Sunday, September 14, 2008

Las Vegas, Guns and Me

Some of my time away was spent in Las Vegas where part of my family lives and where I myself had lived from 1978 to 1981. Since then I've visited fairly frequently. During this trip I noticed how often guns came up, sometimes it was just a memory or a reflection, other times it was stuff I experienced or a conversation I had.

Through the years Vegas has had its share of shootings, like any big city. The killing of the famous Rap singer named Tupac was a big one. It came up in conversation just the other day. We were stopped at a traffic light on the Las Vegas Strip and my friend said this is the place Tupac got shot. "Yeah, car pulled up, couple guys got out and blasted the shit out of his car. No one was ever arrested." My friend blamed that on the fact that the players were all black and the cops would be just as happy to let them kill each other off.

A close friend of my family, a man whom I'd met a few times, killed himself with a handgun at the shooting range. This was a few years ago. The story was that he'd met a beautiful young girl from his home country, Hungary. She cleaned him out in some kind of scam. So he went to the range. The real shocker just now was while searching for the story I came upon this and this.

I knew a girl once named Lori. She was an innocent beauty, the type that frequently gravitates to Vegas and all too often gets roughed up in the process. I watched her get in with the wrong crowd, get into coke, but in those years none of that was too shocking. After I left, I'd heard she'd gotten strung out and started turning tricks. That just made me shake my head with sadness, blaming one guy we all knew. He'd corrupted her, I felt. Then it got much worse. She was walking down the street and a stranger came up to her and shot her in the face. I knew there was more to the story than that but never heard the rest of it. I saw her on a visit the following year. Miraculously, the .22 bullet had entered the front of her temple by the end of the eyebrow and somehow did very little damage and left very little scarring. She was different though: harder, tougher.

Back in those days I knew two guys who worked in L.A., good friends of mine. They got themselves into some trouble, basically it was a misunderstanding, but their lives were threatened by some connected people. What did they do? They came over to Vegas to get guns, of course. For a couple hundred bucks they picked up an old revolver-type pistol, I guess it could be called a Saturday night special, and a six-shot pump action shotgun, the kind referred to as a riot gun. I don't remember the details of how legal these transactions were. A couple days later, back in the jungles of L.A., whenever exiting their home or place of business, the one guy would go first with the handgun at his side, finger on the trigger I suppose, and the other guy, the main target, would warily follow holding the loaded shotgun at his side in its cloth case with his finger on the safety button, ready to press it, swing the gun up, feel for the trigger and fire through the carrying case. Somehow, no one got killed or injured. Whatever happened to the weapons, you may ask? The pistol no one remembers what happened, but the shotgun was in the trunk of a car that was stolen in Miami about a year after those guys made it out of L.A. The car was recovered, but of course the shotgun was gone along with the tape deck and spare tire. I wonder what mischief that gun got up to in the subsequent years.

A few days ago my Las Vegas family was gathered for the birthday of my sister-in-law. I introduced the subject by asking if any of them had guns. They were all responding in the negative when one of them fired the question back at me. I said simply, "No, I'm against guns." Then my nephew piped up that he has a gun. I guess my brother knew it, maybe my father too, so no one seemed too surprised or concerned. The kid's 24 years old. I asked him, taking care not to be contentious about it, what he has it for, going to the shooting range or for home protection. He said both and that he's thinking about applying for the Concealed Carry Permit because his work as a locksmith sometimes takes him into bad neighborhoods at night. That was it, no one seemed particularly into the subject one way or the other. But now I'm thinking. My nephew is like a lot of young people, got a DUI a couple months ago and got away with a few others. My father, in his gruff way, says the kid's a slob and can drink scotch out of the bottle. He lives with a couple other guys in a rented house. My idea is this is not the kind of person who should have a gun at all. He's not a squared away ex-marine who knows what he's doing with weapons. He's a typical 24-year-0ld.

Once I dated a girl in Vegas who's pocketbook weighed so much that I said what have you got in there. She pulled out a huge handgun, explaining that she had been raped once and the guy is getting out of jail soon. That's just a flash memory.

