Quote of the Day: Punish Everyone Edition

Joe Nocera (courtesy chronicle.com)

“Instead of focusing on making it harder for the mentally ill to get guns, maybe we should be making it harder to get guns, period. Something to consider before the next mass shooting.” – Joe Nocera, Guns and Mental Illness [via nytimes.com]

comments

  1. avatar A-Rod says:

    Sure, make it harder for the good guys to get guns and thus creating an even bigger black market for bad guys to get guns. That should work….

  2. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    Hmmm…… Lets try that trick about swapping out nouns…..

    “Instead of focusing on making it harder for the mentally ill to vote, maybe we should be making it harder to vote, period. Something to consider before the next election.”

    Nope, sounds just as dumb.

    1. avatar gloomhound says:

      Beat me to it. +1

    2. avatar Sammy says:

      “Instead of focusing on making it harder for the mentally ill to write articles, maybe we should be making it harder to write articles, period. Something to consider before the next news cycle.”

      1. avatar A-Rod says:

        “Instead of focusing on making it harder for the mentally ill to get laid, maybe we should be making it harder to get laid, period. Something to consider before the next menstrual cycle.”

        We could have a lot of fun with this sentence.

  3. avatar ericcartman says:

    good thing no one reads newspapers anymore. NYtimes out of business when?

    1. avatar JR says:

      http://www.theawl.com/2009/10/a-graphic-history-of-newspaper-circulation-over-the-last-two-decades

      You might think that they would recognize the slide and perhaps try something different.

      Be interesting if they started posting pro-gun op-eds and suchlike and their readership began to increase.

      Or, really, just took a more “mainstream across America” view and give up the progressive mouthpiece role that obviously is not resonating with “the market.”

      1. avatar Doug Knaus says:

        NYTimes is dying a slow death while the NRA’s membership is going ballistic. You won’t have the Times to push around much longer.

  4. avatar SouthernPatriot says:

    Since the criminals, mentally ill, and jihadists will all find ways to get a weapon, even if it is a boning or skinning knife, a baseball bat, or a tire iron or similar, we should get rid of all those common items as well? Truly, that is reasonable, isn’t it?

    1. avatar Grumpy F'er says:

      Two of the three weapons in this spree were not guns (knife, car). Ban everything.

    2. avatar Anonymoose says:

      Don’t forget about banning pencils, rigid pens, sharp-pointed scissors, eyeglasses, straight razors, and any kind of vehicle! And everyone should be required to wear hockey pads and SCUBA gear in case they fall down or fall into a body of water!

  5. avatar Dev says:

    Again I will ask how did prohibition work out for alcohol and drugs? How do these elite, educated and enlightened people not understand that? Are they really that stupid?

    1. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

      No. They are not that stupid (at least not the ring leaders). Their motives are simply other than stated.

    2. avatar Pascal says:

      If you work for the NYTimes, being stupid may be a requirement as well as living in an echo chamber such that when the truth is presented to you up close, you still deny it.

      Read this story about another NYTimes writer who has recently been found to be completely wrong and was called out and still denies he is wrong. Nicholas Kristof is the writer in question, and boy was he wrong http://reason.com/blog/2014/06/03/why-did-nicholas-kristof-believe-somaly

      The issue with the NYTimes is they fully believe that their primary job is to be propaganda department for the DNC. They believe that if they simply say the same things over and over that eventually it will be found correct when it is obviously is not. Even when wrong, they will deny the facts.

      So, in short, yes they are that stupid and there are plenty of examples if you do a little searching.

  6. avatar DaveL says:

    It’s been tried. It didn’t work.

    But then, you already knew that, didn’t you?

  7. Something to consider before the next mass knife attack.

  8. avatar old&scarred says:

    because 25% of the population is obese, lets make food harder to get…..
    because some folks abuse 1A then we should restrict its application…..
    can go on forever but logic is never part of the process with self entitled protectors of what should be done………

    1. avatar KingSarc48265 says:

      No need to go after the food. Just ban silverware. High capacity spoons are clearly the issue. With spoon capacity restricted to 1/10th of an ounce the eater will be forced to refill the spoon more often.

  9. avatar jerry says:

    Nocera must not be one of those pro-gun democrats we were talking about the other day.

    1. avatar Wendy says:

      He hacks us pro-gun liberals off. (I was going to use a stronger verb, but COMMENT SELF-MODERATED.)

      1. avatar jerry says:

        pro-gun liberal, thats cute.

        1. avatar Ardent says:

          Cute? I thought it was hypocrisy, but maybe it is cute. . .

          No, wait, I checked:
          hy·poc·ri·sy
          /hiˈpäkrisē/
          noun: the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.

          Yup, that’s it all right.

  10. avatar neiowa says:

    Consider/ignore the source (NYSlime). Pity them and ignore the drivel of the insane.

    1. avatar Chip in Florida says:

      Wouldn’t openly mocking them be more effective? At least wouldn’t it be faster?

