Friday, April 4, 2014

How Gun Control Laws Save Lives

An 18-year-old Torrington woman accused of plotting shootings at two Connecticut high schools, including Danbury's, wrote that she idolized the two teens who carried out a deadly 1999 school shooting in Colorado and believed that copying their crime would make her famous.
Carpenter and her 19-year-old alleged accomplice, Peter Thulin, also a resident of the group home, face charges of attempted first-degree assault and conspiracy in connection with the plan, which police said also involved attempts by the pair to purchase firearms at two Torrington gun stores.
Police said Thulin and Carpenter first attempted to buy a 12-gauge tactical shotgun at a Torrington gun store on March 1 and inquired about a course needed to obtain a long-gun certificate. The clerk told them to check back and he would tell them when the course would be offered, police said in the warrant.
The next day, police said, Carpenter and Thulin went to the gun department at Wal-Mart, where she filled out a form that initiated the 14-day waiting period before she could buy the weapon, Carpenter also went to another store in Torrington, where she bought knife with a 6.5-inch blade that police later found in her room.
One of the tricks used by the gun-rights fanatics is to demand evidence where they know there is none. This story provides an example of the countless (uncountable) cases in which strict gun control laws prevent violence. Because it's not possible to count all the times something DOES NOT happen, they seize upon that as a reason to eliminate laws that save lives.


  1. "Details of the plot were contained in an 11-page arrest warrant affidavit that was made public on Tuesday. It quotes the friends who brought the pair's plans to the attention of authorities as saying Thulin and Carpenter intended to carry out the shootings in two or three years when it would presumably be easier for them to obtain firearms."

    Actually it sounds more like old fashioned police work, concerned friends, and the inability of the mentally unstable plotters to keep their mouths shut that prevented this potential event. You can read the entire arrest warent application here,

    From what I've read, neither one was a prohibited person, and apparently the only real thing holding them up was money since they apparently spent too much money smoking weed to afford the shotgun or the classes. (another argument for legalizing pot?)

    1. Don't you think you're forgetting to credit the 14-day waiting period for at least part of the reason this crime was prevented?

    2. SS,
      Would you say most gun killings are a passion of the moment event and not a well planned out event? If so wouldn't a waiting period stop some of those killings?

    3. "Would you say most gun killings are a passion of the moment event and not a well planned out event?"

      Anon, I have to admit, I hadn't given your question much thought before you brought it up. However, the FBI has done a fair job of trying to quantify that.
      In 2012, approximately half of the total homicides were as a result of some form of argument, which would suggest that there likely wasn't much planning. There are also about 35% classified as unknown also, and I imagine that is likely a function of lack of information sent forward from law enforcement agencies. I suspect that the percentages between argument fueled killings as opposed to ones committed during crimes would carry over into the unknowns though.

    4. SS thanks,
      Now that your facts have shown my first question to be correct, what would you answer to my second question?

    5. But, even the killings committed during crimes are not planned. Percentage-wise, I'd say very few killings are planned.

    6. Anon, the time limits put on the purchase permit applications are ostensibly to give the government time to conduct the background check. Keep in mind, if these two pieces of work had not volunteered information, and even consenting to allow police search their homes, they could have bought the firearms they looked at because they aren't prohibited persons.
      As for the passion of the moment justification, My personal belief is that it is just another attempt to do just that. justify unlawful behavior. As a person is with handling a firearm safely, so goes their handling of their emotions. You are responsible for handling both responsibly.
      If you mishandle either a firearm, or your emotions, the responsibility is yours, and yours alone. Mike, just because someone doesn't plan to kill someone during say, a robbery, making the decision to point the gun makes it aggravated assault, and in most jurisdictions, considered a valid reason to use deadly force to defend yourself.
      You aren't and shouldn't be required to try to glean whether the armed robber really means to shoot you. If someone points a weapon at you with ill intent, then you are justified in protecting yourself.
      The effectiveness of these waiting periods to accomplish their goals appears to be inconclusive.

      "Waiting periods have been established by the federal government and by states to allow time to check the applicant's background or to provide a "cooling-off" period for persons at risk of committing suicide or impulsive acts against others. Studies of the effects of waiting periods on violent outcomes yielded inconsistent results: some indicated a decrease in violent outcome associated with the delay and others indicated an increase."

    7. I think it's logically quite clear that if the majority of gun killings are a crime of spur of the moment passion, then a waiting, or cooling off period certainly can save lives.