Last week I came upon an advertisement for this place, which I mentioned in the comment I left the other day. It made me wonder. I can't help but think there's a connection, just like I can't help but think there's a connection with what some of the frequent commenters on this blog profess, and the problem of gun violence. I've read every comment and every link, and I've done so with an open mind. I often find the arguments compelling, but I can't help but think arming the teachers, arming ourselves, playing with guns at the shooting range, all exacerbates the problem, the problem being the guy who shot Lori with a .22, and my two L.A. friends who could so easily have hurt or killed someone, the problem being my nephew and his buddies getting drunk and doing some of the crazy stunts that a lot of young people do.

Although I find the 2nd Amendment argument and the self-protection argument valid and compelling, I have to put more weight on my own personal experience. The things I mentioned above are only the few Vegas related incidents I could recall while writing this post. There are many more. I've lived in several other places. But, there is not one single positive gun story in my experience. Maybe my old girlfriend who'd been raped got to use that gun to protect herself, but I never heard that. Maybe my nephew will end up needing that gun of his, maybe his life will depend upon it, but that hasn't happened yet.

I ask the gun proponents, how can you discount this chronicle of violence? How can you not see that the right to gun ownership, while certainly wholesome and acceptable in theory, has turned into a major problem in America? And I ask you, how is it possible that gun advocates claim to be totally free of these types of experiences? Are you downplaying the problems to win the argument?

Please let me know what you think.


  1. "Are you downplaying the problems to win the argument?"

    I would actually say that's what you're doing, Mike. I definitely understand the emotions you're feeling, but I feel like you're ignoring all context to focus on guns.

    Why is society so accepting of super-star professionals feel the need to pretend to be two-bit criminals, and the curtain never closes, and the "props" are loaded with live ammo. This doesn't just go for Rappers, but it seems there is a high incidence of Sports Stars moonlighting as criminals as well. The gun isn't really the problem (actually America's Idolatry of Celebrities would make me question why ANY Celeb would go unarmed) but why would somebody making million-dollar paychecks want to play cops-and-robbers with real bullets?

    You talk about suicide, but then focus on the gun, and not on a person who not only feels so bad about things that they feel the need to end their life, but also goes to that ends without thinking about those of us who are left behind.

    I also had a close friend who shot herself. It wasn't her fist attempt. The first (or the other one she's told me about) attempt was with Tylenol, and it nearly did the trick, but she was still living at home, and her parents found her, and had her stomach pumped.

    Would it have made any difference to how I feel right now thinking about her if she had just used some more Tylenol, or other pills, rather than a bullet? I think you know the answer.

    You talk of a friend who fell into the horrible world of addiction and Prostitution (sadly a two worlds that are rarely apart)

    But you only seem to feel the need to tell us the story in context of her being shot, and give no further information about her life. Is she still alive today? Did she kick the drugs? Did she get off the streets? Not important as far as this post goes. She was shot. Guns are bad.

    You talk vaguely of two misguided people who likely bought some guns illegally in Vegas. Rather than discussing how law enforcement, the laws of the land, and society in general contributed to their sordid tale, you just talk about the guns, as if they're the only relevant piece of data in the trail.

    Finally you switch to the lawful people. Your nephew who works a very dangerous job, and likely in dangerous places, yet you decided that because he's young, and isn't a perfect saint, he should have the right to own tools of self defense. I'm sure as a locksmith he owns lock picks and slim-jims and other tools often misused by criminals to do horrible things, how do we not know your nephew isn't breaking and entering homes to rob people and is just using his locksmiths license as a cover for his rape-and-robbery business?

    Same with the woman with the gun in her purse. She's already learned that when things are at their worst, the cops are nowhere to be found, and the guy will soon be free again. I can point out many cases of women who WEREN'T raped because they had protection, as well as numbers of other cases. But because you don't like guns, you have to belittle her smart actions.

    There's lots to talk about here, but I think taking the gun out of MY pocket (which is where gun control only likes to go, and I think you also can see that) is the last thing we need to talk about.

    Welcome back, Mike, and I'm glad you wasted no time in the tough talk!