  11. avatar Wow says:

    Call me crazy, but I’m not terribly concerned about the next mass shooting… If someone wants to do it, NOTHING we can do will prevent it…so why stress over it? The ONLY thing we can do is prepare ourselves to defend ourselves and our loved ones. Be vigilent. That is the ONLY thing we can do. You could ban all sale and transfer of firearms today but it won’t keep guns out of the hands of bad guys. You can make ownership of a firearm illegal but for someone willing to violate the “Don’t murder people” law it won’t make a difference.

    Passing laws only hurt the good guys…when will politicians get this through their thick skulls???

  12. avatar Gene says:

    Is this one of those Jack Handey “Deep Thoughts” from SNL?

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Perfect!

  13. avatar surlycmd says:

    The article is the usual anti-gun drivel from Mr. Nocera. The comments are the interesting part. One guy states he loves to target shoot when his wife lets him the goes on to list testing requirements for owning a gun. Another recommends the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) test prior to purchasing a gun.

  14. avatar Duke of Sharon says:

    In an armed society, mass killings are unpredictable, amateur, and local.

    In a disarmed society, mass killings are predictable, industrial, and national.

    1. Wow. I’m going to remember this…

    2. avatar Ardent says:

      This. . . is profound!

  15. avatar AaronW says:

    Anyone here have the horrible, gnawing feeling that we’re at the tip of a backlash against our gun rights? On one hand this horrible shooting/stabbing/driving incident, and the long-arm open carriers scaring the benighted general populace?

    1. avatar Ardent says:

      Honestly no, in most states increasingly free exercise of the 2a rights is the norm, at the federal level there is no consensus for any sort of gun control, SCOTUS just handed us a couple of huge gifts, the 9th district court just told two bastions of CCW won’t issue policy (CA and HI) that they can either have universal open carry or shall issue CCW, Texas is poised to allow open carry without any compromise of CCW. I’d say that if anything we’re riding a current and winning. Yes CA and the NE corridor is getting worse, but they were always bad and worsening anyway. I think in the other 40+ states though, that we’re riding a wave that hasn’t crested yet. I also think 2014 will deliver the senate to the Republicans thus sealing off any (already remote) chance of federal level con control. We’re winning, and I think our gains will carry us further.

  16. avatar Smoke Jensen says:

    Instead of focusing on making it harder for the mentally weak to get drugs, maybe we should be making it harder to get drugs, period. Something to consider before the next mass overdose.
    How’s that war on drugs thingy working out for ya?

  17. avatar ericcartman says:

    sorry liberal 1500’s era firearms technology is out and will not go away.
    http://thehomegunsmith.com/
    why are liberals such Luddites?

    1. avatar Herb says:

      Thank you for that link to homegunsmith.com! Haven’t seen that ad for “Commie Cleanser” since the late ’70’s.

      Actually it was one of a set of gag decals for kids to stick on their binders or lunchboxes. Aggrieved liberal parents wrote to scold the artists for their `kneejerk anticommunism’, `bigotry’ etc. The label that said “gets rid of “reds, pinkos, weirdos, hippies, yippies, and flippies” really set one liberal off who screamed “I was a hippie once, just what the hell is a `flippie’!!!”

      Anyway, more garbage from the NYT. So what’s new?

  18. avatar PhoenixNFA says:

    Oh man. What a genius!! No one has totally tried that in the past!!

  19. Greetings, all.

    Sorry, the “punish everyone” legal argument which Mr. Figaro is using here is urban myth hogwash. To de-personalize the idea, consider that the Sherman Anti-Trust act circa was aimed at scoflaws in big business, but still applies to you and me. In fact ALL laws are aimed at outlaws, but apply to the innocent. To call that “punishing the innocent” is disingenuous, and weak.

    Besides, my take is that Mr. Nocera, the author of the article, is correct. Have you ever read one of the Daily Gun(fail) Reports he does for the NY Times? His numbers supercede daily DGU diaries about tenfold. Tead a few–you’ll notice that gun availability combined with disenfranchised, un-diagnosed walking nut jobs is a bad mix. Both sides of that dangerous equation need to be checked: mass availability of firearms is an active agent contributing to the problem.

    The other side of the equation is marginal human beings. They are, and will remain, a given. Unfortunately, there are plenty more where Rodgers came from. But guns can be contained (and should be IMO), for the overall good.

    It works like this. The nut jobs are real, they are out out there. If pro-rights gunowners won’t contain the distribution and availability of guns, fine, others will feel a need to impose restrictions.

    Umm, guns just ain’t for everyone.

    reasonablegunsplz

    1. avatar DaveL says:

      Have you ever read one of the Daily Gun(fail) Reports he does for the NY Times? His numbers supercede(sic) daily DGU diaries about tenfold

      Oh really? His reports number into the millions, if not the tens of millions? He’s busier than I thought.

    2. avatar Rob Aught says:

      Please tell me how you are going to control the over 300 million guns already in circulation.

      ” His numbers supercede daily DGU diaries about tenfold”

      Even the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence disagrees with you. The most conservative numbers out there still show DGU’s exceed homicides by firearm.

