December 19, 2012

Mass shootings, media, and gun control

Mass shootings have been a recognized phenomenon in the US since Charles Whitman went up the tower at the U. of Texas with a rifle in 1966 and entered Baby Boomer lore.  
That’s about as far back as I can remember, so I can’t tell you if these kinds of horrible events happened just as regularly before 1966. Those who have studied the question come to differing conclusions. For example, in 1927 a vengeful Michigan school-board treasurer blew up an elementary school, killing 38 students. But as spectacular as that must have been, that was before television allowed the entire country to watch news stories live. So the bomber didn’t become famous like Whitman. (That phase change in news coverage is one reason that Baby Boomers such as me naturally assume that history more or less began sometime between the JFK assassination and The Beatles.) 
It’s possible that even more horrific mass murders are lost to history: Fires were major killers until not that long ago. For example, the 1958 fire that killed 92 students in Chicago’s Our Lady of Angels elementary school may have been the result of youthful arson.

Read the whole thing there.

130 comments:

stari_momak said...

"The good news is that mass murder’s various flavors get boring after a while. For instance, nobody goes postal anymore."

No quite accurate.

Ed said...

Excellent essay.

I do agree with the commentator on Taki's site who said that the gun angle was the least interesting approach to the latest mass killing.

I am more interested myself in the de-institutionalizaton of mental hospitals and how difficult it was to institutionalize what seems to be an obviously crazy person. And there is a civil liberties angle there just as with gun control;, yes, if you bring back the looney bins TPTB will be tempted to start sending relatively sane dissidents to them.

Now I find it hard to grasp why an individual would want to amass the sort of arsenal that Nancy Lanza (sp?) kept in her house, let alone keep in within reach of a possibly schizophrenic family member that you are trying to institutionalize. There is a strong case to limiting household weapons ownership to hunting rifles and knives just to prevent this sort of idiocy. But just going back to pre-1980s standards in terms of handling mental illness would head off al ot of these problems.

Anonymous said...

New York City, in contrast, has used gun control as part of a comprehensive strategy to persecute blacks and Puerto Ricans while pretending that they need gun control to protect themselves from white rural conservatives.

New York City aside, you've put your finger on the main motivation behind gun control: fear of white men. Actually, that's probably the main motivation among New York City's ruling class, as well.

Anonymous said...

In reality, the city has done a remarkable job of reducing its African American male population by having cops stop and frisk young black men, sending them up the river if they are packing without one of the city’s few thousand concealed-carry permits that are allowed to the rich and famous.

Steve,

New York City is clearing out its black inhabitants by importing millions of Mexican laborers who take their jobs and slowly bid blacks out of their neighborhoods. Blacks succumb in the face of this fierce economic competition. Incarceration is only a minor part of the story.

Anonymous said...

One thing we don't much of anymore. Killing famous people.

There are two ways to become famous through killing. Kill famous people--Kennedy or Lennon--or kill a lot of people.

We haven't seen many killings of politicians or celebrities for awhile. Better security? Too much planning required? Celebrity has become too commonplace and no longer has the royalty appeal?

Instead of quality killing(of famous), we have quantity killing(of sitting ducks).

2Degrees said...

Mass murderers are now new. What is new is the use of automatic weapons. If you constantly have to reload, then the number of potential victims is going to be smaller. Automatic weapons mean that mice-men feel they can roar like lions for ten minutes before being gunned down themselves.

The worst mass murderers (other than Nazis) in Germany were Fritz Haarman and Peter Kurten and they exploited the chaos in Germany after WW1 to lure their victims. There was a similar case in France just after WW2.

Britain has very restrictive gun laws, but that has not stopped the UK producing a whole list of mass-murders. Jack the Ripper was a media sensation in the day and since then we have had the Cheltenham House of Horrors etc etc.

In 1996, something happened in Britain that had never happened before, a man took an automatic weapon into a school.

In pre-19th times people were forced to know their neighbours because it was physically impossible to remain acquainted with people who did not live close-by. If people started disappearing, it would have been noticed very quickly. Fritz Haarman and Peter Kurten were only able to do the damage they did because the chaos of war introduced them to new victims who were usually refugees. If they disappeared no questions were asked.

Dahlia said...

Great article, Steve. You're able to look at so many sides of an issue as well as bring history to bear.

On the politics of this particular incident, while there is a divide between Left and Right on more paternalistic measures for the mentally ill, there is also a class divide on the scope of the problem; elites are less familiar with it while everyone in the white working class is at least familiar with the bipolar personality.

Perhaps due to writers such as yourself and Murray, I'm beginning to detect a subtle change in sympathy for non-elite whites. Also, in regards to mental illness, it is also becoming more of an upper-middle class problem due to delayed parenting.

Judith Shulevitz, at The New Republic, wrote one of this year's must-read articles: How Older Parenthood Will Upend American Society
"The scary consequences of the grayest generation"
Gregory Cochran has written voluminously about the biological impact older fathers have on their offspring. Shulevitz brings it up as just one of the knocks against older parenthood.

There are two articles that everyone must read from this year: Ron Unz's on meritocracy is #1, and Shulevitz's is second.

elvisd said...

Tennessee is looking at training teachers to carry in schools. You'd be surprised how many SWPL Birkenstock wearers amongst our faculty have said, "I'm in."

Jeff said...

I liked the ending.

New York City really is a hell of a town.

Anonymous said...

For all of the clowns here like Whiskey going on and on about the awfulness of the American female, the women of Sandy Hook Elementary appear to have reacted with exceptional bravery and altruism when the children in their care came under attack. The middle-aged, five foot two principal and school psychologist reportedly died while trying to charge the gunman (think about the courage it takes to face down a man with an AR-15 unarmed), and the 20something classroom teachers seem to have shown similar guts and smarts in trying to protect their kids. I'd rather celebrate the best of American womanhood that they represent than think more about the creep who killed them and the beautiful kids they took care of.

Jim Bowery said...

Although the real debate should be whether people have a right to be as well armed against their governments as their governments are armed against the people and other governments, it looks like the closest to a real debate we are likely to see is the University of Chicago's John Lott's statistics showing a negative correlation between crime and gun ownership, vs Yale University's Ian Ayres & John J. Donohue III critique of Lott's statistics.

Boo said...

Ah, yes, blame the media.

Guns have nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

"It would appear that the main cause of America’s high murder rate compared to other wealthy countries is the interaction of this country having a lot of guns and a lot of blacks, a combination that tends toward the lethal." A lot of blacks yes, a lot of guns, not really. Blacks in the USA murder about 7 times as much as other races, which means about 14 murders/100k black people.

Sub-Saharan Africa regions are at least 15 and up to 30 murders/100k people. Given the elevated IQ of American blacks and a little white admixture, this is what I would expect.

People who want to murder will find a way. Guns are just convenient.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you must check out this. They've finally got African data.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

Norville Rogers said...

Euros are deeply obsessed w/ mass shootings vis-a-vis non-Quebecois North Americans. In Lars Gustafsson's short novel The Tennis Players, more or less based in late 60s Austin, he applies the shooting as a hypersymbolic background ubermetaphor (and Gustafsson was a right-winger, or at least what passes for one in Sweden). I doubt many locals viewed the event with such epochal significance then.

Columbine reporting was plagued by Euro/feminine analysis (the false notion that Harris and Klebod were "social outcasts" and acting out a specific revenge fantasy). The two brats actually intended to blow up most of the campus with propane bombs

Anonymous said...

"One possible explanation for the spread of mass shooters is feedback effects."

Or that poyential shooters lacked access such ready access to semi-automatic weapons in the past.


Steve has made a gun-control argument here, however unwittingly.

Cail Corishev said...

Tennessee is looking at training teachers to carry in schools. You'd be surprised how many SWPL Birkenstock wearers amongst our faculty have said, "I'm in."

In between the hardcore pro-gun and anti-gun groups, there's a large bunch which thinks, "I (or my bodyguards) should be allowed to carry a gun, but not all those crazy bastards out there."

Most of Hollywood seems to fall into this group. Officially they're for gun control, but when one of them goes nuts and wants to commit murder/suicide, there always seems to be a gun or two handy in the house.

Anonymous said...

We haven't seen many killings of politicians or celebrities for awhile. Better security? Too much planning required? Celebrity has become too commonplace and no longer has the royalty appeal?

Good point. Probably better insulation? Private jets, chauffeurs, security detail, etc. It seems like even every minor celeb has heavyset guys surrounding them as bodyguards now.

It's a shame since our celebs and politicians are such dirtbags. Better them than innocent civilians.

Norville Rogers said...

"On Immortality" by Hilaire Belloc

Anonymous said...

To all those on the Left advocating gun control in response to the CT shootings, I will give you a couple of canned response that the Left gives us when we mention the high rate of black-on-white crime.

1) We are a nation of over 300 million people. In any nation of this size bad things are going to happen from time to time, but statistically the number of victims is not very high. Thus, your chance of being a victim is not very high.

2) According to the FBI violent crime is at an all time low and has been decreasing over the past twenty years. Excessive media coverage on incidents like this distort this fact.

Norville Rogers said...

whoops, forgot the Polytechnique

I can't believe that 2006 Post Office woman wanted to found a newsletter called, "The Racist Press"--thanks, diligent journalism school grads

Anonymous said...

"For all of the clowns here like Whiskey going on and on about the awfulness of the American female, the women of Sandy Hook Elementary appear to have reacted with exceptional bravery and altruism when the children in their care came under attack."

It still would have been better if one of them had a gun.

Anonymous said...

From what I've been reading this "semi-automatic" gun calamity is old hat--what about that anthrax scientist? That's the wave of the future

Anonymous said...

Dude, Americans have had access to double-action revolvers since the nineteenth century. And you used to be able to buy them in hardware stores. Not enough capacity, you say? It wasn't unusual to carry two or three of them. And a lever-action rifle, for good measure.

We've always had access to a wide variety of exceptionally lethal weaponry. Something, recently, has changed. But it isn't the availability of guns.

Plus, if you ban anything but, say, bolt-action rifles, you might have fewer mass shootings but you might also see more DC snipers. What's preferable: An anomalous, statistically irrelevant shooting at a specific time and in a limited area, or an anomalous, statistically irrelevant series of shootings across a wide area extended over days or weeks? Neither is the answer, I think.