  2. Mike,

    What is your position on the "War on Some Drugs"? (e.g. marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc)

    Should drug use be legal?
    Drug possession, selling drugs, manufacturing drugs?

    Even knowing that some people will overdose on drugs, knowing that some people will become addicted to drugs and make bad decisions?

    How about your position on a legal drug, alcohol? Given the personal, medical, and economic impact of alcohol addiction and abuse; due you advocate prohibiting the use and possession of alcohol?

    There comes a time when we have to say that people have a right to do things even if it kills them, right?
    No body would consider outlawing swimming even though thousands die yearly doing it.

    All those things above have incredible impact on society and you feel compelled to tell them to stop doing those things because a small minority of those people will do something wrong?

    If you don't, why do you feel compelled to tell millions of gun owners to stop doing what they want because of the actions of a few?

  3. Also, Mike, I think its now time to stop the hand-wringing and start talking about the brass tacks.

    I apriciate the personal note the last story had, but overall nothing new was said that hasn't been said by you several times before.

    You've also painted yourself into a bit of a corner, as you know that a total ban will not only take the gun out of the hands of responcible collectors, and people who will use them for protection rather than become victims of crimes...but also you can see the results from other nations, and other fields (Prhibition of Drugs and Alcohol, prohibition of Abortion ect)

    And when it comes to non-total bans, I think you show more interest in the subject than the average politico or activist who can't look beyond the end of their nose at the net result of their legislation (Ie an "Assault Weapons Ban" that didn't target guns used in crimes, and was quickly circumvented by gun makers by grinding off bayonet lugs from existing guns, and while it made normal-capacity magazines expensive they were hardly in short supply)

    So I propose rather than wrangling with our addess of the shortsights of your post, and the superimposition of defacto gun-bans or your political stances of what freedoms are OK and what aren't.

    Let's talk about your proposition on how to "Fix" this "Problem"

    I use quotations only because I don't see guns as a problem at all, but rather a symptom of a greater problem, and even a temporary solution in the short term, while greater steps are taken to grind out problems with culture, and the justice system take over in the long term.

    So what do you propose, Mike?

  4. I think you can't think of a single positive gun story because you look for negative ones. You're like a student who fits his data to his thesis, in my mind and you hang around like-minded people to yourself. Hope no offense is taken by me saying this, but that is my exact take on your question.

    I can think of the school shooting at App Law school stopped by two armed students. I can think of my friend, Officer Greg Truitt, that saved a girl from kidnap and rape (he was evenoff-duty) in Travis county Texas and for his efforts was rewarded with wrongful death lawsuits from the NAACP et al because he's white and the crackhead kidnapper rapist that was actively trying to kill him after he and his off duty partner managed to get the kidnapped and raped ex-gf away from him was actively trying to kill him.

    I could list hundreds of stories but if you aren't want to change your mind, you won't.

    Sometimes I feel debating gun controllers is like trying to teach card tricks to a Labrador retriever.

    I'm off to the range...I have a continued vendetta against orange and white pieces of paper with numbers and lines drawn on them.

    Pray for the paper, that it might not become extinct.

    Regards and glad you had a safe flight.

  5. other commenters have raised good points. but in addition to that... if drunk-driving slobs who can't manage to get (or see the utility in getting) an apartment of their own are a good measure of the typical 24-year-old you know, Mike, then you run in some shady social circles.

    a person doesn't have to be a squared-away buzz-cut ex-marine in order to act like a responsible adult who can be trusted with deadly weapons. but a person who can't be trusted to remain sober while operating one of the most common, and most deadly, of life-threatening implements in the country is not acting responsibly, maturely, or in an adult manner. please tell him, politely, to straighten his act up, because he needs to.

  6. from one of your stories:

    In April 1997, a 24-year-old man was killed while coaching a woman on how to shoot a .44-caliber Magnum revolver. Police said the revolver's powerful recoil forced the woman to bend her elbows past 90 degrees so the weapon's barrel was pointing up and over her shoulder when it went off, striking her coach in the neck.

