After Newtown, Rightbloggers Agree: Guns Don't Kill People, Everything Except Guns Kills People

tomt200.jpgAfter the gruesome murders of children and teachers by Adam Lanza in Newtown, Connecticut, apparently mostly performed with a Bushmaster AR-15 ("the civilian version of the military's M-16 and M-4," says the New York Times, "a logical choice for anyone whose goal is to kill a lot of people in a short time because of their ability to rapidly fire multiple high-velocity rounds"), rightbloggers were clear and united in their response: There are a lot of things that may have been the root cause of this tragedy -- a lack of God, mental illness, public schools, liberals -- but one thing that definitely had nothing at all to do with it was guns.

Robert VerBruggen of National Review scoffed that the AR-15 can't do much damage, really. "An 'assault weapon' fires at the same rate as an ordinary semiautomatic rifle," he wrote, "and the .223-caliber ammo in Lanza's rifle is banned for deer hunting in some states on the grounds that it's too weak." Maybe Lanza's pathetic weapon only killed those people because they had poor immune systems, vitiated by the stress of being murdered.

More to the point was VerBruggen's colleague, Charles C.W. Cooke, who wrote, "what is causing this is not yet known and probably underinvestigated, but it is certainly not guns... Something is awry, to be sure; to blame guns is a mistake."

What then can we get rid of besides easy general access to lethal weapons, which is of course sacrosanct, to prevent other Newtowns? Oh, just about anything else.

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit explained in a USA Today op-ed that guns don't kill people, gun-free zones do. "One of the interesting characteristics of mass shootings is that they generally occur in places where firearms are banned: malls, schools, etc.," said Reynolds. (He offered in support of his argument a quote from William Burroughs, who shot his wife to death while playing William Tell.)

Reynolds' thinking was mirrored in what became a popular theme among the brethren (and at least one Republican Congressman): that schools should be not gun-free, but fully armed, and that a picture from Israel of an armed teacher among schoolchildren proved that American schoolchildren would be safer if we only did things the way they do them in a hotly-contested desert frontier where armed factions are constantly at each other's throats -- a theory perhaps aspirational in in nature, and bred by long exposure to Westerns.

"Here's the meaningful action we should all be taking, were we truly serious about reducing the likelihood of such tragedies taking place going forward," explained Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom. "On a personal level, get a concealed carry permit, and ignore signs telling you to leave your guns in the car. If it's concealed, and they don't have metal detectors, then you aren't carrying. Until you need to defend yourself."

unclesam3.jpg
Well, not guns, that's for sure! Now stop asking questions!
Goldstein then started screaming at President Obama: "Michele is not the dietitian to the collective and you are not its avuncular guardian. Give up your own security detail and we can maybe have a talk about restricting gun ownership... you and your regulatory henchmen had better not try to stand between me and my ability to protect my family.. ['Progressives'] want a helpless and compliant pool to manage, the 'masses,' they like to call it, and it's a wet dream of theirs to secure not only all political power in their own hands, but all the policing power as well." Last summer Goldstein held a fundraiser "to raise the capital for at least one very good and reliable all-purpose rifle, one that I can use for defense, close quarter combat, hunting, and maybe even as a melee weapon." Guns don't kill people, but maybe to be on the safe side you should try not to live too near Jeff Goldstein.

"Gun free zones invite mad mass-murderers, say law officers," reported Jim Kouri at the Examiner. He found two law officers who expressed these sentiments in actual words: a "former Graham County, Ariz., sheriff" and a "former NYPD detective" who thought "if the school's principal had been armed and trained, she might have saved many lives." We would be interested to know if the former detective aired these opinions while on the job, as the NYPD spent many years under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani confiscating every gun they could get hold of, coinciding with a massive drop in crime. Why Giuliani didn't just distribute handguns to schoolteachers instead we can only guess.

Ace of Spades argued -- just to get it out of the way, it seems -- that liberals want to take away everybody's guns. He talked also about the nature of Evil, and said the press could help stop mass murderers, not by taking away their Second Amendment rights, but by making fun of them. "If I were the media," fantasized Spades, "I'd allow myself to get very personal in publishing accounts of these guys. Personal, and nasty." Which makes sense if you think newspapers are too nice to people who shoot up schools.