HAR said...

I understand the arguments that guns reduce crime and am convinced by them. Also, if people want to hunt it doesn't bother me. But what is the justification for having something like the Bushmaster .223 legal? I just read at CNN that it can fire up to 40 or 45 bullets in a minute without reloading. Surly, there are diminishing returns to how much protection one needs.

I'm genuinely curious about this. I understand how it could be fun to have a gun like that as a hobby, but if that's the only use for it, I have a hard time seeing how that balances out its potential to be used aggressively.

Anonymous said...

Mass murderers are now new. What is new is the use of automatic weapons.

Dear God Almighty ...

Nobody in America gets killed with "automatic weapons".

If you constantly have to reload, then the number of potential victims is going to be smaller.

Curse you, Samuel Colt!

Gun's which do not need to be "constantly reloaded" have been widely available in the US for the last 150 years.


In 1996, something happened in Britain that had never happened before, a man took an automatic weapon into a school.

How many errors is it possible to make in one short blog comment? Nobody took an "automatic weapon" into a school in Britain in 1996.

Try listening and reading instead of talking and writing, and perhaps you'll learn something.

Anonymous said...

Many of these are murder-suicides. The suicide part is as important as the murder part.
We all sometimes feel angry, but we wanna live, and so, we don't go out and kill a whole bunch of people because we'll end up in jail.
But, if you plan to kill yourself, what does it matter what you do?

Indeed, you might see the world carrying on happily and indifferently while you die.
So, killing a bunch of people before you die could be like punishing them for their happiness and their indifference to your plight. The world is forced to pay heed to your suffering and death.

There may be a CARRIE effect. Carrie believes that the entire school is laughing at her. She even imagines the sympathetic teacher laughing at her. So, she sets out to kill as many students as possible.
It's the one final triumph of the loser before she dies.

Most of these crazy stuff is done by beta nerd boys with alpha will to power inside them.
If some people are trans-'gender', some are trans-personality. They are shy or inept on the outside but aggressive and domineering on the inside.

HEATHERS, like CARRIE, is about a girl, but most such violent cases are done by males.

Anonymous said...

poyential shooters lacked access such ready access to semi-automatic weapons in the past.


Semi-automatic weapons have been around and readily accessible for more than a hundred years. The famous "broomhandle Mauser" was first manufactured in 1896 - hence it's Mauser name "C96".

Why is it that people whose entire knowledge of guns could be written on the back of a postage stamp with room to spare feel the need to expose their ignorance to the whole wide world?

Anonymous said...

If you are going to criticize semi-automatic weapons, at least call them that and not "automatic weapons".

Anonymous said...

I just read at CNN ..


A rather typical "HAR" remark.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the Fort Hood massacre ripe for the most intense kind of media thumb-sucking analysis? You had a perp who was a PSYCHIATRIST, of all things, and what setting is more secure than a military base? Yes, I expect many more movies-of-the-week to be made about... whatshisname.....

Anonymous said...

Alas, it does not take terribly modern or lethal weaponry to kill a bunch of five year old children. An axe would have accomplished the same mayhem quite easily.

Kylie said...

"The worst mass murderers (other than Nazis) in Germany were Fritz Haarman and Peter Kurten and they exploited the chaos in Germany after WW1 to lure their victims...

Britain has very restrictive gun laws, but that has not stopped the UK producing a whole list of mass-murders."


You need to learn the difference between mass murderers and serial killers.

Anonymous said...

I think that we need to look at the racial aspect of it. Whatever the motivations or reasons behind such mass murder, it seems that white men are definitely more predisposed than other races to kill on a mass and wanton level. From Hitler and Stalin who, on the grand scale, were responsible for the liquidation of tens of millions to the small time spree and serial killers like the child killer Adam Lanza and the cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer, there is something about white males' psyche that is truly disturbing and sadistic.

Steve, as a white man, you should investigate whether the root cause of such depravity is genetic for your own good.

Anonymous said...

If you were Obama, and you wanted to use this thing to 1) get jobs for ward heelers, 2) make race-riot protection rackets safer and more profitable, 3) distract people from the whole 5+ years Obamanomics and the country's still in a depression thing, and 4) mess with Republicans?

What would you do?

elvisd said...

Tennessee is looking at training teachers to carry in schools. You'd be surprised how many SWPL Birkenstock wearers amongst our faculty have said, "I'm in."

In between the hardcore pro-gun and anti-gun groups, there's a large bunch which thinks, "I (or my bodyguards) should be allowed to carry a gun, but not all those crazy bastards out there."

Most of Hollywood seems to fall into this group. Officially they're for gun control, but when one of them goes nuts and wants to commit murder/suicide, there always seems to be a gun or two handy in the house.


True, but I'd consider our sweet 60+ yr old 4th grade teacher to be a pretty solid individual. Hardly a loopy Hollywood type.

jeanne said...

In all fairness to the idiot 2degrees, realizing what he meant to say, I have to admit that since Glock, there has been a proliferation of lightweight easy-to-shoot autoloaders. I mean every mfr jumped on the bandwagon and there is a much bigger selection than there were 25 years ago.

This has meant that the hapless gamma need not trouble himself wrestling with a malfunctioning 1911, or forget to flip the safety or swap mags after only a few shots.

That's what they're trying to say, and I find our own indirection amusing. But whatever works. I do love my Glock.

Anonymous said...

In an effort to head off the usual mistakes by our lefty friends, let me quickly debunk their common mistakes.

"Automatic weapons" are illegal to purchase or to own in the US, without jumping though through some incredibly complicated hoops,

I believe just one person has been killed with an automatic weapon in the US in the past fifty years.

Semi-automatic weapons (which is what you keep on erroneously describing as "automatic weapons") have been widely on sale in the US for a very long time. You could buy a semi-automatic shotgun in 1900 in your local gun store.

Gun's with a "large" ammo capacity have been available for a long time. The Browning Hi-Power pistol had (and still has) a 13 round magazine. It was introduced all the way back in 1935.

There's nothing wrong with asking "Why do mass shootings happen?", but answers which consist of "It's because of these new-fangled automatic high capacity assault weapons" are patently stupid.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the Fort Hood massacre ripe for the most intense kind of media thumb-sucking analysis?

BTW, whatever happened with the "Fast and Furious" gun walker scandal?

Matt said...

I'm genuinely curious about this. I understand how it could be fun to have a gun like that as a hobby, but if that's the only use for it, I have a hard time seeing how that balances out its potential to be used aggressively.

The biggest single utilitarian use of AR-15 style weapons is feral hog control. It's a huge problem in large sections of the country.

That said, to the extent these guns are useful for criminal aggression they're not actually used aggressively very much. In decreasing order of popularity, the most common murder weapons in the US are:

1. Handguns
2. Knives
3. Bare hands
4. Blunt instruments
5. Shotguns
6. Rifles

Otis McWrong said...

2Degrees said...Mass murderers are now new. What is new is the use of automatic weapons.”

The guy in CT did not use an automatic weapon.

Anonymous said...”Or that poyential shooters lacked access such ready access to semi-automatic weapons in the past.”

Semi-automatic weapons have been available for over 100 years.

HAR said: “Also, if people want to hunt it doesn't bother me. But what is the justification for having something like the Bushmaster .223 legal? I just read at CNN that it can fire up to 40 or 45 bullets in a minute.”

The 2nd Amendment was not for hunting, it was for the people to protect themselves from the State. Now, you can make the case that no amount of rounds can protect you from a State armed with drones, tanks, Hellfire missiles, etc however that is a different argument. In terms of why one particular weapon is legal, a simple answer would be the freedom-loving among us long ago realized that there are few issues the left lies about more than gun control and thus there is no point in letting the camel’s nose under the tent. Agree to limit a magazine to 10 rounds and they’ll push for 8. The honest lefties (there are a few) will admit that all gun control measures are incremental and their intention is a completely disarmed populace.

Anonymous said...”You had a perp who was a PSYCHIATRIST, of all things, and what setting is more secure than a military base?”

You had a perp who was also a strident moslem yet was a U.S. Army officer. I find that more distressing than the fact he was a psychiatrist. Ironically, a U.S. Army base is one place you can be fairly confident anybody you run across will be unarmed. Weapons are kept secured and soldiers have access to them at very limited times.

Anonymous said...

Why did he shoot little kids?

I can kinda understand Columbine and V-tech. Losers striking against 'popular students'.

But why would a 20 yr old shoot little children?

Catcher in the Rye syndrome? Did Lanza believe innocent children will grow up to be corrupt and rotten? So, they should be killed and 'protected' from the corruption of the world?

Envy? Did he think kids still live in a world of dreams whereas he, a 20 yr old, must say goodbye to childhood and become a man--but he didn't know how.

Or, was it simply the outrage factor? Did he do the most heinous thing to gain the greatest amount of notoriety?

2Degrees said...

"How many errors is it possible to make in one short blog comment? Nobody took an "automatic weapon" into a school in Britain in 1996.

Try listening and reading instead of talking and writing, and perhaps you'll learn something."

Cool it! You don't need to take it so personally! All I was saying is that Britain/Germany produces just as many mass murderers as anywhere else - something that people who do not follow the British/German news might not know. However, mass shootings of the type that happen in America are rare, because normally gun owners only have access to ONE shotgun. Sorry for not being an expert on ordinance. What's so silly about that?

Anonymous said...

People often tell me, "The only reason you would need to own an AR-15 is to kill people."
To which I think , "The only purpose for abortion is to kill people, but the same people who diss AR-15s usually think abortion should remain legal."

Anonymous said...

"The only reason you would need to own an AR-15 is to kill people."

Sure. But the purpose of all guns is to kill or injure people or animals.
And some people need killing. If there's a home invader, why shouldn't he be killed with whatever?

Anonymous said...

I understand the arguments that guns reduce crime and am convinced by them. Also, if people want to hunt it doesn't bother me. But what is the justification for having something like the Bushmaster .223 legal? I just read at CNN that it can fire up to 40 or 45 bullets in a minute without reloading. Surly, there are diminishing returns to how much protection one needs.