    Sounds hokey. If you have fired a revolver and it ends up pointing backwards over your shoulder, your first instinct shouldn't be to pull the trigger again. If you are an instructor of a small framed woman or weak person and give them a .44Magnum without properly teaching them to control recoil, you deserve to be shot or serving a custodial sentence in the prison or booby hatch of your choice. Darwin won.

    Pray for me, for I have sinned. More orange and white paper AND black and white paper died today because of me. Proving I'm not racist, I also shot a green colored target.

    I am now home and having a solitary beer with lunch and will not handle firearms after solitary beer for a number of hours. Because it's a personal rule of mine.

    I saw somebody doing something stupid and dangerous at the range the other day and got IN HIS FACE and screamed at him "FINGER OFF THE FUCKING TRIGGER PUT DOWN THE GUN!" and he doesn't get to come back to practice anymore. That somebody was a literal blood relative of mine.

    We police ourselves pretty well, Mike. Nobody wants to have to wear kevlar and helmets to punch holes in paper because some people are born with hardly two brain cells to rub together.

  7. if you're coaching a physically weak person in shooting high-power, high-recoil weapons, why would you load more than one round in the magazine/cylinder at a time before they're comfortable with handling the weapon?

  8. I read about that. Barring it being a Mataba (which I'm unfamiliar with a .44 model) the trigger would need to be first reset then compleatly pulled the DA lenth of travel again.

    VERY bizzare story. Certainly a lot of odd stuff going on there....

  9. I have a .375 Holland and Holland Magnum PISTOL I have been building up for Africa purposes. I also have .44 Magnum, .45/70 and .450 Marlin Revolvers.

    I'm rather careful in who I allow a chance to shoot them because I value my optics and don't like people dropping my guns or hitting themselves in the face with them.

    Frame of Reference:

    Common Super Blackhawk like was likely involved in the .44 Mag incident referenced above:

    .44 Magnum, 8-Inch barrel==2.9 Lbs gun weight. 240-Grain Bullet at 1400 FPS

    My .450 Marlin BFR:

    10-Inch barrel, 4.5 Lbs. 350-Grain Bullet at 1814 FPS

    My H&H project:

    15.5" barrel. Single shot, ~4.2lbs. 300_Grain Bullet at well past 2000 FPS

    Recoil is a factor of muzzle energy generated vs the weight of the firearm. Equal and opposite reaction Newtonian Physics.

    Muzzle Energy=Muzzle Velocity SQUARED/450400 for the imperial system and ME=MV2/2000 for the metric system.

    Crunch the numbers above and she was shooting a pussy big bore in my opinion...A properly trained 7 year old girl can shoot a .44 Magnum. I've seen my friend's daughter do so.

  10. "Common Super Blackhawk like was likely involved in the .44 Mag incident referenced above:"

    you must be mistaken, the Blackhawk line is SAO. Meaning the gun needed to be thumb-cocked durring the recoil process to achive the 3rd nostril of the piss-poor trainer.

    You must have meant super redhawk.

  11. I meant exactly what I typed, Blackhawk, not Redhawk. More common in my circles, as they were the original and more longly produced Ruger .44 Magnums" and she would not only have to pull the trigger but thumb the hammer first too to do that "stunt." I know my Rugers. I own about a dozen and a half of them...from Mk Is to Number Ones and everything in-between.

  12. Wow. If it was a Blackhawk, I can't see any way for that to not be at least negligent manslaughter. More than likley murder....

  13. All right, here it comes. First of all, Thomas suggests that I only look for the incidents that support my thesis. That's false. My post consisted of personal experiences, ones that I had first hand, or nearly first hand experience with. I've often read about the other ones, like that granny in PA who held the burglar until the police came. My point is that I have never experienced one of those close up, never knew of a thwarted crime or a stopped rape because someone was armed. All my gun experiences were like the ones I mentioned, and a few others, like my friend in Indiana whose wife shot him to death and then got off on the old battered wife defense, and my buddy who was shot in NYC when we were kids. The point is on my personal score card it's about twenty to zero. And that makes me wonder how often do those other incidents happen, the ones where a gun saves the day? I think they may be quite rare, statistically. Let's say my nephew reports that his gun saved his life one night in North Las Vegas, we'd mark the card 20 to 1. That's 20 which include several fatalities against 1 possible death.