Robert Stacy McCain agreed. "Psycho, loony, bonkers, daft, zany, berserk and cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs," he rhapsodized. "Advocates for the mentally ill discourage such colloquial terms as tending to stigmatize psychiatric patients. But we might ask whether stigma -- and the consequent damage to the fragile self-esteem of kooks -- is really worse than turning loose a homicidal schizo who kills 27 people." Guns don't kill people, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest kills people. (McCain added, "You'll excuse me if I sound somewhat bitter about it... Our culture has lost all sense of perspective, of reasonable balance, so that we are unable to make common-sense judgments about risks." See, gun nuts can take the Moral High Ground too.)

When a news story appeared about a school attacker in China who used only a knife and thus killed significantly fewer children than Lanza, Spades actually said, "It's very odd timing that this story shows up now -- and I don't mean to suggest a conspiracy theory, or suggest it's a false story, or anything like that. It's just that the timing is in fact odd." (Then he parenthesized, in this week's Lack of Self-Awareness Award Winner, "It's strange that no one can say anything without a series of jam-packed implications automatically flowing from it any more.")

In a burst of scholarship, Spades also noted that there've been school shootings in namby-pamby Germany, too. "They had tough gun laws; they had a school shooting," Spades said. "They tightened those tough gun laws; they had another school shooting." Therefore, "Strict gun laws, loose gun laws: An intensely motivated lunatic is going to find a way to make his fantasy real."

Spades did not mention that the two German shootings were seven years apart, whereas in the U.S. we only have to wait months for a grisly mass-murder; nor did he mention that Germany has, in a given year, 1.1 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people, while the United States has 9.

Similarly, Glenn Reynolds wrote, "British Culture of violence: Gun crime goes up by 89% in a decade. Despite draconian gun-control laws." The UK gun-related death number per 100,000 is 0.25*. Guns don't kill people, math kills people. Later, Reynolds became so worked up by the situation that he was driven to attack Rupert Murdoch, the Darth Vader of the rightwing media Death Star, for expressing gun-control sympathies. He claimed "Murdoch keeps deleting my replies to his tweets. Tacky." Later, Reynolds extended his tweet vigilance to Michael Bloomberg. Guns don't kill people, and I will not be ignored!

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39 comments
pvalemont
pvalemont

Time for the USA to face up to the horrible mess they have allowed their country to get into. Their President is valiantly leading the way with the international arms treaty, and it is up to the people to put pressure on the Senate to make sure it passes through. Simultaneously, they need to start on cleaning up their own back yard. This is not a case of their right to bear arms under the 2nd amendment at all, but a case of basic human rights and children's rights as outlined in international charters on human rights, to which the US is a signatory.  The human rights issue overrides the 2nd amendment issue, no question about it.  People, particularly children, have a right to feel safe in their place of work, schooling, when walking the streets, in public buildings or in their homes. In the case of Newtown, there can be do doubt that the mental health authorities and current system plus Nancy Lanza’s ridiculous and irresponsible attitude to letting Adam carry 3 of her guns at the time she was extremely worried about his  mental health, were the primary causes for these fatalities.  However, his father is not exempt from blame. I have seen a picture on the Internet of Adam Lanza at one year of age or possibly younger, playing with a real gun, surrounded by an arsenal of weapons. His Dad now says he wishes he had never been born. I am sure Adam also wishes this now, in retrospect, that he had never been born, certainly not into that family. They, the crazy gun culture of America to which they ascribed and contributed, combined with the absence of tight gun laws in the USA are entirely responsible for this incredibly cruel tragedy. There is no psychological test that can adequately safeguard the community against such a crazed gunman, and no way of knowing when they will strike, where, or at whom.  The only answer is to ban the guns out of the hands of the general populace, especially heavyweight military hardware, for whom such guns were not designed in the first place.  An ultra right wing agenda, the Doomsday Preppers movement, idolization of neo-Nazi Anders Breivik and economist Ron Paul were among the key elements that also need to be addressed in relation to the the Newtown shootings. Time for a serious re-education program in the schools and universities. Ethics, morals and community responsibility need to be addressed in a big way in regard to combating the damage being done in the homes by some parents. A time for a national symposium too on mental health, particularly as regards gene mutation for Fragile X Syndrome accompanied by Autism, and the current treatments being metred out to patients. There may be a need for a closer look at how administration of drugs is monitored and by whom.  Gun advocates, please do not reply to my post; I will not reply to you. There is nothing you can say to me in the face of this kind or horror that can possibly justify your stance. Thank you.

