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Gander Mountain ad is troubling

This morning’s Gander Mountain promotion, “Great Holiday Deals” displays the Bushmaster .223 paired with a 2000-round case of ammo. Both are on sale this week.

Isn’t this the type of weapon used in the Sandy Hook massacre?

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183 Comment(s)

  1. That ad was probably approved and printed before the shootings. It could have been pulled but I’m guessing either, a) no one remembered or b) didn’t know what kind of gun was used.

    If it is in next week’s ad, then get pissed.

    De man | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  2. I am having such a difficult time dealing with this shooting. It is the most depraved thing I’ve seen. If we don’t get our shit together gun-control wise after this, then we are disgusting.

    It would be a nice start if GM would issue an apology for not pulling this ad.

    emmadogs | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  3. Who in the hell even needs a gun like that?

    Claire | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  4. I’m waiting for Wayne LaPierre to declare the Sandy Hook tragedy was a conspiracy by the Candlelight Vigil Lobby.

    TimK | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  5. Well we’ve already had Huckabee declaring that it was the fault of removing God from schools, so who know’s who’s fault it will be next? Certainly not easy access to guns, that could never be the fault.

    Frankly, I am really pessimistic about any changes to gun laws being effected. Hell, “St. Ronnie” was shot and it did nothing to deter the forces of gunz-for-all. So what’s a few innocent kids?

    edgeways | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  6. It would’ve been nearly impossible for Gander to recall this. Recalling next weekend’s may not be possible, either. Ads are printed & shipped weeks in advance. Most newspapers bundle them with other inserts before Sunday and wouldn’t have staff to manually remove them.

    Nick L | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  7. More gun control will not stop these massacres from occurring. This individual broke several local, State, and Federal laws before ever pulling the trigger. There are multitudes of gun laws on the books, most of which aren’t enforced properly if at all. Adding more is not the answer. Law abiding citizens are not the ones committing these atrocities. Those who want to do something like this will find the weapons to do so regardless of the laws on the books. Drugs are illegal with some heavy penalties, yet they can be fairly easily found. If people want it they will find a way.

    Why must we punish and take away rights from those who have done no wrong?
    More gun control is not the answer. More education is, combined with better security at schools and other institutions is.

    If these individuals didn’t have guns (which I believe they will always find if they want to do these things) they will use bombs, knives, and any other number of weapons.

    Guns are a tool. A person still needs to pull the trigger to make it work.

    Jadiaz | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  8. Classic PDD reaction.

    Karasu | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  9. It is an object of reverence. Devotion to it precludes interruption with the sacrifices it entails. Like most gods, it does what it will, and cannot be questioned. Its acolytes think it is capable only of good things. It guarantees life and safety and freedom. It even guarantees law. Law grows from it. Then how can law question it?

    Its power to do good is matched by its incapacity to do anything wrong. It cannot kill. Thwarting the god is what kills. If it seems to kill, that is only because the god’s bottomless appetite for death has not been adequately fed.

    The Big E | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  10. Jadiaz, you are wrong. I don’t mean ‘I disagree with you’ wrong, I mean you are factually incorrect. Other governments, most recently in Australia, have passed laws limiting the right to own semiautomatic guns/ammo, and have seen their gun deaths go down, at a dramatic rate. These governments, most recently in Australia, are sometimes conservative gov’ts, and their politicians have found the will to do what works to save lives.

    Where is this “punishing gun owners” philosophy even coming from? No one is being punished. There are limitations to each and every constitutional right that we enjoy as citizens. There is no absolute right to exercise any of the other rights in the Constitution. Why would the Second Amendment be any different? Why should it be? As Claire put it, why would anyone even need to own this gun?

    I read an op-ed in the NYT today, It analogized the NRA’s mantra to a “cars don’t kill people, the drivers behind the wheel kill people” mantra. The writer pointed out that, ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether the car kills people, or the drunk driver does, or the tired driver, or the driving-it-perfectly driver. PEOPLE DIE IN CAR ACCIDENTS NO MATTER HOW THEY HAPPEN. So, we now have seatbelts and airbags, and people have to take tests to get licensed, and sometimes people who can’t driver safely are denied that right. And since we have done this, car deaths have dropped dramatically.

    So why can’t we do that for guns? Being denied the right to drive impacts on a host of constitutional rights; every single right in the constitution is limited in scope.

    I have lost patience with any person who now espouses empty, factually false, and constitutionally incorrect jerk-off rhetoric, over the lives of actual 6-year-old children and your fellow citizens and human beings. Stop it please. Stop it now. If we don’t address this issue with limitations on gun rights, we as a society are depraved, shameless, and unconscionably nihilistic.

    emmadogs | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  11. And right on, Big E.

    emmadogs | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  12. Jadiaz, one last thing. Right about the time of the shootings, a mental lunatic was attacking schoolchildren in China. He had a knife. Several children were injured. No one was killed. Again you are wrong to a breathtaking degree when you compare guns to knives. And the thing of it is, you must know that. And yet you say it anyway.

    emmadogs | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  13. Give me one good reason that these kinds of weapons, hand guns too, are available for sale.

    Even given the fact that a gun owner is far more likely to die in a home invasion than a non-gun owner, shotguns are more effective. It’s also much less likely that some nut would be able to massacre 26 people with a shotgun.

    I’m tired of this. I’m tired of guns and the people who seek to make them as readily available as cans of soda. If you put your 2nd amendment rights over the rights of 20 six year olds to grow up, I have no words ….

    Rougement | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  14. To start I am a gun owner and a democrat. When I heard about this shooting I couldn’t help but begin to cry over this absolutely tragic and insane act. It’s something I can’t begin to get my head around.

    As far as the ad goes. That flier was planned weeks before this tragedy. As far as the shooting goes I don’t see how any gun law or ban could have stopped this from happening. Determined people will do what they need to if they want to kill. Google “Bath School Killings.” Highest death toll of any school killing in the US history. No gun involved. On the other hand try Googling “Joel Myrick.” Probably never heard of him till now because the media didn’t much care for how he potentially saved many lives. Bottom line is if someone wants to kill they will find a way. In order to stop them you need to meet them with equal or greater force. I know this is a hard solution, but it appears to be the only solution against this type of insanity. I prefer to be armed than a statistic. I don’t live my life in fear, but I am a realist.

    Scottcc | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  15. That’s not true.

    This guy wasn’t a gangster. If assault weapons like the one advertised in the Gander Mountain ad were not on the shelves of gun stores he wouldn’t have been able to use one.

    Rougement | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  16. Bottom line is if someone wants to kill they will find a way. In order to stop them you need to meet them with equal or greater force.

    Most developed countries have chosen to address this issue by making it difficult for private citizens to obtain large increments of lethal force, instead of by relying on a bunch of Wild West mythology.

    The Big E | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  17. Scottcc, have there been a lot of school bombings in the last couple years? Citing a case from 1927 hardly seems relevant, when I’d bet that had Mr. Kehoe wanted to kill people today, he could have done it a helluva lot more easily…by going to Gander Mountain today and getting a bargain!

    You said, “I know this is a hard solution, but it appears to be the only solution against this type of insanity.” That’s just patently false. The number of school shootings in the US since Columbine: 31. The number of school shootings in the REST OF THE WORLD since then: 14. It would appear that your “solution” isn’t maybe the best one. Let me get Dr. Phil on you for a second: how’s that working out for you?

    There is absolutely no reason that you need a handgun. There is no reason that you need an assault rifle. You just don’t, unless you are a police officer or a member of the armed forces (get it? ARMED?). Hunting rifle, shotgun, sure. I love me some venison, too. But you don’t need a handgun, and you don’t need an assault rifle. Read the statistics. The UK banned handguns and automatic weapons: gun deaths went down. Australia banned handguns and automatic weapons: gun deaths went down.

    Now, it’s not just the guns. We have to address mental health, too. But holy crap am I tired of the simplistic, asinine and just plain dumb “it’s not the gun’s fault!” argument. Nobody is blaming an inanimate object for the actions of its owner. But if those owners have limited access to those inanimate objects--THAT EXIST FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN TO END LIFE--then I fail to see how that won’t help us save innocent victims. Please feel free to explain to my four year old that her safety is somehow secondary to your need to possess a Sig Sauer because the big meanies might try to break into your house someday.

    And one more thing, for Jadiaz. Emmadogs addressed this already far more articulately than I’m about to, but if you’re trying to tell me that you’d set your chances as equal against an attacker with a gun than with a knife, you’re either crazy or lying.

    jessige | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  18. Jessige, Never said there had been any recent school bombings. Just used it to point out that if someone wants to kill en-mass they do not need a gun. If Mr. Kehoe had wanted to use either a BAR(Browning Automatic Rifle) or a Thompson sub-machine gun he could have obtained either one since they were legal to purchase at that time over the counter. I’m guessing the dynamite was cheaper to buy than those two expensive weapons.

    I do think you need to check your stats on gun violence in the UK and Australia. Initially gun violence did decline in both countries, but now has risen greatly. Guess the criminals don’t follow the laws. Who would have thunk it?? All other violent crime increased as well after disarming the citizenry and criminals found some very easy pickings. Just look it up on either Governments stats. Easy enough to find. As The Big E stated “Most developed countries have chosen to address this issue by making it difficult for private citizens to obtain large increments of lethal force” essentially leaving them defenseless against the criminal element. When seconds count the police are only minutes away.

    I agree that mental health needs to be address much more than it is now. I have absolutely no problem with waiting periods, extensive background checks, etc. As long as it helps reduce the number of guns falling into the hands of the mentally ill.

    I also agree that these weapons as you said “THAT EXIST FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN TO END LIFE.” Absolutely true. That is why I own them. I am quite sure that at least one of those teachers wished that they had a weapon to end the life of Lanza before he could have harmed another child.

    I guess I would rather have a gun and not need it that to need a gun and not have it. Like I said I’m a realist.

    Scottcc | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  19. Scott, you’re not a realist. Read this:

    As for advocating arming teachers, that’s just fucked up for the reasons the study outlined above explains.

    Rougement | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  20. Emmadogs, no where in the Constitution does it guarantee us a right to drive. It is a privilege, not a right. Comparing the two is just stupid.

    Furthermore, there are plenty of laws on the books limiting gun rights already. As has been pointed out, people will find a way to kill no matter what if that is what they want to do.

    I feel terrible over the deaths of these children, but claiming tougher gun laws would have stopped it is plain ignorant. Again this guy broke several laws before pulling the trigger. You guys don’t seem to realize criminals aren’t going to give two shits about any law passed.

    As far as owning a gun like that they are fantastic critter guns. Like prairie dogs etc. that can no longer be killed en masse with poison.

    I realize that a lot of you would love to pass a law banning several guns and pretend all is well. You’d be wrong. You do not live in a perfect world. Some people are deranged idiots, and will find a way to kill no matter what. You can ignore the fact that it takes a person to pull the trigger all you want, but it won’t change it.

