 0.1 0.1
South 991 940745886 0.1 0.1
West 1191 595747836 0.2 0.2
Total US 2891 2611545419 0.1 0.1

ICD-10 Code: Y35.0 (Legal intervention involving firearm discharge)

Region Deaths Pop Crude Rate Age-Adj Rate
Northeast 638 487683354 0.1 0.1
Midwest 1202 587368343 0.2 0.2
South 3491 940745886 0.4 0.4
West 1256 595747836 0.2 0.2
Total US 6587 2611545419 0.3 0.3

ICD-10 Codes: W32 (Handgun discharge), W33 (Rifle, shotgun and larger firearm discharge), W34 (Discharge from other and unspecified firearms)

Undetermined intent firearm discharges
Region Deaths Population Crude Rate Age-Adj Rate
Northeast 171 487683354 0 0
Midwest 493 587368343 0.1 0.1
South 1014 940745886 0.1 0.1
West 534 595747836 0.1 0.1
Total US 2212 2611545419 0.1 0.1

ICD-10 Codes: Y22 (Handgun discharge, undetermined intent), Y23 (Rifle, shotgun and larger firearm discharge, undetermined intent), Y24 (Other and unspecified firearm discharge, undetermined intent)
Andrew, thanks for the info. I heard on the news that two men took the scumbag down (and good for them!) but didn't know that bit about the one guy.

"not unreasonable to require such things to buy and own a gun." Not unreasonable to you. Or to me. Or to others. But not reasonable to those who see those things as an infringement. That's the problem. What is "reasonable" isn't black and white either.

I believe the typical argument against requiring a license is that a tyrannical government could use that to more easily confiscate guns.
I did mention that Goldy is trolling the fuck out of us, right?
Just read this in the NY Times. Good for her!

At the news conference, Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik of Pima County described a chaotic scene of terror and heroism as the shots rang out. He said one woman who was injured in the shooting fought to wrestle a magazine of ammunition away from the suspected gunman as he tried to reload. He succeeded in reloading, the sheriff said, but was then tackled to the ground. Officials, who did not name her, said the attack could have been more devastating had she not tried to stop the suspect.
Oy! Some thoughts:

Mandatory military service before being allowed a gun? Why would that make us safer? It seems that some of the deadliest gun crimes were carried out by former military (e.g., Charles Whitman). Those are rare, yes, but the question remains, why would mandatory military service = fewer gun murders? And what about responsible people who can't get into the military for whatever reason (poor hearing or something)?

Well-regulated militia can mean many things, but it should NOT mean "government organized/supported." The whole point of the second amendment and the militia is a means to resist tyrannical government. The U.S. military and a "well-regulated militia" should not be the same thing.

Licenses and such are a great idea, but criminals don't usually care about whether they're licensed or not.

I DO agree that everyone should be educated and trained in gun responsibility and safety from an early age. That might help some. Teach it in school.

I think my main issue with the "if we get rid of guns, we'll get rid of the problem" talk is that guns aren't the problem. Fear and hatred are. The bigger problem is the fear that circles around this country unceasingly, fueled by restless media where fear and anger are the big sellers. If you eliminate guns, has anything really been solved? If you take matches away from an arsonist, should you then pat yourself on the back and say, "well, that's fixed, no more worries!"?

Guns just seem like a symptom to me, not the cause of the problem, just a means that people use to express the problem. Getting rid of guns is like using a piece of gum to fix a crack in a dam. The problem isn't solved, it's just hidden.
Handguns are used for killing people. If you have a handgun, you presume you will someday be required to either kill someone, or threaten to kill someone. Why else would you have one? Goldy is asking a legitimate question.
@71 Zombie Attacks.
Oh, come on Goldy. You're an advocate of legal firearms possession in the home; you can't argue that a no-public-carry law would have prevented Loughner from taking his gun to Safeway just the one time.
UF, good post.

McVeigh was in the military too, wasn't he? I remember Whitman at UT from when I was a kid...can't remember if he had a motive or if he was just another loner-psycho type.

Anyway, a couple comments...

