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In the aftermath of the Midnight Movie Massacre TTAG’s experienced its largest ever traffic surge. We have been at or near 100k page views for the last eight days. I’m aware that “trumpeting” this fact opens us up for the same charges of exploitation leveled at the mainstream media. I’m also proud of our coverage. We’ve provided dozens of articles on the factual, technical, strategic, psychological and political fallout from Holmes’ heinous act. We’ve rebutted inaccurate reporting and eviscerated gun grabbers’ attempts to justify additional restrictions on Americans’ gun rights. We’ve stuck to our URL-embedded mission statement: tell the truth about guns. But there’s [at least] one thing that remains to be said . . .

This will happen again. Ironically enough, this common sense message come to us via a gun control advocate: Washington Post commentator Eugene Robinson.

Clearly, there are two issues involved in these mass killings. The more difficult one has to do with mental health.

We know that young adulthood is a volatile time for young men in general. We know that symptoms of a number of serious mental disorders, such as paranoid schizophrenia, typically appear between the teens and the mid-30s.

We also know that parents and other loved ones are often powerless to intervene. There is no simple way to identify the handful of individuals quietly spinning out of control.

The simple issue is access to weapons and explosives. Among the three guns that Holmes brought into the movie theater was a Smith & Wesson M&P assault rifle with an oversized 100-round magazine. This weapon jammed, according to police, leaving Holmes with a shotgun and a pistol. Had the assault rifle worked properly, the toll surely would have been much higher.

An unstable person can walk into a gun shop and buy a weapon designed for deadly combat. No meaningful questions asked.

Define “meaningful.” Is it more info than that required by federal Form 4473, which asks all firearms purchasers if they’ve “ever been adjudicated mentally defective” or if they’ve “ever been committed to a mental institution”?

If you’re going down that road, you stand an excellent chance of excluding millions of Americans from gun ownership. Millions of Americans who’ve sought mental health treatment and tens of millions who take prescription drugs to address mental health issues. Productive, tax-paying, law-abiding Americans without a criminal record.

Some would say “it’s worth it.” To which gun rights advocates would say, “feel free to change the second amendment then.” But more than that, narrowing the mental health criteria for gun purchase and ownership would discourage people from seeking psychological help, increasing the number of potential firearms-related homicides.

So what’s the answer? There isn’t one. Well, not the one that Robison wants to hear:

This is crazy. Minimal gun control – such as prohibiting assault weapons – wouldn’t eliminate these massacres, but it would prevent some and mitigate others. Lives would be saved. Congress should pass an assault weapons ban this morning and the president should sign it tonight.

Dream on. Instead, we’ll argue endlessly.

The next James Holmes is out there, so is his instrument of murder, and we will do nothing to keep them apart.

The first part of that is true: the next James Holmes is out there. And so is his instrument of murder, be it a modern home black sporting defense rifle or a can of gasoline, some chains and a match. But we are doing things to keep them apart. Such as providing mental health services to disturbed individuals.

As Colorado University did for James Holmes. To no avail. Truth be told, there is only so much society can do to prevent violence and murder. There is only so much we can do to punish it. And there is only so much we can do to protect ourselves from it.

Yes, there is that . . .

Mr. Robinson is blind to the fact that most people hear about mass murder and imagine themselves in the midst of the horror. Sensibly enough, they don’t spend too much time wondering how the event could have been prevented. They focus their minds on a simple question: what would I have done?

And so they look for information that helps them “make sense” or “understand” the situation, to satisfy that natural, survival-oriented, hard-wired curiosity. And then they buy a gun. Not everyone, obviously, but the sales data is in and it’s clear: gun sales surge after spree killings.

Why wouldn’t it?

By the same token, why wouldn’t thousands of Americans turn to TTAG when gun violence hits the headlines? The anti-gun agenda-driven mainstream media fails to grasp the nettle. They fail to communicate a simple, unavoidable truth and the only possible response to that truth: bad shit happens. Deal with it.

To that end, as a large part of our remit, TTAG continues its mission. We will be here for the next atrocity and the next. We will not shy away from its nature nor sugar coat its implications. Meanwhile, thank you for reading.

