The Onion: "Fuck Everything, Nation Reports"

As is usually the case in times of unthinkable horror, The Onion just fucking nails it:

Despairing sources confirmed that the gunman, armed with a semiautomatic assault rifle—a fucking combat rifle, Jesus—walked into a classroom full of goddamned children where his mother was a teacher and, good God, if this is what the world is becoming, then how about we just pack it in and fucking give up, because this is no way to live.

I mean, honestly, all 315 million Americans confirmed.

“Well, I suppose we have to try to pick up the pieces and make some sort of sense of this tragedy and—you know what? Fuck it, I can’t do this,” said Connecticut resident Michael Zaleski, his remarks understandable given the circumstances, because, holy shit, what else can one say? “I’m sorry, but I can’t fucking do this. Can you? Can anyone?”

Fuck Everything, Nation Reports

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      1. Thank you.  I will now be handing out bans to new commenters showing up to spread false information.  Oh, wait.  I was already doing that.  Never mind.

        From your link:

        The gunman in the Connecticut shooting blasted his way into the elementary school and then sprayed the children with bullets, first from a distance and then at close range, hitting some of them as many as 11 times, as he fired a semiautomatic rifle loaded with ammunition designed for maximum damage.

        1. A little unfair to ban Michael Wiik though, the newspaper article he cites does say that only hand guns were used – presumably this is an error on the part of the Washington Post.

          Disclaimer: I know nothing about guns or US newspapers.

        2. Spinkter was replying to Michael Wilk, which is why his link contradicts the assertion that the killings were done with handguns.

    1. I believe they were killed with bullets. I may be mistaken. If I am stabbed by a knife I really don’t give a fuck whether the steel is from Japan, Toledo (the one in Spain) or fucking Tesco’s.

  1. I love guns.  I seriously fucking love guns.  I’m retired and I go target shooting about 3 days a week on average.  But this one has hit me hard.  I was physically sick today and spent the entire day with my head in the sand, streaming mindless movies off Netflix and consciously avoiding all news coverage.  At the moment, I’m depressed as hell.

    Yeah, yeah, I know the *facts* that murder rates are dropping, that inanimate objects don’t kill anyone, that far more people have been murdered at one time by people who used a gallon of gas or a hijacked airplane, that large numbers of children have been murdered simultaneously using fuel oil and fertilizer for weapons.  I realize the pro-gun folks will be the ones who think rationally in the aftermath of this thing and not let their emotions sway them to legislate against basic civil liberties out of blind, unthinking emotion.

    But I’m not feeling terribly rational at the moment.  I’m in more of a blind, unthinking, emotional state.  I think I’ll take a little chemically-induced vacation tonite and see how I feel in the morning…besides hung over.

    1. consciously avoiding all news coverage

      That’s not head-in-the-sand, it’s not-supporting-the-responsible-parties.

      1. It’s vastly easier if you don’t watch television. More so if you get your news from an international source like al Jazeera which hasn’t stopped reporting on the fifty or so wars and natural disasters that are also taking place at the moment.

    2.  ” I realize the pro-gun folks will be the ones who think rationally in the aftermath of this thing”

      You destroyed your own cred right there.

      1. I’ve consumed excessively and I’m on the verge of passing out so this will be short.  You missed my point.  Right now, I’m wondering if thinking rationally on this topic is still justified.

          1. It seems to have been a meaningless act. Somehow we (Westerners?) have become more scared of meaninglessness than the most rabid religious fanatics and TV performs the public rite of churning things over and over in the attempt to find meaning. Maybe only the ritual search itself has meaning.

    3. Here is what I don’t understand: Gun owners always talk about “target” shooting.  And proudly talk about how they never use their guns against others.

      Okay, so if that’s the case, why not use paint guns? Or pellet guns? You like “target” shooting & don’t need personal protection, man up & get an appropriate tool for your sport.

      Also, a “well regulated militia” exists. It’s called the National Guard. They operate on the state level. Just like a militia did.

      1. Because comparing target shooting with a paintball gun to target shooting with a firearm is about as legitimate a comparison as saying that eating a Mcdonalds hamburger cooked on an assembly line is the same as a fine steak prepared by a master chef.

        That being said, I shoot airguns exclusively now.  I used to shoot firearms.  And even then, there’s little comparison between the two sports other than they both generally involve trying to put little bits of metal repeatedly through the same tiny holes.