    I say to Bob, I know it's not the guns. It's the availability. It's the ready access. My father's Hungarian friend who blew his brains out might have had less success with pills or a razor. The gun is just too lethal and its availability is the key factor in this and many of these incidents.

    Weer'd asked me for a solution, well I turn that around to you guys. For me, we could throw all the guns into the ocean. It's you guys who want them and insist on keeping your right to have them, so I say it's your responsibility to come up with a solution. And I believe it is a responsibility since you are the guys who want these lethal "tools" to be available. I'm sure I'm not the only one with a score card like that, 20 to 0. What do you suggest we do about that?

  14. You force me to repeat myself:

    "So I propose rather than wrangling with our addess of the shortsights of your post, and the superimposition of defacto gun-bans or your political stances of what freedoms are OK and what aren't.

    Let's talk about your proposition on how to "Fix" this "Problem"

    I use quotations only because I don't see guns as a problem at all, but rather a symptom of a greater problem, and even a temporary solution in the short term, while greater steps are taken to grind out problems with culture, and the justice system take over in the long term.

    So what do you propose, Mike?"

    and of course "Throw all guns in the Ocean" is neither realistic, nor how you feel, as you have already said you support police and Military to have tools of defense.

    Seriously, Mike, give it some very real thought and come up with a theory.


    Some numbers to look at while you come up with a plan.

    Also Mike, I have to point out that a HUGE chunk of my friends are gun owners. None of them have COMMITTED any of the above atrocities.

    I don't go asking them if they've ever used their gun for defense, as I see it as the same context as asking my female friends if they've ever been raped.

    I hate to sound rude, but I may have to agree with Nomen in being curious on the people you keep company with.

  16. Mike,

    When I was in the Air Force, a large number of my friends (and myself) committed the crime of driving drunk on occasion. Of course, this was 1981-85 and we were young.

    We drank often, it was a joke that we started the weekend on Thursday and ended it on Tuesday but it wasn't much of a joke. We did some serious drinking.

    Should I base my recommendations against drinking and driving on those years, all the years I've been driving, or across America as a whole.

    This is where the dreaded statistics come into play. It gives a person an idea of what is happening outside of their own personnel experience.

    I've never been mugged, held up, had my home invaded, or otherwise assaulted but I can see from the statistics those things happen often enough for me to take precautions against them.

    When you count 20 to 0 for defensive gun uses, I see 270,000,000 firearms and less then 20,000 firearm related murders a year. I look at the numbers and see that most of those murders occurred as a result of other crimes or criminal activity.

    The guy sitting at home peacefully minding his own business that "suddenly gets gunned down" by a rival drug dealer isn't an innocent victim. The 10 year old kid accidentally killed in a drive by shooting is, but the target of the shooting was a gang banger

    Yow want my prescription to reduce the "gun violence" or the number of guns?

    Focus on the crime and not the tool.

    As with your personal experience with suicide, if we can remove the depression would the person still try to commit suicide?
    It wouldn't matter what tool (gun, razor, knife) was available, the underlying cause would make them irrelevant.

    Focus on the crime, make violent crimes high prison term actions. Commit a violent crime and go to jail for a very long time. Make space in jails by legalizing most drug possession and use. Control the manufacture and tax it.

    Another step is to put more guns in the hands of the law abiding and allow them to carry them everywhere. Want to see rape stats go down...let the victims be able to confront the rapist with firearms. Assault, muggings, robberies; would the reward of a few dollars be worth the risk of death? For some crooks, but some would smarten up and stop. Those that don't, after a while they won't be around to commit other crimes, either dead or in jail.

    Teach firearm safety in school, if we can teach sex ed, we can teach how to safely handle and shoot a gun. That eliminates the concerns about mis-use by children.

    I'll go back to the OJ story to back up my point. If OJ hadn't been planning a crime, the fact that they had or got firearms would be irrelevant, right?