      There are 20,000 regulations already on the books about firearms. Why does it matter what the killer uses? Do you really think killings will stop or even decrease if guns are outlawed?

      What about the fact that overall violent crime is down? Even mass shootings are less common, just more widely publicized?

      Everything you are saying ignores facts. Don’t talk to us about myths when you are ignoring facts that are counter to your point. Unless you think the Brady Campaign is “pro-gun”.

      1. Focus. I hope you guys aren’t avoiding the point here, or shooting the messenger.

        What is your plan to keep all the guns away from all the crazies who can legally purchase and bear the countless U.S. guns? Please understand that if you are throwing your hands up, others will (must) take a leadership role in solving the problem.

        1. Violent crime being down could be attributable to many factors. Besides, the numbers of personal weapons mis-used (among acquaintances, actually) far exceeds weapons used in violent crime.
        2.You are hiding corpses if you go with many of the (wildly erratic) DGU numbers.

        But I’ll bite. Show me documented examples of daily DGU’s. Combine all of them on the internet on any given day. Joe Nocera will exceed your numbers.

        1. avatar Wendy says:

          Here’s the thing. Many (if not most) DGU’s don’t get documented. If I chase away an intruder by showing my firearm and yelling “GET THE **** OUT OF HERE!!!!,” I may call law enforcement afterward. Or I may not. Or if I call law enforcement, I may tell them I showed my weapon…or I may not. Particularly in jurisdictions that are, ahm, less than sympathetic to civilian firearms ownership, NOT telling the cops you showed a gun in scaring off the intruder is probably going to be the better part of valor.

          And if we were to document all the DGU’s, you’d doubtless consider our data about as trustworthy as we would consider Mr. Nocera’s data trustworthy…

        2. avatar John says:

          It’s true, I honestly don’t have much plan to “keep the guns away from crazies” because there’s practically nothing more that can be done without completely tossing the book on civil rights.

          Unlike you, I’m not willing to forge ahead trying to “do something” to try to solve a truly marginal problem that’s going to cause comparably overwhelming damage in its implementation. The mass shooter is a rare incident, maybe a few dozen pear year leading to a couple hundred casualties.

          No, that’s not ideal, but we’re a nation of 350 million people that’s you’re trying to hold accountable for what ends up being a statistical anomaly. I’m not willing to basically declare outmoded the rights and freedoms we’ve struggled to ensure for decades if not centuries and start a staggeringly costly campaign against a politically manufactured crisis.

        3. avatar Rob Aught says:

          Let’s not focus on the wrong problem.

          In China they are having frequent mass stabbings. In the latest incident, more people were hurt by an automobile and half the deaths were by knife.

          IF, and that’s a mighty big IF, you could restrict access to firearms, psychopaths are not going to decide not to kill because they can’t get a firearm. The worst school killing in this country was still done by using TNT. Homemade explosives are surprisingly easy to manufacture. Just look at the Oklahoma City Bombing for how devastating homemade explosives can be.

          A tiny fraction of guns are used illegally. Most violent crimes committed by firearm are done so with a weapon that was illegally acquired. So what law can you pass that will stop this?

          You acknowledge violent crime is down, but then dismiss that readily. While violent crime is on the decline, concealed carry has become legal in all 50 states. Fine, correlation without causation, except that it flies in the face of your claim that easy access to firearms increases violent crime.

          In the meantime, there have been many stories of grandmothers, mothers, homosexuals, and others who have defended their very lives with a firearm. Why do you want to disarm them? These are typically not people who can overwhelm an attacker physically? Waiting on the police is a death sentence to those people.

          Why do you want to disarm victims? Why do you insistence guns are the problem when ready access to firearms has not increased violent crime?

          Why do you want to punish the innocent gun owners who have done no harm due to the actions of a tiny fraction of the population? Why are you ignoring the far greater number of deaths that occur through other means. Firearms continue to miss the list of top 10 causes of death in the US.

          Sorry, your whole argument boils down to “I don’t like guns and I think they should be banned because then good things will happen.” Sounds childish in that context, but that is it at the core.

        4. avatar Duke of Sharon says:

          “What is your plan to keep all the guns away from all the crazies who can legally purchase and bear the countless U.S. guns?” A well worn piece of sophistry played by one obviously skilled at the game. The point is to force one’s adversary into conceding the premise without examination.

          Here is a logical reply: “Sir, I have no plan to disarm my fellow man. To state it more generally, I have no plan to order the lives of my fellow citizens.”

        5. avatar DaveL says:

          Please understand that if you are throwing your hands up, others will (must) take a leadership role in solving the problem.

          But they haven’t solved the problem, or proposed anything that can reasonably be expected, given international and historic experiences, be expected to solve the problem. But we’re just supposed to accept as axiomatic that our safety can be increased if only we surrender more of our liberty to the state. Well, I don’t. The numbers don’t support it, and a long string of lapses and outright abuses have put the lie to the notion.

          Therefore, rather than surrender more liberty in exchange for empty promises, I will choose to retain it and use it to further my own safety and that of my family, by such means and measures as I find prudent.

