Everting’s going to hell, but my friend just decided to give up his guns, and I’m feeling that there might be hope for the world yet

brad2

I was going to post something about today’s murder of 14 in San Bernardino, and how it was already our 352nd mass shooting so far this year, and how, in spite of this, it was just reported that another 185,345 people had just started the gun buying process this past Friday alone, and how there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight… but then I got a note from my old high school friend, telling me that he’d made the decision to get rid of his guns. And I know it’s a relatively small event in the whole scheme of things, but I’ve got to think that he’s not the only one, and that other people out there, like him, are finally starting to realize that, despite what people keep telling us, more guns just isn’t the answer.

And, for what it’s worth, I’m proud of you, Brad… and you had awesome hair back in high school.

[I’m wondering we should set up a site where people, like my friend Brad, can post their photos and talk about why they’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to try something new and give up their guns.]

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68 Comments

  1. Posted December 2, 2015 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    The more I think about it, the more I think it could be a really powerful thing to have former gun owners talking to current gun owners about why they decided to just walk away… Does something like that already exist? If not, why not?

  2. Betsy
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    It is a start Mark . I rarely comment on the issues of the day but this seems like a good start.

  3. anonymous
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Animated map showing the locations of all 350+ mass killings we’ve had so far.

    https://www.facebook.com/SenatorDurbin/videos/941598909209116/

  4. Meta
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    This Washington Post headline sounds like it could have been from the Onion.

    “Hours before San Bernardino shooting, doctors urged Congress to lift funding ban on gun violence research”

    On Wednesday morning, a group of doctors in white coats arrived on Capitol Hill to deliver a petition to Congress. Signed by more than 2,000 physicians around the country, it pleads with lawmakers to lift a restriction that for nearly two decades has essentially blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from conducting research on gun violence.

    Joined by a handful of Democratic lawmakers, the doctors spoke about the need to view gun violence as a public health epidemic and research ways to solve it – as the country would with any disease causing the deaths of thousands of Americans each year.

    “It is disappointing that we have made little progress over the past 20 years in finding solutions to gun violence,” said Nina Agrawal, a New York physician and member of the advocacy group Doctors for America, according to the group’s Twitter feed.

    That’s right, we don’t allow researchers to study gun violence.

    Read more:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/12/02/hours-before-san-bernardino-mass-shooting-doctors-were-on-capitol-hill-petitioning-congress-to-lift-ban-on-gun-violence-research/

  5. Brad
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the kind words. I would be more than happy to help out in any way that I can. I actually made this decision in the wake of the Pairs attacks. I posted a meme on Facebook that featured a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. about how only light and love that defeat darkness and hate. I felt like a hypocrite because my initial reaction was fear that quickly turned to anger and I wanted those responsible to die. I am a Christian and I thought to myself, what would Jesus do? My immediate answer was that he would definitely not be fighting violence with more violence and wouldn’t need guns to solve the problem. So, I made a decision to give up my guns and try to make a difference in this world through peace, patience, and tolerance. I have owned a gun since I was around 12 years old when I began hunting. Ever since, I have had a morbid fascination with the power and efficiency of these weapons. I took a handgun class in college and become very proficient. Over the last 25 years, I have continued honing my skills with shotguns, handguns, and assault rifles. The bottom line is that there is only one use for a gun. Killing. I just don’t want to kill anything anymore. Maybe I’m just getting old and soft, but I’d like to think that I’m finally growing up. The real power is in loving our enemies rather than making war on them. It has become my purpose to do the will of my God and let His radical love change our situation for the better.

  6. Kim
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Brad.

  7. Melissa
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I’m proud of you Brad.

  8. Stephanie
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Beautiful and important decision, Brad! You’ve made the world a better place, immediately and directly, with your actions. Congratulations and thank you!

  9. EOS
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    The ban on NIH research into gun violence is a complicated issue. Genome research allows scientists to correlate certain genetic traits with violent tendencies. The question is how this information will be handled on an individual basis. Should children be peremptorily identified and then directed into non-violence behavioral modification exercises? Will this information follow them their entire life? Will this genetic tendency towards violence lead to employment discrimination? Can we treat an individual differently who has yet to commit any violent act? Will fetuses be tested and aborted if they show these particular identified gene sequences? Will those who inherit a genetic trait towards violence have a defense in criminal court as a result? What about a person who has the genetic tendency but lives their whole life peacefully? It’s a huge issue that needs to be sorted out before we stigmatize anyone.