        1. Okay, how about this. Can there be some augmented reality device made for XBox or PlayStation games that will wrap around a players ball sack & each time they fire their make-believe gun it vibrates as some positive reinforcement?

          Seriously, there is some @!$%ing phallic B.S. mixed in here. Has there ever been a FEMALE mass shooter or anything close to that? It’s always men. Always guys. And I’m a man, and this is sick.

          1. I could find only one, a professor who was denied tenure and started shooting her colleagues in the biology department. Even then, it was at a staff meeting of people she knew; she didn’t run around indiscriminately killing any people she came across. Looking at as many cases of spree killing as I could find, there was a wide variety of ages and races, but they were overwhelmingly male, and most seemed to end by killing themselves if the cops didn’t get them first.

          2. Spree killers are almost always male, but that’s nothing to do with any men/guns connection.  It’s because almost all mass killers are young and male, regardless of the tool used.

            For the same reasons, the majority of suicide bombers are male.  (Before guns it was the same with swords; just not as damaging.)

          3. Actually, there are quite a few women and children who are suicide bombers because the Taliban, etc. forces them to do it on threat of killing their families.

          4. Has there ever been a FEMALE mass shooter or anything close to that? It’s always men.

            -Women are more likely to attempt suicide than men.
            -Yet men are much more likely to be successful at it.

            In other news, men and women are different.

      2. That’s like asking why people don’t just use a shopping trolley instead of a skateboard. Target shooting is waaay different than say playing an arcade light gun game or skeet shooting; it requires a zen like focus to steady your arms and soul to become one with the machine.

        1. So you are saying there is no “zen like focus” when shooting a gun that looks the same & feels the same but shoots out paintballs or pellets?

          Also, that whole “…become one with the machine,” says it all. Gun owners love the power.  They love the fact that for less than $500 they can own a thing that makes them a God on Earth.  It doesn’t matter whether they use it for protection or have ever used it against another human. They love that social perception that they can take a life.

          Maybe they like the feeling of taking lives since few of them have any life of their own.

          1. Cool it a bit, man. You’re making very sweeping accusations. 
            The point I believe these people are trying to make is that there is a fundamentally different feeling when you a shoot a gun that makes it more satisfying than a toy gun. From the recoil, to the noise, to the fact that the bullets actually travel straighter over longer distances and allow for more accurate shooting compared to paintballs/airsoft. It is arguable that the enjoyment of firing a real weapon doesn’t merit having firearms be legal the way they are now, but I’m not arguing one way or another right now. I’m just pointing out that stating that all men like owning guns because it makes them feel powerful is just not true.

          2. So by your logic, hunting animals is a weak sport because we all know that hunting humans is a more satisfying & challenging endeavor, right?  So all this deer hunting is nonsense… Go out & hunt real people then.

            Seriously, if you don’t see how the gun control debate threatens the perceived “power” of gun owners, I feel sorry for you.

            Guns are a weapon of power. Any idiot can easily control lives of others by owning one. There are very few other items one can possess that can give someone that sense of power. 

    4. I understand how you are feeling. I grew up in a gun loving culture. At one point I was an NRA member and I earned rifle shooting awards. To me it seemed logical that if the government couldn’t guarantee your personal safety, that you had a right to protect yourself with the means to do so. And to me it seemed the most logical question to ask after a mass shooting was why weren’t the people armed to protect themselves? I would scoff at “Gun Free Zones” because they would only be aimed at “law abiding citizens”.

      What changed my mind was an understanding that gun crime in the US is primarily influenced by the War on Drugs and domestic violence. I also became aware of the massive amount of gun related suicides and accidental deaths. What broke the camel’s back for me, though, was the idiots next to me at the firing ranges I went to. It terrified me that these people had so little concern for firearm safety. I stopped going to the firing ranges because I didn’t feel safe around those clowns.

      Today I realize that most developed countries have reduced firearm fatalities to a miniscule percentage of what we have. I think Japan has something like 20 firearm deaths per year. While I no longer love guns, I don’t hate them. I just don’t think they should remain something that the general public should have access to. I think we as a society are too stupid to handle that much power and that only specialists and professionals should have them.

