Las Vegas Shooting Prompts Reminder of How the Social Contract Should Work

We don’t elect people to condole and pray. We elect them to solve public policy problems. When one man can equip himself with enough firepower to kill dozens, injure hundreds, and terrorize tens of thousands in a single violent act, we have a public policy problem that cuts to the core of why we form a society.

We live under a Constitution and laws instead of under thatched roofs in the wilderness because we got tired of living under the constant threat of rape, rapine, enslavement, and violent death. On our own, our lives, loved ones, and belongings are only as secure as we can make them by our own force of arms. If we want to hold on to anything more than a bundle we can carry at a full sprint—a collection of good books, a sturdy tepee, a pregnant wife—we must amass strength—muscle, weapons, family and friends willing to fight beside us. We must stand ever at the ready to use that strength, to do violence to all comers.

That constant vigilance gets tiring. The man who is always ready to kill on a moment’s notice cannot rest to enjoy his books, his tepee, or his wife and children. His murderous alert and exertions may well go for naught, for among all comers, there is always a killer who wakes while the man sleeps. No matter how hard a man works, he can always find a rival with a stronger fist, a better bow, more friends, or more treasures to bribe the man’s wife and friends to betray him. Principles like love and loyalty often count for squat against raw power in the state of nature.

We escape such solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short lives by entering the social contract. We all go in together on creating laws that we all will follow. We all chip in for a government to enforce those laws. And, most importantly for today’s discussion, we all agree to give up amassing our own personal armories and armies and any intention of waging our own personal wars. Enforcing the law and securing our lives, wives, and property become the mostly exclusive purview of the government, of all of us working together to protect each other. We prohibit any party to the social contract—individual or institution—from amassing so much power that it poses a threat to the balance of rights we are supposed to enjoy under the social contract. We even check the government’s power—through the Constitution, elections, separate branches, federalism, an independent press, initiative and referendum—to ensure that even if an unfit tyrant manages to take over the government, the general public still has refuge from and remedy to his tyranny.

Consider, then, the power that Stephen Paddock carried into his final room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas last night. He had ten rifles, at least one of them able to fire at a remarkably fast pace, fast enough to wound or kill one person per second.

Who in civil society needs ten rifles?

Who in civil society needs a stockpile of ammunition capable of imperiling the lives of 22,000 people?

We have understood since the beginnings of civil society that a mere social contract, an agreement among neighbors to follow the same rules and obey a common government or else, does not stop certain dolts or dastards from risking or else. No legal measure that America’s latest mass shooting may inspire—banning assault rifles, requiring storage of anything bigger than a six-shooter (or at least the ammo, à la Suisse) in a public armory, mandatory training and testing for gun permits, bulletproof glass on every public building—will guarantee that America will not experience another mass shooting. Finite laws cannot preclude humanity’s infinite sinfulness and stupidity.

But the imperfectability of the social contract should not stop us from trying to make it better. The fact that some sociopaths will keep finding ways to kill does not mean we should refrain from outlawing their killing or making that killing harder.

Most importantly, within a healthy social contract, nothing should stop us from outlawing behavior for which there is no good reason. Allowing one man to accumulate, not to mention use, the power to kill, injure, and terrorize thousands of his neighbors at once fundamentally violates the balance of power that we expect from the social contract.

If our social contract cannot forbid the kind of anti-social behavior in which Stephen Paddock engaged before he walked into the Mandalay Bay Hotel, we might as well give up our thoughts and prayers, retreat to our thatched huts in the woods, and stay up all night, slings and arrows in hand, forever at war with every fellow man.


116 Responses to Las Vegas Shooting Prompts Reminder of How the Social Contract Should Work

  1. Donald Pay

    Well, here comes the moment of silence, the prayers and thoughts.

    I think there are two (maybe more) social contracts going on here. There is the social contract that allows one to bear arms. There is the social contract that allows one to be safe against the violence that someone with a gun can cause.

    I can see where people in rural areas, where crime may be as rare as law enforcement, might want a gun for personal protection. I can see where people in urban areas might want all guns off the street. I don’t think these two parts of our social contract can always be reconciled easily. I think, however, that good people on both sides of this issue need to come to a reasonable compromise, or this is going to be the end of this country. We are near the point where we can no longer live half armed to the teeth with automatic weapons, and unarmed.

