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Lessons from a Muslim Youth’s Killing Spree in Salt Lake City

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On Tuesday evening Sulejman Talovic headed to Trolley Square Mall like many other Salt Lake City teens. But instead of a credit card and iPod, he had a shotgun and .38 caliber pistol hidden under his black trenchcoat – plus a backpack full of ammunition.

Within minutes five shoppers were dead and four injured before Talovic was held at gunpoint by off-duty police officer Ken Hammond until more officers arrived, at which point Talovic was fatally shot when he refused to surrender his weapons. Law enforcement officials say the body count could have been much higher if Officer Hammond had not been armed and on the spot to intervene.

Little is known about Talovic's background, except that he was an 18-year-old Bosnian Muslim who recently immigrated to the U.S. with his mother. Apparently he had trouble in school and was moved from one school to the next until expelled from the school system altogether. It’s mostly speculative what sort of resentments he may have harbored toward the U.S. or American citizens as a result of his religion and growing up in the midst of the Bosnian conflict. But he clearly suffered from the same kind of teenage alienation that has driven other young spree killers, perhaps exacerbated by his background and experiences.

It's possible that Talovic represents a growing trend deeply concerning law-enforcement: the “perfect storm” combination of teenage anger and alienation typified by Columbine killers – with the sense of persecution and identification with terrorists felt by some young Muslims living in Western countries. This combination is a literal recipe for the kind of sudden, minimally planned, individual terrorist action which is very hard to predict or prevent.

The anger of Muslim youth has been amply demonstrated by occurrences like riots and violence in France, and smaller-scale incidents in virtually every European nation, such as the murder of film director Theo van Gogh in Holland and the attacks on the London mass transport system in 2005. Law enforcement officials in England, France and other European countries are taking Muslim youth volatility in their countries very seriously.

This problem is obvious in European nations with relatively large numbers of Muslim immigrants, but the threat is also very real in the United States and Canada. In December, Chicago police arrested Derrick Shareef for plotting to carry out a hand grenade attack at a local mall. Fortunately, the person he approached for buying grenades turned out to be an FBI informant, and Shareef was arrested before he could do any harm. 

Concern about this type of threat is very high in Canada where a group of young Muslims were arrested last summer for plotting to carry out truck bomb attacks in Toronto. Canada's intelligence service has studied young, alienated Muslims who are receptive to the message of Jihad. They believe that one of the major factors in motivating attacks is 24/7 access to the messages of Jihadist “spiritual leaders” who are promoting terrorism via the Internet. These leaders spread anti-Western propaganda and play on anger over the conflicts in the countries from which young immigrants come, to encourage them to express anger and frustration through violence.

Major terror attacks have traditionally required considerable organization and planning, and involved specific and identifiable leaders who were directly involved and promoted and organized attacks. Although some of those terrorist plots were successful, they were vulnerable to exposure by informants or to discovery by law enforcement. This dynamic seems to be changing, as the combination of direct access to leadership through the internet and a population of alienated Muslim youth in Western nations makes it far easier to launch sudden and highly effective attacks, organized in isolation, and without the vulnerability of a terror network or support structure. These attacks may be smaller in scale, but they are much harder to predict and prevent, making them potentially highly effective.

Many teens in America are already alienated from their parents, their schools and society. Factors like religion and ethnicity can further isolate them from their peers. Some may even embrace radical Islam when it is not part of their family or cultural background, because they identify with the enemies of the society from which they feel alienated. Add to this the availability of advice, leadership and encouragement from online provocateurs and you have a powerful mixture for generating domestic terrorism on a scale and with a frequency which dwarfs any threat that Al Qaeda or other groups can generate from beyond our borders.

Because terror-prone youths work in isolation and are hard to identify and apprehend before they act, merely increasing domestic surveillance and monitoring everyone in the at-risk population is not a terribly effective method for preventing violent incidents. As shown in Salt Lake City this week, the most effective way to discourage this sort of violence or stop it in its tracks is armed citizen response. 

Had Officer Hammond not been armed and present, the death toll at Trolley Square Mall certainly would have been much higher. Hammond happened to be an off-duty police officer, but any trained and armed citizen could have stopped Talovic just as effectively. Utah has a law which allows any citizen over the age of 21 who receives formal instruction before carrying a concealed firearm – a legal option valid in 35 states and under consideration in most others.

The ineffectiveness of normal police methods in pursuing potential terrorists has resulted in increasing infringements of the rights of citizens:  to the point where the price in the destruction of the values on which our free society is based is higher than we can really afford to pay. The presence of armed and trained citizens is a deterrent to crime and terrorism, and creates the potential for immediate response. This is far more effective than all efforts by law enforcement to find and identify potential terrorists who are not part of large organized groups, and it comes from protecting and preserving citizen rights, rather than restricting them. It's a far more appropriate response to this threat for a society which values freedom.

These lone-wolf terrorists are a more real and immediaate threat to US citizens than Al Qaeda has ever been. But as demonstrated this week in Salt Lake City, real homeland security against such threats lies in giving citizens the ability to defend themselves and others, not in wiretaps and warrantless searches.

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About Dave Nalle

  • zingzing

    yay for guns!

    6 people dead by guns, no one but police and the 18-year-old gunman carrying weapons and you find a way to call for the arming of america. fucking fantastic. when this went down did you jump with glee?

  • Justin

    The Salt Lake Police have found no evidence whatsoever that Islam played a part in this killer’s motive. They didn’t even find a copy of the Koran in his house. But please don’t let facts get in the way of some prejudiced speculation.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Justin. I think it’s pretty clear from my article that my concern isn’t about this particular incident, but about the trend of radicalization among Muslim youth in the western world. This incident is just one of many which help to focus attention on the issue. That’s why I included references with links to other incidents and the article on the CSIS study on the problem.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Interesting that in SLC it should be a muslim not a mormon or a ‘gentile’ doing the shooting.

  • Jeff

    I dunno, Dave. Since the overwhelming majority of violent criminals in the United States are white of Judeo-Christian faith, I think maybe this kid was just making a preemptive strike to make himself feel safer (something I am confident you can related to).

    Sound stupid? You’re right, but compared to your post, its friggin’ genius.

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com Brad Schader

    Dave,
    I think you are jumping the gun so to speak. This is the first “Lone Wolf” Muslim attack in this country. There have been numerous Aryian and/or Klan related lone wolfs. Oklahoma was the result of a lone wolf. I agree with 99% of your story, but by concentrating on the Muslim aspect over the teenage aspect you are falling into the War on Terror spin. This is like the Amish shooting more than like 9-11.

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    I think it’s pretty clear from my article that my concern isn’t about this particular incident, but about the trend of radicalization among Muslim youth in the western world.

    And you don’t think its a bit facetious to cite this as a “terror” example without any evidence that Muslim extremism has any ties to it? Why don’t you tie in Columbine, The Matrix or video games (after all he wore a trench coat)? or post-traumatic stress disorder (after all he was from Srebenica) or his disaffected youth?

    There are plenty of demonstrated examples for you to draw on if you wanted to support your post on radicalization of muslim youth. Pulling out this example and citing it seems to be deliberatively exploitative rather than informed.

  • MBD

    If you want to understand most “terrorism“, look to its origins. An unrelated criminal case grabs the headlines because of what has occurred in the Middle East since WWII.

    Current terrorism emanating from the Middle East can be traced back to the WWII time frame. That is where the current wave of terrorism began. Terrorism has been increasing exponentially to the point where it is now in our own backyard.

    Soon after the end of World War II, there were three basic para-military Zionist organizations in Palestine, working against the Arab people, with the specific purpose of driving it out of Palestine. These were the Haganah, the Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern Gang.

    Before the British Mandate, the Jewish settlers had formed a group of mounted armed watchmen called “Hashomar” and with the advent of the British Mandate, it became the Haganah (Defense). With a membership of 60,000 Zionist Jews, the Haganah had a field army of 16,000 trained men and a unit called the Palmach, which was a full-time force, numbering about 6000.

    The Irgun Zvai Leumi included between 3000 and 5000 armed terrorists, and grew out of the Haganah and its Palmach branch in 1933.

    In 1939, one of Irgun’s commanding officers, Abraham Stern, left the parent organization and formed the Stern Gang, numbering some 200 to 300 dangerous fanatics.

    Following are some of the massacres by Jewish-Zionist terrorists, notably by the Zionist Hagana, Irgun and Stern Gang groups.

    1. King David Hotel, July 22, 1946.
    2. Sharafat, Feb. 7, 1951.
    3. Deir Yassin, April 10, 1948.
    4. Falameh, April 2, 1951.
    5. Naseruddine, April 14, 1948.
    6. Quibya, Oct. 14, 1953.
    7. Carmel, April 20, 1948.
    8. Nahalin, March, 28, 1954.
    9. Al-Qabu, May 1, 1948.
    10. Gaza, Feb. 28, 1955.
    11. Beit Kiras, May 3, 1948.
    12. Khan Yunis, May 31, 1955.
    13. Beitkhoury, May 5, 1948.
    14. Khan Yunis Again, Aug. 31, 1955
    15. Az-Zaytoun, May 6, 1948.
    16. Tiberia, Dec. 11, 1955.
    17. Wadi Araba, May 13, 1950.
    18. As-Sabha, Nov. 2, 1955.
    19. Gaza, April 5, 1956.
    20. Houssan, Sept. 25, 1956.
    21. Rafa, Aug. 16, 1956.
    22. Qalqilyah, Oct. 10, 1956.
    23. Ar-Rahwa, Sept. 12, 1956.
    24. Kahr Kassem, Oct. 29, 1956.
    25. Gharandal, Sept. 13, 1956.
    26. Gaza Strip, Nov. 1956.

    Terrorism can work but the problem is that terrorism begets more terrorism.

    Like an avalanche, once terrorism gets going it can’t be stopped by stepping in front of it.

  • Justin

    Your concern might not be about “this particular incident” but it’s also pretty clear from your article that you’re using it as a springboard to spout off on the problem of terror-prone lone-wolf Muslim youth. Why would you mention this tragedy in that context if you’re not trying to suggest a link?

  • Justin

    And how did an 18-year-old kid, who is in this country as a refugee (i.e. not a citizen), manage to get a .38 caliber handgun and a 12 gauge shotgun? That doesn’t sound like a legal gun sale. I’m sure you’ll join me in supporting a full investigation and prosecution of any person who may have broken any of those gun laws that are already on the books, right?

  • Martin Lav

    You all are missing the point of Dave VP Nalle’s article.
    He is exploiting this incident to further his agenda of arming himself and his family.
    Simple as that.

  • Joe

    I was gonna comment on this one but there are too many unwashed gun-hating hippies here already. I’ll go elsewhere.

  • Ruvy in Jerualem

    MBD,

    You’re a dumbshit for bringing the Hagana, Irgun Tzva’i Leumi, and Stern Gang into this discussion – and then citing the strikes of the Tzava Hagana l’Yisrael – the Israel Defense Force – in responding to the Arab Fidayun terror attacks on Israeli citizens in their own country, and calling them terror.

    The incidents you mention are not in date order. I suspect this is on purpose. Your first item, the King David Hotel in 1946, leads one to want to believe you.

    But then it all gets very interesting. Almost all the events listed in 1948 are battles between the forces of the Zionists and Arab terrorists – with the sole exception of Deir Yassin, which was a massacre. I notice you managed to leave out at least two Arab massacres of Jews – one dating from 1929 in Hebron, and a second in 1948 in Gush Etzion.

    Finally all of the actions taken by the Tzaha”l (the IDF) after 1948 were in response to the terror acts of the Arab Fidayun. Put bluntly, the Arabs had it coming. If they start another intifada here, they will have it coming again to them. I hope their leaders have the sense not to try that again – for the sake of the resident Arabs, who need peace, not war.

    Ads for what you write, since you resort to distortion and lies in comment #8, then that gives the lie to your own credibility as one who seeks to give facts.

    Any idiot can issue opinions without facts to back them up. But only a deliberate liar will distort facts to create a false argument.

  • Zedd

    Dave

    Pull yourself together.

    As a nonWhite, I have been observing crazy white people who attack the public since my very early youth. I know you have too. But up until recently (Melvoux and the like changing the environment), it was something that we said “its those crazy white people again”. We have been exposed to Whites who are on the edge through out our entire lifes experience. From teachers to co-workers. I know if we had more AAs on these boards that would concur. I am certain that those who are reading this are smiling and nodding from recognition.

    How dare you make such an issue of one European kid (white boy) who happens to be Muslim and attribute his loosing it to his faith.

    There are skin heads all over the globe who are reeking havoc and again, crazy White boys who are at this moment plotting some nutty caper (shooting up a post office, or maybe a bridge). Heck in Europe, soccer games have become a dangerous experiences.

    Overwhelming numbers of Muslims are attacked and made to feel horrible by Christians all of the time in Western countries. Somehow their protests are a sign of something to be feared.

    Look 911 involved some guys with box cutters. As horrible as it was, it was the reaction to the box cutters that caused the shocking and sad demise. You have gone and lost your mind.

  • Martin Lav

    “Pull yourself together”

    I don’t think that’s possible for Dave, as he believes he’s hit upon a “perfect storm” to further his “gun wielding citizenry” position.

    However, your “crazy white boy” syndrome seems to be a little misplaced as well. I can understand if you are a black muslim that you may be a little sensitive, however, the militancy that folks are attributing to Muslims in general is not entirely unwarranted, even if it may be in this case. While it seems that there may be a measure of truth in the inferiority complex syndrome that some muslims feel, it does not give our esteemed author license to exploit it, just so he can legally shoot dogs from his porch.

  • Arch Conservative

    “He is exploiting this incident to further his agenda of arming himself and his family.”

    “I don’t think that’s possible for Dave, as he believes he’s hit upon a “perfect storm” to further his “gun wielding citizenry” position.”

    Martin… the second amendment to the Constitution states that citizens have the right to bear arms.

    Do you have a problem with that?

    There is a nother Amendment that you should heed as well Martin. The seldom mentioned 28th Amendment which states:

    “DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS!”

    “Overwhelming numbers of Muslims are attacked and made to feel horrible by Christians all of the time in Western countries.”

    Oh really Zedd? if this is true I’m sure you would have no problem producing factual examples of this right?

  • MCH

    Re #1;

    “when this went down did you jump with glee?”
    – zingzing

    Yes, probably, after his hard-on went limp.

  • zingzing

    can “jump with glee” be a new euphamism for masturbation? please?

  • Zedd

    Martin

    I am christian.

    inferiority complex syndrome that some muslims feel,

    Its not an inferiority complex. Its called being attacked and mistreated and not liking it. Just like any human being would feel.

    Sorry but the crazy white boy thing is a reality. Whites seem a little on the edge to a lot of people. They just don’t know it because they dominate the conversation among the people of the world and define everyone without knowing that they too are defined. There are definately mentally ill people of all races but the across the board “on the edge thing” is pretty much locked in. Sorry to be the one to tell you. But now you know.

  • Zedd

    Martin

    #11 Dead on!

  • MBD

    Ruvy, you must believe the Irgun, the Haganah, and the Stern Gang were Boy Scouts, and 700,000 Palestinians fled their homes because they didn’t want to buy Boy Scout cookies every year.

    Because you say something is false doesn’t make it false.

    Face it, Middle East terrorism originated here:

    August 20, 1937 – June 29, 1939. During this period, the Zionist terrorists carried out a series of attacks against Arab buses, resulting in the death of 24 persons and wounding 25 others.

    November 6, 1944. Zionist terrorists of the Stern Gang assassinated the British Minister Resident in the Middle East, Lord Moyne, in Cairo.

    July 22, 1946. Zionist terrorists blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which housed the central offices of the civilian administration of the government of Palestine, killing or injuring more than 200 persons. The Irgun officially claimed responsibility for the incident, but subsequent evidence indicated that both the Haganah and the Jewish Agency were involved.

    October 1, 1946. The British Embassy in Rome was badly damaged by bomb explosions, for which Irgun claimed responsibility.

    June 1947. Letters sent to British Cabinet Ministers were found to contain bombs.

    September 3, 1947. A postal bomb addressed to the British War Office exploded in the post office sorting room in London, injuring 2 persons. It was attributed to Irgun or Stern Gangs.

    December 11, 1947. Six Arabs were killed and 30 wounded when bombs were thrown from Jewish trucks at Arab buses in Haifa; 12 Arabs were killed and others injured in an attack by armed Zionists on an Arab coastal village near Haifa.

    December 13,1947. Zionist terrorists, believed to be members of Irgun Zvai Leumi, killed 18 Arabs and wounded nearly 60 in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Lydda areas. In Jerusalem, bombs were thrown in an Arab market-place near the Damascus Gate; in Jaffa, bombs were thrown into an Arab cafe; in the Arab village of Al Abbasya, near Lydda, 12 Arabs were killed in an attack with mortars and automatic weapons.

    December 19, 1947. Haganah terrorists attacked an Arab village near Safad, blowing up two houses, in the ruins of which were found the bodies of 10 Arabs, including 5 children. Haganah admitted responsibility for the attack.

    December 29, 1947. Two British constables and 11 Arabs were killed and 32 Arabs injured, at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem when Irgun members threw a bomb from a taxi.

    December 30,1947. A mixed force of the Zionist Palmach and the “Carmel Brigade” attacked the village of Balad al Sheikh, killing more than 60 Arabs.

    1947 — 1948. Over 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were uprooted from their homes and land, and forced to live in refugee camps on Israel’s borders. They have been denied the right to return to their homes. They have been refused compensation for their homes, orchards, farms and other property stolen from them by the Israeli government. After their expulsion, 385 Arab villages and towns, out of a total of 475 were demolished, most by bulldozing and generally, Israeli villages were built on the rubble.

    January 1, 1948. Haganah terrorists attacked a village on the slopes of Mount Carmel; 17 Arabs were killed and 33 wounded.

    January 4, 1948. Haganah terrorists wearing British Army uniforms penetrated into the center of Jaffa and blew up the Serai (the old Turkish Government House) which was used as a headquarters of the Arab National Committee, killing more than 40 persons and wounding 98 others.

    January 5, 1948. The Arab-owned Semiramis Hotel in Jerusalem was blown up, killing 20 persons, among them Viscount de Tapia, the Spanish Consul. Haganah admitted responsibility for this crime.

    January 7, 1948. Seventeen Arabs were killed by a bomb at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, 3 of them while trying to escape. Further casualties, including the murder of a British officer near Hebron, were reported from different parts of the country.

    January 16, 1948. Zionists blew up three Arab buildings. In the first, 8 children between the ages of 18 months and 12 years, died.

    December 13, 1947 — February 10, 1948. Seven incidents of bomb-tossing at innocent Arab civilians in cafes and markets, killing 138 and wounding 271 others, During this period, there were 9 attacks on Arab buses. Zionists mined passenger trains on at least 4 occasions, killing 93 persons and wounding 161 others.

    February 15, 1948. Haganah terrorists attacked an Arab village near Safad, blew up several houses, killing 11 Arabs, including 4 children..

    March 3, 1948. Heavy damage was done to the Arab-owned Salam building in Haifa (a 7 story block of apartments and shops) by Zionists who drove an army lorry ( truck) up to the building and escaped before the detonation of 400 Ib. of explosives; casualties numbered 11 Arabs and 3 Armenians killed and 23 injured. The Stern Gang claimed responsibility for the incident.

    March 22, 1948. A housing block in Iraq Street in Haifa was blown up killing 17 and injuring 100 others. Four members of the Stern Gang drove two truck-loads of explosives into the street and abandoned the vehicles before the explosion.

    March 31, 1948. The Cairo-Haifa Express was mined, for the second time in a month, by an electronically-detonated land mine near Benyamina, killing 40 persons and wounding 60 others.

    April 9, 1948. A combined force of Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern Gang, supported by the Palmach forces, captured the Arab village of Deir Yassin and killed more than 200 unarmed civilians, including countless women and children. Older men and young women were captured and paraded in chains in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem; 20 of the hostages were then shot in the quarry of Gevaat Shaul.

    April 16, 1948. Zionists attacked the former British army camp at Tel Litvinsky, killing 90 Arabs there.

    April 19, 1948. Fourteen Arabs were killed in a house in Tiberias, which was blown up by Zionist terrorists.

    May 3, 1948. A book bomb addressed to a British Army officer, who had been stationed in Palestine exploded, killing his brother, Rex Farran.

    May11, 1948. A letter bomb addressed to Sir Evelyn Barker, former Commanding Officer in Palestine, was detected in the nick of time by his wife.

    April 25, 1948 — May 13, 1948. Wholesale looting of Jaffa was carried out following armed attacks by Irgun and Haganah terrorists. They stripped and carried away everything they could, destroying what they could not take with them.

