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The strawmen cometh
Posted by: McQ on Monday, April 23, 2007

Cynthia Tucker, a columnist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and recent winner of a Pulitzer Prize, writes a post-prize article which makes you wonder about the credibility of the award. It is entitled “Pushing Guns for all Students Cartoonish Idea”.

A better title would have been “Pushing Guns For All Students Is A Strawman Argument, But One I Intend To Pursue.” If there is anyone out there claiming “all students should be armed”, they’re as “cartoonish” as Ms. Tucker’s claims.

On to those claims:
But it's more than a little disconcerting to hear that so many adults also believe in superheroes. They must. Why else would they insist that the best way to prevent carnage of the sort that occurred last week at Virginia Tech is to put guns into every available hand? They're indulging their childhood fantasies, remembering the movies in which the Caped Crusader or John Wayne instantly dispatched the bad guy.
Why in the world would any serious person argue that guns should be put “into every available hand?” That makes no sense. It is fine if everyone chooses to do so, but that's not the same as claiming the argument is that everyone must (or even should).

And, as far as I can tell, that’s not what is being argued by those Tucker cites. For instance, Tucker says:
Yet, ultraconservative commentators have been in high dudgeon for days, suggesting that students with guns could have guaranteed a Hollywood ending in which an unflappable sharp-shooter would have felled Cho Seung-Hui with a quick head shot. Michelle Malkin was among those who denounced a Virginia law that excludes college campuses from areas where concealed weapons are permitted.

"What if just one student in one of those classrooms had been in lawful possession of a concealed weapon? ... It darned well isn't too early for me to raise questions about how the unrepentant anti-gun lobbying of college officials may have put students at risk."
Now, find in those two paragraphs where Malkin is suggesting that all students should (or must) carry guns? Of course she’s not. Instead she’s arguing that had those who chose to carry a concealed weapon (and did so legally having met the state requirements to hold a concealed carry permit) had their guns available, the possibility exists that the carnage would have been less.

What Malkin and others are arguing, in fact, is that when you declare a place a ‘gun free zone’, you invite scofflaw predators to indulge in risk free crime. Knowing commercial airliners may have an armed air marshall onboard means that someone unknown to the predator on an aircraft has the ability to kill him. Criminals usually aren’t going to risk that possibility if there is easier prey.

But what about whack jobs such as Cho? Well, think about it. What did Cho do when police finally showed up armed to the teeth? Rather than confront them, he killed himself. So it isn’t particularly difficult then to argue that had Cho been confronted with an armed student, he might have withdrawn from that particular classroom and gone after easier prey. If his intent and objective was to kill as many as he could before the possibility of he being killed became real, why would he risk his objective to an armed student getting lucky? The fact that he as a nut job doesn’t mean he wasn’t rational enough to factor those odds into the equation and then settling on the line of behavior which maximized the utility of his effort toward gaining his objective.

Being pinned down in a gun fight and possibly being killed or incapacitated wouldn’t serve that end, would it?

That brings us to another strawman:
"In real life, police officers —- trained to fire in the heat of battle —- hit their intended targets only about 40 percent of the time, according to University of South Carolina criminologist Geoffrey Alpert, an expert in police shootings.

You can train all day in simulated situations ... and you think you can hit a target. But it comes right down to it and someone is pointing a gun at you, and it just doesn't happen," he said.

And we all know about war-time "friendly fire" tragedies, when well-trained soldiers accidentally kill their own. The death of former professional football player Pat Tillman, killed in Afghanistan by members of his own unit, highlighted the unfortunate reality of chaos in battle.
Sometimes it isn’t about just hitting the target. It’s about raising the risk factor for the target and suppressing their ability to fire at will with aimed fire. Anyone who argues that fire that doesn’t hit the target is ineffective was never taught (or has never seen) the effectiveness of suppressive fire. Again, killing or wounding someone like Cho is ideal, but if you can pin Cho down, raise the risk of his movement and at the same time allow others to get out of there, hasn’t your fire been effective?

Yet another strawman is the probability of “friendly fire”. Obviously that is a risk. But my guess is it’s is a risk that at least 32 people that day would have gladly taken, given the outcome.

John Lott wrote a book about a two decade study he did on the phenomenon entitled, “More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws” (1998). In it he uses this example of a very similar situation which happened in 1991:
“Referring to the July 1984 massacre at a San Ysidro, CA McDonalds restaurant, Israeli criminologist Abraham Tennenbaum described what occurred at a crowded venue in Jerusalem some weeks before the California McDonald’s massacre:

“Three terrorists who attempted to machine-gun the throng managed to kill only one victim before being shot down by handgun-carrying Israelis. Presented to the press the next day the surviving terrorist complained that his group had not realized that the Israeli citizens were armed. The terrorists had planned to machine-gun a succession of crowd spots, thinking that they would be able to escape before the police or army could arrive to deal with them.””
As is obvious in that case, the Israeli civilians knew quite well who the good and bad guys were. And they handled a situation which could easily have been as bad or worse than what happened at Va Tech.

Tucker concludes:
If dozens of Virginia Tech students had been armed, "Lord knows what a disaster we would have had," Alpert said. "I think it's inappropriate to have firearms in a classroom ...

"If they had had a Jack Bauer, maybe so. But the world isn't composed of Jack Bauers," he noted.

So all those armchair heroes —- all those firearm fanatics who claim everything would be different if they'd been in one of those classrooms with a gun —- should don their red capes and take a leap.
To the Ms. Tuckers of the world, who have a tendency to project their inadequacies and fears on other people, I again point to the Israelis, the Appalachian Law School and Pearl, Mississippi shootings and remind her that everyone of them was stopped by those who did don a red cape, picked up their personal firearm and leaped into the fray, thereby saving the lives of others without killing a single, solitary innocent bystander.
 
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"In real life, police officers — trained to fire in the heat of battle — hit their intended targets only about 40 percent of the time, according to University of South Carolina criminologist Geoffrey Alpert, an expert in police shootings.

You can train all day in simulated situations ... and you think you can hit a target. But it comes right down to it and someone is pointing a gun at you, and it just doesn’t happen," he said.
But of course Mr. Cho would not have possibly frozen when someone pointed a gun at him.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Why can’t you fundie right-wing fascists just be good sheep and wait to be slaughtered? But noooo, you think you have a right to defend "your" life and liberties. How wrong you are. WE have decided that guns are bad, and we will take them away from you, law-abiding citizen. If a wacko pops you as a consequnce, toush sh&t. Omlets, shells, etc.
 