Adam Lanza and the Newtown Massacre ebook

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sussmanbern
sussmanbern

Back in 1995, right after the Oklahoma City bombing, Wayne LaPierre actually referred to law enforcement officers as "jack-booted thugs".  But now, in the wake of the Newtown massacre, he recommends putting jack-booted thugs in the public schools, even elementary schools.  Now, having armed campus police didn't help much in the Virginia Tech shooting or the Columbine massacre, but the NRA wants them anyway.

Actually, regular police would be an enormous waste in the school setting.  Regular police get a lot of training, at taxpayers' expense, in things like highway and traffic work, search and seizure, processing arrestees, gathering evidence, and - not to be invidious - sometimes waiting for backup before confronting dangerous persons.  But the NRA wants these school thugs to confront dangerous persons without delay.  Not so much police as mercenary combat troops.

In reality, most school systems have enough trouble paying for teachers and textbooks, so the next suggestion is arming the teachers, at least some of them.  We ask a lot of our teachers -- now we want them to actually step up and engage in gun battles.  Everyone else would run from the gunman but we expect the teacher to advance on him without hesitation.  This presupposes that the teacher is a faster draw, a better aim, and totally willing to kill another human being at a moment's notice.  Not all teachers are suited for that -- and not all parents want their kids taught by someone who is willing to kill without hesitation.

If I had made this suggestion, people would know I was nuts, but when Wayne LaPierre and other NRA frontmen say it the suggestion is taken seriously.


stevenmitchell1
stevenmitchell1

Yes, as it has been oft-repeated by gun bearers and the NRA (I believe the meme originated with them), that 'guns don't kill, people kill people," it is an oversimplification of the problem at hand. It's true elucidation should be that "while guns don't kill people by themselves, people carrying guns are the single largest source of homicide in the world."

shalomdammit
shalomdammit

To hear Rabbi Sol Solomon's Rabbinical Reflection on gun control in the wake of the Newtown massacre, visit shalomdammit.com or at this youtube clip:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iRX8beuhkU

Here's an excerpt:"What makes me mad about the N.R.A. is their absolute inability to compromise.  The Democrats say, `We don’t want to ban guns.  We want sensible gun control.'  The N.R.A. says, `You can’t ban guns.'  The Democrats say, `No, listen.  We don’t want to ban guns.  We just want more background checks and the banning of semi-automatic weapons.'  The N.R.A. says, `You can’t ban guns.'  Right-wing Republicans are like autistic children; you can’t reason with them, all you can do is hope to distract them with something shiny."

Rabbi Sol Solomon's Rabbinical Reflections air weekly on the Dave's Gone By radio show  and are archived at davesgoneby.com.

p.dempster1
p.dempster1

Society , on the whole ,  is not civilised enough to be allowed access to weapons - if it were , why would it want them in the first place ? It is a vicious circle - we are barbaric because we have weapons and we have weapons because we are barbaric . You don't give your children matches and lighter fluid ; why would you offer your citizens the means and opportunity to kill each other when over the years they have expressed a desire and willingness to do so ? Removing weapons , some say , is an infringement on civil liberties . What about the civil liberties of those who would rather not be shot ? Guns don't kill people ? Eh , yeah they do . 

HamishMack
HamishMack

@publicaddress @edroso I just wonder how Mr. Edroso can stand it.

lilgoldenbook
lilgoldenbook

@publicaddress @edroso definitely not guns. must be something in the water.

PhilipDuncan
PhilipDuncan

@publicaddress I just endured Hannity to see their point of view ... wow

petrajane
petrajane

@publicaddress there are grown-up humans who believe the solution isn't just more guns, it's also more stigma around mental illness? I weep.

tinyrevolution
tinyrevolution

@edroso What does Reynolds mean by "Murdoch keeps deleting my replies to his tweets"?

substancemcgravitas
substancemcgravitas

<i>"For once, act like human beings," lectured Clarice Feldman of American Thinker.</i>

 Do something crazy in a fit of rage?

jwesley.23
jwesley.23

Glenn Reynolds is objectively pro-dead children.