  10. Dan from Austin
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Powerful decision, Brad. Thanks for letting Mark share your story.

  11. Brainless
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    “Will fetuses be tested and aborted if they show these particular identified gene sequences?”

    You are just an unrepentant asshole, aren’t you? Do you have any friends? Are you normal in real life (like, real normal not red pill normal)? When the bus used to take you to school, how long was it? Do you still wear one of those crash helmets everywhere you go? When you look in the mirror, does the same person look back each time? When you cry about your miserable life, do you cry tears or the blood of the unborn? Have you seen your penis in the last decade or so? Has anyone else?

    Please get help, you sick fuck. If you were actually cool, you’d be the kind of sick bastard that Mark Maynard would love.

  12. EOS
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Brainless,

    Thanks for representing and confirming your name choice.

  13. Peter Larson
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    There is no ban on research into gun violence, the government just won’t fund it. One is free to do research on gun violence, one just has to find another funding source.

    This is, of course, because the results will be inconvenient to some people of certain political persuasion. There’s nothing at all complicated about this.

    I don’t understand what genetics has to do with it.

  14. Lynne
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Whenever I look at gun statistics, one thing I find encouraging is that over time, the number of households with guns is decreasing even while the total number of guns is rising.

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Research into gun violence would not involve genomic testing for predisposition to violence. The research would simply be compiling and analyzing data on shootings. A researcher may compile information on indicators of people with a predisposition to violence for purposes of preventing them from purchasing firearms. But it’s not a DNA swab. No federal agency compiles information on shootings and shooters. Mother Jones did a bit of a run around to gather some data, but, since municipalities are not required to report acts of gun violence to any federal agency, it’s a lot of work and data is compromised. Beyond this, eugenics is not widely practiced anymore, so that danger is vastly overstated.

    EOS– you are losing your footing. You don’t even sound plausible in that post. This may explain why you descended into name calling on the next one.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jay-dickey-gun-violence-research-amendment_561333d7e4b022a4ce5f45bf

  16. Mr. X
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    You know as well as I do, Peter, that it’s a distinction without a difference. Yes, researchers could fund their own research, but that’s not how research works. If government entities aren’t funding research into gun violence, it isn’t going to happen. So they might as well be banning research.

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Research on gun violence is happening, just not much. The CDC has even conducted some data collection around gun ownership within larger studies. Eliminating funding is effective, but it’s not the same thing as a ban. and the distinction does matter– See Fascism. I know I’m being a damn scold again, but I don’t understand why the left continues to indulge hyperbole (in any form) while excoriating the right for doing the same habitually. Why not make the point accurately?If you’re right, you’re right. But if you are inaccurate, you can’t be right. But worse, from what I’ve seen (especially around climate change) the use of hyperbole on the left indulges a kind of fatalism that excuses inaction. The cause is not lost– so we have work to do. And it’s on us. No one to blame, just an opposing side to fight.

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Look, there are more registered Dems than GOP. More people support increased research and gun regulation than not. Gun owners, as Lynn pointed out are a smaller and smaller group with more and more arms. And yet the NRA wins everytime. Because the Right cares more about this issue than the Left. It’s not their fault. It’s ours. The majority of Americans are registered independent and somewhere in the middle. They don’t come over to our side because we are smug assholes and they don’t want to be associated with our particular brand of ideological flag waving. So it’s time to stop congratulating ourselves on being ‘right’ and to focus on our messaging, strategy and our commitment, so we can get results. Because we aren’t losing these issues to fascists; we’re losing them in free and fair elections.

  19. Mr. X
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    While It is true that the CDC does fund research on violent death, which includes gun deaths, it’s also true that researchers, for fear of losing their funding, rarely publish data that could be seen as supporting an anti-gun agenda. So, while not technically a “ban,” there is what researchers refer to as a “chilling effect.” The following is from PRI (http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-07-02/quietly-congress-extends-ban-cdc-research-gun-violence):

    “Researchers are concerned that if they report the results of their data publicly and say, for instance, as Fred Rivara found in the ‘90s, that having a gun in the home makes you more likely to be injured than if you don’t have a gun in a home, then they’ll be accused by Congress of breaking the rules and advocating for gun control.”

