Roanoake shooter's GLOCK

“If the Virginia killer did not have easy access to guns, if his scheme for murdering his former colleagues had to be accomplished with knives, hammers, or a home-made explosive device, the truth is that those murders would have been much less likely to occur.” So writes Michael Brendan Dougherty at theweek.comThe conservative case for reforming America’s sick gun culture is a shambolic editorial that wants its armed IRA and gun control in America too. But Dougherty’s central argument – that the average American shouldn’t have “easy access” to guns – is making the rounds in the post-live-TV shooting in Roanoke. Let me say this about that . . .

First, let’s define “access” as the ability to purchase or otherwise acquire a firearm. Hang on. Those are two very different things. You can tax and regulate the living snot out of a firearm purchased from a licensed firearms dealer – just ask anyone in New York trying to buy a new handgun). Not that you should. Not that it would reduce criminal access to firearms. But how to do you stop someone from “easily accessing” a gun by a private sale or theft (although stealing isn’t all that easy)? I know! You make a private gun sale to a prohibited person a crime. You make stealing a gun a crime.

Yes, well, both of those popular means of firearms access are already crimes. They are also two very different things. Theft first . . .

Guns are extremely popular amongst criminals and crazies. Apprehending people who steal firearms and removing them from society or reforming them (good luck with that) is the only way to dramatically reduce the activity. Sure, legislators can legally force gun owners to secure their firearms against theft. But there’s no evidence that so-called safe storage laws have the slightest impact on gun theft, and they raise issues of safety and government inspections.

In short, gun theft is a law enforcement problem. As for private gun sales . . .

Private gun sales divide into deals between legal gun owners and sales to and between illegal gun owners. If you pass a law mandating universal background checks – all private sales have to go through a licensed gun dealer for a background check – you add to the cost, complexity and efficiency of legal gun sales. Note: legal gun sales. Criminals engaging in illegal gun sales will simply ignore the law. Why wouldn’t they?

That’s no small point. The vast majority of private sales are perfectly legal and create no criminal activity whatsoever. Any and all attempts to eliminate “easy access” to guns by regulating private sales will have no impact on criminal access to firearms, but they will make it more difficult for Americans – especially low-income Americans – to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Enormous cost, zero benefit.

Gun control advocates would argue otherwise. They believe that all private gun buyers are potential criminals, murderers or suicides. In a sense that’s true. But not in any important statistical sense. We’re talking about thirty thousands firearms-related deaths (including suicides) per year out of a population of some 150 million armed Americans. Most firearms-related crimes are committed by people with criminal records; you can round down to zero the percentage of legal gun owners who commit firearms-related crimes or commit suicide.

Undaunted, the antis operate under the assumption that making it harder for everyone to buy a gun privately reduces the risk of anyone using a gun to commit a crime or kill themselves (although they don’t seem overly bothered about firearms-related suicides). Again, there’s no hard evidence to suggest that’s true and plenty of anecdotal evidence to indicate that it’s not (e.g. , firearms-related homicide rates in cities with draconian gun control). And again, all gun control laws limit citizens’ ability to exercise gun rights and infringe upon the Second Amendment.

Not to put too fine a point on it, gun control advocates’ call to “limit easy access to guns” is a ruse. What they’re really want to do “limit access to guns.” Put it this way: the opposite of easy is difficult. How difficult do the antis want the gun acquisition process to be? As difficult as possible. Or, to put it bluntly, as close to impossible as possible. We know this because gun control advocates favor all gun control laws reducing citizens’ ability acquire a gun – whether it’s by taxation, training or licensing, They call every single proposal a “common sense measure to reduce gun violence.”

Taken to its logical conclusion, “limiting easy access to guns” means eliminating all access to guns – save firearms for the military and police. That’s not the world that the Founding Father envisioned when they ratified the Second Amendment. Nor is it a vision that any life- and liberty-loving American would support.

One more thing: if Vester Flanagan hadn’t purchased a firearm legally, common sense says he would have acquired one illegally. If he’d been “forced” to use a “home made explosive device” instead of a gun, as Michael Brendan Dougherty suggest, odds are the failed reporter would have blown-up the entire TV station that hired him.

