The Killer is Rarely Who He Seems

Journalist Dave Cullen, author of the definitive book on Columbine which he spent ten years researching, has an op-ed in tomorrow's New York Times on the myths of the mass killer and why people shouldn't rush to judgment about James Holmes.

YOU’VE had 48 hours to reflect on the ghastly shooting in Colorado at a movie theater. You’ve been bombarded with “facts” and opinions about James Holmes’s motives. You have probably expressed your opinion on why he did it. You are probably wrong.

In other words, "The killer is rarely who he seems." I'm ignoring the media's speculating pundits and profilers and will wait for the evidence.

Update: In other case news, Holmes bought his tactical assault gear online from a company called Tactical Gear in Missouri. Here's the receipt. He ordered in on July 2 and specified 2 day shipping. One of the items is a BlackHawk Urban Assault Vest. Here's BlackHawk's website and catalog.

I think it would be more productive to monitor the sale of "urban assault vests" and similar "tactical gear" than guns. What possible sporting use could these items have? Check out the D.O.A.V. Assault Vest System.[More...]

From Blackhawk's "How to Choose Your Armor" page:

Update: Police detonated a device in Holmes' apartment today, blowing out a window. There were 30 improvised grenades:

Holmes' apartment appears to have three types of explosives jars filled with accelerants, chemicals that would explode when mixed together and more than 30 "improvised grenades," the official said. Oates said Holmes has been preparing the attack for months.

All 12 of the victims who died have now been identified.

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    You're busting my chops! (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by heidelja on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:00:29 PM EST
    I think it would be more productive to monitor the sale of "urban assault vests" and similar "tactical gear" than guns. What possible sporting use could these items have?

    Although the argument can be made to the contrary, what real use are Gloak Pistols in "sport" when they have become the weapon of choice of "spree killers"? Noting that

    Norwegian far-Right extremist Anders Behring Breivik used a Glock 17 to kill most of the 67 people he shot dead during his massacre on the island of Utoya a year ago this Sunday.

    Sweden's Peter Mangs, the man accused of being behind to more than a dozen shootings of immigrants in the city of Malmo, owned a Glock 19.

    Germany's Robert Steinhäuser, who killed 17 people in the 2001 Erfurt massacre, used a Glock 17.

    Jared Lee Loughner, used a Glock 19 to shoot US Senator Gabrielle Giffords, and kill six others in his Safeway Grocery Store shootings in 2011, as did Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people in the Virgina Tech massacre, George Jo Hennard, who killed 23 in the Luby's Cafe massacre in 1991, and Kevin Sweat, the man charged with shooting two young girls in Oklahoma in 2008.

    The Glock Pistol was designed in 1982 by Austrian radiator factory manager Gaston Glock, responding to a tender put out by the country's military.

    His design was revolutionary. It was made out of plastic, so weighed half as much as a standard revolver, it was semi-automatic allowing a large number of rounds to be fired off quickly, and, most important for those planning a massacre, its magazine held 33 rounds.

    According to Paul Barrat, the author of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun, the magazine is the main attraction.

    "This magazine is so large, it actually sticks out the bottom of the handle of the gun, of the grip," he told an American radio station earlier this year.

    "And you can fire it very quickly, and you can get off that large number of rounds before you have to reload." The weapon is now used by two-thirds of US police departments and has featured in countless films.

    In the Fast and the Furious films, FBI Special Agent Brian O'Connor uses a Glock 17.

    Outside the US, the pistol's appeal comes partly from the fact that it is the semi-automatic weapon most frequently used in shooting clubs.


    You can't kill anyone with a ballistic vest (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Payaso on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:03:39 PM EST
    But it could save your life.

    it's not just a bullet proof vest (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:10:08 PM EST
    if you will look again.

    There is no 'bullet proof' vest listed.... (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by CuriousInAz on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:17:29 AM EST
    on the receipt.

    Is there another receipt?

    The pic shows the load carrying vest being worn over seperate body armor.


    Nothing wrong with the Glock (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:07:23 PM EST
    And there's no reason to think Glock owners would use the gun for mass murder. You've found four. I'm not impressed.

    and the Glock (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:09:25 PM EST
    is widely used for sport shooting. What sport uses the tactical assault gear pictured above?

    Lots of people use stuff like that for (none / 0) (#15)
    by redwolf on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:27:47 PM EST
    paintball.  Others are playing swat at the range(Never seen anyone dress up that way around here).  Others get it because they fear the government will attack them someday, like Waco Texas.  Does the garb he was wearing matter?  It's pretty easy to sew ammo packs into a vest.

    Maybe Paintball is next (none / 0) (#56)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 11:33:04 PM EST
    to be outlawed. Associated Press:

    A man in an ATF T-shirt could be seen measuring a poster on a closet that advertised a DVD called "Soldiers of Misfortune." The poster showed several figures in various positions playing paintball, some wearing masks.

    '3 gun' sport shooting matches (none / 0) (#80)
    by CuriousInAz on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:19:10 AM EST
    Three gun shooting is one of the fastest growing shooting sports.  Many participants wear lots of gear.

    No one is who they seem, are they? (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:31:35 PM EST
    I mean, we all have our public faces, our work faces, and we just accept that that's who people are in the relatively circumscribed world in which we encounter each other.  Who knows that the polite and friendly guy we see in the elevator every morning is someone who gets mean when he drinks and hits his kids?  Or that the congenial co-worker's marriage is falling apart?  Or that someone's kid is failing in school and starting to get into trouble?  Who knows that people are sliding into bankruptcy or have addictions?

    Is saying that a killer is rarely who he seems another way of saying that now we know who he is?  Does this killing now define who he is?

    It shouldn't, but it will, because whoever this kid really is, or was, the media has taken over and will decide.  We will feel terrible for his family, which will also never be the same, ever.  Whoever they are, in that essential sense, will go into hiding for a long time, and few people will ever get close to them again.

    No one is ever completely who they seem; whoever we are, most of us don't end up on the part of the spectrum marked "killer," and I guess for that, we can all be grateful.

    I have (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by lentinel on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 06:58:20 PM EST
    known a few good people who were exactly as they seemed. I have been lucky, I guess.

    The ones I have known that turned out to be not what they seemed had offered some "tell" or red flag that I could recall upon reflection. So I now pay great attention to tells and red flags.


    you miss the point (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 07:47:59 PM EST
    Dave's point is that stereotypical labels the experts, public and media attach to these killers often turn out to be wrong. Did you read his article?

    He also points out we will eventually learn, like we did with Dylan Klebold, 7 years after the fact. The initial assumptions people had were wrong.

    He said nothing about knowing who he is now. Again, please read his article -- or his book.

    I know him pretty well and had umpteen discussions with him on Columbine and other things back then. This topic was his life for 10 years.


    How is saying that what we think we know (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:00:37 PM EST
    about anyone isn't necessarily the truth, "missing the point?"

    I said the media would define this man - isn't that what Dave said? Isn't that what he's cautioning people not to allow them to do?

    Let me share something with you: when my daughter's fiance was 17, his parents separated. Long story short, one evening when he was out of the house, his dad came over, killed his mother and then killed himself.  I still feel sick when I think about the horror he has lived through; if you had any idea how he has struggled to deal with it, to accept it and to move on from it, you would not tell me I am missing the point about people jumping to conclusions about who someone really is.

    I don't think I missed the point: I think I know quite well what the point is.


    for those of us who blinked and missed it... (none / 0) (#30)
    by unitron on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:31:58 PM EST
    ...what was only learned about Klebold 7 years later?

    Was it just a belated release of the contents of his journal, or something not mentioned in the op-ed?


    the myth was (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 10:21:46 PM EST
    Two outcast loners exacted revenge against the jocks for relentlessly bullying them. Not one bit of that turned out to be true.

    Their journals, which were not released until 7 years after Columbine, showed how different they were from each other. According to Dave,

    Audiences are never surprised by the journal of Mr. Harris. It's hate-hate-hate all the way through. He was a coldblooded psychopath, in the clinical use of that term. He had no empathy, no regard for human suffering or even human life.

    Mr. Klebold's journal is the revelation. Ten pages are consumed with drawings of giant fluffy hearts. Some fill entire pages, others dance about in happy clusters, with "I LOVE YOU" stenciled across. He was ferociously angry. He had one primary target for his anger. Not jocks, but himself. What a loathsome creature he found himself. No friends, no love, not a soul who cared about him or what became of his miserable life. None of that is objectively true. But that's what he saw.

    What that meant:

    Dylan Klebold was an extreme and rare case. A vast majority of depressives are a danger only to themselves. But it is equally true that of the tiny fraction of people who commit mass murder, most are not psychopaths like Eric Harris or deeply mentally ill like Seung-Hui Cho at Virginia Tech. Far more often, they are suicidal and deeply depressed. The Secret Service's landmark study of school shooters in 2002 determined that 78 percent of those shooters had experienced suicidal thoughts or attempts before mass murder.

    He adds:

    Mr. Holmes has already been described as a loner. Proceed with caution on that. Nearly every shooter gets tagged with that label, because the public is convinced that that's the profile, and people barely acquainted with the gunman parrot it back to every journalist they encounter. The Secret Service report determined that it's usually not true.