Written By: Mr. Sarcasm McTroll
URL: http://
Make this argument all you want, but don’t bring that discredited jackanapes Lott into. It just weakens your position. A postion which isn’t terrible on the merits to start with.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
So Retief, are you claiming that the incident Tennenbaum writes about is somehow untrue or discredited simply because you have issues with Lott?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
If dozens of Virginia Tech students had been armed, "Lord knows what a disaster we would have had," Alpert said. "I think it’s inappropriate to have firearms in a classroom ...
Yeah, because 32 dead isn’t really that much of a disaster I suppose!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Good stuff, McQ... I took your thoughts and ran with it here.

I also found it funny how her father, as she was considering getting a gun, told her to "stay away from dangerous places."

And this has exactly what to do with a Virginia Tech classroom? After all, it was a "gun-free zone", so it should have been a very safe place!
 
Written By: Brad Warbiany
URL: http://thelibertypapers.org/
Oh, not to mention that she claims the NRA wants to make guns as ubiquitous as cellphones.

I did a quick google search, and found that there were somewhere near 196 million registered cellphone plans in the US. There are about 200 million guns. At least people don’t usually pull out their guns and annoy fellow diners in quiet restaurants...
 
Written By: Brad Warbiany
URL: http://thelibertypapers.org/
I’d have to research to find the statistics again, police officers shoot the wrong guy much more then those who lawfully have a gun and discharge it.

If I recall correctly it was something like a 4 to 1 ratio.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com/
Typical of elitest snob who probably lives in relatively crime free neighborhood. My friend who lives in Sac had his house broken in twice and his car broken into a number of times. We always asked the question what would have happened to his mom if she was home alone during those times being a petite Vietnamese woman without any means to protect herself. In the real world, the authorities can’t be there all the time and face it some Police Departments are very incompetent(cough Sac, LA) cough.
 
Written By: LePepeLePub
URL: http://
By contrast, there were only 143 cases of justifiable homicide by civilians using a firearm.
According to the NRA there are approximately 6 million people with carry permits.

There are 38 states that allow carrying.

Are those 38 states awash in shoot-outs with concealed carry permits?
According to the FBI, the states with “shall issue” laws have much lower violent crime rates than the other states, on average: 21% lower total violent crime, 28% lower murder, 43% lower robbery, and 13% lower aggravated assault. Significantly, 13 of the 15 states with the lowest violent crime rates are “shall issue” permit states. The five states with the lowest violent crime rate have all enacted “shall issue” laws.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com/
These little things called facts have issues with Lott, not I.

As for this particular incident, I must assume it refers to the shooting attack of 2 April 1984. Sure, no Israelis were killed, and that is great news, but lets not sweep the 48 wounded under the carpet. And yes I would want more coroboration of the anecdote that the terrorist said he didn’t think the Israelis would be armed.

Also if your argument is that widespread handgun carrying makes us safer, "just look at Israel" may not be the winning example for you.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
By contrast, there were only 143 cases of justifiable homicide by civilians using a firearm.
That’s a fake statistic. The FBI doesn’t count all cases of justifiable homicide. They only count those judged such initially, they don’t go back and update the data as court cases resolve the issue. If you have to go to a grand jury or to court with your justifiable homicide, it isn’t counted as justifiable by the FBI.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Make this argument all you want, but don’t bring that discredited jackanapes Lott into.
How was he discredited? I know that he was doing the sock puppet / Greenwald thing, but that doesn’t discredit his studies.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
As for this particular incident, I must assume it refers to the shooting attack of 2 April 1984. Sure, no Israelis were killed, and that is great news, but lets not sweep the 48 wounded under the carpet.
Three terrorists armed with machine guns and no killed is pretty good. It doesn’t take long to do a lot of damage with machine guns.
And yes I would want more coroboration of the anecdote that the terrorist said he didn’t think the Israelis would be armed.
If you haven’t verified the incident, then how do you know there were 48 wounded?

In any case, there are quite a few cases from Israel where terrorists were stopped quickly by bystanders.
Also if your argument is that widespread handgun carrying makes us safer, "just look at Israel" may not be the winning example for you.


How so? Israel is an excellent example of armed citizens dealing with mass murderers.

Israel has an unusual problem, since it is dealing with armed Palestinian gangs, who will resort to blowing themselves up (or more often their children) in order to kill Jews, so armed citizens are only a partial answer. However, the Palestinian thugs have stayed away from tactics that put themselves in the sights of armed Israeli citizens. Palestinian thugs with AK-47s or M-16s have a very short life in Israel, and often it is the Israel citizens they target who end their lives.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
These little things called facts have issues with Lott, not I.
And what facts are those?
As for this particular incident, I must assume it refers to the shooting attack of 2 April 1984. Sure, no Israelis were killed, and that is great news, but lets not sweep the 48 wounded under the carpet.
Who is sweeping anything under the carpet? How many times have you seen the number of wounded mentioned after the Va Tech massacre? The point of every story is the number killed. The fact that you first notice three men with machine-guns after they open fire may should be obvious as should the fact that they most likely at least wounded some. But the fact remains, they stopped the plot cold.
And yes I would want more coroboration of the anecdote that the terrorist said he didn’t think the Israelis would be armed.
Good, I want more corroboration on what facts you think John Lott has wrong. In the meantime, the anecdote comes from a guest editorial by Israeli criminologist Abraham Tennenbaum, "Handguns Could Help", BALTIMORE SUN, Oct. 26, 1991.
Also if your argument is that widespread handgun carrying makes us safer, "just look at Israel" may not be the winning example for you.
I think it is a perfectly good example. As are these statistics from Keith (above):
According to the FBI, the states with “shall issue” laws have much lower violent crime rates than the other states, on average: 21% lower total violent crime, 28% lower murder, 43% lower robbery, and 13% lower aggravated assault. Significantly, 13 of the 15 states with the lowest violent crime rates are “shall issue” permit states. The five states with the lowest violent crime rate have all enacted “shall issue” laws.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I would trade 48 wounded for 32 dead any day. I would assume the 32 dead and their next of kin would feel the same.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Re Lott, the "Freakanomics" guy demonstrated that the evidence just isn’t there for Lott’s claim that more guns = less crime. Also Lott didn’t actually do some of the studies he says he did. Lott’s suit against Levitt for defamation was tossed out. And all this was in the news again because Lott has just come out with a copycat book called "Freedomnomics". Deltoid has a good page on him. MoJo is obviously not a fan, but this is also a good summary of Lott’s problems.

Don, on verifying, I saw a number of headlines. I didn’t want to pay the LATimes for the full article.

Israel does indeed have an unusual problem, maybe that means we should be careful generalizing from a single incident in Jerusalem in 1984. And yes, mass shootings are rare. But, in spite of having a guns everywhere policy, the place still isn’t safe.