51 Responses to Random Thoughts on the Antis’ Post-Roanake Shooter’s “Easy Access to Guns”

  1. If I hate you to the point of murder then nothing is going to stop me from carrying it out, gun control or no gun control.

    • DO you know what Ross , I am in somewhat agreement with his conclusion , I agree with you too and have said it often , but the truth is , easy access to a gun made it easier for this asshole to do what he did and the truth is also , I don’t give a shit willy . Easy access to guns also make it easier for people to protect themselves from ass wipes like this fat , spoiled , world owes me , punk .
      The men who established our God given right to defend ourselves , onto a National document , knew the great implications of their pen and being wise and well read , knowing full well the probable outcome of their words , did it anyway , because they knew all to well that what was behind the other door was much worse .

  2. I’m sorry but just buying a gun does not make you a part of gun culture just as buying a car does not make you a part of car culture. Gun culture is the responsible use and ownership of firearms. It’s growing up around firearms, understanding that they are dangerous is missused, and that they are a fun and useful tool. I am tired of the term gun culture being thrown about including people like this murderer. He is not a part of gun culture. He is not part of the groups, families, and friends I see at the range, or hunting, or at gun stores.

    • He purchased a gun IMMEDIATELY before the crime, as far as we know now he had never owned one before, never been anything similar to a member of the gun culture. We’ll have to find out if he sought any training courses, I’d contend you don’t need one to murder the disarmed.

  3. Several years back I lost two handguns to a car burglar, a satin nickel Colt combat commander and a stainless steel Ruger security six. I called the Eugene, Oregon police department to report the theft and got their answering machine. It took a week, before a bored sounding desk sargeant returned my call. He seemed to think is was an issue strictly between me and my insurance company. As long as the police ignore the issue of stolen firearms, the thieves who commit these crimes will continue plying their trade. If and when public policy changes, and law enforcement prioritizes interdicting the supply of stolen firearms to criminals who commit violent crimes, then we will have the results Shannon’s Sugar Daddy claims to want.

    Any bets that Everyclown for gun control and the Hysterical Mother will back that “commonsense” proposal?

    • I also live near Eugene. Have not had any interaction with the police there, but this bullshit about just letting the insurance company handle it sucks.
      I have insurance on my home, and I have insurance on my car. One would think if something is stolen out of your “car”, your “car” insurance would take care of it!
      No siree!
      Your “home” insurance covers all item that are stolen out of your car. And guess which has the largest deductible? Your home insurance of course!
      So what this means is that if your $975 hand gun, you just bought is stolen from your car, and your insurance deductible on your house is a grand, your going to end up with nothing!

    • I’ve had a similar issue with home burglary (guns were in the house, none stolen though). The officer was friendly, helpful, and showed us some security issues to take care of where he sees common B&Es (sliding doors might as well be open doors, BTW).

      But as for the stolen property, it was “here fill out a police report so you can make your insurance claim”. The conversation ended with “It was probably your neighbors across the street. We’ve had problems with them before but we don’t intend to investigate this.”

      It really seemed like this was SOP for burglary cases.

  4. I’d like to point out that mass shootings or other high-profile public shootings are certainly cultural, but they have nothing to do with “gun culture”. Overwhelmingly, the shooters just aren’t part of America’s gun culture. Most of them acquired the weapon they used less than 90 days before the attack, and many had NO prior history of gun ownership. A vanishingly small fraction of them could be considered “gun guys”.

  5. The issue here is that he passed a background check and bought the gun from a dealer. THE GOVERNMENT APPROVED THIS GUY TO OWN A GUN. None of thebstraw man arguments in this article point to where this is heading… Proposals for mental health and medical data to be linked to NCIS– A California a style system where mere utterances of certain word bar you from owning a firearm. Ask a vet who has had his/her rights stripped to to a box cje led on a VA form. Ask a social security recipient who has someone authorized on their account. Ask anyone in California whose crazy ex lied to a judge or police just to get domessticc accusations to the point of guns being confiscated. Thus is the goal… Thought police and a culture where false accusation strip people of their rights.

    • “Thought police and a culture where false accusation strip people of their rights.”

      WE armed Americans are allowing this to happen to ourselves, because WE are comfortable in our chains of tranquil slavery.