  • Zedd

    Abraham’s kids at it again! Help us all!!!

  • Clavos

    Whites seem a little on the edge to a lot of people.

    I agree.

    I’m white, and I live in Miami, where we have a law that allows me to shoot someone on the street if I feel threatened by them.

    A lot of the whites I see on the street seem a little on the edge to me.

    So I have a gun.

    Never know about them crazy whites…

  • Zedd

    Dave

    To follow your reasoning, we should then allow children to go to school with guns just in case another Christian white young man looses it and decides to shoot everyone up.

    What school districts have done is to alert children about the affects of bullying. Perhaps some adults need to sit in on those classes.

  • Zedd

    Clavos you are not white.

  • Clavos

    Clavos you are not white.

    Hhmmm. My Swedish father and Irish mother might dispute that, Zedd.

  • Zedd

    I am teasing you Clavos. How would I know what you are?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I dunno, Dave. Since the overwhelming majority of violent criminals in the United States are white of Judeo-Christian faith, I think maybe this kid was just making a preemptive strike to make himself feel safer (something I am confident you can related to).

    Ok, first off, let me point out to Jeff and all the others who followed his fallacy that Talovic is as ‘white’ as any ‘white’ American, as are a great many muslims. Hell, there are plenty of blonde-haired, blue-eyed muslims in the Balkans.

    I have no interest in making a ‘preemptive strike’. I’m not at the point where I consider myself an enemy of society whose rage can only be expressed through random violence. Plus, suicidal attacks at shopping malls don’t make you feel safer, they make you dead.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Well, it’s OK, Zedd, ’cause my Swedish father and Irish mother wouldn’t dispute it, anyway; they’re dead.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    How dare you make such an issue of one European kid (white boy) who happens to be Muslim and attribute his loosing it to his faith.

    I didn’t attribute it to his faith. I merely suggested it could be a factor here and is certainly a factor we should be aware of in the future. This is a REAL problem and should be taken seriously, not blown off based on your presumption that all white people are crazy.

    There are skin heads all over the globe who are reeking havoc and again

    Hardly. Skinheads aren’t a problem anywhere but England and Germany, and even in those places they are a tiny group and actual crimes associated with them are few and far between.

    They are as much a facet of the same problem as radicalized muslim youths are. Just as a mullah with a website can motivate troubled muslim teens to violence, a white supremacist with a website can do the same thing with troubled white youth. For that matter a charismatic black panther leader could probably appeal to black teens with similar results. This isn’t exclusively an issue of any race or religion, though it would be a safe bet to expect more problems with muslims than other groups.

    verwhelming numbers of Muslims are attacked and made to feel horrible by Christians all of the time in Western countries. Somehow their protests are a sign of something to be feared.

    Shooting people at a mall or planning to throw grenades into crowds is a hell of a lot more than just a ‘sign of protest’.

    And where, in America, is this terrible plague of Muslims being attacked by Christians or anyone else? Aside from a few incidents right after 9/11 there are no history of that kind of violence.

    You have gone and lost your mind.

    Along with the CIA and the FBI and the CSIS, all of whom are taking this potential problem very seriously. The truth is that domestic terrorism is a much more meaningful threat than terrorist attacks from outside the country, and this story is just a glimpse of part of the picture.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    And you don’t think its a bit facetious to cite this as a “terror” example without any evidence that Muslim extremism has any ties to it? Why don’t you tie in Columbine, The Matrix or video games (after all he wore a trench coat)? or post-traumatic stress disorder (after all he was from Srebenica) or his disaffected youth?

    Deano, I did tie in most of those things. I have one reference to each of them except the video games and the Matrix. I had another Columbine reference, but it got edited out by an overzealous editor.

    There are plenty of demonstrated examples for you to draw on if you wanted to support your post on radicalization of muslim youth. Pulling out this example and citing it seems to be deliberatively exploitative rather than informed.

    I did mention multiple other examples in the article. This case was just an entry point to the larger topic.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    To follow your reasoning, we should then allow children to go to school with guns just in case another Christian white young man looses it and decides to shoot everyone up.

    Sounds good to me. But seriously, two points on this.

    First, two generations ago people I know in our town took their guns to school and put them in the gun rack in the classroom and there were no school shootings.

    Second, what I and others would actually recommend, is encouraging teachers to be armed and trained. Read up on the school shooting in Pearl Alabama sometime.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Dave

    First, two generations ago people I know in our town took their guns to school and put them in the gun rack in the classroom and there were no school shootings.

    You are just silly. Why don’t we have kids come to your kids school with guns.

    Also, what if a teacher is Muslim? Now have you seen some of those teachers? Are you serious. I wouldn’t trust anyone with a gun with my daughters in the room. Also, what would stop a student from stealing the guns. Come on Dave.

    I mean whats with the gun thing. Were you picked on as a kid or something?

    I volunteer in the inner city in the most dangerous part of Dallas. Remember Dallas was among the highest murder rates in the country, I’m sure its still up there. I don’t walk around with a gun in my purse. People treat me the way that I treat them. I am not condescending in any way I am just another one of God’s people working among them.

    You would be “stop, dropping and rolling” and end up shot.

  • Zedd

    Dave

    I did tie in most of those things

    That is your MO. You will introduce a ridiculous idea and try to absolve yourself by lightly hitting on all of the points that you know people will object on. Your silly and bigoted notions still stand out, clearly, hence the response that you’ve gotten.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    So my MO is to be thorough? I can live with that.

    As for ‘silly and bigoted notions’, I don’t see where you get that from.

    The responses have been fairly wacky, but most of the wackiness has little to do with the actual article.

    I started out just to write a news piece about the mall attack in SLC, and on researching the subject I came on all these other cases and the CSIS study and the article about Officer Hammond, and realized it was a good starting off point for soemthing entirely different.

    I think that if there was a mistake in the article, it was that I tried to address too many aspects of the subject, perhaps confusing some readers. I suppose I could have written three different articles. One on the fact that the media is totally downplaying or ignoring the fact that he’s a muslim (which I did end up cutting), one on the manipulation of muslim teens by jihadist propagandists, and one on the value of an armed citizenry in dealing with this sort of problem.

    IMO all of these issues sort of fit together, but clearly it was too much for some readers to take in all at once.

    Dave

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    This case was just an entry point to the larger topic.

    Dave both the content of your post and its title have the predominent implication that the reason for the shootings was the religious background of the shooter – a fact that is manifestly not in evidence. I don’t think you can legitimately blame the readers of the post for not agreeing with your leaps.

    As for your follow-up comments on arming the teachers and the students – that just too asinine to even touch on.

  • MCH

    “Along with the CIA and the FBI and the CSIS, all of whom are taking this potential problem very seriously. The truth is that domestic terrorism is a much more meaningful threat than terrorist attacks from outside the country, and this story is just a glimpse of part of the picture.”
    – Dave Nalle

    “I’ve seen figures similar to the ones Dave quotes.”
    – Vox Populi

  • Zedd

    Dave

    Mr thorough, there HAVE been Muslim attacks, physical and emotional, police harassments and mosque bombings. Google it. You seem to forget that we all have the world’s information at the tip of our fingers.

    Your MO is to BS and hope you can get away with it.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Mr thorough, there HAVE been Muslim attacks, physical and emotional, police harassments and mosque bombings. Google it. You seem to forget that we all have the world’s information at the tip of our fingers.

    You must have a different Google than I do. When I google ‘mosque bombing’ I get zillions of links to mosques being bombed in the middle east by one sect of Islam or another but nothing about Mosque bombings here in the US. I do remember hearing of one case right after 9/11, but there’s certainly no pattern or real history of mosque bombings or attacks in the US or anywhere else in the west. You get similar results with any other form of persecution in the US. Occasional incidents, mostly right after 9/11, but generally minor and not much recently. In Europe there’s more ongoing hostility, but that’s not surprising because it’s coming from both sides.

    Look, this idea that there’s a risk from young muslims of one kind or another in western nations isn’t some weird thing I made up. It’s well documented and has been the subject of serious research, and there are enough incidents out there to more than support concern. If you disagree with the idea, that’s fine – but a hell of a lot of experts agree.

    I direct you to the testimony of Claude Moniquet to the ESISC – the EU’s inteligence think tank.

    Or perhaps the concerns of the head of MI5 in England would be more to the point?

    And I suppose you’ll also blow off the concerns of the FBI, CIA and DHS about similar problems here in the US.

    Please try to interface with the real world just a tiny bit, Zedd.

    Dave

  • Maria Gonzalez-Sanchez

    Liberals and CAIR have complained that United States profiles Muslims, yet many of the attacks are of Muslims killing or assaulting Americans IN the United States.

    A Muslims kills several people outside of FBI headquarters.

    John Muhammad killed over 30 people.

    An Iranian student tried to run over and kill students at a university in his SUV.

    Now a Bosnian Muslim killed 5 innocent people at a mall in Utah.

    Now, who do you think is doing all the attacks on innocent people?

    It seems Muslims in America are the ones doing all the hate crimes in the United States.

    Yet the Liberal media and CAIR want you believe it’s the other way around. It seems that it is the many Muslims who are doing some of these hate crimes in the United States and not the other way around and no one has the courage to admit it.

  • Maria Gonzalez-Sanchez

    …it seems that the 5th Column and the “Enemy within” is true and CAIR is not addressing this, intead they are looking for the hate-crime boogeyman.

  • Maria Gonzalez-Sanchez

    …and the Columbine killers were not Christians, but were atheists.

    So don’t even try that B.S.

  • http://readingindia.blogspot.com/ Amrita

    #42 — Maria Gonzalez-Sanchez

    …and the Columbine killers were not Christians, but were atheists.

    So don’t even try that B.S.

    If having Muslim parents automatically makes you a Muslim then having Christian parents makes you a Christian.

    Why don’t you try that B.S.?

  • http://hawkeyeindia.wordpress.com Apollo

    In December, Chicago police arrested Derrick Shareef for plotting to carry out a hand grenade attack at a local mall. Fortunately, the person he approached for buying grenades turned out to be an FBI informant, and Shareef was arrested before he could do any harm.

    One can understand handgun sales and hunting rifle sales too. but why on Earth sell assault rifles and Grenades to the general public? Do u guys even sell tanks and fighter planes across the counter??

    bah! silly americans!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Apollo, sales of grenades and assault rifles aren’t legal in the US. That’s how Shareef got caught – he was looking for an illegal connection to get them from and that alerted the FBI.

    Dave

  • Arch Conservative

    Zedd………….You’re the one claiming there have been uncountable attacks on muslims.

    We don’t have to google it.

    The burden of proof is on you.

    Instead of saying the same thing over and over can you either please provide some evidence or shut the fuck up?

  • Zedd

    Maria

    How many killings are caused by Hispanics in the United States. The nerve.

    The fact that you can count the incidents in a country of 300M people, says it is not an epidemic.

    Now what is happening in the cities in Texas by Mexican youth is something to be concerned about. There are kidnappings, assassinations, robberies, Santa Maria murders, gang related killings. The incidences are multiplying by the day.

    Should we be letting more in? Should we ALL be afraid of THEM?

    Human beings have a tendancy to do harm to one another. It is ridiculous for anyone to wave a finger.

  • Maurice

    Dave – I get what you are saying and agree. When we go camping we are always heavily armed. I don’t fear the 4 legged beasts so much as the 2 legged ones. Luckily my crazy white wife is a great shot and can cover my black ass.

    I have never understood why law abiding citizens wouldn’t want to be armed.

  • Clavos

    I have never understood why law abiding citizens wouldn’t want to be armed.

    Amen.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    I have a number of reasons why I don’t want to be armed. But then again, last night I drove my wife’s car without insurance, then left the car standing in a hydrant zone while I ran inside for 90 seconds. So I’m not sure I qualify as a “law-abiding citizen.”

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    I’ve never understood why so many Americans want to be armed in the first place. If the USA is such a great place, why are so many people so afraid of their compatriots as to feel they need a gun? That isn’t a country, it’s the badlands…

  • Maurice

    CR #51

    I worked in Switzerland for a while and was impressed with how peaceful and crime free it is. All citizens have guns. All airports have military walking the halls with automatic weapons. When I landed in Zurich a half track escorted our plane.

    I’ve never felt so safe.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Maurice: You must have missed all the many heroin addicts and homeless people and the violent crime they of necessity bring with them that is one of the less appealing things that Switzerland is well known for throughout Europe.

    Do you actually have an answer to my question?

  • Maurice

    I worked for Motorola at the time. I was there for 2 months and had lots of time on my hands. I walked the streets every night and enjoyed the beauty and safety that Geneva offers. Your description of addicts and homeless people and violent crime does not fit what I saw everyday. If you were describing Italy (the armpit of Europe!) I would agree.

    Ronald Reagan answered your question best when he said “..trust but verify”. In other words yes there are many wonderful people in our nation but there are also people like Sulejman.

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    Maurice, in Switzerland all able-bodied Swiss males aged between 18 and 30 (in some cases longer) must serve. So yes, virtually every home in Switzerland has a weapon (the FASS 90) at hand however…..everyone has proper weapons training. Everyone has been vetted and checked (about 1/3 or all males are excluded from military service for various reasons including pyschological stability). Usage of the weapons is strictly controlled by the local “canton” (the “neighborhood milita / military unit) and the inventory of ammunition is also checked.

    So yes, everybody has access to weapons, but they don’t a). wander about with their assault rifles at port arms while shopping and b). don’t give the guns to every crazy yahoo that walks by.

    Subsequently I’m not sure any comparision to the US free-wheeling attitude towards guns applies….

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    But what I said is true of Switzerland, Maurice. Just because you didn’t see it doesn’t make it untrue. I suspect it’s even more true of Italy, but it is a MUCH larger country, so it’s no surprise.

    So your argument now is that yes there are many wonderful people in the USA but because of the occasional rogue citizen everybody should carry weapons and not trust anyone until “verified”? That still sounds like a mighty fractious society to me.

  • Maurice

    Deano #55

    you make good points and I agree. I think all who carry guns should have the proper trainning. Just like my wife and I.

  • Maurice

    CR #56

    Which city did you see this?

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Maurice: I believe we’re discussing the USA not Switzerland and I still await your answer…

  • Nancy

    My 2 cents worth: since the common hominin ancestor of us all was African, we are ALL of us “black”, technically, to a greater or lesser degree depending on phenotype, which is notoriously aberrant. “Race” seems to matter less, actually, than economic/social status & cultural commonality: i.e. middle-income conservative persons will be comfortable with fellow m-icps regardless of color, uppers w/fellow uppers, etc. etc. Part of the problem may be that not only is this kid a traumatized refugee, but he was culturally traumatized as well, living in an environment far different from his ‘native’ status & background & he just couldn’t adjust. However, there is the aspect that currently muslim culture seems to focus a great deal on terrorism, & has always traditionally upheld violence as a quick resort to adverse situations, despite PC claims to the contrary.

  • Paul2

    #21 very well said.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I’ve never understood why so many Americans want to be armed in the first place. If the USA is such a great place, why are so many people so afraid of their compatriots as to feel they need a gun?

    It’s not because we’re afraid that we want guns. We want guns because we have the right and because we know that an armed citizenry is the best way of making sure that society is peaceful and orderly. Each of us who has a gun is doing their part towards creating an environment which discourages crime. It’s not fear or a desire to do violence which motivates us, but a desire to create a certain sort of society which is characterized by mutual respect and decency. The legal, licensed gun in the hands of a trained citizen is like a membership card in that society.

    Dave

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    a desire to create a certain sort of society which is characterized by mutual respect and decency

    …and shoot-outs….lets not fergit shoot-outs! Yee-haw!

  • Paul2

    “society which is characterized by mutual respect and decency”

    The United States is one of the most violent societies in the world and the one with the most liberal gun laws.

    So much for decency and respect going around.

  • Nancy

    How do other countries ‘control’ gun sales successfully, that we don’t? What are the differences? Do they require tighter licensing, or more training, or what?

  • Clavos

    Most of them just ban privately owned guns outright, Nancy.

  • Paul2

    In Europe guns are generally illegal and can’t be sold or bought. Its as simple as that. And you dont have to be afraid that anyone else has a gun.

  • Clavos

    And you dont have to be afraid that anyone else has a gun.

    Apparently you do. BBC News, published today

  • zingzing

    It’s not because we’re afraid that we want guns. “We want guns because we have the right and because we know that an armed citizenry is the best way of making sure that society is peaceful and orderly.”

    i have the right to eat my own toes. certainly don’t want to. an armed citizenry does not equal peace and order. it represents a lot of people with guns.

    “Each of us who has a gun is doing their part towards creating an environment which discourages crime.”

    except the thousands every day who use guns to commit crime, right?

    “It’s not fear or a desire to do violence which motivates us, but a desire to create a certain sort of society which is characterized by mutual respect and decency.”

    yeah. let’s try that without guns to protect us from the “mutual respect and decency” we see every day.

    “The legal, licensed gun in the hands of a trained citizen is like a membership card in that society.”

    heh. “can i see your membership card? …please point your membership card the other way, sir.”

    you’re a nut, dave.

  • Paul2

    Clavos, I didn’t mean to imply that it means that there was no crime. But the figures in Europe are a tiny fraction compared to the US. You know that.

  • Clavos

    except the thousands every day who use guns to commit crime, right?

    Come on, zing. If I’m bent on murdering my wife, will I do it with a tire iron because guns are illegal and I don’t want to break the law?

    And even where they’re illegal, they’re available.

  • Paul2

    Murder Rates

    USA 6 per 100.000 people
    EU 1,4 per 100.000 people

  • Paul2

    Of course, but the harder it is to obtain a gun, the more unlike it is that you can actually use one.

  • Clavos

    But, you can still get ‘em in any relatively free society. Only the totalitarians are really successful at banning guns.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    The United States is one of the most violent societies in the world and the one with the most liberal gun laws.

    Paul, I realize you hate and fear what you don’t understand, but just making shit up doesn’t make it true. The US is actually around the middle as far as rates of violence world wide, and aside from the nations at the very top of the list, the range for those in the middle is pretty close.

    Ironically, Scotland where gun control is tight, is currently rated as the most violent counrty overall, and the leader in homicides is currently either Columbia or Honduras depending on which list you look at.

    But the real thing to look at is overall crime and property crime. The US may pay a higher price in homicides, but our rate of property crime is MUCH lower than most nations. And because – even here – homicides are relatively rare, a higher homicide rate means only a few more deaths per year, while the corresponding lowering of the rate of property crime which is generally much more common, means many fewer actual property crimes.

    So the tradeoff, which our armed society is largely respponsible for, is a few more homicides for lots and lots less property crime. And of course those homicides include a larger number of criminals killed during the commission of a crime than most nations.

    I think that’s a good thing in many ways.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    And BTW, Zing may think I’m a ‘nut’, but Zing enjoys the benefits of an armed society whether he chooses to own a gun or not, because the potential that citizens may be armed acts as a deterrent to crime whether any specific citizen is armed or not.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    clavos: “Come on, zing. If I’m bent on murdering my wife, will I do it with a tire iron because guns are illegal and I don’t want to break the law?”

    if you were going to murder your wife, you wouldn’t do it with your own gun anyway. that would be monumentally stupid. how many times have you thought about killing your woman? not many i guess. jeez.

    beyond that argument, would you know how to go about getting a weapon, should it be illegal? wouldn’t that be pretty dangerous? it would take you into circles you wouldn’t normally walk in, for one thing.

    also, if the act itself were illegal, you would be exposing yourself to the law before you even got around to blowing your woman’s brains all over your kitchen wall. paranoia seeping in.

    if you were “hell-bent” on killing your woman, yeah, you would do it with the fucking tire iron. at least swinging it a few times would make you think about what you were doing.

    or, depending on how bad things are, it might prolong the pleasure, i suppose…

  • zingzing

    dave, i wear tight clothes. anybody could see that i’m not carrying a gun.

    (although they might suspect… wink, wink…)

    as for your property vs murder thing, i think we’ve gone over this before. i’d much rather keep my life than some bit of property.

    your “deterrent” argument is the same that gov’ts use for having nukes. yeah, it is a deterrent. but it’s also a danger. the unfortunate part is that once someone decides to use one of those (gun or nuke), someone is probably going to die.

  • Paul2

    Dave,

    this is a ridiculous argumentation and apparently also a very wrong one.

    When we speak of comparing countries with liberal or restrictive gun laws, we can’t compare the USA with Honduras or Japan with Iraq. Such examples are always distorting.

    Thats why I chose the comparison between the EU and the USA.