First, the 2nd Amendment was not enacted to enable people to hunt. So whether or not a weapon is also used to hunt is not important.

Second, and this might be hard to imagine for those who have never fired an automatic weapon, but the fact is there are diminishing returns when firing that many rounds per minute. In fact soldiers do not put their M16 or M4s on 'full auto' except in limited situations. It is better to fire on 'semi-auto' so that you can fire the most well-aimed shots. Fully automatic fire is not accurate, wastes ammunition and is mainly used as suppressive fire, that is, to keep the enemies' heads down so that others might be able maneuver without the threat of the enemy firing well-aimed shots at them.

So even if a guy had a fully militarized M-16, he'd not select 'auto' and instead would select 'semi' if he wanted to maximize his hits.

Granted, high-capacity magazines would allow the guy to go longer between reloading, so I can see some arguments being made along those lines. But for those thinking that a guy just holding the trigger is dangerous, he'd be more dangerous if he fired on semi automatic.

Kylie said...

HAR said, "I understand the arguments that guns reduce crime and am convinced by them."

Well, all righty then!

"Also, if people want to hunt it doesn't bother me."

That's big of you.

"But what is the justification for having something like the Bushmaster .223 legal?"

About the same justification as having a car legal that can go over, say, 60 m.p.h.

"I just read at CNN that it can fire up to 40 or 45 bullets in a minute without reloading."

Why am I not surprised?

"Surly[sic], there are diminishing returns to how much protection one needs."

Presumably you mean that once shot, a bad guy is incapacitated, either temporarily or permanently. Ain't necessarily so. Didn't CNN tell you?

"I'm genuinely curious about this. I understand how it could be fun to have a gun like that as a hobby, but if that's the only use for it, I have a hard time seeing how that balances out its potential to be used aggressively."

Too many possible responses. I'll go with just one.

No, you don't understand. For one, you don't understand the extensive measures true gun enthusiasts take to keep their guns out of the hands of children, criminals and nutjobs.

[Frankly, from what I've read, I think both Nancy Lanza and her son, Adam, fall into that last category. Do I think they were psychotic? No, but I think the kid had a serious personality disorder and the mom was delusional when it came to dealing with him.]

Gun owners spend a lot of time, money and effort on locks, reenforced doors, gun safes, etc. And to forestall your foreseeable idiotic response, no, it's not because they're "preppers", it's because they're responsible gun owners.

And to forestall your next foreseeable idiotic response, no, I'm not angry. I'm happy as a lark. This afternoon, my husband handed me $2000 to buy whatever firearms I feel comfortable handling.

HAR said...

"Why is it that people whose entire knowledge of guns could be written on the back of a postage stamp with room to spare feel the need to expose their ignorance to the whole wide world?"

Maybe they would ask questions so they could learn if they didn't have to worry about people losing their minds at the thought that someone could be considering an opinion they don't like. I'm brave enough to take it, but I'm guess many others are not.

Take for example, the strange individual who wrote that because I read CNN, I made "a typical HAR remark." Yes, I know that the media is biased and sometimes very foolish, but you can learn some stuff if you expand your horizons beyond VDare, iSteve, and The Occidental Observer and try to remember that there's more to life than Team Red and Team Blue.

I'm pro-HBD, anti-immigration, anti-feminist, anti-affirmative action. I think our society massively discriminates against whites. I should get along well with the people here. But I'd rather emphasize the things I disagree with most people here about than the things I agree with them on, because working through disagreements is the whole point of debating. That's how you learn. And yet every time I write something that slightly deviates from the opinion of the majority of commentators, I get accused of being a leftist, idiot, and sometimes a woman.

Anyway, from now on I'll just ignore the more unstable elements here and simply continue to engage with those who are fair minded and civil. But I would suggest our host adopt something like a zero tolerance policy for insults. It would really improve the discourse here, and make it less of an echo chamber. I'll still present minority views no matter what, but I'm guessing the tone here prevents many others from doing so, particularly women.

Mark Caplan said...

Everybody knew the name Howard Unruh when I was a boy growing up in Philadelphia. In 1949, in one 13-minute spree, ex-GI Unruh shot 16 people in Camden, NJ, killing 13, including 3 children. This was when Camden was a quiet, mainly white working-class and middle-class city.

Anonymous said...

HAR said: “Also, if people want to hunt it doesn't bother me. But what is the justification for having something like the Bushmaster .223 legal? I just read at CNN that it can fire up to 40 or 45 bullets in a minute.”
As another poster was pointing out, the right to bear arms exists so that the people can take up arms against the government should it turn tyrannous, and the government consists of people, not animals.

The gun lobby has actually done a lot to create this misconception by always framing gun rights as a hunting issue, but it still is a misconception. Ok, and let me be perfectly frank. I hate the idea of hunting. I don't see how its manly to go around shooting defenceless animals. (Ted Tugent, are you listening?) Fighting the government OTO, would take some balls.

Anonymous said...

People often tell me, "The only reason you would need to own an AR-15 is to kill people."


But of course, it's actually not a very good gun for killing people. The .223/5.56mm cartridge was chosen by the military because it was easy for a soldier to carry a lot of them, not because it is especially lethal. You're not even allowed to hunt deer (which are roughly human sized animals) with the .223 in most states, because it's felt the round will injure the animal but not kill it.

People assume that it's this super lethal killing device based on TV and movies - and it really isn't.

Steve Sailer said...

"Everybody knew the name Howard Unruh when I was a boy growing up in Philadelphia."

Thanks. I'd never heard of him.

Maybe this is an example of how news became more nationalized and technologized between 1949 when Unruh killed 13 people and 1966 when Charles Whitman killed 13. Or some kind of generational effect in which Baby Boomers came to determine, more or less forever, what goes into the national mythos and what doesn't.

Otis McWrong said...

An aspect of this horrific shooting in CT that needs to become central to the “how to prevent” discussion is the crazy aspect. I realize most of what I’m about to write is anecdotal but it seems that as a society, we’re entirely too accommodating of people with mental illness, the things that may exacerbate it, and the enormous mind-altering drug industry (e.g. Big Pharma). Facts are still coming in, but it appears the CT murderer was not only very unstable but was on one form or another of anti-depressants (e.g. mind-altering drugs) but also spent his days watching “Natural Born Killers” and playing violent video games. The Korean guy that killed so many at Virginia Tech was mentally ill. The guy who killed four at a Utah restaurant was a paranoid schizophrenic. Very rarely do these people not exhibit warning signs prior to these horrific acts (the Va Tech guy had all sorts of ranting videos and his fellow students were afraid of him). Why do we blame only the guns? Wouldn’t it be easier and far more effective to keep a closer eye on mentally ill people?

I live in Miami and every intersection has a bum wandering in traffic asking for money. A friend and his wife were in San Francisco recently, and walking up the steps in a parking garage, coming around a corner they encountered a bum sh****ng in a stairwell. Why is that okay? A society that allows the mentally ill to live on the street and relieve themselves in public is not a compassionate society. It’s a society that has very low standards. We need to bring back vagrancy laws and go back to the pre-Carter era approach to the mentally ill. You can’t live in the street and s**t in parking garages, sorry. I’m sure some reader will scold me for being “judgmental” or “insensitive” however I think a nation wanting to prevent mass killings yet refusing to consider more closely monitoring mentally ill people makes as much sense as wanting to prevent airplane hijackings but refusing to more closely monitor Moslems.

Anti-depressants are often very powerful and they affect different people in different ways. My wife took them for about a year due to post-partum depression and she had to go to her doctor a number of times to alter the dosage or the prescription itself. He kept “tweaking” the treatment until he got it right. Doctors that prescribe things like Paxil or Prozac or whatever but then don’t require follow-up appointments and counseling are, in my view, at least partially complicit.

One final point: people will ask “why do we need semi-automatic weapons?” but I ask “why do we need Quentin Tarantino movies or video games where the objective is to kill people with as much gore as possible”? The left will cite the 1st Amendment, oblivious that their solutions violate the 2nd Amendment. Why is the 1st Amendment inviolable but the 2nd Amendment optional? It’s documented fact that people can become desensitized to violence – the US Army knew this 100 years ago which is why they went to silhouettes on targets rather than bulls-eyes. They wanted soldiers to be more willing to shoot a human. I would think that some non-zero subset of society becomes dangerous due to becoming desensitized. I can think of numerous ways a firearm can provide utility. I can’t think of any ways “Grand Theft Auto” or "Natural Born Killers" provides utility.

Yet all President Teleprompter wants to talk about is the guns.

Luke Lea said...

One of your commenters from yesterday had this on his website:

"in the past 30 years, 543 people have been killed in 70 mass shootings. That's an average of 18 deaths per year. For comparison, three times as many die from lightning strikes."

"The New Republic article linked in the previous paragraph states "I can't say exactly why mass shootings have become such a menace over the past few years, and especially in 2012." Given the low numbers, it's likely that it is just a random fluctuation without statistical significance.

"To put things in perspective again, half a million Americans die every year from tobacco use. Two hundred thousand die from medical errors. Those numbers are large enough that it's possible to track changes with statistical significance, and evaluate the effect of public policy. There must be a fair amount of low-hanging fruit. For example, it's feasible that a 100% tax on the price of cigarettes would save thousands of lives ever year. Why is this not attempted?"

Here is the link: http://diegobasch.com/mass-shootings-political-correctness-and-magical-thinking

Anonymous said...

In Cold Blood might've been the first "literary" true crime novel, but true crime as a genre was well established in pulps, comics, and "sporting newspapers" generations earlier. True Detective magazine was first published in 1924, for example.

Kylie said...

HAR said (of course, he did, there's no shutting him up!)"'Why is it that people whose entire knowledge of guns could be written on the back of a postage stamp with room to spare feel the need to expose their ignorance to the whole wide world?'

Maybe they would ask questions so they could learn if they didn't have to worry about people losing their minds at the thought that someone could be considering an opinion they don't like."


If they want to learn, why don't they google? Or, if they have more time, lurk on a gun forum?

"I'm brave enough to take it, but I'm guess many others are not."

Well, "brave" is one word for it.

"...every time I write something that slightly deviates from the opinion of the majority of commentators, I get accused of being a leftist, idiot, and sometimes a woman."