Here’s the argument in a nutshell:

My brother the gunnut: More guns being carried makes us more safe. Just look how safe Israel is.
me: Bro, Israel’s not safe at all.
gunnut: Yeah but it’s more safe than it would otherwise be. Just imagine how many more Israelis would get killed if everyone wasn’t carrying.
me: Oh yeah, very convincing. Let’s just go to the range, OK?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
timactual,

It’s 32 dead and 29 wounded. But of course the perp used a nasty plastic-fantastic Glock, he was much more deadly than three terrorists armed with (real, full auto) assault rifles.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Retief,

I remember Tim Lambert (your Deltoid link) from talk.politics.guns on usenet. My recollection is that he’s an anti-gun extremist and lier. And does anyone believe anything in motherjones?
Israel does indeed have an unusual problem, maybe that means we should be careful generalizing from a single incident in Jerusalem in 1984. And yes, mass shootings are rare.
I’ve read news accounts of a number of mass shooting attempts (and even a knifing). Most of these attempts had few killed, because bystanders responded quickly with lethal force.
But, in spite of having a guns everywhere policy, the place still isn’t safe.
The "guns everywhere" seemed to have largly stopped the mass shootings. The wall seems to have largely stopped the suicide bombers. Hamas and Hazbolla still have rockets . . .

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
timactual, so would I. You’re quite right. As was Don in saying that 48 wounded in an attack by three machine gun wielding terrrorists is pretty good, as is McQ on the same point. It is a success, needlessly overstated, but a success none the less. It aslo happened in Israel in 1984 and doesn’t really tell us anything about the possiblity of friendly fire. Nor does it change the fact that John Lott is a wanker, or that Israel isn’t safe.

Nor does Tim Lambert’s tendentiosness make Lott more reliable. Here’s another takedown. Here’s another, prompted by the Mary Rosh thing.

On the mojo link, I gave you the link to avoid long cut and pastes, but I can cut and paste if I have to. Read it. It’s not opinion, it’s big problems with his data, which he can’t make up his mind how to answer. If you don’t like MoJo, how about this take from the "Skeptical Inquirer" link.
Lott and Mustard were comparing trends in Idaho and West Virginia and Mississippi with trends in Washington, D.C. and New York City. What actually happened was that there was an explosion of crack-related homicides in major eastern cities in the 1980s and early 1990s. Lott’s whole argument came down to a claim that the largely rural and western "shall issue" states were spared the crack-related homicide epidemic because of their "shall issue" laws. This would never have been taken seriously if it had not been obscured by a maze of equations.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
plastic-fantastic Glock
Fudging combat tuperware... *spit*
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
Reading all this fatalistic claptrap from Tucker and so many others, I’m just amazed at how entrenched, persistent and adaptable such defeatist thinking is. Twenty-five years ago and more it was quite common to be advised against having a gun in your home because intruders would find it and use it against you. That was deemed a much more likely scenario than any involving effective defense against those intruders. Just as if you carried a firearm on your person, your assailant (unarmed) would wrestle it away from you and kill you with it. And the people who cautioned all this would throw out statistics of some crazy provenance or another.

Some people will believe - really believe - any and everything before they acknowledge any possibility of - or responsibility for - helping themselves.

Not only do Tucker and way too many more victims-in-waiting see all of us as decidedly inferior to the cops "trained" to save us, they see us as inferior to emotionally crippled little sh*ts like Cho, to whom they happily credit the very same superhuman abilities that they stupidly think we would require in order to rationally defend ourselves.

To deride as "fanatics" those who can see that a gun in sane hands would have almost certainly saved lives in Norris Hall is just blind bleating nihilistic lunacy. Award-winning, of course.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
"I’d have to research to find the statistics again, police officers shoot the wrong guy much more then those who lawfully have a gun and discharge it.

If I recall correctly it was something like a 4 to 1 ratio.

Written By: Keith_Indy"

I’ve seen something similar (though I don’t think it was quite as high as 4 to 1).
If you can find an official source (preferably government or actual news article, rather than a pro 2nd amendment site, which the ant-gun crowd will just dismiss as lies) I would appreciate it.
Thanks
 
Written By: anonymous
URL: http://
One possible source of the friendly fire stat:

George F. Will, "Are We ’a Nation of Cowards’?," Newsweek (15 November 1993)

I don’t have the article on-hand and so can’t say where Will got the number from.
 
Written By: Lysenko
URL: http://
It aslo happened in Israel in 1984 and doesn’t really tell us anything about the possiblity of friendly fire. Nor does it change the fact that John Lott is a wanker, or that Israel isn’t safe.
With 3 guys with (I assume, AK-47s) firing into a crowd, friendly fire with handguns are perhaps not the worst worry.

On ar15.com we have discussed reations to the Utah mall shooting (where an off-duty cop with a CCW interviened) and the VA Tech shooting. We had some interesting debate, and generally concluded that if you CCW you shouldn’t hunt the gunman, but if you see the gunman shooting people you should try to take him out.

The main reason for not getting involved is to avoid confrontations with the police (the off duty Utah cop had some tense moments when the uniformed PD showed up, I understand).

And, as I mentioned there are other cases in Israel where civilians ended mass shooting attempts. In fact, in one case a South African apartheid era) agricultural expert neatly shot several terrorists in a hotel with his CCW pistol.

And again, Israel isn’t safe for reasons that can’t be solved by handguns. Handguns are an excellent response to an unexpected close range attack by a varity of methods, but not an effective response to missles or hidden bombs.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"I’d have to research to find the statistics again, police officers shoot the wrong guy much more then those who lawfully have a gun and discharge it.

If I recall correctly it was something like a 4 to 1 ratio.
Yes, but police have to respond to situations civilians don’t. And they often come into the middle of it.

For example, I’m not gonna bust in the door to the suspected meth lab down the street.

One of the great things about CCW is that it allows the people who are on the spot when an incident occurs to deal with it. The SWAT team may have better training and equipment, but the time lag of getting them in place can cause serious problems.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Lott’s whole argument came down to a claim that the largely rural and western "shall issue" states were spared the crack-related homicide epidemic because of their "shall issue" laws. This would never have been taken seriously if it had not been obscured by a maze of equations.
That’s simply nonsense and points out, at least to me, that this person never read Lott’s book. BTW, I’ve got the book sitting in front of me now, in case you’re wondering, so I’m not saying it’s nonsense from memory.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
It almost seems as if "friendly fire" has a mystical quality that makes any amount of carnage preferable to risking being shot by a "friend" or shooting a "friend."

I sometimes think that we need to be taught that there is such as thing as sins of omission... that one really doesn’t preserve your moral high ground by refusing to take action even if it means that by doing nothing you’ve got no chance of making a mistake.