    Murder Rates 2006

    USA: 6 per 100.000 people
    EU : 1,4 per 100.000 people

    Your assumption that these numbers include those
    killed in committing a crime is wrong, thats not considered murder.

    Your assumption “a few more murders” per year leads to less property crimes is wrong as well and it also implies that property is more important to you than human life.

    When you compare the overall crime rate including all crimes, you will find that the one of the USA is signficantly higher than that of the EU.

    And please don’t answer with a comparision of bribery in Barbados and tax fraud in Bolivia.

  • Clavos

    zing,

    if you were going to murder your wife, you wouldn’t do it with your own gun anyway. that would be monumentally stupid.

    More monumentally stupid than deciding to kill her in the first place?

    beyond that argument, would you know how to go about getting a weapon, should it be illegal?

    Probably. It’s easy enough to get drugs in our country (ask any teenager; they not all using, but any of ‘em can tell you where they are found). Easy enough to find a bookie, also.

    also, if the act itself were illegal, you would be exposing yourself to the law before you even got around to blowing your woman’s brains all over your kitchen wall.

    My original point. Small potatoes, compared to the actual murder. If I’ve decided to murder, violating a gun prohibition isn’t going to concern me.

  • Clavos

    One last one, zing:

    how many times have you thought about killing your woman?

    This week…or last? :>)

  • zingzing

    clavos: “More monumentally stupid than deciding to kill her in the first place?”

    no… but, assuming you would like to get away with it…

    “It’s easy enough to get drugs in our country (ask any teenager; they not all using, but any of ‘em can tell you where they are found). Easy enough to find a bookie, also.”

    ok, so there you are running around with hippies, coked-out do-nothings and gambling horse-lovers and their ilk. not so scary. if guns were illegal, just merely having a gun would be implying violence (more than it does today). so you’d be hanging out with violent people. it would be a dangerous proposistion from the start.

    “My original point. Small potatoes, compared to the actual murder. If I’ve decided to murder, violating a gun prohibition isn’t going to concern me.”

    once you start adding up all the stuff you have to do to get away with it, you’ve got a deterrent all wrapped up in itself.

  • Clavos

    if guns were illegal, just merely having a gun would be implying violence (more than it does today). so you’d be hanging out with violent people.

    Exactly. Criminals, in other words. They’ll have ‘em, regardless.

    once you start adding up all the stuff you have to do to get away with it, you’ve got a deterrent all wrapped up in itself.

    The thing is, zing, most criminals don’t think about all those ramifications, they “just do it”.

    One more point:

    We’ve tried to outlaw booze and drugs in this country. Outlawing guns will probably be just about as successful.

  • zingzing

    i don’t know… it’s endlessly arguable.

  • JR

    Maurice: I have never understood why law abiding citizens wouldn’t want to be armed.

    Same reason many people in cities don’t drive: it requires more time, effort and expense than it’s worth.

    Accurately using a gun takes a good deal of practice. Without that expertise, a gun is useless or worse – not only do you need to hit what’s threatening you, you need not to hit a lot of other stuff.

    Guns and ammunition cost money, and you’ll need to buy enough ammunition for target practice. You’ll also have to put in the time and effort. In the time it takes to become proficient with a gun, you could become proficient on a musical instrument (for example) and go make some spare cash, maybe even get laid.

    Carrying a gun also gives you the responsibility of making sure it isn’t misused. That means making sure it doesn’t get taken away from you, which is just one more thing to worry about in public. And it means having confidence in your own self-control and judgement. Knowing when to use a gun is as important as knowing how, and just having the gun impairs that judgement – when your tool is a hammer, problems look like nails.

    After all that, what are the odds the gun is ever going to solve your problem? The fact is, damn small. In my entire life, I have never had a situation where I needed a gun, let alone where it would have been the best solution. On occasion, using a gun might have brought me immediate gratification, but I seriously doubt it would have been worth it in the long run. Only an infinitesimal percentage of problems are appropriately solved with a gun, and the majority of those were created by inappropriate use of a gun (such as the example in the above article).

    Just as with cars, the world wouldn’t be a better place without guns, but it be better if most people didn’t have them. Take a good hard look at the people you see driving and maybe you’ll understand that.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    as for your property vs murder thing, i think we’ve gone over this before. i’d much rather keep my life than some bit of property.

    Ah, but it’s not YOUR death vs. YOUR property, it’s the property of hundreds of citizens vs. a 1 in 5000 chance of one stranger dying.

    Dave

  • Paul2

    So Dave… are you still wondering why the murder rate in the EU is 1/6 of the US? But then –according to your argumentation– maybe they should legalize hand guns in Europe and the rate there would drop even further ?

  • A.

    I find the title of your article quiet offensive. I don’t see what the kid’s religion has to do with him going to a mall and shooting people. Yes, it is an awful tragedy, but the way you manipulated his religion into the story is disgusting. Obviously, all these troubled young people that have gone onto these horrible killing sprees have some psychological and emotional issues which you barely touched upon b/c you seized the golden opportunity, like so many “good Christians”, to promote more hatered and anger among the American people towards the muslim people. I just don’t see how relevant his religion is to what happened. I can’t recall any of previous such incidents being classified as acts of “terrorism” and the killer’s religion playing a role. Do you?!

  • MCH

    “Ah, but it’s not YOUR death vs. YOUR property, it’s the property of hundreds of citizens vs. a 1 in 5000 chance of one stranger dying.”
    – Dave Nalle

    “I’ve seen figures similar to the ones Dave quotes.”
    – Vox Populi

  • zingzing

    dave: “Ah, but it’s not YOUR death vs. YOUR property, it’s the property of hundreds of citizens vs. a 1 in 5000 chance of one stranger dying.”

    ok, i value that stranger’s life a little more than my own shoes. (anything but my music collection.)

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    So Dave… are you still wondering why the murder rate in the EU is 1/6 of the US? But then –according to your argumentation– maybe they should legalize hand guns in Europe and the rate there would drop even further ?

    No, I’m not wondering, Paul. I’ve been checking the figures. I haven’t found a full set specifically for the EU as a whole, but I do now have a lot of data on individual countries within the EU, where all forms of crime are on the rise and many are higher than the US. The murder rate is only a very small part of the picture. The rise in violent crime is particularly troubling. It’s not surprising that Britains are demanding repeal of their gun restrictions.

    But the most interesting thing is the differences in crime reporting between the EU and the US. Apparently figures for most EU countries only include cases where the criminals are actually sentenced, while more and more European countries are not even bringing many crimes to trial, or are releasing all but the most violent criminals without even charging them. Clearly merely comparing official figures doesn’t give the full picture.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    why don’t you link to your article on the subject?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Because it’s late at night and I can’t find it. I’m not even sure it exists. I’ve written like 700 blog articles here and elsewhere, and while I know I researched the topic of crime rates for various crimes around the world, I have no idea what I ever did with all that info – did it end up in an article or just a comment or just some notes – damned if I know at 4am.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Dave: Your #62 is a mockery of common sense. I know you can’t be shaken on this point, for you cling to it like an item of faith and are incapable of stepping outside your dogma, so I won’t waste my time trying to persuade you.

    However, the immense flaw in your argument is that you seem to think that having weapons discourages criminals: it doesn’t, it just encourages them to get bigger guns. Anybody with an an unencumbered brain can see the arms race taking place…

    Clavos: your #68 is specious. Just as one swallow dfoesn’t make a summer, a little inner city violence doesn’t negate the case that an unarmed citizenry is less likely to use weapons.

    And your #71 is ludicrous. You would be far less likely to attack anybody with a tire iron than a gun. guns are easy to use, like a remote. A tire iron is up close and personal – and very very messy. Trust me, it’s not the same thing at all…

    Furthermore, having a large armed populace creates a climate in which other acts, like going to war, are far more easy to contemplate.

    As we’ve seen over the last six years, war is a lot harder in practice than it is when discussed in the cozy environment of the USA, particularly when practiced for all the wrong reasons.

    The other “popular” argument here, that the criminals have them, is also specious. Take away the climate of permission and enabling and get your police to do their jobs properly. A war on armed crime would be so much more useful than a dubious war on terror…

  • STM

    Arch says: “Martin… the second amendment to the Constitution states that citizens have the right to bear arms.”

    F.ck, is that a tired bloody argument or what. The 2nd amendment was designed only to keep a standing militia (you have one still: the National Guard), not to give every second lunatic the right to carry a gun. It’s a 200-year-old piece of legislation that was aimed at defending against the British (who had no intention of attacking the US anyway) and carries no weight in 2007.

    How do Americans reconcile this blind belief in the infallibility of the 2nd amendment and their continuing love/hate affair with guns with handwringing over the proliferation of millions of firearms that gives the US the highest rate of homicide in the developed world.

    It looks really bizarre from the outside, trust me.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    STM: don’t go telling the Yanks the truth now, you know it upsets their delusions…

    ;-)

  • STM

    Bloody Yanks … fair dinkum. Almost as mad as your mob, Chris :)

  • Zedd

    I have never understood why law abiding citizens wouldn’t want to be armed.

    Because its those guns that get stolen and end up in the streets to harass everyone else. Unless you are Quick Draw McGraw or (((((CRAZY)))))), its stupid to think that you’d be ready at all times to shoot. If someone approaches you with a gun, you won’t be able to pull it out quickly enough to do anything. Also you shooting in public will more likely cause more harm than good. You’d end up endangering the public.

  • Paul2

    Dave you’ve made it obvious that you hang on to your opinion although you can find nothing to support it.

    A rational argumentation requires you to look at the facts and then draw some conclusions. You have an opinion in the first place and then try to find facts to support it and if you don’t you just make something up and tell everyone else their to stupid sto understand.

    “European countries are not even bringing many crimes to trial or are releasing all but the most violent criminals without even charging them”

    — thats some of the greatest crap I’ve heard in along time

  • Clavos

    STM Sez:

    How do Americans reconcile this blind belief in the infallibility of the 2nd amendment and their continuing love/hate affair with guns with handwringing over the proliferation of millions of firearms that gives the US the highest rate of homicide in the developed world.

    Well, for starters, you’re talking about two different groups of Americans here. Those of us who are in favor of having our guns aren’t the same people wringing their hands over the proliferation of millions of firearms.

    Chris:

    And your #71 is ludicrous. You would be far less likely to attack anybody with a tire iron than a gun. guns are easy to use, like a remote. A tire iron is up close and personal – and very very messy. Trust me, it’s not the same thing at all…

    OK, you’re right, bad example. But my point was that, if I wanted to murder my wife, I would (and could) do so whether or not guns were available.

    And, as I mentioned in #83, our spectacular lack of success in controlling either booze or drugs bodes ill for controlling guns, should we ever decide to repeal the 2nd Amendment; which I doubt will happen.

  • Paul2

    Clavos,

    you’re repeating yourself. No one said that it was impossible to obtain a weapon if they were banned.

    The issue is if a society is safer without legal guns around or not.

    Paul2

  • Mohjho

    “Lessons from a Muslim Youth’s Killing Spree in Salt Lake City”

    Lesson learned: We Need More Guns!

    Brilliant Dave

  • Clavos

    The issue is if a society is safer without legal guns around or not.

    Which begs the question: Will guns become more difficult to obtain if they are outlawed?

    I contend that only people who respect the law and obey it will no longer have guns. Those bent on unlawful activity will have no compunction (or difficulty) in obtaining them, if they so desire, just as they don’t in countries where guns are already banned.

    Furthermore, enforcement of such a ban in this country, where millions of guns are already in circulation (and where millions of people will probably not support it), will be impossible, as the prohibitions against liquor and drugs have proven to be.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “Well, for starters, you’re talking about two different groups of Americans here. Those of us who are in favor of having our guns aren’t the same people wringing their hands over the proliferation of millions of firearms [that gives the US the highest rate of homicide in the developed world].”

    yeah, it’s called the bad guys and the good guys. if you own a gun or claim the right to (and that that right is right), then you are partially guilty of driving up that homicide rate. every time someone pulls a trigger, you had better think about it. you should all be shot. we should shoot you with your own guns. then those that didn’t take part in that should shoot us with your guns, and they should be shot with your guns by other people, until america has shot itself to death. yeah.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    F.ck, is that a tired bloody argument or what. The 2nd amendment was designed only to keep a standing militia (you have one still: the National Guard), not to give every second lunatic the right to carry a gun. It’s a 200-year-old piece of legislation that was aimed at defending against the British (who had no intention of attacking the US anyway) and carries no weight in 2007.

    I realize you don’t come from the US, so you can be excused for being so abyssmally ignorant about the purpose of the 2nd Amendment.

    First off, the National Guard is not a militia, it is the equivalent of a regular military for the individual states. The militia is defined as all able bodied males of military age, and the idea of the 2nd amendment was that everyone should be armed so that in an emergency any person who was capable of fighting could be called up.

    Second, the founding fathers who created the 2nd Amendment did not intend it for defending against Britain. We had already fought and won that war. The purpose of keeping and bearing arms is to retain the ability to resist oppressive government by force. If you think that sounds farfetched, let me offer you a few quotes:

    To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them; nor does it follow from this, that all promiscuously must go into actual service on every occasion. The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it.” –Richard Henry Lee, 1788.

    “[I]f circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights and those of their fellow citizens.” — Alexander Hamilton

    “[A]rms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. . . Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.” — Thomas Paine, 1775

    “Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms under our own possesion and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?”– Patrick Henry

    “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people’s liberty teeth keystone… the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable… more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference. When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour.” — George Washington

    Does that make clear enough what the founding fathers actually believed? And what they said then is as true today as it ever was. And if you like I can probably come up with 50 more similar quotes.

    How do Americans reconcile this blind belief in the infallibility of the 2nd amendment and their continuing love/hate affair with guns with handwringing over the proliferation of millions of firearms that gives the US the highest rate of homicide in the developed world.

    Remember that, as I mentioned before, the actual number of homicides is actually quite low, and has been declining. What’s more, in the states where there are more guns and where concealed carry is permitted homicides have gone down dramatically. It’s quite clear that the homicide rate is driving more by other factors than by the availability of guns. And, in fact, if you eliminate criminal vs. criminal violence, particularly gang and drug related, our homicide rate falls to below most developed nations. The best way to lower the homicide rate would be to end the War on Drugs and start decriminalizing drug use.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Dave you’ve made it obvious that you hang on to your opinion although you can find nothing to support it.

    LOL, I’ve written multiple articles with extensive research on this subject and the data is overwhelmingly in support of private gun ownership.

    A rational argumentation requires you to look at the facts and then draw some conclusions. You have an opinion in the first place and then try to find facts to support it and if you don’t you just make something up and tell everyone else their to stupid sto understand.

    Mmmm. No. It’s just that I’ve already been over this so many times and the facts have been so well established that I’m inclined to blow off your ridiculous assertions because no one who’s informed on this subject can take them seriously.

    “European countries are not even bringing many crimes to trial or are releasing all but the most violent criminals without even charging them”

    — thats some of the greatest crap I’ve heard in along time

    Perhaps you should peruse some of the data and links in my prior article on the subject.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Dave

    Some kook shoots everyone up and your response is that we need to hand out more guns to the public.

    WOW!! What a brain!!! Can I sit in, on ALL of your lectures from now till the end of time?? PLEASE?

    Happy Sarcastic Saturday!! Yippie!! Yeah Baybeee!! WOW WOW WOW!! SHWINGGGG! Party Down!! Toga! Toga! Oh BEHAVE!!!

  • Clavos

    Dave

    Some kook shoots everyone up and your response is that we need to hand out more guns to the public.

    WOW!! What a brain!!! Can I sit in, on ALL of your lectures from now till the end of time?? PLEASE?

    Happy Sarcastic Saturday!! Yippie!! Yeah Baybeee!! WOW WOW WOW!! SHWINGGGG! Party Down!! Toga! Toga! Oh BEHAVE!!!

    Now there’s an incisive, thoughtful, hard-hitting, convincing and cogent argument…

  • zingzing

    dave: “LOL, I’ve written multiple articles with extensive research on this subject and the data is overwhelmingly in support of private gun ownership.”

    data, statistics, yada yada yada. they say what you want them to say.

    nothing’s as simple as you want it to be.

  • Aku

    Zingzing

    “data, statistics, yada yada yada. they say what you want them to say.

    nothing’s as simple as you want it to be.”

    I have to quote clavos on this one.

    “Now there’s an incisive, thoughtful, hard-hitting, convincing and cogent argument…”

    Please Zing, come up with somthing better next time other than “You are wrong because I say so.”

  • Paul2

    aku – did you actually read this thread ?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Some kook shoots everyone up and your response is that we need to hand out more guns to the public.

    Not exactly. My response is that if there were more trained citizens carrying concealed weapons then these types of attacks which are very hard to predict or prevent in advance could be stopped before they turn into real massacres, as this one was.

    WOW!! What a brain!!! Can I sit in, on ALL of your lectures from now till the end of time?? PLEASE?

    For that I charge tuition.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    Thanks!

    Happy Sarcastic Saturday!! Yippie!! Yeah Baybeee!! WOW WOW WOW!! SHWINGGGG! Party Down!! Toga! Toga! Oh BEHAVE!!!

    I see you’ve decided to join the party!!

  • Zedd

    Aku

    Sometimes its just exhausting to keep providing thoughtful arguments to people that don’t have the capability to comprehend the significance of the data.

    Whether it is a voice recording from God Himself or a “because I said so”, it doesn’t matter to some people.

    THINKNESS PREVAILS!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle


    Sometimes its just exhausting to keep providing thoughtful arguments to people that don’t have the capability to comprehend the significance of the data.

    Ah, so your excuse is that your brain was worn out before you got to this thread?

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Humor! Wow Dave. Good boy!!! I’m moved!! You did it. Its actually funny!! Not being sarcastic either. Chuckles!!!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Ah, but for the real humor I charge admission.

    Dave

  • Paul2

    Dave

    It’s quite nice to refer to your own biased article with a couple rare instances in Great Britain as a “source”. It doesn’t prove any of the things you’ve written here and it doesn’t provide conclusions on all of Europe either (Europe is a little bigger than the UK, you know.)

    As for your own fabricated data here is some data on

    HOMICIDES 1999-2001 per 100,000 people
    ————————————–
    USA 5,6
    New Zealand 2,5
    Australia 1,9
    Canada 1,8
    European Union 1,6
    ————————————–

    Barclay, G. and Tavares C.: International Comparisons of Criminal Justice Statistics 2000, Home Office Statistical Bulletin 05, London 2002.

    Killias, M.: European Sourcebook of Crime Criminal Justice Statistics, The Hague, 2003.

    But these people are all so deluded and airheaded, maybe they should hire you ?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    It’s quite nice to refer to your own biased article with a couple rare instances in Great Britain as a >source< .

    I said in the link it was my article, and it has links to FIVE neutral outside sources to support the main point. And the bias is in your mind, I fear.

    It doesn’t prove any of the things you’ve written here and it doesn’t provide conclusions on all of Europe either (Europe is a little bigger than the UK, you know.)

    Well sure, it’s not definitive on the rest of Europe. I haven’t written an article on that yet, but probably will eventually. The data is certainly out there, from the UN study on the dramatic rise in youth crime to the many articles on crime and the failure of the judicial system in various nations in Europe.

    As for your own fabricated data

    Like I’m going to take you seriously when you insult me and repeat the same irrelevant and skewed statistics.

    Dave

  • Paul2

    Dave,

    we were talking about this thread and were were not debating about a rise in crime in one or the other country. That might be true for the UK ans ome other places. But that was not the issue.

    You said that the murder rates in Europe were lower because of the murder/homicide statistical problem. Now you have scientific data about homicides worldwide. And if its not for the liberal gun laws, why would that rate be so high in the US?

    Paul

  • zingzing

    aku: “Please Zing, come up with somthing better next time other than “You are wrong because I say so.”

    jesus christ. that’s what i’m saying dave said. irony is beautiful sometimes.

  • Clavos

    I have some questions for Paul:

    Do you want the USA to outlaw guns?

    Are you a US citizen?

    Do you live here?

  • Paul2

    -Clavos

    1-yes, as a long-term goal
    2-yes
    3-not at the moment

  • Clavos

    Paul.

    One more:

    Should we attempt to outlaw (or at least restrict) everything in our culture that kills people?

  • Paul

    I don’t really know what you mean…

  • MCH

    “LOL, I’ve written multiple articles with extensive research on this subject and the data is overwhelmingly in support of private gun ownership.”
    – Dave (Vox Populi) Nalle

    Figures don’t lie, but liars do figure…

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Paul, I think he means that cars kill a hell of a lot more people than guns, but no one is trying to ban them – or maybe that’s your next crusade?