Okay. That did it. You win. Pax. Truce. Whatever.

Anyone who can make me giggle that much can't be all bad.

"Anyway, from now on I'll just ignore the more unstable elements here and simply continue to engage with those who are fair minded and civil."

You missed a great opportunity there. I would have run with it, I assure you.

"But I would suggest our host adopt something like a zero tolerance policy for insults. It would really improve the discourse here, and make it less of an echo chamber."

There you go again with the suggestions! Steve has this blog so he can write what he wants to write. We like it the way it is. Besides, if you really are anti-immigration, surely (not surly) you understand the notion that newcomers, if permitted, should assimilate to the majority, not the reverse.

"I'll still present minority views no matter what, but I'm guessing the tone here prevents many others from doing so, particularly women."

Great! That's how we like it! The entire West is left-leaning. We are the ones who hold minority views in much of the blogosphere. This is one of the few places where we are the majority and don't have to kowtow, particularly to left-leaning women. If we wanted to read and respond to left-leaning views, we'd be there--not here! It's not as if we get no exposure to them elsewhere online and in real life.

What part of that is so hard for you to grasp?

But you are pretty funny. :)

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand why Tarantino is always being singled out on right-wing blogs when most of the violence in his movies is cribbed from films of the sixties, seventies, and eighties.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The phase change was not only videotape, but color photography. Things were not real before then - hence the term "living" color and all the movies where the real people are in color but the bad, fake ones in B&W. Hence also the phrase "black and white morality," which was first about personal pleasure: sex, drugs, and r&r.

Anonymous said...

I'll still present minority views no matter what, but I'm guessing the tone here prevents many others from doing so, particularly women.


At least some of the people calling you an idiot here are women. I'm not sure where you got the idea that women are insult-averse.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@Otis

You have no idea what you are talking about regarding mental illness. Which is fine, because not everyone is required to learn the basics of my profession in order to buy groceries or have a car. But it should prevent you from writing about it, until you have spent an hour or so researching the topic.

HAR said...

"The gun lobby has actually done a lot to create this misconception by always framing gun rights as a hunting issue, but it still is a misconception. Ok, and let me be perfectly frank. I hate the idea of hunting. I don't see how its manly to go around shooting defenceless animals. (Ted Tugent, are you listening?) Fighting the government OTO, would take some balls."

I have a similar visceral reaction to hunting. However, if you think about it logically, if a person kills an animal and then eats it rather than buying a dead animal at the store, there's probably less suffering in the world since there's less money going to the factory farms.

Anonymous said...

"Sub-Saharan Africa regions are at least 15 and up to 30 murders/100k people. Given the elevated IQ of American blacks and a little white admixture, this is what I would expect."

Russia has more than double the murder rate of the United States with there being almost no blacks in Russia. How do you explain this with the IQ theory?

Steve Sailer said...

"Given the low numbers, it's likely that it is just a random fluctuation without statistical significance."

Quite possibly. One thing that happens is that we seldom notice when things stop happening. For example, Columbine-style high school shootings largely evaporated after mid-2001. Nobody noticed because it's always hard to notice dogs that don't bark, plus we had lots of new stuff to obsess over like 9/11 and the anthrax poisonings. It's also possible that potential high school shooters either got distracted by 9/11 or somehow intuited that nobody would notice their high school shooting after 9/11 so what was the point?

Anonymous said...

"Russia has more than double the murder rate of the United States with there being almost no blacks in Russia. How do you explain this with the IQ theory?"

It would be even more violent if it had a lot of blacks.

Anonymous said...

"I still don't understand why Tarantino is always being singled out on right-wing blogs when most of the violence in his movies is cribbed from films of the sixties, seventies, and eighties."

Tarantino has really hipster-nerd-nihilized violence.
He serves up unfeeling kind of violence that is utterly perverse and anti-human.

Bigfoot said...

" HAR said,
And yet every time I write something that slightly deviates from the opinion of the majority of commentators, I get accused of being a leftist, idiot, and sometimes a woman."

Thank you. Needed to be said.

I agree and enjoy your posts... one thing on this site that ocassionally disappoints me is the lack of cordiality and close mindedness one ocassionally sees in the comments section.


I suspect that most of people who visit this site share similar views...

Because I am concerned about the issues ... and see most of them from Steve's perspective (not all) having a comments section that was more collegial would be a plus rather than a minus.

In short, being collegial is a way to get more people involved in the conversation and spread the word.

Nothing wrong with disagreeing... it's just that you don't have to jump down someone's throat when disagreeing (unless that someone is Whisky of course).

I am not the moderator ...Steve is (you know whim)...but this is my two cents.

hbd chick said...

cleomedes of astypalaea (492 b.c.), one time olympic hopeful, killed 60 school kids in his hometown during a rampage. of course he didn't use a gun though.

Otis McWrong said...

Assistant Village Idiot said...
Village Idiot said: "@Otis You have no idea what you are talking about regarding mental illness...But it should prevent you from writing about it, until you have spent an hour or so researching the topic."

I concede I'm far from an expert on mental illness though suspect I know far more about it than you know about guns. I get that there are wide degrees of incapacitation and wide spans of potential behavior. However I also know that we still do not exactly how the brain works nor what the effect of various mood-altering drugs will be.

That said, you need to be more specific. Are you objecting to my view that it would be easier to track mentally ill people than 300mm guns? That the guy in CT was mentally ill at all? Are you asserting that mentally ill people should be completely free to do as they please? S**t in parking garages? That the 1st Amendment should be equally optional to the left as the 2nd seems to be? That doctors shouldn't freely dispense mind-altering drugs to almost anybody that asks? That people need to be experts on mental illness to comment (if so, why do you not require a similar level of knowledge when people opine on guns)?

Said another way, what was your point, to the extent you had one?

Perspective said...

Excellent points in the comment section about the effects of psychoactive drugs on the human mind. It's likely that some of the mass shootings in the last 15 years or so could be at least partially attributed to the deinstitutionalization of mental health and the rise in prescribing mind altering drugs.

It should be noted, that as deeply disturbing and horrific these killings are, it would appear that this year is still within the 30 year average. This site has a graph showing mass shootings since 1980.

Anonymous said...

Russia has more than double the murder rate of the United States with there being almost no blacks in Russia.


What's the murder rate in Africa then?

Oops.

Tony said...

"plus we had lots of new stuff to obsess over like 9/11"

Hey, 9/11 was an act of war on our country, bigger than Pearl Harbor. So yeah, a lot of people obsessed about it.

2Degrees said...

Jeanne, calling me an idiot was a bit unkind and not the sort of temperamental behaviour one would expect from a responsible gun owner.

1). America has a high incidence of gun crime. The ready availability of guns must have something to do with that.

2). There is a difference between a farmer owning one gun and having a house full of them.

3). The logic behind mass ownership of guns is that a disarmed citizenry is vulnerable to tyranny.

Republican-voting Americans may be well-armed, but Liberal Americans have been walking all over them for years. They have changed the demographics of your country to suit their own purposes and clocked up unpayable debts. Your guns have done nothing to stop this.

In New Zealand, we had a group of Maori Nationalists that decided to arm themselves. They were stamped on by the not very considerable forces of the New Zealand state and their leader, Tame Iti, is now languishing in jail.

Any group of Americans that tried to resist their government militarily would be crushed using anti-Terrorism legislation that a Republican president introduced and that is an affront to decency and freedom.

If you think that the odd school massacre is a price worth paying for widespread gun ownership, then that is something only Americans can decide. But there still has to be a connection.

Peter Kurten was able to kill dozens because the chaos of war gave him the opportunity. Guns give opportunities to nut-jobs, who would not otherwise get their chance.

Kylie said...

"Jeanne, calling me an idiot was a bit unkind and not the sort of temperamental behaviour one would expect from a responsible gun owner."

Are you serious no question mark.

"A bit unkind"="temperamental"?

Put another way, someone called you an idiot in the comment section of a blog and you draw an inference about her temperament and ability to own guns responsibly?

jeanne was right, you're an idiot.

Anonymous said...

"I hate the idea of hunting. I don't see how its manly to go around shooting defenceless animals. (Ted Tugent, are you listening?) Fighting the government OTO, would take some balls."

Hunting to act manly is stupid, but there is a need for hunting to control animal populations. Nature is kept in balance by hunting. Wolves, coyotes, badgers, bears, cougars, eagles, hawks, and etc control the animal population.
But we killed off most predators--even in national parks--, so unless humans hunt, the herbivores will eat up all the plants.

I don't like hunting, but nature is about hunting. Some animals are hunted, some animals hunt. Some animals hunt and are hunted. Coyotes hunt rabbits but are hunted by cougars.
So, hunting is natural.

Btw, it's more merciful to be killed by gunshot than by predators.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wS1rU5SAskU

This is really sad. A sick mother hippo cannot fight back, and lions eat her alive. And the calf that tries to protect its mother is killed too.

Anonymous said...

I have a 2nd amendment question:

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.

Okay, at the time it was written what did "well regulated militia" mean?

well regulated could just mean proficient or trained, right?

Militia just means men at arms, that is men with guns.

So, "a well regulated militia" maybe just meant armed citizens competent and trained in the use of firearms weapons.

Okay, I bring this up for a couple of reasons. Back then, guns weren't so easy to use. It was powder and shot and muzzle loading and so on. You couldn't just grab it out of the drawer and shoot. It would take more training and practice than a revolver or modern 9mm. Also, if people had to go get guns from an armory, that would be highly impractical back then because they didn't have such great roads or transportation. To be of any effect, they would have to have the firearms on their person or in their homes. Keep and bear means that people have to right and duty to possess and carry for the sake of a free society, right? I mean that is what the words are saying right there in black in white 18th century English, right.

Any forensic linguists out there can help me out here.

HAR said...

"I agree and enjoy your posts... one thing on this site that ocassionally disappoints me is the lack of cordiality and close mindedness one ocassionally sees in the comments section."

Thank you for your kind words. I will say that, in defense of this comments section, the ratio of well informed/polite to ignorant/rude posters is pretty good compared to most political sites. Part of that is that HBD generally attracts smarter people than does a popular Team Red/Team Blue site like Free Republic or Daily Kos.