    Resist the temptation to extrapolate details prematurely into a whole. Every time you begin to think we're ready to answer the burning why, focus on the image of Dylan's hearts. The killer is rarely who he seems.

    Thank you (none / 0) (#155)
    by unitron on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:00:12 AM EST
    Well and succinctly explained.

    Sounds like the depression is the surprise, (none / 0) (#33)
    by observed on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:57:48 PM EST
    which surprises me, because IIRC that was mentioned very early on, along with the fact that Klebold was taking an anti-depressant.

    that was Eric Harris (none / 0) (#55)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 11:30:28 PM EST
    not Klebold. Harris took Luvox.

    More on that here.

    The Klebolds spoke to New York Times columnist David Brooks in 2004 and impressed Brooks as "a well-educated, reflective, highly intelligent couple" who spent plenty of time with their son. They said they had no clues about Dylan's mental state and regretted not seeing that he was suicidal.

    We arrive at those stereotypes ... (none / 0) (#31)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 08:44:51 PM EST
    ... through our compulsion to psychologically profile those individuals who commit mass murder and other heinous acts of violence, as though by doing so, we will somehow be able to identify these types of individuals in the future and thus prevent these massacres.

    In my honest opinion, that lather-rinse-repeat approach is the equivalent of the Pentagon's penchant for preparing our armed forces to fight the previous war. For all our expertise, we're still vulnerable to the man on a mission.

    In this instance, the Aurora shooting suspect was a medical school student, and broke the prevailing mold. Oh, but he was a loner and a social introvert, I heard a woman say this morning at our local coffee shop. Well, so are a lot of highly intelligent people who focus on their respective scholarship. Does that render all introverted geeks as part of the profile du jour?


    he wasn't a med student (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 10:13:11 PM EST
    he was a grad student in neuroscience.

    So you think (none / 0) (#38)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:33:52 PM EST
    there's nothing to be gained by trying to understand who these rare people are who do things like this?  We should just write them all off as "crazy" (or immoral as the righties would have it) and move on?

    west coaster here, just back from midwest (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by ZtoA on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 10:12:27 PM EST
    and with a serial killer in my family. Just went to a family reunion. 50 years later (50-60). He was also diagnosed "paranoid schizophrenic". Odd disease. IMO hyperbole DOES play a part. I have far righties, tea people and lefties (not far) in my extended family (and that is rural, conservative, hugely religious, anti gays etc.)

    The family members of serial killers or mass murderers are usually blamed. No one else carries any blame. Not the pundits who foment hate, not the purveyors of weapons to "defend" ourselves (from our neighbors and loved ones and family members).

    Yes, we should do a little bit of reflection on who are mass murderers and their states of mind.


    At the (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by lentinel on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 03:20:37 AM EST
    risk of being censured, I would add that the image of a sitting President mulling over a "kill list" doesn't help either.

    of course not (none / 0) (#53)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 11:17:57 PM EST
    he's saying avoid rushing to judgment. When the time is right for the information about him to be released, which is not right now due to the criminal investigation, then we'll know. In the meantime, avoid jumping to conclusions -- especially based on media pundits and so called profiling and psychological experts who have never met him and aren't privy to his records.

    All you need (5.00 / 3) (#61)
    by lentinel on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 03:18:58 AM EST
    to say is "Richard Jewell".

    He was analyzed, baked, fried and convicted by these media experts and pundits. We knew everything about this "loner" "loser".

    Of course, he happened to be innocent, but our media did not let that get in the way of their exploitation of tragedy for profit.


    Yet...this is more than philosophy (none / 0) (#17)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:50:56 PM EST
    In so many ways & in the lives so many now face.

      Today, in reading about the murdered victims identified to date, I had difficulty reading beyond the outline of a young mother (age given is 25) who "drifts in & out of consciousness" with bullet(s) in throat and surrounding area...who, while alert, calls for her young daughter Veronica. Veronica WAS six (6) when she died in the killing spree.  The mother hadn't been told , at the time of the article, that her 6-year-old little girl had died...because no one could yet tell her.

    Little Veronica undoubtedly was who she appeared to be...an innocent.  I'm going to think about her as this progresses.


    Donald's comment with misleading (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 10:08:40 PM EST
    statistics was deleted. It was also a rant.

    First, laws don't apply just to 17 to 24 year olds. And even if they did, the numbers show 29,000 people in this age group died in 2010, and firearms were not even close to being to the top cause. Here are the stats. There were 12,000 accidental deaths, 4,600 homicides (by all means) and 4,500 suicides. No one should expect that there would be a high number deaths in this age group from illnesses like heart disease or cancer.

    Also see the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) for Number of Deaths, Bureau of Census for Population Estimates.

    In 2009, there were 5 million people in Colorado. There were 30,000 deaths. There were 566 deaths from firearms in the state. Of those, at least 407 of them were suicides (316 by handgun, 46 by shotgun, 45 by rifle.) Only 95 firearm deaths were homicides. There were no accidental firearm deaths in 2009.

    I hardly think Colorado needs to change its laws when fewer than 100 of its 5 million residents were killed by others using a firearm.

    Nationally, there were about 30,000 firearm deaths in 2010. Almost 19,000 of them were suicides and 11,000 were homicides  -- less than in 2009, 2008 and 2007.  Here's the 2009 national chart.

    2.5 million people died in the U.S. in 2010. Homicides by any means, let alone just firearms, weren't among even the top 15 causes. 595,000 people in the U.S. died of heart disease in 2010.  573,000 died of malignant neoplasms. 137,000 died of respiratory diseases and 129,000 died of cerebral vascular disease. There were 118,000 unintentional deaths.  83,000 died of Alzheimers and 66,000 of diabetes. There were 38,000 suicides.  

    Homicide by firearm (11,000) is not a leading cause of death -- not even in the top 15 in 2010. There were 600 accidental firearm deaths in the country in 2010. These numbers do not not warrant changing our laws.

    The leading causes of death in 2010 remained the same as in 2009 for 14 of the 15 leading causes although two causes exchanged ranks. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis, the 9th leading cause in 2009, became the 8th leading cause in 2010, while Influenza and pneumonia, the 8th leading cause in 2009, became the 9th leading cause of death in 2010. Dropping from among the 15 leading causes of death in 2010 was Assault (homicide), replaced by Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids as the 15th leading cause of death in 2010. The 15 leading causes of death in 2010 (Table B) were as follows:

    1 Diseases of heart
    2 Malignant neoplasms
    3 Chronic lower respiratory diseases
    4 Cerebrovascular diseases
    5 Accidents (unintentional injuries)
    6 Alzheimer's disease
    7 Diabetes mellitus
    8 Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis
    9 Influenza and pneumonia
    10 Intentional self-harm (suicide)
    11 Septicemia
    12 Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
    13 Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease
    14 Parkinson's disease
    15 Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids

    You can run the death from firearms numbers yourself here for 16 states.

    Friday's killings were a tragedy. Even one death is too many and undeserved. But changing our gun laws wouldn't have prevented the killer from obtaining the guns illegally. Guns did not cause the killer's rage or mental illness or evil intent. They were the means by which he expressed them. He was just as capable and knowledgeable dealing with explosives. How many more would have died if he used a home-made bomb instead of a gun?

    The criminal justice system was not designed to deal with every conceivable social ill. Passing more criminal laws is not the answer. Instead of a bandaid type fix like passing more laws, our government should invest more in mental health treatment and prevention.

    But if the laws had been different to begin with.. (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by unitron on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:15:45 AM EST
    "But changing our gun laws wouldn't have prevented the killer from obtaining the guns illegally."

    True.  There are so many guns available illegally because there are so many guns.

    We might consider asking ourselves why there are so many guns.


    With all due respect (4.43 / 7) (#81)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:20:55 AM EST
    Your comment is extremely misleading.

    We're talking homicides not heart disease. No matter how you spin it, the most common method to kill someone in this country is with a gun.


    there aren't that many gun homicides (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 07:00:26 PM EST
    that's the point. More guns are used in suicides and your chances of being the victim of a gun homicide are very small compared to dying by some other means.

    I don't think it's misleading at all.


    Well I got to the thread late (none / 0) (#47)
    by ZtoA on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 10:20:49 PM EST
    and I don't even know what you are rebutting. Donald comes off as the pontificating uncle ( who is oh so often annoying), but he actually does have good sources and links. WTF, are you going tea parry?

    hardly (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 10:27:19 PM EST
    I don't believe in giving up any of our rights, or endorsing more government intrusion into our lives or in passing more criminal laws as a feel-good measure that won't prevent the next episode.

    Looking to the Future (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:48:08 AM EST
    Unstoppable technology keeps increasing the amount of damage a small number of people are capable of doing.  All sorts of things can set them off: drugs, feelings of frustration, religious fanaticism.  I hope somebody can explain to me why I am mistaken in my certainty that human civilization, as we know it, will not make it to the 22nd century.

    I cannot say you are mistaken (none / 0) (#124)
    by Slayersrezo on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 05:31:55 PM EST
    People on this thread keeping wanting to fight the TOOLS -not the motivations.

    I'd say it's because its far easier to think you are doing something if you regulate the tools of violence rather than trying to strike at its root.