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  1. Your traffic surge is deserved: TTAG does a great job. It gives pause to wonder if we’re feasting at the murderer’s trough, but I don’t think so. Dealing with evil, understanding horror to the degree that it can be understood, allows room and space for considered thinking on sometimes complex subjects. MikeB2000 notwithstanding.

  2. The gun owner’s perspective is vastly under-represented in the MSM. I’m just glad to have somewhere to turn where the AR15 isn’t referred to as a “machine gun”.

    As to your concerns- look, you blog about firearms and the legal and cultural issues surrounding them. In times like this, folks are gonna show up.

    So long as you follow your conscience, giving your honest opinions about what you’re observing (and I think you do), then you haven’t a thing to be ashamed of.

    Keep it up. You’re saying the things a great many of us are thinking, but haven’t the means to disseminate beyond a few
    friends or family members.

    Rock on, RF

  3. Reporting on a major event like the Aurora shootings is what TTAG does. Sensationalizing that tragedy to advance its own agenda is what the MSM does.

    If anyone doesn’t understand the difference between TTAG and journalists, re-read the above. Oh, by the way, exploiting the event to keep their subjects in turmoil and more easily (mis)led is what politicians do. Just in case you didn’t know.

    • “Sensationalizing that tragedy to advance its own agenda is what the MSM does”

      Yeah, because of the many, many click-grabbing posts about the killing there have been on this site not one was advancing a pro gun agenda, right?

      I really like this site, I think the reviews are excellent, as are many of the other articles – the reloading ones stand out as particularly informative. As a forum to discuss the various stories of the day it is also a useful site, and that includes discussions about this recent mass murder, and also the Zimmerman case etc.

      But you know what isn’t good here? It’s this constant assertion that you are not guilty of the exact same crimes as the rest of the MSM regarding bias and forwarding your own agenda. There is NOTHING wrong with pushing your own agenda, so FFS own it, rather than making this transparently false, holier-than-thou claim that you are so far above the MSM – because you really aren’t.

      • the difference between the msm agenda and ttag’s agenda is that ttag is pushing freedom, the polar opposite of the msm. oddly enough, i can live with that.

      • hmmmmm: It’s this constant assertion that you are not guilty of the exact same crimes as the rest of the MSM regarding bias and forwarding your own agenda.

        The difference being that the writers, posters, and commenters here make no bones about being pro-gun, while still allowing dissenting opinions, posts, and comments. In contrast, the MSM largely holds itself out as unbiased (or “fair and balanced”), while either disallowing opposition views entirely, or allowing them airtime only for the opportunity to shout them down and “get the last word.” Note that it’s not just the liberal-leaning (for these purposes, read “anti-gun”) media that’s guilty of this “open bias while claiming neutrality,” it happens on Fox News as much or more than anywhere else.

        • I am reminded of an episode of Blackadder, in which they are discussing the use of spies during WW1:

          Captain Darling: So you see, Blackadder, Field Marshall Haig is most anxious to eliminate all these German spies.

          General Melchett: Filthy hun weasels, fighting their dirty underhand war!

          Captain Darling: And fortunately, one of our spies…

          General Melchett: Splendid fellows, brave heroes risking life and limb for Blighty!

          Just substitute covering gun rights for spies and you have exactly what goes on here. Anybody talking in a pro gun right way is an unbiased hero, untainted by any hidden agenda. Whereas anybody taking a gun control stance is automatically a filthy tool of the liberal MSM, pushing their dirty agenda and a worthy subject for the two minute hate.

          All I am doing is pointing out the hypocrisy – I find it insulting as much as anything, and insulting your readership won’t help expand this site to the level it deserves.

        • hmmmmm: I don’t get where you’re coming from. mikeb302000 isn’t “a filthy tool of the liberal MSM,” and he’s the most unabashed gun-grabber here. He’s simply another guy, with another opinion. He’s wrong most of the time, and he refuses to ever back up his allegations with facts (He’s a big fan of the “I already explained that, why do you keep asking” response), and that’s what makes him worthy of the two minute hate.