    5. What I said elsewhere:

      We are a nation birthed in violence. It’s not insanity. It’s hyper-rationality spitting in the face of reason. We “rationally” claim there are no total solutions and then we unreasonably — but rationally! oh so logically! — refuse partial solutions. It’s who we are, from Batman to Bane, from Dirty Harry to Hannibal Lector, from Roy Rogers to Rooster Cogburn to Rambo to Rorschach, from sea to shining, clotting sea.

  2. “I’ve found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts so much . . . because it’s the only thing that’ll make it stop hurting.”  From Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein

    Thank you The Onion.

  3. The nation added, “But if you want to go slaughter some Afghan, Yemeni, Iraqi, Pakistani, or Palestinian children, we’ll probably continue to look the other way, as only our children really matter to us, particularly if they’re white. Brown, foreign children are not really children, they’re, uh, say, what’s on TV tonight?” 

  4. You know, the next time you are driving along and see someone walking along carrying a gun , just run over them. Because guns don’t kill people , gun owners kill people, and better safe than sorry.

    I understand that pre-emptively killing anyone you see with a gun is perfectly legal in Florida , as long as they make you uncomfortable. 

          1. It must be very interesting to live in a household where any access to the parents’ belongings required explicit permission.

            Especially during a gastroenteritis.

          2.  Not very.  Or yes, very, but not because my parents had their own stuff. 
            Why would you not ask to use someone else’s stuff? 
            What does diarrhoea got to do with that? 

      1. Ok, so there isn’t really any reason to ask if the creep with the gun owns it or not , the fact that they have it is all that counts.

  5. Somehow I don’t think combat rifles are semi-automatics. Can’t expect The Onion to care about the facts.

    I’m surprised they haven’t at least limited the number of rounds any rifle can hold at one time. Most places seem to limit shotguns to 3 shells.

    Here’s some history from about 80 years ago. No guns involved:

    1.  “Somehow I don’t think combat rifles are semi-automatics.”

      Somehow, you’d be wrong. Not that it matters, one little bit, either way.

      1.  Vast majority of modern service rifles are selective fire, i.e. not semi-automatic. A few nations still use semi-automatic rifles of some sort as military arms but I think it’s fair to say that this is not the modern understanding of ‘combat rifle’. And in fact it does matter; if the Onion wants to inject politics into its humor and pretend that citizens actually have access to military arms, then I’ll feel free to be a humorless pedant and correct them.

        1. By the same reasoning, a Kalashnikov is not a “military weapon” anymore because no sanely-run regular army will use it today. Except it’s not like it stopped being able to kill so-many-people-per-second.

        2. So what you’re saying is that there is a minority of modern service rifles that aren’t selective fire, i.e. semi-automatic or automatic. 

          And no, it doesn’t fucking matter and you’re not a humorless pedant to correct a satirical news site for possibly getting a small detail wrong in this case – you’re just a horrible person.

    2. Here’s some history from about 80 years ago.

      Say, let’s start basing our foreign policy on something that happened 80 years ago. And science and medicine, too. Because one incident from the 1920s really tells us all we need to know for today.

      1. Said ironically:  “…one incident from the 1920s really tells us all we need to know for today.”

        No, it doesn’t tell us all.  It does, however, tell us something critically important.  The passage of time does not alter human nature.  There have always been nutjobs willing to hurt innocents for no rational reason.  They can use all sorts of tools, from guns to planes to gasoline to cars to fertilizer.  The tools used and their availability, legally or otherwise, simply don’t factor into the equation.  Nutjobs can hurt lots of people if they make up their mind to do so.  Such has been true for the last few thousand years and will remain true until our species is extinct.  I have abandoned hope that we’ll grow out of this shit.

        In this case, the shooter used some tools I, personally, love and he used them to destroy lives I, personally, find more precious than most.  My biases are thus laid bare and you may feel free to mock my grief on that basis.  I don’t care.  I realize I made a mistake by partially sobering up this morning so I’m climbing back into a bottle for the next few days.  The headline, “Fuck Everything”, fits both this story and my attitude better than any I’ve ever read. 

        1. “The tools used and their availability, legally or otherwise, simply don’t factor into the equation.”

          As the saying goes, try killing 26 people with a knife. 