How else is there to interpret the argument that 32 or more dead people is preferable to taking even a chance that someone with a gun trying to stop it might shoot innocent bystanders by mistake?

How can that be anything other than obscene?

As for superheroes... I doubt it would be useful to try to explain to this lady why we need them or what they are good for.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
Tonight on the CNN Situation Room in the Cafferty File segment the brought up the story of Kennesaw, Georgia. 25 years ago it was deemed a national laughing stock, but time has deal a much different hand than the pundits suggested.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Not only do Tucker and way too many more victims-in-waiting see all of us as decidedly inferior to the cops "trained" to save us, they see us as inferior to emotionally crippled little sh*ts like Cho, to whom they happily credit the very same superhuman abilities that they stupidly think we would require in order to rationally defend ourselves.
It all depends on your mindset.

As Mr. Instapundit likes to say, be a pack, not a herd.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
My brother the gunnut: More guns being carried makes us more safe. Just look how safe Israel is.
Compared to what? Compared to how safe Israel would be if it’s citizens were unarmed?

Are you high?

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
Great post, McQ. This VT episode prompted me to purchase a S&W 642 this week. At this moment I’m looking online for the best pocket holster and later this week I’m applying for my conceal carry permit. I can’t wait to do some plunking at the range.
 
Written By: Fyro
URL: http://
I’m not going to get into Lott because I’m frankly not informed, but there’s a long set of assumptions between "maybe less people would have died if one of Cho’s victims had had a gun" and "less people would die from gun violence, generally, if students were armed on campus".

As I said the last time McQ brought this point up, this idea of being able to stop a crime like this in its tracks only works the first time.
Using the same logic that says maybe if someone has a gun, Cho goes to the next classroom to kill people instead, because he’s rational -

a) if Cho expects someone to have a pistol, he’s likely to bring an assault rifle. or a friend or two. Or simply to aim the gun at the crowd, scream "put your hands in the air!!", shoot the first person slow to comply, and have everyone lie facedown on the ground before he starts shooting them.

b) or, use a bomb. There’s no reason why Cho couldn’t have wired himself up like your local Palestinian terrorist. He just didn’t have to. The point is that psychotic hatred is not dettered and often adapts to countervailing forces.

c) arming students is not a neat solution. Meanwhile,


d) how many more students will die in ones and twos because drunken and/or emotionally unstable people can have easy access to handguns? Do we let them bring the guns to class, but make them check them at the door at the frat party?



 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Oh, hey, by the way, Don, whether or not those terrorists got gunned down by armed civilian heroes in that incident in 1984, it’s not accurate to suggest that the detterence value of armed Israeli citizens has stopped shooting attacks. Shooting attacks happen all the time in the West bank. People die from them regularly. And Israeli citizens in the West Bank are heavily armed.

Kind of how the very high likelihood of the other guy being armed in Oklahoma in 1840 did not deter people from shooting each other on a regular basis.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
"c) arming students is not a neat solution. Meanwhile,"

Banning guns is not a solution either. In fact, between the two solutions being proposed:

A. banning all firearms; and
B. encouraging those to carry guns who are so inclined;

...option B is the better solution. Both ideas are good solutions, in the abstract. Option A is a perfect solution, but it can only be implimented in the abstract. It is impossible to ban guns in the United States. Also, attempts to impliment option A mitigate the positive effects of solution B.

Option B is the better solution even though it is imperfect. An adequate, but imperfect solution, is always preferrable to a perfect, but unachievable one.
 
Written By: Fyro
URL: http://
how many more students will die in ones and twos because drunken and/or emotionally unstable people can have easy access to handguns?
How many more people will suffocate because they can never pull their heads out of their *sses?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
I’m frankly not informed
Most honest thing Glassy has ever said, IMO. This should be ammended onto every post he ever makes...
he’s likely to bring an assault rifle. or a friend or two. Or simply to aim the gun at the crowd, scream "put your hands in the air!!",
First off, an AR would have been spotted as he went to Norris Hall. Easy to stick a pistol in the pocket, but the rifle sticks out a little...

Second, he didn’t have friends. Haven’t you watched the news?

Third, my dad and I have timed it out. with a weapon out in the open upon entering and yelling those words (assume 2 seconds), I can draw and aim a handgun. Easy. I see a gun walk in with a gun out (and it’s not a cop, duh) I’d go for the sidearm. He wouldn’t even have to yell. Shooting first is the ONLY chance a guy would get. Walking in and yelling? That’s just making sure that my mental 10-ring shifts from "chest" to "head".

As for using a bomb... It’s reasonable to assume it would be a pipe bomb, which would be most lethal inside a classroom. And even then, it wouldn’t be 100% lethal (pipe-bombs are finicky things), and ONLY lethal in that room. In a hallway? Very low body count. Blowing himself up in the first classroom would have, frankly, been a mercy. Lower body-count...
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
The most lethal instance of school violence was a bomb in 1927.

Cho is still a loser wannabe. He can’t even kill more innocent people than a spate-addled farmer with some blasting powder.

I’d just like to respond to this: "a) if Cho expects someone to have a pistol, he’s likely to bring an assault rifle. or a friend or two. Or simply to aim the gun at the crowd, scream "put your hands in the air!!", shoot the first person slow to comply, and have everyone lie facedown on the ground before he starts shooting them."

And this is different from what happened in what way?

Oh... he didn’t need friends or an assault rifle, he just systematically shot people.

Can’t we at least make the bad guys *work* for it?

 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
he’s likely to bring an assault rifle.
Notice the implied escalation in lethality? Assault rifles are not any more lethal than handguns. They don’t shoot faster, they don’t shoot straighter. Too many people think that an "assault rifle" is more dangerous than a handgun, and that’s just silly.

According to that logic, if the students had been carrying assault rifles, then the gunman would’ve brought his grenade launcher. If they’d have had grenade launchers, the nut would likely bring his anti-tank gun.
 
Written By: Ted
URL: http://rocketjones.mu.nu
Yes, but police have to respond to situations civilians don’t. And they often come into the middle of it.

For example, I’m not gonna bust in the door to the suspected meth lab down the street.
Well, that is my point, that citizens who legally carry aren’t the trigger happy morons anti-gun zealots paint them (us) to be.

One need only look at the claims made a decade ago about liberalizing carry laws in Florida, for instance, and the statistics since. Statistics show that people who legally carry are more law abiding then the general population, by a good margin.

According to reports about the VA Tech massacre, one of the teachers shot was a military veteran. Had he been armed, he might have effected an end to the situation. On Mancow’s show, a student called in saying he had a carry permit and gun, but since it wasn’t allowed on campus, he wasn’t armed. He was walking across their drill field towards the shooting when it started. He might have made a difference.