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Bingo.

    In 2003 (most recent year for which I could find accurate data in a quick search)from infoplease:

    US Death rate per 100,000 Population, By Cause

    Overall (All Causes) 840
    Cardiovascular Disease 310.3
    Malignant Neoplasms (Cancer) 191.5
    Motor Vehicle Accidents 15.4
    Firearms 10.4
    Illegal Drugs 9.9
    Legal Drugs (Alcohol) 7.1

    Seems to me we ought to be giving higher priority to working on disease and making cars safer than outlawing guns, which likely will not eliminate gun deaths altogether.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    The persistent failure to apprehend reality by people who favour wider gun ownership never ceases to baffle me. Clavos, I thought you had more smarts than resident gun loons like Dave.

    People ARE working on disease AND making cars safer but that has NOTHING to do with gun law at all.

    Dealing with the Nallian position, despite his entirely false and somewhat paranoid arguments and marshalling of facts carefully chosen to support his ludicrous position, it seems entirely clear that if there were less guns around, there’s be less shootings.

    The other ludicrous presumption he makes is that somehow the US citizenry are all totally calm and have perfect self control and judgement about appropriate weapons use.

    The fact that he and the other gun nuts on this site (and other people outside that demographic too, to be fair) can’t even control themselves properly in an online discussion space doesn’t bode at all well for his offensively stupid idea.

    The simple arrogance of someone who just wants to airily dismiss the arguments of other people tends to confirm that view.

    The “training” argument is another pile of nonsense. Not even the fairly well trained US military maintain perfect control of their weapons usage at all times, but somehow he fancifully imagines that the US citizenry, with all their worldly sophistication, will know just what to do and how to handle themselves when the time comes.

  • Clavos

    Two points, Chris:

    The persistent failure to apprehend reality by people who favour wider gun ownership never ceases to baffle me.

    I don’t favor wider ownership; merely keeping the status quo.

    People ARE working on disease AND making cars safer but that has NOTHING to do with gun law at all.

    I KNOW that diseases are being worked on, just as cars are being made safer; my point was that, because of their death rates, those programs should be given even higher priority than they now have; the “right” to drive cars, in particular, should be more closely examined.

    Aside from your epistemological objections to Dave’s arguments, I’m curious why you, a Brit in España, are concerned about US gun ownership?

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    Are you saying we should give out more guns so that the incidence of death by fire arms will decrease???

    Can we do a comparison by how many people use guns and cause death vs how many people use cars and die. Off course you will discover that there are far more people who use cars without incidence of death than there are people who cause deaths with fire arms.

    Yet you propose that we put more guns out. Clavos you cant believe that. Are you back in I’ll support Dave no matter what mode. I liked you better when you thought more independently.

  • MCH

    “Yet you propose that we put more guns out. Clavos you cant believe that. Are you back in I’ll support Dave no matter what mode. I liked you better when you thought more independently.”

    Dittos, Zedd. I noticed a little bit of “selective judgment” from Clavvy when he remained silent and refused to take a stand against Nalle’s fraud and deceit during the Vox Populi scam.

    But I will always respect his courage and convictions for serving his country during time of war.

  • Clavos

    Zedd,

    Please read my #130. I didn’t say ANYTHING about “putting more guns out,” whatever the hell that means…

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle


    People ARE working on disease AND making cars safer but that has NOTHING to do with gun law at all.

    Actually there’s a direct relatioanship when it comes to cars, Chris. Cars are comparable to guns because it’s not the safety of the car which determines the number of deaths, but the behavior of the driver. The same is true with guns. It’s not the gun which is dangerous, but the actions of the user which renders it safe or dangerous.


    Can we do a comparison by how many people use guns and cause death vs how many people use cars and die. Off course you will discover that there are far more people who use cars without incidence of death than there are people who cause deaths with fire arms.

    Actually, Zedd, there are FAR more guns in the US than there are cars. There are a total of 196 million cars and a total of about 300 million guns. In both cases some people own more than one and some own none at all.

    The key difference between guns and cars is that guns are much more passive and spend more time unused than cars do. That makes cars inherently much more dangerous, because while most guns are never used in a way which is dangerous, cars are only used in a way which carries the potential for harm to others.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    dave: “That makes cars inherently much more dangerous, because while most guns are never used in a way which is dangerous, cars are only used in a way which carries the potential for harm to others.”

    when are guns used in a way that isn’t dangerous? your statement makes no sense…

  • http://nightdragon.diaryland.com Mark Edward Manning

    Excellent article, excellent points, Dave, and ignore the usual crop of screaming liberal banshees that have responded.

  • Clavos

    when are guns used in a way that isn’t dangerous?

    Ummm….lessee…ummm….oh yeah!

    That would be…on a range, target shooting?

    Hunting?

    In fact, properly handled, pretty much any way; except when used improperly or to kill humans.

  • zingzing

    yes, mark! that’s right! if he were to ignore the response to his post, why the fuck would he write it in the first place?

  • zingzing

    clavos… those uses aren’t PARTICULARLY dangerous, but they still do involve some amount of danger. remember dick cheney? yeah. and hunting accidents elsewhere…

    cars, properly handled, are still dangerous. there is always an element of danger when you get in a car, unless you’re just making out in the backseat or hotboxing the motherfucker.

    guns, even when used by a person who should be able to “properly handle” them, are going to be dangerous. otherwise, you would never hear of friendly fire deaths, hunting accidents, accidental shootings, or 8-year-olds shooting themselves.

    you’re just kidding yourself.

  • STM

    Dave wrote: “Second, the founding fathers who created the 2nd Amendment did not intend it for defending against Britain.”

    Cut the bollocks old boy … you know the second amendment was introduced after the revolution but before the War of 1812. Certainly it was introduced with an eye to the country the US saw as its main threat – Britain, which shared a common border and was in control of the Atlantic seaboard right down to the Caribbean.

    Second, you are bloody well splitting hairs about the National Guard and you know it. The militia was the 18th century-early 19th century euquivalent of the National Guard in the US.

    Think about the nonesense you are writing in regard to this Dave. Fine, you like guns. I don’t particularly, although I’ve had to use them in the bush and that’s probably the reason why.

    However, using the second amendment as a justification to arm an entire populace in the modern era just doesn’t wash with me Dave. You might think I’m a dopey Aussie – I can only assume that’s the case given that you expect me to believe this stuff – but I can tell you this: there are more gun homicides and more homicides overall in the US than anywhere else in the developed world. That is a fact, and there’s only one reason: the proliferation of firearms.

    You are deluding yourself mate if you think anything else.

  • Clavos

    zing sez:

    uns, even when used by a person who should be able to “properly handle” them, are going to be dangerous. otherwise, you would never hear of friendly fire deaths, hunting accidents, accidental shootings, or 8-year-olds shooting themselves.

    you’re just kidding yourself.

    You’re right. So what about hang gliders? Ultralights? Sport parachutes? Go-fast boats? Axes? Chain saws? Motorcycles? Nail guns? meat choppers? Numchucks(sp?)? Throwing stars? The list goes on and on.

    I got my first gun, a 410/.22 over-and-under, for my eighth birthday (the stock had to be cut down for me). My father taught me how to use it, and until I was 15, supervised my every moment with it and the others he bought me over the years. I have never even come close to accidentally firing any gun I’ve ever owned. In fact, the only time in my life I’ve ever fired a gun anywhere towards people, Uncle Sam had issued it to me, and those other people were shooting at me.

    I’m kidding myself? About what? Life’s FULL of danger, guns are just one small part of it.

    C’mon, zing you’re splitting hairs here.

    Stan sez:

    there are more gun homicides and more homicides overall in the US than anywhere else in the developed world. That is a fact, and there’s only one reason: the proliferation of firearms.

    I think there are other reasons having to do with our overall penchant for violence and other cultural aspects of “Americanness” as well, but for the sake of argument let’s say you’re right.

    If so, it’s really our problem, is it not?

  • zingzing

    “You’re right. So what about hang gliders? Ultralights? Sport parachutes? Go-fast boats? Axes? Chain saws? Motorcycles? Nail guns? meat choppers? Numchucks(sp?)? Throwing stars? The list goes on and on.”

    most of those thing are useful for things other than killing. they also don’t contribute very much to unnatural deaths in america.

    we people start hurting other people with hang gliders and nail guns (in large amounts, obviously), then life has just gone insane anyway.

    having guns is just plain dumb.

  • zingzing

    that should be “when people starting hurting each other…”

  • zingzing

    mother fucker.

    when are we going to get an edit function on this fucking site? i swear.

    i’m sure you can figure out what i meant to say in that sentence.

    and i’m sober right now… i’m just going to go to bed. laaaazzzy sunday….

  • MCH

    “Second, the founding fathers who created the 2nd Amendment did not intend it for defending against Britain.”
    – Dave (Vox Populi) Nalle

    Come on Nalle/Populi, everyone knows the second amendment was intended for the killing of stray dogs with hunting rifles!

  • STM

    Clav wrote: “If so, it’s really our problem, is it not?”

    Ah Clav … No mate, dammit, with respect, it’s not just your problem. I and countless others like me visit the US, so whenever we’re there, it’s our problem too. Also, Chris Rose raises a very interesting point: the acceptance of a certain level of violence in the US by Americans, and the proliferation of firearms, makes it very easy for a culture to accept without too much critical analysis the call to arms – I daresay you have some fairly strong views on that one given your background. Also, these are not America-hating criticisms – as you know, I don’t – but simply food for thought.

    There is one aspect of all this that’s true, though: statements like guns don’t kill people, people kill people look increasingly bizarre to the developed world outside the US (and let’s face it, it’s a small world today; none of us lives in a vacuum) particularly when they are coupled with an inability to grasp the real reason why young kids go and commit mass murder with firearms. The real reason is that kids will always be angry, and guns are so easily available across most of ther US. What might be solved elsewhere with a punch in the mouth can so easily become a shooting by a troubled kid in the US. Like you, I have seen first-hand what firearms can do and it ain’t pretty. The survival rate for shootings isn’t that high. It’s a lot tougher than getting your bloody smashed up front tooth fixed.

    Food for thought old boy, nothing else …

  • JR

    Clavos: I got my first gun, a 410/.22 over-and-under, for my eighth birthday (the stock had to be cut down for me). My father taught me how to use it, and until I was 15, supervised my every moment with it and the others he bought me over the years.

    A convincing testimonial on the inherent danger of guns. I thought you were trying argue the opposite.

    I have never even come close to accidentally firing any gun I’ve ever owned.

    Presumably anyone who ever accidently fired a gun thought that until it went off.

  • JR

    STM: Ah Clav … No mate, dammit, with respect, it’s not just your problem. I and countless others like me visit the US, so whenever we’re there, it’s our problem too.

    Oh, so that’s how it is, eh?

    Well, I was thinking of visiting Australia some day, so I think you guys should be less racist toward the Aborigines. Also, you should stop all new development on unsettled land; I happen to like desert. And try to keep your population down.

    Thanks.

  • STM

    And Clav, I’m shocked – shame on you for throwing in that hoary old chestnut: it’s our problem (which in other words, I assume, means: mind your own bizzo). Feel free to comment any time on the pecadillos, mores and social ills of Australian society any time you bloody loike, without me telling you it’s our problem.

  • Clavos

    A convincing testimonial on the inherent danger of guns. I thought you were trying argue the opposite.

    No, I was arguing that properly handled guns are no more inherently dangerous than countless other things common in American life. In my opinion, my personal anecdote illustrated this by showing that my father, while giving me guns at a relatively early age, still felt that I needed several years of supervision before he could be confident in my ability to handle them properly. And I did.

    Presumably anyone who ever accidently (sic) fired a gun thought that until it went off.

    Possibly, though the key word there is “presumably.”

    The point (and the fact) is, none of mine ever have, in more than fifty years of gun ownership.

    And I’m not unique in that regard. I know many other gun owners (lots of cops among them) who have also never had an accidental discharge (of a gun.)

  • STM

    JR: We should be less racist to aborigines. And yes, we should keep development off unsettled land because desert is good. But please don’t come to Australia for a visit – we’ve already got enough banjo players and people with stupid-looking hats.

  • zingzing

    guns are lumps of steel and plastic. put them in the hands of a human and “inherent” danger goes right out the window. you know as well as i do that guns are dangerous. they are also very good at doing exactly what they are intended to do, as in killing.

    if you wouldn’t mind (and if guns are so safe,) why don’t we just publish a list of every fucking gun-owning asshole in the united states, thereby letting all the fucking criminals know that you have a gun (so they won’t even think about fucking with you), and letting the rest of us know not to piss you off, let our kids come over to your house, and to generally avoid you in public, like we would any other gun-toting nutjob?

    you wouldn’t mind that, would you?

    please?

  • Clavos

    Stan sez,

    Also, Chris Rose raises a very interesting point: the acceptance of a certain level of violence in the US by Americans, and the proliferation of firearms, makes it very easy for a culture to accept without too much critical analysis the call to arms – I daresay you have some fairly strong views on that one given your background. Also, these are not America-hating criticisms – as you know, I don’t – but simply food for thought.

    I think Chris (and, I suppose, you) are right about an American propensity for violence; to the point that I doubt that removing guns from our society will make much difference in that aspect of the American character, though it might reduce (temporarily, at least) the level of homicide in the USA.

    We ARE a violent people; it’s present throughout our history, even when we’re not engaged in war. In America, nearly everything is used as a weapon-even automobiles. Agressive driving, as the courts call it, is one of our most difficult traffic problems, in all but the smallest towns.

    And Clav, I’m shocked – shame on you for throwing in that hoary old chestnut: it’s our problem (which in other words, I assume, means: mind your own bizzo). Feel free to comment any time on the pecadillos, mores and social ills of Australian society any time you bloody loike, without me telling you it’s our problem.

    C’mon, Stan, cut me a little slack here. What I meant was, we’re killing each other; we’re not roaming the world knocking off Brits and Aussies.

    Sometimes, (rarely) the occasional foreign tourist is shot, especially here in Miami, but then, Miami is not an American city anymore.

    For the most part, tourists in other US cities have nothing to fear, other than being ripped off by cabdrivers, most of whom are foreigners these days, anyway.

    I find it interesting that no one addresses my point about the unenforceability of a gun ban in light of our spectacular failures prohibiting booze and drugs.

    There are 300 million guns in circulation in this country…

  • zingzing

    “What I meant was, we’re killing each other; we’re not roaming the world knocking off Brits and Aussies.”

    how can you say that right now?

  • STM

    We’ve had a lot of success getting rid of the majority of guns – not all, obviously – and very little on getting rid of drugs.

    Had they tried to ban booze, there would have been anarchy. Mind you, with the government we’ve got at the moment, it wouldn’t surprise me if they tried it.

    On the gun thing: it’s worth noting that Australia DID have a gun culture. Different to that of the US, and not as pervasive, but in the bush nearly everyone had a gun. I guess they were really regarded as part of the rural landscape, and they are still used widely out there for culling.

    Plenty in town had them as well, and I remember as a kid not being in any way shocked by guns as people in other countries might be.

    Martin Bryant, the Port Arthur mass murderer, killed it – literally, I guess. It shocked a lot of people, especially that he cornered two kids and shot them and their mum behind a tree. All the other dead were just killed indiscrimately as well. However, prior to that there had been a number of other mass shootings that were really shocking and had people thinking.

    Interestingly, and this is different to the US, if you shot dead someone breaking into your home, or even if you were being physically attacked, under some circumstances that would be regarded as murder and you’d be charged and tried. Few juries would convict, but you’d have to go through the process and that’s enough to f.ck your life.

  • STM

    Zing asked: “how can you say that right now?”

    Simple zing – because the Brits and Aussies are roaming the world with you knocking off every other poor bastard.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I can tell you this: there are more gun homicides and more homicides overall in the US than anywhere else in the developed world. That is a fact, and there’s only one reason: the proliferation of firearms.

    None of this is true, of course, Stan. First off, there are more gun homicides per capita in many countries, with Honduras and Colombia leading the way with enormlously more than the US. And the proliferation of firearms is also not the problem, because there are other countries, like Switzerland where there are more guns per capita than the US where the crime rates and the gun homicide rates are substantially lower.

    There’s a certain pointlessness to this entire argument. As Zing demonstrates so well, the fear of guns is largely irrational, and it’s impossible to shake the devout out of their delusion. Never mind that an unloaded gun is about as dangerous as a toaster and that it requires conscious intent to load it, aim it and fire it – far more effort than is needed to bash someone’s head in with a toaster.

    For the fanatics the gun is more a symbol than a reality. They think they can invest it with all the blame for the violence of society and get rid of that violence by getting rid of the gun. The problem is that they’re engaging in magical thinking and the real world doesn’t work that way.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    irrational as a bullet hole, dave. fuck off.

  • zingzing

    i ask again, “if you wouldn’t mind (and if guns are so safe,) why don’t we just publish a list of every fucking gun-owning asshole in the united states, thereby letting all the fucking criminals know that you have a gun (so they won’t even think about fucking with you), and letting the rest of us know not to piss you off, let our kids come over to your house, and to generally avoid you in public, like we would any other gun-toting nutjob?”

    you get what you want, we get what we want. anything wrong with it?

  • STM

    Dave: Lol. That’s classic stuff mate – I guess it depends on what your notion of “developed world” might be … I wouldn’t be including Honduras and Colombia in that mix, that’s for sure.

    Let’s try most of the EU, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and some developed Asian countries like Singapore and Malaysia.

    The proliferation of guns in Switzerland is a different ballgame: my understanding is that all eligible Swiss males of a certain age are in an Army reserve/national service type set up, and keep their weapons at home. Locked up, too. They’re soldiers mate … it doesn’t count!

    I don’t have any irrational fear of guns either … just a rational fear, thanks to seeing many times first hand the effect of bullets on the human body, of what can happen when they fall into the wrong hands – which often happens when there are lots of them around.

    You are not convincing me Dave of anything but your own love for your firearms. That’s cool, but it doesn’t mean I have to agree.

  • JR

    Dave Nalle: it requires conscious intent to load it, aim it and fire it – far more effort than is needed to bash someone’s head in with a toaster.

    Wow, you really think we’re all idiots.

  • Clavos

    Stan, Here’s an article from the Sydney Morning Herald, dated October 24, 2006 and titled “Buyback has no effect on murder rate”, that opens with:

    HALF a billion dollars spent buying back hundreds of thousands of guns after the Port Arthur massacre had no effect on the homicide rate, says a study published in an influential British journal.

    The report by two Australian academics, published in the British Journal of Criminology, said statistics gathered in the decade since Port Arthur showed gun deaths had been declining well before 1996 and the buyback of more than 600,000 mainly semi-automatic rifles and pump-action shotguns had made no difference in the rate of decline.

    It goes on to say:

    “Homicide patterns (firearm and non-firearm) were not influenced by the NFA, the conclusion being that the gun buyback and restrictive legislative changes had no influence on firearm homicide in Australia,” the study says.

    In his first year in office, the Prime Minister, John Howard, forced through some of the world’s toughest gun laws, including the national buyback scheme, after Martin Bryant used semi-automatic rifles to shoot dead 35 people at Port Arthur.

    And adds:

    One of the authors of the study, Jeanine Baker, said she knew in 1996 it would be impossible for years to know whether the Prime Minister or the shooters were right.

    “I have been collecting data since 1996 … The decision was we would wait for a decade and then evaluate,” she said.

    The findings were clear, she said: “The policy has made no difference. There was a trend of declining deaths that has continued.”

    Dr Baker and her co-author, Samara McPhedran, declared their membership of gun groups in the article, something Dr Baker said they had done deliberately to make clear “who we are” and head off any possible criticism that they had hidden relevant details.

    The significance of the article was not who had written it but the fact it had been published in a respected journal after the regular rigorous process of being peer reviewed, she said.

    Politicians had assumed tighter gun laws would cut off the supply of guns to would-be criminals and that homicide rates would fall as a result, the study said. But more than 90 per cent of firearms used to commit homicide were not registered, their users were not licensed and they had been unaffected by the firearms agreement.

    Hhmm…

  • STM

    There hasn’t been a mass shooting since Martin Bryant’s (and they were almost commonplace previously) – and the subsequent gun ban. That speaks volumes.

    As for the authors of the study, the fact that they both belong to the gun lobby also speaks volumes. Also, what are you doing reading articles from a trendy, leftist newspaper that is a sad parody of its former self – a venerable, tightly edited and beautifully written journal of record?

    I’m more shocked by that than anything else Clav!

    You have joined the Sydney latte/basket-weaving set … next mate I fear you’ll be running around a park in Balmain with a loin cloth and a spear instead of going to the pub like every other bastard trying to connect with his male side.