  6. Whiny leftists just seem to be the dumbest people on the planet. The gun is simply a tool (much like they are) this tool has no mind or will of its own either it will not jump up and go kill some one or “go off” on its own. In point of fact if you google murders per capita the US is number 111 and falling. Falling? Yes falling, the murder rate in this country is on a decades long downward trend that accelerated once states started issuing carry licenses.

    So why do they always whine about guns? Because their leaders tell them to and armed citizens are the one thing that will block the ultimate goal of the statists. They hate you because you are in their way and won’t step aside.

  7. As someone already said, this man was intent on murder. At the position and distance he was standing and given the attention of his victims, he would have carried out his murders with a knife, hammer, screw driver, or pipe just as easily as he did with the gun. The only difference perhaps is he wouldn’t have been able to film it so easily.

    But make no mistake, this man was intent on killing regardless of what tools he had to kill with.

  8. Here is a link to a study on “mass killings” in various countries. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/jun/22/barack-obama/barack-obama-correct-mass-killings-dont-happen-oth/
    IF this study is correct then the chances of you or someone you know being killed in an incident like this is 4.7 in 100,000 which is 0.0047% or about 4.7 / 100ths of one percent. In other words, WAY less than 1% and WAY less than being killed by cancer, heart disease, a car accident, falling down or accidentally ingesting poison. In fact it is much more likely that someone will commit suicide than be killed in any kind of “mass killing”. So, while these killings are horrendous when put into perspective they are very uncommon. So much so that making laws to restrict everyone’s freedom and 2nd Amendment rights seems insane and probably more likely to be political propaganda than a real solution to this kind of violence. Or perhaps it is just a way to justify stripping more and more of our freedom away so that everyone becomes more and more used to the idea that their government is their mommy and will take care of all of their problems. But, there is always a price to pay for that kind of (false) protection. And those of us who enjoy our freedoms do not want to pay that price and would rather take our chances.

  9. Not one gun control law on the books, except the NY and NJ draconian and lengthy pistol permit process that recently led to the death of a women at the hands of her jealous ex-boyfriend in NJ, nor any one gun control law proposed, other than a complete ban, would have prevented this crime.

    • He was standing right in front of two people and behind the third, waving a weapon around and went completely unnoticed. A complete gun ban would not have saved them. If no gun ever existed on the planet, it still would not have saved them. The murder was determined to kill them and they were unaware, no gun was required, he could have used anything.

  10. And again, and again, and again (can’t be said enough!)… “And again, all gun control laws limit citizens’ ability to exercise gun rights and infringe upon the Second Amendment.”

  11. I completely disagree with Michael Brendan Dougherty’s assertion that, “… those murders would have been much less likely to occur.”

    Says who? A three foot long piece of galvanized water pipe (say, 1/2 inch diameter) is a devastating melee weapon. When you can walk right up to someone and casually position yourself for maximum effectiveness, the resulting swing will easily knock an unsuspecting victim unconscious and more likely kill them. Then one, or at most two, followup strikes to the camera man and its all over. Remember, it is exceedingly easy to kill an unconscious person any number of ways.

  12. The heart of the issue is that evil is chosen, not made.

    If you read the hatred and anger he spewed forth, you could go to any progressive blog and see hundreds of the same message. He chose that worldview, it wasn’t forced upon him. He chose to act according to that worldview, it wasn’t forced upon him. If you want to know why Progressives are so quick to blame the gun, it is because their worldview requires the denial of the reality of their beliefs. Truth is relative. Moral is what you believe right. Live by feelings rather than reason. They cannot look honestly in the mirror because then they have to see the honest failing of their beliefs.

    As long as society is ready to excuse evil actors as insane, victims of circumstance or dodge entirely and blame the tool, then it is going to continue and likely get worse.

    • Why is too impolitically correct for you to see the actions of an evil man, who do not usually leave good outcomes for the willfully defenseless . Plus, I like GLOCKS, and it was not the gun that fired itself.

      It also helps to show how oblivious the sheep among us are.

  13. People make choices. Some against the law. Since recorded history man has used the best tool he can acquire for any particular activity. Honestly I’m always surprised when I see murder not with a firearm. Why use a club which was used by stone-age man when you can use a cutting edge firearm? This also explains why we don’t use muskets.