  20. Mr. X
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    As for there being more registered Dems than GOP, it’s not that straightforward. Due to gerrymandering, the GOP wins in states with greater numbers of Dem voters. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Dems care less. It means that, at least in part, Republicans are better at stacking the deck in their favor. Just something to keep in mind.

  21. Jean Henry
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I was going to suggest that we should be discussing gerrymandering instead of preaching to the choir– (and EOS)– if we really want to talk about moving the dial on gun regulation. As to the rest, I understand, but the casual use of the word ‘ban’ and a million other misnomers on the left is problematic. Mostly I think it’s bad strategy. It may move the base, but the base is maybe 10% of the electorate. What I found in my work on climate action was that the smugness and scolding nature of the very bought in 10% put off the rest from taking action. I’m not sure if that is happening re gun control. But I think it might. Personally, while I support pretty extreme gun regulation and bans on some kinds of guns and especially buy back programs, I also support hunting and handguns for self-defense in cases of direct threat– as in domestic violence situations– which closely approximates what exists in other countries. So when people start talking about hunters as evil, meat as murder, all gun owners as idiots or seek to overturn the 2nd amendment entirely, I just stop listening. But sure, let’s talk strategy and gerrymandering becauseI heard there is some Democratic action on that coming up in Michigan.

  22. EOS
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    http://discovermagazine.com/1994/nov/violencegenesand446/

  23. Melissa
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m so proud of my brother (Brad) for making this choice. Growing up as the only girl in a male dominated family, guns were a normal part of life but the power of them and what they could do always scared me and kept me from ever wanting to touch one. I’ve always felt they were used as power over others. Brad has made the decision to get rid of all guns he’s owned, even those passed down to him from my father. It must not have been easy but I think it was the best choice he could have made. Thank you Brad.

  24. Jean Henry
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    EOS — that 20 year old article details how the scientific community rejects racial bias in research and questions the utility and morality of anything approaching eugenics. It also states plainly that socio economic environment is the only consistent variable in violent offenders. So that kind of calls into question your whole blaming the victim aka personal respondibility penchant.

    what’s your point? Maybe that some guy 20 years ago did some research to see if there is a ‘gene’ that indicated predisposition to violence– even though he was ostracized and defunded. They’ve actually found some genes associated with sociopathic behavior since then– but those bearing the gene showed no greater predisposition to violence than the rest of the population. (But when they do, it’s bad…) So we are back to poverty and unsafe environments as seeming to be causal– It would follow that you will now advocate for greater equity and equal access to education, legal protection, health care and economic security for all people.

    Still don’t know what this has to do with gun regulation. No one is going to be DNA tested before given access to a firearm. You are arguing against a non-existent threat…. Again.

    As for the topic here of gun regulation– someone on FB suggested that requiring gun owners and users to be insured would allow the market to vet and limit who can have access to guns v the govt. Seemed like a good idea. I hadn’t heard it before. Haven’t really looked into it though.

  25. Jean Henry
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    I spoke incorrectly: a set of genes (not one gene) are associated with sociopathy. (associated with) Certain glitches in some of the many genes that are needed for the brain to send signals and work properly can lead to an increased risk for being a sociopath. But not all sociopaths have them, and most people with those markers have no history of violence. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-neuroscientist-who-discovered-he-was-a-psychopath-180947814/?no-ist

  26. TeacherPatti
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think you know this about me, but I am a Law and Order junkie. The best day is when the original, the SVU and the Criminal Intent all come on in a happy little orgy of lawyers and cops and the DUHN DUHN sound. They actually addressed EOS’ issue of a “violent gene” years and years ago in an episode called (I think) “Born Bad”. They brought up the issue of fetuses having the gene (I always want to say feti for some reason), and argued about it. They couldn’t really reach a conclusion but SPOILER the kid really *was* pretty much born bad and he got sent to pound me in the ass adult prison and was like, “Who cares?”. It was really sad.

    Just a quick L&O update from me. Back to the serious debate. I am seriously learning a lot, esp.from Jean!