          1. This guy killed 8 with a knife:

            This guy killed 10:

            This inventive bastard killed 8 students and two teachers (and injured two dozen more) using a homemade flame thrower fashioned from an insecticide sprayer:

            And lets not forget the Bath school bombing, in which 45 children and teachers were killed by several improvised bombs made from farm explosives.  Sure, the stuff he used isn’t legal any more, but there is still plenty of stuff on a farm these days which would be just as devastating:

            Mass murders will mass murder.  They often use guns because they are convenient.  But if guns aren’t available, they’ll figure out something else.  Nobody goes “I’m so angry that I NEED to kill a bunch of kids, but I don’t want to put any effort into it so I won’t bother”.

            Gun control – especially the “assault weapon” ban that everybody is screaming for right now – is security theater.  It makes you no safer than the asinine TSA liquid ban.  We HAD an assault weapon ban for a decade, and it did not affect gun crime statistics one bit.

  6. Along with countless others, I was wondering how something like this could be prevented, and I came up with nothing.  There is something beyond guns, control, security that must cause something this awful.  But then I realized something.  The U.S.has the power to stop things like this from happening.  Why and how?  Because there are military strikes like this happening around the globe.  Bombs are dropped on civilians, and the horror experienced by the poor folks in Connecticut must be the same as for the families who have lost loved ones to the war on terror.  If we can make the same connection to people around the globe that we can to the people in Connecticut, then surely we can understand the terror that global war and violence is inflicting. If anything can come from this, let it be empathy.

  7. Correct me if I am wrong, but all of these mass shootings are always men & always using guns, right?

    Also, why is it that simply asking for guns to be registered equates with a loss of freedom?

      1. Thank you for this.

        The fact that the gun is a reverenced god can be seen in its manifold and apparently resistless powers.

    1. It’s kinda hard to do a mass shooting with out a gun. Did you mean mass killings or has crossbow and archery killings risen?

      >all of these mass shootings are always men & always using guns

      Not always by men, just most. In fairness I had to look up if there were any mass shootings by a woman, I only found one.

      1. Yeah, my wording is off. But seriously: Mass killings like this are always caused by men & always happens with guns. Period.

        1. If guns are unavailable, there are always bombs. I don’t think for a second that making guns inaccessible will prevent these kind of massacres entirely- if someone is determined to kill a bunch of people, it’s going to happen one way or another.

          However, making guns harder to get would at least slow people down- they’ll have to find a different, more complicated, less convenient way to do their killing. They’ll have to do some research, they’ll be forced to think about what they’re doing. They might change their minds and seek help, or get caught trying to get guns illegally, or at least give the police more time to catch them before they can put their plan into action. It might result in a few lives being saved, and what’s the cost? Gun owners will have to be more responsible and knowledgable about their firearms, register them, and have a clean record to own them. That’s not even a cost, that’s an additional benefit to society.

        2.  Make high testosterone levels illegal. 
          We all descend from very aggressive and violent apes. 
          The others didn’t have descendants. 

          Men also commit most killings in defense of home and innocents. 

  8. I hope that the societal reflection spurred by this doesn’t end at the gun debate, because we collectively owe it to those kids (and their families) to learn every possible lesson we can from the tragedy of their deaths — and while the gun debate will likely dominate much of the public discourse (rightly so or not, depending who you ask), there are many areas in which this needs to be a societal wake-up call:

    – How we handle/fund/etc mental health care.
    – (educated guess based on what we know about the killer) How we address bullying / treatment of those who are ‘different’ — and not just re: kids/schools.
    – School security (even beyond the threat of rampaging gunmen, why do we allow the place where we concentrate something of such great societal value to be such utterly soft targets?)
    – etc/etc.

    Seriously, whatever happens re: the gun debate, we can’t let it stop there.

    1. The US kills hundreds of kids boring old peace time.  We kill thousands during war (err, police actions).  If you toss sanctions into the bucket, we kill tens of thousands if not hundreds.

      This was a tragedy to be sure, but it is a minor one.  A fuck-ton more children were killed on that same day and same hour than those 20 white kids.  Granted, I know they are white and so worth at least 5 not-normal children, but still.  Even in terms of things that can kill white people, surprise mass shooting are VASTLY less likely to kill your kids than your pool, choking on your food, or getting struck by lightening.

      So, how can we prevent 20 white kids from dying in the future?  Use more lightening roads, don’t own a pool, and make sure you know how to do the Heimlich maneuver.  If you are indifferent on the color of the kids that we want to stop from dying, you could probably just sent one month of your pay check to someplace poor, or stop dropping bombs on people.