    The anti-firearm movement is simply lazy, they don’t want to look at cause. It’s easy to scream and yell about what one doesn’t want to understand, remain ignorant on purpose, be bullheaded.

    Firearms make noise, draw attention and are therefore attacked. Psychologically this is predictable and a very primitive response to noise. It is reasonable to conclude the anti-2A movement is based in ignorance, laziness and a primitive response to stimulus. Sort of like poking at an amoeba.

  14. There was a knife attack in Louisiana yesterday where one of the victims and a responding police officer was shot and killed died. Where was that on the news? Knife violence victims don’t count.

  15. “One more thing: if Vester Flanagan hadn’t purchased a firearm legally, common sense says he would have acquired one illegally.”

    Common sense doesn’t always work with psychos. He may not have been able to. Maybe he would get caught in a police sting. Maybe he would have just admitted defeat, cried ‘racism’ and moped like every other failure he’s had in life. I think preventing Vester from purchasing a firearm legally might have averted these murders.

    But there might not have been a way to stop Vester from legally purchasing a gun without stopping pretty much EVERYONE from legally purchasing a gun. Sorry, not worth it.

    • Did you see how close he was standing behind the cameraman unnoticed? Did you see how close he was to the reporter, waving a weapon around unnoticed? If he had not gotten a gun, but had a knife instead, how would the outcome have been any different?

  16. The evil lunatic could have EASILY run these poor folk over-he was stalking them. Hardly a gun in places like Haiti-machete is the preferred method. And google “knife attacks” in places like China or Britain(or Japan). How this POS ever got a job(after suing a Florida station)is beyond my reasoning…

  17. The evil lunatic could have EASILY run these poor folk over-he was stalking them. Hardly a gun in places like Haiti-machete is the preferred method. And google “knife attacks” in places like China or Britain(or Japan). How this POS ever got a job(after suing a Florida station)is beyond my reasoning…

    • Sure, he could have — but killing is easier with a gun. And Haiti is flooded with guns. Has been since Aristide disbanded the Army in ’94, leading to widespread looting of military arsenals, not to mention the guns moved in by the drug trade (google “Haiti’s gun culture” or “Haiti’s threat small arms”).

      Aside from Haiti, if knives were easier AND more efficient ways to kill people, then the more knife wielding cultures you listed would have higher homicide rates than the US. They don’t. The latest comparative years show homicide rates of China: 1.0; Japan: 0.3; UK: 1.0; and the US: 4.7.

      • Nothing like what my 3 Haitian gym goer guys tell me-BTW they are all deathly afraid of guns and hyper left/pro odumbo…try again.

      • The reason our country’s homicide rate is marginally higher than Japan’s or China’s has absolutely nothing to do with the supposed effectiveness of a gun over a knife to kill. Either you’re an anti in disguise or you laughably believe that the presence of firearms in a country contributes to the homicide rate disregarding the myriad of social, political, and economical factors. Oh and if you remove the firearm-related homicides from the overall homicide count then you would still be left with roughly 3500 to 4000 murders committed using other instruments which still would top both countries homicide rates.

  18. “One more thing: if Vester Flanagan hadn’t purchased a firearm legally, common sense says he would have acquired one illegally. If he’d been “forced” to use a “home made explosive device” instead of a gun, as Michael Brendan Dougherty suggest, odds are the failed reporter would have blown-up the entire TV station that hired him.”

    Or he could have blown himself up attempting to brew explosives. We can test Farago’s hypothesis by asking how often mass killers in advanced industrial countries with tighter gun control rely on explosives, poison gas, knives, etc. for their crimes. The Aum Shinri-Kyo Sarin gas attack in Japan is an exceptional case, but those kinds of things crimes rarely happen in other advanced industrial states. Overall, as Michael Brendan Dougherty notes, America has the highest homicide rate among advanced industrial countries. You can’t claim that gun ownership makes American citizens safer when they own more guns than countries like Denmark, Japan, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Australia, etc. . . and have a much higher homicide rate.

    • “You can’t claim that gun ownership makes American citizens safer when they own more guns than countries like Denmark, Japan, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Australia, etc. . . and have a much higher homicide rate.”