    Jadiaz | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  21. David Hemenway is an anti-gun writer and researcher, hence is unqualified to write an unbiased article about this subject. Lets agree to disagree. We can both quote all day about from people both pro and con on this matter. Here is a fact. On October 1, 1997 16-year-old Luke Woodham bludgeoned and stabbed his mother to death. He then drove to Pearl High School in Pearl Mississippi where he shot 9 students killing two. Vice Principal Joel Myrick went to his car when he heard the shots, retrieved his 45 cal handgun
    and held Woodham at gunpoint until authorities arrived. Woodham later admitted that he was heading to the local junior high to continue his killings. BTW..due to federal laws Joel Myrick had broken the law by bringing his weapon to school that day and keeping it in his truck. Too asinine to be believed. Your statement “As for advocating arming teachers, that’s just fucked up for the reasons the study outlined above explains.” The “study” if I even want to give it that credit was done by a man with an agenda against self protection. The “Study” is fucked, not the actual facts.

    Scottcc | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  22. The debate here boils down to which weapons should and should not be available to the general public.

    Most people believe the average person should be allowed to own a hunting rifle. Most people believe that private citizens should not be allowed to own atomic bombs. Where the line should be drawn in the middle is a matter of opinion, with no shortage of facts supporting either side.

    The Gander Mountain ad was obviously placed long ago, so it would be unfair to suggest that it’s playing off the Sandy Hook massacre. In light of the tragedy, however, the ad is obviously more upsetting to people than it would normally be.

    I’m not trying to make the case for more or less gun control, or to accuse anyone of poor taste in advertising, but in the interest of providing more complete information I’ll note that Dunham’s Sports also advertised what appears to be the same, or a very similar, weapon in its insert in today’s paper.

    Paul Lundgren | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  23. Yes Scott, let’s disregard this guy:

    And let’s cherry pick a story where gun ownership, for once, helped.

    As you say, let’s agree to disagree.

    Rougement | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  24. Rougement, I really wouldn’t call this cherry picking a story. In fact it was the only one that I could find where a teacher protected students by using his own weapon rather than let’s say harsh language, interpretive dance or some other equally useless means to defend them. There are no other examples of this where a teacher defended with equal or greater force. I think we can at least agree that it has worked 100 percent of the time so far.

    Scottcc | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  25. Yes, let’s make schools armed encampments. Lets just accept mass shootings are the new normal. You ask “how many more” kids, wives, brothers, husbands and sisters must die? Apparently we haven’t reached that threshold. Because America.

    TimK | Dec 16, 2012 | New Comment
  26. I agree that Gander Mountain should not be singled out from any other business that is promoting a sale price for the Bushman .223 weapon in a display ad tied to a second display promoting the purchase of thousands of rounds of ammo at a reduced rate. The ad had two cases of 2000 rounds displayed, not one, and I’m not nieve about why two cases are displayed. What will these products be used for? Hunting deer and small game? Defending yourself from the United States of America because you are now a terrorist? Kill U.S. citizens you dont agree with? Defend yourself in crime? What? Kill kids? Why do you buy this stuff? I have to trust your judgement and I don’t. I don’t know you.

    cecil | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  27. Take each of the recent tragedies and model in your mind the perfect legislation that would have prevented them.

    I always come back to the crazy people.

    The notion of gun control being the answer is a placebo. You may think it works, but it does not.

    Witness NY and NYC with the toughest gun control laws on the books since 1911 and yet there is a slew of violent gun crime and wholesale gun ownership by criminals.

    I would favor banning automatic weapons, weapons that can be converted to automatic weapons, licensing of assault style guns, banning assault style weapons absent only rigorous licensing, a 10-day gun purchase period, mandatory information gathering on all gun and ammunition purchases (we have such a thing pertinent to automobiles), mandatory gun safety training, legal requirements for gun storage and safety.

    None of these things — with the possible exception of storage and safety — would have prevented this tragedy.

    JPERSCH | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  28. Cecil, have you ever been prairie dog hunting? If you go out for a full eight-hour day you can easily go through 400 to 500 rounds. Multiply that by three or four days, which is the average trip, and you are looking at 1200 to 1600 rounds per person.

    A common weapon used for such purposes is one like the bushmaster or similar AR-15s.

    Since you can no longer poison the prairie dogs, allowing individuals to hunt them is one of the only means to keep them in check from destroying much needed farm land. Single shot hunting rifles would not be sufficient to the task.

    These weapons have a place. Just because crazies abuse the system, which happens with cars as well since so many people want to compare that privilege with an enshrined right, does not mean we should pull either one off the table.
    Thousands of rounds is not so unheard of. If you aren’t into hunting, or sport shooting at ranges, competitions etc. Then you aren’t really qualified on what is a good number of rounds and what weapons are OK and what aren’t.

    Jadiaz | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  29. Mary Lanza was a gun fetishist in a country full of gun fetishists, who taught her son to be one as well. Her fantasy was that she would protect her home from XYZ attackers. (Was she an apocalypse fantasist like so many gun fetishists? Was she into the idea that someday her home was going to be invaded by brown-skinned attackers? Who knows. But either way, those fantasies were just that — fantasies.) Like so many gun fetishists, she was shot with her own arsenal. The price the rest of us pay for her “hobby” is the lives of 26 other people, including 20 children ages 6-7.

    I spend a lot of time in classrooms. and I have participated in more than 20 lockdown drills all across Duluth. An instantly accessible way to lock the door would have saved these children. (Like it did for the first classroom Adam tried to enter.) Many teachers don’t keep their keys on them, and many schools don’t trust substitutes with keys. Some doors don’t lock well or at all. I wonder how that fact changed what happened.

    Anyone who thinks teachers should be armed has obviously never spent more than five minutes in a classroom, especially one with small children. Seriously, you are an idiot and a fool if you think that is an even remotely useful idea. Dangerously stupid. Ask a cop what they would do if they came into a classroom to find a teacher backed up against a crowd of children holding a gun. How would they know she was not the shooter? How would she know who was entering the classroom? Because he claimed to be a good guy? Not to mention the day-to-day reality of having an accessible weapon in the classroom. Not accessible you say? Then what’s the goddamned point?

    So as TimK says above, here we are, paying again for gun fetishists’ fantasies about “defending themselves.” It’s bullshit. A lot of times it’s racist. A lot of times, it’s just another consumerist, classist hobby. But most of all, we just have to continue to pay for our lives because of your attachment to a fantasy and your hobby. As the Tom Tomorrow comic says, don’t worry. You’ve won the political battle. Now this is the price. Thanks tons.

    hbh1 | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  30. Brandon M. | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  31. This gun was advertised by two local sellers yesterday. Prarie dog control must be big here.

    cecil | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  32. Prairie dog hunting? Really? That’s the rationale? We live in a society with other people, and sometimes you have to compromise for the common good. It’s a statistical fact that fewer guns would lead to fewer shootings. Yes, someone had to pull the trigger, but they wouldn’t have been able to if they didn’t have a trigger to pull, or possibly even if they had to work a bit harder to get a weapon. Sure, people will still die and fanatics will still find a way to do horrible things, but that doesn’t mean we need to make it convenient. We are alone with our irrational, fanatical defense of guns. I come from a family of hunters, and my family even has handguns, etc -- so I certainly understand the sentiment -- but at some point killing machines should be made less accessible.

    quirtep | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  33. What’s striking about all these massacres, is that every one of them is committed by the male Homo Erectus of our species, more often young caucasian. These are clues to the problem.

    When they study the way little boys and girls play, girls aren’t so concerned about the rules, and there is more a sense of inclusion. For the boys it is very important to establish teams and rules, and to have a clear winner and loser. For the women it is more about ideas and discourse.

    Men invented guns. Women didn’t invent guns. Although women will sometimes embrace them such as in the case of Mrs. Lanza, who was overly enthusiastic, they are largely cultural and brought to you by men. Introduced through a man’s dream, because it gives him final say of the outcome. When the walls of Constantine were brought down after two weeks of a monolithic assault of giant cannonballs released from the largest cannons ever made, newly acquired by the Turkish empire, it was done for for a definitive outcome of control, conquest and plunder.

    Man is allowed, so he thinks, to ultimately have control of his situation with the gun, to protect his family. A guy can kill a deer with an arrow, but the gun makes the outcome more definitive.

    If our guns were a real reflection of our creative selves, they would be unique, would all do slightly different things. Some might only decorate cakes. But most all these weapons today, are mass-produced “pieces of shit” to quote Neil Young. The bullets are small enough to do be plentiful and affordable, yet many enough to do real and permanent damage.

    Myself, have a fine, well-made and somewhat rare Beretta six shooting .357 with beautiful blueing on the barrel, and fine polished handle. Unto itself it is a work of art, a Western style weapon. I rarely shoot it though I might sometimes enjoy, mostly because cleaning it is a pain. It is a symbol of our country, of the freedom and democracy we found with a gun, of how the West was won, and all the other pain and conflict we have brought to cultures throughout the world in our long history of conquest, because guns are money. For until the repeating Winchester rifle was able to help decimate the remaining indigenous peoples so whites could rest easy, and sew a new European model onto the landscape with billboards, cars and flashy magazines, we were pretty insecure in our manhood and the feeling that we would sleep easy. A rancher or a cowboy’s gun on the open prairie was second only to his horse.

    My beautiful weapon, is also a nagging and horrible reminder of the power of people’s imaginations, and their power to create and destroy. When I shoot it, its just the little boy in me who always liked guns, and remembers the first time he shot a tiny bird, very high in the treetops, as the feathers floated down to me.

    Young men like Lanza, misunderstood, full of thoughts and hormones, anger and frustration. A stranger to his peers because he is different, yet knows he is an outcast to his peers, that he might never have a girlfriend. And his parents are distant too, because their son was different, but they’re like every other average American who never lifts their head out of the grind and stops to smell the roses. They ignored him, and taught him how to play with guns, because that’s what a good parent does. Yet really, they just had a child, and he was their canvas. Blank. They got bored in their big fancy house in a nice small town, and money and guns never brought the kind of happiness they once dreamed it would.

    Because the imagination is powerful, and a terrible thing to waste, when it is over or underused, can override its inherent better natures, when it is alone, frustrated and young, it gets sad, the human in it needs to form an expression of its anger. The violence so abhorrent to greater society, all the NRA supporters who consider themselves responsible family people and hunters, becomes possible and necessary to the angry young man, when there is no one to talk to or try and help him make sense of his world.

    There are so many things we could do to cause these lousy American gun moments to not happen. But not if we don’t stop to breathe in the air, and take a look around. What is your dream?

    Herzog | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  34. Fear, hatred, misunderstanding, ignorance, arrogance, greed and plain stupidty seem to rule our daily lives and discussions. Gun rights/laws aside. I think its time our society had a good hard discussion about mental illness.

    B.I.N.G.O. | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  35. “Young men like Lanza, misunderstood, full of thoughts and hormones, anger and frustration. …..” and so on.

    You don’t know anything about this fucking bastard, his motivations or mental state. Let’s not project.

    I really don’t care about how misunderstood, alienated, whatever, a young, white male person may be. We all have our issues, great and small.

    What I care about is stopping another one getting his delicate fingers on an assault weapon and shooting up a school. There’s so much noise and chatter on this issue when we need clarity and for something lasting and effective to be done to reduce this steady stream of bullets entering people’s bodies.

    Despite what the gun nuts say, there is no justification for allowing assault rifles and high capacity magazines to be sold. None whatsoever.

    The best course of action is to let your elected officials know that, no matter how scared for their jobs they are because of the NRA and it’s membership, they need to be far more scared of the wrath of every parent who heard the news on Friday and felt sick.