      It is sad how much energy we can waste on this while utterly ignoring the rest of the world.  How the fuck someone who wasn’t personally involved gets all teary eyed at 20 random kids dying, yet somehow functions perfectly well knowing that the US kicking over Iraq’s government killed a few hundred thousand and displaced millions is completely and utterly beyond me.

    2. “why do we allow the place where we concentrate something of such great societal value to be such utterly soft targets?”

      Exactly because it has such great societal value, reducing access would result in a net loss for society at large, both in logistical and educational terms. Children would learn that their own communities are naturally “bad”, that you’re supposed to live your life in a bunker; it’s the sort of environment that you already find “in da ghetto”, and we already know what sort of educational development it “fosters”.

      Security is a trade-off, and militarizing schools is just not worth the price.

  9. I’m a gun owner.  I’ve owned guns for a couple of decades.  It is times like this that I love to draw a parallel with Switzerland.  Most 20-something young men in Switzerland are members of the active army reserve, and keep a fully automatic military assault rifle at home, the ammunition for which is readily available.  Those who have moved on to the inactive reserves get to keep their rifle, for a small fee to cover converting it to semi-automatic fire only,  That said, to get a gun any other way requires getting a license, which requires an extensive background check, and allows the purchase of up to three weapons.  All sales, in a store or private, must have a police background check, and all transfers of ownership, and all guns, are registered.  Hell, the require that a report of ALL ammunition sales be filed with the police.  Oh, and if you get into any sort of trouble, the first thing they do is take your guns.  I’d love to see that in this country.  They have a healthy shooting sports culture, and very sensible and efficient gun control.

  10. Wherever the picture came from, it must be a NFA collection or dealer or something. Some, perhaps all, of those weapons are NFA guns. There is at least one short barrel rifle, the m60 is probably real not semi auto, and the grenade launcher and suppressor look real too.

    My point is, those items are not sold in normal gun shops, and can’t be owned by an individual without special Federal registration, a tax stamp, being finger printed, a 6 month wait, and a letter authorizing it from the local police chief.

    Those is not the sort of weapons people can buy from a normal gun shop, they are dealt with like machine guns and some of them probably are actual machine guns (and cost more than your new car).

  11. The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.  -Albert Einstein

    Pandora’s gun locker was opened long ago.  There are no easy or quick fixes.
    Might not realistically be any “fix” at all that wouldn’t involve a cultural seismic shift.

    I’m bereft of any suggestions.  I’m still trying to move past impotent rage.

  12. Hey, please believe me as genuine when I ask this, for as another commenter posted above this has been the first news report that has caused me to shed tears for 11 years so I must ask, but has there ever been an academic study behind the correlation between mass shootings (overwhelmingly by males) and the subject’s penis size? Clearly in this instance the role of the mother plays a significant part. And from the world outside the one of the USA the over-fondness of “penis substitute” as a meme to explain North American excess is  common. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but sometimes it is a metaphor for an assault rifle, and this cannot be avoided.

  13. While I’ll be the first person to tell the 2nd amendment apologists to go fuck themselves,  you can’t trust a fucking word the media says about this tragedy,  at least not in the first 48 hours.   They are falling all over them selves to shock you for advertising dollars, accuracy be damned.

  14. So there’s a lot of talk here about how to control the thing used to kill innocent people en masse.

    Some (but not nearly so much) talk about identifying and dealing with the minute fraction of our 300+ million population that are at risk for using it in that way.

    Scan any of the BB threads on airport security, and you’ll pretty much find a majority agreed that a strategy of controlling things is futile “security theater”, and that identifying the possible terrorist in advance is much more appropriate, or even that we should learn to live with the occasional terrorist act as the price of living in a free country.

    Guess it all depends on what side of the bed one happens to get up on that morning.  Personally I tend toward applying the realistic approach toward airport security in the case of school shootings, as well.

    1. Seriously? You’re comparing the strategic approaches required to defend a nation from organized military attack, with the ones required to defend from random psychopaths?

      By your reasoning, why bother with police corps? After all, they fundamentally do the same job the army does in occupied countries, so might as well just use the army “internally”.

      Reality is not a mathematical equation, you can’t just abstract away.

  15. Well, guns seem to be a part of the American cultural landscape in a way that they aren’t elsewhere.

    Yes, if there are no guns people might resort to other ways to kill large groups.  However, there are about 130 countries in the world where there are very few guns and the humans rarely do use bombs or anything else. 

