Friday, December 28, 2012

Quote du jour

"I don’t think [stopping gun violence] is about more gun control. I grew up in the South with guns everywhere, and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren’t taught the value of life."
-Samuel L. Jackson


  1. I'll be darned. Sometimes I lib can fool me.

    1. When he's right, he's right! Maybe he can get some of his fellow libs to listen?

  2. I love the way somebody latches onto a quote and thinks it validates their own position. Most people don't shoot anybody, whether they grew up with guns or not. I bet the guy (who's name must never be used again - we should say "The Newtown Killer", but that's for another time) never shot anybody until he killed his mother. I don't see how anybody can get around the fact that having guns makes it too easy to kill somebody. Here in Philadelphia, there was a momentary splash in the news (complete with surveillence video) when some kid fired a gun into a subway car because he had a trash talking argument about sports.
    I'm a realist. You can't get the guns off the street because there are already too many, and besides, there will always be a black market. I would say that a common sense bit of policy would be to make owners liable for the security of their weapons. You want an assault weapon? (Persoanlly it's not my bag, but...) Fine, you better keep an eye on that thing.
    One last thing. I know that arming personnel in schools, movie theaters, etc is the latest rage, but keep in mind that an unarmed person can get that weapon. When we put guardsmen at the airports after 9/11, you could walk up to one and bash him over the head with a wine bottle from the duty free store. Granted the weapons were unloaded, but the point remains that a firearm was in easy reach of a potential maniac. There isn't an easy solution, but I don;t think what we're doing now is working. God Bless, and Happy New Year.
    (Thanks again for that Shawn Phillips hat tip)

    1. "Most people don't shoot anybody, whether they grew up with guns or not" And that's why Jackson gets it. Most people don't shoot anybody. Which is one of the reasons that trying to impose draconian restrictions on the millions of people who don't shoot people, is counter productive.

      As far as people carrying concealed, the first word is...concealed. Unless you're about to use it, it shouldn't be where anyone can see it. If they can't see it, they don't know if you're carrying or not.

      And carrying concealed is a responsibility. People who are not willing to maintain situational awareness probably shouldn't carry.

      The biggest bang for the buck is to allow concealed carry. Not mandatory guards, or uniformed presence, but an unknown number of people with guns who may or may not be at every street corner, church, school and mall in the country at any given time.

      Uncertainty is the best deterrence. Backed up by people with the will to do what needs to be done.

  3. I could also argue that concealed carry will lead to more accidental shootings. Trained, uniformed policemen shoot unarmed people, so it's fair to expect untrained civilians to do so as well. There's no way to offset the risks. I would say, and I had typed this originally in my post above, but deleted it, that I was once a split second away from causing a catastrophy. I was young and full of rage. Rage that you could never comprehend, that no amount of adrenaline on anybody's part could have contained me. I never had access to a gun, and the part of me that had the utmost vestige of control over myself kept it that way. I would be wantonly aggressive, trying to pick fights (I guess justifying my conduct as self defense). But one night it just wasn't enough and I found myself next to a police car. In a split second I had pulled the officer out of the car and had his gun in my hand before the "Holy shit, what the fuck am I doing!" moment came over me. Unfortunately, I still had the gun in my hand and an enraged cop on the ground under me so I threw the gun in one direction and ran the other way. Didn't get caught. I truly don't know what I was going to do. The most likely thing is I was trying to do was commit suicide by cop, but I wound up with the gun. Probably by the time I figured out the safety, I would have calmed down enough, but I'll never know. But I can't rule anything else out because I was truly out of control. If you have a madman on your hands, the only deterrence comes from inside that madman's mind. Anyway, I and everybody else around me was lucky. I did have just enough control to stop myself, unlike the Newtown killer and all those other mass shooters. The rage hasn't just gone away, but I would just say that 1989 was better than 1988, 1990 was better than 1989, and so on. I will never forget that night, and I understand about as well as any expert how somebody can snap, but there's no way to predict it. Right now my daughter has a friend whose parents are going through a really ugly divorce. The father is a dead ringer for my younger self I've been keeping a close eye on him and have been manipulating the hell out of him and heaven help me if he ever figures me out! I still keep away from guns (I will never trust myself even if 24 years have passed) but I know he has a few even though he denies it. He keeps one in his car so it's always nearby.
    The only person who could have deterred me (or any mass killer)was myself (Or himself). I think the point that a mass killer wouldn't give a shit whether somebody in his target crowd was carrying is a strong one based on my personal experience. As far as street crime is concerned, I still think people with guns are more likely to get themselves killed or kill somebody by accident as they are to save somebody's life. One last thing, the students will figure out who's carrying and who's not.

    1. "I could also argue that concealed carry will lead to more accidental shootings." You could, but you'd be wrong. People do have to undergo training in order to possess a CCW. We have a large body of evidence from all 50 states, and the wild West scenarios that the anti-gunners project have yet to materialize.

      Part of the training of CCW is explaining to you your legal liabilities. For instance, if you are in a bar, carrying, and someone who does not know you're carrying and they start a fight with you, and you allow it to escalate, secure in the knowledge that you have a gun and he doesn't, you cannot claim simple self defense if you have to shoot him to keep yourself from being beaten to death in the parking lot. The onus is on you to walk away, knowing that deadly force might be employed if things got out of hand. Like a boxer who knows he could kill you with one punch, you do not put yourself in a position to do so.

      As you have proven, any gunman, civilian or professional can be disarmed either through circumstance, happenstance or weight of numbers.

      Deterrence only works on the sane. If momentarily, or by birth, you are blinded to reason, you will not be deterred by the possibility of an armed civilian nearby. But then, if you don't know who they are, you also cannot plan on eliminating them as threats to you should you go berserk.

      You can never eliminate all violence. You disarmed a policeman, others have robbed armories. Even some miraculous elimination and confiscation of every single civilian firearm in existence would not mean that through smuggled and stolen weapons that predators will be disarmed for long.

      Deterrence worked on the old Soviet Union. They knew we had weapons. They knew we would use them. They never knew if they could take out all of our weapons or enough of them to survive. Deterrence works on the sane. If we have a mental health problem, disarming all the sane people is not the way to go about solving it.

  4. FWIW I don't advocate disarmament. There are already too many guns out there and a black market would keep the supply coming anyway. My argument is that concealed carry only provides the illusion of safety. You would have to admit that with more guns in the hands of civilians, the risk of accident goes up. You would have to balance that risk with the reduction of shooting victims. (BTW, does that revolving globe next to this comment box really indicate the locations of people who are currently accessing this site? That would be fascinating) I just don't think there is an easy solution to the problem of gun violence. Each possibility has its own advantages and perils. It just seems to me that the number of armed people your plan would put on teh street would be disproportionate to the average level of risk people face every day. So that's where I'm coming from in this debate. It's been a good talk and I'll check in from time to time and say hello.

    1. Yes on the globe. I don't know how long it holds. I watch myself pop up on there regularly.

      If the same precautions are taken with new as with current CCW holders, I don't see a large increase in accidental gun incidents. And there is no need for every teacher or every person to carry. But getting rid of "gun free zones", would allow at least the possibility of an armed response.

      And it is a complex problem. That's why the meat ax approach to gun bans make so little sense.


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