    Just don’t go the de-caf or soy milk route

  • Clavos

    As for the authors of the study, the fact that they both belong to the gun lobby also speaks volumes.

    Selective nit-picking, Stan. You forgot to mention this part:

    The significance of the article was not who had written it but the fact it had been published in a respected journal after the regular rigorous process of being peer reviewed, she said. Emphasis mine, mate.

    You mates picked up 600,000 weapons, the article says. We have 300 million out there.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    i ask again,

    Sorry, I didn’t realize the question was directed at me.

    “if you wouldn’t mind (and if guns are so safe,) why don’t we just publish a list of every fucking gun-owning asshole in the united states,

    Well, because we have rights in this country, including the right to privacy. Plus, gun owners have fought long and hard through the NRA to keep their identities out of public records in order to make government confiscation of guns difficult. The reaction to a program like what you suggest would be very, very ugly.

    thereby letting all the fucking criminals know that you have a gun (so they won’t even think about fucking with you), and

    Actually, the criminals NOT knowing who owns the guns is more effective, because it leaves them having to assume that everyone has guns, so those of you who choose not to own guns benefit from a certain amount of spill-over protection courtesy of those of us who do have guns.

    letting the rest of us know not to piss you off, let our kids come over to your house, and to generally avoid you in public, like we would any other gun-toting nutjob?”

    But that’s the lovely thing, you see. You have no idea who the gun owners are, so your bigotry has to sort of fester inside you, because for all you know your best friends own guns and you don’t even know it. In fact, close to half of the people you know probably do own guns – even if they’re raving leftists, but you just don’t know who. Maybe you should start interrogating everyone you know, or just lock yourself inside your house in fear.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Wow, you really think we’re all idiots.

    JR, what else am I supposed to think based on the comments on this thread?

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle


    The proliferation of guns in Switzerland is a different ballgame: my understanding is that all eligible Swiss males of a certain age are in an Army reserve/national service type set up, and keep their weapons at home. Locked up, too. They’re soldiers mate … it doesn’t count!

    This is where you miss the point of the militia aspect of the 2nd amendment. The intent of the founders was that we would have a universal militia enrollment like Switzerland, rather than the kind of shadow army set-up we have with the National Guard.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    BTW, I went to the gun show today. Had a lot of fun and did my bit to be supportive, but I didn’t buy any guns.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Stan,

    You’re confusing me (easy to do!). You say:

    Also, what are you doing reading articles from a trendy, leftist newspaper that is a sad parody of its former self – a venerable, tightly edited and beautifully written journal of record?

    Does that mean being pro gun ownership is a left wing stance in Oz? Interesting…

    And as for this, my friend:

    You have joined the Sydney latte/basket-weaving set … next mate I fear you’ll be running around a park in Balmain with a loin cloth and a spear instead of going to the pub like every other bastard trying to connect with his male side.

    I’m shocked! Shocked! I say, that you would even think that of me; much less this, mate:

    Just don’t go the de-caf or soy milk route

    Sigh. Just when you think you know a guy…

  • STM

    Clav: the Herald is notorious these days for its quirkiness … it certainly is a left-leaning newspaper in that most of its staff are left-leaning (not that that matters!). I guess you have to be a Sydneysider to understand the other stuff. The Herald tends to be read, paradoxically, by those who’d like to be movers and shakers AND the trendy chardonnay socialists (and the loin-cloth spear runners) – so it’s a cafe-set newspaper to a certain extent.

    It has improved a bit lately under a new editor, but I still go to parties and people still say, “Oh you work for the …… …….. well, I only read decent newspapers like the Herald.” Sigh.

    I bet that story was run purely as a dig at John Howard – even if it was WAY right of the Herald’s usual agenda at that time.

    I also don’t believe the research. I’ll dig some up that presents the opposite view. Stay tuned. In the meantime, guns rule – unless you’re getting shot!

  • STM

    Dave wrote: “This is where you miss the point of the militia aspect of the 2nd amendment. The intent of the founders was that we would have a universal militia enrollment like Switzerland, rather than the kind of shadow army set-up we have with the National Guard.”

    Lol. One is a tiny state that has a long-held policy (stated and in practice) of neutrality, while the other is a military/industrial superpower. You have a population of around 300-plus million (?) and 300 million bloody weapons floating around the general community. Doesn’t compute. Switzerland’s little army is not a standing army because the poor buggers can’t afford to keep one and more importantly, don’t see the need.

    That’s a different situation to the US, although I’ll admit, the intention might have been the same in 17-fu.king 91! (Except that soon after, the US, in 1812, waged its first war of aggression against the peace-loving British).

    Dave, you are going stark-raving bonkers if you think the Swiss experience equates in any way to the American.

    At least you blokes have given me a good laugh today (both you and Clav, and especially that mad Doug Hunter) … and I’m still sniggering over zing’s “chowder-head” comment over the weekend.

    I guess I just have to get used to the idea that Australia and the US are very different places. We could solve that by sending all our pesky kangaroos and dangerous animals across so you’d REALLY have something to shoot at. Prob’ly beats road signs and stray dogs/cougars hands down …

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    The Swiss solution is just an example of one kind of society that functions well with gun ownership.

    My point on the US is that we ought to go back to something more like what the founders intended. Get rid of the standing army, institute 2 years universal national service, train everyone to use their guns, and encourage them to keep up.

    We should establish a system where we’re massively prepared for national defense, but don’t have the mechanisms for military aggression.

    Dave

  • STM

    The problem is, right now it’s the other way around, isn’t it … and the US government (and the States), unlike in Switzerland, isn’t really sanctioning everyone running around with a gun. The Swiss are actually members of an Army. Big bloody difference. Last time I was in the states, I got the feeling that many lawmakers felt they were saddled with the 2nd amendment more than anything and that it was the one part of the constitution where the founding fathers of your nation had f.cked it up royally … and that it was open unfortunately to wide interpretation and used as a justification for gun ownership by such bastions of free, coherent thought as the NRA.

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    Re: Switzerland

    See my earlier comment #55 regarding gun ownership in Switzerland. This one has already been receipted and filed as an idiot comparision given the Swiss weapons are issued as a part of militia / Army service and are not purchased pell-mell from the local Run-n-Gun Superstore….

    I will also note that the Swiss are only permitted a canister of 50 rounds of ammo for their militia weapons (in event of a war that’s considered enough to get them to their pre-set staging areas where full ammo loads are issued). The ammo is sealed in a tin and inspected regularly to ensure no one is using it without permission. Per capita comparisions are meaningless in this case.

    It’s not quite as idiotic as was done earlier in this thread in comparing guns with cars … that one reaches new depths for pointless and stupid arguments.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos, Dave et al: I don’t want to start another argument on top of the debate we’re already having but I can’t resist pointing out that the American obsession with guns is another example of exactly the kind of behaviour that we see in teenagers and therefore supports my other contention that the USA is an adolescent nation. I know you guys see that as in some way demeaning to your country but I neither see it nor mean it in that way.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    oh and Dave, you don’t half spout a lot of socio-political nonsense but this paranoid pearl is one of your worst.

    “We should establish a system where we’re massively prepared for national defense, but don’t have the mechanisms for military aggression.”

    Why the fuck would you want to turn the USA into an even more warlike industrial-military complex than it already is?

    Maybe you should write some more articles for the Arts side of BC and take a breather from all this giddy political nonsense?

  • Clavos

    Chris,

    If you “don’t want to start another argument,” then don’t be a hypocrite and post statements you know full well will start another argument…

  • Aku

    “the American obsession with guns is another example of exactly the kind of behaviour that we see in teenagers and therefore supports my other contention that the USA is an adolescent nation.”

    Would the Swiss obsession with guns show them to be an adolescent nation? You should try looking into swiss Gun culture. They do it quite a bit better than we do IMHO.

  • Paul2

    “there are more gun homicides per capita in many countries, with Honduras and Colombia leading the way with enormlously more than the US.”

    Dave with all due respect,l as STM has mentioned, these figures cannot be compared, I listed the offical numbers before and you ignored them, simply because they don’t fit into your picture. Why, if not for gun proliferation, do these numbers vary so much ?

    HOMICIDES 1999-2001 per 100,000 people

    USA 5,6
    New Zealand 2,5
    Australia 1,9
    Canada 1,8
    European Union 1,6

    Barclay, G. and Tavares C.: International Comparisons of Criminal Justice Statistics 2000, Home Office Statistical Bulletin 05, London 2002.

    Killias, M.: European Sourcebook of Crime Criminal Justice Statistics, The Hague, 2003.

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    Aku,

    The Swiss aren’t obsessed with guns – they are obsessed with neutrality. Part and parcel of maintaining their neutrality is to have a large, available and trained militia to draw on in the event of a war. That is hugely different in both intent and in action than the US policy around domestic gun ownership.

    I think the Swiss model works quite well – for the Swiss. I do not think it is applicable to the US, partially for cultural reasons and partially for sheer size and scale. 600,000 is controllable, 300-million is not.

    One story I heard summed up the Swiss attitude towards invasion – when told the potential invader had more twice as many men and asked what they would do then, the Swiss officer shrugged and said laconically, “I guess we’ll each have to shoot twice…”

  • MCH

    “Chris,
    If you “don’t want to start another argument,” then don’t be a hypocrite and post statements you know full well will start another argument…”
    – Clavos

    There you go again with your “selective judgment” Clavvy, eg, Nalle’s hypocrisy has never seemed to phase you, even when he attempted to deceive BC participants, and then lied about it, during the Vox Populi scam…

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos: You have this wonderfully delicious way of looking at things all back to front. It would be hypocritical if I said one thing but meant another, which I obviously didn’t do.

    I feared it would start another argument because folk like you and Mr Nalle have over-reacted to the idea before. Just because you don’t seem to be able to get past the idea that it is somehow demeaning doresn’t mean it shouldn’t be said or that it is wrong. So far you just keep providing more evidence to support my view rather than actually talking.

    Kids!

  • STM

    BTW, Talovic was a Bosnian teenager who came to the US with his parents after the siege of Sbrenica. During the shelling of the town by Bosnian Serb forces, his grandfather was killed.

    In the same action, thousands of Bosnian muslim men and boys were massacred by Bosnian Serb forces. Talovic managed to survive, was rescued by UN troops and given refugee status, but you’d have to think he’d be pretty scarred by what he saw and experienced as a boy. His juvenile crime record, BTW, was quite minor – not much worse than plenty of others.

    It’s worth noting here that mass killings or other random acts of violence are often carried out by people suffering from severe depression resulting from PTSD – a condition often caused by exposure to war or some other kind of traumatic experience.

    My guess is that had Talovic been angry in England, or Australia, or Canada, et al, a couple of people might have been getting split lips stitched up right now.

    This has nothing to do with lone wolf muslim attacks … it’s about a screwed up, angry teenager acting out.

    The problem with screwed up, acting out angry teenagers in the US is that they have easy access to guns.

    Dave, I hate telling anyone that what they write is bunkum, so I won’t.

    But it IS piffle … I just don’t see how you can make these sorts of conclusions.

  • Clavos

    Chris, Chris, Chris…

    In your own words, you DID say one thing while meaning another; that’s the very definition of saying that you don’t want to start another argument and then following that with an argumentative observation.

    QED

  • zingzing

    what are you here for, clavos? a back rub?

  • STM

    QED

    In meliora contende

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Gifts from Christopher:

    the American obsession with guns is another example of exactly the kind of behaviour that we see in teenagers and therefore supports my other contention that the USA is an adolescent nation.

    I wish we WERE an adolescent nation, that would offer us a lot mroe hope than we have right now, but as I’ve demonstrated before, historically as the cycle of nations goes, we’re in late middle age, and as most of us should be aware, we’re already showing plenty of signs of decadence

    oh and Dave, you don’t half spout a lot of socio-political nonsense but this paranoid pearl is one of your worst.

    “We should establish a system where we’re massively prepared for national defense, but don’t have the mechanisms for military aggression.”

    Why the fuck would you want to turn the USA into an even more warlike industrial-military complex than it already is?

    You seem to have fundamentally misunderstood this idea. It’s the opposite of building up th emilitary-industrial complex. It’s the elimination of a standing army and the aparatus it requires and replacing it with citizen soldiers who would have more of a vested interest in the welfare of the people, not the welfare of munitions makers.

    dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Dave with all due respect,l as STM has mentioned, these figures cannot be compared, I listed the offical numbers before and you ignored them, simply because they don’t fit into your picture. Why, if not for gun proliferation, do these numbers vary so much ?

    The fact that I have to answer this same question over and over again is characteristic of the delusional thinking of the left which makes it impossible to even perceive arguments which counter their assumptions.

    Of the many possible explanations I’ve offered, the one which I think is probably the largest contributor is drug prohibition, the massive level of urbanization, and the presence of ethnic/cultural gangs which thrive in that culture and perpetuate violence. As I’ve already pointed out, if you take drug-related violence out of the picture the figures for US homicides start to look very much like every other nation.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    BTW, to update the story for those who suggested that the attack in SLC was not related to Islam, Talovic had recently joined a Mosque with a radical Wahabi Imam, and he attended a service immediately before going to the mall and launching his attack. You do the math.

    dave

  • zingzing

    dave: “Of the many possible explanations I’ve offered, the one which I think is probably the largest contributor is drug prohibition,”

    worse in europe.

    “the massive level of urbanization,”

    worse in europe.

    “and the presence of ethnic/cultural gangs which thrive in that culture and perpetuate violence.”

    worse in europe.

  • STM

    Come on Dave: If America as a nation is in late middle age, then what are the poms? Six foot under and skeletal?

    No, Rosie is dead-set right: you are a pack of naughty bloody adolescents, just like us. That is why you are obsessed with long cylindrical things …

  • Clavos

    Stan,

    You have a real talent for bringing controversy down to a level where we can all laugh.

    It’s a gift; I mean that.

  • Zedd

    #181 DITTO!!!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    dave: “Of the many possible explanations I’ve offered, the one which I think is probably the largest contributor is drug prohibition,”

    worse in europe.

    Wow, I’ve got to hand you this one. I went and looked up the stats and was shocked. The number of drug related homicides in Europe is insanely high. Only the Netherlands is better than the US, and some of the other countries have 10x the drug related homicide rate we do.

    Since everythiing is about guns, maybe guns are actually preventin drug related homicides in the US.

    “and the presence of ethnic/cultural gangs which thrive in that culture and perpetuate violence.”

    worse in europe.

    On this one I’m afraid I do have the right point, and the stats bear me out. The European Journal of Criminology just published a report on the subject. The conclusion: “European gangs in over a dozen countries reveal a wide pattern of violent behaviour and levels of violence that are far greater than among non-gang youth, but largely less serious than in the USA.”

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    It’s a constant source of amazement to me how folk like Dave and Clavos are stuck in such huge mental ruts they can’t even notice anymore. Maybe they could merge and we can call them Davos? lol

    Dave, just for the sake of indulging your fantasies, tell us more about this idea of yours of the “citizen soldier” that has a “vested interest in the welfare of the people”. It sounds just like another of these falsely noble fantasies of yours where every citizen is some kind of social vigilante. Others might consider it a type of latent or pseudo fascism that has a lot of potential for abuse.

    Personally, I consider it yet another example of classic US juvenilia.

    I notice that you even managed to work in one of your habitual smears against the left side of politics, even though nothing at all was said about this. Hmm, total presumption and making up false enemies to confirm your own sense of rightness. How very adolescent! Do you have acne too?

    As just one example of the poli-babble Dave offers us, look at this classic Nalleism:

    “Of the many possible explanations I’ve offered, the one which I think is probably the largest contributor is drug prohibition, the massive level of urbanization, and the presence of ethnic/cultural gangs which thrive in that culture and perpetuate violence.”

    Dave, that’s THREE things not one…

    The fact is, with 60% more people in Europe than there are in the USA, people who are crammed into less than half the space the US occupies, it would be reasonable to expect all social indicators to be far, far worse in Europe than the USA but they’re not. Again, that tells me the USA is a juvenile country, which is still NOT a put down of the place at all.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Christopher, I’ve been thinking about it, and now that I’ve had some time, I’m convinced that I hope you’re correct that the US is a juvenile country, because the alternative would be to be a ‘mature’ country, which is presumably what we see in Europe these days, and if embracing socialism, cultural decay and institutionalized corription is maturity, I’d just as soon the US stay juvenile.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    dave, that’s just lovely; ignore your own errors, twist the meaning of what I said and turn it into another baseless attack on Europe. How predictable, inaccurate and just plain prejudiced a load of drivel you’ve just written.

    No wonder people feel the need to argue with you all the time when you seem to lack any sense of personal responsibility at all whilst emptily pontificating.

    And how amusing it is that after months of belittling my opinion on this topic, you simultaneously agree with it and provide further evidence of its penetrating accuracy. Kids!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Christopher, you just can’t be satisfied, can you. Here I am embracing your hopelessly unsupportable and simplistic position and you get all huffy about it.

    This whole idea of mature and juvenile nations is a pile of crap, and you should know better. Nations today are too complex and diverse to be classified that way. The people who make up even a relatively young nation like the US are part of an international intellectual community and come from diverse backgrounds, and it’s impossible to separate them from an awareness of what’s going on in the rest of the world just because they are living in America.

    That said, every nation has a certain core belief set or tradition or set of values which people who live there try to preserve or adopt because those values are part of the reason why they came to that nation. In fact, immigrants are often the strongest believers in those values.

    The values of America are different from those of most of the European nations. We have different priorities. We value individual liberty much higher than most other countries and we value collective welfare and even human life just a little bit less. As a nation we’ve made a conscious choice to accept an armed citizenry as part of our national character, even if it costs us a few hundred more lives per year. We believe that it brings corresponding benefits which make it worthwhile, even if those benefits may only be the illusion of being able to defend yourself against criminals and abusive government. Gun ownership is, as much as anything else, a statement of principles.

    I realize that this seems alien, even incomprehensible to the peaceloving folks of many other parts of the world, because guns play a different role in their society. They don’t make gun ownership part of their national culture, and it’s probably a good thing, since if they did they’d likely be shooting each other at football matches. They know their limits.

    Gun ownership symbolizes the responsibility the individual takes on in our society. By owning a gun you are saying that you can have the power the gun represents and yet not abuse it.

    I realize that this entire concept is fundamentally alien to your worldview, but you might want to just learn to accept the fact that your particular cultural values are not universally accepted or inherently better than everyone else’s.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    dave: How could I be satisfied when you’re so remorselessly dim? How the hell can my position be hopelessly unsupportable when you’re now supporting it? You just sound sillier with each passing pronouncement, so why don’t you just stop now?

    I don’t think the idea of mature and juvenile nations is remotely a bunch of crap and everything you write here just serves to strengthen my view. As to what you realise or understand, here is a symbolic representation of it:- 0

    Oh yeah, should I ever need to gain a deeper understanding of relative cultural values, rest asured that it won’t be from such a blusteringly empty ego as belongs to a self-professed elitist pig like you.

  • zingzing

    dave: “As a nation we’ve made a conscious choice to accept an armed citizenry as part of our national character… We believe that it brings corresponding benefits which make it worthwhile… Gun ownership is, as much as anything else, a statement of principles.”

    obviously, we “as a nation” have decided no such thing. or else, we “as a nation” wouldn’t be arguing about it. “as a nation” (or as free individuals, which is it?) we haven’t made “a concious choice” about anything.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Dave Nalle is not just a dirty elitist pig, but hopelessly stupid and unsophisticated, as Chris Rose so brilliantly elucidates. See, big dumb cowboy Nalle thinks that the best likely defense and even deterrent for lone wolf terrorists with guns and grenades is an armed citizenry ready to defend themselves individually on the scene.

    Whereas, a truly responsible and thoughtful person like Christopher Rose knows that a mature country would address the problem through talk and persuasion. If HE had been in Utah at this mall, he would have responded with a display of loving sympathy for this understandably aggrieved young man suffering the horror and injustice of being a Muslim in the US, disallowed from the imposition of Sharia law and the proper summary execution of whores running around American streets with their bare faces showing.

    After a good sympathetic talk and some compensatory oral favors from Mr Rose to soothe his injured sense of pride, this oppressed young Muslim would no doubt have turned from his justifiable urge to kill to a thoughtful purveyor of peace and wisdom.

    When will stupid juvenile Americans ever learn?

  • zingzing

    al, you’re putting words in chris’ mouth, and into the mouth of a dead man.

    was he a hard-line muslim? do you presume to know?

    now… if teenagers had a harder time getting ahold of guns in this country, do you think this would have happened at all?