The argument that guns don’t belong on a campus full of adults, makes sure that only criminals and maybe a sparse security force have weapons. Everyone else is prey to whatever violence may occur.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com/
Oh, and I found this interesting. Everyone keeps going on about how our murder rate by firearms is so high.

Well, where do we place for total crime?

Safer then Finland, Denmark, Chile and the UK.

#1 Dominica: 113.822 per 1,000 people
#2 New Zealand: 105.881 per 1,000 people
#3 Finland: 101.526 per 1,000 people
#4 Denmark: 92.8277 per 1,000 people
#5 Chile: 88.226 per 1,000 people
#6 United Kingdom: 85.5517 per 1,000 people
#7 Montserrat: 80.3982 per 1,000 people
#8 United States: 80.0645 per 1,000 people
#9 Netherlands: 79.5779 per 1,000 people
#10 South Africa: 77.1862 per 1,000 people
#11 Germany: 75.9996 per 1,000 people
#12 Canada: 75.4921 per 1,000 people
#13 Norway: 71.8639 per 1,000 people
#14 France: 62.1843 per 1,000 people
#15 Seychelles: 52.9265 per 1,000 people
#16 Hungary: 44.9763 per 1,000 people
#17 Estonia: 43.3601 per 1,000 people
#18 Czech Republic: 38.2257 per 1,000 people
#19 Italy: 37.9633 per 1,000 people
#20 Switzerland: 36.1864 per 1,000 people
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com/
Too many people think that an "assault rifle" is more dangerous than a handgun, and that’s just silly.
Also, it sticks out infront of you more, sorta announcing your presence around a corner, or on the other side of a door...
#20 Switzerland: 36.1864 per 1,000 people
Not the place that has manditory millitary service and possession of your service weapons in your home...

You hit 18, you serve a couple of years active, then go on reserve status if you’d like, but you take your weapon home and you keep it ready just in case.

They have a small standing army, and a reserve army of about 50% it’s population...
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
Shooting attacks happen all the time in the West bank. People die from them regularly. And Israeli citizens in the West Bank are heavily armed.
What makes you say that, glasnost? When I was there in ’92, the West Bank (specifically Jerusalem) had the least presence of armed civilians or soldiers of anywhere else that I went in Israel. In fact, we felt much safer in Haifa and Eilat than we did in Jerusalem. Outside the West Bank, at least back then, soldiers were required to carry their weapons everywhere and they were quite visible. Inside the West Bank we didn’t see a single soldier except at the Knesset and the nearby Holocaust Museum.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Because the Israelies are aware of the sight of armed soldiers, and made it a point to NOT flaunt them.

And now Hamas is calling off the truce, and blaming the jews for it...

Not that the Israelies DID anything... They just didn’t make them feel comfortable enough, I suppose...
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
a) if Cho expects someone to have a pistol, he’s likely to bring an assault rifle.
Actually, a more rational response would be for Cho to use body armor. An assault rifle doesn’t render one bulletproof. At the distances Cho was engaging at, an assault rifle has dubious advantages over a handgun. In fact, he’d have been easier to disarm with the assault rifle than a handgun.
or a friend or two.


If he had any. If he had, he would have brought them.
Or simply to aim the gun at the crowd, scream "put your hands in the air!!", shoot the first person slow to comply, and have everyone lie facedown on the ground before he starts shooting them.
You simply don’t know much about these type of things, do you? People often behave in a bizarre manner when faced with these events, particularly people who haven’t trained for lethal force events.

In lethal force events, people often experience auditory exclusion; as soon as they realize there is a gunman, some people will not hear a thing he says, and the gunshots will not sound loud to them. Consequently, compliance with the "put your hands in the air!!" command will be spotty. Cho couldn’t count on it "outing" CCWers (although he, like you, was probably ignorant of such things).

However, let’s say there are two CCWers in the room. They may also experience auditory exclusion, at which point they may respond with their training, which might mean "draw and shoot". In this case, Cho can’t get both of them first (he’s reacting to them at this point, so he’s behind the curve), and very likely he will miss the first one anyway. He likely won’t even see both of them.

Then again, a CCWer who does not experience auditory exclusion may follow Cho’s command until they feel they have the upper hand . . .
b) or, use a bomb. There’s no reason why Cho couldn’t have wired himself up like your local Palestinian terrorist. He just didn’t have to. The point is that psychotic hatred is not dettered and often adapts to countervailing forces.
If Cho realy wanted to maximize body count, he’d have used a bomb as well. The fact that he didn’t indicates that his motive required him to personally kill people, or else he lacked the technical ability to make a bomb.
c) arming students is not a neat solution. Meanwhile,
Allowing students to CCW who want to CCW and who pass the state requirements is a damn good solution. No one is suggesting we push students to CCW, just that we allow that as an option.
d) how many more students will die in ones and twos because drunken and/or emotionally unstable people can have easy access to handguns? Do we let them bring the guns to class, but make them check them at the door at the frat party?


Based upon our know experience with CCW, no more students will die from CCW. In fact, CCW probably reduces drunken behaviour and fighting. When you CCW, you don’t give anyone lip and you let provocations drop. You don’t drink, or you do so in a restricted manner.

Basically, if you CCW you must avoid fights or drunken behaviour. If you flick me off and I respond in kind and the situation escalates, and I end up using my CCW on you, the fact that I responded to a provocation would kill me in court, even if otherwise the shooting was justified. Likewise, if I drink . . .

All in all, glasnost, your ignorance of lethal force and the issues that surround it is quit apparent, although probably typical considering your politics.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Also, it sticks out infront of you more, sorta announcing your presence around a corner, or on the other side of a door...
When LAPD SWAT switched from .38 revolvers to 1911s, they found that they preferred the handgun for entry duty. The British SAS find that the Highpower is better indoors than SMGs or assualt rifles.

Assault rifles don’t work well one handed, and that presents a problem negotiating doors, etc. They also provide more opportunity for a disarm; it’s easier to get between you and your rifle than between you and your pistol. And it can be difficult to swing the assault rifle around in close quarters.

It also isn’t true that a rifle round does more damage than a pistol round. If the rifle round hits bone it will shatter the bone causing secondary projectiles and considerable damage, but most 7.62x39 and 5.45 and some 5.56 produce wound channels no greater or inferior to .45 or 9 mm pistol rounds in soft tissue.

I know how to pick 5.56 that is far more devistating than any .45 or 9mm pistol round, but you have to know the issues involved.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Don - in all fairness, I’ve met right-wingers who were just as ignorant about CCW, and the responsibilities that go with it.