        6. avatar Duke of Sharon says:

          I have no plan to order the affairs of others. I do, however, have a plan for dealing with those who would order my affairs. Execution of that plan requires that my right to keep and bear arms not be infringed.

          Something tells me you knew that.

    3. avatar Chip in Florida says:

      “… In fact ALL laws are aimed at outlaws, but apply to the innocent.”

      No.

      Laws apply only to those who break them.

      It is perfectly legal to own a firearm. I can own as many as I can afford.

      It is illegal in all 50 states to use those guns to shoot people (who aren’t otherwise trying to harm you). Can’t do it anywhere.

      The law that says shooting people is illegal does not apply to me and my firearms because I am not breaking the law and shooting people. I can do most anything else with no concern of the law prohibiting murder because I am not in the act of murdering anyone.

      The law does not effect me, or apply to me, until I break it. Until I try and shoot someone. Then the law applies and I can be arrested.

      Not before.

      After the law is broken.

      1. The law applies to the innocent, 24-7, before and after a crime is committed. Often, they apply when they make little sense, too.

        Next time you sit at a red light at an empty intersection, with no opposing traffic, think about it. You are iunnocent, but your “right of way” had been taken away for a hypothetical person who is not even present.

        But the traffic law to stop at a red light existed before you got there, and before your innocence was detained for no actual reason. The law is there whether you obey it or not, of course. This is social order, decorum. It’s not about your short-term convenience, but rather about the greater good.

        Sometimes, to be a good citizen is to stop your car for a silly (but legally valid), reason. Are you being “punished”? Again, it’s not about you, it’s about sharing the road with others (who are not even there).

        Sometimes, to be a good citizen is to participate in controlling deadly consumer objects which are a danger for others, more than for you.

        1. avatar Rob Aught says:

          We don’t ban cars when people do stupid things with them.

          It is already illegal to run a red light. We don’t need a law saying I can’t own a certain type of car. The government is not good at assessing individual needs. They should not get a say in what I can or cannot drive or what I need for my personal use, family, or business.

          Same thing applies to murder. Laws don’t stop bad behavior. They punish bad behavior. Making a thing illegal just punishes people because they MIGHT do something bad. Usually less than 1%. Why is the answer with you people always to restrict everyone elses freedom? You don’t have a right to feel comfortable or even safe.

          If you believe that banning guns will make us safe, you are ignoring the total ineffectiveness of Clinton’s Assault Weapon Ban. Even the Democrats had to admit it was a total failure, which is why it was not renewed despite G.W. Bush being willing to sign an extension.

        2. avatar Chip in Florida says:

          “…But the traffic law to stop at a red light existed before you got there, and before your innocence was detained for no actual reason. ”

          There is a subtle, but very important, difference:

          Firearms are a Constitutionally protected Right. Cars, and the red lights that control them, are not.

          Arms are held in much higher esteem in the eyes of our Republic because they are so important as to be called out specifically in our Bill of Rights.

          And there is a flaw with your red light example…. red lights eventually turn green. The laws proposed by the anti-gun crowd never do.

    4. avatar Pascal says:

      ….Belgium. That country has rather tighter laws than those in most of the United States, including licensing and registration. Ammunition purchases are restricted along with gun ownership. Backgrounds are checked, including for mental health issues. Owners are required to justify their purchase of guns with a rationale, whether it’s hunting, collecting, or the like.

      That this hasn’t prevented amok murders like Saturday’s shooting at the Jewish Museum of Belgium is obvious. Nor did such laws prevent the 2011 mass murder in Liege, which took the lives of five people.

      Laws aren’t magical barriers against bad things. Really, nobody ever thought that Belgium’s restrictive laws had disarmed the country. In 2003, the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey estimated that the country’s 11 million people had stashed 2 million illegal firearms to accompany the legally registered 458,000 in civilian hands.

      http://reason.com/blog/2014/05/27/restrictive-laws-are-no-barrier-to-the-l

      So much for your theory that guns can be contained. So much for this myth that EU gun laws work. In Italy, an AR-15 pattern rifle is considered a hunting rifle — maybe they are more enlightened than we are.

      Your ultimate conclusion, ban all guns. That is what you mean but your do not say it outright.

      Okay, ban all the guns. Here is a link to all the knife attacks in gun free countries. The latest being in May where 7 people where killed
      http://www.bing.com/search?q=knife%20attacks%20china&pc=cosp&ptag=A028AED42E9404D08A5F&form=CONBDF&conlogo=CT3210127

      Laws are not magic because written words do not stop behavior. We banned booze and drugs — how is that working out for our society? Alcohol is highly regulated and restricted and yet, the number of drunk driving death far exceeds gun deaths — how is that possible? Should we ban alcohol sales again?

      There is no anti-gun paradise law that CA does not have that would have stopped this shooter per your own admission. However, these are the types of things that we are told over and over again that these laws are suppose to be able to stop. The whole purpose of the laws in CT post Newtown per Governors own speech was to stop another Newtown — please tell me what laws in place before Newtown that would have stopped a mentally ill person from killing his mother, then stealing the guns and killing the people at the school? Now tell me which laws post Newtown would have stopped that tragedy? Now do the sale for Santa Barbara? The answer per your own admission is ZERO.