  27. EOS
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Jean,

    If you want to study the socioeconomic causes for gun violence, the research would be conducted by social scientists, not the CDC. Every child born in the United States has a DNA sample taken at birth, mandated by law. Twenty years ago they cancelled a NIH conference that would have explored the genetic basis of violence and stopped further government funding in this area. It was the choice of persons who favor politically correct outcomes and feared a racial disparity would unfairly stigmatize certain ethnic groups. The vast majority of the scientific community decided not to go there and that is why the funding dried up. It is relevant to go back to examine the reasons the funding was stopped when others today are calling to start government funding in the area again. My whole point was in response to the Meta post that advocated petitioning government to fund research in this area again. It’s complicated and has many areas of moral ambiguity. Thanks for your comments Patti. Sometimes TV draws it story lines from real life issues.

  28. Jean Henry
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Oh my EOS, you really stepped in it now. Newborns are NOT swabbed for DNA unless requested by and permission granted by parent(s). The whole racial disparity thing was debunked in the article YOU posted. AND research re genetics and violent tendencies and mental illnesses is still going on. It’s going gangbusters. But I know you don’t believe in scientific findings re mental illness because they are still inconclusive so why would you believe any other findings of ongoing areas of research. The only research that matters is the discredited racist research conducted by a rogue scientist 20 years ago– also inconclusive… Because you see his findings as supporting your presupposition. But they don’t even do that.

  29. Jean Henry
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Oh yeah, EOS, and this: http://www.bradycampaign.org/inthenews/new-cdc-research-shows-alarming-number-of-kids-bringing-weapons-to-school

    Wrong on all counts. My work is done. I’m going to go drink whiskey with a friend now.

  30. Jean Henry
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Oops– many babies are DNA swabbed and screened for genetic diseases (not all; there’s an opt out and many babies aren’t born in hospitals) . Some states then store that data anonymously for research purposes. Some states destroy them, but then lose some federal funding. None of the samples are tied to the baby or parents after genetic disease screening. Still not ‘every’ and not ‘mandated by law.’ And who cares? So I may have been wrong but so were you, EOS. Now, Nancy Whiskey and I have a date. Sheesh.

  31. EOS
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a description of the mandatory program in Michigan – whether or not the baby is born in a hospital. They collect the sample and will “save it for you”. Why do you think the state needs to store samples? Why aren’t the tests done in the hospital like every other lab proceedure and the results stored in the medical record?

  32. EOS
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    forgot the link

    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/newborn_screening_broc_110897_7.pdf

  33. Peter Larson
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    What does this have to do with gun research? This is a real stretch.

    Most research on gun safety will (does) have nothing at all to do with genetics.

  34. EOS
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Gun ownership is pervasive. Those who use guns to perpetrate violent acts are an extremely small subset of our population. Testing the genomes of individuals who have shown a propensity to use weapons to commit crimes or acts of terrorism will undoubtedly reveal hundreds of genetic markers that are highly correlated with acts of violence. To reduce gun violence we will need to first identify those who are likely to engage in this type of act and then target effective deterrence to this cohort. As media hypes the problem with gun violence, more nonviolent people buy guns for protection, and more progressives freak out and demand something be done. Guns themselves are not inherently unsafe. Guns are used far more often to deter crime than to commit crime. Research on gun safety will no doubt have to focus on the individuals who use guns to harm others. And most progressives don’t want to go there. All human behavior has an underlying genetic component.

  35. stupid hick
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    I hope this is not seen as too far off topic, but there was a news story that broke a couple days ago that involves guns and race. And it happened in Henry County, Alabama, which shares a name with one of the commenters.

    It’s shocking. For a decade, a group of corrupt police with white supremecist ties, and with cover from a corrupt district attorney, is said to have planted guns and drugs on black men, resulting in up to 1000 wrongful convictions. Let’s say it’s only half. Which would still be about 1 per week, every week, for 10 years. Besides the obvious damage to those wrongly convicted, how much did it skew public perception of race and crime, and perceived need of guns for personal protection?

    I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten more attention. Maybe because of San Bernardino? Here’s an excerpt and the full story is at:

    http://henrycountyreport.com/blog/2015/12/01/leaked-documents-reveal-dothan-police-department-planted-drugs-on-young-black-men-for-years-district-attorney-doug-valeska-complicit/

    “The Alabama Justice Project has obtained documents that reveal a Dothan Police Department’s Internal Affairs investigation was covered up by the district attorney. A group of up to a dozen police officers on a specialized narcotics team were found to have planted drugs and weapons on young black men for years. They were supervised at the time by Lt. Steve Parrish, current Dothan Police Chief, and Sgt. Andy Hughes, current Asst. Director of Homeland Security for the State of Alabama. All of the officers reportedly were members of a Neoconfederate organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center labels “racial extremists.” The group has advocated for blacks to “return” to Africa, published that the civil rights movement is really a Jewish conspiracy, and that blacks have lower IQ’s . Both Parrish and Hughes held leadership positions in the group and are pictured above holding a confederate battle flag at one of the club’s secret meetings.