A CCW isn’t a license to kill, though if you listen to enough zealots, that’s what they assume it is.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com/
Don - in all fairness, I’ve met right-wingers who were just as ignorant about CCW, and the responsibilities that go with it.

A CCW isn’t a license to kill, though if you listen to enough zealots, that’s what they assume it is.
One thing I’ve heard from all the CCWer’s I’ve talked to is that they understand that carrying places greater responsibility on them.

We have had a nice debate on ar15.com in the aftermath of the Utah mall shooting. In that incident, an off duty cop escorted his family to safety and then went to "the sound of gunfire" with his CCW.

Some argued that that’s what they would do as well, but by the end of the thread we pretty much persuaded everyone that you should get the family to safety and then stay with the family. Don’t go hunting bad guys in a mall.

However, if you see the badguy, engaging him is a reasonable response, depending upon the exact circumstances (if he’s 50 m away with a AK-47 and body armor, shooting at him with a pistol ain’t a good idea . . .)

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Some argued that that’s what they would do as well, but by the end of the thread we pretty much persuaded everyone that you should get the family to safety and then stay with the family. Don’t go hunting bad guys in a mall.
Well, if I were a cop, I’d go hunting too... He’s rather required, in the spirit of protecting the public trust...

But since I’m not a cop, I’d stick with my family and make sure no one got past to hurt them.

Except my dad. He’s on his own (he’s a ’Nam vet, he can take care of himself).
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
Scott,

The reason to not hunt the guy isn’t simply that he might get the drop on you, but:

1) The cops should be on site quickly (they were on-site in minutes at the Utah mall); ya don’t wanna get in a gunfight with the cops while the bad guy is doing his thing.

2) You don’t want to panic anyone. They could think you are the killer.

Even for an off duty cop, hunting the BG is dubious; he’s not in uniform. The police response is to surround the area and send in one team to hunt the killer. If they see you running around with a gun, they will have to "deal" with you. It is my understanding that the Utah off duty cop had some tense moments when the on duty cops showed up, and he knew any secret police handshakes . . .

The bottom line is that you want to stay out of it. It isn’t a matter of individual capability. You can be Rambo, and you should still sit it out.

However, if you actually have a visual on the killer, that changes things. If you were in a room that Cho entered, you should engage, IMO, even if unarmed. A witness account indicates Cho shooting through the door to gain access, and then entering the room and shooting everyone in the space multiple times. As Cho entered the door, he was in a very bad tactical situation if someone in the room had a handgun and the will & skill to use it.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Or simply to aim the gun at the crowd, scream "put your hands in the air!!", shoot the first person slow to comply, and have everyone lie facedown on the ground before he starts shooting them.
I responded to this before, but in doing so I allowed glasnost to "set up" the tactical situation. However, glasnost’s framing of the situation doesn’t match the reality of what happened, based upon witness accounts. The way it went down at VA Tech was like this:

The students heard shooting. It got closer.

They tried to secure the door. Cho fired through the door in order to gain access. He entered the room and began shooting people.

As Cho entered the room, he was at a significant tactical disadvantage against any armed people in the room. The person in the room knows Cho is coming through the door, but Cho has no way of knowing where in the room someone might be waiting with a CCW. Essentially, a student with a CCW and the presence of mind would have had the drop on him.

Perhaps in the room that Cho started in, it might have gone down like glasnost suggests. The accounts I’ve read essentially occur like I’ve stated above, except there was no CCW to respond to Cho.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
The accounts I’ve read essentially occur like I’ve stated above, except there was no CCW to respond to Cho.
I know people say "well, you say that now..." but I would have at the least chucked a desk (they ain’t that heavy folks, I can toss ’em one handed easy, and i’m nothing special) at him, or swung it while rushing.

Or even swung a college textbook... You seen these mosters lately? I could beat a bull elephant to death with one.
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
I could beat a bull elephant to death with one.

What!?!?! You vicious monster! It’s not even funny to talk like that, elephants are an endangered species! No doubt you’d use your PS 101 text to club a baby Harp Seal....BARBARIAN!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
With 3 guys with (I assume, AK-47s) firing into a crowd, friendly fire with handguns are perhaps not the worst worry.
Don, I coudn’t agree more. Which is why it was nonsensical for McQ to include Lott’s retelling of this anecdote in his "refutation" of the alledged strawman of friendly fire.

Your conclusions about what to do in a case like the mall shooting you mention also seem eminently reasonable. But if we think about hunting the guy and friendly fire let’s not just consider what we reasonable people would do. If you’ve done much shooting, and it sounds like you have, I’m sure you’ve met people who will pull their weapon and start looking for somebody to shoot. The danger isn’t from you and me, or McQ, it is from that idiot down the firing line who doesn’t seem to know what his safety is for and spends all his time practicing his quick draw even though he has trouble hitting the target. We all know people we wouldn’t want armed anywhere near us when the trouble goes down, just as we all know people we definitely would want there and armed.

On Lott, here is the link to the Stanford Law Review article demonstrating that his data doesn’t support his conclusion. It’s a pdf. Enjoy.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Which is why it was nonsensical for McQ to include Lott’s retelling of this anecdote in his "refutation" of the alledged strawman of friendly fire.
Did you actually read what Don said, Retief? How does your nonsequitur apply?
The danger isn’t from you and me, or McQ, it is from that idiot down the firing line who doesn’t seem to know what his safety is for and spends all his time practicing his quick draw even though he has trouble hitting the target. We all know people we wouldn’t want armed anywhere near us when the trouble goes down, just as we all know people we definitely would want there and armed.
Again, what has this to do with the topic at hand? What we wish and hope has zip to do with the reality of someone or some people being able to confront the killer and impede his progress. The Israeli example, which you’ve fruitlessly tried to diminish points out the value of that dynamic.

People able to defend themselves make a difference in incidents like this as has been proven on numerous occassions, and all the faux questioning of credentials and demands for attribution won’t change that fact.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
No doubt you’d use your PS 101 text to club a baby Harp Seal....BARBARIAN!
Hell no. Psy 101 is for field mice and the like. My Accounting 120/121 (at least I only had to buy it once) text is used for baby seals... I’m not a complete monster...
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
You’d actually use an Accounting text on a baby Harp seal...your cruelty knows no bounds. I don’t think I could inflict Basic Financial and Managerial Accounting on my worst enemy(ies). And yet, YOU could employ the book on a harmless, helpless baby seal....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
We all know people we wouldn’t want armed anywhere near us when the trouble goes down, just as we all know people we definitely would want there and armed.
Right.

That’s why I don’t think the 2nd means we all have a right to concealed carry. I support "shall issue" laws, but some regulation ensuring competence is reasonable for CCW (although I suppose that the Vermont experience suggests essentially no regulation isn’t such a bad thing).