    Can we do both? (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by unitron on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:21:25 AM EST
    Try to do something about the motivations as well as do something about the force multipliers?

    Or is this one of those problems without a solution?


    Well, you are asking the right question (none / 0) (#206)
    by Slayersrezo on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:57:48 PM EST
    In fact, we can do both, but no one ever asks about the first, only the second.

    Ban the carrying of multiple rifles/ handguns when not at home , in a car, on private property, or at a range. Ban clips of above a certain size -say above 30 shots for rifles, 10 to 15 for handguns. But realize these are bandaids, won't solve most of the gun deaths (most homocides are with handguns), and will, at most, have a rather small effect on spree killings as clips size restrictions are rather easy to work around.

    As for the first, more mental health service availability as well as other services for those stressed due to job/personal issues would be a good thing. Do this and end the drug war, and you'd probably do more to decrease gun homicides than has ever been done.


    the killer is rarely who he seems (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by liberal leaning on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:59:39 AM EST
    The US exports more violence than any country on the planet. While we are coming down on private gun owners, we might want to take a look at what, as a culture, we say we are.. We cannot think one thing and produce another. As long as we are entertained by violence, accepting of violence as a problem solving agent, support violence abroad through war mongering, use violence in our language in everyday conversation, and hold onto violence in our hearts, it won't matter how many guns are out there or not out there....

    I don't think the second amendment creates or protects the right to sell, ship, purchase or own high capacity drum magazines for a semi-automatic rifle.  If news reports are to be believed, the shooter had a 100 round drum magazine for his semi-automatic rifle, but it jammed, forcing him to resort to his lower capacity and less powerful  handguns.

    I do think the second amendment creates an individual right, but as SCOTUS has already observed, it is a right subject to regulation, probably under a standard akin to intermediate scrutiny.  If the right is, as the Court held, tied to self defense, then under that standard, the government could, if it had the political will to do so, enact many constitutional regulations relating to firearms beyond the current laws relating to automatic weapons.  The scope, if any, of future firearms regulations is much more a matter of politics than constitutional law.

    What are the odds Pres. Obama (none / 0) (#100)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:24:21 PM EST
    will address regulation of any aspect of firearm/ammo possession/sale w/i the next 7 days?

    Voluntarily address? 0 chance. (none / 0) (#113)
    by ruffian on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 03:58:05 PM EST
    Answer a question in a non-comital way? 99%

    I thought maybe his campaign would (none / 0) (#149)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:56:06 PM EST
    welcome a clear distinction from Mr. Romney.  

    how focusing on swimming pools? (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by diogenes on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 03:13:13 PM EST
    As Levitt famously said in freakonomics:
    In Chapter 5 of Freakonomics, which explores the art and science of parenting, we pose this question: Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? It turns out that far more children die each year in swimming pool accidents than in gun incidents.

    nice spin (5.00 / 7) (#111)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 03:22:18 PM EST
    but this topic isn't about accidents. Now if you want to compare intentional pool drownings to gun murders I'm all ears.

    Except Coral (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Slayersrezo on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 04:03:37 PM EST
    Using your own argument, we should regulate pools like you want to regulate guns.

    After all, does it really matter if the deaths are "accidental" or "intentional" if there are enough of them? And we know, that at least as far as guns, your standards of "enough of them" are pretty low.


    Actually pools ARE regulated (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by nyjets on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 04:50:58 PM EST
    THe rules vary from state to state. It also depends on the type of pool: inground verses above ground. But generally a pool needs a fence, a cover that is considered safe, etc,.

    The fact is a variety of potential dangerous things ARE regulated. Even our freedoms are regulated to a certain extent because there is an understanding that no freedom is absolute. For some reason that defines logic, some people beleive that guns should be exempt from this.


    I know pools are regulated (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Slayersrezo on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 05:28:52 PM EST
    The point was that if you go by "number of deaths" you should regulate them as strictly as most of you seem to want us to do to guns.
    Background checks, waiting periods, pools of a certain depth banned, that sort of thing.

    We all must be perfectly safe after all.

    You know the ironic thing? Guy has a boobytrapped explosive laden apartment. Had he stuck to using explosives - or heaven forbid some sort of chemical gas weapon - the deaths could have been much more extensive.

    Yet all the attack is on his guns. Not his knowledge of all this stuff, not the explosives.
    It doesn't make sense to me, unless one has an agenda.


    They are (none / 0) (#139)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 07:31:17 PM EST
    more regulated than guns. Do you have to carry extra liability insurance on your house if you have a gun? Do you have to have a six foot fence surrounding your house if you have a gun? The answer is not to all of the above.

    Pools and regulations (2.00 / 1) (#144)
    by Slayersrezo on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:00:29 PM EST

    Most regulations on pools vary by state, and I wasn't just referring to concrete ones either, but balloon style wading ones as well. Kids drown in those too you know, but somehow I didn't have to present an ID and get on a waiting list when I brought one at Toys R Us about 12 years ago.

    Maybe things really HAVE changed since 911?


    And how (5.00 / 2) (#169)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 10:16:50 AM EST
    many kids die in kiddie pool accidents vs. gun accidents? And as far as I know there have been no "mass accidental drownings" in pools. In ground pools are the most dangerous and the most regulated.

    and so are guns (none / 0) (#187)
    by pngai on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 03:37:39 PM EST
    So if you want to increase the level of regulation on guns to reduce deaths where guns are involved, you should also want to increase the level of regulation on pools to reduce deaths where pools are involved.

    You haven't (5.00 / 3) (#128)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:34:43 PM EST
    heard me argue for anything yet, but well done on the assuming.

    Does accidental or intentional matter? Yes it does, and your deflection from the actual topic strikes me as someone running around with an empty pail trying to put out fires.


    We do (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 07:29:36 PM EST
    regulate pools. There are very specific things you have to do if you have a pool. I'm willing to be that pools are much more regulated that guns are.

    They just want guns (5.00 / 6) (#174)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:53:20 AM EST
    True or False:

    Even if it was proven in some way that severe limits on gun ownership and sale would prevent this sort of thing from happening, you would still oppose the limits because you believe the right to have arms is that crucial.

    I am frustrated at times when gun rights advocates speak about the inability of the laws to curb violence, as if the fact that a law that could curb violence would sway their opinions at all.

    Guns rights advocates want their guns. Period. Full stop. If there are facts that help support that cause, they will give voice to those facts.  If there are facts that do not, they will find ways to ignore those facts.

    All that matters really is that they are able to acquire the arms they want.

    If there was a magic legal structure that we could enact that limited gun ownership but saved many lives, it would not sway guns rights advocates at all I bet.

    I have had a profound (5.00 / 2) (#207)
    by Georgie Girl on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 12:09:36 AM EST
    revelation re: gun ownership. Reading comments from those who are true gun aficionados, I realized just how much their lives revolve around guns. Take guns away & they probably won't have much to do or to talk about.
    This is not as much about the constitution & the right to bear arms as it is about a way of life.
    Marketing at its money making best.

    And, (5.00 / 2) (#210)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 12:26:11 AM EST
    what makes it a disease, rather than a hobby

    Is their absolute, self-reinforcing belief that a conspiracy exists where Commando-Like, Gubmint Invaders will swoop down and take away all their guns.

    They really do believe it, check any gun site.

    I gotta go hide now, I sense a volley of "inbounds" on their way.


    It doesn't seem to me anyone needs to (5.00 / 2) (#211)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 12:56:12 AM EST
    check any web site but this one to confirm that.  

    False (none / 0) (#179)
    by Slayersrezo on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:34:22 PM EST
    Speaking as a guns rights advocate:

    I'd LOVE to have a machine gun. Not to defend myself with, but because it would be so awesome to go to a range and fire one off.

    But unlike a handgun or a semi-auto rifle, I don't think there's enough of a nexus to militia duty or self-defense that I have a RIGHT to have a machine gun.

    What I want is my Second Amendment rights. Nothing more, nothing less.

    It helps that the USA has been a well-armed society for over 200 years now with a very low rate of firearm deaths. So the people have shown they can handle it, and I snort at your "many lives" canard. You want to save many lives? Cure heart disease.

     But that's not the most important argument to me.


    Why couldn't (none / 0) (#180)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:56:32 PM EST
    Gun ranges get special permits to allow machine gun practice?  Then you could go there and use it to your little heart's content.

    Why do YOU need to own one?


    Walk AND chew gum (none / 0) (#181)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:57:49 PM EST
    Working to minimize heart disease (an unintended cause of death) and gun deaths (an intentional cause of death) are not mutually exclusive.  Moreover, having a gun death rate eight times higher than countries with similar political/economic backgrounds does not seem like a "very low rate of firearms deaths".

    On an annual basis, 12,000+ homicides by firearms, 17,000+ suicides, 52,000+ deliberate injuries and 23,000+ accidental injuries.

    Who knew those were simply a "canard"?


    My Goodness (1.00 / 1) (#189)
    by Slayersrezo on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 03:54:07 PM EST
    Did you just talk about all deaths with firearms being intentional and the lump accidental gun deaths in with the total number of deaths by firearms?

    My, my, my.
    What a tangled web we weave, when we labor...
    well, even you could complete the sentence.