    The documents shared reveal that the internal affairs investigation was covered up to protect the aforementioned officers’ law enforcement careers and keep them from being criminally prosecuted.

    Several long term Dothan law enforcement officers, all part of an original group that initiated the investigation, believe the public has a right to know that the Dothan Police Department, and District Attorney Doug Valeska, targeted young black men by planting drugs and weapons on them over a decade. Most of the young men were prosecuted, many sentenced to prison, and some are still in prison. Many of the officers involved were subsequently promoted and are in leadership positions in law enforcement. They hope the mood of the country is one that demands action and that the US Department of Justice will intervene.

    The group of officers requested they be granted anonymity, and shared hundreds of files from the Internal Affairs Division. They reveal a pattern of criminal behavior from within the highest levels of the Dothan Police Department and the district attorney’s office in the 20th Judicial District of Alabama. Multiple current and former officers have agreed to testify if United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch appoints a special prosecutor from outside the state of Alabama, or before a Congressional hearing. The officers believe that there are currently nearly a thousand wrongful convictions resulting in felonies from the 20th Judicial District that are tied to planted drugs and weapons and question whether a system that allows this can be allowed to continue to operate.

    Members of the Henry County Report have spent weeks analyzing the documents. The originals, secured at an N.G.O. in Canada, are being shared directly with attorneys in the U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division, and are being made available to the lawyers of those falsely convicted that seek to clear their names.”

  36. Posted December 3, 2015 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    I did see that. The Southern Poverty Law Center sent something out about it. And I’ve got a note here to look into it more… My nights have been spent trying to put together Saturday’s radio show, though. Hopefully I’ll have time this weekend.

  37. Jean Henry
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    EOS– It’s good to hear you have solved that nature v nurture conundrum. I’m sure the scientific community will be thrilled. You said in another post that mental illness does not exist– even though there are corollary genes and brain scan evidence of difference in mental processing among those diagnosed as mentally ill. (You opposed medication on that basis) Now you say ALL human behavior has a genetic component. I’m really confused about a lot of what you say, but not that you subscribe to the foulest brand of biological determinist racism. One with zero established validity. None. But congrats, you have successfully diverted the conversation away from gun regulation with your hot button pushing rhetoric. I hope calmer minds than mine can return this thread to more sensible discourse.

  38. Jean Henry
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Stupid Hick– that story is apparently sadly relevant to this conversation, as EOS shares many of the beliefs of the criminal cops. The stories of racialized abuse by cops are endless. I became aware of police abuse in Detroit in the early 90’s while working there for the National Lawyers Guild. At the time, my brother was an intern on Nightline, I would forward him stories from Southern Poverty Law Center and from Detroit proper for pitch meetings. They kept saying it wasn’t news. Even though it was happening right then, I think they meant it wasn’t anything new… At one point there was a god damned lynching on the anniversary of some civil rights event– cant remember maybe Medgar Evers death. I thought it would at leatst warrant a mention. Nothing. Not news. Happens all the time. So now these stories are news. I guess because of video… or maybe the country is ready.. almost.. to look at our own violence, abuse and neglect. We need to keep telling these stories. thanks for sharing.

  39. Stupid Hick
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been looking for commentary about the story and apparently the SPLC has retracted their tweets and released a neutral statement: “SPLC is not associated with the Henry County Report, and we have no information to substantiate or disprove the report’s claims about the Dothan Police Department.”

  40. Posted December 3, 2015 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Interesting.

  41. EOS
    Posted December 4, 2015 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Jean,
    There’s no justification for saying I share the racist beliefs of a group of criminal cops in Alabama. Let’s have a conversaton without personal attacks.

    If they fund and study those with a predisposition towards violence how do you think that will help? We currently ban persons with felony convictions from purchasing guns. Are you saying that we should indentify persons before they commit violent acts and prevent their purchase of firearms? Are you advocating a solution where persons of low socioeconomic status would have less rights than wealthy, educated persons? Do you think its possible that genetic factors play a major role in the level of intelligence, social skills, ability to earn a good living and propensity to commit violence?