The whole point of the second amendment and the militia is a means to resist tyrannical government.

You're right. My question is: who gets to decide when the government has reached critical "tyrannical" mass? After all, it's not as if a tyrannical government is going to announce itself as such with a Big Brother logo. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen little by little.

If you eliminate guns, has anything really been solved? Guns just seem like a symptom to me, not the cause of the problem, just a means that people use to express the problem

Anyone with even half a clue knows you can't eliminate guns. "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" may be seen as some as a cliche, but it's true. I believe that criminals, thugs, assholes,etc. will always find a way to get a gun. But, for the sake of argument, let's say you could wave a magic wand and completely eliminate guns. Would it stop people from murdering other people? Of course not. But would it solve something? Sure. Guns are very destructive, far more so than other conventional weapons. As I noted in another thread, could the Virgina Tech scumbag murderer have massacred 32 people if he was armed with knives or baseball bats? Of course not. People kill people but guns magnify the carnage. This is an admittedly silly example to make a point but if someone believes that the weapons available to people in society make no difference then we should allow people to have nuclear weapons if they want. But, of course, we wouldn't do that because one pissed off loner-psycho could then wipe out an entire college instead of "just" 32 people.

Anyway, bottom line: there is no magic wand. We can't eliminate guns.

71: Handguns are used for killing people. If you have a handgun, you presume you will someday be required to either kill someone, or threaten to kill someone. Why else would you have one?

Predators. People who break into your home. While you're there. Three years after I moved into my house the woman in her 70s who lived across the street from me was raped and then beaten to death by an intruder. My house was broken into once (I was at work.) Ten years ago, I awoke at around 3:00 am because I heard noise outside. I went into the living room and heard one of my windows start to open. I screamed "FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING FUCK" (or something like that) and, in a panic, quickly looked around for some kind of heavy blunt object. Then I heard whoever it was running away. I've never owned a gun and still have no plans to (I keep a baseball bat in my bedroom) but I sure wish I had one and knew how to use it that time. I would have had no qualms about blasting the predator and I applaud any homeowner who kills a predator.

Do you think it's wrong for someone to choose to have a gun at home and use it to kill someone who's breaking (or has broken) into their house?
Yeah, because if guns were banned nobody would ever get their hands on one again...

It's worked wonders for drugs after all.
Roma @74,
McVeigh didn't use a gun. Neither did the 9/11 terrorists. But they still caused massive pain, suffering, and destruction.

No, you're right of course, there's no way to close Pandora's box, guns are here to stay, like it or not.

If it were possible to get rid of guns, sure, there'd be no more gun murders... And then everyone would move on to the next most destructive whatever and complain about that. There are groups out there who want to ban smoking, drinking, fur, eating meat, eating fast food, eating HFCS, certain kinds of lightbulbs, driving without a seatbelt, riding a motorcycle without a helmet, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseum infinity. It will never be enough. If guns could magically be made to disappear, something else would simply take their place. And meanwhile, not a thing would have been done about the actual cause of the gun violence in the first place.
McVeigh didn't use a gun. Neither did the 9/11 terrorists. But they still caused massive pain, suffering, and destruction.

True. But that actually helps support the point I was making. I wrote "People kill people but guns magnify the carnage" but the broader point there is that the type of weapon a person chooses to use matters. Yes, McVeigh's choice of weapon was much more destructive than a gun. But guns are more destructive than knives or clubs.

If it were possible to get rid of guns, sure, there'd be no more gun murders... And then everyone would move on to the next most destructive whatever and complain about that.

One could certainly make that argument, but I beg to differ. I don't think every angry asshole or scumbag thug or loner-psycho who would have used a gun to murder people would start using bombs or some other more destructive weapon. But who knows...maybe you're right. Maybe some evil Steve Jobs type would come up the iBomb.

@72 I'm thinking most people are about as likely to need to handgun to ward off a zombie attack as they are likely to need one in self defense. Besides, zombies are notoriously hard to kill.
venomlash @68,

You're right... it absolutely outrageous of me to suggest that a gun might have had anything to do with this tragic shooting.
"@71 Zombie Attacks."