    Nope (none / 0) (#194)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 04:43:57 PM EST
    Actually, I did no such thing.  I didn't include accidental deaths in these numbers, only homicides and suicides (in separate statistics), both of which are intentional firearms deaths.  I did mention intentional and accidental firearms injuries, but those would not be deaths.

    Maybe if you read more slowly ...


    So awesome to go shoot a machine gun.. (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by jondee on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 05:18:06 PM EST
    I'm sorry, but what seasoned, mature ADULT thinks like that..

    Adolescent fantasy land, or some sort of second-adolescense, midlife crisis thinking.

    Cinemark (5.00 / 2) (#222)
    by Eddpsair on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 12:55:35 PM EST
    On topic, one reason the question about returning fire is academic is because Cinemark Theaters forbids concealed carry.

    Back to the academic, one of the posters above mentioned the ft lbs of a 45.  To put that in perspective it is like getting hit with a ball peen hammer and has been known to break ribs through body armor...which I wear.  :-)

    A man with an estimated 190 rounds of .223, at least 60 rounds of .40 cal, an unknown number of 12 ga buck shot (12 projectiles per round) probably conservatively at least 15, for another 60 total projectiles, comes out to 310 projectiles... In a crowded theater....And people are worried that some guy with a 7 shot .45 would INCREASE the danger?  First of all, people are running away from the shooter or laying down and he was standing, making him a more clear target.  Second, the .45 shooter has one tactical advantage, surprise.  Worst case scenario, the bad guy takes a couple of hits to the body  armor that feel like he is being punched in the gut and responds by engaging the other shooter to neutralize him.  During this short fight, people are given a respite from being shot as they are clumped at the exits and more get away.  The active shooter, even if he is unscathed, must proceed with more caution and less impunity allowing more people to escape.  

    And in a best case scenario, the .45 shooters ambush is successful.  While that .45 shooter may not survive, if he feels he would like to make himself a target for the shooter while you run away, is that really such a bad thing for you?

    There are only three options in that situation....  

    (1) Run to the clogged "kill box" of the jammed exits just as the active shooter where planned to concentrate his fire and hope that people around you absorb the rounds.

    (2) stay where you are and hope he runs out of ammo before he gets to you. (all 310 of them)

    (3) Fight back if you have a weapon.  

    None of these guarantee survival.  But number 3 give the greatest chance for more of the group to survive.  

    The New Life Church (4.00 / 3) (#82)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:24:32 AM EST

    The New Life Church is an actual not theoretical example of a civilian with a weapon stopping a would be mass murderer.

    The Pearl Mississippi school shooter was stopped by an assistant principal with a .45 retrieved from his truck.

    The Appalachian School of Law shooter was stopped by two armed students.

    etc., etc.

    If you want a common sense law, you should be in favor of what works in practice not just in theory.  It is not common sense to ignore what works.

    As for new laws, how about one that places strict liability on any business or governmental organization that creates a "safe for mass murderers zone" otherwise known as a gun free zone?  


    Since (none / 0) (#135)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 07:22:48 PM EST
    when have these laws worked? You find three examples and yet there are tons more massacres. Life in America isn't a John Wayne movie.

    The hard truth remains (3.50 / 2) (#142)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:53:46 PM EST

    Unless met with armed resistance, the carnage goes on and on.  When met with armed resistance the carnage stops.

    That is reality.  Real life is nit a fantasy.


    Of course, another hard truth is (none / 0) (#146)
    by NYShooter on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:42:02 PM EST
    If we reduced the number of guns the carnage would go down and down.

    But, then we'd have to deal with slaps and yelled invectives.


    Thats not truth but speculation (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:46:57 AM EST

    There are many examples (almost all) where mass shootings are stopped only by armed resistance.  Absent the armed resistance (by the reduced number of guns you propose) there is no reason to assume that the shooter would stop until out of ammo.



    Why is it that cons don't understand (none / 0) (#148)
    by observed on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:20:21 PM EST
    the concept of proof?
    All they can do is recite anecdotes (which usually are false or distorted anyway)

    Fair enough (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:49:08 AM EST

    Where is the proof that mass shooters are frequently stopped by other than armed resistance.

    Less access to firearms (none / 0) (#170)
    by PatHat on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:12:39 AM EST
    would make it less likely for some random person to decide to BECOME a mass shooter, IMO. Do you want a society where everyone is armed and ready to shoot or do we accept the minor chance of being caught in a premeditated mass killing? Let's separate this from criminals who have weapons while robbing a bank or shooting up a rival meth lab.

    Tried thar and it has failed (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:29:15 AM EST

    In the past 50 years access to firearms has become more and more restricted, but that has no accompanied apparent reduction in mass shootings.  

    What has worked in almost every case to lessen the carnage is prompt armed resistance by either the on duty police or civilians.  

    BTW, random persons almost never become mass shooters.  Mass shooters are most often persons that spend a great deal of time and effort circumventing whatever laws that stand in their way.


    There was a man stabbed in the brain with a ... (2.00 / 6) (#59)
    by redwolf on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 02:12:24 AM EST
    meat thermometer at a local theater in my area.  He ask a women to stop talking on the phone so she called her boy friend over and he stabbed the guy.  How do you stop something like that?  You can't stop it, but you may be able to deter it.  

    If the guy with the thermometer had known that 25% of the audience was armed and willing to stop him it might not have happened at all.  Most crazy killers rarely attack targets that might be able to kill them in turn. In the animal kingdom most predators are deterred by targets that can kill them.

    So I started carrying a weapon when I went to theater despite it being a weapon free zone.  I figured I'd rather have chance to fight back against someone there to hurt me or my friends.  I believe that self defense is a basic human right.

    I for one will stop going to theaters I'd I think (5.00 / 10) (#67)
    by ruffian on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:44:48 AM EST
    25% of the people are armed. Sorry, that would make me feel less safe, not more.

    What would you do in this situation? (5.00 / 3) (#84)
    by ruffian on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:38:09 AM EST
    You own a gun, you hear loud pounding on the door late at night like there is about to be a break in, and the people do not identify themselves.

    If you are like a guy last week in central Florida, your gun just got you killed since he opened the door with his gun drawn to find police officers looking at the wrong house for an attempted murderer.

    If he had not had a gun supposedly for protection, he might have not been so bold and locked himself in a room and called 911 instead of answering the door.

    Isolated incident? Maybe so, but it explains why having gun armed People around does not make me feel safe. their judgement is not any better than anyone else's- in fact they are emboldened by the false safety they think the weapon provides.


    A few weeks back (3.67 / 3) (#90)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:21:43 PM EST
    my daughter came home and found the door open..

    She screamed and ran and called 911...

    The thief ran, thankfully... The police arrived about 10 minutes later...

    Just in time to call the ambulance if the thief had attacked and then ran.


    If she'd had a gun... (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by unitron on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:29:48 AM EST
    ...would she still have run and called 911?

    Maybe everyone should carry meat thermometers? (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by Addison on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 02:33:41 PM EST
    Someone who stabs someone else in the head with a meat thermometer in a public place is past deterrence based on self-control and forethought. Impulse control issues like that, where the person is already "forgetting" the inevitable jail sentence that awaits them, will not be solved by having another thing (folks with guns) that they'll forget. What a bizarre example. Surely you can do better.

    And apparently, your belief in the (4.56 / 9) (#70)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:50:44 AM EST
    basic human right to defend one's self trumps everyone else's right to go to a movie in a theater they believe is free of people carrying guns.  Because you have to be prepared for someone with a meat thermometer.  And don't forget pens, keys, and who knows - maybe someone would be an expert at executing a fatal paper cut with an empty box of Junior Mints.  It might look like they were just getting up to go to the men's room, but maybe not.


    Do you ever actually watch the movie, or do you just watch the audience?

    Do you perhaps have anything you can cite to support your statement that

    Most crazy killers rarely attack targets that might be able to kill them in turn.

    or is that just what you tell yourself to justify your carrying your weapon into a gun-free zone?

    Because given how often we hear about "crazy killers" who end up killing themselves, I'd tend to think that their own death is often part of the plan, the period at the end of that particular sentence.

    You know how it is said that to the hammer, everything looks like a nail, and how the surgeon thinks the answer is always to operate?  Well, a lot of us feel like, to the person carrying a gun, everything is a potential target, and everyone looks suspicious.

    Your comment hasn't done much to make anyone think we're not justified in believing that.


    hear hear (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by PatHat on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:12:08 AM EST
    Well said. Anyone at that theater who had a hand gun probably would not have killed the shooter and would have just been killed first. We are having the wrong argument.

    Wow (3.00 / 2) (#172)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:39:37 AM EST

    I routinely carry my .45 cal M1911 pistol when accompanying my beautiful bride to the movies.  Unless a mass shooter knew in advance to target me, he would be far more likely to end up with extra holes.  

    As we have seen in Florida poor victim selection skills can be bad for your health.


    Are you a sniper level shooter? (none / 0) (#176)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 12:41:41 PM EST
    No (3.00 / 2) (#177)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 12:55:58 PM EST

    What sniper snipes with a pistol?   I practice twice weekly.