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    You just know an argument is lost when spiky Al Barger turns up to defend it. Just as the idea of 300 million armed Americans, all possessed of the profound insight, tolerance and respect for others as displayed here by Messrs Barger and Nalle would surely cause any lucid person cause for concern.

    Al, to treat just the closing part of your remarks with more respect than they deserve, I didn’t say or imply that Americans were stupid, I said that the country was young. Somehow you and your paranoid pal manage to construe that as an insult of some kind. I consider myself jolly fortunate not to be in the same space as the pair of you, for you would surely run me out of town at gunpoint! Golly gosh, I’m frightened!

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Christopher, you flatter yourself to think yourself significant enough that I would be bothered to run you out of town.

    But I would be happy that the thought of armed Nalles and Bargers would cause hopefully very grave concern for those what would have the thought of wanting to show up in an American mall with weapons and ill intent.

    I have no interest in fake profound insights, tolerance or respect for such folks. My principle interest there would be in identifying and killing them as quickly as possible before they hurt anyone else.

  • zingzing

    thank you for protecting us, mr. al. of course, someone may want to identify and kill you. maybe the two of you (you and your killer, and of course you being his killer, your victim, you victim) could hunt for each other, like soul mates in a search for the ultimate blood-love bliss out murder fuck fight.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Zing. You may have a future as a reality TV programmer.

    dave

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Zingzing, that’s pretty dishonest of you right there- as if you are incapable of making the distinction between advocating killing a shooter in a mall vs just opening fire on anyone you don’t like. And your fake Freudian psychological insights are even less intellectually impressive.

  • zingzing

    fake freudian psychological insights? where? i don’t even believe in freud!

    i was just saying… there’s absolutely no reason why that kid should have been able to get ahold of those guns. no reason. in any sane society, it just wouldn’t happen (at least not with the frequency it does here).

    and i’m not trying to make distinctions. i think if you allow guns in your society like we do in ours, you get what you fucking deserve. the only thing i hope is that it’s those that live by the gun that die by it. and for the most part it is.

    i ain’t happy this thing happened, but that’s what you have to expect when you make it so easy for 15 year old kids to get their hands on guns and ammo. thank you, nra.

    as for “making the distinction between advocating killing a shooter in a mall vs just opening fire on anyone you don’t like,” one of those people could be you (maybe you would be killing a shooter) and one of those could be this kid (just opening fire on anyone)… but how the fuck am i supposed to know who is who? do you know? nope, you don’t. i don’t trust anyone with a gun.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Ok, let me clarify something that Zing and perhaps others (Chris) don’t seem to understand.

    Talovid was IN POSSESSION OF THE GUNS ILLEGALLY. At his age of 18 he is not legally allowed to purchase or own a firearm in the United States. You have to be 21. He’s allowed to fire guns under adult supervision, but not own or possess them.

    So any wider ban of guns or stronger licensing laws would not have stopped him, because he was already breaking the law. Gun control is really not at issue here at all.

    how the fuck am i supposed to know who is who? do you know? nope, you don’t.

    Exactly. And not knowing you ought to behave as if anyone could be carrying a gun, and therefore be polite and obey the law.

    dave

  • zingzing

    or else they’ll kill me? that’s no way to live.

    and yes, gun control is an issue here. if guns were illegal, it would have been MUCH, MUCH harder (note i didn’t say impossible) for him to get ahold of one.

    the question is, would this have happened in another country with stricter gun control? i think the percentages would most certainly go down, and i don’t see how you could argue against that.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Dave, if there were effectively policed gun laws in place, it would have been a lot harder for Talovid to get them in the first place.

    You don’t seem to have much appreciation for the process of enabling that goes on. The slippery slope is another way of putting it. That or the road to hell is paved with good intentions…

  • Clavos

    Dave, if there were effectively policed gun laws in place, it would have been a lot harder for Talovid to get them in the first place.

    The key phrase there is “effectively policed.”

    We don’t even come close to controlling the availability of drugs, which is why many want to legalize them.

    Rather than outlaw guns, which almost surely will be futile, we should be strictly enforcing (and enacting, where necessary) laws against the commission of crime with a firearm.

    The problem with that is we’re too “humane” to really throw the book at criminals of any kind these days, so increasingly, those bent on mayhem are no longer deterred…

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Clavos hit the nail on the head in #212. Punishing gun crime is the right way to approach this issue, rather than banning guns.

    And we might be able to put gun criminals in jail longer if we opened up space by letting out non-violent drug offenders.

    Dave

  • STM

    Al and Dave running you out of the mall … thumbs tucked into sagging gunbelts … cowboy hats twisted at a rakish angle … a permanent squint … a slow spit into the dirt without losing eye contact … that laconic, cowboy drawl: “Boy, I said put down that there ice-cream or I’ll fill yer full of holes.”

    Doesn’t bear thinking about.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos: The arguments for attempting to control the availability of drugs have nothing to do with attempting to control weapons proliferation.

    The majority of US citizens have no use for weapons and proposals to extend the already excessive number of weapons in the USA for purposes of amateur crime control are simply absurd.

    As for increasing the already high proportion of US citizens in jail, well, the land of the free is already one of the most legalistic and punishment oriented countries in the world and any moves to increase that figure seem unlikely to have the desired result.

    As the US prison system is already one of the best ways to become a hard core gang member and seems to return many once young criminals to the streets with a greater level of alienation from society than before, its effectiveness could also be considered dubious.

  • Zedd

    Chris and STM

    You make me feel sane!!! I have a reprieve from the Twilight Zone!!! I can just read and enjoy. Its so good to see someone else knocking their heads against what seems to be a rock. Good luck fellows. Now if you could only live on my street and work in my company.

  • Clavos

    The arguments for attempting to control the availability of drugs have nothing to do with attempting to control weapons proliferation.

    The majority of US citizens have no use for weapons…

    But the majority DO have a use for drugs, eh?

    Jesus, Christopher, that was a stupid remark; even for you.

    As for increasing the already high proportion of US citizens in jail, well, the land of the free is already one of the most legalistic and punishment oriented countries in the world and any moves to increase that figure seem unlikely to have the desired result.

    As the US prison system is already one of the best ways to become a hard core gang member and seems to return many once young criminals to the streets with a greater level of alienation from society than before…

    Most of them are hard core gang members or are invoved in the drug budsiness before they go in. In fact, most firearm homicides (which are the majority of homicides in general) are drug and/or gang related. Solution: don’t let them back out.

    Singapore and most Arab countries have both some of the most draconian crime punishments and among the lowest crime rates in the world; that’s not a coincidence. Violent crime should be punished harshly.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos: I can’t quite follow you as you seem to be spiralling ever deeper into incomprehensibility. Saying that the majority of Americans don’t have a use for weapons is NOT to say that they have a use for drugs. You seem to be risking sliding into Nallian “let’s just make stuff up” territory with this remark.

    It’s simplistic to try to write off the US prison gang phenomenon by saying stuff like “don’t let them back out”. Places like Singapore also have a much higher level of mutual respect and a high regard for good manners than the USA or the UK, not just a strict criminal code.

    One of the many reasons I love living in Spain is precisely because of what even I consider as old fashioned courtesy. One of the worst insults in Spain is to call someone “maleducado”; that’s fighting talk here!

  • Zedd

    Chris

    I can’t quite follow you as you seem to be spiralling ever deeper into incomprehensibility.

    I love this. Its like watching my own mind at work. First you start out thinking “oh they just misunderstood me, let me clarify” then you realise “Oh my goodness!!”. From then on its the frustration and puzzlement, the disbelief and exasperation, the eye rolling and lastly will be the giving up. I know I know…. Ahhh heaven.
    Its good to watch it unfolding .

    You and STM started out mildly now you’ve gone rabid. Its hopeless I tell you.

    Live here long enough and you learn to just numb yourself. You just walk around pretending like it all makes sense. A few pointers. Just know that emotions rule. If it wasn’t a theme in a movie, no one gets it. Actually they’ll think its evil and must be destroyed.

  • Clavos

    Chris writes,

    Saying that the majority of Americans don’t have a use for weapons is NOT to say that they have a use for drugs.

    Juxtaposing the sentence “The majority of US citizens have no use for weapons…”

    immediately after the statement that:

    “The arguments for attempting to control the availability of drugs have nothing to do with attempting to control weapons proliferation.”

    Implies EXACTLY that, Christopher. Now, I realize that my puerile American command of English is not as sophisticated as yours, but I CAN read the language, and intentionally or not, that’s the implicit meaning of what you wrote.

    It’s simplistic to try to write off the US prison gang phenomenon by saying stuff like “don’t let them back out”.

    True. Simple and effective. If they don’t come back out, they won’t be able to prey on law abiding citizens. What they do to each other in prison doesn’t concern me.

    To reduce the jail population overall, I agree with Dave’s idea that we should stop jailing non violent offenders. Caning the worst of those, as Singapore does, would probably be effective, but I know my soft-hearted countrymen (especially the liberal ones) will never go for that.

    On the respect issue: That’s a phenomenon that has arisen with the general coarsening of daily life in western societies in modern times. Some of it is a parental issue; increasingly, parents’ responsibilities, in this country at least, are ceded to the state school system; to the point where, in many areas, schools literally are now in loco parentis.

    One of Rudy Giuliani’s major successes as NY mayor was his “broken windows” policy for policing the city, wherein he decreed that the police should stop ignoring the small crimes in an effort to prevent and ameliorate major crime. Along with reorganization of the police force and other measures, the policy worked.

    I believe a sociological shift in attitudes wherein we stop ignoring the “broken windows” of respect and manners could be effective. I have no idea how that could be accomplished, which is why I’m not running for president. :>)

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos: Please keep your juxtapositions to yourself. It’s a filthy habit! Personally, I always try to avoid implicit meanings as much as possible, as the potential for misunderstanding is so strong, as you’ve just so wonderfully demonstrated. You can take it for granted that unless I state something directly or clearly signal an inplied meaning, I didn’t mean it. Got it? Good!

    As for courtesy, it’s something that you either take personal responsibility for or you don’t. It’s that simple… [Implied meaning alert!]

    Good day to you Sir! Huzzah!!

  • Clavos

    You can take it for granted that unless I state something directly or clearly signal an inplied meaning, I didn’t mean it. Got it? Good!

    In that case, a little more precision in your writing is “clearly” in order…

    (And, I agree with you about juxtaposition–the good old missionary was good enough for our great grandparents, it should be for us as well)

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    The majority of US citizens have no use for weapons and proposals to extend the already excessive number of weapons in the USA for purposes of amateur crime control are simply absurd.

    Just for the record, only about 50 million US citizens own guns. They own an average of 6 each, which gives us the total of 300 million guns. I think even Chris will agree that having 6 guns is no more dangerous than having 2 or 3, so the country isn’t as heavily overarmed as it might appear.

    And even with only 1/6 of the population owning a gun and an even smaller proportion carrying a concealed firearm, the deterrent effect is very real so long as criminals do not know who is armed and who isn’t.

    As for increasing the already high proportion of US citizens in jail, well, the land of the free is already one of the most legalistic and punishment oriented countries in the world and any moves to increase that figure seem unlikely to have the desired result.

    On this we can agree. We imprison the wrong people and do it in huge numbers. It contributes enormously to the crime problem. Because we have so many non-violent offenders in jail for insanely long terms as a result of things like mandatory sentencing laws and three strikes programs, the system ends up releasing violent criminals far too early because of overcrowding. The priorities are totally screwed up. We ought to have a third of the people in prison we do today, and they ought to be only the most dangerous criminals and they ought to be in there for a long time for the protection of society.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Glad to see we’re starting to agree Dave. I would however disagree that “having 6 guns is no more dangerous than having 2 or 3″.

    The reasoning behind that is that it is obviously harder to look after more kit, it’s easier for people other than the registered owner to access the weapons and that having lots of them around helps foster an atmosphere in which it seems more socially acceptable.

  • STM

    I’d just like to ask here who, and Clavos among the pro-gun mob might qualify, have actually seen first-hand the dreadful effect of bullets on the human body (movies and docos don’t count)? I know you might have, Chris, given your sqaddie background, which if true might also explain your aversion to firearms.

    You know, guys, seriously, it’s really, really awful stuff. It’s not like copping a smack in the mouth. No one I know who has actually seen it first hand now has any affinity with firearms – and that includes some hardened veteran cops and soldiers. There is no attraction for me, either, I can tell you.

  • Clavos

    Stan, where did you/have you seen that?

  • STM

    Clav, I won’t give too much away on here as there’s no need, but trust me, I have seen it quite a few times up close as part of the job I used to do and I must say, it’s pretty bloody awful. There are a couple that really stand out in my memory (along with a dead pilot hanging upside down in the cockpit of a crashed aircraft). It would be fair to say that it’s where I get my aversion to firearms, although I don’t disagree that they are needed in some circumstances. I’m not that keen on flying, either …

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Stan, I’ve seen two people shot up close. One at the moment when he shot himself accidentally and the other shortly after he was shot in a bizarre driveby. Neither experience was at all pleasant, but the blood and in one case bone splinters didn’t suddenly make me think that the guns in question were responsible for the wounds rather than the people using the guns.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    The reasoning behind that is that it is obviously harder to look after more kit, it’s easier for people other than the registered owner to access the weapons and that having lots of them around helps foster an atmosphere in which it seems more socially acceptable.

    Pretty vague arguments, Chris. Plus one great illustration of how little you understand US culture as it relates to guns. To wit, there’s no such thing as a ‘registered owner’ of a firearm in the US. Private citizens can buy and sell them without any kind of registration or license for themselves or the gun. They do have to pass a background check, but the government is legally prohibited from tracking gun ownership, and there are no background checks on private sales. Horrified yet?

    Dave

  • STM

    Dave asked: “Horrified yet”

    Well, he might not be, but I am. I’ve also just realised that I might as well be conversing with a brick wall. Also, what’s there to understand about American gun culture?

    It’s jest ’bout shootin’ shit, ain’t it?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Well, he might not be, but I am. I’ve also just realised that I might as well be conversing with a brick wall. Also, what’s there to understand about American gun culture?

    That’s sort of the point. Outsiders tend not to understand the pervasiveness of the belief in gun rights in mainstream America, or how different our attitude towards guns is from what you see in Europe or other areas of the world.

    It’s jest ’bout shootin’ shit, ain’t it?

    I thought I’d been over this a few times. It’s not just about shooting, it’s about personal responsibility. It’s about trusting the people to decide whether they can own something like a gun and use it properly and not letting government that decision for them.

    Dave

  • STM

    Sorry Dave, I love ya, but that’s horsesh.it (with a bit of bullsh.t thrown in for good measure).

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    What appears as BS to those outside the US may appear differently to those of us living here. That’s the fundamental problem in this discussion – the disconnect between those who are part of the culture and those observing it from the outside.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Dave: Re your #228 – you just have a mental blind spot on this issue. Your own examples serve to illustrate the nonsensical perspective you espouse. One accidental shooting and one driveby: neither could have been prevented by an armed citizenry but could have been prevented easily if the guns weren’t there in the first place!

    Your argument about personal responsibility is also specious: Someone like you for instance can’t even conduct yourself at all times within the parameters of the BC comments policy. What likelihood is there that the citizenry of the USA are all suddenly going to start acting like perfect model citizens just because everyone was armed? Absolute zero!

    As your judgement is so fundamentally flawed on such a basic point, how could you be expected or trusted to come up with a wise decision as to when to shoot a gun? It just goes to support my contention that the US is an adolescent nation for your arguments in favour of gun ownership boild down to little more than that perpetual cry of the challenged juvenile “cos I want to!”

    You’re also trying to frame the argument as though everybody in the US thinks the same way as you, which is blatantly untrue. Your suggestion that the fundamental problem is American vs non-American perspectives is simply bogus.

    You’ve still not come up with a single plausible suggestion as to why the country needs a widely armed population. I seriously doubt you can as you seem to be arguing from a position of dogma or faith rather than anything connected to fact or reality…

  • S.T.M

    Dave said: “What appears as BS to those outside the US … ”

    Ah, but it’s not like I haven’t spent any time in the US, so that argument doesn’t hold water. I have two eyes to see with, and two ears to hear with, and I have plenty to compare it to as well. It’s also not like I didn’t live in a country that had its own 200 year old gun culture until recently either. There is no disconnect.

    Truth is, a lot of Americans just like playing with guns, for whatever reason. There is nothing more to it than that. All this rubbish about your second amendment rights is a nonense. It’s a justification, and you know it. I have heard all the same arguments here BTW about rights and what have you.

    Guns are simply bloody dangerous, and they were designed for one purpose: to kill people (and later, animals). Having 300 million of them in one country is a serious worry, because the more you have, the more likely they are to be used to kill people.

    I saw you getting into moonraven about the potential proliferation of AK47s in Venezuela recently, and have to ask, quite seriously, what IS the difference. Having standing armies and armed police forces is one thing, having 300 million guns – and they are the legal ones I presume – out there in the general community looks really bizarre from the outside.

    Thing is, to a lot of Americans, it also looks really bizarre from the inside too.

  • S.T.M

    Dave wrote: “And even with only 1/6 of the population owning a gun and an even smaller proportion carrying a concealed firearm, the deterrent effect is very real so long as criminals do not know who is armed and who isn’t.”

    Then why do you have the highest murder rates, the highest gun murder rates, the highest crime rates generally and the highest per capita prison populations of any nation in the DEVELOPED world (you know which countries I mean, and it doesn’t include Colombia and Honduras).

    Your argument falls fair on its blurter on the basis of that one bit of nonsense alone.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Chris, you continue to completely not understand the most basic principles of American society.

    As your judgement is so fundamentally flawed on such a basic point, how could you be expected or trusted to come up with a wise decision as to when to shoot a gun?

    It’s not that my judgment is flawed, Christopher, it’s that you just will not accept the possibility of the existence of the kind of basic philosophical ideas which US society is built on. If it doesn’t fit your model then you just reject it out of hand.

    It just goes to support my contention that the US is an adolescent nation for your arguments in favour of gun ownership boild down to little more than that perpetual cry of the challenged juvenile “cos I want to!”

    I reject the idea that it’s juvenile, but yes you are exactly right ”cos I want to’ is the basic, founding principle of US society. The nation was founded on the idea – and many of us still believe in it – that people should be allowed to do whatever they want so long as it does no harm to other people. This includes the presumption that people will behave responsibly within those prarameters. Owning a gun is NOT inherently harmful. There is no active harm in owning a piece of hardware which has the potential for killing or wounding others. A gun is harmless unless used with conscious intent to do harm. We believe that it is the intent to do harm which is the problem, not the gun. Accordingly, you punish those who commit criminal acts, you do not punish the entire population by taking away rights and liberties preemptively.

    The fact that you cannot understand this basic idea of freedom as the natural condition of man, rather than a privelege granted by the state, makes it almost impossible to discuss this subject and many others with you in any intelligent way. If you cannot accept or even consider that people are born with a natural entitlement to complete freedom, you’re rejecting 200+ years of liberal philosophy which is the basis of American society.

    You’re also trying to frame the argument as though everybody in the US thinks the same way as you, which is blatantly untrue. Your suggestion that the fundamental problem is American vs non-American perspectives is simply bogus.

    The founding fathers certainly believed as I do, and our system of government and our principles of social organization are based on those same beliefs. I agree that there are many in America today who have drifted away from those basic principles, but that is NOT a positive change, but rather a sign of the growing corruption of our society and its ideals. Those who have moved away from basic American principles of individual liberty are no more American in an ideological sense than you are.

    You’ve still not come up with a single plausible suggestion as to why the country needs a widely armed population. I seriously doubt you can as you seem to be arguing from a position of dogma or faith rather than anything connected to fact or reality…

    Fact and reality have a limited applicability here when we’re talking about a matter of principle.

    But there are lots of reasons why an armed populace is desirable, most of which you will reject solely because you don’t believe in individual liberty. Here are ones I’ve cited before:

    • Defense of self and property
    • Ability to resist oppressive government
    • Because no right should be denied to a responsible citizen.
    • General deterence of crime

    And to answer Stan’s complaint that crime doesn’t seem to be deterred and gun violence is higher in the US than elsewhere, I just have to point out again, that a little bit more violence seems to come with the kind of society we’ve established here, and that has little or nothing to do with guns. There is a higher level of non-gun violence here as well, so it’s not surprising that there’s a higher level of gun violence. My argument is that without the deterrent effect of private gun ownership violence would be even more common. The validity of that position has been pretty well demonstrated by the decrease in violence in those states which have passed concealed carry laws during the last decade or so.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Dave, Dave, Dave, what are we to do with you?