    We can change this. Permanently banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines (no sunset clause this time) is a good start.

    Rougement | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  36. Let’s get one point straight.

    The gun shown in these ads is designed to “look” like an assault rifle. But it is not an assault rifle.

    It functions no differently than any other hunting rifle. It is not automatic, it is not special, it just caters to the “Tactical” look that so many people like.

    When you were a kid, you dressed up as a ninja. When you get older, some people still want to dress up and have cool looking toys.

    The problem is not the availability of the guns. The problem is the Media’s coverage of these events. There are some very sick people out there that see how much airtime is spent talking about these events, and they want to be that person.

    They want the news coverage. They want the president to speak about the tragedy, they want Tom Cruise to postpone the premier of “Jack Reacher.”

    Dorkus | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  37. He had no criminal record. He wasn’t a criminal until he got access to guns.

    TimK | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  38. Designed to “look like” an assault rifle? Free speech is one thing, but that seems a bit extreme. It’s strange enough for a squirt gun to be shaped like an assault rifle, but a real gun? There is a reason candy cigarettes aren’t given to children any longer. It’s not just a matter of preventing bad taste, but of promoting public well-being.

    quirtep | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  39. PS: I do agree that we should not even mention the f***h**d’s name. That’s doesn’t mean that we should ignore the event itself, though.

    quirtep | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  40. TimK, whether he was a criminal before this senseless act is neither here nor there. You could argue that if he didn’t have access to the weapons that he might not have done this, but he probably would have simply used a different method.

    But the fact remains that even gun laws cannot prevent this type of thing. Gun laws certainly have not stopped felons from owning guns, even though it is already illegal.

    I am not for arming teachers, but one armed and trained liaison officer likely could have prevented this.

    Quirtep, the way the gun looks has no bearing on the way it functions. Your candy cigarettes parallel is a little different. We got rid of candy cigarettes because they introduced kids to cigarettes and promoted their usage. Funny thing is, you can still buy candy cigarettes at many gas stations. They are just not labeled as “cigarettes” they are “sticks.”

    Grown men are just boys with more money. They like their toys and they like their toys to look “cool.”

    Dorkus | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  41. Dorkus | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  42. One unarmed fanatic could also have prevented this, since the shooter seems to have gotten armed from the mother he murdered.

    No, the way a gun looks has no bearing on its function. That’s my point. To buy a gun that is functionally the same as a typical hunting rifle but to make it look like an assault rifle is just … wrong, and not the sort of “cool” that should be allowed. I think Nazi flags are in bad taste, too, and cross the line between liberty and the common good.

    quirtep | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  43. PS: The Dorkus bit about the number of guns owned vs the number of gun deaths: We are #12, and not much behind the ones in front of us. Is that really the standard? Drug cartel’s fighting in South America are what we judge ourselves against?

    quirtep | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  44. Ah the uphill battle of convincing people the problem is people, not guns. People have killed others individually and in groups long before the invention of firearms, and will continue to do so afterwards. Background checks are already required as well as waiting periods for guns. Again, there are laws in place, different ones won’t change a thing.

    Prairie dog hunting (which many individuals in our area travel to do), was used as an example of why so many rounds are needed. You can scoff until too much farmland is lost in areas like the Dakotas to keep up with demand and prices skyrocket on grains and such.

    Limit ammo? Like that would help, people reload, or they’d stock up as they are allowed to buy.

    If someone wants to do something like this, they will find a way. Laws won’t matter.

    Finally, Hb1, your views are demented about what the average gun owner is like. You have some sick fantasies of your own regarding gun owners.

    Jadiaz | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  45. Dorkus- how is it “neither here nor there?” YOU posted the Willy Wonka meme with the sarcastic line about criminals following the law. Sheesh! Please, EXPLAIN (not dismiss) how it is neither here nor there. Explain how his access to guns was not a factor.

    TimK | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  46. Good post, Jadiaz. I concede, mostly. I still think statistics show that fewer guns would lead to fewer shootings, but I like our country and freedom, yada yada, prairie dog hunting and all. Merry Christmas.

    quirtep | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  47. [Fixed]: The most depraved thing U.S. media has slathered attention on. Lately. Please keep your attention squarely focused on the screen. Back after these heartfelt messages from our sponsors.

    adam | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  48. Quirtep,

    Sure, if his mother did not have guns he would not have shot up a bunch of people. He might have stabbed, poisoned or bombed them. The problem is he had homicidal tendencies and took them out on children.

    As far as the look of the gun, I am not arguing that they should or should not be designed with a tactical look in mind. But the look of the gun had nothing to do with this tragedy.


    The meme was to point out that criminals do not follow gun laws. That if you want a gun bad enough it is easy to get one illegally. To be honest, it is likely EASIER to get one illegally than it is to legally. Though I can’t be sure because I have never bought one illegally.

    Your response stating he was not a criminal until he got the guns and used them. He still procured the guns illegally. He stole them from his mother.

    That is what I meant by him not being a “Criminal” was neither here nor there. It does not matter if he was a criminal or not. He still got the guns illegally.

    If you argue that reduced access to guns might reduce the amount of these crimes, you may have a point. I can’t argue against that. But I can argue that the problem is not simply gun control, the problem is the current state of mental health facilities and the support structure that is no longer there.

    An important read:

    I am (redacted)’s mother

    The mental health facilities that were once used to help these people have been shut down and replaced with drugs. There is no longer an institution with the means to identify and treat the issue.

    People would rather cover up the issue than deal with it headlong. They would rather drug their family than commit them to an institution. They would rather blame guns than the path that led them to the guns.

    Dorkus | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  49. He would not have stabbed, poisoned, or bombed them. I might be wrong -- I often am -- but I’m pretty sure most mass killings happen with guns. The type of incident in question would not have happened with knives or poison, despite what our imaginations’ might suggest or what might be possible. Yes, guns will be with us forever since there are so many. Just like carcinogens. Let’s add more.

    quirtep | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  50. So many things to comment on here. I’m only going to touch on a few.

    To the OP: Ads like this are done by marketing people MONTHS in advance. I guarantee you that if it were possible to pull the ad, GM would. They’re not about to go and piss off their customers intentionally. ESPECIALLY during the Christmas season.

    Quirtep- mass killings happen in many different ways- See Jim Jones, Hitler, et al.

    Claire: It’s not a matter of needing a gun like that, it’s wanting one. I want one for when I visit my brother in WY, so we can go prairie dog hunting.

    If people don’t want an item and don’t buy it, they don’t get sold anymore. (Yugo automobiles)

    People want them. Their reason isn’t your business.

    As for people who have several thousand rounds of ammunition, several reasons come to mind why you’d have that much:

    1) You got an incredible deal for buying in bulk,(very likely)

    2)You shoot a LOT,(also very likely, I go shooting as often as possible)

    3) You happen to be one of those prepper people, and you have extra to trade for goods you may need and don’t have.(probably not likely, but who knows)

    I’ve been planning on buying one of these for myself, though I won’t be buying from GM because I have a friend who’s a gun dealer, and I prefer buying locally from small business whenever possible.

    Hate me because I’m a white male who owns guns. I don’t much care.

    zach54880 | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  51. I don’t have experience in the proper use and storage of firearms, so let me tell you all exactly how little you know about the pure-evil, make-baby-jesus-cry, icky, terrible MURDER machines. They have NO purpose existing! I mean, the police and military have guns, so we shouldn’t need to have any ourselves. They’ll keep us safe and never do anything to harm or oppress us. It’s not like any country has enacted gun-control laws to be shortly followed by large-scale killings….. /sarcasm

    The second amendment leaves us an option should “peaceably petitioning our government for redress of grievances” fails.

    I believe that anything the police and Army have should be accessible to citizens, otherwise the balance of power is completely out of whack.

    Icantbelieveitsnotben | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  52. Jadiaz, I never once used the term “gun owner,” and there’s a reason for that. There is a difference between a “gun owner” and a “gun fetishist.” Nancy (not Mary, as I wrote) Lanza was a gun fetishist according to those close to her. I know rather a few gun fetishists, and I mean every word I said above about them. They are obsessed with a post-economic collapse, gun-toting mad maxesque world where they get to shoot folks who want to eat their canned goods. They have nothing to do with my friends who hunt or the fact that my step-daughter won the shooting competition at 4H camp every year.

    Personally, I don’t give a crap about whether or not they change the gun laws (though I think it would be a positive change probably), and while I think we all need free medical care of all kinds, I have different reasons for that than the idea that some crazy dude might shoot me and mine.

    The root cause of this and all modern-day gun massacres is our Fear-based Society, which comes mainly from extreme class inequality--I’ve got mine and I’m going to fight to the death to keep what I’ve got. This arsenal I’ve spent thousands of dollars on proves it. I’m not saying Adam Lanza shot kids because he had some political reason. Obviously, he was of the privileged classes. What I mean is that our Fear-based Society has made many many many of us into raving lunatics. He’s just one of the many white kids who pop up out of that madness and shoot up the world. Why should they give a damn about a world that has taught them that alienation and madness is normal? The deep-seated hatred and fear in our society leads crazy people to shoot little babies. The arsenal is just a very convenient tool, but it is part and parcel of that hatred and fear. They are partners in crime.

    I don’t fear or disrespect guns or decent gun owners. But the gun fetishists are leading your NRA, and you’d better get a handle on that if you want any sympathy from the rest of us.

    hbh1 | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  53. “I believe that anything the police and Army have should be accessible to citizens, otherwise the balance of power is completely out of whack.”

    Well something is certainly completely out of whack …

    Rougement | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  54. (BTW, I have, in the distant past, learned to use a gun to defend myself, during a time when I was *actually* being threatened by *actual* gun-toting maniacs in southern Mississippi who thought shooting to threaten me and my friends was a good time saturday night. The cops were their buddies. Scary times, my friend. But I would never have dreamed of compiling an arsenal and getting all glittery eyed about my gun collection. That’s a different thing. And I think we all know the difference.)

    hbh1 | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  55. No guns and people will do it with a knife:

    Granted, most of these kids are ok. But there are others that are not so lucky and they are outlined in that story.

    Gun laws are a touchy subject, but knee-jerk reactions are rarely the best reaction.

    Dorkus | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  56. Please let us be a society where all maniacs only use knives to run amok.

    hbh1 | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  57. emmadogs | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  58. Mmmmmm … let’s ask the Australian instead of the people who enacted the ban shall we. Not saying that any government would lie, because we all know that would never happen.

    Scottcc | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  59. Hmm, when I learned to shoot a rifle those years ago, we learned not only proper care and safety but “how” to shoot with accuracy. Whether with iron sights or scope you learned how to make the shot count. With the “extended magazines” there seems to be a “spray and pray” mentality.
    Are hunters now that bad a shot? And fire arms back in the day were for hunting, creations of walnut and fine metal smithing.. not copies of military service weapons made for killing people. I gave up hunting and sold everything because of hunters with no respect for the game they pursued and making it unsafe to be in the same woods. There is no need for such extended fire power for civilian use IMHO. It’s a Rambo mentality to think one needs to carry thousands of rounds in long banana clips.