    Just wondering how your (none / 0) (#178)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:23:20 PM EST
    skills would hold up against a fully geared up shooter with smoke/gas filling the room and a large crowd panicking while protecting your lovely bride . . .

    Not only would our would-be heroes (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 06:15:24 PM EST
    not be able to see to shoot straight through the smoke that was set off, but, oh, there's this:

    Holmes was covered in body armor from head to toe.

    And yet, our would-be-heroes think their handguns would have made a difference. They might have killed even more innocent people through the smokey haze and emotional mayhem, but Holmes would still be alive.


    Yup, arm chair would be heroes (5.00 / 2) (#202)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:10:42 PM EST
    don't seem to respond much to the fact this guy was covered including neck and groin protection. Their right to carry a gun in a theatre 'just incase' seems pretty weak against this situation. I would think you would need to be fairly well trained to take out a shooter in this situation . . . or at least have a gas mask handy.

    Kinda like arm chair physicists (none / 0) (#203)
    by Rojas on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 09:06:58 PM EST
    whose understanding of kenitic energy and it's relationship to mass and velocity is derived from 1950s superman episodes....

    Holmes was covered in body armor (2.00 / 1) (#214)
    by Rojas on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 07:39:42 AM EST
    Not a majic force field. This is not the Matrix. The bullets don't just stop in mid flight and fall to the floor.
    A projectile fired from a 45ACP has ~500 foot pounds of energy. Even with the tactical suit it's going to do more than sting a little bit if there is contact.

    Compounding your ignorance is the fact that ordinary individuals did act with sefless heroism in the face of terror that night. It's human nature for some.


    Epic Fail (none / 0) (#220)
    by shoephone on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 10:50:37 AM EST
    You're grasping at straws. Pathetic.

    Far better (3.00 / 2) (#182)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:04:35 PM EST

    than using fists, throwing shoes, or hiding and hoping he runs out of ammo shooting others first.  These clowns don't seem to have a record of defeating armed resistance.  In fact the record is the other way around.

    Holmes may have been "geared up" but his shooting skills appear to be fair to poor.


    His shooting skills may have been (5.00 / 3) (#192)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 04:14:30 PM EST
    poor (also heard gun didn't work properly?), but I'm really curious in this situation (groin and throat protection included) how many CC folks would have really been able to stop him.

    It's all fine that so many want to sit around and say if only they could have had their guns, but reality? How many target practice to stop someone in a situation like this?


    How many? (none / 0) (#217)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 09:34:11 AM EST

    It only takes one.

    You keep using that silly phrase (none / 0) (#215)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 07:58:59 AM EST
    "Poor victim selection".  Martin didn't "select" Zimmerman - it was the other way around.

    Unless that's what you meant ...


    Poor victim selection (1.00 / 2) (#218)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 09:48:47 AM EST

    Poor victim selection skills gets a fair number of violent assailants in trouble.

    Actually I was thinking of this one.  Instead of potentially reading about the five patrons shot and killed in a botched robbery, we can read about the two perps that choose the wrong victims.

    But now that you mention it, Martin chose poorly when he decided to beat the tar out of Zimmerman.  It is far better to do that kind of violence in a gun free zone.  Much safer for assailants.



    You state that as a fact (5.00 / 1) (#219)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 10:32:05 AM EST
    But now that you mention it, Martin chose poorly when he decided to beat the tar out of Zimmerman.  It is far better to do that kind of violence in a gun free zone.  Much safer for assailants.

    It's not.

    Moreover, you've used this same phrase when referring to Martin/Zimmerman previously.  Your new premise, based on your opinion of what you think happened, is a choice of action, not "victim selection".  Martin did not "choose" Zimmerman, but Zimmerman did choose Martin.


    Whats not a fact (1.00 / 1) (#221)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 11:32:01 AM EST

    Zimmerman's injuries look to me at least as someone had been trying to beat the tar out of him.

    Are you claiming Zimmerman was not beaten?

    Are you claiming that it was other than Martin doing the beating?

    Are you claiming Martin was under some form of alien mind control that overrode Martin's choice not to beat Zimmerman and made him do it anyway?


    Your total inability (2.29 / 7) (#77)
    by Slayersrezo on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:31:54 AM EST
    To put yourself into the mind of someone carrying a weapon is noted. I'm sure glad policy makers don't listen to people like you. I can assure you that you've run into more guns in your life than you are aware of, yet here you are still pontificating on how mentally ill you think gunowners are. The stereotype you carry around in your fear addled brain is offensive.

    P.S. I've carried a gun on my person quite a few times over the years, and people have never felt like "targets" to me. It's rather a crime that I can't legally carry in this place, but hopefully the SCOTUS will soon put an end to those shenanigans.


    One of the most repeated (none / 0) (#88)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:18:19 PM EST
    statements in a concealed carry gun class is:

    "Do not assume. Do not act hastily. Always remember that if you shoot someone your life will be changed forever."


    Holmes did not act in haste. (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by observed on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:21:03 PM EST
    And Holmes did not attend a (1.50 / 2) (#91)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:23:42 PM EST
    concealed carry class.

    How do you know ??? (5.00 / 3) (#92)
    by observed on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:27:11 PM EST
    By the way, if you buy a 40 oz. bottle of malt liquor, you can read the instructions "drink responsibly"

    You probably don't know (1.00 / 1) (#93)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:35:30 PM EST
    since I assume you never wanted a concealed carry license, but every state I am aware of require you attend a state accredited concealed carry gun class, and pass it, before it will issue you a license.

    Holmes did not.

    But that wasn't my point and you know it.

    BTW - Do states require you to attend a "drink responsibility" class before granting you a license to drink when you are of a legal age??

    BTW - I never drink malt liquor in any quantity.



    Well, virtually everyone driving (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by observed on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:42:26 PM EST
    has completely some kind of driver safety course. How's that working out for reducing traffic fatalities?

    You answer your own question. (1.00 / 1) (#99)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:21:01 PM EST
    "Everyone" has attended a driver safety course.

    Only those few that want to have the right to carry a concealed weapon for their and other's protection attend a concealed carry gun class.

    Motivation is everything.


    And you would have been thinking that (5.00 / 4) (#95)
    by nycstray on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:00:04 PM EST
    if you had been there with your gun?

    How many more people would have died or been injured if there had been more guns there? I think I like my chances better with one shooter vs many in that situation . . .


    I don't carry (3.00 / 2) (#98)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:17:15 PM EST
    and I can only base what I think my reaction would have been.... calm, reasoned and deliberate, based on what I did in other high stress dangerous situations long long ago.

    I think the difference between us was defined by you when you wrote:

    I think I like my chances better with one shooter vs many in that situation . .

    I believe we are our brother's keeper and I do not judge my "right to survive" in a dangerous situation by worrying about my survival if someone is trying to stop the killing of innocents.


    Situational (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by nycstray on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 02:00:03 PM EST
    I think someone stopping this guy mid action would have been difficult judging by how he was dressed and the dark, crowded/packed, smokey theatre full of panic. Not so sure you needed more guns going off in there, and it could hamper other efforts of "innocents" chance to survive.

    Now, if you only eliminated the riot gear, I think that changes things . . . but you have to factor in whether everyone carrying stayed " calm, reasoned and deliberate" . . .

    Basically, I think you need to be reasonable when arguing CC  could have changed things.


    Beyond saying he might be crazy (none / 0) (#1)
    by Slayersrezo on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 04:01:34 PM EST
    I haven't speculated myself.

    The news media is often downright harmful in these kinds of situations as they show no ability or patience to research and tend to fly off the handle with whatever limited information they do get. Thus playing to panic, prejudice, and the desire for revenge.

    I figure until he makes a court appearance and some statements by him or his family are made, speculating on motives is a fruitless endeavor.

    And unfortunately for us, there is no shortage of people seeking their Andy Warhol-allotted 15 minutes, with which to fill it.

    The thing (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 04:30:18 PM EST
    that most killers seem to have in common according to Mr. Cullen is that they suffer from depression. I would not be surprised to see that this particular person had some form of it.

    Yes! (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by jen on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 04:42:20 PM EST
    I would be even less surprised to find he had been taking some kind of prescription drug. It's quite shocking how many of the recent "young" shooters were either on or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs. This particular incident is not included in the following piece so I hope it's okay to post it.

    School Shooters Under the Influence of Psychiatric Drugs
    Citizens Commission on Human Rights International

    At least thirteen of the recent school shootings were committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs.  There have been 109 wounded and 58 killed. . . .

    Are you saying its the (none / 0) (#36)
    by lousy1 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:13:39 PM EST
    prescriptions - or the underlying condition

    Considering how often... (none / 0) (#159)
    by unitron on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:37:02 AM EST
    ...the possible side effects are as bad or worse than what the drug is supposed to treat, it may be difficult to determine how much, if any, of the responsibility falls to which.

    Although I'm pretty sure the original underlying condition doesn't exactly help.


    Ga6thDem I would add to your comment (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by samsguy18 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:13:45 PM EST
    There is a good possibility he is schizophrenic...he is certainly in that age group when they can experience their first break...

    heard a news report that (none / 0) (#14)
    by DFLer on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:14:15 PM EST
    the shooter told cops the reason he was so calm was that he had taken 100 mg of vicodin. (of course that is way too much...so perhaps he lied) Sorry I can't furnish a link. For some reason my browser is telling me google.com is not a safe site right now ! ?