That's not to say that it couldn't be better. Of the HBD blogs, Half Sigma does a pretty good job of not posting comments that are insulting and have little substance. He doesn't censor everything that can be interpreted as rude or insulting, but you rarely see something as simple minded as "Wow you leftists are really stupid!" I actually don't feel like I get much from Sigma's blog itself, but still check it daily because the tone in the comments is so much more tolerable than it is on most other HBD sites.

I believe developing the right atmosphere is important because HBD is a fascinating topic--and though I roll my eyes whenever the left praises the "benefits of diversity" as an excuse to discriminate against whites--I actually do wish there were more opportunities to hear the perspectives of those who are smart and honest enough to accept the truth of HBD but approach issues from a liberal, gay, female, or other perspective that is atypical for a site like this. But it's simply human nature to be discouraged when every post brings an onslaught of insults, and that's why are so few posters here that regularly take minority positions.

I've been called an idiot more times in this thread than I think I've been called to my face in the last ten years, and I am far from shy about my views. The internet is great because it allows us to connect with people who share similar interests wherever they are. At the same time, however, it allows angry and bitter people to attack others, indulging in behavior they would be too cowardly for in real life. It would be a shame to allow these kinds of people to ruin the experience for those who enjoy discussing interesting topics.

Anonymous said...

I can't recommend enough that people look at that wikipedia link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

Especially, look at the sub-region averages. There is a large difference between many of the averages. Many of these sub-regions correspond to races or sub-races and are relatively homogeneous. The standard deviation on many of the murder stats must be tiny, by sub-region. In such cases, the peoples within are either closely related, or from different sub-races not inclined to homicide. (For example, New Zealand is composed of Northern Europeans and Maoris, and neither are prone to homicide.)

See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate#By_subregion

It is also a remarkable exercise to organise the list "by sub-region". Click on the following link, then click on the "Sub-region" title on the table, to organize each country by sub-region.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate#By_country

The outliers are very obvious, and there is often a reason that comes to mind. For example, both Chile and Argentina are mostly Southern European in ethnicity, and they have a Southern European homicide rate to match. Another example - Sudan is included in "North Africa", but it is close to Central Africa and it has a homicide rate to match that. North Korea is a huge outlier, and that can be put down to the repressive regime (probably also Myanmar can as well).

"Russia has more than double the murder rate of the United States with there being almost no blacks in Russia. How do you explain this with the IQ theory?"

It's not very far from the Eastern European average, which is 6.4. In fact, look at the surrounding countries. They are all in the 5-10 homicides per 100k region. at 10.2, Russia is very, very close to that range, but the color gradation makes the gap look much larger. See the following map:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_world_by_intentional_homicide_rate.png

BTW I've modified my position. I now think that homicide rates primarily stem from ethnic background rather than IQ. Mean IQ does seem to have a limiting effect - the higher the IQ, the lower the highest possible homicide rate is. But there are quite a few low or moderate IQ sub-races who are also non-violent.

When you look at a graph of Homicide vs IQ, groupings of sub-races really leap out, much in the same way as they do in the GDP vs IQ graph.

Secondary to race/sub-race/ethnicity/genetics, an oppressive regime can also drive up the murder rate.

This is a really fertile area of discussion, especially why the outliers are why they are. e.g. What is up with Greenland? Kyrgyzstan? Pakistan?

There are some areas that will take more time to analyze, especially where there is a lot of race mixing either by intermarriage or mixed settlement. Or where there are lots of dinky little races that have formed on islands (like PNG for example).

A lot of the mystery is cleared up when looking at the map though, as areas that seem out of place just looking at a table make sense when conceiving of homicide rates varying according to racial clines.

And the evidence seems to suggest that guns make very little difference to the homicide rate. For example, the USA's white population with a homicide rate of 2/100k, is right where it should be for a mixed European population.

What emerges is an overall race or sub-racial hierarchy of homicidal tendencies.

As a general rule for the big racial groupings,
Sub-Saharan African/Amerind >

Eastern European/ Central Asian >

non-Central Asian, non-Eastern European.

One thing that struck me was how violent the Amerinds are. No wonder the Amerinds are big on Saint Muerte.

BTW I am not Diego Basch, I just commented on his blog.

Discard said...

Somebody here wrote that the 1911 .45 is unreliable.
Clean your weapon.
The seven round per clip Colt Government is perfectly adequate for slaughtering cornered children, and has been around for a century. It is not the advent of 12 and 15 round clips that has enabled nuts to kill so effectively. (Yes, gun pedants, in a pistol the rounds are contained in a "clip", which is inserted into the "magazine" of the weapon.)
My candidate for The True Cause of all this carnage is the flood of White guilt propaganda that our young people have to live with. It's driving them crazy.
Foreigners: The Second Amendment, like all of the Bill of Rights, is about political rights, not hunting or stopping robbers. The Founders thought that the government should have reason to fear the people. This is plainly discussed in The Federalist, the series of articles written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay. It is authoritative on the meaning of the Constitution, being written by the Constitution's authors, and published in order to convince the people that they ought support the new government.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that looking for the primary cause behind national homicide rates, my investigations went guns -> GDP -> IQ -> genetics. There was a good relationship between each one and homicide rates, and yet each has a known cause, if you are familiar with the HBD world.

Really, it should have been apparent all along to look there. After all, what is the cause of white flight? It's not as if the miracle of European institutions fundamentally change other people. People are who they are.

The next logical step in the progression of "We care about crime, what is the cause, how do we keep it down?" is that if you want to keep homicide rates to a minimum and you must have immigration, import from populations with low homicide rates. i.e. Western, Northern, Southern Europeans, Arabs, or East Asians. Or sub-populations of such. If you import from Africa or south of the US/Mexican border, you have only yourself to blame.

Anonymous said...

One should also probably be careful to distinguish between homicidal nature within the country, and as a country waging war. The USA has been very violent, but generally not internally. When it was, it was a result of the civil war.

Anonymous said...

"I just read at CNN"

Well there's your problem right there.

Anonymous said...

1). America has a high incidence of gun crime. The ready availability of guns must have something to do with that.

Americans have been armed to the teeth since colonial times. These sorts of mass shootings (or high crime rates in general) are fairly recent occurrences. What has changed? It isn't civilian gun ownership. Simple logic would indicate that high availability of guns has nothing to do with it; note once again the weasel words "gun crime" as though it were ok to have high crime rates as long as the criminals didn't use guns!

2). There is a difference between a farmer owning one gun and having a house full of them.

No there isn't.

3). The logic behind mass ownership of guns is that a disarmed citizenry is vulnerable to tyranny.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Athens_%281946%29

Anonymous said...

"Russia has more than double the murder rate of the United States with there being almost no blacks in Russia. How do you explain this with the IQ theory?"

HBD is about more than just IQ.

HBD isn't just about blacks vs. whites and in regards to blacks vs. whites it isn't a simple matter of violent crime rates.

Russia is outside of Western civilization and didn't get a lot of the "civilizing" influences of the more advanced West (this has advantages as well as disadvantages). Britain used to be a very violent place, too, a couple of centuries ago.

For Russia, pile on top of its lack of late Western civilizational influences the historical experience of Mongol invasions, Czarist despotism and Bolshevik tyranny and mass murder, and you shouldn't be surprised that Russia has a higher crime rate.

Fact is, they are still better off not having any blacks.

HBD isn't about lack of violent crime in absolute terms. It's about the capacity for civilization (ability to defer immediate gratification for long term goods; ability to work together; high investment child rearing; selection for personality traits that build up civilization rather than impede it, etc.). IQ is part of that but it's not all of it, not by a long shot. IQ is a rough analog or substitute or stand-in for something we don't have a word for or other good measures for.

What HBD sees as distinguishing blacks and whites could be called CQ (Civilization Quotient), not just IQ. Whites (and Asians) can be quite violent. But they can also build successful, stable civilizations and move humanity forward. Blacks, much less so. It's not like they haven't had plenty of opportunities to prove otherwise, either. Liberals specialize in making excuses for black failure, and that is mostly what HBD is a reaction against.

Anonymous said...

"Guns give opportunities to nut-jobs, who would not otherwise get their chance."

Kinda like that knife killing stuff in the PRC and Japan...

Anonymous said...

Because I am concerned about the issues ... and see most of them from Steve's perspective (not all) having a comments section that was more collegial would be a plus rather than a minus.


I can't help but notice that you and HAR never complain about the lack of collegiality around here when somebody is bashing Republicans as being Christianist evolution-denying Bible-thumpers, or as women-hating patriachists. Of course that may be because you are engaging in that bashing.

Such is certainly the case with HAR, who just yesterday was chastising the readers of this site and right-wingers in general for objecting to government mandated "free" contraceptives for women. He couldn't think of any reason other than misogyny which would explain our opposition.

Anonymous said...

Yet more on the intentional homicide map - it may explain a lot of the outliers in the sub-regions. For example, we are conditioned to think of Somalia as a murderous place from watching Blackhawk Down. But looking at the map makes me question whether the Somalis are closely related to the Yemenis, as their homicide rates are so close. And whether the Somalia data is actually correct. Googling, I found this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somalia%E2%80%93Yemen_relations

"Somalia and Yemen has historically enjoyed good relations. Ethnic Somalis for the most part blend in well with Yemeni society, as they share centuries of close Islamic, migratory and Arab origin."

Really, rather than sub-region, for purposes of analysis it would be better to group according to sub-race. For example, putting Chile and Argentina in with Southern Europe, Singapore in with East Asia, putting Sudan in with Central Africa rather than Northern Africa, etc.

Anonymous said...

"New York City aside, you've put your finger on the main motivation behind gun control: fear of white men. Actually, that's probably the main motivation among New York City's ruling class, as well."

The solution to this problem is obviously to ban "Deliverance" and other similar movies.

Peter the Shark said...

One thing you quickly learn by living somewthere like Austria, Germany or Switzerland is what apalling idiots most American gun owners are. Unregulated gun ownership does not reduce crime, it does not protect civil liberties (Germans and Swiss have more civil liberties than Americans), it provides no tangible benefit to society at all. And life outside the US shows there doesn't have to be a "slippery slope." Most people in Switzerland have a gun in their homes, many Germans and Austrians are avid hunters. But gun ownership and ammunition are regulated, and there is little of the fetishistic gun worship you find in the US. A gun is a tool for shooting metal projectiles at high speed. Get over it.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

It still would have been better if one of them had a gun."