      • @hummmm

        I disagree. I don’t think this blog site promotes some type of self-serving agenda, but instead it asks questions about what happened in terms of current laws and any new anticipated restrictions. The MSM and politicians do and will exploit and sensationalize this tragedy to form a narrative against guns and to pass legislation punishing the rest of us, law abiding citizens. I see TTAG as a defense against that, a criticism, if you will. We’re only standing up for our rights, nothing more.

        • ” The MSM and politicians do and will exploit and sensationalize this tragedy to form a narrative against guns and to pass legislation punishing the rest of us, law abiding citizens. I see TTAG as a defense against that, a criticism, if you will. We’re only standing up for our rights, nothing more.”

          I totally agree with you, but by definition that means that TTAG takes a view against gun control then. Which is fine – they should just be honest about it, instead of people like Ralph claiming that all they do is factual reporting, which is grade A BS.

          Perhaps Ralph could tell us how many staff TTAG has in the Aurora bureau? And how many eye witnesses they interviewed after the event? And how many local public figures they spoke to about this story? How about the San Diego bureau? How many reporters did they send to interview the family? And the killer’s friends?

          Reuters reports the news. The BBC reports the news. TTAG takes the work of the MSM and disseminates it, adding their own bias and commentary. Which is a valuable service, but it isn’t reporting, not by a long shot. I just think the hypocrisy of railing against the MSM stinks, when every single talking point raised on these boards has been taken second hand from an MSM source – FFS nobody here would even know about this event without the MSM.

        • I see your point, but isn’t the honest ground work reporting done initially by small local affiliates anyway? The big networks with their national shows then pick up the story and run with it, more often than not by putting their anti 2A spin on it.

          I think that if the opinions of the MSM talking heads and their guests were not so absurd, this blog wouldn’t have to take such a “harsh” stance against them. I see that some comments here are more passionate than others, but there’s a reason for that. Too often the MSM pulls facts out their behind and they have no clue what they’re talking about when it comes to guns.

          I agree that this is “just” a blog, but I always knew that. I never got the impression that the writers wanted to be perceived as reporters whose work is misrepresented by the MSM. It’s a good forum for all, especially those supporting the 2A. So those views will be prevalent here.

  4. You do a fantastic job with your reporting! I keep coming back for your insight and brilliant subject matter.

  5. I don’t think we are tooting our own horn here. To be honest MSM has done very little other than ride the wave of this tragedy. They show demands from everyone to get guns off the street, then mostly through omission don’t report the fact that gun sales are up, more states now than ever have shall issue CCW, and violent crime nationally is at it’s lowest levels in decades, but that might mean changing their mantra.
    I am glad to have found TTAG honestly. Yes even MichealB20300 has input. Ok I admit I had to bite my tongue a bit saying that, but it’s true. You have to have a deep understanding to both sides of an issue in order to fully understand how to win the argument. TTAG I think attempts to do that very well.

  6. Two points:

    1. The goal of the control freaks is to treat every citizen as a pre-criminal. They preach democracy and claim to favor civil rights, but every time they have the opportunity to stand up and support what the say they believe, they run away.

    2. I’ve tangled with Mikeb302000 on many occasions. Much of the time, it’s been fun. I note that he’s the only gun control advocate who some of the time allows open discussion on his blog. Gun rights advocates, by contrast, tend to value free conversation. That difference in attitude tells me that I’m on the correct side of this issue.

  7. There is another type of anti gun meme being planted in our society’s mind. I have seen quite a few ‘Docu dramas” and agenda movies in the past week ranging from the Amish school shootings to VA Tec. While many stray away from the truth, others fabricate “facts” to legitimatize their case against guns

    And though an almost weekly (and I’m being generous here) occurrence not one story of guns being used as defensive tools is making it to the MSM. I saw a You Tube, not exactly a national outlet, about a knife wielding man being stopped by a CC holder. Ironically, thought so paranoid that he felt the need to carry self defense (sar), the lunatic (more sar) showed more poise and self control that many local leos by subduing the troubled kifeman without firing a shot! Most similar incidents end in the death of the perp for not dropping the knife when ordered, thought more than 3 arm lengths from said officials. Not a peep in the lamo MSM.
    So be advised the propaganda smear machine is building a full head of steam against the 2nd and will be relentlessly perusing not just a limit of our ability of self preservation but of our bill of rights as a whole. Be ware, the struggle is far from over.