    Ted Heinonen | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  60. Hi Ted, thanks for joining this discussion. May I be the first to say that what you have shared is a complete crock. I’ve been hunting for over 40 years and do remember and still own those beautiful weapons that you mention. We were taught how to shoot responsibly being sure to make each shot count. In fact I was taught how to shoot by folks who grew up in the depression. You had best bring back as many game animals as the rounds you took with you or you got a serious brow beating about waiting ammo. Most importantly we were taught to respect the animal and to kill it as humanely as possible.

    FYI, it is illegal to use a magazine that will take more that 5 rounds in this state and most others while hunting. There is no “spray and pray mentality” as you put it. I’m at the range quite often. Hunters now days shoot just as well as ever. Hunting rifles currently come in a huge variety of stocks and colors from walnut stocks to composite and yes, some are BLACK. I still don’t understand why if a gun looks like a military weapon that somehow translates to it being BAD. Completely illogical and to be perfectly honest, phobic. If you really quit hunting because of the lack of respect for the game and it being unsafe in the woods then you were hunting with a serious bunch of ass hats. If you want to hunt “safely ” hunt in the Superior National Forest. It’s 3 million freaken acres for god sake. We have more acres of absolutely nothing and nobody than anywhere else east of the Mississippi 95% being public land. Oh, BTW… it’s magazines, not clips. If you’re going to bitch about it please get the jargon right.

    Scottcc | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  61. Herzog | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  62. I think I decided that our society was completely screwed when Dorkus compared owning an assault rifle (I assume that’s what the AR in “Bushmaster AR-15″ stands for, no?) to owning a fancy toy.

    Or it might have been when Jadiaz tried to explain the rationale for having an assault rifle involving the incredibly popular, dare I say ubiquitous, hobby of prairie dog hunting.

    Or it could have been when Scottcc shared the video--created by the NRA--about the firearm buyback in Australia. Just for fun, here’s a link to a article regarding the NRA’s attack on Australia…and might I point out, is a deeply conservative site that features Santorum, Coulter and Buchanan:
    Not that I could imagine the NRA would EVER slant statistics to make their case look better, either.

    I’m sorry, but bigger toys, prairie dogs and NRA propaganda aren’t enough to justify any douchebag being able to walk into Walmart, or Gander Mountain or Dunham’s or Joe Schmo’s Gun-o-rama and walking out with a gun that exists for no other reason than to kill people.

    Please read for content: I don’t think any of us are advocating for the ban of all guns. At least I’m sure not. I come from a family of hunters and have grown up around guns my entire life. Scottcc, if you are just talking about keeping your hunting rifle, we have no argument--if I missed what kind of guns you own, I apologize. But if you’re trying to say that anyone has a legitimate reason to own an automatic assault weapon OR a handgun (other than, again, a police officer or a member of the armed forces), then I’m sorry, but I refer you to my previous statement. Your “right” to own a murder machine does not outweigh my little girl’s absolute right to safety in her school.

    jessige | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  63. Scott, you come off a little disingenuous when you thank Ted for joining the discussion and then immediately tear into him in the same sentence. Methinks thou doth protest too much if you are actually trying to have a meaningful discussion.

    TimK | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  64. Tim, I wasn’t attempting to have a meaningful discussion in this case. I meant to be disingenuous. The entire post appeared to be disinformation and drivel.

    Jessige, Point well taken. I need to check my sources a bit better before I post. Video has been changed to some crap from Judge Napolitano so it doesn’t matter anyway. I will give the video this much though. I don’t completely believe the stats given out by the Australian Government. There have been and will continue to be people in that country who have been left defenseless by this law.

    Scottcc | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  65. Jessige…Santorum, Coulter and Buchanan scare the crap out of me. I’m not a member of the NRA, but are times when I hear Nancy Pelosi speak that make me consider it.

    Scottcc | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  66. Well, this thread has officially spiraled into meaninglessness… or more accurately, has been bullied into meaninglessness.

    TimK | Dec 17, 2012 | New Comment
  67. Tim, I fear this will happen on a national legislative level once everyone’s borrowed grief subsides and the noticeably-absent NRA decides to crawl back out of it’s shell and go to work.

    Then some more kids die and we rinse and repeat.

    Rougement | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  68. “I believe that anything the police and Army have should be accessible to citizens, otherwise the balance of power is completely out of whack.”

    It’s a little late for that, unless you plan on heading to GM and picking up some drones, nuclear weapons, classified surveillance equipment, and who knows what else.

    Sure, you can point to some isolated incidences of non-gun crimes. There is always a counter-example. Guns make it easier for bad people to kill, period. I have nothing against true weapons of sport -- shotguns, deer-hunting rifles. The rest is just about making paranoid people feel safe while putting the rest of us at further risk.

    quirtep | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  69. It’s every citizen for him/herself in an arms race against the men in the black helicopters. And after every teacher is armed like a SWAT team, the shooters will start wearing body-armor. What then? And when the NRA achieves universal concealed-carry with automatic weapons, we can all “stand our ground” and play judge, jury and executioner with any unarmed teenager who pushes our oversized fear buttons. But we can hunt and defend our homes without weapons that fire 100 rounds-per-minute. And when is the last time you heard of a crime committed with a fully-automatic weapon ( a machine gun)? Seems the laws against such weapons are helping keep them out of the hands of criminals, even though criminals don’t care about those laws.

    DaVe | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  70. Jessige,civilian assault rifles are not fully automatic. I don’t feel any individual needs a fully automatic weapon. They are semi-automatic meaning you need to release the trigger and squeeze it again to fire another round, just like many other hunting rifles that can accept a multi-round magazine. Other than looks, they function like any other hunting rifle. They are not designed specifically for killing people. Have they been used to? Yes. As has every other type of firearm ever invented. You just don’t like the look of this one so it must be worse than the rest in your opinion. So we take away ARs and similar weapons, but leave hunting rifles. Then what do we do when the maniacs steal ma or pa’s multi-shot hunting rifles or shotguns and the mass killings continue? Or they find the guns they want illegally and again, the mass shootings continue?

    You are having knee-jerk reactions.

    Discussions on proper storage and mental health are awesome. Discussions on banning a weapon that looks scary are not.

    Hb1, apologies I made the assumption you felt all gun owners are “gun fetishists” as you put it.

    Tim K, how is others disagreeing with your and others opinions bullying? You are expressing your views and we are countering with ours. That is called discussion. Sorry not everyone is falling into a perfect little line behind you, but that is far from bullying.

    Jadiaz | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  71. I think purposefully designing a weapon that functions just like any other one but looks like an assault rifle is on par with black face or waving the confederate flag. No, it’s not a knee jerk reaction; it’s a matter of taste and common sense.

    quirtep | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  72. The Bushmaster 223 is specified to fire up to 90 rounds per minute and can be ordered with a receiver for a bayonet and grenade launcher. Can anyone tell me what a reasonable application of these capabilities would be?

    cecil | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  73. Grenades don’t kill people…

    DaVe | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  74. Prairie dogs, Cecil, and liberty.

    quirtep | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  75. Thanks for the kind words Tim. I did expect to be torn into even as I typed my opinion to some degree. I just wanted to add my thoughts, there was no expectation of civility as topics as this one can rub some raw. Opinions are just that -- opinions and everyone has one. Which makes this site entertaining as it is. The passion that everyone shows here can be refreshing.

    Ted Heinonen | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  76. Grenade launchers are going too far. A bayonet is a knife so if they really want one on their weapon they’d put one on regardless of if bayonets are available or not.

    As far as 90 rounds per minute, any multi-round weapon handled right can pump out a high number of rounds. Some shooting competitions utilize the high rate of fire. The individuals participating do so for relaxation and enjoyment, and do so morally and legally.

    Again, you don’t like it, that’s fine. Don’t act more morally righteous over it and don’t take away from others the things that a few misuse.

    You can take away guns but they aren’t needed.

    Jadiaz | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  77. A gun that cheap would probably jam after a couple of rounds if you tried to shoot it quickly. That there, my dear friends, is not a weapon of mass killing. It’s dumb. Ignore it.

    Jake | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  78. Bull**** How do you think most shooting deaths occur? Gang violence happens a lot more often than mass shootings, and they are done with cheap, crappy weapons. A Bic lighter works as well as a Zippo, in the short term.

    quirtep | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  79. I am fairly sure that I am uncoordinated, awkward, and plain old fat. I can barely make a free throw. I can sometimes barely hit the wastebasket with a crumpled sheet of paper and I get winded going up two flights of stairs.

    I’m betting I could kill dozens of people with a semi-automatic weapon with a large enough clip of ammo.

    If that doesn’t indicate the problem with semi-automatic weapons with huge magazines of ammo (and why arguments that “we should ban fertilizer if we ban certain guns,” and arguments that “killing would just be done with knives” should be dismissed — I would be lucky to kill myself effectively with a knife, much less dozens of others), I don’t know what does. | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  80. Dick’s Sporting Goods is suspending the sale of certain kinds of semi-automatic rifles from its stores.

    CNN: “Sporting goods chain suspends sale of certain semi-automatic after shooting

    Paul Lundgren | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  81. Jessige, I did not compare it to owning a fancy toy.

    I was just pointing out the fallacy in vilifying this weapon just because it “looks” like an assault rifle. The way it looks has nothing to do with its functionality, as it is no more lethal than any other hunting rifle with an extended magazine.

    It just looks the way it does because that is what sells. The “tactical” look is popular among weapons these days, especially with the prepper crowd.

    If we are going to effectively legislate against certain weapons, we can’t target something just because of the way it looks. That will not solve the problem.

    We need to target the function not the form.

    Dorkus | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  82. Yes, legislation should target function over form. Mental health is also part of the problem, though, and a mentality that wants to buy a gun that looks like it should be in a war zone is off. It’s offensive, and just plain strange.

    quirtep | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  83. PS: I didn’t mean to offend anyone with my rant. Like Mr. Heinonen said, the passion shown here can be refreshing. I’ll admit to having played paintball with machine-gun lookalikes, hunted, target practiced, played violent video games, etc. Still, this thing is so fresh, and prairie dogs just seem utterly meaningless. Perspective takes some time…

    quirtep | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  84. It is not so much that it is a weapon of war, it is a weapon of their hero’s.

    For others, those of military backgrounds, it is familiarity with the fit of the gun.

    Dorkus | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  85. At the end of the day, Dorkus (quite the name!), I guess I agree with you. It feels wrong to me, but your argument is convincing. I still believe in gun control, but shape has nothing to do with it.

    quirtep | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  86. I agree about not banning based on appearance — if that’s what it appeared I was advocating, then I wasn’t being clear. I apologize if I misunderstood you, Dorkus. You have it right on: target the function, not the form.

    I also agree that I’m glad we’re all talking about this and being marginally civil. And mental health is 100% part of the problem.

    Scottcc, I didn’t mean to come down on you about Santorum et al. My point was only that it was a conservative website that was even saying that the video about Australia wasn’t necessarily accurate either.

    Still waiting to hear how hunting prairie dogs is more important than trying to protect the safety of the masses, though. And for an answer to Cecil’s question, as well, as to the use for a 90-round per minute gun. Other than prairie dogs and liberty, of course, as quirtep pointed out. Which might be my new band name.

    jessige | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  87. Jessige, my point is these weapons are used for much more than the occasional nut who goes on a mass murder spree. And you may not like it, but liberty needs no other reason. McVeigh murdered hundreds of innocents without a gun. Quit acting like without this specific weapon, mass shootings and killings wouldn’t be an issue with other guns/weapons. It functions the same as any other semi-automatic. Ban one you will have to ban them all and that is just stupid.