Even a good sized can of Bear Spray might have done the trick.

DPG said...

Don't forget about the Beltway Sniper, post-9/11. Seems to have been tossed into the dustbin. Maybe because it was overshadowed by 9/11. Maybe because it was a Muslim guy and the powers that be wanted to limit backlash.

Mr. Anon said...

"Ed said...

Now I find it hard to grasp why an individual would want to amass the sort of arsenal that Nancy Lanza kept in her house,....."

A couple of handguns and a rifle is not an aresnal. It's a starter-kit.

And one reason why some people buy lots of guns is that they anticipate the possible need to arm their neighbors. If there ever comes a day when there is a major breakdown in society - the kind that the authorities won't even pretend to control - your good liberal neighbors who didn't like guns might all of a sudden realize that they want one.

Mr. Anon said...

"HAR said...

I understand the arguments that guns reduce crime and am convinced by them. Also, if people want to hunt it doesn't bother me. But what is the justification for having something like the Bushmaster .223 legal?

The purpose of the second amendment is not to preserve your right to hunt. Its purpose is to preserve your right to hunt, to defend yourself, your family, and your property, and to allow you to defend your society from the the predations of a tyranical government.

The real justification for owning a semi-automatic rifle is this: I don't have to explain to you why I want to own one.

As to high capacity magazines: 1.) see above, 2.) you have to derate the number by a few - one generally doesn't load a magazine to capacity as it wears out the spring, 3.) you might have to fire alot of rounds to hit something, 4.) if you're shooting squirrels, you generally want to get more than just a couple, 5.) when you're done, you still want to have some bullets left in the magazine, and finally 6.) see 1. above.

Mr. Anon said...

"2Degrees said...

1). America has a high incidence of gun crime. The ready availability of guns must have something to do with that."

Guns have always been readilly available in this country, and we didn't have school massacres. You used to be able to buy guns mail-order. High-schools used to have shoot-clubs (even shooting ranges). Kids brought guns to school, because they were going hunting afterward.

On average, year in and year out, over half the murders in the US are committed by blacks, who only make up about 1/8 of the population. We don't have a gun crime problem, so much as a black crime problem.

Whiskey said...

The Henry Rifle circa 1860 had a 16 round tubular magazine and could sustain a rate of fire of 28 rounds per minute. So repeating firearms that allow a gunmen to kill potentially a lot people is about 150 years old.

The real problem is nutty folks like say, Omar Thornton or James Holmes or One Goh or Cho Seung Hui not being locked up. Despite being nutty and violent. In Norway Anders Breivik would seem to fit the same bill.

Given that people WANT GUNS, outlawing them is about as useful and will get the same results as outlawing booze, drugs, and abortions did. Which is, the harder stuff comes in courtesy of Organized Crime. Outlaw guns and criminals will have shortly, from international organized crime networks, all the AK-47's (about $50 in Africa) they want. Plus all the surplus and newly made handguns from Russian, Ukranian, Chinese, Pakistani, Romanian, Bulgarian, Turkish, and Filipino gun manufacturers you can think of. While good paying, union jobs at American gun companies go kaput along with the firms. Fun fact, Italian firearms manufacturer Beretta makes a number of shotguns and handguns in Turkey.

As far as the women at Sandy Hook go, brave but useless. What exactly did they accomplish? Did they stop the guy from killing kids? No. Women in a brutal fight are totally useless, it takes men and armed men at that to stop armed killers. Plain and simple. And women like those dead teachers, principals, and counselors are the major players in "fear of White men" and deciding that the most important thing is to take guns away from responsible, middle class White guys so they can't fight back against Black or Hispanic thugs. Which is the real agenda there.

This is a spread-out nation of over 300 million people with racial diversity and hence massive anti-White hatred by pretty much most non-Whites. Most White women would prefer to disarm ordinary White guys because women are not big on fighting back. Yeah the principal rushed out there, but what did she have to stop an armed killer? Strong words?

White women live in a world where their social power of ostracism and exclusion works wonderfully -- on normal, sane, non-violent middle class White guys (which is one reason they really despise them). It fails dramatically when it leaves those guys, but they don't see it. They can't see it. Its worked all their lives so they can't figure it could ever fail.

Whiskey said...

As far as "White guys as mass killers go," well in Rwanda from April to June, 1994, a scant three months, Black Hutus killed Black Tutsis and "moderate" Hutus to the tune of about 800K to one million. In three months. By mostly machete and stones. You had to pay money to get shot. And killed old people, infants, neighbors, friends, often relatives. Up close and personal. This three month mobilization of Black mass-murder stands against the three year record of Auschwitz with the most modern industrial killing machinery available.

Let no one say Africans are any slouches in mass-murder. Black men in Africa hold the per-capita record in mass murder.

Then there is Omar Thornton, Cookie Thornton, that Black guy at Socal Edison, Lee Boyd Malvo and John Mohammed, that Black guy in the Bay Area, a few others. Mass murderers all. But of course, Black so down the memory hole.

Whiskey said...

2Degrees --

People want guns. Guns in the US average around $500-$700 new, for just the basic models. Manufacturers like Kimber, Colt, Smith and Wesson, and Wilson Combat can charge ... hold on ... $2000 or more for the upper end 1911 pattern guns. Super enhanced versions of the old slabsides which is over 100 years old.

People will pay for guns, in considerable amounts.

How As far as "White guys as mass killers go," well in Rwanda from April to June, 1994, a scant three months, Black Hutus killed Black Tutsis and "moderate" Hutus to the tune of about 800K to one million. In three months. By mostly machete and stones. You had to pay money to get shot. And killed old people, infants, neighbors, friends, often relatives. Up close and personal. This three month mobilization of Black mass-murder stands against the three year record of Auschwitz with the most modern industrial killing machinery available.

Let no one say Africans are any slouches in mass-murder. Black men in Africa hold the per-capita record in mass murder.

Then there is Omar Thornton, Cookie Thornton, that Black guy at Socal Edison, Lee Boyd Malvo and John Mohammed, that Black guy in the Bay Area, a few others. Mass murderers all. But of course, Black so down the memory hole.do you propose to stop people from having guns? Laws like the ones that stopped them from drinking in Prohibition or those that stop them now, completely, from taking drugs?

Russia, China, and Pakistan churn out millions of guns each year. They'd be happy (as would criminal networks) to supply the illicit gun needs of 300 million Americans, who KNOW for a fact the police can't and won't protect them. Steven Speilberg, yes, Same with Ashton Kutcher (they guy who "SWATTED" both Kutcher and Justin Bieber got arrested here in SoCal yesterday). You, not so much. Police could care less about Joe Average. Joe Average won't get them a cameo on Two and a Half Men.


Gun bans make everything WORSE. You get instead of open, regulated, legitimate gun owners, illicit, highly illegal, and more widespread (as dirt cheap and shoddy guns from organized crime networks flood the markets) than now. Sure, it will line the pockets of criminal gangs. And sure, you'll get lots and lots of fully auto weapons and such.

But you won't get rid of guns since most Americans just want them. They like them, they're extremely handy (for criminal and victim alike, you can't do without em) and give the owner capacities they don't have without them.

That's just human nature. [Japan has low ownership because crime is so low, in aging, racially homogenous, high-trust society Japanese don't WANT GUNS. Try getting Americans not to want guns. It will go over the same getting them not to want to drink or get high did.]

DaveinHackensack said...

You put your finger on exactly what makes New York such a bubble. The NYPD provides an extraordinary level of safety for upper middle class and affluent New Yorkers without hassling them, and it does this by hassling black and Latino males. Elsewhere, everyone gets hassled in exchange for safety (airports), or not enough people get hassled and there's not much safety (Chicago).

That explains the different views of Chicagoans and New Yorkers in the comments on Fred Wilson's blog post about guns Wednesday ("Demand A Plan").

Kylie said...

"And one reason why some people buy lots of guns is that they anticipate the possible need to arm their neighbors."

This is certainly true in my neighborhood where like-minded neighbors have discussed this very topic.

"If there ever comes a day when there is a major breakdown in society - the kind that the authorities won't even pretend to control - your good liberal neighbors who didn't like guns might all of a sudden realize that they want one."

Then they can want.

Anonymous said...

"One thing you quickly learn by living somewthere like Austria, Germany or Switzerland is what apalling idiots most American gun owners are. Unregulated gun ownership does not reduce crime, it does not protect civil liberties..."

From what I can tell, firearm ownership does not have much effect on homicide rates. It might have a deterrent on other crimes though, such as theft.

And the USA does regulate gun ownership, in that felons can't own guns. You can't own automatics either.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

People in my liberal Maryland will ask me, "What do you need a gun for?".

I always respond, "What do you need a DOG for? Are you herding sheep?".

Liberals love their dogs, despite the large role dogs take in the destruction of the Amazonian rain forest.

Anonymous said...

***"One thing you quickly learn by living somewthere like Austria, Germany or Switzerland is what apalling idiots most American gun owners are. Unregulated gun ownership does not reduce crime, it does not protect civil liberties (Germans and Swiss have more civil liberties than Americans), it provides no tangible benefit to society at all. And life outside the US shows there doesn't have to be a "slippery slope." Most people in Switzerland have a gun in their homes, many Germans and Austrians are avid hunters. But gun ownership and ammunition are regulated, and there is little of the fetishistic gun worship you find in the US. A gun is a tool for shooting metal projectiles at high speed. Get over it."***

If you have to go all the way to Germany or Austria to become misinformed, that says a lot about you. Europeans don't know jack sh!t about America, and "American" Hollywood movies and other media keep it that way.

First of all, American guns are hardly "unregulated". And yes they do reduce crime, especially in states with "shall issue" concealed carry. And we have almost no home invasion crimes in the USA (except in cities where legal gun ownership is highly restricted) which are quite common in parts of Europe. People in the UK go to jail for using guns in self-defense in their own homes. One's home is literally not one's castle in the UK.