    FWIW, if someone has a genetic defect that impairs rational thought, why would we think talking to them, i.e. psychotherapy, could cure their ailment? Will society be improved if we preemptorily identified those prone to violence, prohibit their gun ownership and force them to sit in circles singing Kumbaya? If we fund and study gun violence and are able to identify a subset of individuals who are prone to use guns to commit crimes – what is the next step? Shouldn’t we consider this before we start down this path? There were reasons why we chose not to do this 20 years ago. Is there any reason to believe it’s different now?

  42. Demetrius
    Posted December 4, 2015 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    I appreciate what Brad has done, and I hope others follow his lead.

    Still, the big picture is that our government is basically controlled by a powerful terrorist group (the NRA) – that cares more about pimping for gun manufacturers by promoting a fantasy version of our constitutional rights, and convincing a substantial segment of Americans that the scary, black, Muslim President is coming to take their guns away – than it does about doing anything meaningful about the rising level of gun violence in America.

    Every time we have a mass shooting (now, about once a week), politicians and other public figures wring their hands and tell us how terrible it is, but also how – out of respect for the victims – it is simply too soon to have a real debate, or take any meaningful action.

    I actually support the 2nd amendment, and believe that law-abiding Americans have a right to own guns. That said, there are plenty of meaningful things that could be done to stop the manufacture, sale, and transport of weapons designed merely for mass slaughter … but the vast majority of our politicians are simply too afraid of a powerful gun lobby that consistently opposes any kind of reasonable legislation, and has hundreds of millions of dollars at its disposal to pump out propaganda – and to reward or punish candidates who do, or don’t, support, its radical aims.

    That America was unable to pass any reasonable legislation after Sandy Hook (in which 20 children and six adult staff members were executed in cold blood inside a public elementary school) seems ample proof that even 20 more San Bernadinos aren’t going to do much to change things.

    Unlike other countries where citizens have plenty of guns (Canada, etc.) here in the United States, we seem to have made a grudging peace with this type of violence. Politicians and other public officials will continue to wring their hands, and some will call for more “mental health services” (though few actually support the significant funding that would make that happen), yet we continue to have one about one mass shooting a week … and this has become the “new normal.”

  43. Jean Henry
    Posted December 4, 2015 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    EOS– your brand of biological determinism is racism, and it has been shown to be BS, even though there was cultural and scientific bias towards that perspective for a very long time. The cops in Alabama believe African Americans are inferior intellectually etc– again this has all been proven untrue. When I said you subscribe to racist beliefs, that was not a personal attack, it was the truth.

    As for genetic testing and gun regulation, they bear no relationship. You have spun a scenario from your dogmatism that has zero possibility of occurring, It’s basis is untrue. Its fantasy. Frankly, were DNA testing required somehow (and it wont be), it’s not much of a concern to me, because there would be no racialized difference in results, I’m confident of that.

    What would gun regulation look like– almost any other country. Throwing out some completely reasonable ideas– none of which involve DNA. Required training, licensing, background checks and maybe insurance required for all gun purchases or current possession. If buying a handgun for personal protection, one must demonstrate reasonable personal threat. (This may pass constitutional challenge) If someone kills or injures someone else with your gun, you may be held liable. Open up civil litigation relating to gun violence for indirect responsibility. (with insurance coverage, so that those companies are vetting) No automatic weapons. A well funded buy-back program.

    re treating mental illness, there is something called symptomatic relief. And there is brain plasticity so some patterned behaviors can change. But no one but a quack claims to cure mental illness.

  44. Jean Henry
    Posted December 4, 2015 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Demetrius: It’s not on mass shooting every week; it’s every day if one includes domestic violence. And that number has not gone up. It’s been consistent for decades. We just are waking up to it now.

    Also I’m all for much greater mental health funding, but most murderers are not mentally ill. The mentally ill are no more violent that the rest of the population. We fear mental illness, so we fear the mentally ill, but mental illness is not the issue. Guns are the issue.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/03/us/how-often-do-mass-shootings-occur-on-average-every-day-records-show.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

  45. EOS
    Posted December 4, 2015 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Yes, I am scientifically biased to go where the evidence leads. It doesn’t make me racist, merely honest. You really don’t understand genetics. Many traits have a range of expression that is influenced by culture/nurture/environment but the limitations of the expression of all traits is limited by the deck of genes you are dealt. Try to understand this because its an important concept. For example, someone with Down’s syndrome can be loved and educated and raised in a highly supportive environment and they can make great strides, but the fact that they have an extra chromosome means their potential is not unlimited. No matter what you do they will never have exceptional intelligence. The genetic makeup that they were dealt has a limiting ceiling on how much they are capable of learning. Genes play a predominate role.

