Monday, May 25, 2009

Peaceable NRA Convention One Weekend, Slaughter and Mayhem the Next

Reading Catherine's wonderful blog A Time for Change, I was tipped off to the latest high profile shooting which took place yesterday. Ironically, the location was a suburb of Phoenix, where last weekend the NRA Convention took place. The local news covered the story like this:

The suspect, a 37-year-old whose name has not been released, was invited to the same high school graduation party as his ex-wife, 38, and shot and killed her and a 32-year-old man Sunday, according to Mesa police.

Six other people were injured, including two boys, 10 and 8 respectively, and a police officer who was shot in the arm. The injured appeared to have non life-threatening injuries that may have been caused by bullet fragmentation.

How many times have we heard it lately that someone got upset, went out to the car and came back in, shooting? Here's one that comes to mind, but these incidents are now literally daily occurrences. And how many times have we heard that this has nothing to do with the law abiding gun owners? The answer to that is too many to count.

Here's what I say, this nameless 37-year-old may very well have been a law abiding gun owner until yesterday. In Arizona it's no big deal to have a gun in the car. I realize it's an assumption, but if this is the case, what we've got is yet another illustration of "gun flow," the one which is more about people. Some percentage of lawful gun owners goes bad. When that happens, you've got something worse than when guns are simply stolen or sold to the criminals, you've got guns and people both moving in the flow to the dark side.

My gun enthusiast friends say it's very rare, which to them is 1%. I doubt that. I'd say it's higher. And I'd also point out that the only ones we become aware of are the multiple murders. Lesser crimes, even single murders barely make the news any more. What about the even milder crimes that so-called lawful gun owners commit. Whatever the true percentage is, when you multiply it against the 50 or 80 million gun owners in the country, you've got a big problem.

Let's say the assumption was all wrong. Let's say he's already a convicted felon who owned the gun illegally. Who's to blame for that? I say who's to blame are all those who work so hard to make guns as available as they are. The availability of the gun was crucial in this case. Whether he was legal or not, if the gun hadn't been available in his car, he might have punched his wife or got into a fight with the guy he killed. Fewer guns mean fewer gun violence incidents.

What's your opinion? Do you think he was a legal gun owner or a criminal? Do you think this story illustrates the gun availability problem? Why are gun owners so reluctant to admit this? Is it because further gun restrictions would inconvenience them? I think that could be it.

Please feel free to leave a comment.


  1. In your opinion, what restrictions would work?

    With or without the second amendment?

  2. Odd you didn't cover this very similar story.

    Actually quite predictable.

    Similar but what was the difference?

    Also odd that one of the two stories made the news wires.

    hmmmmm, your thoughts Mike?

  3. Of course you'ld say it's higher. Because you want to believe it is no matter the evidence.

    "Fewer guns mean fewer gun violence incidents."

    No, actually it doesn't.

  4. "Fewer guns mean fewer gun violence incidents." No, actually it doesn't.

    Oh, really? And you know this fact because?

    This morning we in Toledo woke up to this headline:

    Gunman opens fire on family next door; 3 wounded in N. Toledo home
    Police kill attacker in standoff

    Known as quiet but generally friendly, Richard Dale Carr II's behavior grew increasingly bizarre in the hours before he showed up at a neighbor's house in North Toledo yesterday morning with two handguns and a delirious notion of revenge, neighbors and authorities said.


    Berserk man with two guns! Nice, friendly neighbor!

  5. And your headline proves what Mudrake?

    Sorry, but that's not a "fact."

    "fewer guns" has never been shown to reduce violent crime rates, which is why you and MikeB cannot ever backup your assertions with empirical evidence.

  6. It seems Thirdpower is right.

    "Higher levels of civilian firearms ownership correlates with lower levels of homicide, and countries with the highest civilian firearms ownership averaged lower homicide rates."

  7. Sevesteen, Since we now see that the AWB was not the nonsensical piece of legislation you guys tried to say it was, we just have to come up with the proper wording. Since defining "assault rifle" seems to be so difficult, why don't we say it like this:

    Banned immediately are all semi-automatic and automatic rifles. The only ones permitted, primarily for hunting purposes, are single-shot bolt-action models.

    Of course there'll have to be more to it, caliber limitations and such, but that's the basic idea.
    Afterwards, we can begin working on the proper wording to restrict the pistols.

  8. Aztec, I'm afraid you're comparing apples with oranges, something you guys like to do a lot.

    No one ever said the gun is the only factor. You can't compare a lower per capita occurrence of guns in one group of countries with a higher rate in another very different group. That's apples and oranges.

    Even when comparing changes within the same country, like the UK for example, you need to take into consideration other factors.

  9. "Banned immediately are all semi-automatic and automatic rifles. The only ones permitted, primarily for hunting purposes, are single-shot bolt-action models."

    Pretty bad idea, Mike. But I thought you didn't have time to discuss the issues?

    Still I'll rebut.

    What does hunting have to do with anything?

    I don't hunt, and while I'm not opposed to it, I could easily go my entire life without engaging in that sport. Certainly my wife has ZERO desire to ever shoot at an animal for sporting reasons or for food.

    Of course to go even further, into the reasons for owning guns, and the reason behind our 2nd Amendment.

    Would this, like all other gun laws in the nation, have Police exemption?

    You'll note that ALL police (Italian Police are no exception) use semi-auto firearms including rifles. Note this is not the SWAT team that would be called in for the Hollywood-style bank robbery, or some crazy hostage situation, these are the beat cops who might need a weapon to stop a rape, a murder, or to protect their own lives from criminals who might want to do them serious harm.

    They choose Semi-auto firearms for the same reason why I choose them.

    Remember Mike, my question still stands to you:

    Prove to me my guns to myself, my family, and my society at large more harm than good, I'll have all of them destroyed.

    The semi autos, the Bolt actions, the single shots, the revolvers. ALL OF MY GUNS.

    Just prove to me what you claim is even remotely true.

    Don't repeat the same Brady drivel, actually engage us and convince us.

    ...Or you could admit to being competently closed minded.

    Oh and "No one ever said the gun is the only factor." That's true, but it appears that to you, the gun is the only factor you want to change.

    Also people harmed by guns are the only people you seem to "care" about. I use quotes because you only care about them as far as it furthers your agenda.

  10. Weer'd, Isn't it about time you made one of those flamboyant announcements that you're done commenting over here? I think you've done it three times now and you keep coming back anyway. What is that called again, when a guy says he's going to do something and then he does the exact opposite. You're the big name-caller, what do you call that behaviour?

  11. And since MikeB CAN'T answer the question, he tries to change the subject.

    What is that called again? When a guy repeatedly makes absolute statements then avoids defending them when the facts are presented?

  12. "Banned immediately are all semi-automatic and automatic rifles. The only ones permitted, primarily for hunting purposes, are single-shot bolt-action models. "

    Unless you don't understand what single shot bolt action means, you would be banning 99% of all rifles ever made--and chances are your "more to it, caliber restrictions" would get most of the rest. Bolt action was not common until after the civil war, and single-shot rifles were rarely bolt-action.

  13. Sevesteen, That was the joke, it would mean 99% of all the rifles.

    You guys say we can't ban this and we can't ban that, we can't describe it like this and we can't describe it like that. Then you insist on asking me what restrictions I'd recommend. Well, there it is.