  2. The number of Americans murdered in gun violence this week will most likely be a tiny fraction of the thousands murdered in induced abortions this week (… and last week … and the week before that … and the week before that …).

    One reason demon-possessed people commit these seemingly senseless acts with firearms is that Satan wants to promote gun control in order to deprive us of our last line of defense against government oppression.

  3. In America, the greed of the individual, or corporation, supersedes the social contract. The second amendment (after the Supremes’ Heller decision) demonstrates that perversion.

    In an corporate profit atmosphere that sees the rolling back of worker rights, wage equality protection, environmental protection . . . through the purchase of congressional representation, the social contract has very few policy making advocates.

  4. Donald, I too understand the draw of firearm ownership for “protection,” but when does the truth get to slide into that understanding: ownership does not reduce crime; guns are more likely to harm a household member than a criminal intruder.

  5. Richard Schriever

    Donald – Over the last 5 years, the per capita gun murder rate for the little town of Lennox, SD has been 4 times higher to that of Chicago. At best, the jury is out on whether rural life or urban life is inherently more dangerous. There seem to be publications asserting both points of view – AND from a scientific standpoint – not simply opinion of perception.

    For example:

    http://science.time.com/2013/07/23/in-town-versus-country-it-turns-out-that-cities-are-the-safest-places-to-live/

  6. Richard Schriever

    Kurt Evans – the number of people killed by guns in the US this week will also pale in comparison to the number of people worldwide killed by the US military this week – and next week, and the next….. and for the previous 2 decades. But where is it that most of your tax dollars go? And NONE of your tax dollars go to abortion.

  7. Kurt, I always appreciate when the “pro-life” advocates weigh in with their EXCEPTIONS to being pro-life.

  8. Richard Schriever writes:

    Kurt Evans – the number of people killed by guns in the US this week will also pale in comparison to the number of people worldwide killed by the US military this week – and next week, and the next….. and for the previous 2 decades.

    Great point, Richard. That’s why I consistently oppose our undeclared, unconstitutional wars.

    “o” writes:

    Kurt, I always appreciate when the “pro-life” advocates weigh in with their EXCEPTIONS to being pro-life.

    Gun control didn’t turn out to be very “pro-life” under Hitler.

  9. Kurt: “Gun control didn’t turn out to be very “pro-life” under Hitler.”

    Argument over: We have a winner!!! Kurt was the first to get to Hitler labeling.

  10. We are not having an abortion debate. We are not chasing red herrings. We are discussing the proper amount of power any individual may have within the social contract. Carry on.

  11. Choosing a country and situation more alike to the US, Australia did ban guns after the moral outrage of a mass shooting (they did it after their first mass shooting). That country that had pervasive gun ownership and rights took a moral stand to say that mass gun ownership that leads to mass shootings cannot and will not be tolerated. So, to Kurt’s grab at Goodwin’s brass ring, the social contract has stood up to corporate greed and perverted individual freedom in a country very akin to the US.

  12. Darin Larson

    Kurt references the “gun control endangers democracy” argument. Whereas, I see unlimited access to arms as bad for democracy.

    The almost unlimited proliferation of guns in this country is an arms race of sorts that has only fueled the profits of the gun industry and the NRA, while detracting from the safety and security of everyday Americans. Without reasonable, common sense, restrictions on the right to bear arms, we significantly increase the chances of these attacks and the number of people killed and maimed when the attacks happen. We also hamstring law enforcement to the extent that most gun crimes will occur without any chance of intervention by the authorities before hand.

    The shooter in this case reportedly had an AR-15 in his arsenal which was presumably modified to fire fully automatically. It will be interesting to find out whether the assault weapons ban which expired in 2004 would have prevented this shooter from obtaining his AR-15 had it remained in place after 2004.

    Regulations on the right to bear arms are not going to eliminate all mass shootings. However, just because we can’t eliminate all shootings does not mean we shouldn’t seek to reduce the frequency and effect of these events. We should not make it easy or legal for individuals to obtain things like large clips or automatic weapons or silencers which could increase the body count. We also need mandatory background checks for all gun sales.

    The gun lobby, which has profited immensely from the big lie that politicians want to do away with the 2nd Amendment, cares not one whit about common sense, reasonable gun regulation. They don’t care to reduce the incidence of gun violence through regulation. Their only answer to gun violence is more gun violence.

