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Sorry Mike. I gotta disagree.

This sort of thing isn't caused by a "gun culture". It is caused by people with significant mental health issues. If it was the result of a gun culture, then it would have been safer to live in Chicago in the last six months or so than in a Denver theater recently.

But Chicago has has many more deaths. They just occurred one or two or three at a time.

And since they occurred in an area that is blatantly hostile to gun rights, those deaths don't fit the narrative for national media attention.

Actually, a "gun culture" would have saved lives in that theater as a few properly/legally armed citizens could have put a stop to the whole thing. Or at least given everyone else time to escape.


Mike Peterson

I see no way that having a bunch of Walter Mittys turn this into a shootout in a dark room could possibly have done anything but boost the body count, Dann. It would have taken having the right person in the right position to cut off the carnage, and if you want to wish for a guy with a gun to be that person, I'll counter with an unarmed guy who happened to be positioned to make the tackle -- and my guy would have been able to move faster.

But we don't have to place imaginary heroes in the theater to know that the whole concept of Wyatt Earp solutions is a fantasy. The Second Amendment, like the Third, is based on the Founding Father's experience under England's standing army, and, just as the Third Amendment became irrelevant as history unfolded, the romantic notion of a "well-regulated militia" was proven foolish in the War of 1812. (Here's the link to my previous discussion of that historical fact: http://www.weeklystorybook.com/comic_strip_of_the_daycom/2012/02/the-other-side-of-judicial-activism.html)

I realize that there are few people who willingly defend both the First and Second amendments and that Madison et al anticipated neither banana clips or the Internet in their deliberations. But they were very specific in saying that the reason to keep gun laws in the hands of the states was because of their belief in the "well-regulated militia," and I find it troubling that those conservatives who harp on the need to seek the intentions of the Founding Fathers are the same who cheer the Court for declaring the "well-regulated militia" clause irrelevant, and are generally also those who appeal state gun laws to the Court while, at the same time, insisting on the supremacy of states' rights in other matters.

In any case, my imaginary unarmed hero tackled the gunman while your gun-totin' hero was still struggling to get his pistol out of his pocket while everyone was jostling him and running in the dark. Meanwhile, another of your imaginary gun-totin' heroes saw the first GTH raise his pistol, assumed in the chaos that he was the gunman, and shot him dead.



There is nothing imaginary about individuals stopping crime with a personally owned firearm. It happens all the time. In fact, a couple of the school/university shootings over the last decade were halted by people that had firearms nearby. (Typically in their car.)

I think your non-imaginary "imaginary tackler" points to the real problem. As a society, we are unwilling to defend ourselves and to defend others. A couple well placed individuals with the will to take on an armed gunman could have done a world of good as well.

That mentality comes part and parcel with the willingness to undergo multiple government reviews and fill out lots of government paperwork to be able to purchase and eventually carry a concealed weapon.

My non-mythical "mythical gunmen" demonstrate their willingness to take action. As I say, it happens all the time.


Dave from Phila

I really am curious Dann. Do you really have no problem with a citizen purchasing an automatic rifle that shoots 100 bullets in a brief period of time without stopping? Do you really have no problem with a citizen purchasing 6000 rounds of ammunition in a short period of time? It is the all or nothing part of the gun control debate that is the most disturbing to me.

Mike Peterson

There have been bank robberies solved by the fact that the robber inadvertently left his wallet or some form of ID at the scene. I do not believe this has occurred at such a statistically significant rate that a detective should routinely ask, "Where did he leave his drivers license?" or rely on it as a likely clue.

Similarly, I do not believe that making guns easier to obtain for both crackpots and vigilantes (Venn diagram, anyone?) is going to alter the statistical insignificance of the Wyatt Earp solution.

Nor should the Wyatt Earp solution be endorsed without taking into consideration the mortality rate of Earp brothers, which was decidedly not statistically insignificant.


I remember laughing at the absurdity when it first aired.

Dave from Phila

Owen - that is hilarious. Thank you!


@Dave, The primary problem here is that no one purchased an automatic rifle. He purchased a semi-automatic rifle that contains technology that is identical to that found in some (not all) modern hunting rifles.

The 100 rounds number is a pie in the sky number that might be theoretically possible. The specs on the rifle are actually 45-60 rounds per minute as a semi-automatic with sustained (i.e. won't burn up the barrel in a couple minutes) rates of 10-12 rounds per minute. And to hit the 45-60 round per minute rate, you pretty much have to toss accuracy out the window. You also toast the barrel in a couple minutes due to overheating.


The military version of the same weapon is capable of doing over 700 rounds a minute in a full automatic mode. But that version wasn't present in the theater.

Purchasing 6000 rounds at one time doesn't bother me. A reasonably active shooter will burn through that many rounds in a year. Buying in volume is a reasonable way to cut range costs.

As I understand it, this guy did is buying in smaller quantities. I'm not sure how you prevent the accumulation of that many rounds via smaller purchases without running afoul of registration issues.

The bottom line for me is that guns in the hands of law abiding citizens saves far more lives each year than are taken by guns in the hands of criminals. Every unbiased study of the issue has confirmed that as fact, not opinion.


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