We are sick and tired of this ignorant and arrogant response from Europeans and their toadies in the US. Our situations are not comparable. Wait until your non-white, violent immigrant population creeps up to 20 or 30% of your population and then you might think better of having some means of self-defense that isn't under government control.

There's a reason that the gun rights people in the USA are so "extreme" and that's because they realize - perfectly accurately - that "reasonable gun control laws" are aimed at disarming them and not aimed at reducing crime. If we lived in reasonable times and "reasonable gun laws" were aimed at promoting responsible gun ownership, we'd be all for it. But that isn't the case.

And more civil liberties, are you out of your freakin' mind? Try, just try, to publish anything dealing with historical matters during the late European unpleasantness that doesn't jibe with the "facts" of the Nuremberg Kangaroo Courts and you'll rapidly discover that you have no rights at all.

Peter the Shark said...

"Gun bans make everything WORSE."

Right, like in Germany. Give me a break and go learn how the world freakin' works instead of reciting NRA propaganda.

Anonymous said...

Vermont has the lowest murder rate in the country. I invite everyone to Google "Vermont Gun Laws" and check the Wikipedia entry. What's going on there?

There's no answer to being faced with an armed lunatic other than being armed yourself.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey: "Let no one say Africans are any slouches in mass-murder. Black men in Africa hold the per-capita record in mass murder."

Perhaps it makes sense to separate non-state supported mass killings from declared war, and also general homicides.

Non-state supported mass killings have been going on before there was even much of a press let alone TV. There were several before 1900. Twigg killed 9 in 1903.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rampage_killers:_Americas

However, as an overall phenomenon they are a fraction of the total homicide rate. There is not much a government can do to prevent them, other than perhaps maybe grant CCW as a deterrent. Sometimes the motives are political (as in Breivik). Mostly it seems they just want to get even with the world, and make a name for themselves even if it is in infamy. Profilers tend to find that they are paranoid, list making types. You can see this in the two recent ones; both chose gun free areas, but that wasn't enough. They had to wear body armor as well.

Also, Vasili Blokhin was state sponsored, he does not belong with the other mass murderers.

Serial killers kill more victims, and there is a cooling off period between each victim. The motive is mostly sexual. Here is where effort really pays off in catching them, because if they can be caught early lives will definitely be saved.

Most homicides aren't like either of those though, with motives of response to insult, money, sex, revenge, drugs, etc.

I would ordinarily think of state sponsored murder (aka war) as something different from all of the above. It's one country against another, or one nation (i.e. ethnicity) vs another. In this case it's very possible for an ethnicity to be very peaceful within, and very violent to the out-group.

For example, the USA's war vs Viet Nam resulted in a total of 2 million dead. 444k North Vietnamese soldiers reportedly died in battle. The civilians need to be added to that figure. For a population of about 18 million during the war. That's 2466 per 100k. Even over 20 years, that's still 123/100k, which is greater than any current murder rate, even Honduras.

The USA, Russia and Germany/Austria have dealt out a lot of death in the 20th century. Only Russia is somewhat violent internally, though not on the level of Sub-Saharan Africa or South America. But historically, it appears as though the Mongols were the worst of anyone. The following makes some interesting reading.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_and_anthropogenic_disasters_by_death_toll

I was surprised at how non-homicidal the Arabs are today (mostly Northern Africa and Western Asia), at least amongst their own people. And the Polynesians. That doesn't mean I agree with the "invite the world" strategy.

Evil Sandmich said...

You needn't publish this, but that Taki article is one of your greatest hits in my opinion, gotta dig around in the change purse to send you something, thanks for the great work!

HAR said...

"As far as the women at Sandy Hook go, brave but useless. What exactly did they accomplish? Did they stop the guy from killing kids? No. Women in a brutal fight are totally useless, it takes men and armed men at that to stop armed killers. Plain and simple. "

Actually, the reports I read indicate that it is likely that at least one of the teachers died saving some of her children's lives. Then again, I've been reading about events from the NYT, CNN, etc. so according to many here I should take it all with a grain of salt, being much better off relying on Whiskey's theorizing to understand what all women everywhere are doing. Then perhaps I'll go to National Vanguard to get an accurate picture of the Jews, and go to Gawker to learn what white males are up to...

neil craig said...

The media role in making Jack the Ripper famous as the "first serial killer" also indicates how technology changes perception.

The murders happened just after the popular press developed. The British press is known as "Fleet Street" because they were located there to be near the courts where so many colourful stories originate. Whitechapel, the barbarous slum where the Ripper murders happend is a short walk from Fleet street. If they had happened elsewhere I doubt they would have been seriously reported.

Indeed the press played a greater role than merely reporting. It is a well known secret that the "Jack the Ripper" letter was actually written by a journalist (there was an earlier but less interesting letter which is possibly genuine).

Without that letter we would not have the name and indeed without the entire campaign not all of the murders would have been attributed to one person - murders of prostitutes were and still are common in such places.

Mr. Anon said...

"Ex Submarine Officer said...

People in my liberal Maryland will ask me, "What do you need a gun for?".

I always respond, "What do you need a DOG for? Are you herding sheep?"."

That's good. I'll have to remember that.

Actually, their fondness for dogs is one thing I can understand about extreme liberals. If all my aquaintances were stridently liberal, I would welcome the company of dogs too.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey - White women live in a world where their social power of ostracism and exclusion works wonderfully -- on normal, sane, non-violent middle class White guys (which is one reason they really despise them). It fails dramatically when it leaves those guys, but they don't see it. They can't see it. Its worked all their lives so they can't figure it could ever fail.

Exactly right mate!

Kylie said...

@ Whiskey,

Well said, particularly this:

"White women live in a world..."--given to them by white men--"...where their social power of ostracism and exclusion works wonderfully -- on normal, sane, non-violent middle class White guys (which is one reason they really despise them). It fails dramatically when it leaves those guys, but they don't see it. They can't see it. Its worked all their lives so they can't figure it could ever fail."

OT but that, in a nutshell, explains the increasing numbers of clueless white women hooking up with black men here in the US. They just love the danger, the difference, the otherness of black men. And even after things have gone Very Wrong, as they so often do, those clueless white women still don't get that they weren't dealing with white men in blackface, they were dealing with black men.

Severn said...

Half Sigma does a pretty good job of not posting comments that are insulting and have little substance. He doesn't censor everything that can be interpreted as rude or insulting, but you rarely see something as simple minded as "Wow you leftists are really stupid!"


The remarks you find objectionable say a lot about you.

You don't seem to have a problem with outright lies, such as "What is new is the use of automatic weapons".

You don't seem to have a problem with insults either, as long as they are insults aimed at people on the right. For example, "One thing you quickly learn by living somewthere like Austria, Germany or Switzerland is what apalling idiots most American gun owners are".

And here are some samples of your own insulting tendencies.

.. the war against abortion and birthcontrol that Republicans have engaged in is truly sickening

.. the posters here identify with "Team Red." So even if they understand why pro-lifers are wrong on an intellectual level, they don't comprehend how sick those people really are

.. in a society where all other medical needs are subsidized by employers and the government, getting mad about one kind of pill exclusively used by women shows misogynistic tendencies


You are the one who wandered in here and started tossing insults around. Perhaps in your liberal cocoon calling people on the right "sick" and "sickening" and "misogynistic" is considered as obviously correct as calling water wet and fire hot. But all you're really doing is proudly flaunting your own biases and calling them Truth.

Severn said...

what is the justification for having something like the Bushmaster .223 legal? I just read at CNN that it can fire up to 40 or 45 bullets in a minute.


You think that's a lot? You can fire 40 or 45 bullets in a minute from a revolver. Here is a video clip of a man firing 12 shots in three seconds from a revolver - that works out to 240 rounds a minute.

You don't know anything about guns. That's not a "insult" - it's just a fact.

Just another guy with a 1911 said...

If any iStever's are interested in 2A issues, or just guns in general, check out:

thetruthaboutguns.com.

The site has heavy traffic, with lots of commentary. And while it is a mainstream website, the owner does not have a heavy hand and allows comments that admumbrate the issues Steve talks about.

For instance, there was a fairly honest discusion of black crime rates at the time of the Zimmerman fiasco. Keep in mind, though, it is mainstream, so you do run into the usual bunch of self appointed PC enforcer types.

With regards to gun toting teachers, check out Hickock45 on youtube. He makes fun and informative gun videos, and is a Tenn. English teacher.

As for arming teachers, handgun vs. long gun rarely works out in the favor of the guy with the Glock, but it certainly is better than rushing a homicidal maniac with an AR-15 while armed with nothing but love.

NOTA said...

Anon 1:49 am:

First, gun ownership has nothing to do with hate speech laws. You can have laws criminalizing speech alongside widespread gun ownership, and we've had them here. We don't now because of a combination of the first amendment, a fairly activist set of courts and judges, and people willing to spend a lot of money fighting those laws in court. If you want to thank someone for not sending James Watson to jail for politically incorrect speech, go thank the ACLU. The NRA had nothing to do with it.

Second, despite the fact that some of those countries (not all) have hate-speech laws and holocaust-denier laws--both very bad ideas I'm glad we don't have--they are still about as free as we are. Germany and Switzerland and Denmark and France and Spain and Belgium and Sweden have real, live opposition parties and press, which are not locked up for saying the wrong things. From what I can see, the press in the UK is quite a bit less muzzled, overall, than ours is--that's probably a lot more about culture and history than about laws, which are much more restrictive in the UK than in the US. More broadly, they also have much smaller frations of their citizens locked up in jails, fewer armed raids in the middle of the night on their citizens, etc.

Armed citizens matter in the case where the government is doing something very unpopular, so that the uprising and civil war starts out with some guns, or so that the government fears using force to put down widespread protests. They don't matter much at all in the case where the government is doing something broadly acceptable to the public, whether that's sending jackbooted thugs raiding the homes of alleged small-time pot dealers, or arresting someone for giving money to the wrong charity (something we do thanks to the War on Terror and its two fathers, Bush and Obama.)

NOTA said...

Otis:

It's quite possible that those drugs help out their patients on average, but have ugly effects at the extreme ends. I seem to recall this is a problem with some antidepressants, which make most people who take them feel better, but also slightly raise the rate of suicide. So few people go on a rampage that it would probably be really hard to figure out whether there is some drug that, say, makes you ten times as likely to go shoot up the nearest mall or school.