That said, our experience with CCW and "shall issue" permits goes back over a decade in some places, with excellent results in terms of safety.

Furthermore, in my experience, the people who care enough to get a CCW permit are solid people. Not always expert gunslingers, but safe and reasonable. For that matter, just carrying a piece around and not "printing" can be a choir, at least with a full sized handgun. You want a quaility holster and may require a heavy duty belt . . . the logistics can rule out those who are not serious.

The people I worry about are the guys I’ve seen at place like Burro Canyon near LA, with pimped out Mini14s and pimped out SKSs (who knew they made chrome for Mini14s and SKSs?), and who couldn’t keep their shots on their targets (I was disappointed to see a hole in the white on my target, and when I inspected I realized it was fired from a 9 or .38 to my right). But these people doen’t seem inclined to get CCWs, or perhaps they lack the ability to get them. And these guys are probably going to pack without a permit anyway. Maybe VA Tech could have used a gang banger since it didn’t permit CCW . . .

Bottom line is that we have a long experience with safe CCW. VA Tech and similar institutions can and should continue that experience.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
You’d actually use an Accounting text on a baby Harp seal...your cruelty knows no bounds. I don’t think I could inflict Basic Financial and Managerial Accounting on my worst enemy(ies). And yet, YOU could employ the book on a harmless, helpless baby seal....
Hey, if you’re going to kill something, kill it all the way. I know of no more complete way to end something’s existance than with my Accounting text...

Though my opinion may change once I see my Statistics textbook...
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
Scott remember the definition of a Actuary, "A person with a head for figures, but didn’t who have the personality to be an Accountant."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
but who didn’t have the personality to be an Accountant
That is indeed a very depressing person.

To be fair, my Accounting instructor is a heck of a funny/entertaining guy, and he’s a CPA by profession.

My ACCT 120 instructor, however, had the personality of a tree stump...
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
Don, I’m willing to grant that you know more about CCW than I do. In some cases, the minutiae of that knowledge might even be critical in a discussion of appropriate vs. inappropriate policies.

You’re only picking around the margins of my fundamental point, though, which is that psychotic individual violence adapts to the detterent capabilities of its expected environment. You permit CCW in schools, you gain an unknown number of additional fatalities from small-scale individual killings and you receive some small-percentage possibility of an armed student intervening and the gunman killing less people than otherwise in a mass psycho incident - this time. Next time, however, all bets are off.

Your case is, I assume, that you subtract more fatalities than you add. I’m not convinced. Your case was okay. It’s not exactly foolproof. Cho was, as you may of heard, not supposed to be legal even to get a gun in VA. How many CCW people not really supposed to be able to get the status will end up doing so?
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Glassy, you are arguing a false assumption. You assume that if/when more CCW’s are out there, then you will withness a huge spike in fatalities unrelated to self-defense.

I submit that this is a false assumption based on gathered (and presented by others) evidence. An increase in CCW’s does not equate to a dramatic rise in accidental deaths, and in fact causes a decrease in other violent crimes. Campus rape would become far more dangerous to the would-be rapist, and breaking into some frat’s house would be down-right suicidal.

It has been SHOWN in states such as Text and Florida, and many others. There is a DIRECT corrilation between an increase in CCW’s and a decrease in violent crimes, a large number of which lead to either great bodily harm or death in their own right. Shooting a rapist doesn’t add to the number you wish to claim because you seek to argue innocent/accidental deaths. A rapist is not innocent, and to add his demise to your tally is in no way an honest form of statistical analysis.

Cho was, by the paperwork, legal to own a weapon. Even if Cho had a string of stalking charges as long as my arm on the VT campus, it in no way suggests the state would have denied him the right to own a fire arm, as campuses aren’t required to report all crime. Heck, I’m of the understanding they don’t HAVE to report ANY crime (if your budget/salary was based on student enrolment, would YOU claim the ACTUAL number of rapes/assaults that occur?).

I’m not sure if such records would be covered by a Conceal Carry background check, but it would make sense that they would be. His mental state would also have been a factor since while the form to bar him from gun ownership was never filed, I’m pretty sure commitment would raise a flag.
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
I live in Atlanta and am unfortunately all too familiar with Ms. Tucker’s work. She’s to rational thought what Michael Moore is to the Abs Diet.
 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://
You’re only picking around the margins of my fundamental point, though, which is that psychotic individual violence adapts to the detterent capabilities of its expected environment. You permit CCW in schools, you gain an unknown number of additional fatalities from small-scale individual killings and you receive some small-percentage possibility of an armed student intervening and the gunman killing less people than otherwise in a mass psycho incident - this time. Next time, however, all bets are off.
Of course, you fail to produce any evidence to back up your assertions. As usual, the gun-grabbers are reduced to an endless string of "what-ifs?". Meanwhile, the crime stats that Scott mentions are freely available.
 
Written By: Jordan
URL: http://
You’re only picking around the margins of my fundamental point, though, which is that psychotic individual violence adapts to the detterent capabilities of its expected environment.
Picking? I’m responding to your specific points.

Certainly, there is some adoption that’s possible, however it is limited. And some adoption doesn’t fit the killer’s goals (which often include domination of the victims, not simply killing them).
You permit CCW in schools, you gain an unknown number of additional fatalities from small-scale individual killings and you receive some small-percentage possibility of an armed student intervening and the gunman killing less people than otherwise in a mass psycho incident - this time. Next time, however, all bets are off.
First, there is no evidence that CCW will increase "small-scale individual killings". Since Lott began studing this, there are studies that claim one way or the other, but we don’t have any solid conclusions yet. And that’s if we go along with what Lott’s critics are claiming . . .

CCW certainly had the potential to end this particular incident.

However, your contention that the next killer will change method such as to nutralize CCW is not likely. In fact, Cho’s success (in killing and in getting his propaganda spread via the MSM) will encourage others to do the same. If he failed, it would not encourage potential mass killers.

In fact, there have been a number of potential mass-killings that ended almost when they began. You don’t know about these ’cause they were not mass killings. People like Cho know about Colombine, but they tend to miss the cases where the killer was taken out ’cause it isn’t in an endless loop on the MSM. Consequently, people like Cho will not learn from those who fail, but from those who succeed.

However, there is a limit to how much Cho could have altered his approach to deal with CCW. The easist thing for him to do would be to add body armor, which doesn’t defeat rifles (unless it is Level IV, and even then it is marginal) but does defeat handguns. If Cho used body armor, he would force any CCWers to reconcnize that and shoot for the head or legs, etc. But body armor is very expensive, and would have ate up quit a bit of Cho’s gun/ammo/escort money.