    Right. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by jen on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 06:45:27 PM EST
    Read that too, on Denver News Channel 7 website.

    Vicodin is not an (none / 0) (#37)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:27:46 PM EST
    antipsychotic or a calming drug.  This makes no sense to me.

    100 mg of vicodin makes no sense (none / 0) (#52)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 11:09:24 PM EST
    Vicodin is made by Abbott Laboratories. Each pill has 5 mg of hydrocodone and 500 mg of acetominaphen. The usual dosage is 1-2 pills every 4-6 hours depending on severity of pain. The max recommended per day is 8 pills.

    More than 4,000 mg of acetominaphen a day can cause liver failure and death.

    Percodan has 4.8 mg of oxycodone and 325 mg aspirin. Oxycodone does produce "euphoria and feelings of relaxation." Daily dose should not exceed 12 pills.

    (Percocet is oxycodone HCL with acetaminophen instead of aspirin. It comes in pills ranging between 2.5 and 10 mg oxycodone HCL. 10 mg oxycodone HCl is equivalent to 8.9637 mg of oxycodone.)


    yes (none / 0) (#54)
    by DFLer on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 11:21:58 PM EST
    that would be a fatal dose according to some MDs.

    So that was an exaggeration on the part of the perp


    They are rarely who they seem because... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 04:40:09 PM EST
    ...very few people have a keen ability to observe and understand the implications of all sorts of subtle aspects of human behavior.  We are a soundbite society, ill suited to the long and patient work of watching and listening and learning.  And, not a small factor, community is vanishing faster and faster.  Michael Moore long ago did a segment on his short-lived TV show about this very kind of thing, having a guy digging and burying stuff in his yard at all hours, to see how neighbors would react. (link)

    IOW, we're mostly just lazy and thoughtless.

    I agree with the result (none / 0) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 06:10:03 PM EST
    Only I think we are too busy and don't have time to just lay back and think.

    I say that because before I retired I always thought I gave myself plenty of time to just look/listen and think. I now understand that I was totally wrong. I didn't give myself a third of what I should have.


    exaggeration (none / 0) (#8)
    by desmoinesdem on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:06:44 PM EST
    Medication rates are high, probably much higher than they should be, but even now most kids are not on meds.

    that comment was deleted (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:11:04 PM EST
    for its grossly false claim.

    Let's not (none / 0) (#18)
    by lentinel on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:52:26 PM EST
    get distracted by talking about the accessibility of assault weapons.

    Let's not get distracted by professional leftists and their calls for gun control.

    I decided that rather that try to insist that we ban these weapons, that I would follow the advice of the Minister in Chief and use this day for "prayer and reflection".

    Let others call for action.
    I'll pray and reflect.

    As the President says, this shooting " "reminds us of all the ways we are united as one American family."

    I had forgotten about how we're united, but this reminded me.
    A silver lining.

    Let's all pray (5.00 / 4) (#39)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:35:57 PM EST
    but God forbid we should try to do anything that might lessen the carnage in the future because it might offend the delicate sensibilities of the NRA.

    Praying does'nt do any good. (5.00 / 5) (#49)
    by cpresley on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 10:24:59 PM EST
    God thinks we are idiots. We have guns, but they are legally registered. Why anybody needs to buy 6000 rounds of amo is beyond me. We live in the woods, and have Mt. Lions and bears oh my. The only time we have had to shoot anything has been rattlesnakes in the yard. 6000 rounds of amo should raise all kinds of red flags at homeland security. As somebody said today at the dirty orange, I have to sign away my life to buy 2 boxes of Clarlitin 12 hours, but I can buy 6000 rounds of amo no problem, UPS will deliver it to my door.

    Lessen the carnage (3.20 / 5) (#43)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:57:09 PM EST

    There is a perfect example of exactly that about five years ago in Colorado.  In 2007 a would be mass murderer went to a church intent on shooting as many people as possible at the New Life Church.  He shot and killed three before an armed parishioner shot and wounded him causing a stop.

    Would be mass murderers are  almost always stopped by someone with a gun.  Encouraging concealed carry in theaters is something we can do right now to reduce the carnage.



    You can do both (none / 0) (#40)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:43:59 PM EST
    There is nothing wrong in recognizing our hurts, vulnerabilities and reflecting on that...and praying.  Nor should the time for reflection detract from energizing us in the greater struggle for good.  I agree.

    Sure. (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by lentinel on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 03:13:38 AM EST
    We can do both.

    We can pray.
    And we can propose legislative solutions to the easy access to assault weaponry and ammunition.

    The problem for me is that the President proposed the former, which is the provence of Ministers, Priests or Rabbis, and not the latter which is the provence of a powerful government official.


    Putting aside anger for a minute... (none / 0) (#64)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 04:36:19 AM EST
    It seems fitting & just to bury our dead first.  Solace & compassion ... Aspects of leadership.  

    Timing is important.  In that regard, a lot of people want to grieve, commemorate the shooting victims in the first instance. (I do hear what you are saying... )


    I dislike (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by lentinel on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:04:05 AM EST
    Presidents assuming the posture of religious leaders.

    If he wants to pray, let him do so in private as Jesus recommended.

    I remember being offended and angered by GW Bush whose response to the Challenger disaster was to assume the mantle of Minister-in-Chief and tell us all that the crew had "come home".
    In fact, of course, they didn't come home. They got blown up due to the incompetence of NASA which launched Columbia despite doubts about the integrity of the O-rings.


    Clinton did the same (none / 0) (#141)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 07:39:34 PM EST
    It's different (none / 0) (#145)
    by Rojas on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:25:21 PM EST
    BC is god...

    All (none / 0) (#162)
    by lentinel on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 03:36:30 AM EST
    these Presidents evoke God when it is to their benefit to identify with Her.

    That doesn't make it any more acceptable.


    Sorry, I want to add (none / 0) (#65)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 04:43:44 AM EST
    The President is head of State as well as Government.  For that reason, and in accord with long tradition, he is expected to lead exactly as he is doing here in reflecting on the nation's emotional response.  (I'm guessing that you can ease up on your general criticism of him in moments like this & for a few days.)

    Oh my. (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by lentinel on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:43:23 AM EST
    As you said, the President is head of State. Not head of Church.

    Why should I let up on him when he has just offended me?

    His "emotional response" is to be reminded of our togetherness.
    Mine is anger at the power and influence on both political parties by the gun lobby.


    I grieve first, lentinel (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 04:10:24 PM EST
    Whatever measures should be taken, then, should be taken in a measured way.  Constant anger seems a bitself-defeating to me...as a nation's way of addressing something, constant anger only spreads. Same with people. An existential vacuum, per Frankel.

    For me and many others, the role of "comforter" & "consoler" is a suitable, expected role for any Head of State and, certainly, for our President. If spiritual references offend you, there is not much that I can say.... In fact, in the past few years, my husband & I attended two funerals for two very different elderly women. One individual, who had become removed from the faith of her youth, nonetheless had a rather traditional funeral in keeping with that same faith in terms of minister & prayers. Perhaps, in her final days, the knowledge of that provided a degree of comfort.  We don't know.  A few years before, a friend's mother passed--stalwart non-believer to the end; and her daughter (my friend) had the honor and duty of arranging a service/commemoration that would comfort family members of different ages, attitudes, what-have-you.  Although very respectful of her mother's wishes (for whom she was principal caretaker in her last years), my friend offered a sense of the spiritual--in a non-traditional way--at her mother's leavetaking.  

    There are few things more personal than a funeral.  When an event occurs that people spontaneously regard as a national tragedy or event calling for national words, we turn to the President for unifying solace. That is what we do. As the President fulfills that expectation, we--as a very diverse people--may seek different things.  Uplifting words, examples of meaning, the spiritual connectedness & worth of all people.... Some people may not need nor want that; but, the pattern of our history, is that many, many people want exactly that face of leadership at this time.

    Politics is for tomorrow.


    I respect (none / 0) (#133)
    by lentinel on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 07:01:39 PM EST
    you, Christine.

    But the last person i would turn to for solace is a politician.

    If you are comforted by what you feel are Obama's uplifting words, then I am happy for you. Sincerely.

    I wish to say that although it may seem so to you, I am not in a state of perpetual anger. I just sincerely feel and believe that it is not an American President's role to engage in religious talk. He is, indirectly, promoting religion - albeit not a specific one.

    So I am taken aback because I believe that America is founded on the notion of a separation between Church and State - a separation which Conservative politicians have been trying to blur for decades.

    And when a politician gets up and tells us all to pray, I always think about Matthew 6:5 - 7

    And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

    6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    all presidents talk about (none / 0) (#136)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 07:23:00 PM EST
    religion and praying. They all say "G-d bless" when they give the State of the Union and press conferences.  They attend prayer breakfasts. You make it sound like only Obama does this. Also, his words are for the victims, and in case your TV isn't showing it, there have been umpteen prayer vigils held here since Saturday.

    Bill Clinton led groups in prayer over world peace. Bill Clinton was okay with prayer in schools. He defended religion in schools.