      All laws work only if people “choose” to abide by them. People who are mentally ill will not consider the morality nor law before they execute their action. Go back to the last 10 or so rampage shooters — which one was not found to have a mental health issue or being treated for a mental health issue? Here, I will make it easy for you — they all had mental health issues.

      Laws that restrict gun ownership or guns only restrict the good people who will follow the law. They do not protect us from those who will choose or will ignore the law.

      In a free society we believe that it is better that one guilty man go free than to chain and lock away many whom are innocent even if that guilty man is a murderer who will kill again. In that same context, I rather accept (as you already admit) to have a rare (according to the FBI 0.01%) rampage shooter than to restrict the millions of innocent gun owners. We have made this choice with Alcohol as well. We are willing to accept that there will be drunk drivers who will kill others in accident than to chain up millions of responsible drinkers.

      Sometimes bad things happen to good people, unless we get to a point like in the movie “Minority Report” where we have some way to predict a crime before a crime occurs, you will never stop death or rampage killers — it simply is not possible.

      IMHO, I rather die with freedom than live is a society where everything I do needs permission from a governing body. Would you rather live in a society where government trusts its citizens or one where every measure of your life is controlled? I am pro-choice because I believe that a government has no right to a women’s reproductive choice just like I am pro-2a because I believe that a government has no right to tell me how many bullets I should have in a magazine to effectively defend myself when at the same time they have legally established they have no duty to protect me.

      There will never be a utopia where nobody kills each other for senseless reasons — in the real world where I live, I want the choice to defend myself and my family how I choose.

      As far as mental health, compared to other health issues, it is severely under funded. The benefit for mental health research especially since we have so many with autism and Alzheimer’s would be hugely benefited versus any more money and time spent from taking away guns from gun owners.

    5. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Actually, it works like this: It is my RIGHT. Not a want, not a need.

      This is a perfect opportunity for you and your little Progressive buddies to work on your coping skills.

      Got it?

    6. avatar Ardent says:

      Laws, proper laws anyway, describe limits to liberties or duties required. They do not punish the innocent but rather define lawful behavior for everyone. It is when we enact or advocate laws against pre-crime, that is, the means by which to commit crime, that we unjustly punish the innocent, by infringement on their liberties, for the infractions of a guilty few.

      Murder being already illegal, the argument to ban guns can only represent advocacy for laws regarding pre-crime. In this special case, it involves not merely an infringement of liberties but of rights, natural and civil, enshrined by constitutional amendment, and known by all free people to be good and just. These rights are not within the purview of government to infringe upon, let alone abolish, for any reason of social utility or otherwise, whatsoever.

      We have already at our disposal means of preventing those who should not have access to guns from possessing guns. These, like all just laws, are subject to due process and can effect any person only individually, it being unlawful and unjust to apply them in blanket fashion.

      Blanket disarmament is patently unlawful, unjust, ill-conceived, logically and practically impossible and evil in effect, if not also in intent.

      The condition of liberty encompasses and describes certain risks. Those who would be free must accept these as a natural cost of freedom, and use the liberty they have to prepare the best insurance and defense against the risks associated with their freedom.

  20. avatar DaveL says:

    Nocera’s thesis seems essentially to be that we can’t really predict who’s going to be violent, psychotic, or just downright evil. Therefore, we need to make it globally harder to get guns.

    Here’s the problem: somebody’s going to have to get the task of “making it harder to get guns”. These people are going to have to be able to enforce that mandate, by force if necessary. For the sake of argument, let’s call these people “the government”. How shall we select the persons who can be trusted not only to have access to such force, but to have access to it when it is denied to all others, if we accept as a given that evil behavior cannot be predicted?

    1. avatar Sian says:

      ‘harder to get guns’ won’t affect the disturbed young man with no criminal record and no involuntary mental health interventions. He has months or years to plan, and if for some reason he can’t get guns, he’ll just make bombs which are arguably more deadly. ‘harder to get guns’ won’t affect criminals who already are prohibited from having guns, they get theirs from outside the system anyway.

      So just who is this helping?

    2. avatar Ardent says:

      Your statement made me think of Heinlein’s Beyond This Horizon. Those who wished to be full citizens possessed of all rights must bear arms, those who decline must wear a brassard indicating that they do not bear arms and are thus protected from physical violence by law but must obey certain rules of conduct vis a vie those who do not wear the brassard but instead bear arms, thus are their rights and privilege reduced. Only peacekeepers bear both arms and the brassard. It is unlawful to engage them in duels or attempt to harm them in anyway. It is these who protect those who do not bear arms but rather wear brassards. Given the left right, individual responsibility versus collectivism divide we have, it was rather prescient of Heinlein to have conceived of such a society in 1942.

  21. avatar AaronW says:

    Where was the hue and cry over “who gave her the keys to the minivan? Why didn’t someone take her keys?” when the wrong-way Taconic driver killed so many people?

