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Deceiving Ourselves


In my somewhat limited world whatever solution is proffered to address a problem must be judged by how well it actually resolves the problem.

In the recent cases of gun violence against groups, the weapons used were legal, the individuals using them were to a greater or lesser extent mentally ill and the use of large magazines aggravated the severity of the crime.

The proposed legislative solutions at the national level address the large magazine issue (although IMHO in a way that does not solve it). It also may address the set of weapons used but probably not because there is no really adequate distinction between those weapons and weapons used historically and broadly for hunting or personal defense. Now we could and probably will discuss outlawing the “Bushmaster” rifle but I will bet that within a year a “Tree master” rife with almost indistinguishable features will be available that will still leave us with the problem. Semi-automatic rifles are a pretty homogenous set as to operation. IMHO the only way to achieve a culture where not one child will be lost to gun violence is to totally outlaw guns and to make a very, very determined effort to capture all the illegal ones out there somewhere. If one bothers to notice this latter grouping drives the majority of our gun violence. Nothing so far seriously proposed does that.

I note little focus on mental health issues. I recognize this is a difficult issue to address but a failure to do so will almost certainly lead to further repetitions of the mass murders we have experienced in the recent past. Now, I am not certain there is anything we can do to totally negate the problem but a more rigorous tie between state mental health systems and the federal gun registry would be a good start. To do that correctly federal help is IMHO needed. Now, encompassed within that is a determination of what DSM codes should lead to an inability to acquire a firearm. I suspect that effort would in and of itself open a debate as large as the one on gun control as an end in itself.

I will avoid the issue of whether our cultural has a predisposition to violence that feeds this problem. If there is one there is nothing so far seriously proposed that addresses that issue.

Now doing nothing as opposed to doing something is not what I propose. But – big but – we need to be honest about the limitation of the proposed solutions. It would be a real disservice if our ultimate effort primarily harasses innocent people desiring to acquire a firearm they are legally entitled to own while accomplishing nothing toward limiting gun violence.


Carol Bowen 2 years ago

I find the argument that the proposed efforts will not solve or address the problem illogical. Given that discussion and data has been stifled for years, we have no idea what will or will not work. However, a hunter does not need an assault weapon to kill a deer. Just exactly what are folks wanting to shoot?

We have a problem that needs to be addressed regardless of naysayers. Incidents are increasing. This is not a time to sit on our hands.

Liberty275 2 years ago

"However, a hunter does not need an assault weapon to kill a deer"

An AR15 is pretty inhumane because it may only wound the animal. You're going to have to be a good shot to kill it. But daddy's .308, if the bullet hits the shoulder area, the animal will die quickly.

An AK47 is a little different... if you can get close enough to hit it. AKs shoot 7.62 rounds, which incidentally is the same size as daddy's .308. Not so much as accurate.

Use daddy's .308. They don't look as scary but they are a lot more accurate and deadly allowing you to mitigate the suffering you cause the animal.

avarom 2 years ago

What do you do after you kill the Deer??? Eat if for Dinner???

kawrivercrow 2 years ago

Nice graph. Where'd you get it. I would be interested in getting the raw data and taking a closer look at the actual trend lines.

Also, why such a gap between 'offenders' and 'incidents'? That would imply two or more shooters per incident. Other than Columbine and the Beltway sniper, I am not aware of too many tag-team mass shooting events.

Crazy_Larry 2 years ago

Incidents are increasing? That's not what 30-years of data on the chart you just posted shows us. . . Open mouth, insert foot? W.T.F. The Henny Penny loud-mouths don't even understand what they're posting anymore!

George Lippencott 2 years ago


  1. I* provided a workable solution

  2. What in your opinion is an assault weapon? IMHO that is the crux of any less than total solution!

  3. What do you think the chart means?

Carol Bowen 2 years ago

Wasn't gun control legislation signed in 1994? Didn't that same legislation lapse in 2004? The graph is not the best, but it looks like those years indicate change.

Rapid fire multiple rounds weapons are assault weapons. So, are oozies and the like.

George Lippencott 2 years ago

"Rapid Fire I assume means for you automatic and semi-automatic weapons =- rifles and pistols. That would be just about all of them. short some shotguns and maybe revolvers. That is about what I proposed

Liberty275 2 years ago

The magazines are a symptom of the the delusions these people are under. They saw it on Batman, so they have to have one when they go off the deep end.

In reality, there is no difference between a 7 round magazine and a 100 round magazine. These shooting last several minutes, so the rate of fire is irrelevant. If you walk in a room full of kids and one teacher, it's going to be the odd teacher and never the children that could make any difference in the 2 seconds it takes a slowpoke to change magazines in most modern semi-autos.

The price for that is further eroding not only the second amendment, but all of the constitution, even the parts you like.