    Bill Clinton asked for a moment of silent prayer at the White House after Columbine.


    I think that if people are comforted by (5.00 / 3) (#143)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:54:20 PM EST
    what presidents say at times like this, that's fine; everyone has to come to terms and make sense of these things in their own way.

    That being said, it would be my preference that presidents find ways to comfort that are not based in religion.  Why?  Because not only is there a great diversity among the religions people practice, but there are people who are not religious and/or do not believe, and there is no reason why our leaders cannot speak to the entire nation in a way that does not invoke his or anyone else's God.

    What I struggle with is the disconnect of a president reaching out to those who have lost loved ones in such a senseless tragedy with the president who sends drones into other countries that have killed and are still killing innocent people - people attending weddings or other non-threatening events.  However people want to rationalize it - the war on terror must go on - those killings are calculated and deliberate even if the end result is a "mistake" that wasn't intended.

    I don't know how many people are killed by homicide in this country every day, but I imagine it's more than 12; is killing 12 people in one place more horrific than if 12 people are killed in 12 different places by 12 different people?

    I'm pretty much just sick of all the killing - the kind that takes place on the streets every day, the kind that takes place and is planned in war rooms and tactical support centers, the collateral kind that results from domestic policy and budget decisions.  All of it.

    I appreciate the president - any president, not just this one - reaching out to the families and friends of those who were lost, but I don't see how it helps change the culture or the conditions or the calculus of why it's happening in the first place.  What are among the first victims of budget cuts?  Money for mental health treatment.

    We always seem to find money for war, for prisons and jails; maybe if we changed our priorities we would need a whole lot less money for both.


    Motivation. (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by lentinel on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 03:59:25 AM EST
    What I struggle with is the disconnect of a president reaching out to those who have lost loved ones in such a senseless tragedy with the president who sends drones into other countries that have killed and are still killing innocent people - people attending weddings or other non-threatening events.  However people want to rationalize it - the war on terror must go on - those killings are calculated and deliberate even if the end result is a "mistake" that wasn't intended.

    It used to be that if a bandit held hostages, law enforcement would back off. Now, we just kill 'em all. If we kill the innocent in the process of "taking out" the bad guys, too bad. We extend a hearty apology. That, we are meant to accept, is consolation enough for the grief-stricken families in countries whose religion is different and whose skin is darker.

    In the search for psychological sparks that might have ignited this person's lethal actions, (eg: the "Joker") it would be interesting if among them was the behavior you cite above - as well as the image of our current president sitting in the white house, perusing his "kill list".


    I am responding (none / 0) (#163)
    by lentinel on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 03:38:32 AM EST
    to Obama because he is the latest president to do so.

    I was equally appalled by GW. Bush evoking the afterlife in his statement after the Challenger disaster. (See comment #72)


    First of all (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by sj on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:34:32 AM EST
    The President  is only the head of the Executive branch of the government.  He isn't supposed to be a dictator and head of Government.

    This has affected me deeply.  As did Columbine which took place on my brother's birthday.  I worked with several people who had kids attending school there.  In this case, it is the theatre that my sister and her family usually frequent.  

    My emotions don't change how I think of things.  But I'm trying really hard not to be offended that he made his statement at a campaign event (and yes I know he cut it short, but really?).  And he started his remarks referencing the campaign.

    And I don't have a problem with stating that it is a day for prayer and reflection but the clapping and and hollering that followed that statement was hardly reflective.  His comments began with the law and order aspect.  It took him three minutes to even get to the victims.  

    Overall I guess, I found his comments lacking.  Compare them to Clinton speaking on the Columbine tragedy.  And definitely compare them with Reagan's comments on the Challenger tragedy.  I have no love for Reagan, to put it mildly.  But his statement was beautiful and profound and moved me greatly.  

    This was a campaign event. I think he could have found 7 minutes independent from that to actually reflect on it.  Like I said, I found his comments lacking.


    I understand the connection (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 04:32:59 PM EST
    ...as a persona who has lived a good part of her life in Denver, believe me, I understand.  

    For example: An individual with whom I had worked with for 20 years & who had an office across the hall from me during the Columbine days struggled mightily as he got the call that his son had been in the cafeteria, and survived. One of the saddest parts as well was when he showed me the pictures of his son as a toddler playing with the same-aged Dylan Klebold, his childhood friend.  What nightmares the father had....

    As I watched the Movie Theatre Tragedy unfold, unescapable to me & my husband was the fact that my husband's mother had been taken to Aurora Medical Center on Thursday & (thankfully) released hours before about 16 cases from the horror shooting were brought in.  In that same hospital, in April, we went to visit a friend to hold her hand & comfort as best we could...and, withing 12 hours she was dead.  (BTW, the woman who watched her throughout & is now executor of the estate will undoubtedly be in front of the Aurora Municipal Bldg for the service/gathering later today with her husband, a friend & Aurora City Councilman.)

    More personal thoughts about connectedness, tho, go back to my husband & me living about a mile west of the Peoria/Paris location for the first summer after we were married.  Strangely similar looking building.  Etc. etc.

    What is that phrase...Six degrees of separation? I think so. Maybe even less degrees by which we are all separated.  It IS close...for you, for your family, for me & my family, for friends.
    Remember, too, that it is close for many people. For lots of humans with lots of feelings.

    My message: The President may not be speaking for you, but he is definitely speaking for many Americans Perhaps, just perhaps, the way you hear this President would make it very difficult for it to be otherwise.  Same for me in that...it is easier for me to hear words of good will, meaning, caring from President Obama than not. It is the perceptual screen--not a mystery--we hear, perceive differently.


    So, did you do the comparison? (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by sj on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 05:04:52 PM EST
    I did -- before I made my remarks.  I wanted to make sure that it wasn't preconception.  I'll make it easy for you. Here is Reagan and here is Clinton.  Here is video of Obama's remarks.

    I honestly don't know how O got this reputation as a great orator/speaker.

    I found his remarks wanting.  And the venue disappointing.


    Reputation as a speaker (none / 0) (#126)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 05:51:24 PM EST
    President Obama got his reputation as a speaker as a result of the perceived soaring & inspirational character of certain large scale, formal speeches.  President Clinton's style is very different...IMO, when talking person to person, former President Clinton had & has no equal. In the presentation here, Clinton found & allowed to be seen his own very personal you-are-the-only-one-in-the-room communication...and, as you recall, the later speech in Oklahoma City is truly a magnificent eulogy wherein <many say> that the President found his voice with the people.

    What happened in Florida was that a large-scale full-throated campaign event had been planned & set up and everyone had to immediately change gears--explain what had happened--and then cut short, appropriately, the venue.  Contrasted with the Clinton remarks, it is clear that President Clinton was speaking from a platform quite different.

    Really, I long ago gave up comparing the two...the styles are very different & appeal to different people.  I always preferred the extroverted, direct approach of President Clinton; yet, I will tell you in all honesty that my appreciation of President Obama's style & approach (the counter-puncher, the sometimes preacher at the best) has grown so much as to surprise myself.  Extrovert or Introvert. Apples or Organges (or many berries.) Both methodical in different ways.

    I'll never forget the words, the emotion of Clinton's speech in Oklahoma.  My personal interest: A federal employee in a federal building. (The subsequent trial took place in the building & the courtroom where my early days in law were spent.  My work at that early time involved, inter alia, certain casework appealed to the 10th Circuit from all the circuit's states, including Oklahoma.  There is somewhat more...but for a number of reasons concerning the nature of this blog & its gracious hostess, I'll leave it at that.) Summary: How I heard that speech--given a number of things--could probably not be matched...even in the days following 9/11.

    The last paragraph leads to this: So much depends depends upon where we are in our life & events as to how we respond to a speech, the depth of feeling we associate with it.  Also--and this is the key:  Our country has endured an increasing number of national tragedy events since Oklahoma....  That makes a difference in whether we expect it, are not surprised, or totally shocked; and, that, has something to do with the effect of a speech.

    As for compassion & solace from a leader, tho, I believe that the Obama speech after the shooting in Arizona of former Cong. Gabrielle Giffords and those individuals nearby more than a year ago stands at the same compelling level as the Oklahoma speech.  

    (Excuse the brief remarks about the Reagan comments: Reagan's talk was a surpise to people like me, because  I usually found nothing good to say about him.  The Challenger eulogy, however, was beautiful.)


    Yes, he was speaking from a different (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by sj on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:06:30 PM EST
    platform.  I submit that O could have chosen seven minutes that were not part of a campaign rally to make his comments.  That's a large part of my original point.

    wrt Reagan: I am a person like you, and I, too, was surprised.  What he and Clinton both did was separate the event from politics.  O apparently didn't see any need to do that.


    Arizona (none / 0) (#134)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 07:16:05 PM EST
    Question:  In your inner ( or outer) self, sj, is it realistically possible that you can view President Obama other than "here is another thing I don't like?". Maybe I read you wrong....

    There is little about him that I like (5.00 / 2) (#150)
    by sj on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:17:59 PM EST
    Although there was something he did recently that I did like.  In addition to the singing, which I thought he did very well.  I can't recall right now what it was, which is embarrassing, but there you go.  