    By the way, prairie dogs and shooting competitions are examples of legal and moral ways these ARs are used. If you haven’t understood that from the other times I’ve said it, I’m not sure how to help you understand. You asked why they are needed and why that many rounds I gave you some answers. Not too tough to figure out. Never said prairie dogs are more important than humans of any age, but nor should senseless tragedies take away rights and liberties of those following the law. These weapons and magazines will be found even if outlawed if someone wants to do these things.

    Jadiaz | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  88. “Nor should senseless tragedies take away rights and liberties of those following the law.”

    Yes they should.

    I place human life over your fetish/hobby.

    Rougement | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  89. No, they should not. If we took away everything that could harm because it can, we would have nothing. I have no gun fetish. I own two and practice the utmost safety with both and treat them with the respect they deserve, same as knives in my home, my car, and other potentially lethal things. This article shows this was premeditated and well planned out. He, like the majority of mass killers, planned this out and was going to do this one way or another, yet most of you insist that without the guns it wouldn’t have happened. Wrong, he was determined to kill. Punish those who deserve it. You want to ban guns then ban alcohol as well because drinking and driving is against the law and I value human life over your right to drink and drive. What’s that you say? Drinking and driving is illegal? Seems that doesn’t really stop those who want to do it does it? I’m done one this thread, most of you are too liberal and self righteous to realize that people, not guns are the issue. You would gladly take away anything you don’t like because someone used it in a terrible fashion than actually punishing that person. Personal responsibility is tossed out in favor of claiming society is the issue and had they just stopped that one thing people will never try to kill again. I for one enjoy my hobby and say a big fuck you to the people who want to take it away because of the terrible actions of a few.

    Jadiaz | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  90. Bye bye.

    Rougement | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  91. I would like to point out that I personally enjoy firearms. I like to shoot, I like explosions, I like destruction in controlled environments.

    The problem with tragedies such as this one is we get one side knee-jerking and the other side jumping on the defensive. Neither reaction is constructive.

    As the President said: “If there’s even one step we can take [...] then surely we have an obligation to try.”

    This requires rational thought on both sides of the aisle, which is hard to do during a time when both are fraught with the emotion of a tragedy such as this.

    Too many who wish to preserve the right to own a firearm jump to the the slippery slope mentality when looking at potential restrictions. Too many are wary of the government overtaking the people and without guns there is no protection from tyranny.

    Too many who wish to limit the availability of firearms turn to chastising those who wish to protect the right. Too many point to the weapon as the prime culprit in the tragedy instead of the actions leading up to the tragedy.

    As with almost every political issue, most of us are hanging out in the middle of the political teeter-totter. We feel that gun control is important, but that we shouldn’t ban all guns.

    But there are always going to be people that want to walk out to the ends of the teeter-totter just to jump up and down in an attempt to get everyone to lean to their side. This just causes more people to step out farther on the other side to balance, lest we tip over.

    Part of me wants to say “Let’s all come together and sing Kumbaya!” but that is a little too cheesy for me.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that people on both sides of this debate have more in common in regards to their thought processes than we think and we should consider that when discussing this matter. Find common ground to start the conversation rather than jumping in with a stance that is set in stone.

    Probably could have said that without the rambling dissertation…

    Dorkus | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  92. Sigh. Jadiaz, it’s just not worth it. If you seriously have read all this and think that the only thing I’m worried about is the Bushwhacker or Bushmaster or whatever the hell it’s called, then you might as well just go out to ND and shoot prairie dogs after all.

    Just for future reference: when you get to the point where “Fuck you” is going to come out of your mouth/end up on your screen, you’ve basically emotionally negated anything of intellectual value that you may have said previously. Good Lord. Grow up.

    Dorkus, thank you for having the clarity and calmness to state what I wish I could have said. I hope that in the coming days we can all return to emotional equilibrium while maintaining our intellectual outrage, if that makes sense. I’m done.

    jessige | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  93. Jadiaz, wish you stayed in. Thanks -I’ve learned alot helping me to cross the line.

    cecil | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  94. After some reflection I would like to apologize to Mr. Heinonen, but with a qualifier. The reason I responded to your post in such a snarky fashion was that it appeared to me that you were an anti-gun person in the guise of a hunter who had seen the light as it were. There were just too many things in your post that pushed the worn out stereotype of the slob hunter who wastes game, handles a gun in an unsafe manner, etc. The only things you left out were the beer swilling and family member raping. If I’m wrong then I’m sorry, but if I’m right then I meant everything I said. Only you will really know.

    Scottcc | Dec 18, 2012 | New Comment
  95. We all want freedom. More guns lead to more murders. Countries and states with stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths from gun-related violence. Why is there even a debate with these facts? People are dying, and we make all sorts of compromises in life for the common good. Why is this so sacred to people? No, we cannot literally defend ourselves against our government with firearms, and yes guns kill people. Sure, it’s fun to hunt and most people who own guns use them responsibly. That doesn’t mean we should sell guns that are meant to kill people or made to resemble weapons of murder. Ain’t this fun? This post sure got people riled up!

    quirtep | Dec 19, 2012 | New Comment
  96. Herzog | Dec 19, 2012 | New Comment
  97. Our mascot in the war on guns.

    Beam me up Scotty.

    Herzog | Dec 19, 2012 | New Comment
  98. Apology accepted Scott,
    In no way am I against gun ownership. It’s a right in the 2nd Amendment. I just quit hunting after two shots came zinging way close to my stand one year (wearing blaze orange and all too..) just too close for comfort in those woods north of here over forty years ago. Just would like to see that the laws that are on the books are followed and maybe, just maybe an agreement and solution on how to prevent events like last week from happening again.

    Ted Heinonen | Dec 19, 2012 | New Comment
  99. Since everyone is apologizing to each other and playing nice, it’s probably time to fan the flames and point out that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s favorite gun is the one used in the Sandy Hook massacre.

    But she’s not alone, of course.
    Gun stores are selling out of the rifle used to kill 27 people in Connecticut

    Paul Lundgren | Dec 20, 2012 | New Comment
  100. … and then there’s this:

    MPR: Lawmaker wants teachers to carry guns

    Rougement | Dec 20, 2012 | New Comment
  101. Bachmann’s favorite gun is the one that goes “Pew-pew-pew-pew!” and turns gay people straight.

    Dorkus | Dec 20, 2012 | New Comment
  102. You know your absolutely right Paul. We are being way to warm and fuzzy here. I took a night off to chill a bit. BTW Ted. Sorry to hear you had that kind of experience, but like with anything there will always be someone who pisses in the punch bowl.

    About Michelle Bachmann. Paul, your post is probably the only thing I like about this woman. Glad that she has good taste in a solid platform for a weapon. Solid history, reliability, you have a ton of options for add ons such as lights, sights, grips.

    Let’s move on to Dianne Feinstein. She wants my semiautomatics. She said so the hypocrite that she is. I’ll let her speak for herself.

    Have heard that she did give up her one handguns to be melted down to be made into a cross for the pope, A cheap POS handgun that is, and kept her 357 for herself according to one of her bodyguards. Guess she needed to grandstand for her anti-gun catholic constituents. Her bodyguards are very well armed even if she isn’t. Pelosi has the same gig going. Well armed bodyguards.

    Now on to Uncle Joe. Seems he will be spearheading things for Obama. Lets see what he had to say about his guns while stumping for Obama.

    BTW, the vast majority of Beretta’s are semiautomatics these days and I’m pretty sure old Joe owns the top of the line weaponry.

    Now on to Rosie O’Donnell…another in a long line of hypocrites.

    You see folks, they want you to give up your right, but retain theirs. They want you to believe that if you give up another right that you will all be safe, the police will handle everything and the bogey man will go away. Problem is that they don’t buy it either. They know that help will not get to them in time and that there are some very sick and evil people out there. Evil descended on that school last Friday and there was no one there to protect those children and educators. The people on a city, county, state and federal level left those educators and children defenseless by creating the Gun Free Zones should be deeply ashamed. Those victims deserved the same protection as the people that make the laws.

    You never have and never will hear of a mass shooting at gun show. I’ve been to many gun shows with folks walking around armed and no one has ever been shot period.

    How’s that for fanning some flames Paul???

    Scottcc | Dec 20, 2012 | New Comment
  103. Now all we need to know is what “Weird Al” Yankovic thinks about gun control.

    Paul Lundgren | Dec 20, 2012 | New Comment
  104. “You never have and never will hear of a mass shooting at gun show.”

    Instead of book fairs and bake sales, schools should just host gun shows! Win win! /sarcasm

    secretseasons | Dec 20, 2012 | New Comment
  105. jessige | Dec 20, 2012 | New Comment
  106. Forget gun control. There should be a seven-day waiting period before anyone can comment about anything on the internet.

    Paul Lundgren | Dec 20, 2012 | New Comment
  107. | Dec 20, 2012 | New Comment
  108. 1. Ban all semi-automatic weapons. If you are that bad of a shot that you need a high capacity clip and a semi-automatic weapon then you should find a new hobby. Ban handguns too as they rarely save lives. Kids find them and play guns and end up shooting a friend when mom and dad are gone. You can say get a safe, but let’s remember there is no law for that or anything. That’s why people kept most guns in arsenals back in the days when the 2nd amendment was written.

    2. When the second amendment was written it talked of a “well-organized” militia. It didn’t say to just hand out guns like iPods and sell high capacity magazines to everyone who wants one. People had to spend a lot of money to even have bullets back then and it took about 30 seconds to load each shot. Had that been the case at this shooting the principal and counselor would have stood a chance when they rushed the shooter.

    3. Make bullets extremely expensive. There should be cheap bullets available at shooting ranges for practice that are safe, but hunting bullets-or killing-bullets should be about $50 each. They should be registered with serial numbers on each one so people know they will be traced. This would hopefully deter a few people as they know they are being traced. That always seems to create fear among the gun toting fear mongers.

    4. Better mental health support for kids after school age.

    5. Build a prairie-dog proof fence around Duluth so we are safe from them attacking us. I personally am afraid of those little buggers… What if the deer start overpopulating and attacking me with their antlers?

    I don’t own a gun. I have hunted and found it boring. I respect people who hunt with a bow as it takes skill. I do believe some people like to kill animals and should be allowed to. When I did go hunting I was turned off as I don’t like to kill for sport. I don’t like killing period. I fish occasionally and will eat what I catch, but I don’t see the point in these hobbies. I also have played video games my entire life and most of them had tons of violence. Killing feels wrong to me, unless my life was in danger.

    I just look at those two young people who broke into the guy’s house up north and were executed for trying to steal his prescription drugs and think it was a waste. Sure the guy had been robbed, but was it necessary? Why not blame the doctors for prescribing these pills and causing an epidemic? Did he really need to “put them down?”

    I look at the shooting out East and wonder why a mom bought an arsenal knowing her son was mentally ill? Why did she encourage him to own killing weapons? She paid the ultimate price and then added 26 lives to her poor decision making.

    Why were the Columbine shooters allowed to buy an arsenal of semi-automatic weapons?

    I am a teacher who was at Rocori (Cold Spring) the day before the school shooting and then worked at the Catholic school nextdoor during the funerals for the kids shot. Any of you who defend guns need to sit through a funeral of a young person who dies by a gun. It will change how you think about killing.