Misanthrope, good one! And you just reminded me of my favorite SNL mock commercial, for Old Glory Insurance
Why are so many liberals fully willing to take the good with the bad when it comes to drugs and free speech but not with guns? Also, hey, pretty sure a dude who'd be willing to shoot a child would be fully capable of finding some other way to kill folks.

Just sayin'.
@ 80, um, no, that wasn't what you were saying. You were expressing bitter sarcasm, which isn't the same thing.
@4 - Guns may be way down the list, but we try to do something to reduce all of the other things on your list: Seatbelt laws for cars, helmet laws for bicycles, etc. Why should we just bury our heads in the sand and say gun murders are inevitable?

@2/12 - I've lived in Japan and Singapore, about two years in each country. You probably could've counted the shooting deaths on one hand. Guns are a lot easier to control. They're manufactured and sold by big companies. People are unlikely to start building their own guns and making their own ammunition en masse. Weed can be homegrown, you can make meth in your garage and the fact that there are no legal distributors means it is impossible to control.

The guns to drugs analogy is deeply flawed and simply doesn't work.
@ 79: You are correct. For the average zombie nothing less than a shotgun will do. I say this as a card carrying member of the NRA, so you can trust me on this.
So, if the U.S. would simply allow only corporations to manufacture and sell guns, then our gun-violence problems would decrease? But that same logic is useless with marijuana, because people will just grow it themselves?

Please don't take this as insulting, I really do want to know what people's ideas for gun/drug control are.

Why would gun violence be decreased if only corporations were allowed to produce guns?

I'll admit, I don't think I could build a gun right now if I had to. But I also think that if I really wanted to build a gun, it would be extremely easy for me to find out how to do so.

Same with growing pot. I don't know how to do it right now, but I'm guessing it's not that hard to learn how to do it.

Making either one illegal is almost laughable. You might as well make the construction of paper airplanes illegal, then watch as thousands of people make paper airplanes in your face and laugh at how useless and irrelavant you are.

No, there needs to be something different. Making guns illegal is a complete waste of time. That time has passed. Guns are not going away, no matter how much anyone might want them to.
Mexico has a total gun ban, and the worst record for killed and kidnapped politicians and other high-level figures in the world. With more than 28,000 dead in Mexico from the drug war, it is clear that leaving guns only in the hands of the cartels and criminals will only make us all vulnerable.
@89 Actually someone was packing. One of the guys who held the suspect down, Joseph Zamudio was packing a 9mm.…

He was very cool headed, didn't pull the gun out since the suspect was held down. But had the suspect been able to shoot more, Zamudio would have engaged him. I'm a moderate, and although I have a license to carry concealed in WA, I choose not to because it is a huge responsibility and I'm not ready to live like I'm in Mogadishu. I wish there were more training requirements for citizens to carry (cops get 40 hours of firearms training in the academy plus annual qualifications). I'm far from a gun nut advocating people carry like Chuch Norris as you say. But in this case, Joseph Zamudio carrying might have saved lives. I believe in the right to own guns but I equally and strongly believe in common sense regulation of them as well.
Even though I'm a gun owner, I couldn't agree more with Michael Moore's tweet:
"Too unstable, so the Army rejects him. Too unstable, so Pima Com College suspends him. But if he wants 2 buy a gun in AZ, no prob!"
Guns are a *fetish*. You can't argue someone out of their fetish. Alas.

Note that the attacker was subdued without the use of The Holy Gun--even the guy who evidently had one didn't use it. (Damn good thing Loughner didn't get hold of it in the struggle.) Guns did nothing to protect anyone in this incident.
Every argument that trying to keep guns out of the hands of psychopaths is a slippery slope is invalid.

Every argument that psychopaths would find another way to do violence if they couldn't get a hold of a gun easily is invalid.

Every argument that people die lots of ways besides guns is invalid. I mean seriously? You expect people to relent because more people die in cars? I'm flabbergasted by the stupidity of that argument.