  17. Mike, Mike, Mike. the plural of anecdote is not data.

    you may have had a bunch of shitty experiences which happened to involve guns. so what? first off, you can't validly say that the guns caused the shittiness, but more importantly, you can't generalize from your personal experience to society at large. you are not Everyman, Mike, and the mere fact that something bad happened to you once is not indicative of any larger trend.

    this is true for everybody's individual personal experience, by the way. we are none of us Everyman. if we want to find out what the big picture is --- what the real, overarching trends within society are --- we have to look at valid statistics and take not inconsiderable care to specifically rule out the kinds of personal bias and prejudice our private experiences instill in us.

    that's critical thinking 101, really, it's very basic experiment design. it's something you should have learned at about the time you learned about picking random statistical samples and how statistics can extrapolate from random samples. i'm disappointed in you, Mike, i thought you knew this.

  18. Mike, sorry for being presumptuous but in my social and family circles the numbers run the other way. How often do soldiers "frag" their officers? In such case as a military base, potentially everyone is armed, yet their is little to no crime.

    I had a very contentious debate with my father who is visiting last night. There were guns and knives and hammers et al available on the table between us, in a very literal sense. Heated words were exchanged at great length and not a single person was hurt except for mentally, perhaps.

  19. I like this part of what Bob said: "Focus on the crime, make violent crimes high prison term actions. Commit a violent crime and go to jail for a very long time. Make space in jails by legalizing most drug possession and use. Control the manufacture and tax it." But I'm afraid I can't go with the rest.

    Thomas, I wish I could have been a fly on the wall during that argument with your father. Don't tell me he's a liberal like me.

    Weer'd, Back to you, man. I say throw all the guns into the ocean, you say keep 'em. In my book that makes you responsible. So what do we do?

  20. Mike,

    I disagree that it is up to us. We currently have the absolute right to self defense, backed up by a recent Supreme Court decision confirming the Constitutional protection of that right.

    Let's turn it around. If I wanted to limit your right to free speech, should I make you come up with the plan and the legal reasons to do so?

    I challenge you to take any gun control plan and substitute in an number of the other rights listed in the Bill of Rights. See if you could agree with the plan after the substitute.

    For Example: Want to throw away the firearms...throw away every keyboard, printing press, phone, television, etc that makes freedom of speech easier.

    We've presented data, facts and legal reasons why the ban of firearms won't work.
    You still want to do it, so convince us how it will work and reduce crime.

  21. you say keep 'em. In my book that makes you responsible.

    for what?

  22. "n my book that makes you responsible. So what do we do?"

    Jesus, Mike, did you not read ANYTHING I wrote?

    Don't make me repeat it again.

  23. Mike, Dad's an independent Goldwaterish Libertarian/Conservative with some leftist tendencies at times and a large collection of Joan Baez records.

    My sister is/was a state and national Democratic Party delegate who is very activist about recruiting and registering people to vote Demotwat and she's married to a Texas Democratic politician whose hand I won't even shake nor will I break bread with him because he's worse than Sarah Brady, Joe Biden, and Ted Kennedy the murderer all rolled into one and won't even admit it or his views in any sort of truthful sense, because he's a Politician. I refer to him as "the idiot my sister married" as opposed to "brother in law". We had lunch on Saturday and nobody was killed then, either.

    Armed people are polite people in actions, if not always in words. Continued existence on the planet with other armed people depends on it being so.

    I'm sure you would have been amused to spectate and the language was more colourful than that of most sailors and grunts I've known over the years. Might have even invented some new, never before uttered, insults last night.

    Since you like to read, you might be interested in reading a novel an acquaintance of mine has been partially publishing in serial fashion on the web, until it comes out in time for the Knob Creek festivities in hard bound form. An "Unintended Consequences" for the new millenium, perhaps, and would make a hell of a movie that points out just how dangerous of soil those of the "gun control ilk" tread upon.

    Do me a favour and set aside a few hours and read it. You'll gain a whole different understanding of how a lot of us see things as they now lay. It'd actually be doing you a favour, truthfully, in my humble opinion.

    For the record, my dad's not a liberal like you, but shares some of your views, and he is against my wishes of bringing back public flogging and public hangings of people that violate their sworn oath to uphold The Constitution and Bill OF Rights, especially the one my sister married...