    If it doesn’t, well then I hope you never have a gun as you are heartless. If you have a fetish for killing you need a new hobby and shouldn’t own a gun. Nothing I own is worth killing a person and ending their life over.

    Endion | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  109. Well said Endion.

    That NRA press conference was positive. I honestly thought they’d use the time after the shooting to re-jig their message to appear more sympathetic while still pushing back against any gun control.

    Nope, just the same old blame everything apart from guns crap they’ve been peddling for ever.

    They’re making themselves easy to ignore, maybe something good will get done for once.

    Rougement | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  110. @Endion

    1. There is a lot of merit to having semi-automatic handguns for self protection. To say that “If you are that bad of a shot…” indicates that you are not experienced or knowledgeable enough on the subject to be making that statement. This is not an insult, it is simply the truth.

    High capacity magazines (~30 rounds) are a problem, but having a 7-15 round mag in your pistol is not excessive. With calibers that are small enough to fit that kind of mag, you often need that many rounds to be sure the assailant is neutralized. A 9mm round is not powerful enough to prevent someone from shooting you back even after several hits. It may sound morbid, but if the threat is large enough to make you draw and fire at someone you had better be sure they are dead when you are done firing.

    2. The 2nd amendment does not say “The right of people to bear arms in order to have a well-organized militia shall not be infringed.” It says “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” As always, interpretation is key. It does not say that you can only bear arms if you are in a militia; it says that because a militia is important, people need to be able to bear arms.

    Times do change, but that right does not. Obviously we need to take steps to prevent massacres such as Sandy Hook. But to try to say that we should only be allowed to have black powder rifles because that is what they had back when the Bill or Rights was authored is pushing it a bit.

    3. This would not work. People can make their own, so we can just forget about this idea. Nice in theory, but not possible.

    4. I agree whole-heartedly. But I would like to add that it should be better for EVERYONE.

    5. Those damned prairie dogs. Used to live out by the zoo and they are vicious little buggers. I say we invent a prairie dog zapper majobber.

    I don’t hunt for sport, I shoot for sport. I don’t think hunting should be for sport. If you kill something, you damn well better eat it, use its fur for something and compost the remainder.

    And I agree that nothing of material ownership is worth killing over. But if an innocent life is at stake, that changes things dramatically.

    That is the only reason for owning a handgun, to protect innocent life.

    Dorkus | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  111. Here is a PDF of the text of the press conference/promotional event by the NRA today.

    If we can instill in every child that the only safe environment is one where a gun is present the NRA will have a whole generation of citizens who will need a gun to feel safe. Corporate America at its best.

    Thomas | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  112. “What the second amendment means” is a straw man whose time has passed. Let’s all agree it means we can have guns. That doesn’t mean we can’t limit what kind, how many, etc. All of our constitutional rights are limited. No one has the right to speak or peaceably assemble wherever or whenever they want. Most police searches occur legally without a warrant. The state can eliminate jury trial rights for many citizens, e.g juveniles looking at a long time in custody. The right to unregulated travel ends if you are on probation. Citizens can be incarcerated for a long time even if they are technically presumed to be innocent of the crime with which they are charged, via cash bail requirements. And so on.

    So,stop arguing against limits on gun rights because the second amendment protects the right to bear arms. As with all rights, it is the starting point, not the end point, in what we can regulate.

    P.S. Hey NRA, Columbine had an armed guard, I have read.

    emmadogs | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  113. Rougement | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  114. The NRA would just tell teachers and students that they all need bulletproof vests.

    emmadogs -- good argument on our rights. The StarTrib had a nice piece yesterday about the true meaning of the 2nd amendment, but I couldn’t find it to add a link. The forefathers didn’t imagine this when they wrote the amendment.

    No one should be able to walk into Gander Mountain and buy a few thousand bullets and a semi-automatic machine gun. I am fine with a double barrel shotgun for hunting and a bow, but other than that it is unnecessary. Make bullets super expensive and outlaw clips for weapons that hole multiple rounds.

    If the deer gets away too bad. If someone robs your house and two shots isn’t enough then too bad. Like I said, what do we own that is worth more than someone’s life? I bet I have a better chance of winning the Powerball than of someone I don’t know breaking into my home with a gun and shooting me.

    So the NRA wants armed officers in schools. Ok, then why don’t you pay for that? Sell all the guns you currently do and pay for cops in every school.

    I love how people are supposed to give up their lives so someone can “feel” safe. As a teacher it worries me that there are too many dying protecting kids in these shootings.

    Endion | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  115. Columbine did have an armed guard, but he was outside at the time of the attack.

    Plus, having armed guards is not a 100% failsafe against this type of ordeal. Just because one failed does not mean they all will.

    Anyhow, not sure how I feel about armed guards in schools. Why not just have doors that can lock down during an event like this and can only be opened from the inside?

    Dorkus | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  116. Oh, I have an idea. How about we ban all guns other than shotguns and single-shot hunting rifles?

    Either that or we could just arm the hell out of everyone and make body armor compulsory in schools. Also, everyone gets a predator drone and their own choice of coffin or urn at birth.

    Rougement | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  117. Today, a gunman in Pennsylvania killed a woman decorating for a Christmas party in,a little church. Then the gunman shot and killed two others. then he shot and killed himself.

    I am typing this while Stevie Nicks (my hero) signs Silent Night on the radio.

    Dear Ramos: when you are rested from your TDOB, can you start a new one on number of monthly/weekly mass gun shootings in the USA. I would do it, but I am too busy worrying about someone ignoring the ‘no guns’ sign at my courthouse and shooting us all up.

    emmadogs | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  118. If these assholes want to take everything in the Constitution literally, then damnit, let’s take EVERYthing literally, and not just cherry pick the parts that suit our agendas.

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    I like the “well regulated” part. | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  119. I guess no one was able to tell me why the members of our government, the wealthy and people of power are allowed to have weapons to defend themselves, but not you and I. Guess folks don’t want little Bobby and little Suzy to see that man with the gun protecting them in a good light. We have armed guards at our banks, at our state and federal building, but not at our schools. Makes you wonder what we really value.

    Another video for ya’ll. I love this one

    While we are on this topic lets take a good look at the whole musket/2nd Amendment crap I’ve been seeing here and elsewhere.

    When the framers of the 2nd amendment wrote it the government was using muskets in it’s militia/army. The top of the line weaponry of the time was the musket. The PEOPLE that they are talking about had the same weapons if not better. Most settlers were using muskets made by gunsmiths that were superior in many ways to what the government was using at the time. It was these men and their weapons that were used as snipers for the colonialists. The British complained that it was not right killing officers at distances that they couldn’t match.

    So when the framers of the 2nd Amendment wrote it they knew full well that the People were as well armed as they were. They wanted it that way. Democracy was was brand new. We were the only country that had that form of government in the world at the time. They understood how fragile it was and knew that only an armed citizenry would keep it that way. BTW…pretty much everyone was armed back then.

    Lets clear up something else. The AR-15 has been available to the public since 1963. If the problem was really the weapon then where are the mass school shootings from that time? When I was in high school in the 1970′s pretty much everyone had a gun in the gun rack of their trucks or in the trunks of cars at school. No one thought twice about it because we weren’t killing each other. Teachers would come out to you vehicle at lunch to see your new Remington for Christ sake. No one shot anyone. You could walk through town with your weapon uncased but empty and the town cop would stop you to see how many pheasants you had gotten. It isn’t a gun problem, it’s a societal problem. Banning the guns is easy, dealing with the real issues is hard and no one wants to take a look at that.

    Scottcc | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  120. Scottie, ask said, let’s all agree that the 2nd am says we can have guns, and that all amendments have limits. Why should the 2nd amendment not have any?

    emmadogs | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  121. Scottie, as I said, let’s all agree that the 2nd am says we can have guns, and that all amendments have limits. Why should the 2nd amendment not have any?

    emmadogs | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  122. Never said that the 2nd Amendment shouldn’t have limits. Just was saying the people who framed that 2nd Amendment were were fine with the people owning weapons of equal force as the military as far as small arms went. I don’t think that many folks were running around with cannons back then other than the military. The 2nd Amendment has NOTHING to do with hunting or hunting weapons. It had to do with having an armed populace to keep the government from becoming a tyrannical state. That is as true today as it was then.

    Scottcc | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  123. Again, no one has been able to answer my question about why it is OK for our law makers to have more protection than our children? An even better question is why they want to make our protection illegal while being allowed to continue to have semiautomatic assault weapons or automatic weapons protecting them. You can bet your ass that Obama’s daughters are covered up by men with full auto weapons every minute of every day.

    Scottcc | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  124. Come on …let me keep my cricket this time. for those that don’t know my last cricket disappeared. I know it’s a picture of a locust making cricket sounds…oh well.

    Hello? Hello? anyone out there??

    Scottcc | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  125. I want to leave you all with this last video. None of us have been in a mass shooting as far as I can tell, but this lady has been. Let her tell you what was really important when the unthinkable becomes a reality.

    Scottcc | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  126. NRA: Who Are Too Least For The Bretheren?

    cecil | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  127. OK, I’ll bite.

    Given the awful amount of shootings, fatal or otherwise, on public figures, from Lincoln to Gabriel Giffords, Tupac to Marvin Gaye, Lennon, the list goes on and on … I don’t blame those in the public eye for wanting protection. There are a lot more crazy people with access to guns in this country, compared to other developed nations.

    I also can’t blame them for wanting to change this.

    Rougement | Dec 21, 2012 | New Comment
  128. When the framers of the 2nd amendment wrote it the government was using muskets in it’s militia/army. The top of the line weaponry of the time was the musket. The PEOPLE that they are talking about had the same weapons if not better. Most settlers were using muskets made by gunsmiths that were superior in many ways to what the government was using at the time.

    This is a quaint legend. This, on the other hand, is relevant history.

    The Big E | Dec 22, 2012 | New Comment
  129. Big E, I wasn’t talking about the Brown Bess which was used by the British. It was a smooth bore rifle. I was talking about the Pennsylvania or what became known as the Kentucky rifle which had a rifled barrel and was much more accurate than the Brown Bess. That is the weapon the average citizen was carrying at the time.

    I am kinda confused why you would use the Heller case as a defense to support your relevant history since the final decision was that the individuals right to keep and bear arms was upheld at least within a federal jurisdiction.. I think you need to look up McDonald v. Chicago in which it was determined that the due process clause of the 14th amendment upheld the rights of an individual at the local level as well.

    Rougement,Given the awful amount of shootings, fatal or otherwise, on the public. I don’t blame the public for wanting protection.

    It still doesn’t explain why they should have the right of this protection yet we the average citizen should be denied the same right.

    Scottcc | Dec 22, 2012 | New Comment
  130. Yes, I know what you were talking about--but you’re wrong to think that the Kentucky/Pennsylvania rifle was a superior infantry weapon to the smoothbore musket, a point which the linked pieces develop.

    And that misconception feeds into a broader misunderstanding of the role of the militia in the War of Independence and the subsequent debate over the militia’s place in the American military establishment, errors which took on greater significance when rightists concocted the fictional narrative of the Second Amendment as conferring an absolute individual Right to Bear Arms. As the historians’ brief linked above makes painfully clear, this was decidedly not the Original Intent of the Founders. The tragicomic reality is that the rightist majority of the SCOTUS, which touts divination of the Founders’ intent as the basis for resolution of all Constitutional debates and denies utterly the notion of the Constitution as a living, evolving document, declined to actually take that process seriously in practice.