      Firearm ownership has steadily increased and homicide rate has decreased here in the US over the last few decades. I’m not saying the homicide rate has gone down BECAUSE firearm ownership has gone up, but your argument then would have to be that homicide rate went down despite an increase in firearms ownership. For the sake of your point of view, I’ll even assume that your argument of “more guns + more homicide => guns cause more homicide” is legitimate (it isn’t). Wouldn’t that still indicate that the real problem and the real driving force behind homicide rate ISN’T firearms ownership if homicide rates can significantly drop while firearm ownership significantly increases? That however much gun ownership and homicide rate are actually correlated, the contribution from this correlation must be minuscule compared to the other factors in play?

      • “Firearm ownership has steadily increased and homicide rate has decreased here in the US over the last few decades.”

        That might be true if gun ownership has really gone up. According to the General Social Survey of 2014, personal gun ownership in America is down to 22% from a high of 32% in 1985. This translates into a household firearm possession of 32%, down from 50% in the early 80s. Gun sales are up because gun owners are purchasing more guns. . . but fewer Americans are owning over all. Gallup’s polling is all over the map for the past decades (google: Gallup Guns Historical Trends), but shows a 9% decrease in ownership since 1994.

        I certainly agree that there are many that factors to figure into high homicide rates, but the simplistic argument that more firearms = more safety is crap.

        • Actually, I’ve seen numbers anywhere from the low 20 to the mid 40 percentile. My personal belief, based on nothing but a gut feeling, is somewhere in the low to mid 30’s. The one things that is almost certain is that based on ancillary info, the number is almost certainly under reported.

        • If you go through the homicides in the US, and look at the perpetrators and victims you’ll find something that they have in common, disproportionately represented compared to the general population. They’re generally Black and Hispanic, and usually “known to police”.

          In the United States you have a professional, armed, criminal class, usually composed of ethnic minorities, male in their teens and twenties. They use those arms on each other with depressing regularity. Strip out the ethnic component from the homicide rates, leaving only American Anglos, and the homicide rate for that group is about on par with similar ethnic groups around the world. Mexico has a murder rate around 30 per hundred thousand, and South Africa over 20 per hundred thousand.

  19. I have a better than average chance against an evil man with a knife, bat, or gun.

    I can’t defend against a bomb that has been placed on a timer or remote detonator, because you never have the opportunity to confront the attacker.

  20. “If the Virginia killer did not have easy access to guns, if his scheme for murdering his former colleagues had to be accomplished with knives, hammers, or a home-made explosive device, the truth is that those murders would have been much less likely to occur.”
    The killer could have wiped out this zero situational awareness party with Maxwell’s Silver Hammer while the Beatles sang the song.

    • “The killer could have wiped out this zero situational awareness party . . .”

      That’s a great point. Problems resulting are:
      1. You can be one of the greatest gunfighters in the US and still never be able to maintain total situational awareness. It’s just not possible. Examples: Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickock, and Chris Kyle, all shot from behind.

      2. Trying to maintain total situational awareness is impossible for many social and economic activities in today’s society. You could only sit in the back row at a movie theater. You couldn’t attend a concert or art gallery. Or order in line at a fast food restaurant. The victims in Roanoke were simply focusing on doing their jobs, and there is no argument the antis love better than to hear 2A advocates claim that everyone needs to be much more paranoid.

  21. “you can round down to zero the percentage of legal gun owners who commit firearms-related crimes or commit suicide”
    Uhh, I would REALLY like to see some data supporting that. I’d certainly agree with that statement if you clipped off “or commit suicide,” but I’ve never seen any data suggesting that a majority or even a significant percentage of suicides by firearm were with illegally obtained weapons.

  22. The antigun people think anyone wanting a gun are crazy. So duh, just put another question on the 4473, like,”Are you Crazy?” Or, “Are you now, or have you ever been mad?” Maybe, “Do you understand what this tool is capable of all by it self?” Murder has been around since the population was a little over 4. That’s why the development of weapons was started. Either to be better at it or better protected from it. Benefits abound.

  23. Another Educated Idiot blathering on about which he knows nothing except his perceived inflated opinion of himself and twisted Ideas of an Inquisitor finding all the Heretics and willing to put the scourge to freedom lovers too prove it.

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