    First of all, you presume to speak for America when your views are clearly not at all part of the American mainstream. Why you continue to labour under this self-inflicted delusion is anybody’s guess.

    I think I’m much closer to the mainstream of global political thought than your exotic fantasies will ever be. Of course, you still seem to believe that the US is the mainstream and you’re at the heart of it. Neither idea is true!

    That seems classic juvenilia to me, which may well be why you react so strongly against the idea…

    If you’re going to keep making up long diatribes of irrelevant nonsense every time I make the point, well, you’re only serving to prove it’s accuracy and validity.

    Just because I’m not persuaded by your militaristic fantasy of an armed nation doesn’t in any way imply that I am against personal freedom. You just made it up! But please do keep making the accusation, it serves as wonderful proof that your ideas are sound only in your own imagination.

    In response to your four points in favour of wider weapons ownership:-

    1. It’s the job of the police to enforce the law. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t need a police force in the first place. Would a nation of armed vigilantes instead be a better solution?

    2. Is there a history of the US needing to defend itself against an oppressive government? I believe not, so you seem to be trying to solve a problem that doesn’t even exist. Way to go to be so grounded in reality!

    3. Rights also entail responsibilities. You personally can’t even conduct yourself within the very loose comments policy of this site. Why on earth would you imagine that you are anywhere near clear enough in judgment as to be allowed weapons?

    4. Guns don’t deter crime, they encourage an arms race. That’s why people in the USA have started owning bigger and more powerful guns.

    As to your final point, one of the biggest social pressures that causes violence is population density. Europe has 60% more people living in less than half the land area of the USA yet, as you have been forced to admit, is way less violent.

    The only thing the US experiment in weapons ownership has shown is that it is a bad idea. If you weren’t so blinded by your defective principles, you might be able to see that.

    Thanks for admitting that “Fact and reality have a limited applicability” for you, that makes a lot of things a lot clearer. I take it you will at least accept that there is no difference between “a matter of principle” and blind faith?

    I find it bitterly ironic that you have managed to free yourself from spiritual dogma only to have locked yourself into another set of rigid ideas, one that doesn’t have even the pretense of being for humanity’s good, as the faithists believe.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Christopher Rose, again with the arrogant presumption that your opinions reflect those of the rest of the world, as in this clearly factually wrong statement: “you presume to speak for America when your views are clearly not at all part of the American mainstream.”

    In fact, support for the rights of gun ownership and self-defense are if anything more American than apple pie. You can argue that this is out of sync with the European pinkos that you presume as the great arbiters of Truth. You can argue some Freudian nonsense about guns-as-phalluses. You can try to argue that we’d be better off with more gun control laws.

    But it’s nonsense to say that supporting gun rights is not a mainstream American political position. Note how even our gun-grabbing Democrats have backed way off on the gun control stuff in the last half dozen years. That’s not cause they have learned respect for the US Constitution suddenly, but because it got them beat into the ground electorally.

    And SCREW “what are we to do with you?” This really reveals your underlying authoritarian nature, as do comments like “You personally can’t even conduct yourself within the very loose comments policy of this site. Why on earth would you imagine that you are anywhere near clear enough in judgment as to be allowed weapons?”

    You really relish your sub-hall monitor level of petty authority as BC comments cop. Also, it’s really cute how you presume to fantasize yourself as having some right to even think about telling a peaceful citizen such as Nalle what kind of weapons he should or shouldn’t be allowed to have.

    It’s all about how you think people should or shouldn’t be allowed to speak and act. That you would criticize Dave Nalle of all people for the tone of his comments speaks pretty much to your basic authoritarian nature.

    It’s reasonable if unfortunate that Olsen might find it necessary to have someone try to thin out some of the truly inflammatory and abusive foolishness from comments on his site. That’s on the order of a shopkeeper scrubbing the graffiti off the walls of his store. It’s not a bit defensible, however, for you to be even trying to characterize the perfectly civil and restrained tone of Dave Nalle as abusive or a violation of comment policy simply because you disagree with his viewpoint.

    Such little flexings of your imagined authority don’t impress anybody. My, how patient you are that you continue allowing Dave Nalle to continue making his bad speech! What an exemplar of enlightened tolerance that Christopher Rose is!

  • Paul2

    Al Barger,

    you’re trying to discredit Christopher Rose without addressing any of the arguments for or against gun control.

    Only people that cannot find arguments or facts to support their position resort to personal attacks as their only way out.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Al, you’re the authoritarian one not me. You’re also attributing positions to me that I don’t hold, even though I believe you already know better.

    I don’t believe the Democrats lost recent elections because of their position on gun control but due to the current poor form of their team. Form always goes in swings and roundabouts and they’ll surely have their day again.

    Not that I care much which of your two main parties is in power, the differences are increasingly slight between them as the nature of what’s politically important is shifting so rapidly at the moment and they are both in need of reform.

    I think my question as to Dave’s presumption of his own fitness to hold weapons is an entirely reasonable thing to ask. Based on his inability to control himself at all times within this site’s slack norms, I am concerned about his ability not to lose it so badly as to indulge in inappropriate weapons use. And he’s clearly smarter than many Americans, after all he’s an elitist pig!

    I got the impression that you thought my remarks were addressed to Dave’s expression on this page but I wasn’t, it was a general thing. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression.

    Please chill out with the semi-hysterical hostility though, it’s really getting old. I didn’t tell Dave what weapons he could have, I exercised my right to express my opinion. I take it you don’t have a problem with that? My opinion is different to his and I like to think with better reasoning, for he argues from a point of political theory and I favour praxis.

    Finally, I don’t relish any such “sub-hall monitor level of petty authority as BC comments cop”, but I do work really hard to be as fair-minded as possible, and even more so with people whose views are different to mine; but please feel free to keep venting fantasy spleen if it makes you feel better than the present reality…

  • JR

    Dave Nalle: And even with only 1/6 of the population owning a gun and an even smaller proportion carrying a concealed firearm, the deterrent effect is very real so long as criminals do not know who is armed and who isn’t.

    I’m afraid your assertion of reality isn’t good enough for me. Can you point us to surveys among would-be criminals that give some indication of what percentage of them were deterred by the threat of armed citizens? And can you provide corresponding figures on how many people committed a crime because they could easily get a gun themselves?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Nice try, JR. You know as well as I do that studies like that would be virtually impossible to carry out reliably. The anecdotal evidence for the deterrent effects of gun ownership is widely available, and more importantly the statistical evidence is definitive.

    Dave

  • JR

    Dave Nalle: You know as well as I do that studies like that would be virtually impossible to carry out reliably. The anecdotal evidence for the deterrent effects of gun ownership is widely available, and more importantly the statistical evidence is definitive.

    See, what that first sentence tells me that there is no relevent evidence, let alone definitive evidence. So your assertion remains unsupported.

    It certainly sounds plausible, even in a limited sense logical, that armed citizens would deter crime. But that doesn’t make it true.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Dave, Dave, Dave, what are we to do with you?

    Send me some money so I can buy more guns?

    First of all, you presume to speak for America when your views are clearly not at all part of the American mainstream. Why you continue to labour under this self-inflicted delusion is anybody’s guess.

    Check a poll sometime, Christopher. The majority of Americans favor private gun ownership. In a 2004 poll 63% of the population opposed the idea of banning handguns. Stop trying to project your eurocentric assumptions onto our population. I may not speak FOR them, but my beliefs are certainly compatible with those of a majority of our population.

    I think I’m much closer to the mainstream of global political thought than your exotic fantasies will ever be.

    Oh, I’m sure you are. But I’m not writing from a globalist perspective, now am I?

    Of course, you still seem to believe that the US is the mainstream and you’re at the heart of it. Neither idea is true!

    The US is certainly NOT the mainstream. We’re different from the rest of the world in a number of ways, and that’s a good thing.

    Just because I’m not persuaded by your militaristic fantasy of an armed nation

    You continue to completely not get it. It’s the opposite of a ‘militaristic fantasy’. The idea of an armed citizenry is to move away from the military/imperialist model. It goes hand in hand with disbanding the federal military altogether. The idea is to provide for national defense without having a substantial standing army.

    doesn’t in any way imply that I am against personal freedom. You just made it up!

    You’re certainly against the freedom to bear arms. No?

    1. It’s the job of the police to enforce the law. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t need a police force in the first place. Would a nation of armed vigilantes instead be a better solution?

    The problem here is that the police do not PREVENT crime. They punish it after the fact. If the police track down the person who killed you, that’s nice, but it doesn’t make you any less dead. Private gun ownership prevents crime in a way that the police just aren’t equipped to.

    2. Is there a history of the US needing to defend itself against an oppressive government? I believe not, so you seem to be trying to solve a problem that doesn’t even exist. Way to go to be so grounded in reality!

    You’re kidding, right? How about the revolutionary war? How about the civil war? And believe me, the first time your country turns into a dictatorship and you have no ability to fight back is really all it takes to ruin your day.

    3. Rights also entail responsibilities. You personally can’t even conduct yourself within the very loose comments policy of this site.

    As Al Barger points out here, and as others have mentioned before, I’ve shown notable restraint in dealing with the obnoxious commentors who infest the politics section. I don’t recall you deleting a hell of a lot of my comments, not just because I don’t care – which I don’t – but because you do leave a trail and make your little editorial notes, and they aren’t showing up on a lot of my comments. I also have a sense of proportion. These are comments on a blog, not works of great literature. If I think I wrote something of great import I save it to my own computer. If you delete it here I’m unlikely to even notice. That’s called having a sense of proportion, something which you clearly lack, to wit:

    Why on earth would you imagine that you are anywhere near clear enough in judgment as to be allowed weapons?

    The fact that you equate comments on a website with the responsibilities of gun ownership show how utterly clueless you are. There’s no meaningful consequence to the occasional rude comment here. Part of owning a gun and doing so responsibly is understanding the consequences of the misuse of that gun, not just in your own hands, but in the hands of others. That means not just governing your own actions, but in my case making sure that my arms are stored securely and that my kids are aware of basic gun safety and know better than to even touch a gun without adult supervision.

    I realize you don’t understand this responsibility, because you think the risks of gun use are equivalent in some way to making a rude comment on a blog.

    4. Guns don’t deter crime, they encourage an arms race. That’s why people in the USA have started owning bigger and more powerful guns.

    What arms race? What bigger and more powerful guns? You’ve been watching too many movies, Christopher. No one who doesn’t have an embarassingly small penis is running around with a .50 Desert Eagle or a Purdey .577 or any of the other legendary super calibre guns. Those calibres are mostly a holdover of the 19th century. Modern guns that use those cartridges are novelty items. No one actually needs to shoot lengthwise through a buffalo, take down an elephant or shoot out the engine-block of a car.

    The trend in guns in the US is towards small guns with good stopping power which can be carried easily in a purse or a shoulder holster. Shotguns – which are legal in most parts of Europe – are more powerful and do more damage at short range than the typical US handgun.

    As to your final point, one of the biggest social pressures that causes violence is population density. Europe has 60% more people living in less than half the land area of the USA yet, as you have been forced to admit, is way less violent.

    I wasn’t exactly forced to admit it. And we’re also going into the funny realm of statistics, where you can say ‘way less violent’ and I can say ‘huh?’ The truth is that the US and Europe are both relatively non-violent compared to other parts of the world and to past eras, and that includes the level of gun violence. While Europe has almost no gun violence the US still has a very small amount in comparison to other kinds of violence. No one in the US is at all worried about getting shot in the normal course of their day. We don’t have maniacs wandering the streets shooting people as a general rule.

    The only thing the US experiment in weapons ownership has shown is that it is a bad idea. If you weren’t so blinded by your defective principles, you might be able to see that.

    And you remain blinded by your own provincialism. You still think it’s an ‘experiment’. It’s not. It’s part of our culture. No one sat down and decided to try out guns and see how they worked. They were part of society in 1787 and a conscious decision was made then and subsequently reviewed multiple times by the courts and legislature, to retain private ownership of guns.

    Thanks for admitting that “Fact and reality have a limited applicability” for you, that makes a lot of things a lot clearer. I take it you will at least accept that there is no difference between “a matter of principle” and blind faith?

    There’s a huge difference since the principles are arrived at through reason, while blind faith is by its nature unreasonable. The differnece between you and I is that we have different priorities. I put the highest priority on individual liberty. You place personal safety and your sense of security higher than that.

    I find it bitterly ironic that you have managed to free yourself from spiritual dogma only to have locked yourself into another set of rigid ideas, one that doesn’t have even the pretense of being for humanity’s good, as the faithists believe.

    Oddly enough, I remain confident that liberty is good for humanity, and I base that not on faith, but on observation and experience.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    It certainly sounds plausible, even in a limited sense logical, that armed citizens would deter crime. But that doesn’t make it true.

    JR, the one area of data that we do have that is reliable, is the statistics coming out of those states which have passed concealed carry laws. Universally those states have shown a decline in violent crime which is measurably higher than the general decline in crime nationwide. This has been easy to track because it has taken place in the last decade and there has been some serious academic study of it.

    When they were considering passing concealed carry the staff of the Minnesota State Legislature put together a nice little summary of the studies on the subject which is available in a PDF. It covers both sides of the argument, and doesn’t draw any conclusions, but reading it over it’s hard to deny that the Lott and Mustard study from 1997’s Journal of Legal Review and the followup work by its authors is awfully convincing.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    re Dave’s #245:-

    The majority of Americans favour a lot of things but it doesn’t make them right. Presumably as you style yourself as an elitist pig you already know that…

    Every country is different, so I don’t quite understand what you mean by saying the US is different. The subtext I get from you is that you really mean the USA is better and that’s sometimes true and often not. It’s just another country, better than some in some ways, worse in others.

    Your point about your weapons theory as not being a miltaristic fantasy is entirely absurd. Even if you did disband the military, your scenario would replace it with a universally armed citizenry. Just as this didn’t work in the Cowboy era of US history, it certainly wouldn’t work now. You’d simply replace an organised force with an uncontrolled anarchy of firepower.

    This line is classic Nallian absurdity: “The idea is to provide for national defense without having a substantial standing army.” Where exactly would you be keeping the US nuclear arsenal then? In Walmart or the local gas station? Lunacy!

    I’m not against the freedom to bear arms in principle but praxis has shown that it is not a good idea. I’m against the freedom for everybody to be armed because precious little good seems to come from it.

    You can quote all the statistics you want that show that some states crime rates have gone down, but they would go down a lot more if neither criminals or citizens were armed.

    If the police were doing a better job, there would be less weapons in the hands of criminals. Just because they aren’t doing such a good job, partly hampered by the current gun laws in the USA, doesn’t mean that we should have armed posses patrolling the streets doing their job for them, which is what you seem to be implying is the way to go.

    Exactly how long ago was the civil war? The fact is that the world as a whole is becoming a richer more democratic place. You are guarding against ancient acts of history that have no relevance to today.

    Are you seriously contending that the US Government is going to turn against its own people? Surely not in such a fine country, the land of the free, that you love to champion at such great length?

    As to your conduct on these pages, it is true that you have shown some restraint, but not enough to stay within the very loose constraints of the comments policy. The most recent editing of one of your remarks was as long ago as yesterday!

    It’s a failure of logic, hopefully accidental rather than deliberate spin on your part, to state that I equated self control on this site with self control with a weapon.

    What I said was that you can’t manage to do the former, which does have consequences in that you then both inflame others and legitimize their right to respond in kind.

    As this shows that you have limited self control and poor judgement, in that you believe your actions have no consequence, it seems entirely reasonable to wonder how exactly you should conduct yourself when in a more real confrontation. You certainly wouldn’t be the first or the last US citizen to use a weapon inappropriately in the heat of the moment.

    If you haven’t noticed that criminals have started using weapons like Uzis and AK47s more than they used to in the past, you clearly have no idea what is going on in your country. There is an arms race and it’s taking place on the streets of American cities throughout the country.

    I was directly comparing the USA to Europe as they are the only roughly similar entities in this world. Trying to change the terms to compare the USA to other countries is basic confusion tactics, a strategy you love to deploy.

    I have been to the US more than twenty times and have seen incidents of gun use or police action to prevent it on at least three occasions.

    On the other hand, I’ve been in Europe for decades, including over twenty years in the racially tense London borough of Brixton, and have heard a gun being used once.

    I love the arrogance in accusing me of provincialism when I am clearly siding with humanity in general rather than one US political idea in particular, a tactic you love to deploy when you’re clearly losing a debate but, setting that aside, let’s look at your case:-

    Over two hundred years ago, in a world and a time that in no way resembled our current time, a bunch of idealistic innocents tried to make their part of the world a better place.

    By and large that vision has come true but the cultural hangover of the arms issue is one of the clear weaknesses of that process. It’s a failure on many levels, cultural and political, that the only way the American citizenry can co-exist is by adapting the principle of mutually assured destruction from a global deterrent to a local one. If that’s what the land of the free is becoming, it has way bigger problems to address than gun control.

    You don’t actually have principles arrived at through reason, you have a set of prejudices and have constructed some “reasoning” to confirm them. That isn’t freedom or liberty, it’s just another case of “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”.

    Surely even you, with your bizarre mix of elitism and individual liberty, can see that there are far more important challenges facing all of us than arming a citizenry, may of whom, judging by the people we see on all these reality TV shows, are even less lucid than you?

    You say “The differnece between you and I is that we have different priorities. I put the highest priority on individual liberty. You place personal safety and your sense of security higher than that.”

    I say OF COURSE! My personal safety, including the right not to be shot by some hysterical hothead who thinks they’re on a mission, is a million times more important than your right to bear arms.

    Absolute liberty is a complete illusion. If it wasn’t, I’d be within my rights to shoot you as I see you as a threat to my safety.

    There has NEVER been a time in all human history when people were absolutely free to do what they wanted. Even children aren’t allowed to run wild and free. You seem to want a world that sounds great in theory but would be an absolute living hell in reality.

  • Clavos

    @#247:

    The majority of Americans favour a lot of things but it doesn’t make them right

    No, but it does make it legal, and we are a nation of laws.

    If you don’t like it, if (not when) it ever comes up for a vote, you can vote against it…oh, wait…you can’t, can you?

    Oh, well…

  • troll

    [ ALERT

    political section neophytes –

    don’t let dirty old uncle Dave diddle you with his dramatic (though disingenuous) display of (debunked) data analysis

    do your homework – a brief review of the literature surrounding the Lott/Mustard study will suffice in this case to show that the study is unconvincing

    remember to remember – social science ain’t exactly science

    it’s all politics…fuckin’ politic$ ]

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos: no, I can’t vote in US elections but I can debate with people who have some very odd viewpoints.

    This may be trite but it is also true: Arming for peace is like fucking for virginity, except that innocent people will die if Dave’s fantasy came true…

  • Clavos

    Correction to my 248:

    Second line should be:

    According to the minority, no, but it does make it legal, and we are a nation of laws.

  • foolkiller

    “…and we are a nation of laws.” – Clavos

    Someone appears to have forgotten to tell this Administration that. From every signing statement, to all the wonderful shit coming out from the Libby trial, add Safavian, the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretaps, the MCA and it’s suspension of habeus corpus (especially in GITMO, the Padilla case (held for years with no trial or hearing or habeus corpus rights, and he’s a citizen), pre-emptively removing the Administration and it’s lackeys from answering to the World Court, all this and a lot more…from the people who are supposed to protect and defend our rule of law.

    But the original poster defends all of that, and attempts to distract us by raising up some bullshit about a psycho with a gun who killed some people, as if it were more than just what it was, the actions of a deranged individual.

    Big difference between rational thought and the GOP kind of rationalization, or radical Dem rationalizations for that matter. The Dems just aren’t as good at getting all their people into lockstep on anything.

    Anything but dealing with actual solutions to actual problems.

  • Clavos

    @#252:

    Someone appears to have forgotten to tell this Administration that. From every signing statement, to all the wonderful shit coming out from the Libby trial, add Safavian, the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretaps, the MCA and it’s suspension of habeus corpus (especially in GITMO, the Padilla case (held for years with no trial or hearing or habeus corpus rights, and he’s a citizen), pre-emptively removing the Administration and it’s lackeys from answering to the World Court, all this and a lot more…from the people who are supposed to protect and defend our rule of law.

    Excellent argument for citizen gun ownership, killer.

    Thank you.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    don’t let dirty old uncle Dave diddle you with his dramatic (though disingenuous) display of (debunked) data analysis

    do your homework – a brief review of the literature surrounding the Lott/Mustard study will suffice in this case to show that the study is unconvincing

    Troll, I provided a link not to just the Lott/Mustard study, but also to a neutral analysis of it and its critics. I realize that there are those who have attempted to debunk it, and left it to each individual to determine whether those efforts were successful. That’s hardly deceitful.