Julia Grey
Julia Grey

"and the .223-caliber ammo in Lanza's rifle is banned for deer hunting in some states on the grounds that it's too weak."

It may be too weak to penetrate the hair and hide of an adult deer well enough to kill it cleanly, but it's sure as hell not too weak to penetrate the little chests of 6 year olds...or even 29 year-olds, come to that.

So maybe that ammo should be banned altogether (or kept locked up for use at shooting ranges only)  because its "too weak" for killing anything but PEOPLE.

CapitalCat
CapitalCat

Nice to see right wingers advocating mental health treatment. Wasn't it just a couple of years ago they were screaming a national health plan was a Stalinist plot to destroy America?

Unless the next mass shooting kills Mitt Romney's grandchildren or takes place in a gated community where the 1% fund superPACs and avoid taxes, the NRA's marionettes in Congress (on both sides of the aisle) won't do anything to change gun laws.

RogerAiles
RogerAiles

[Jim Hoft wrote] "decades of failed liberal policy have made it difficult to force people with severe mental diseases to be treated or institutionalized." 

And his blog is Exhibit "A."

RogerAiles
RogerAiles

"Say what you will about homeschooling," [Pox Day] wrote, "but if your child is taught at home, he's not going to be shot there by some disgruntled school employee, student, or parent." 

From your lips to the unrecognizable remains of Nancy Lanza's ear, Pox.

RogerAiles
RogerAiles

[Robert Vanbruggen wrote] "....and the .223-caliber ammo in Lanza's rifle is banned for deer hunting in some states on the grounds that it's too weak."

Every job has its own tool.

Fuck Robert Vanbruggen.

PeachesnCreamNY
PeachesnCreamNY

@villagevoice True BUT, when guns get it the WRONG hands! Then People Kill People...Cant pull a Trigger Without a Finger...Remember that;-)

joanofargghh
joanofargghh

The ONLY thing that MURDERS people is intent. And the only way any Proggie wet dream of gun control would be fair is to have a world without guns.

Until that dubious day, it is classist, racist, and elitist to deny to any human the dignity of self-protection.  Self-protection is the very definition of human dignity.  

But the real agenda of the Left is control. Layers and layers of agency and satraps between you and where the blood is. So some piss-panted Prog can sleep in relative guilt-free fantasy. Even your kids know better.

Jake Tapper, the ghoul, has mawkishly tweeted something so hackneyed I swear he got it from a country music song. This, after he slow-jammed the kids' names and ages on Twitter, like some ghastly performance art. It's all well and good to gin up emotion, but every Prog with a kid in public school will lie to their child and say, "it's okay honey, you'll be safe, no monsters here."  But you'll feel bad about that and tweet wistfully about precious feelings. 

Kids already know that there are monsters. They figure that out when quite young. Even kids in peaceful quiet homes innately know. It's in our DNA. That knowledge is there to protect us more surely than any Disneyland fantasy of unicorns and world peace. Want your kids to sleep peacefully? Want to tell them the truth? Want to give them a real sense of their worth?  Tell them that you love them and you are prepared in a very real way to protect them by any means at your disposal, up to and including laying down your selfish, proggie "feelings" about what safety looks like. Those kids in Israel KNOW they are precious. Kids in some Texas schools know that they really are loved. Hell, the gold in Fort Knox knows it is loved.

Afford every child the dignity and worth that Obama's girls enjoy.

GlockH.PalinEsq.
GlockH.PalinEsq.

"Our culture has lost all sense of perspective, of reasonable balance, sothat we are unable to make common-sense judgments about risks..."

...said RS McCain, completely blind to the massive irony,

ira_zinman
ira_zinman

"These are assault weapons. You don't hunt deer with these things."Actually, people do. The .223 Remington cartridge is a popular round for game up to white tailed deer. And there is no such thing as an 'assault rifle'--the AR-15 is a semi-auto rifle, with a black plastic pistol grip stock, rather than a traditional walnut one. Variants of this rifle are used for hunting, as well as predator control by ranchers and farmers--the 'tactical' stock and other features are mere cosmetic differences. This is NOT the full-auto rifles used by the military--which are already illegal in Connecticut--any more than an H3 Hummer is the same thing as an Army-spec Humvee. But politicians like Mr Malloy are not ones to let facts get in the way of politics.