    Required training and background checks are valid. What meets the baseline for demonstrating personal threat? Leaving the house, going to school, attending an office Christmas party? No automatic weapons? Well they have that now but it’s a quick fix to enable a semi-automatic to be converted. More than 99% of gun owners are responsible citizens who never use their weapons against another person except in defense. If more law abiding citizens armed themselves, we would all be safer. The worst case would be if only the violent prone have weapons.

  46. Jcp2
    Posted December 4, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I guess every other developed nation must be less safe.

  47. Chris
    Posted December 4, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    EOS,
    Why do you bother, you can’t reason with idiots.

  48. Brainless
    Posted December 4, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    “Guns are used far more often to deter crime than to commit crime.”

    EOS, you are a fucking asshole. STOP LYING!

    http://www.armedwithreason.com/less-guns-less-crime-debunking-the-self-defense-myth/

    “Let’s be clear about this: every time a gun was used in self-defense, a criminal committed fatal or non-fatal firearm violence ~7 times. Either way you look at it, offensive gun use far outweighs defensive gun uses, and there is very little evidence validate the claim that guns reliably de-escalate a criminal encounter once it happens.”

  49. EOS
    Posted December 4, 2015 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Most instances when a gun deters crime there is no one recording the statistics. Your study is flawed. Here’s a better analysis:

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/item/18661-study-suggests-more-concealed-carry-permits-less-crime

  50. EOS
    Posted December 4, 2015 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Law abiding citizens armed with CC permits don’t have to shoot their weapon in order to deter a crime. Most rational persons choose to flee rather than engage in a duel that ends with two dead. These incidents aren’t tallied in any statistical report.

  51. Mr. X
    Posted December 4, 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    It’s hard to argue with logic like that. Sure, there could be a gun killing every minute, but that doesn’t factor in all of the gun killings we could have had, if not for guns. With fewer guns on the streets, there could could be several gun killings every second.

  52. Other Brad
    Posted December 5, 2015 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    Coupla things to contribute here.

    1) Brad did not “get rid of” or “give up” the guns. They were passed on. They were not destroyed. Therefore, the person currently in possession of them will likely use them for the same reasons he, according to his blog post, did not want them anymore. The point is moot. They should have been destroyed to accomplish the mission.

    2) Honest questions …

    A. If you are a responsible gun owner, and you keep your gun in a safe and the ammo locked up, it doesn’t make sense that you’d be able to confront an intruder with your gun. If it’s not locked and loaded in a drawer next to your bed, which makes it accessible to children and/or a heated argument, I don’t understand how one could access it in a timely manner to confront said intruder with it.

    B. If you’re walking down the street and you have a gun … and someone walks up to you with a gun pointed at you, are you going to pull out your gun?

    Neither scenario makes sense from the gun advocate’s angle. If any gun toters would like to chime in that’d be great.

  53. EOS
    Posted December 5, 2015 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    A) You are awakened in your upstairs bedroom to the sound of glass breaking on the first floor. You hear sounds of someone rummaging through your personal property. You dial 911 to report a burglary in progress, then obtain your weapon from locked safe. You call out to intruder that you have called police and that you are armed and ready to defend your home. Intruder leaves immediately. Or you can hide in the closet and hope the intruder doesn’t find you and when the police arrive 20 minutes later you can help them inventory your stolen property.

    B) You are standing in line to purchase items at a convenience store. Person at the counter pulls gun on clerk demanding he hand over all the money. You remove weapon from your shoulder holster, point it at the gunman and suggest that he reconsider how much he values his life. He turns, sees the weapon, and chooses to leave store in a hurry. Or you can dive for cover after witnessing the robber shoot the clerk for refusing to hand over money and pray to God that he doesn’t also shoot you for witnessing his crime. If you are lucky and survive, you can give a description of the gunman to the police who arrive 20 minutes later.