  13. Good writing Cory, but I’m afraid, well actually certain, that the ammosexuals won’t back down from their gun obsession, though. And yes, I call them ammosexuals b/c of their arrogant refusal to find common ground on gun control.
    No one there with a gun would have been able to control this psycho. No one. But all the gun supporters will still go out and buy even more guns. They are that afraid that they will be taken away. Such a nutty country we live in.

  14. I think Kurt is our new Sibby, Cory.

  15. Roger Cornelius

    America is a war. This country was founded on a war and we have fought wars for the better part of two centuries. We have fought wars in the name of our freedoms, but mostly of late it seems that we have fought internal wars for senseless purposes.
    After reading DFP for many years now, this just maybe Cory’s most powerful post ever and I salute him for it.
    We have a president that has cheapened democracy beyond recognition and has declared war on the social contract that all Americans should be proud to live by.
    The abortion debate and deaths from wars can come at another time, today we are talking about Americans killing Americans they don’t even know and for reasons we don’t know.
    It has become some kind of perverse game about what mass shooting is bigger, this one or the one that surely will come.
    I don’t pretend to have answers. What I do know is that the politics of hate the past 9 or 10 months only encourages these outrages and a congress that is content to sit on its hands.

  16. mike from iowa

    Well and truly said, Roger. Roger for President.

  17. “One reason demon-possessed people commit these seemingly senseless acts with firearms is that Satan wants to promote gun control in order to deprive us of our last line of defense against government oppression.” Kurt Evans

    So Satan is for gun control? The hell you say! I would have thought just the opposite.

  18. mike from iowa

    Leos say the dude had 19 guns in his room. Report says nearly half the wounded in critical condition.

    Tom P rumor is confirmed, Master. 66

  19. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    The social contract also extends to the corporate citizen too. And without even getting into a discussion about gun control as a result of this most recent tragedy in Las Vegas, it becomes incumbent for us all to take a good look at the gun industry itself, regardless of what gun laws may or may not be on the books.

    A major part of the problem with growing violence in our society today, which is often facilitated by the use of guns, is not so much the absence of effective gun control laws, rather its the absence of effective self-regulation of the gun industry. In fact, there is no self-regulation in hand, and that is a great part of the problem here with the growing violence in America today by guns.

    Laws or not, most credible and competitive industries have some form of self-regulation. The medical and legal communities are the first to come to my mind as examples. Often malfeasances in these industries are self corrected through ethical boards, thus self-policing. But who is really policing the gun industry? Sure there are some laws about what you can manufacturer, in terms of guns, or what guns (those manufactured since 1899) are governed by the ATF, or who can buy them, but the gun industry is for the most part run amok and removed from any responsibility for who or how guns get into the hands of their eventual customers.

    We all know, gun industry or not, that some guns will eventually be used to commit violence. We also know, that lawyers are not allowed to be complicit in the committing of perjury for their client under the cloak of confidentiality, nor are doctors allowed to perform surgeries which they are not certified for or within the norms of the community standard. Yet, the gun industry, however, profits knowing that some will illegally be harmed by their manufactured product and they are allowed to manufacturer guns without impunity, without any responsibility under tort law in this country for the product they produce and the product liability that they potentially manufacturer.

    And many of these protections from product liability for the gun industry have been legislated into laws by politicians who are suppose to be in the business of promoting the social contract and not destroying it. These laws, that protect the gun industry from tort liability, immune it from its social responsibility. These laws afford an entitlement, an almost socialistic right shall we say, to exist without any consequences for their eventual manufacturing results, while they still ironically, and almost socio-pathically, profit from their manufacturing in a protected and convenient off-the-shelf capitalist market of their liking or design.

    Without the product liability component hanging over their heads, the gun industry in this country is allowed to exist without the consequences of a market economy, that could dictate the value of guns themselves, their proper use, and ownership – a market economy for the gun industry, which has a much bigger universe than one for the legal or medical industries as examples and realistically can only be self-regulated by the allowing of market forces to prevail. And the absence of product liability laws to govern the manufacturing of guns in this country protects the gun industry from these market forces, which if allowed to work, product liability subjection that is, could do much to self police and or self-regulate the gun industry, and who gets guns. But as long as we allow the gun industry to exist in a society of entitlement, then I am afraid all of us will be asked to live in a society where the social contract for some is beneath them or to be scoffed.