    But you realize that he is either a direct factor or epitomizes all the things that caused me to leave my Party.  I was a Democrat years before I was old enough to vote.  I registered on my birthday.  I believe in the planks that were the traditional Democratic platform.  I haven't read the platform lately -- I don't know what it says.  I just know the Party no longer lives its traditional values.

    But there is a direct line from him to my decision to register as Unaffiliated.  It's hard not to focus my resentment about that onto him.  Although he is only one of many disappointing Democrats.

    Most often I choose to say nothing.  And I won't ever try to persuade anyone not to vote for him.  One's vote is a personal decision.

    So I don't think of him in terms of a candidate and limit my remarks to impressions of him as a President.  When I choose to remark, that is.  There is a great deal that I don't say.

    I don't know, does that answer your question?


    Yes, sj, your answer is thorough & forthcoming (none / 0) (#153)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:58:38 PM EST
    Bill Clinton used (none / 0) (#140)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 07:37:40 PM EST
    Columbine to plead for gun control laws. That wasn't political?

    One week after Columbine:

    White House officials say the gun control package was put together before the Littleton, Colorado school shooting last week, but they're hoping the tragedy will give the legislation a better chance of winning congressional approval.

    And pretty continuously after that.


    And I'm sure that the (none / 0) (#151)
    by sj on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:22:59 PM EST
    Challenger tragedy had political implications as well.  It's inevitable.  I get that.  Nevertheless, the first statements on a tragic event of this sort shouldn't be offered up for supporters to clap and holler over.  YMMV

    Extrapolated statistics comparing (none / 0) (#106)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 02:24:24 PM EST
    Great Britain and U.S.:  murders a year by firearms h/t Juan Cole

    Thank you, for (5.00 / 3) (#125)
    by Georgie Girl on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 05:33:43 PM EST
    the link. One thing that cannot be debated is that Americans kill each other w/ guns at a rate that far exceeds the rest of the civilized world.

    Obviously, something is very wrong with our culture for us to be the perpetrators of this violent behavior.

    Can there at least be recognition by some of the pro gun enthusiast that we a problem?


    An inretesting stat (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:02:16 AM EST

    The UK has had significantly lower homicide rates than the US since well before either country had any gun control to speak of.  Attributing differences in homicide rates that have existed for over a century to some recent law is just silly.



    It reminded me that we're divided and broken. (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Addison on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:51:40 PM EST
    I prayed. (none / 0) (#19)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:53:42 PM EST
    Good (none / 0) (#20)
    by lentinel on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 05:55:14 PM EST
    Jeralyn, how do you feel about (none / 0) (#28)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 07:50:23 PM EST
    the right to sell one's legally-purchased gun to someone else, who doesn't have to go through a background check, and doesn't have to register the purchase?

    Are there any legal consequences for re-selling one's gun to someone who uses it in the commission of a crime?

    A private sale leaves the seller exposed (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by scribe on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 09:04:01 PM EST
    to criminal liability if the purchaser is a person who would not have passed the federal instant check.  You have to hold a federal firearms license to get access to the instant background check.

    Running the sale through a person who holds a federal firearms license (FFL) as a transfer agent means the sale will have to go through the instant background check.  The seller brings the gun to the FFL, the FFL takes the gun, the buyer fills out the ATF form asking questions re whether the buyer is disqualified from possessing a firearm, the FFL takes the form and checks to see if the buyer has answered any of the questions in a way to indicate the buyer is disqualified.  If not, the FFL takes the buyer's photo ID and the form, and goes to call the ATF instant check line.  The FFL gives the ATF the information on the buyer and the ATF tells the FFL either "proceed" or not.  If the FFL holder completes the transfer after being told "stop" or "do not proceed" (or whatever it is that the feds say), the FFL is looking at prison time.  In other words, the FFL won't do it for the $20 or $30 he might charge for doing a transfer.

    The people who want to eliminate the so-called "gun show loophole" are preying on ignorance.  Every gun show I've ever gone to has had big signs out front reminding people that all firearms laws will be strictly observed, that if you want to do a transfer, there are FFLs available (usually at a booth of their own) and every transfer (between sensible people) goes through the FFL.  If the guy wants to buy the gun and not go through the background check, it's a red flag and no one will have anything to do with him.


    Sounds like monitoring gear sales won't work (none / 0) (#51)
    by nycstray on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 10:59:29 PM EST
    Chad Weinman, CEO of TacticalGear.com, said his company processes thousands of orders each day, and there was nothing unusual in the one that Holmes placed.

    "Everything Mr. Holmes purchased on July 2 is commercially available," Weinman said, adding he was "appalled" that the material was sold to Holmes before the shooting.


    off-topic comment (none / 0) (#57)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:09:12 AM EST
    injecting race into the thread deleted. Please discuss this case.

    Excellent article by Cullen (none / 0) (#58)
    by rjarnold on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:47:17 AM EST
    I still find it odd how there is so much the public doesn't know about the Columbine shootings, and how much of what they think they know is wrong.

    One paralell between the incidents is that it seems that in both cases the killers meant to use bombs to create much more death and destruction, but thankfully the bombs didn't go off as intended.

    civil liability (none / 0) (#87)
    by friendofinnocence on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:13:29 PM EST
    What I remember most about Columbine was the police not going upstairs to confront the killers.

    that's because (none / 0) (#131)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:58:44 PM EST
    their instructions were to wait for the SWAT team. They didn't have SWAT training. That changed after Columbine, and the Aurora PD were trained and not under rules to wait for the SWAT team.

    Useful debate on gun violence (none / 0) (#101)
    by lily on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:29:19 PM EST
    Most of the sentiments debated here are covered in ThisWeek roundtable.


    I was sad to hear that my current feeling of (none / 0) (#116)
    by ruffian on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 04:04:47 PM EST
    depression over the futility of gun laws is one of G. Will's definition of a conservative. Made me immediately try to regenerate my sense of optimism that at least the assault ban can be restored as most of e panelists agreed it should,

    My pessimism comes from the feeling that, at least indicated by the round table and comments in the threads here on TL, which is the only commentary place online I have dared venture, the definition of words like 'assault weapon ' are argued, with some people saying the weapon/clip this shooter used would have been banned, and some saying not.  I don't know enough about it to judge who is right, which leaves me little hope Congress can sort it out satisfactorily.


    The AR15 as manufactured (none / 0) (#165)
    by Rojas on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:03:25 AM EST
    in 1994 was banned under the act.
    The act only affected items manufactured after the passage of the act. Pre-ban items were legaly traded and sold with many bringing a premium in the market.

    Semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following:
    Folding or telescoping stock
    Pistol grip
    Bayonet mount
    Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
    Grenade launcher (more precisely, a muzzle device which enables the launching or firing of rifle grenades, though this applies only to muzzle mounted grenade launchers and not those which are mounted externally)

    NY passed a state law that mirrors the defunct federal law. Manufactures designed and sale AR15s that are complient with the law. Custom shops will modify rifles built after 94 to be complient with the law. The changes are cosmetic.

    So yes, the act did technically ban the AR15 manufactured after 94. But with a few simple modifications, affecting cosmetic features (remove flash supressor, grind off bayonet lug, pin telescoping stock or add a fixed stock) one would be complient with a fully functional AR15.


    How well did that work out? (none / 0) (#102)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:45:29 PM EST

    Quite well (none / 0) (#104)
    by friendofinnocence on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 02:19:12 PM EST
    According to many of the commenters at the Memphis Flyer.  They tell us it would have been much worse if citizens in the audience were armed and able to fight back.

    I'll swear, we seem to have an entire generation of people on the internet who have never been in the military and don't know it is possible to fight back and minimize casualties.  They think it is really better to wait for the lunatic to run out of ammo because more people would have been killed by those in the audience returning fire, if that would have been possible.


    Friend of...do you know how to make a link here? (none / 0) (#112)
    by DFLer on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 03:41:04 PM EST
    Type a word (link, for example,) in the message box. Have the long URL link already "copied"

    Highlight the word (link for ex.) Then click on the chain link icon above the message box. You will be prompted to paste the URL there. Test it in preview.
    Bingo, you're done.

    Jeralyn doesn't like people pasting long links like you are doing as it screws up the page layout.

    Hope this helps

    OK (none / 0) (#122)
    by friendofinnocence on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 05:08:30 PM EST
    I'll try it next time.  I've seen posts advising only to use html links because others would mess up the page layout, and the page layout looks normal to me.  I really thought that meant something other than a long link.

    try it, though (none / 0) (#129)
    by DFLer on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:48:27 PM EST
    works well, and is more elegant, imo

    thanks, because I had to delete your comment (none / 0) (#130)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:53:11 PM EST
    It's not you, it's the site software.  Not every long url breaks the margins, but some do. Sorry.

    And it does look better.

    Also bit.ly and tiny url gives short urls for long ones, but I prefer you use the link button.


    Holmes' internship at Salk Institute: (none / 0) (#154)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 12:37:30 AM EST

    That (5.00 / 1) (#208)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 12:10:05 AM EST
    may be the weakest article yet for supplying useful background info. The person/student being quoted might want to look into his own issues.

    I expect better from the LAT.


    It's a CYA. I'm not his mentor, but . . . . (none / 0) (#209)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 12:20:11 AM EST