    Obviously I think that Lott/Mustard and other similar studies are pretty damned convincing, and the efforts to dispute them are feeble. I’ve even looked at the source data myself and come up with my own conclusions, which are less enthusiastic than Lott/Mustard and Lott’s later work – which is also very interesting.

    Looking at the complete picture, the worst conclusion you can reach is that the impact of concealed carry is not negative. It certainly hasn’t resulted in MORE gun crime. That being the case, why not support that right for our citizens?

    Dave

  • foolkiller

    @ #253 – Clavos, I am personally all for a “well regulated militia” and it’s right to keep and bear arms. The key word there is regulated, licensed and accountable just like the deadly weapon of your car.

    Yet if you truly believe that having a handgun is going to keep you safe from the Federal government, should it turn uglier than historically normal, you are indeed living the life of a Fool.

    @ #254 – All for people having legal weapons, how about enforcing the laws on the books already concerning illegal sales, dealerships which sell arms illegally, and maximum penalties for crimes involving a firearm.

    Oh yes, and how about discontinuing the bullshit of conflating a psycho teenager and an unfortunate crime with your racist notions about “muslim youth”.

  • Clavos

    @#255:

    Yet if you truly believe that having a handgun is going to keep you safe from the Federal government, should it turn uglier than historically normal, you are indeed living the life of a Fool.

    Perhaps you’re right, killer, but it does give me the option of fighting back, however vainly.

  • foolkiller

    Clavos – you miss the main point. A militia does NOT carry concealed weapons. Such behavior is counterproductive to the goal of deterrence, no one is deterred if they do not know the defensive weapon is there.

    A “well regulated militia” indicates a standing force, openly armed, not a citizen with a gun under his coat, or a .50 caliber machine gun in his garage, or selling weapons form the trunk of a car to felons.

    Now is the difference clear?

  • Clavos

    Clavos – you miss the main point. A militia does NOT carry concealed weapons. Such behavior is counterproductive to the goal of deterrence, no one is deterred if they do not know the defensive weapon is there.

    I’m not sure who you’re talking about here, but there definitely is a deterrent when someone bent on doing you bodily harm can’t be sure whether or not you’re armed.

    I’m not sure why we’re even discussing here, as all I advocate is NOT outlawing private weapons altogether. Earlier, I commented that we should have stronger laws (and enforce them to the limit) against crimes committed with weapons, and I see above that you do, too.

    I advocate LEGAL weapons, and have NO problem limiting them to hunting weapons and handguns; no assault weapons.

    There’s no place for an AR 16 or AK47 in a household, unless it’s issued Swiss-style by the government.

  • foolkiller

    Clavos – it began with me citing your assertion that the US is indeed a nation governed by the rule of law. I proceeded to point out that many appear to have forgotten such when it came to this administration and their violations of our laws…over and over again.

    Was not directed at you, specifically, nor was such indicated by anything I wrote, yet you appear to have taken it that way and became defensive.

    Again, guilty conscience, perhaps?

  • Clavos

    killer,

    Again, guilty conscience, perhaps?

    See my response(s) on the other thread regarding guilt…

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    The majority of Americans favour a lot of things but it doesn’t make them right.

    I’m with you on that. Majority rule is mob rule. But that doesn’t mean the majority is wrong either.

    Presumably as you style yourself as an elitist pig you already know that…

    Irony continues to be lost on Christopher…

    Your point about your weapons theory as not being a miltaristic fantasy is entirely absurd. Even if you did disband the military, your scenario would replace it with a universally armed citizenry. Just as this didn’t work in the Cowboy era of US history, it certainly wouldn’t work now. You’d simply replace an organised force with an uncontrolled anarchy of firepower.

    Again, your assumptions and your ignorance do you in. First off, the level of crime and violence by citizen on citizen on the western frontier was LOWER than in the civilized parts of the nation at the same time. The fiction of the violence of the ‘wild west’ comes mostly from a few highly publicized incidents and doesn’t hold up historically. Plus the federal military wasn’t disbanded in that era. It is, in fact, the first era in which we HAD a standing military. Prior to the civil war the idea was anathema.

    This line is classic Nallian absurdity: “The idea is to provide for national defense without having a substantial standing army.” Where exactly would you be keeping the US nuclear arsenal then? In Walmart or the local gas station? Lunacy!

    Why do we need a nuclear arsenal? But I do agree that we need to maintain some level of centralized military administration to maintain infrastructure, handle training and preserve technology of a modern military. What we don’t need is millions of professional soldiers and overseas bases.

    I’m not against the freedom to bear arms in principle but praxis has shown that it is not a good idea. I’m against the freedom for everybody to be armed because precious little good seems to come from it.

    I’m not one of those who believe in mandatory gun ownership and training, though I have to point out that in those US communities where that is the law it hasn’t led to additional crime and violence. As for proof that the freedom to own guns is a bad idea, it’s just not there. No causal relationship has ever been established between gun ownership by citizens and gun crime. Gun crime remains overwhelmingly the province of criminals, many of whom already acquire their guns illegally under existing law, and would do so no matter what restrictions were in place. And, of course, a complete ban on guns is impossible, as has been demonstrated conclusively by those nations which have tried it.

    You can quote all the statistics you want that show that some states crime rates have gone down, but they would go down a lot more if neither criminals or citizens were armed.

    You can make that assumption, but the data doesn’t exist to support it. Much the opposite, in fact. Those US jurisdictions which have attempted total gun bans have seen substantial increases in crimes of all sorts. DC banned guns and went from being a middling high-crime city to the city with the highest rate of murder in the nation.

    If the police were doing a better job, there would be less weapons in the hands of criminals.

    The police cannot function to preempt crime without massive violations of rights well beyond just the right to own guns. Americans might put up with stricter gun laws. They won’t put up with police surveillance of the general populace.

    Just because they aren’t doing such a good job, partly hampered by the current gun laws in the USA,

    As I’ve pointed out before, most police officers support the idea of an armed citizenry. It helps in their work keeping the public safe.

    doesn’t mean that we should have armed posses patrolling the streets doing their job for them, which is what you seem to be implying is the way to go.

    I never said anything like that, but the fact is that the police DO support the idea of citizen patrols where they are necessary. There’s a police sponsored program in every part of the US called the ‘Neighborhood Watch’ program which encourages citizens to watch for and deter criminal activity in their neighborhoods.

    Exactly how long ago was the civil war? The fact is that the world as a whole is becoming a richer more democratic place. You are guarding against ancient acts of history that have no relevance to today.

    Ah, the innocence of the sheep. Don’t question Big Brother. He’s only trying to protect you. Ignorance IS strength!

    BTW, your ‘richer and more democratic’ is what some of us consider increasingly powerless and oppressed.

    As mentioned frequently when discussing Hugo Chavez, a dictatorship is no less a dictatorship if it’s voted into office.

    Are you seriously contending that the US Government is going to turn against its own people? Surely not in such a fine country, the land of the free, that you love to champion at such great length?

    I’m not contending that, but there are plenty right here on BC who claim it’s already happened or is ongoing. I think it’s not impossible that there could be a breakdown of federal authority and situations in which citizens would be under serious threat if not armed. The phrase ‘better safe than sorry’ comes to mind in this context.

    As to your conduct on these pages, it is true that you have shown some restraint, but not enough to stay within the very loose constraints of the comments policy. The most recent editing of one of your remarks was as long ago as yesterday!

    As I’ve pointed out before, I don’t even look to see whether my comments have been edited or not. I say what I think is right. If it doesn’t fit your parameters, that’s on you.

    It’s a failure of logic, hopefully accidental rather than deliberate spin on your part, to state that I equated self control on this site with self control with a weapon.

    Christopher, if that’s not what you meant, then you shouldn’t have said it. And you certainly shouldn’t have said it again as you do below.

    What I said was that you can’t manage to do the former, which does have consequences in that you then both inflame others and legitimize their right to respond in kind.

    There are some comments which deserve response in kind and as you know I don’t agree with the comment policy.

    As this shows that you have limited self control and poor judgement, in that you believe your actions have no consequence,

    No, it shows that I don’t agree with the comment policy and believe that individuals should be able to comment and be held responsible for what thye say. I accept responsibility for anything I’ve said. I also accept that there’s a comment policy and try to at least stick with the spirit of it, but I can’t really be expected to figure out how you are going to interpret it.

    it seems entirely reasonable to wonder how exactly you should conduct yourself when in a more real confrontation.

    No, Christopher, it’s insulting and shows a profound lack of judgment on your part. That you can continue to equate comments on a blog with the use of a firearm shows how totally disconnected from reality you are.

    I think this attitude must be a product of the kind of managed society you live in. You just do as your told and you don’t have to think about or understand the consequences of your actions. You aren’t expected to be responsible for your actions so you don’t understand the concept of individual responsibility. That shows up again and again in your comments on subjects like this.

    Here in the US most of us learn to understand the consequences of our actions and the responsibilities which we have – and we can tell the difference between the import of a blog comment and shooting someone and would never try to equate the two or suggest that there’s a relationship, or judge peoples actions in the real world based on their comments in this sphere.

    I think a good argument could be made that the reason we DO have slightly higher levels of violent crime here on the US is because this idea of individual responsibility is perhaps a bit challenging for some people to grasp and they never quite ‘get’ it.

    You certainly wouldn’t be the first or the last US citizen to use a weapon inappropriately in the heat of the moment.

    Based on your logic I’ll have to wait in line behind people like Just One Man and Arch Conservative who are presumably getting ready to go on mass killing sprees.

    You really have no idea how ridiculous you sound, do you?

    If you haven’t noticed that criminals have started using weapons like Uzis and AK47s more than they used to in the past, you clearly have no idea what is going on in your country. There is an arms race and it’s taking place on the streets of American cities throughout the country.

    Again, you show total ignorance of history and of contemporary reality in the US. Weapons like that were LEGAL a couple of generations ago and widely available. Your idea of an ‘arms race’ is completely fictional. Low-cost, powerful and fully automatic weapons have always been easily available on the gray or black market in the US – no more so now than in the past. In fact, in recent years there’s been some success keeping super-cheap and weapons like the Mac-10 off the market.

    And your ‘arms race’ theory certainly isn’t born out by the 20 years of consistently declining crime levels in the US.

    I was directly comparing the USA to Europe as they are the only roughly similar entities in this world. Trying to change the terms to compare the USA to other countries is basic confusion tactics, a strategy you love to deploy.

    Christopher, comparing the US to Europe is hardly a model of accuracy, but it may be the best we have. I didn’t try to change to any other comparison. You’re the one who thinks such comparisons are relevant.

    I have been to the US more than twenty times and have seen incidents of gun use or police action to prevent it on at least three occasions.

    Amazing. Do you make regular visits to major urban crime areas? I lived in the most violent city in the US for a decade and never saw a single violent crime during that time.

    On the other hand, I’ve been in Europe for decades, including over twenty years in the racially tense London borough of Brixton, and have heard a gun being used once.

    Which means exactly nothing, just as my 10 years living in DC does. Hell, I live in one of the most peaceful counties in the US and I hear gunfire almost every day and think nothing of it.

    I love the arrogance in accusing me of provincialism when I am clearly siding with humanity in general

    And I love the arrogance of thinking that you speak for the entirety of humanity, when obviously others do not agree with your limited perspective.

    rather than one US political idea in particular, a tactic you love to deploy when you’re clearly losing a debate but, setting that aside, let’s look at your case:-

    I love the way you like to completely misrepresent my positions. It’s such a childishly manipulative technique.

    As you should know perfectly well I’m not talking about ‘one’ US political idea, but an entire philosophy of human society which predates the US and applies universally. The gun issue is just a specific manifestation of it.

    Over two hundred years ago, in a world and a time that in no way resembled our current time, a bunch of idealistic innocents tried to make their part of the world a better place.

    Good job being ocndescending to an entire generation of important American leaders and to everyone who has followed their lead since that time. Does your arrogance know no bounds?

    By and large that vision has come true but the cultural hangover of the arms issue is one of the clear weaknesses of that process. It’s a failure on many levels, cultural and political, that the only way the American citizenry can co-exist is by adapting the principle of mutually assured destruction from a global deterrent to a local one. If that’s what the land of the free is becoming, it has way bigger problems to address than gun control.

    Again you demonstrate that you have no idea what you’re talking about. Clearly the ideas of principle and basic human rights are utterly meaningless to you. You’re incapable of understanding the most basic reasoning behind a free society.

    As for ‘mutually assured destruction’, that has nothing to do with gun rights. Again, the fact that you can make such a comparison with a straight face shows that you have no clue at all. It’s the same thing as your comparison to blog comments. You’ve got no idea where guns fit in the hierarchy of life.

    You don’t actually have principles arrived at through reason, you have a set of prejudices and have constructed some “reasoning” to confirm them. That isn’t freedom or liberty, it’s just another case of “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”.

    Your opinion. But as we’ve already seen with your comparison of guns to nuclear weapons and blog comments, your rational faculties are so crippled by your background that there’s no reason to take anything you say on this subject seriously.

    Surely even you, with your bizarre mix of elitism and individual liberty, can see that there are far more important challenges facing all of us than arming a citizenry, may of whom, judging by the people we see on all these reality TV shows, are even less lucid than you?

    And again, when did I ever suggest the mandatory arming of the entire citizenry. I support the right of citizens to be armed, not the militarization of society, but you can’t tell the difference between the two. Having no grounding whatsoever in how a free society operates you find it threatening and incomprehensible.

    You say “The differnece between you and I is that we have different priorities. I put the highest priority on individual liberty. You place personal safety and your sense of security higher than that.”

    I say OF COURSE! My personal safety, including the right not to be shot by some hysterical hothead who thinks they’re on a mission, is a million times more important than your right to bear arms.

    Then there’s no basis for discussion. You think it’s okay to take away the rights of others for your own protection. You’re not qualified to live in a free society.

    Absolute liberty is a complete illusion. If it wasn’t, I’d be within my rights to shoot you as I see you as a threat to my safety.

    No, Christopher. That’s simplistic sophistry. Liberty applies equally to all in the society, so you can’t violate my liberty by shooting me.

    That you suggest that I’m arguing for total anarchy shows either your desperation because you’ve run out of sensible arguments, or such a profound lack of understanding of the philosophy of society and government that you’re unqualified to debate on the subject.

    There has NEVER been a time in all human history when people were absolutely free to do what they wanted. Even children aren’t allowed to run wild and free. You seem to want a world that sounds great in theory but would be an absolute living hell in reality.

    All I’m supporting is the maximum amount of liberty possible within the constraints of a functional society. That means a hell of a lot more freedom than you currently enjoy in Europe and somewhat more than we currently have in the US, but it certainly isn’t people running wild. Freedom is inseperable from responsibility and from that relationship comes the idea of law, a basic concept which you fail to grasp.

    Dave

  • foolkiller

    So speaks Vox Foolius. As usual, some very solid points mixed in with the spin. Tread with care readers, and take a look at #249.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx foolkiller

    Just so there is no misunderstanding, I’ve placed a pertinent URL under my “name” for full disclosure, my apologies for not doing it sooner.

    I had wanted my words to mean more than where they were coming from.

    In homage to lost Innocence…

    the Tao of D’oh.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    FK, I suggest that you reread #254 and give the self-righteous bullshit a rest.

    No one with any sense was confused about your identity, [Personal attack deleted].

    A new name doesn’t give you a new schtick.

    Dave

  • troll

    see Concealed Handguns: The Counterfeit Deterrent by Zimring and Hawkins in v7 of The Responsive Community

    and see A Note on the Use of County-Level UCR Data for more problems with methods

    and this one is a good read too but bracket table 10 until you’ve read

  • troll
  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Troll, I hadn’t read the Zimring and Hawkins dispute of the Lott and Mustard study before. It’s not the worst of the lot, but it has obvious biases. After picking all their nits, they basically conclude that Lott may be right in general, if he’s overstating his case, and fall back on the old ‘guns are baaaaad’ non-argument. Pretty weak, but more approachable than some.

    The problem with Lott and with all the people disputing him is that they’re all half-nuts. They all start from a political perspective and then try to hammer their data or rehammer Lott’s data to fit their preconceptions.

    I mentioned Lott’s study earlier because it’s the one which started all this debate off in 1997. I included the link to the survey article because I acknowledge there’s a debate going on. Most of the debate appears to be politically driven despite involving a lot of academics.

    I’ve read a hell of a lot of this stuff. I’ve reached sort of the same conclusion as most of the more honest folks who’ve done the same.

    There are gaping holes in Lott’s work and he’s kind of a nutjob. Nonetheless, his basic premise isn’t wrong. There IS a small statistical correlation between concealed carry laws and a reduction in crime, but that doesn’t establish a causal relationship. But at the same time the detractors haven’t been able to definitively prove that concealed carry causes any harm either, and they’ve tried fairly hard.

    In the absence of a definitive study one way or the other, I think it makes sense to err in favor of giving people more rights, and the common sense, unscientific presumption that concealed carry likely saves a few lives.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx foolkiller

    For Vox in #264.

    troll’s links beat me to some of it, and after reading #267..i see a bit of an advance from what I referred to in #262,

    What slays me is the pure Irony of this bit… “The problem with Lott and with all the people disputing him is that they’re all half-nuts. They all start from a political perspective and then try to hammer their data or rehammer Lott’s data to fit their preconceptions.”

    It is wonderfully ironic that I agree with the assessment about Lott…but that you as writing it fail to see when ANY GOP type does the same…yourself included.

    You took the principle of the right to bear arms, and twisted it into a partisan attack while exploiting a tragedy involving a youth and murders.

    Almost makes me wish there is a Hell, and that there are special Circles for some people.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx foolkiller

    (side note: I chose this name for my current “dipping the toe back in the water” bit very carefully, and with you in mind, Dave.

    it’s one of my old bands, the underground/punk/political band i was playing in about the same time you were DJing for a college station as referenced by you yourself as “old punk days”…

    it very well reminds me and demonstrates the difference between us in many ways… you were on the radio, talking about it and spinning records…i was out living and playing it with many of the folks whose music you were playing

    end Interlude)

  • MCH

    Vox Populi was a DJ?

  • MCH

    I knew he was a male cheerleader, but I think this is the first I’ve heard about DJing…

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    It is wonderfully ironic that I agree with the assessment about Lott…but that you as writing it fail to see when ANY GOP type does the same…yourself included.

    But the problem here is that when any GOP type regardless of who they are or what their greater agenda is, says anything you assume from the outset that they are lying and distorting. Your preconceptions invalidate your response to them.

    You took the principle of the right to bear arms, and twisted it into a partisan attack while exploiting a tragedy involving a youth and murders.

    Actually, that’s not the process I went through. I started out to write a simple news piece which just didn’t overlook the fact that the kid was Muslim. But then I got caught up in some of the coverage of officer Hammond, and picked up on something he said, which led me in a different direction and onto the armed citizen response theme, which I still think is vitally important.

    You can’t expect an effective police response to sudden, unplanned attacks like this. The only way they are likely to be stopped is if someone among the potential victims happens to be armed.

    it very well reminds me and demonstrates the difference between us in many ways… you were on the radio, talking about it and spinning records…i was out living and playing it with many of the folks whose music you were playing

    Sorry for having zero musical talent and being tone deaf. And you’re right, those old days do highlight the difference between us. You were in a band whining about how oppressed we all are, and I wasn’t just DJing, I was organizing political rallies and protests against the oppressors, trying to actually DO something.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    From today’s Miami Herald:

    A prominent Miami-Dade traffic-ticket lawyer, facing an armed robber, pulled a gun from his glove compartment and stopped his attacker dead with a volley of gunfire.

    Traffic Ticket Office’s Scott Hidnert was backing out of his North-Central Miami-Dade office in his black Mercedes Thursday night when the robber rushed him.

    Handcuffs stuffed in his pocket and a ski mask pulled over his head, the attacker pointed his weapon at Hidnert.

    ”I’m lucky to be alive,” the lawyer said…

    …The incident follows two recent high-profile self-defense shootings, both fatal, neither resulting in criminal charges.

    Last year, a new Florida law was enacted that loosened the standard for self-defense, allowing threatened citizens to shoot first even if attackers don’t show a gun.

    ”I don’t expect any charges. He had a gun and was aiming at me,” Hidnert said. “If his gun didn’t jam, he would have shot me.”

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Anecdotal evidence abounds in Florida given the high rate of violent crime there in the first place.

    BTW, that last legal change referred to is what’s called a ‘castle’ law, and they’re under consideration in a couple of dozen states right now, including here in Texas.

    Dave