  20. Vance Feyereisen

    Cory, I second Roger’s words about your post. This was a civics lesson on a very understandable level as to why we have governments.

  21. I am intrigued in reading the phrase “state of nature.” How is it that I and my wife and children, living in South Dakota, have never felt the need to own or possess a firearm and yet this individual has a need to have 18 weapons and a platoons worth of ammunition? I assume it is not geography.

    I would also assume, his (and others) “state of nature” is a revulsion of the “social contract” described in your post. The spector of having a government and government’s laws that regulate or limit guns becomes the very reason to stockpile arms.

    In my opinion, the social contract to focus on is not between the individual and government, but between the individual and other gun owners. Why do you need 18 guns? Is anyone defending Mr. Paddock’s right to bare arms today? Where are the group of gun owners who say this is unexceptible? Don’t get stuck in the mire of whether or not people have the right to bare arms, they do. Find the people who own guns who say this is wrong and something needs to change.

  22. mike from iowa

    Since 2013, there have been 1,516 mass shootings in America, which have claimed the lives of more than 1,700 people. [The Guardian]

    There were three people shot in separate incidents in Kansas on Sunday. The problem will soon be not too many guns, but not enough victims.

  23. As the band members decided; if they grabbed their lawful guns and shot back; its extremely likely the police would have shot them.
    While the nation was founded on violence; it was also founded on gun control. The Tories tried controlling the Patriots guns. The Patriots tried controlling the Tories guns. In the west 80 to 120 years later the sheriffs and marshals controlled the guns of the drovers and ne’er-do-wells. Later the G-men controlled the mobsters automatic weapons. This nation is no longer the wild west and it’s long past the time we put our juvenile past behind us.

    Those too few of us who’ve spent significant time with machine guns intimately know their awesome potential – exponentially amplified against helpless, unwitting victims. Unbelievers should consult the WWI record of the general first use of machine guns and their destructiveness against an armed, prepared, protected enemy.

    On another matter it’s likely the corporate hotel chain will declare bankruptcy before the close of 2018.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2017/10/02/i-cannot-express-how-wrong-i-was-country-guitarist-changes-mind-on-gun-control-after-vegas/?utm_term=.64e4ff50c924

  24. Donald Pay

    I lived in South Dakota most of my life. I never felt the need for a gun. I walked late at night down the RC Greenway. Never needed arms. I hike a lot in the Hills where there were mountain lions. Never needed a gun.

    I don’t have a problem with hunting, or people having guns for that purpose. If people live out in the country and want to assure they’re safe because law enforcement can’t be there quick enough, I’m fine with people having guns. If you’re female or even a male, and work in a bar late at night or you’re handling money that may be stolen from you, and fear being accosted, I don’t care if you have a gun.

    If you’re a coward, and just want to carry a gun anywhere because you have some sort of personality disorder, and the weapon makes you feel like you’re a man, I want you never to get close to a weapon. If you think the gub’mint or Hillary is out to confiscate your guns, you ought to be the first to have those guns forcibly pried from your cold, dead hands, because you are cuckoo for cocoa puffs, and, well, dangerous to our society.

    I have in the past had some respect for the argument that guns are some sort of guarantee against a tyrannical government. The election of Donald Trump, a proto-tyrant like his hero and financial backer Putin, with votes by these same gun toting people indicate that argument to be a crock. These oflks have exposed themselves to being more like Brownshirts than upholders of democratic government. If these folks were concerned about all of our rights and not having a tyrant rule over us, they would be more concerned with making sure everyone can vote, rather than everyone can own a gun.

  25. Mr. Pay, don’t be silly. Nobody needs guns against those little kitties who have killed…what? 2 or 3 people in North America in the last 37 years? Don’t use that as your silly argument any more than I would tell you I don’t need guns to protect me from the junior high ruffigans at North Middle School, who have, no doubt, killed many more people locally than your little fuzzballs. You just lost that argument.

    As to the rest of your blogging, you should try shooting some of those pretty Chinese birds. It’s fun, and they are tasty to eat. But I’m sure there in Wisconsin you get all your meat from the diner or store where it’s from a package and nothing has to die for you to chew up its juices.

  26. I’d written:

    Gun control didn’t turn out to be very “pro-life” under Hitler.

    “o” writes:

    We have a winner!!! Kurt was the first to get to Hitler labeling.

    It isn’t “Hitler labeling”; it’s an actual reference to Adolf Hitler.