    This is now far afield, and I’m out.

    The Big E | Dec 22, 2012 | New Comment
  131. How many NRA members does it take to change a light bulb? -- MORE GUNS!!

    TimK | Dec 22, 2012 | New Comment
  132. Both weapons have their pros and con but at the end of the day the Kentucky Rifle is the better choice in IMHO. Having fired replicas of both I found the Brown Bess to be cumbersome and inaccurate. It would be very devastating if fired as a volley by well trained troops. The Kentucky rifle on the other hand is light and very accurate out to a couple hundred yards as apposed to maybe 50 yards by the Brown Bess. I never claimed it made a good infantry weapon. It does make a great guerrilla warfare weapon which was the role that a lot of the militia were used for because it was well known that they lacked the discipline to hold ranks when fired on in volley. Which I think was pretty silly anyways. I mean who wants to stand out in the open and be shot at when you can get behind a tree shooting at ranges that the Brown Bess couldn’t. Kind of a no brainer you would think.

    It sounds like your a bit salty that the SCOTUS having weighed all the evidence came to a different conclusion than The BIG E. Deal with it.

    Scottcc | Dec 22, 2012 | New Comment
  133. Hey Tim. That’s Funny. Warn a guy first though. I was drinking coffee.

    Scottcc | Dec 22, 2012 | New Comment
  134. People who buy cheap pieces of crap are tools. Especially when they think it’ll make them safer from mental disease brought on by Consumerism and refuse to examine the root of evil.

    And don’t worry Rougement, the armed forces are exporting many of the psychopaths and outcasts from your kid’s school to kill foreign children abroad instead. But you needn’t worry about them though, because they’re not American, plus it’s legal when your government does it, which is why no one seemed to pay much mind to ten years of shooting six and seven year old boys and girls in the Middle East. If your kids are any good at video games though, they might have a career in remote population adjustment. Just teach them not to question their government or purpose on the planet and they’ll be fine.

    Herzog | Dec 22, 2012 | New Comment
  135. Has anyone brought up the Supreme Court case, United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) yet? 69 years between primary SCOTUS second ammendment cases is something to study and consider.

    Shane | Dec 22, 2012 | New Comment
  136. And while we’re at it, let’s leave the flags at half-mast for all the children of Afghanistan and Gaza who are being killed with weapons paid for by our tax dollars.

    DaVe | Dec 23, 2012 | New Comment
  137. The problem is the state of mental health in this country.

    Instead of treating the problem, we provide them with drugs to manage the symptoms long-term. These drugs were designed to be a short-term bridge to get them through life until therapy can address the underlying cause.

    When these people come off their meds, whether it be voluntarily or due to financial hardship (Read: Recession) the feelings persist and they tend to lash out.

    Sure, the fact that they have access to guns allows them to act out in a very dangerous way. But that does not mean the guns are the problem.

    As Scottcc said: “Banning the guns is easy, dealing with the real issues is hard”

    Dorkus | Dec 27, 2012 | New Comment
  138. Banning the guns is easy?

    Paul Lundgren | Dec 27, 2012 | New Comment
  139. Dismissing guns as a factor is laughable.

    TimK | Dec 27, 2012 | New Comment
  140. “Sure, the fact that they have access to guns allows them to act out in a very dangerous way. But that does not mean the guns are the problem.”

    Couldn’t disagree more.

    Healthcare in general but particularly mental health care in this country is horribly broken. Even so, other developed nations have similar challenges with treating the mentally ill. These countries also happen to have much less gun violence. Why?

    Rougement | Dec 27, 2012 | New Comment
  141. @Paul
    OK, it should have said “Banning the gun is easier,” but it was not my quote.

    I am not dismissing guns as a factor. Read what I said again … specifically the part about “Access to guns.”

    Why? There are a lot of factors.

    The first we have to consider is that while gun violence may be less in countries with stricter gun control, that does not mean that less guns equals less killing. The tool used to kill does not change the effect of the killing.

    A murder is a murder.

    Also, the Wikipedia article referenced above regarding firearm death rate per capita is a bad measurement. That does not filter out police shootings or accidental shootings, which accounts for a large share of the deaths.

    Taking those factors into account, I dug for some more comprehensive information. Per the UNODC:

    The United States has a murder rate of 4.8 per 100k overall. (Interesting tidbit: that number is down from 8.1 per 100K back in 1995. Video games make people kill my ass.)

    The UNODC reports that 67 percent of our murders are by firearm and there were 14748 Homicides in 2010 for a total of 9960 murders by Firearm.

    This essentially boils down to a non-firearm related murder rate of 1.386 per 100K, which is right on par with the non-firearm murder rate of 1.3 for the UK.

    Now, those initial numbers seem to support the assumption that more guns = more gun murders.

    But we have to look at other countries with high gun ownership.

    Switzerland stands out with over half as many guns per-capita, yet has a murder rate of .7 which is 7 times less than the US.

    Sweden, Norway and Finland also have high gun ownership levels, yet do not have a high occurrence of firearm-related murders. Their murder rates are less than 1/5th ours at ~ .8 (Save for those crazy Fins who are at around 2 per 100k. Still, only .4 are by firearm.)

    Canada has much the same gun laws that we do, save for a 5 round mag limit on semi-auto, centerfire rifles. They also have a high firearm per-capita yet their homicides by firearm are less than 1/8th our rate at .5 per 100k.

    Even Serbia, who is 2nd behind the US in guns per-capita has a low murder rate of 1.2 with 33% involving firearms.

    The United States having 1.8-2.2 times more guns per capita than these countries does not explain a 5-8 fold increase in the murder rate by firearm.

    There is something else at play here.

    The data is from:

    Dorkus | Dec 27, 2012 | New Comment
  142. Looking for causes is hopeless, especially since all the data we have on this thread only demonstrate correlations.

    But I know this: cars don’t kill people; people kill people while driving cars. So we design cars to minimize the number of people they will kill. And most of us agree that that’s a good thing.

    But there is a small but not insubstantial segment of the gun owning population who believe that they should have access to maximally lethal guns to protect themselves not just from criminals but from the state. Minimizing the lethality of guns in cases of mass murder also minimizes the effectiveness of their defense.

    We’ll never come to consensus that minimizing the lethality of guns in the context of mass murder is a goal so long as that population remains a part of this debate. | Dec 27, 2012 | New Comment
  143. Dorkus, you can quote stats till the cows come home. The US has a problem with people who have mental health issues being able to tool up and go out in a blaze of glory, taking everyone they can with them.

    One way to stop this is to make sure these people can’t get access to the kind of weapons that can kill 26 people in no time at all.

    Rougement | Dec 27, 2012 | New Comment
  144. Richard Florida talks about the absence of a correlation between mental illness and gun violence on a state-by-state level here: | Dec 27, 2012 | New Comment
  145. Quote stats until the cows come home?

    Well forgive me for trying to provide some actual data rather than just speculation. I guess we should just go by what the news and the internet is saying rather than trying to come to our own conclusions using the data available to us.

    Hell, if you actually read my post you might see information that actually supports your view. But I guess I should not expect people to actually read what I type.


    The reason there is the group of people who believe that we need guns to protect us from the state is because that was the original intent of the amendment. To allow the citizens to protect themselves from a tyrannical government.

    The problem is that even though times have changed, that intent has not changed. They see the way it is written and assume it is an absolute.

    But it is not, nothing on the bill of rights is truly absolute. Freedom of speech only goes so far, it is limited for specific and logical reasons.

    People are delusional if they believe that any weapons we have could even come close to the force available to the US DoD.

    The link you posted was interesting, but it still only looks at firearm deaths. Not firearm murders. More firearms will certainly lead to more accidental death by firearm, so that really does not provide us with information relevant to this discussion.

    But I disagree that looking for causes is hopeless. There has to be a reason why the US has such a high firearm murder rate and the data indicates that the high weapon per-capita is not the deciding factor.

    Dorkus | Dec 28, 2012 | New Comment
  146. The reason for higher gun deaths in the USA is due to our culture. People in the USA seem to think they have the right to shoot other people. I personally think it is stupid to think that way.

    Something with the wild west mentality that was formed when our country expanded into the frontier.

    Other countries have a culture of it being wrong to use a gun to settle disputes. Look at Canada in comparison.

    I saw an A&E documentary a number of years ago, which illustrates the point.

    Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” also comes to a similar conclusion.

    Shane | Dec 28, 2012 | New Comment
  147. There is something to that Shane, as the cultural aspect of this is hard to deny.

    But I don’t think it is as much the “Wild West” mentality. Everyone knows it is wrong to shoot someone for any reason other than to save a life, save for the states that allow lethal force to protect property (I’m lookin’ at you Texas). Our culture does not say it is OK to shoot someone to settle a disagreement.

    Well, at least not MY culture. There are several subgroups in where violence to settle disputes IS the norm, and it is reinforced by certain movies, music and locations. One of those factors alone will not make you a killer, but if you live in an area where everyone else is using guns to settle disputes, you are going to be more likely to do it yourself out of necessity.

    Especially if it is glorified.

    Dorkus | Dec 28, 2012 | New Comment
  148. Dorkus, sorry for being so dismissive.

    Your stats point to ‘something’ being amiss but that doesn’t really lead anywhere. Get 10 people in a room and they’ll each tell you what they think that ‘something’ is and they probably won’t agree with each other. A few will probably even blame video games/movies/lack of god … whatever batshit reason pops into their heads.

    The cat has been out of the bag for a long time due to the 2nd amendment, the NRA, and other factors. This has lead to the US being awash with firearms, more so than any other country by an order of magnitude -- 88.8 firearms per 100 citizens. Japan has 0.6 per 100.

    It stands to reason that with so many firearms out there, many of them will be used on humans at some point.

    So how many politicians are prepared to do the right thing and push for a massive reduction in the amount of firearms out there? Not many.

    Rougement | Dec 28, 2012 | New Comment
  149. I guess the point I was trying to make is that even in countries with a high amount of guns per-capita, the relationship of guns to gun violence does not appear to be causal.

    If the availability of guns was the key factor, then that would be reflected in a measurable relationship between the amount of guns and the amount of gun violence. The evidence is just not there.

    While I feel that certain regulations can go a long way in mitigating the scope of these massacres, in order to truly address the problem we need to find the cause.

    We can dig for scapegoats, we can argue over semantics, we can complain about over-regulation, we can continue to focus our energy in misplaced rage; but that does not solve the problem.

    Until we find out what the problem is, we are just wasting our time fighting.

    Dorkus | Dec 28, 2012 | New Comment
  150. Bear in mind that every single “illegal” firearm out on the streets right now began its life as a legal one. Regardless of how these guns got into the hands of criminals is irrelevant. They were purchased legally at one point by a law abiding citizen (be that an honest citizen or a shill for a gang).

    This is the reason why gun control is so important: Great. You have an arsenal with enough ammo to fend off an army. Awesome. Say your house gets broken into and your arsenal gets jacked. (Don’t say it won’t. Happens all the time…) Guess what? Your guns are now going to have a new life not as protection for your home and family … no, those guns are going to be used to kill people.