These arguments are tiresomely stupid. Stop using them. No one is trying for a perfectly perfect world. We just want you to consider that it might be a better one if psychopaths had to try a little harder to get weapons built to many kill people easily. You can't argue against that. It's fucking retarded.

If you're arguing against any and all gun control, stop posting, and think about reality for a second. Yes there will still be gun violence if we make an effort to keep guns out of the hands of murderers, but there will be less of it. That's an improvement. No terrorists don't always use guns. But some do. If we make an effort to keep guns out of their hands, there will be less terrorism with guns. That's a good thing.

Arizona's gun laws are insane. This isn't a black and white issue. This shouldn't be polarizing. We need to try to be intelligent and accept the possibility of nuance about this issue.

So I did some research on this 'Goldy.'

He's a failed radio talk show host in Seattle. He was too liberal. In Seattle. Think about that a moment, the place that consistently elects Baghdad Jim McDermott by wide margins thought this guy too far left....

He runs a blog called Horsesass, in which he presumably still blathers on about his far too far left notions. Honestly, I didn't look for it too closely as a website, so this is merely an assumption.

He's some kind of back room big noise in the far left wing of the Democrat party in Washington either in fact or in his own estimation. I couldn't make out which exactly. Wait, there isn't anything but a far left wing of that party in Washington State.

And now he's here, calling for the suspension of the 2nd Amendment. Or whatever he's calling for. Actually, he hasn't the guts to call for anything, he just puts a flea in peoples ear and watches the fun from a distance. Typical left wing commmentator, long on incitement, short on facts.

This is pretty easy folks. The 2nd Amendment is as strong or as weak as the rest of the Constitution. We can amend it, and if the popular will believes it time to do so, that's fine. But to just ignore it because a random lunatic got hold of a pistol has some pretty glaring problems. As much as you don't care for the right to bear arms, I'm betting you do like the right to free expression. I'm betting you do like the basic criminal rights we enjoy in this nation. For an idea of what it's like without them, think Amanda Knox. And that's an example from a civilized Western nation. I highly recommend staying out of the way of the 'law' (whichever brother in law of the local political bigwig got the chief's uniform with no training but quite the eye for bribes and so on) in anyplace like Nigeria or Bolivia.

If we suborn the right to bear arms to temporary pressures, where do we stop? I mean, I find Thom Hartmann offensive, loud-mouthed and factually incorrect most of the time. But I strongly believe he has a right to lie and exxagerate if he wants to, to protect our free press. I find the notion of protecting known criminals civil rights offensive, right up to the point where I might need to be protected from an corrupt policeman or prosecutor skirting the laws.

These rights stand or fall together. If we want to alter the 2nd Amendment there is a lawful process for doing so. Until then, we do have the right to bear arms. And gadflys like Goldy have the right to be idiots.
@94: Everybody who cares already knows. Everybody who doesn't know doesn't give a fuck.
man did you guys get trolled! any way, if the whole crowd had a gun a: he would have only got off one or two shots before he was killed or b: he wouldn't have fucking bothered because it was too risky to try. my only regret is that the guy who got his gun away from him didn't shoot him in the fucking head. these guys just wan't attention , and media coverage. they shouldn't get any mention. i wonder if he has bail? any one wanna chip in on it if he does. i wanna take him hunting for the weekend.
I just take solace in the fact that gun owners are more likely to be killed by their own gun than someone else's. Karma in operation.
@96: I shall continue posting this picture until you start putting some creativity into your trolling. Seriously, your attempts at trolling are two steps below insulting someone in greentext.
What 95 said.
How's that War on Drugs working out these days?

Why do you think a War on Guns would be any more successful?
This was posted on HuffPo and it put a huge smile on my face.

theRealAmerica 5 hours ago (11:33 PM)
107 Fans

I know exactly how to stop gun sells and have real legislatio­n....Black men need to start the Black NRA and start buying weapons...­I'll BET THE FARM...tha­t guns will be illegal...
@100 There is no such thing as a War on Guns. It's a lie people tell themselves to drum up fear and hate.

Please wait...

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