    Cory writes:

    We are … having an abortion debate. We are not … discussing the proper amount of power any individual may have within the social contract.

    Whatever you say, Cory.
    http://dakotafreepress.com/2017/09/25/evans-seeks-constitution-party-nomination-for-governor/#comment-88838

    “o” writes:

    So, to Kurt’s grab at Goodwin’s brass ring …

    It isn’t “Goodwin’s”; it’s Godwin’s. And there was no grab at it.

    Darin Larson writes:

    Kurt references the “gun control endangers democracy” argument.

    Yes, to the extent that Hitler “endangered democracy” by abducting, imprisoning and murdering millions of his own people.

    Jenny writes:

    I think Kurt is our new Sibby …

    But with less flood-commenting and fewer divisive labels.

    Roger Cornelius writes:

    America is a war. This country was founded on a war …

    America was founded on the creed that we’re all equally endowed by our Creator with the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. (On a related note, the American flag is a symbol of liberty and domestic tranquility, not just a symbol of the military.)

    I’d written:

    One reason demon-possessed people commit these seemingly senseless acts with firearms is that Satan wants to promote gun control in order to deprive us of our last line of defense against government oppression.

    “Rorschach” replies:

    So Satan is for gun control? … I would have thought just the opposite.

    Authoritarians tend to assume Satan is pro-liberty.

    John Claussen writes:

    We all know, gun industry or not, that some guns will eventually be used to commit violence.

    Government will always support a gun industry to arm its own agents, and government agents will always use guns in acts of violence. The question is whether the rest of us will have any hope of defending ourselves.

    “mtr” asks:

    Is anyone defending Mr. Paddock’s right to bare arms today?

    Maybe for the autopsy. (*bear)

    John writes:

    As the band members decided; if they grabbed their lawful guns and shot back; its extremely likely the police would have shot them.

    That’s true, and it’s a serious problem.

  27. It sounds like this guy used what is often called a “bump stock”. If you Google it you see a YouTube video with the caption “legal now till it’s used in a mass shooting. then they will ban it”. You can purchase these online and farily easily install them yourself. How they are legal is a mystery to me as they turn your rifle into a fully-automatic weapon.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U6tORrODJE

    The other thing that bothers me is Republicans are currently pushing the legalization of silencers. They have a bill in the works right now.
    http://time.com/4965056/las-vegas-shooting-gun-silencer-bill/

    Some easy, sensible gun legislation like banning these “bump stock” products and keeping silencers illegal seem quite reasonable to this gun owner.

  28. MTR, good point about how the contract is as much a deal among us individuals as between individuals and the government they create. 18 rifles—indeed, none of neighbors need that sort of arsenal. An arsenal that size only poses an inordinate threat to everyone around. One can’t even appeal to self-defense: at the point where one marches out of one’s house with that many weapons, one is no longer engaged in a defensive action. One is staging an offensive action, a military-level attack that we are justified in prohibiting.

  29. Chuck-Z, I’ll roll with you on silencers. If someone is firing a gun, we deserve the warning of its sound so we know there could be trouble and where that trouble is coming from.

  30. Jenny, Roger, Vance, thank you. This issue really does touch on basic civics. We need to focus on the basic obligation of society to maintain the balance of power and prohibit excesses like amassing an urban assault arsenal.

  31. mike from iowa

    Silencers not only dampen the noise they suppress the flash, making it harder fot law enforcement and first responders to detect the shooter(s) and assess the danger. Many law enforcement groups are dead set against allowing the public to have them.

    Chuck Z, as I learned yesterday, silencers are already legal and subject to the same restrictions as fully automatic weapons. There is a long waiting period, background checks and a $200 handling tax along with federal registration. Wingnuts want to waive all the restrictions and refund the tax. The bill’s sponsors claim it will save human hearing, but that is what ear plugs and ear muffs are for.

    Included in the bill is a part that prevents BATFE from classifying certain ammo as armor piercing if purchased for sporting use-whatever that means. And one last portion of the bill wants to allow CC licensees in one state to carry in other states.

    I hope Drumpf never sends me his warmest condolences. Sounds like I love you/ drop dead.

  32. mike from iowa

    https://www.rawstory.com/2017/10/cnns-alisyn-camerota-hammers-former-atf-agent-over-automatic-weapons-loophole/

    This kinda explains Chuck Z’s mention of bump stock and how it is perfectly legal and perfectly violates the spirit of the automatic weapons laws.