    Just a thought, Mr. Fox. | Dec 28, 2012 | New Comment
  151. and that $900 AR15 in the ad? I can go to the same counter and buy a Ruger 10/22 for about $300. (the 10/22 is modeled after the M1 Garand 30 cal carbine. it’s a nice, light, very versatile rifle)

    I could probably pick up at the same counter a “tactical” refit kit for less than a hundred bucks. If not, you can always get one online.

    a 375 round brick of .22 LR runs about 30 bucks. .223 and .22 do the same thing, cause the same amount of damage, albeit one does it in a slightly more efficient manner.

    For perspective, I *own* guns. I got a .22 rifle before i got my Daisy Red Rider. I’ve used them for protection *and* to “take care” of “business” on the farm. | Dec 28, 2012 | New Comment
  152. I think it’s important now to focus on all the people not shooting us to pieces. Take Mr. Lundgren for instance. I’ve mouthed off so many times about how many Norwegians it takes to cover a steamy manhole cover in Duluth, I was sure he’d a popped a cap in my ass by now. But he didn’t. Instead, he went curling.

    There are so many people in the world who aren’t shooting us up. Here’s to them, and a happier gun less world for 2013.

    Herzog | Dec 28, 2012 | New Comment
  153. Go out to a gravel pit with a .22 and a .223 shoot at a couple of gallon jugs of water. Report on the difference between .22 long rifle and .223. Let us know if the damage is really the same.

    Shane | Dec 28, 2012 | New Comment
  154. Neato… just because a bullet’s caliber is similar in diameter does not mean it causes the same amount of damage.

    A .22lr has a max weight of about 40 grams traveling up to 1700 feet per second. Most weigh more around 35 grams and travel about 1300 FPS. Compare that to a .223 Remington which weighs in around 60 grams and travels at over 3000 FPS. Not hard to see that the .223 Remington is considerably more powerful.

    Dorkus | Dec 28, 2012 | New Comment
  155. the only difference between the two projectiles is the powder behind it. | Dec 28, 2012 | New Comment
  156. you missed my point.

    the two are essentially the same round.

    the common rimfire .22LR carries far less powder behind it than a .223. | Dec 28, 2012 | New Comment
  157. Regulate bullets and ban Semi-Automatic rifles. Also, high capacity clips should be banned as well. Guns that hold two bullets and then have bullets tracked and regulated. Serial numbers on each bullet, limits on the amount of bullets owned, and then allow unlimited bullets and guns to be used at gun ranges… Which could be used as arsenals for the 12/21/2012 crowd.

    At a gun show anyone can buy a gun from a private party and just has to say they are not a felon. You can go and buy as many bullets as you want, huge clips to hold tons of shots, and even modifications to make that semi-auto into a fully-auto.

    You can barely buy cold pills without signing your life away, but you can buy as many bullets as you want and weapons. Where are our priorities?

    Endion | Dec 28, 2012 | New Comment
  158. At a gun show one has to have an actual permit to purchase to buy a gun, not just say they are not a felon. Please go to an actual gun show without a permit, try to buy a gun and give us a report of your experience. Felons cannot get a permit to purchase.

    Shane | Dec 28, 2012 | New Comment
  159. Any word on how the ex-con who murdered two firefighters got his assault rifle?

    Rougement | Dec 28, 2012 | New Comment
  160. Shane, while I don’t own guns and don’t go to gun shows, my father-in-law is a gun enthusiast. He just showed me a 9mm handgun he purchased at a gun show last week. It has a clip that holds I believe 10 bullets just in case that guy robbing him wasn’t dead enough.

    He told me he bought it at a gun show and only had to say that he wasn’t a felon. He never mentioned a gun permit, but when I talk with him I will check. He joked that all they asked him was if he was a felon. They didn’t ask for ID either. He could have said he was anyone and walked away with the gun.

    Way to grab that one point though.

    Endion | Dec 29, 2012 | New Comment
  161. Shane | Dec 29, 2012 | New Comment
  162. The guy who murdered those firefighters got his guns from someone he knew who bought them legally for him from a gun shop. | Dec 30, 2012 | New Comment
  163. Your point was that they are essentially the same round?

    “and that $900 AR15 in the ad? I can go to the same counter and buy a Ruger 10/22 for about $300. [...].223 and .22 do the same thing, cause the same amount of damage, albeit one does it in a slightly more efficient manner.”

    By what you wrote, it sounds more like you were saying that the gun shown in the ad does not do any more damage than a .22 caliber rifle, which is false.

    And there is this:

    “the only difference between the two projectiles is the powder behind it.”

    The .223 Remington is twice the weight of the .22lr. The amount of powder is hardly the only difference.

    Anyhow, I am not trying to be a dick. Just correcting some misinformation.


    You have been trumpeting the “Regulate bullets” idea for several posts. That simply will not work.

    Bullets can be made by anyone. Regulating them will only make more people turn to loading their own rounds. It will not reduce the amount of bullets available.

    Dorkus | Dec 30, 2012 | New Comment
  164. Oh, and I realize I said “Grams” in my above post regarding the weight of the bullets. Chalk that up to being tired.

    The weight I listed is in grains, not grams.

    Dorkus | Dec 30, 2012 | New Comment
  165. “The guy who murdered those firefighters got his guns from someone he knew who bought them legally for him from a gun shop.”

    Well I hope he goes to jail for a very long time. Law enforcement should know who has bought what guns and periodically require the owner to demonstrate that they still own the guns, or present evidence that they have sold them legally.

    With the millions and millions of guns already out there, it’s like putting a band aid on a gaping would though.

    Rougement | Dec 30, 2012 | New Comment
  166. rouge…I’m aware of the weight difference. buy yourself a reloading setup (i used to do reloads with my dad when i was a kid.)

    you can take a .22 round out of its rimfire cartride and fit it to a .223 centerfire shell casing.

    similarly, a .38 fits nicely into the chamber of a .357. | Dec 30, 2012 | New Comment
  167. dorkus, sorry. | Dec 30, 2012 | New Comment
  168. Yes, you can take a .22 round out of it’s casing and put it into a .223 casing. I never argued against that.

    I even said they were similar calibers.

    But you take a stock .22lr and a stock .223 remington, the .223 does almost 3 times the damage even at a similar size. That was your statement, that they did the same amount of damage when fired.

    Dorkus | Dec 31, 2012 | New Comment
  169. Pine County sheriff ‘will not enforce’ further federal gun regulations

    Here’s an interesting story in today’s DNT. The Pine County sheriff apparently thinks he not only enforces the law, but also has the judicial power to overturn laws. Apparently he missed that day in elementary school when they taught the three branches of government.

    Apparently it’s happening nationwide:
    Linn County sheriff tells Vice President Biden he won’t enforce “unconstitutional” gun laws
    Kentucky Sheriff Says He Won’t Enforce New Gun Laws

    Reminds me of all the Republican governors deciding they’re not going to enforce Obamacare. Is anyone else disturbed by this trend of local and state officials deciding they’re above federal law and the Supreme Court?

    Tom | Jan 16, 2013 | New Comment
  170. Not when the laws are unconstitutional, no. If the federal government won’t do its job, somebody has to.

    -Berv | Jan 16, 2013 | New Comment
  171. Who is to say these soon to be proposed laws are unconstitutional? Or are you referring to ObamaCare being unconstitutional?

    Dorkus | Jan 16, 2013 | New Comment
  172. The Big E | Jan 16, 2013 | New Comment
  173. Berv, since when is it up to local sheriffs and politicians to decide what is and is not constitutional? Politicians in conservative states are still refusing to enact Obamacare policies, long after the Supreme Court upheld the law. We’ll see when and if gun control regulations are passed and taken to court.

    It’s a little disconcerting to me that people would be okay with local politicians refusing to enact/enforce laws passed by the Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court. It’s kind of a spit in the face of that whole separation of powers thing that our nation’s government was built upon.

    Tom | Jan 17, 2013 | New Comment
  174. If people are unhappy with the new health care laws and seemingly now unavoidable changes to gun possession and control laws, they could always take their own advice and move sompeplace else…

    “Love it or leave it” is what they always told me… | Jan 17, 2013 | New Comment
  175. Tom…

    The 10th Amendment states “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    That is where local sheriffs and politicians feel they have the power to refuse to enforce these mandates.

    Dorkus | Jan 17, 2013 | New Comment
  176. Let’s see what Joe Biden thinks of all the bans and measures they are proposing and how they will stop mass shootings.

    Jadiaz | Feb 7, 2013 | New Comment
  177. Wow! Someone caught the vice president not guaranteeing anything. What a gaffe!

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 7, 2013 | New Comment
  178. This just in: Jadiaz demonstrates the irrationality of resistance either or both to Biden, Obama, or/and gun control. | Feb 7, 2013 | New Comment
  179. Considering that he is 2nd only to Obama in leading the charge to ban certain weapons, magazine sizes, and other measures touting that it will save lives one day while surrounded by children, I’d say coming out and admitting it isn’t going to change a damn thing is pretty huge.

    You guys keep making fun though. Even when you hear things directly from the source, you choose to just poke fun and act like this assault on guaranteed freedoms is justified because you were told before it will save lives. Keep believing the lies.

    It is not irrational to point out that policies punishing law abiding citizens in the name of freedom and safety are openly admitted to not doing so by the very person pushing them.

    So happy to know that if you post relevant information on this site you are ridiculed, while others can spout nonsense and are praised for being stoners with occasional brilliant insights. Sad.

    Jadiaz | Feb 8, 2013 | New Comment
  180. I read fair bit of news from different sources and I’ve come to realize that any story about a gaffe is guaranteed to be flamebait and of no practical worth. This goes for all flavors of the political spectrum.

    andrew | Feb 8, 2013 | New Comment
  181. Can we get a Flamebait category?

    adam | Feb 8, 2013 | New Comment
  182. We have a moral obligation to do everything in our power to diminish the prospect that something like (the Sandy Hook Massacre) could happen again.

    Nothing we’re going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down to a thousand a year from what it is now.

    Those are not statements that are contradictory to each other. It’s obvious he means we should do what we can to reduce gun violence, but there is no guarantee we’ll ever be able to completely eliminate it.

    Sure, his first statement is phrased in an extreme way, but obviously he doesn’t mean we should do everything in our power. What he means is we should take reasonable measures to help ensure guns are used responsibly.

    Sure, he stumbles in the second statement and says “fundamentally alter” before replacing it with the more agreeable term “eliminate,” but clearly he’s saying there no guarantees in this world, which there aren’t, so it’s exactly what he should say. Maybe whatever new laws might be enacted will fundamentally alter the possibility of another mass shooting, but no one can guarantee that.

    Would anyone really expect the vice president to say “I’m going to decrease gun violence by 17.3 percent by 2014″?

    Paul Lundgren | Feb 8, 2013 | New Comment
  183. I’m still waiting for someone to show me in the text of the Second Amendment where it guarantees us the “freedom” to own an assault weapon. The only weapons they had any knowledge or concept of were cap and ball muskets … and that they (meaning the citizenry) were also to be well regulated in their freedom and ownership of said firearms.

    This B.S. about needing to own firearms to protect oneself against a tyrannical government is actually a new concept. | Feb 9, 2013 | New Comment

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