  22. Greetings, all.

    Sorry, the “punish everyone” legal argument which Mr. Figaro is using here is urban myth hogwash. To de-personalize the idea, consider that the Sherman Anti-Trust act circa was aimed at scoflaws in big business, but still applies to you and me. In fact ALL laws are aimed at outlaws, but apply to the innocent. To call that “punishing the innocent” is disingenuous, and weak.

    Besides, my take is that Mr. Nocera, the author of the article, is correct. Have you ever read one of the Daily Gun(fail) Reports he does for the NY Times? His numbers supercede daily DGU diaries about tenfold. Tead a few–you’ll notice that gun availability combined with disenfranchised, un-diagnosed walking nut jobs is a bad mix. Both sides of that dangerous equation need to be checked: mass availability of firearms is an active agent contributing to the problem.

    The other side of the equation is marginal human beings. They are, and will remain, a given. Unfortunately, there are plenty more where Rodgers came from. But guns can be contained (and should be IMO), for the overall good.

    It works like this. The nut jobs are real, they are out out there. If pro-rights gunowners won’t contain the distribution and availability of guns, fine, others will feel a need to impose restrictions. Umm, guns just ain’t for everyone. The gun community should have grasped that by now.

    I look forward to any positive dialogue.

    reasonablegunsplz

    1. avatar Chip in Florida says:

      You said that already.

      “…I look forward to any positive dialogue.”

      See the discussion under your first comment.

    2. avatar Wendy says:

      What are you looking for in the way of “positive dialogue”? Hate to tell you this, but I doubt you’ll find many readers of this blog sympathetic to your and Mr. Nocera’s point of view.

      And a serious question: how do you think guns can be “contained”? Estimates are there about 300-ish million firearms in circulation in the U.S. How do you propose “containing” that many guns without a massive backlash? This isn’t Australia, after all.

      1. Wendy,

        I can think of a half dozen ways to gather up the excess U.S. guns. Our hearts and minds sill have some distance to proceed before it will work. IMO many who need convincing come to TTAG, where I have lurked for a while to study the “pro-rights” POV..

        But the tennis players won’t clean this up for us, do you get that? This mess falls squarely on gun owners. I am a lifetime gun owner and shooter, by the way, but have become ashamed of the extremist nature of the post-1977 nastiness of the NRA and SAF.

        So I’ll turn the question back to The Truth About Guns. “Ethics and morality” are mentioned high on your self-defining mission statement. Since we have 110,00 bullet perforations in US residents each year, please step up morally. Too much gun violence is caused by mentally challenged individuals such as in the OP.

        Whether you are being “punished” by Joe Nocera or otherwise, let’s hear YOUR plan for separating too many guns from too many crazies. They are making guns look increasingly bad.

        1. avatar Chip in Florida says:

          “…I am a lifetime gun owner and shooter, by the way, but have become ashamed of the ”

          You, of course, have already given up your guns and no longer own them.

          “…Too much gun violence is caused by mentally challenged individuals such as in the OP.”

          Those adjudicated as mentally incompetent are already prevented from owning or possessing firearms. That is a Federal law that applies in all the corners of this nation.

          Or are you, like so many others who want the guns gone, trying to redefine what qualifies as ‘mentally challenged?’

        2. avatar jerry says:

          “I am a lifetime gun owner and shooter” Calhoun must be one of those pro-gun democrats, I was wondering if I would ever run across one.

        3. avatar Duke of Sharon says:

          Plans to undue human nature, or reality itself, rarely end well.

          The Aztecs noticed a problem–every day the sun went farther and farther south. There was consensus among the scientific community and ruling elite: If this problem was not solved, the sun would just keep going south and they’d all freeze. They refused to simply shrug their shoulders. They didn’t wait for others to solve the problem. They did something. They made daily human sacrifice of their political enemies until that sun stopped moving south and came back north.

          If you can just get people to believe that reality can be undone, it’s amazing how much of their freedom and treasure they will throw at your feet.

        4. Chip, we need better screening for who may have guns. The bar was set too low for Mr. Rodgers, the subject of this thread. I think along the lines of Israel, which applies pretty tough psychological tests to see who should be allowed to have guns. U.S. law enforcement uses similar screening for employment there.

          “Well regulated.” Familiar with the term? If I can lass a significant test, I can keep my gun. If I don’t pass muster, no biggie, I turn it in. Pretty simple, and I’m at peace with that.

          The problem is that causal studies will soon draw lines which point to high-risk characters. Oscar Pistorius may be one, for example. Public health was close to defining standards in the early ’90’s, when the NRA quashed public funding for causal study.

          If the gun violence data had supported a healthy mindset among those who bore arms or were violent with guns, there would have been no reason to quash public study, of course. Meanwhile, private study has been less than flattering to gun behavior, and the NRA has no new generation of viable econometrics professors with figures to debate the issue. Wow.

          The out come is a 17-years vacuum of gun violence information, and crazies who get guns. It’s the topic of this thread. Not too cool.

          Not too moral or ethical, either. Just sayin’.