    O.K. I changed the 2nd scenario. If someone has pulled a gun on you on the street, give him your wallet, cell phone, watch, and whatever else he wants. As he’s leaving, pull your weapon and shoot him in the leg, and hold him at bay while you wait 20 minutes for police to arrive and then retrieve your personal belongings.

  54. Demetrius
    Posted December 5, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I am SO tired of gun porn.

    It seems that many gun-humpers just can get enough of fantasies about how they’re going to rescue themselves, or others around them, by being the “good guy with a gun” – at the right place, at the right time.

    In reality, most would be shot dead before they even realized what was happening … but why let reality get in the way of a good fantasy, right?

  55. Jean Henry
    Posted December 5, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    EOS’ fantasy life is fascinating…

  56. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 5, 2015 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    In my experience violent situations usually announce themselves way in advance. Minutes, weeks, months…

  57. EOS
    Posted December 5, 2015 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Not really my fantasy but wanted to show how a weapon can protect even when it isn’t used to kill someone. Must have learned it all on Law and Order. I’ve never had CCW training, but I’ve heard that the instructors teach never to fire a weapon uless you are aimimg to kill. It’s not likely that a robber with a flesh wound is going to lay there and wait for the police to arrive.

    The likelihood of potential victims being armed is itself a deterence. That’s why these mass shootings usually occur in gun free zones like schools, movie theaters, churches. Even the Detroit police chief has encouraged citizens to arm themselves as it is unrealistic to think the police can protect everyone everywhere. By the way, there have been 4 mass shootings this year in case anyone is racking their brains trying to figure out how they missed 348.

  58. Kim
    Posted December 5, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    EOS,

    To what do you attribute the fact that other nations do not have daily mass gun murders like the United States, if it isn’t that we have more easy to get guns?

  59. Jean Henry
    Posted December 5, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/10/03/1427420/-Armed-Vet-proves-NRA-wrong-and-explains-why-he-didn-t-confront-Oregon-Killer-with-Good-Guy-Gun

  60. EOS
    Posted December 5, 2015 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Kim,
    We are not the only nation that has experienced mass murder. http://www.statista.com/statistics/248845/number-of-victims-of-mass-shootings-in-western-democratic-countries/
    And this is only Western democracies. Other regions are far worse.

  61. Jean Henry
    Posted December 5, 2015 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    EOS– Not sure how those statistics you site define ‘mss murder’ since the link provides no explanation, but there are about a thousand US killings of more than 4 people not related to a crime scenario that are missing. Even so the preponderance of events are in the US by like 20 fold. So how about we just shoot for the same level of mass shootings as all the other Western countries? Seems reasonable, eh?

  62. EOS
    Posted December 6, 2015 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    We are sixth on the list of western democracies in the rate of mass killings. Norway wins the top prize. All 5 countries with a higher rate of mass killing have very restrictive gun control laws.

    http://www.ijreview.com/2015/12/348197-paris-attack-claim-mass-shootings/

  63. EOS
    Posted December 6, 2015 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Jean,
    The earlier link didn’t define mass murder but the title above the graphic explains what is shown. “Number of victims of the worst mass shootings in western democratic countries from 1966 to 2012”. The list includes the individual incidents and the number killed at each.

  64. Peter Larson
    Posted December 6, 2015 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    The data is shit. This has been well established.

    Not sure if we can trust a person that thinks the world is 4,000 years old.

  65. Peter Larson
    Posted December 6, 2015 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    ”You really don’t understand genetics.”

    From a person who believes that Santa Claus created the world in 7 days.

  66. EOS
    Posted December 6, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Peter,
    Go to your room. You are on time out until you can respond with a comment that speaks to the issue and not a mere ad hominem attack. If my link has incorrect data, please show us evidence to the contrary.

    I think the earth is much older than 4000 years. Probably between 8000 – 10,000 years. And (spoiler alert) there is no Santa Claus – its your parents. Merry Christmas!

  67. NHS
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Brad’s conversion continues. He just posted this last night:

    “I just contributed to Bernie’s campaign. When I get back to NJ, I’m going to register as a Democrat and say goodbye to the Republican Party. I don’t even recognize what the party has become. Someone has to take down this clown Donald Trump, and there’s no way in hell that I’m supporting Hillary.”

  68. Eel
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    EOS is blamed for giving people “rashes” and “blisters”.

    http://jezebel.com/people-are-suing-the-lip-balm-brand-eos-for-allegedly-c-1752691626

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