  8. better question: what kind of cigars have you been smoking lately? I am really into these Rocky Patels

  9. “We have been at or near 100k page views for the last eight days.”


    Can you tell me how many of those I am responsible for?

      • You’re probably right. I think RF should put us on payroll. Maybe one Federal Reserve Note per word or an ounce of gold per one thousand words. Yeah, I know what you mean about hobbies. I’m spending way too much time online doing non-essential stuff. I think RF should send us a new gun of choice for all the work we’ve done for him this past year.

        • Maybe one Federal Reserve Note per word or an ounce of gold per one thousand words.

          I don’t need any encouragement to be long-winded.

  10. There is an interesting perspective here :

    The thing that struck me was the incidence of drugs (whether prescribed or “self medicated”) that have a series of side effects that include paranoia, schizophrenia, hallucinations etc. and seem to be a common theme among the perpetrators of these atrocities.

    Ok – begin standard disclaimer from the pharmaceutical data sheet – these symptoms may occur “rarely” or “in a few individuals” but the synergistic effects of a combination of drugs could tip the user into the full range of bad side effects.

    I know from a girl I met through a mutual friend that the effects of cannabis can cause psychological changes. Suzie was in either her first or second year of University when her Grandmother died and left her a small bungalow and about 70,000 UK pounds. At the time it was about 5 times my take home salary so she could have lived quite comfortably for quite a long while (as she wasn’t paying a mortgage) without working if that is what she chose to do but instead spent, as far as I can determine, the majority of the money on drugs.

    Her personality did change and from a rational, intelligent person she changed into a “tin foil hat” wearer, weird behaviour, irrational outbursts and unable to concentrate. Finally I had to tell Mags (the mutual friend) that when she visited me, do NOT bring Suzie along as I no longer trusted her.

    So when I read that James Holmes had been taking Vicodin (whether under prescription or not) and the known side effects, I wondered if a combination of this drug with others he might have been taking pushed him into the world he inhabited to emerge to do this …

    OF COURSE the only thing to do is ban guns, not the drugs that are the most likely cause of this … as we are constantly told, cannabis is less harmful than tobacco, has no side effects etc. etc. and so forth from the left wing papers and commentators because they occasionally smoke it and “Hey! It’s cool baby. I can handle it and I don’t see the harm in it”. I would disagree and from various anecdotal sources, a strong picture of drug use being harmful is emerging. Trying to counter this viewpoint falls into a “get the egg back into the chicken” labour of futility …

    So keep turning a blind eye to widespread drug use (both prescribed and illegal) and their known side effects and ban those guns! You know it makes sense and its for the children …. Wait! Wasn’t the cinema a gun free zone where no one possessed a gun? Just gotta extend that to the rest of the world and you can bring on the Unicorns farting Chanel no. 5 ….

    • Phil, gonna go ahead and disagree with you there. Vicodin? That’s your explanation? Your argument as I read it goes thusly:

      1: Psychotropic drugs often have psychotropic side effects.
      2: Holmes took Vicodin (not psychotropic)
      3: A girl I know did a lot of pot and got weird after a while.
      4: Ipso facto, drugs caused this.

      Sorry mate, that’s a worse argument against drugs than I see most antis marshall against guns. We’re winning the argument on guns, because our position is inherently reasonable and practical. And we (and by we, I mean me here and not you) are winning the argument on the legalization of illegal drugs, for the same reason.

  11. I think all gun blogs got a big increase during those days. Now it’s going back to normal. You made it sound like tens of thousands were seeking out TTAG for the real scoop.

    I think the additional hits were simply from people who don’t usually look at gun news and were directed to you by Google and the other search engines.


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