Kylie:

For a short-term problem (someone breaking into your house at night, a riot that ends when the national guard shows up in a couple days), a gun or two can help you, personally, and there would be little benefit to handing them out. In long-term disorder, a single person or small family can't stand along, guns or no. You have to sleep sometime, you can't stay locked behind walls all the time, and once the bad guys get organized, they can show up with a lot more people than you can fight off, and they can do that piecemeal to every house on the block if necessary.

For that, as well as for some kind of uprising, you'd need a bigger group. A bunch of neighbors banded together can manage to keep a patrol going all the time, and can call out everyone in a pinch. And of course, that same pattern recurs--that's why there are nations, after all. A big enough band of warlords can swallow up whole towns one at a time, while the other towns sit behind their walls waiting their turn, and that's just as true now as before anyone invented guns.

NOTA said...

There have been mass shootings and other horrible attacks for a very long time. I think Steve's basically right that before TV news, they were just not given the same kind of saturation coverage. I think this kind of attack is very much subject to copycat sorts of behavior--the next nut immerses himself in a week of intense 24/7 coverage of this mass-shooting, and then decides that now, he finally knows how to make them all take him seriously and be sorry they weren't nicer to him. (Or whatever.) So the constant coverage of it probably does more harm than good, though that's not something that can be fixed within the law thanks to the first amendment.

Two other things that might have some impact:

a. Mainstreaming and attemtps to keep various weird or unusual people in the same schools and workplaces as more normal people. I have no idea if this is important, but it has changed noticably in the last 30 years.

b. We're a richer society now than 50 or 100 years ago, which makes it easier for more marginal people to buy a gun. I wonder how easy it was for a marginally-functional guy sweeping floors for a living to afford a handgun in, say, 1920.

c. The end of the draft (a good thing overall, I'd say) means that in many places full of people, you will not have anyone there who has ever had any military training, or any particular experience with guns. I'm not sure how much of a difference that makes, but it probably makes some--at the extreme end, I have to guess that trying a mass-shooting in a roomfull of combat veterans works out worse than trying it on a roomfull of college kids.

panjoomby said...

the shooter was mentally ill - politicians made this into a gun control issue when it's actually about mental illness AND how DIFFICULT it is to involuntarily COMMIT someone. the laws changed a few decades ago to give the disabled MORE rights - & that's the problem!

Conatus said...

This law review,"Of Holocausts and Gun Control,75 Wash.U.L.Q. 1237(online)" raises some interesting points such as this:
"but it is nevertheless an arresting reality that not one of the principal genocides of the twentieth century, and there have been dozens, has been inflicted on a population that was armed."
http://lawreview.wustl.edu/inprint/75-3/753-4.html

What most gun control advocates want is a government controlled monopoly on lethal violence. Then the dangerous assumption they are positing is that the government, although it changes hands every four or two or six years will always be benign. Remember, the pendulum swings and the government you like today can be the tyrant who hates you, and your kind, tomorrow. Ask the Jewish people of WW2 Europe or the Armenians in Turkey or how about the Cambodians of the seventies if they thought their governing apparatus was going to turn on them lethally?
Do you want that tyrant to have a monopoly on lethal violence?
That is the very point of military style weapons in the hands of many many civilians, there will be no Holocaust of a disarmed minority if there is no monopoly. You want at least a duopoly on the use of lethal violence and yes, it is messy but there is no Utopia, and never will be. I think Samuel Butler called it Erewhon or Nowhere.

Also R.J. Rummel wrote a book, online called" Death by government" where he enumerates the 170 million deaths by government(he calls it Democide) in the 20th Century.
http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM

Anonyia said...

"Foreigners: The Second Amendment, like all of the Bill of Rights, is about political rights, not hunting or stopping robbers. The Founders thought that the government should have reason to fear the people. This is plainly discussed in The Federalist, the series of articles written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay. It is authoritative on the meaning of the Constitution, being written by the Constitution's authors, and published in order to convince the people that they ought support the new government. "

That may be the original intent, but it is pretty irrelevant now. Guns actually have their best uses/justification for hunting or stopping criminals. That's why I own a gun. Anyone who thinks that guns give the U.S military/government a reason to fear the people is deluded....

anonyia said...

Although Tarantino's movies are extremely violent, I don't think the main culprit for the proliferation of mass shootings. Video games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto are worse: you can kill civilians, insult other gamers, and play from first-person perspective. Video games have changed a lot from when I was a kid in the 90s, and everyone enjoyed playing the Sims and Civilization...Even violent video games were not very realistic then. Now supposed conservatives buy Call of Duty for their 10 year old sons.

As far as media goes it's worth noting that maybe the popularity of anti-heroes/villains has something to do with all this? They aren't just for HBO/AMC, they are featured in movies/television aimed at young people too. After all, the only movie that comes to mind in which children were massacred by a main character was in the last Star Wars prequel.

Otis McWrong said...

NOTA said...”Otis: It's quite possible that those drugs help out their patients on average, but have ugly effects at the extreme ends...So few people go on a rampage that it would probably be really hard to figure out whether there is some drug that, say, makes you ten times as likely to go shoot up the nearest mall or school. “

Yes, agreed. Assistant Village Idiot made the truthful statement that I don’t know a lot about mental illness, however my point was that Lanza was obviously disturbed, as was the guy in the Colorado movie theater, as was the Va Tech killer, as were the Columbine kids, etc. If we’re serious about preventing these awful events – and despite their statistical infrequency, I think we should be – it would seem that focusing on the people that are far more likely to commit such crimes would be a better start than doubling down on gun control, which we all know doesn’t prevent crime but does prevent the law-abiding from defending themselves.

The term “anti-depressants” is a broad one and I don’t doubt that on average, they are helpful. However as you state, we know some people turn suicidal, others turn homicidal. Different people react differently to various drugs and it needs to be monitored much more closely. That certainly makes more sense than monitoring my guns.

Your point in a different post about the “mainstreaming” of weird or disturbed people was a good one. It jibes with what I said somewhere above – there is nothing “compassionate” about pretending that mentally ill people are just fine.

HAR said...

Severn, point taken, but I believe that the main difference from my posts from the day before and others that I complain about is that my insulting statements were about people's ideas (the one exception was when I called pro-lifers sick, which I'll now say went too far). For example, saying "you make an idiotic argument" is different from "you are an idiot." If someone calls my argument idiotic, I'll still engage with him if I think he's still arguing in good faith. Ditto if he responds to something I said with sarcasm and that sarcasm expresses a substantive point. But if someone calls me an idiot, there is nothing to be gained from continuing the conversation. Similarly, discussing whether certain ideas show misogynistic tendencies is relevant to a discussion of how conservatives are perceived by women.

I'm not saying that we all have to be Miss Manners all the time, but blatant insults in the second person have no redeeming qualities to them and destroy the quality of discourse in ways other forms of incivility do not.

Svigor said...

From Auster's (via another site):

We protect our mayors with men with guns; we protect our governors with men with guns; we protect the House and the Senate and the President, with men with guns; we protect our courts, our banks, our jewelry stores, our sports arenas, and our pawn shops, all with men with guns.

However, our most precious possessions, our children, we protect with a piece of paper and a sign (the Gun Free Zone law).

Now, in response to the slaughter of 20 innocents, we propose to punish those (gun owners) who are innocent, and protect our most cherished possession, our children, with a another piece of paper (a new gun law).


Big-wig politicos get to arm their bodyguards with "assault weapons," but we don't. We don't have the right to protect ourselves with the same arms our betters use to protect themselves. Now the gun-grabbers want to further degrade our legal standing toward that of serf, to further widen the divide between the haves and have-nots.

Gun-grabbing pols get the full right to bear arms, but don't think you should.

2Degrees said...

Whoever it was who told me about the Battle of Athens, thank you. I learned something. Thank you also for keeping it civil.

Other than that, however, this comment thread has not felt like an isteve comment thread. It felt like I had been transported back to the common room of a university. Liberals snarl at people they don't agree with and use personal ad hominem attacks all the time. They also love to pick apart their opponents' spelling and grammar. The only difference here is that stupidity is measured according to whether or not you have a detailed knowledge of semi-automatic and automatic weaponry. Those of us who are not gun-nuts divide weapons into two types. Those that can be used multiple times without being reloaded and those that can't. Picking people up on minor points of semantics is a favourite liberal ploy to derail arguments they don't like. Don't you think we non-PCers should set ourselves higher standards.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks that guns give the U.S military/government a reason to fear the people is deluded....

Tell that to the U.S. soldiers who invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm pretty sure the Arab and Afghan resistance would rather have guns than not have them.

Forgot My Alias Again said...

I am late to the dance, but nevertheless, to Anon, 12/19, 2:39:

God alone knows the scale of wanton depravity carried out in Africa, in Asia, in pre-Columbian America, in aboriginal Australia, but there are tantalizing hints (when it doesn’t erupt fully into view, as in the unpleasantness in Rwanda). White men, as both possessors of a conscience that would (and does) condemn such depravity and inventors of the various media that disseminate both the news and the condemnation, no doubt come off badly in your eyes.

Svigor said...

Steve, might want to check the spam filter. :)

Cail Corishev said...

Anyone who thinks that guns give the U.S military/government a reason to fear the people is deluded....

No one's saying that a few shotguns and hunting rifles will allow you to hold off the armed might of Uncle Sam. If they're determined to come get you, they'll do so, and you'll go down. (As George Carlin said, they have all the flamethrowers.) But an armed populace means that they can't do it quietly and without risk. The cultists at Waco were able to hold off the first charge so the cameras had time to get there and force them to play it straight (to some extent). The people involved had to explain themselves to Congress and the media, though that was more of a show trial than it should have been.

A gun gives you a chance to decide whether to go peacefully or to be a noisy martyr, at least. That may be small comfort if you or someone you care about is the target, but it's better than being dragged away quietly in the middle of the night and have your neighbors wonder what happened.

Svigor said...

Steve, might want to check the spam filter. :)

My bad, I guess it was the whim filter.

Anonymous said...

Remember Victoria Leigh Soto, the hero. She is the cousin of the founding father, Benjamin Franklin!