Liberty275 2 years ago

Enforce the laws on the books against violent crime.

jafs 2 years ago

In your own posts, you have commented that laws exist simply to punish offenders, and do nothing to deter or prevent crime.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years ago

We might add that, at least in my experience, the larger magazines tend to jam up much more often than the smaller ones as the spring tension that feed the ammunition can not be controlled. They too, are more bulky and sometimes get in the way of what you are doing.

Carol Bowen 2 years ago

An approach to the weapons problem should include: 1. Thorough background checks. No loopholes. 2. Mental health services and alerts. 3. Make assault weapons illegal. 4. Open data collection and research.

As for violent influences, it's interesting to note that game producers and movie producers seemed to know that their product was in poor taste after the most recent shooting. So much for volunteers.

bearded_gnome 2 years ago

Hi George. DSM III/IV diagnostics is something I know intimately. putting a gun disconnect on a diagnosis code isn't a good plan, nor does the psych view of danger to self/others work that directly. in other words, I could treat someone who's depressed but totally safe, but same diagnostic coding that person might be suicidal.
and, there can be a fine line between suicidal and homicidal.

also, responding to above: "assault rifle" is a pejorative term that almost means nothing, in some cases it describes a difference in the grip between two identical rifles. so, I just ignore the term, and I think we all should. it truly is useless and is used only to scare people.

George, your contribution here is a good one, and right on: very little helpful change has been proposed by those in authority. of the president's speech the other day, nil. and making doctors snitches the way he does could make things worse in fact as he arogantly disregards the long history and experience of psychiatrists dealing with danger to self/others; and how nowadays it is almost impossible for them to involuntarily hospitalize the violently mentally ill thanks to the efforts of the ACLU and other "rights" groups. 30,000-70,000 people across america should be hospitalized today who are not, based on history and diagnoses. and, authorities generally know who these people are, and where they are, but their hands are tied.

as in Newtown, you usually also find a family member who's been crying for help before the event.

bearded_gnome 2 years ago

sorry to disagree but I think video games, movies, and most of what's suggested above are useless noise of no effect to stop the mass cas shootings, except expanded background checks/mental health functions.

overwhelmingly the shooters of mass cas incidents have been on psychotropics current or recent to the shootings and were known to psychiatrists or other mental health professionals.

if Lanza or Holmes were locked up, they couldn't have killed anybody.

sadly, we actually need lawyer control, not gun control.

George Lippencott 2 years ago


If not the DSM - what? We are talking the removal of a right. How do we protect the individual as well as the society

Kathy Getto 2 years ago

Gnome. We already have very strict "lawyer control". Are you saying citizens should not be represented?

grammaddy 2 years ago

Baby steps. We'll get there, but it will take ALL of us to demand it. Nobody is removing anyone's rights. Just trying to become "well regulated".

verity 2 years ago

"well regulated"? Isn't regulation unconstitutional?


George Lippencott 2 years ago


  1. My rights comments was associated with mental health determination.

  2. What is well regulated?? a.) by weapon name? b.) by weapon type c. by weapon operational characteristic? d.) by other

George Lippencott 2 years ago

Got quiet. Wonder why? Do we know what well regulated means or do we not?

jafs 2 years ago

It's a term that's clearly open to interpretation, and doesn't have one specific and absolute meaning.

George Lippencott 2 years ago

I suspect that in the end the courts will determine the meaning.

Ken Lassman 2 years ago

No....resist......mustn't go there......

George Lippencott 2 years ago

Ahh, let it go. I promise not to engage.

George Lippencott 2 years ago

I don't think the object was laws to do that. Thought game was to limit access to firearms by those who are mentally ill - term needing definition as it applies to firearms.

kawrivercrow 2 years ago

Rather than treating law-abiding gun owners like cannabis smokers (only outlaws, by definition, can smoke weed) how about we focus on the real threat; getting guns out of the hands of genuine criminals. I propose we create a reward system where if someone knows of a convicted felon or diagnosed psychotically mentally ill person (or other legal disqualifier), they can report them to authorities and get a cash reward e.g. ($250-500) if the gun is confiscated and/or the criminal is prosecuted for the violation.

The hard cold reality is that the people who are most likely to follow gun laws are the least likely to commit a gun crime and the people who are most likely to break gun laws are the most likely to commit crime.

This report-a-heat-packing-felon system puts a laser-like focus on the real source of the overwhelming majority of violent crime. $500 is a paltry sum compared to the dividends from preventing an armed robbery, even without the concomitant injury, disability or death that accompanies violent crime.

George Lippencott 2 years ago

I sure would appreciate more effort on this.

While restricting weapons to law abiding citizens will probably in the long term reduce the numbers of weapons in the hands of criminals, I personally doubt the reduction will be quick or significant. We are unable to control our borders when it comes to people or drugs so I suspect we will be just as ineffective in trying to limit firearms transit.

IMHO we are once again being treated to loud but ineffective solutions to placate well meaning but poorly informed activists. We seem to be doing more and more of that lately (maybe always did?)..

Carol Bowen 2 years ago

We will not know what is effective until we try. Otherwise, we are just shootin' the breeze.

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