    Which brings it back to the USA.  What is it about your country and culture that makes people think that a shooting spree is the way to go out ‘in a blaze of glory’.  It is becoming a nearly weekly event, and it boggles my mind that you guys aren’t going utterly insane with grief.

    Not that we don’t have such events in Canada, I can think of a couple big ones in the last 20 years.  Also awful, but vanishingly rare compared to the US.  Why is that?  People who really want a gun can own one in almost any country if they jump through sufficient hoops, so it isn’t just gun ownership – it is something in addition.  Not that gun ownership and the vast sea of guns in your country are off the hook – they are a big part of it.

    1. If you have access to CNN or another American corporate news outlet, turn it on today and you’ll get an explanation. Wall-to-wall coverage of every minute detail of such events, and of their perpetrators, makes another mass shooting seem to some like a viable way of going out in a proverbial blaze of glory. 

      Someone, can’t remember who now, has pointed out authoritatively that such events are often followed quickly by another copy-cat event. As others have pointed out, if the media would instead downplay such events, some crazed and/or despairing people would not become mass shooters.

      But that’s just one cause. Another is of course the hyper-masculinity that pervades our patriarchy. 

    1. The kind of mind that recognizes, quite rationally, that (as in the case you cite), far fewer people die in knife attacks than in gun attacks.

  16. And you still miss the point. Why are the discussions not focused on a better understanding, care and treatment of mental illness. To this day, mental illness is treated as taboo, and the third rail combined. News mentions it as a passing little detail in this tragedy and even here in the comments of a blog that often focuses on cancer it is ignored. Everyone, pro gun and anti gun squabble over the color of the tinderbox while in the background rome burns. It is no wonder then that more US soldiers are dying of suicide in the latest conflicts than from enemy bullets. But hey, lets keep focusing on the guns. I’m sure this verbal circlejerk will help stop the next massacre of, gun, knife or aluminium bat flavor.

    1. It’s not a zero-sum discussion. I for one am quite capable of discussing BOTH, and I see a lot of discussion, here and elsewhere, of both.

      Better mental health care and stricter gun control would both help avert future mass shootings. 

      But the thing is — the thing you don’t seem interested in discussing or even acknowledging is — that when a mentally ill person goes on a killing rampage, easy access to guns, and to certain kinds of guns, raises the kill rate substantially.

    2.  Until we have developed magic mental illness detectors, then it seems like a good idea to make it a wee bit harder for folks who’ve gone off the rails to get their hands on the things.

      And while mass-killings without firearms do occur, they tend to have much lower death rates. Two I know of in Japan were the Osaka school massacre in 2001 and the Akihabara massacre in 2008. If either of these people had access to guns, far more people would be dead.

  17. Are we really ready to entrust our safety to the people who make laws that seek to bankrupt people and/or put people in jail for decades for the crime of downloading films, perhaps to remix them?  Perhaps to show pirate cinema?  

    Something people forget when discussing a nationwide ban is that we live in a nation where wide swaths of the country are still extremely rural.  As in, “my next-door neighbor is 50 miles away” rural.  Yes, it still exists in the good ol’ USA. I live really close to a university, and thanks to living on the edge of a county, it STILL takes at least 20 minutes for a deputy to show up, at best.

    Perhaps gun bans work in places where the cops are 5-10 minutes away and can be trusted.  Black BoingBoing readers, can our police be trusted to keep you safe?  
    As terrible as this was–I have a 7-year-old child, this hit me hard–I can’t help but notice that the common factor in these shootings is that the shooters have major mental health issues, and that they weren’t taken nearly as seriously as they should have been until the person did something REALLY crazy.

    1. Even though you initially addressed me, you’re suddenly not addressing me — I said nothing about a nationwide gun ban, nor have most of those currently concerned about guns in America. I said, “easy access to guns, and to certain kinds of guns, raises the kill rate substantially.” 

      I suppose I should have said ESPECIALLY certain kinds of guns. I’m not opposed to guns used for hunting. I just don’t agree that banning or limiting easy access to assault rifles and handguns is an infringement on hunters.

      And yes, the common factor in these shooting is of course mental illness — who BUT the mentally ill would do what these people do? But another common factor in them is legally, easily purchased weapons of the sort not used by hunters. Make them illegal and the kill rate will go down. Why won’t you acknowledge that obvious fact?