Someone like Cho is unlikely to resort to bombs, since domination of the victims is a primary goal. Also, bombs capable of killing large numbers require logistics that bar entry.

Since killers like Cho desire to dominate, they very much do not want their victims to kill them or resist effectively. Consequently, the possibility of effective resistance could possibly end their violent plans.

There was a similar case in San Diego county. A student at Grossmont community college wrote disturbing stories of armed dominance, rape, and mass murder. He aquired a shotgun and killed several at a fitness center in El Cajon. His writings make it clear that dominace was a central goal; if he expected a victim to dominate him, he would not have undertaken his violent act.
Your case is, I assume, that you subtract more fatalities than you add. I’m not convinced. Your case was okay. It’s not exactly foolproof. Cho was, as you may of heard, not supposed to be legal even to get a gun in VA. How many CCW people not really supposed to be able to get the status will end up doing so?
My case is that CCW essentially adds no fatalities and it may reduce some, while giving individuals real options for personal defense.

It is my understanding that Cho was legal to get a gun in VA, however I’ve heard some debate on the issue. I haven’t paid much attention to it, although I suspect my understanding is better than yours.

We don’t really have a problem with people getting CCW permits that shouldn’t; the people we have problems with are people who will carry in violation of the law. If you are a real criminal, and you are cought with a concealed weapon, the concealed carry violation is the first thing to go in the plea bargen.

Laws restricting CCW impact the good people, not the bad ones.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Here is a story on the El Cajon shooting.

Here is another.

Similar to the VA Tech shooting, in that a student wrote about his attack in a paper before he carried it out. I read the story the El Cajon killer wrote, it was published after the event.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Don - A gunstore owner who apparently sold one of the guns said that he’d gone and checked the paperwork, and it was 100% flawless in how it was run, and he did check "resident alien", so yeah, he was legal as far as that goes...

Also:
If Cho used body armor, he would force any CCWers to reconcnize that and shoot for the head or legs
You don’t aim for the head first anyways?
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
McQ, I’ve been agreeing with you that being able to shoot back at a crazy/terrorist gunman is a good thing. That’s why I said you had a good point in my first post. You don’t need Lott (and his mis-coded data), or the mysterious Tennenbaum’s anecdotes, to make that point. Sure the example of the shootings in Jerusalem in 1984 does illustrate that attackers can be stopped by "a hail of return fire" from the shopkeepers and customers they were targeting. That’s great and surely not a controversial idea. What it doesn’t show us is that friendly-fire is a strawman. If I misconstrued your framing of the anecdote with "Yet another strawman is the probability of "friendly fire". Obviously that is a risk. " before and this "As is obvious in that case, the Israeli civilians knew quite well who the good and bad guys were." after, then my apologies for thinking you were still talking about friendly fire.

It also has no bearing on the putative subject of your post, ie. that arm all the students is a non-existant position, a strawman. And that the real position is "What if just one student in one of those classrooms had been in lawful possession of a concealed weapon? ... It darned well isn’t too early for me to raise questions about how the unrepentant anti-gun lobbying of college officials may have put students at risk." (Although if more guns realy do equal less crime, why aren’t you arguing for one in every available hand?) Clearly the siege mentality of certain commenters has led to an unseemly rush (but this is Malkin, so poor taste is a given) to get out the talking point that the problem that led to 32 people being shot wasn’t crazy people’s too easy access to guns but was the restrictions on gun carrying. Yeah, yeah that’s it.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Should be simple, look up how many cases of friendly fire there are in states that have concealed carry laws. Compare that with the number of incidents of self-defense by legal CCW holders.

And by "friendly fire" I mean, a legal CCW holder unintentionally shot the wrong person while trying to shoot the right person.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com/
You don’t aim for the head first anyways?
No, I aim center chest. The usual drill is double tap center chest followed by a head shot.
. . . the talking point that the problem that led to 32 people being shot wasn’t crazy people’s too easy access to guns but was the restrictions on gun carrying. Yeah, yeah that’s it.
It is easy to allow people access to the means of self defense, and it also an inherent good to do so (giving people more freedom is an inherent good).

Stopping "crazy people" from obtaining arms is a neigh impossible task, and reducing their access is expensive and difficult, and risks infringing the rights of sane people.

There is nothing in terms of government action that can guarantee that Cho would not have murder those people. Restrictions on "crazy people" obtining arms is at best no more likely to have prevented the killing than allowing CCW.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Although if more guns realy do equal less crime, why aren’t you arguing for one in every available hand?
Because it isn’t a linear function.

It makes sense to allow, and perhaps encourage, gun use among decent citizens. However, people who don’t want guns probably shouldn’t have them. If you don’t like guns and shooting, you are unlikely to cultivate the requisite skills, for one thing.

Furthermore, after a point any advantage of more guns will become moot. It only takes so much firepower to get the job done, and while it’s nice to have more than that there comes a point where more shooting is simply wasting ammo.

It really only took one CCW to take out Cho. Two or three would have provided backup and ensured that Cho was gonna loose (if they engaged him at the same time).

Here is another ancidote:

Cray dude enters gun store with pistol in hand. Demands handguns and ammo.

Deputy Sheriff in store (who’s car is parked in front) notices that crazy dude has plugs in his ears, which he interprets to mean that shooting will occur. So Deputy draws Glock 9mm firing one shot hitting crazy guy in shoulder. Glock jams, due to Deputy’s cross-thumb grip blocking the motion of the slide.

Crazy guy shoots several shots at Deputy, missing him.

Gun store owner draws Colt 10 mm and shoots cray guy three times center chest. Crazy guy expires on gun shop floor.

Two customers in store with CCWs had weapons drawn and were behind cover. Crazy guy never had a chance.

This was a likely mass shooting which ended early do to a poor choice of target.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Although if more guns realy do equal less crime, why aren’t you arguing for one in every available hand?
Because it’s a free country (or it’s supposed to be.)
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
You don’t need Lott (and his mis-coded data),
Lott has brought quite a bit to the debate.

First off, prior to Lott, almost all studies were poorly done studies designed to support the gun control agenda. Lott’s study was much better done, even accepting what his critics claim, than what came before.

And Lott began by first providing his study and data to anyone and everyone willing to look at it.

At this point, the primary argument against Lott’s core study is to argue that his data is not sufficient to show a drop in crime resulting from CCW. As long as the studies supported gun control, no one seemed to mind their lack of scientific rigor.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
while it’s nice to have more than that there comes a point where more shooting is simply wasting ammo.
Don, a smart man once said: "There is no overkill. There is only ’open fire’ and ’I need to reload.’"

Bullets are cheap, innocent lives aren’t...
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://

 
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