kleisthenes
kleisthenes

Nice article - but check your data on gun-related deaths in the UK. WHO reports 9 per 100,000 in the U.S., 1.1 per 100,000 in Germany, and just 0.25 per 100,000 in the UK (you claim 2.2 per 100,000).

stevenmitchell1
stevenmitchell1

@p.dempster1 Yes, It is analogous to the drinking and driving issue. While it is an infringement on those who want to drink and drive that their rights are restricted from doing so, it was for the benefit of those who wanted to be protected from drunk drivers, that the civil liberties of drunk drivers should be appropriated.

kb
kb

@petrajane I dispute your characterisations of “grown-up” and “human”.

billtrippe
billtrippe

It means the rube is easily confused. @tinyrevolution What does @instapundit mean by "Murdoch keeps deleting my replies to his tweets"?

jbrida
jbrida

@joanofargghh 

Yeah, the left with their "control" agenda. It's so FUCKING OBVIOUS! All we need to do is let all the gun-hugging sociopaths loose for 20 years or so, killing kids, mall shoppers and cops -- in the name of self-defense and human dignity (which is probably the most obscene thing I've ever read, you disgusting stain) -- while soul-dead assholes defend the mechanism of death loudly and incessantly about HOW IMPORTANT IT IS THAT WE KILL PEOPLE EFFORTLESSLY. And, then, finally, when we get to stack dead kids like cordwood, we'll get the control we've always sought.

It's so simple!

Also: Sorry about your tiny dick.

LawsCreateRights
LawsCreateRights

@joanofargghh Seems like the actual problem is that people don't realize that OTHER people and their kids are also precious (I mean, you wanna talk about "selfish...feelings"?)

Further, if you want to keep your kids safe, don't have a gun in the house. Statistically, you're more likely to shoot one of them or your spouse (or get shot yourself) than anyone else. 

RPorrofatto
RPorrofatto

@joanofargghh  

No one wants to take your precious guns away or "deny to any human the dignity of self-protection" (geez, talk about inflated, emotion-laden verbiage). And bring Israel into the discussion if you must, but the main thing that children in schools here need to be protected against is armed nut jobs with semi-automatic military assault weapons, outfitted with heaps of intent and a an online discount for bulk ammo. 

%s (from 2002) with summaries of gun laws in other countries (some, like Switzerland and Germany, are stricter now).Spain, for example:- Gun owners must be licensed and undergo strict medical and psychological tests.

- No one is permitted to own more than six hunting rifles and one handgun.

- Firearms must be registered and inspected annually.

- Machine guns and submachine guns are banned, as are imitation pistols.

Imagine that. Before you can own a gun, We The People Who Don’t Want To Get Slaughtered by whackjobs who think an M16 knock-off is the paragon of human dignity get to know who you are, that you understand how to handle firearms correctly, and that you resemble a normal human being. It would be nice to start down the road to something similar, because, y’know, the number of school shootings in Spain is zero. 

GeoX
GeoX

@joanofargghh The batshit lunatics didn't waste any time showing up, I see.

gsus5
gsus5

@brendan.macwade Shorter Jeff Goldstein: Guns don't kill people, but I'm not holding any fundraisers to buy a knife or a baseball bat.

p.dempster1
p.dempster1

@stevenmitchell1 @p.dempster1 There seems to be two sides to the ' civil liberties ' issue . One that protects the right to engage in potentially harmful actions , and the other for positive behaviour . There is only one thing that is more important than the rights and well being of the individual , and that is of the rights and well being of society . We have to look at the bigger picture ; if society breaks down - and we're headed there anyway , lets be honest - then the rights of the individual are immaterial as we dont have a working society to protect them . My view maybe simplistic ; I just dont want to live in a world where my kids ( if I had any ! ) or my friends and families kids , run the risk of being shot in the street . Theres something fundamentally wrong with that picture .

petrajane
petrajane

@kb conceded. That'll learn me for using biological-determinist definitions.

joanofargghh
joanofargghh

@jbrida @joanofargghh Let's go ask the parents of the dead. Who lulled them into the fantasy that a glass door and a bunch of unarmed women were keeping their kids safe?   There is no place on earth that is free from evil, or guns. To be unprepared to meet evil is a greater, foolish evil. To promote such foolishness as a morally superior position would be laughable if it didn't cost so many innocent lives.

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