  24. Almost forgot to be more blatant about it than in the preceding post regarding:

    It's you guys who want them and insist on keeping your right to have them, so I say it's your responsibility to come up with a solution. And I believe it is a responsibility since you are the guys who want these lethal "tools" to be available. I'm sure I'm not the only one with a score card like that, 20 to 0. What do you suggest we do about that?

    I suggest that you remember that the people you want to take guns away from for your purposes, foolish as they may be, are people that own a lot of guns, have military training often, and have seen what happened at Ruby Ridge, Waco, Wayne Fincher, David Olofson, the list is longer than you need to read, but you might read up on those cases. You want to poke a beehive or a lion with a pointy stick? Have at it and put it on webcam and advise us of the URL so we can watch.


  25. Thomas, thanks for sharing that info about your dad. He sounds like an interesting guy. Also for the link to your friend's book, which I'll make the time to look at.

    To Bob, and everyone else, I should say I'm not talking about banning anything, nor am I talking about gun control. I'm still trying to understand what the problem is. Weer'd asks if I'm even reading his comments and Nomen whats to know "responsible for what?" Well, of course I'm reading the comments and I'm still saying there's a connection between your wanting to have access to legal guns and the gun violence that's out there. If that's true, then I say you're responsible. But don't worry, The Great Gun Survey will sort everything out. I posted it today.

  26. I'm still saying there's a connection between your wanting to have access to legal guns and the gun violence that's out there.

    is there such a connection, though?

    i also want to own a car. is there a connection between that desire and the drunk driving that's out there? if not, why not?

  27. Mike,

    I could make stronger connections between race Then I can because of gun ownership.
    Given the fact that I can make a connection; would you advocate a ban based on race?

    Homicide Offending Rates per 100,000 Population by Race
    White Black Other
    1976 4.9 46.6 4.6
    ----many years omitted
    2003 3.5 25.3 3.4
    2004 3.6 24.1 2.7
    2005 3.5 26.5 2.8

    From 1976 to 2005 --

    * 86% of white victims were killed by whites
    * 94% of black victims were killed by blacks

    Homicide Victimization Rates per 100,000 Population by Race
    White Black Other

    2003 3.4 20.9 2.8
    2004 3.3 19.7 2.4
    2005 3.3 20.6 2.5

    Please note I am not being racist, I'm point out RACIAL differences in crime rates. SocioEconomic status, family structure, heck even urban/rural location influence the rates. Shouldn't we be tackling those issues?

  28. Oh BTW I assume your use of the word "responcibility" implies guns getting on the street. Who says its Gun Owner's problem?

    "WASHINGTON - The ATF lost 76 weapons and hundreds of laptops over five years, the Justice Department reported Wednesday, blaming carelessness and sloppy record-keeping."

    Note these are the pricks that are supposed to use all this nifty paperwork we have to fill out to track down the assholes breaking the gun laws.


    This one too.

  30. Nothing to do with guns ;) but the mention of Las Vegas made me think of the old Gram Parsons song...

    ooh, Las Vegas, ain't no place for a poor boy like me
    ooh, Las Vegas, ain't no place for a poor boy like me
    every time I hit your crystal city
    you know you're gonna make a wreck out of me
    well, the first time I lose I drink whiskey
    second time I lose I drink gin
    third time I lose I drink anything
    'cause I think I'm gonna win
    ooh, Las Vegas, ain't no place for a poor boy like me, no
    ooh, Las Vegas, ain't no place for a poor boy like me
    every time I hit your crystal city
    you know you're gonna make a wreck out of me
    well, the queen of spades is a friend of mine
    the queen of hearts is a bitch
    someday when I clean up my mind
    I'll find out which is which
    ooh, Las Vegas, ain't no place for a poor boy like me
    ooh, Las Vegas, ain't no place for a poor boy like me
    every time I hit your crystal city
    you know you're gonna make a wreck out of me
    well, I spend all night with the dealer
    tryin' to get ahead
    spend all day at the Holiday Inn
    trying to get out of bed