        5. avatar Mark N. says:

          Yes, Mr. Calhoun, we all know what “well-regulated” means, but it appears that you do not. We suggest that you read the seminal U.S. Supreme Court decision in D.C. v. Heller where, after an exhaustive historical analysis, the entire court agreed that “well-regulated” in the language of the men who wrote the clause means “well-trained or “well-drilled.” It does not mean “subjected to (“reasonable”) laws and regulations.” The whole point of the Second amendment is to take away the power of the government to pass laws regulating the ownership and carrying of firearms, which the founding fathers believed was a critical defense against tyranny. Don’t take my word for it, read the case. Also read that at the time, most militias did not provide firearms for the use of the militia men; men were required by law to keep a (self-procured) musket and a specified quantity of powder and shot. In fact, the entire curt unanimously agreed that the Second amendment guarantees an individual, not a communal, right to keep and bear arms; their point of divergence was the minority’s view that that right extended only to service in a militia, while the majority concluded that the right was to protect hearth and home.

          P.S. I don’t know what “17 year vacuum” you are referring to; Professor John Lott’s data is current through at least 2009. There have been something like 18 other studies since, all of which generally agreed with his results. Just because the CDC hasn’t done a study is essentially a red herring.

        6. avatar DaveL says:

          I think along the lines of Israel, which applies pretty tough psychological tests to see who should be allowed to have guns. U.S. law enforcement uses similar screening for employment there.

          Your proposal (and accompanying claims that psychological science is this close to being able to spot the crazies) is directly at odds with the statements from the mental health community in the wake of the Isla Vista shootings, and with U.S. historical experiences (in mass shootings and otherwise). There is no reliable way to weed out the crazies, nor is there any prospect on the horizon that would change that.

          It’s important to note that the Isla Vista shooter’s contact with the mental health system was far from cursory. Neither was James Holmes’, or the Seung-Hui Cho’s, or Adam Lanza’s. Yet despite that all that contact and evaluation, red flags were either not raised or were raised and not heeded. On the flip side of the coin, we have shooters like Aaron Alexis who underwent extensive evaluation by the government for reliability as part of is security clearance and still passed. Indeed, despite this much-vaunted psychological testing of potential law-enforcement officers, this groups ends up committing crimes at the same rate as the general population.

          So believing that what’s necessary is a set of longer, more burdensome, psychological tests is a non-starter. It’s been disproved before we even begin.

        7. avatar Ardent says:

          using your numbers, 110,000 gunshot victims in a nation of 313.9 million people works out to 0.0350% of the population. Anything else that injured only 3 one-hundreds of a percent of the population per annum in a nation would be below the threshold of debate. Heart Disease kills 600,000 Americans per year, or about 0.19%, that’s 6 times greater, and that’s deaths, not injuries. If you honestly care about saving lives, contact the American Heart Association and forget about gun control. Household accidents kill slightly more people that your number for gunshot wounds, again kill, not injure. What are you doing to prevent household accidents?

    3. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      “If pro-rights gunowners won’t contain the distribution and availability of guns, fine, others will feel a need to impose restrictions. ”

      If you don’t do what we want, we’ll do it for you… That is how this reads.

      “If pro-gay rights supporters won’t contain the extent and prevalence of homosexuals, fine, others will feel a need to impose restrictions. ”

      See…

    4. avatar Chip in Florida says:

      I think I understand your disconnect from the Pro-RIghts side of the argument…..

      ” If pro-rights gunowners won’t contain the distribution and availability of guns, fine, others will feel a need to impose restrictions. ”

      I’m guessing, so please correct me if I am wrong, it sounds like you are saying that you expect us to be accountable for the actions of others just because we happen to own a similar firearm. That we, as law abiding citizens, should be held accountable for the actions of criminals simply because we own something just like what the criminals own.

      Since you asked specifically for positive dialogue I will phrase this as a question back to you:

      Are you willing to be told you must suggest a solution to Drunk Driving just because you own the same kind of car as a drunk driver? Are you willing to then be told that if you don’t have any suggestions on how to reduce drunk driving then someone else will just find a solution for you because you are being unreasonable in not providing a solution to drunk driving even when you don’t drink and drive.

      1. Chip, I’m not sure I get what you are saying. But you’re right, drunks did not sponsor the penalties (the changes is outcomes and attitudes) which got them off the road. Caring individuals who did not share their problem had to step in.

        What I AM saying is that U.S. society, as a whole, is being affected in a negative way with all these guns. We, meaning the USA, are out of balance with a certain gun mentality, and have become a health aberration on a global level: our death and injury rates are 19.5 times the world norm. Chip, are you facilitating the Rodgers of the world?

        Some people can’t handle guns. That’s one of those deals, a community problem. For their sakes, Nocera proposes that others may need to demonstrate suitability to obtain guns. I agree, my suggestion is that as TRULY responsible gun owners…we could set things up so that Rodgers and his sort don’t get to have them.

        You are not being “punished”, what a lame, narcissistic, childish thought. (I thought Figaro beyond such rhetoric.) You are stepping up to solve a social problem which has emanated from the shooting sports. I hope.