        1. So, making sure you can have a semi-automatic assault weapon to hunt with is worth sacrificing the lives of innocent children for?  It’s harder to rent a car than it is to buy a gun.  It’s a messed-up society we live in.

      1. Well, let’s look at this – the weapons used in this particular shooting were two handguns and a Bushmaster AR-15 clone (which apparently did most of the damage).  

        The AR-15 is a semi-automatic weapon – it only fires one bullet per pull of the trigger (though someone with a little experience can pull the trigger repeatedly with some speed). It is usually  chambered for what is basically a .223-caliber round.  Where I’m headed with this is: that gun (in various calibers) is used for hunting by quite a lot of people for small game because it’s accurate and relatively powerful for a smaller round.  Go Google “ar-15 hunting” and see for yourself.

        I have no particular dog in this fight; I’m a gun owner, but loathe the paranoid right-wing gun culture.  But I think if you’re going to have a discussion on a subject with some technical aspects (i.e. guns), it’s vital to have a passing grasp of said aspects.

  18. with due respect to those who are greiving..

    in all of history, it still remains that governments going berserk with guns has killed more people than civilians going berserk with guns, and the best antidote to governments going berserk with guns is to see that the civilians have guns as well.

    1. that’s silly. 

      simply because: “governments” now have far heavier firepower and other methods of oppression than the relative peashooters that civilians have in the form of guns.

        1. Oddly enough, even in the 1700s the Americans needed cannons, warships and the help of Britain’s main geopolitical rival to even stand a chance.
          Oh, I know, you’d totally be able to steal all the AC-130 gunships you need because freedom something something.

      1. I imagine the Syrian government and the (surviving) members of the former Libyan regime would be most interested to hear your theories on the futility of armed resistance towards a heavily-armed government.

        Take the gun in your closet out, kill a soldier, take his stuff.  Use that stuff to kill other soldiers and take *their* stuff.  Lather, rinse, repeat, until you have enough materiel to support an actual insurgency.

        1. “Until” you have enough material?  In the US, well before that point you’d’ve been taken out with a curt knock on your door and a quick little invasion from a SWAT team.  Stop fantasizing.

          1. Do you believe that the people of Syria and Libya were heavily armed (to the degree Americans on average are) before they revolted? Because they weren’t. Not even close.

            According to

            Syrians at last count held firearms at a rate less than 1/20th that of Americans. For all practical intents and purposes they were “disarmed.”

            Firearms ownership rates, from the same site:

            Syria: 3.9/100 pop.
            Libya: 15.5/100
            Australia: 15/100
            UK: 6.7/100
            US: 88.8/100

            Also, if you believe the SWAT-team scenario you describe would be the case, it basically buttresses the paranoid fantasies of the gun-loony right-wingers.

  19. Please do a search on google for all discussions about this tragedy. Do a rough analysis of what percentage of debate is about mental health, the actual cause of this tragedy, and what percentage is about guns, the subject activisim fetish and selfricheousness for the lazy. That massive dissparity is what I speak of. And I say for the lazy because it is easier to go after the tool in all these cases and then feel good about how much you care than it is to do real thinking and real work to solve the actual problem. If by some miracle all the anti gun activists eliminate all firearms from the planet then the mentally ill and the psychopaths will use knives, then I’m sure your dedication to save the innocent will percist and you will go after the knives. Once those are well and regulated or eliminated these denizens will pick up bats….. So on and so forth. Do me a favor, Once they start killing people with their fists and you have no easy tool to focus your attention on and are forced to do some actuall objective thinking about the real cause, have the same furvor and dedication. Post rabbid and passionate rants about the horrid state of mental health research and treatment. Or, you could just skip the ridiculous middle part of my fantastic metaphore and do that now. You know, because you want to solve the problen and not just be a slaktivist.

    1. Pay more attention to your feet and legs, and to the sensations that they’re trying to send to your brain. Then your brain will realize A) that you’re not standing on a slope, and B) that the ground is not slippery.

    2. Don’t worry, they’re not coming to take your precious assault rifles away. 
      If mental illness were so easily solved (or indeed predicted), we’d still have to remove the tool, as you put it. Some lunatic went on a spree the day before Newtown. This was in China, and he used a knife. Twenty children injured. NONE killed. But no, guns don’t kill people.

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