        Thanks for the discourse.

        1. avatar Chip in Florida says:

          “…Some people can’t handle guns. ”

          The question still stands…. who is allowed to make that determination?

          How do you make that determination while simultaneously respecting individual Rights including due process of law? You (not you specifically, the anti-gun crowd in general) say ‘mentally ill’ in regards to firearms. What do you mean ‘mentally ill?’ Claustrophobia is considered a mental illness, is being afraid of closed in spaces sufficient to remove someones rights?

          And a friendly suggestion….. many of the regulars around here do not take kindly to argumentative setups in an attempt to prove what we see as a flawed point. For example…” I agree, my suggestion is that as TRULY responsible gun owners…we could set things up so that Rodgers and his sort don’t get to have them.”

          No True Scotsman would ever…

          And then specifically to your comment, nothing currently on the books, and nothing proposed short of an absolute ban, would have prevented Rodgers from doing what he did. The killings did not happen because ‘the system’ is flawed, this example was not an example of not enough gun control. The killing happened because the individual responsible was, to put it very simply, evil. He plotted and planned his killing so I don’t think breaking a few more laws regarding whatever you are proposing for gun control were going to stop him from breaking the law by killing people. Your proposals to date will do nothing to stop the next shooter but will make it impossible for innocent civilians to be able to defend themselves from the next shooter. If the clarion call is supposed to be ‘if it saves one life!’ why can’t that one life be mine that I saved by being armed?

        2. avatar Mark N. says:

          “Who will be the judge” is indeed a critical question. Rodger had years of mental health treatment by some of the best psychiatrists around–and not one felt that he was a danger to himself or others. If the very best that medial mental health “science” was not enough to stop him, how are you going to ferret out the “potential” psychopaths out of 100,000,000 gun owners before they ever commit a single crime? The principle of freedom on which our criminal justice system and due process of law are founded demands that nine guilty men shall go free before a single innocent man be unjustly punished. What you suggest is that nine innocent gun owners should be deprived of their rights under the constitution on the say so of nothing more than an opinion for the practitioner of an inexact medical art in order that they system catches that one psychopath who should not be permitted to possess a firearm. And even if you take away the guns, you won’t stop the violence. Look at England–almost no “gun crime” but a rate of violent crime that is three times higher than in the United States. Google it–you will find the statistics from the Home Office, and you can compare them to the statistics from the FBI, also available on line.

        3. avatar Ardent says:

          Truth be told, those restrictions on drunk driving are only constitutional because driving isn’t a right.
          Realizing the difference between rights and privileges is an important part of any such debate.
          Only someone being deliberately obtuse could miss the point.
          Let’s refocus on things we agree about.
          Like the facts and reasons behind these rights and the crimes that are possible because of them.

          A well intentioned discussion could yield at least some common ground.
          But of course we will have differences.
          Overtures could be made to rectify our differences.
          Various things might suffice to alleviate the problem without intruding on innocents rights.
          Every person has a responsibility to keep an open mind and consider alternative views.

          For instance, we could discuss mental health care reform instead of gun restrictions.
          Utimately it’s the results that matter, not the process.
          Can we reign in the rhetoric and search for solutions we can all agree with?
          Killing is bad, we all agree on that.

          Your idea’s are a little foreign to us, it will take some getting used to.
          Our position is pretty entrenched, we believe it’s a natural right not to be infringed upon.
          Unless we find common ground no solution can proceed.

  23. avatar Ted says:

    The same strategy worked for drugs and alcohol right?

    We can’t keep drugs out of a supermax prison. How the hell are we going to keep guns out of this country?

    We kill 30,000 people per year in cars – maybe we should make those harder to get as well?

    Logic doesn’t work with these guys. Tar and feathering might be our last option.

  24. avatar Ryan says:

    What would leftists say to something like this?

    “Instead of focusing on making it harder for pedophiles to get digital cameras, maybe we should be making it harder to get digital cameras, period. Something to consider before the next child pornography bust.”

  25. avatar John says:

    Reading the comments, it’s amazing how quickly some people jump from, “we shouldn’t be quick to demonize the mentally ill; they have rights, too”, to, “instead, we should take guns away from people; all those scary people with guns make me nervous”. That’s a bat**** crazy train of thought, there. Owning and bearing arms is a right, and the average Joe has at least as much right to do so as the people who would be employed to, “take them away”.

  26. avatar Gunr says:

    “Consider making it harder to get guns” OK, I’ll consider it………There, I’ve considered it, bad idea, doesn’t warrant anymore consideration, EVER!

  27. avatar Ralph says:

    Please, no more Noxious Joe Nocera. That stench rising out of Rhode Island is him, not the Johnston Landfill.

  28. avatar Hannibal says:

    Oh my lord! No one has ever thought of even CONSIDERING that before! What an amazing concept. Thank goodness we have such a visionary to point out an idea like that to the rest of us cavemen. (/sarc)

  29. avatar Yellow Devil says:

    As I always say, “What you propose just makes it lot harder for the law-abidding, and merely a little less convenient for the lawbreaker.”

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