  33. Darin Larson

    If the band members had shot back, they risked hitting other guests staying at the hotel. In addition, they needed long guns with scopes sighted in to fire back accurately from 400-500 yards away. Handguns and shotguns were useless. The shooter could fire indiscriminately and spray his bullets across a crowd of people without any concern for accuracy. It was all about rate of fire. The gun lobby made sure this guy had ready access to military grade weaponry that could fire full auto. All hail the gun lobby!

    The gun lobby is perfectly willing to sacrifice other people’s lives so that they can sell more military grade weaponry. It is also perfectly acceptable to them for people to die to avoid the slightest inconvenience for gun purchasers in terms of background checks or waiting periods.

  34. Mohamed Sharif

    It is clearly a SAD day to see so many lives were lost. the problem is not the GUNS or the access or lack of to them. the real root cause is HATE. when someone is fed hate since birth, the result is what you have seen and more. the hate message is spreading in our own state by our own elected official is so real and so wide spread, please do you part to stop HATE and Spread peace. just about 3 weeks ago Sen Tapio and his Gang were threaten Muslims and Refugees to see waves of Bills in Pierre to intimidate and to dehumanize them, planting Pure HATE will always have HATE to harvest.

  35. mike from iowa

    I just now noticed a woman from my hometown-Sutherland, iowa was shot in Vegas and no one is sure of her whereabouts. She was attending the concert with her husband. No word if she was killed. 2010 census showed Sutherland with a pop of 649. We can’t afford to lose any citizens for whatever reason and no, I did not personally know her.

  36. mike from iowa

    59 confirmed dead, 527 wounded.

  37. Those who think that Satan is for gun control are looking for reasons to justify why government has taken away their own gun rights. Kurt lost his gun rights because he had a protection order granted against him – so he blames it all on Satan. That’s ridiculous. Satan wants guns, guns, more guns. Violence, violence, more violence.

    Here’s the thing. Background checks wouldn’t have prevented the Vegas shooter from getting guns. He was eligible. Still we need universal background checks to prevent all sorts of ineligible people from buying guns. Databases listing people with mental conditions and other disqualifying conditions such as convictions probably wouldn’t have prevented the Vegas shooter from getting guns. Still we need comprehensive databases listing people who for whatever mental health or other reason are ineligible to buy guns. There should be a process for removing people from such a list just as there is for adding people. And no private citizen needs armor-piercing bullets. Nor rocket launchers. Nor tanks. Let’s have a real debate about keeping our citizen “militia” “well regulated.”

  38. From what I’ve read, this is what he used to circumvent laws against fully automatic weapons. Then they wonder why we don’t think they should be allowed to police themselves….

    https://youtu.be/_U6tORrODJE

  39. Darin Larson

    Ror, to expand on your list: nobody needs a 50 shot clip or any device designed to make semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic crowd killers. Both of these items may have been used by the Vegas shooter and both may have contributed to the incredible number of people killed and injured in this incident. These are a couple of the items that the gun lobby has successfully avoided any regulation of and that may have caused more casualties in Las Vegas.

  40. mike from iowa

    Drumpf rescinded Obama’s order that restricted giving police military equipment to use on civilians. Now that the police can have military hardware, citizens will once again demand they have the same equipment to protect them from the cops. Been there and done that.

  41. I would remind everyone here that John Kennedy Claussen, Sr. is mistaken. Violent crimes (and especially murders) have been significantly declining since the 1990s. The violent crime rate went from 684.5 per 100k in 1995 to 356.5 per 100k in 2014. We’ve seen a minor uptick in 2016/2017, but it’s still well below historic highs. Despite what Fox & CNN are telling us in the 24/7 news cycle, we’re safer now than we have ever been. Our chances of dying from violence are the lowest in recorded history according to Harvard professor Steven Pinker.

    Despite the horrors we witness on the nightly news, we’re actually much safer than we used to be, even though there are more firearms in America than ever before. I don’t think more guns are preventing crimes, but it’s also clear there is no causal link between number of firearms in America and crime rates. Handgun sales have been climbing steadily in California, yet the violent crime rate has been declining steadily during that same time frame.

    The social contract cannot prevent people from doing bad things, and your closing paragraph is hyperbolic in extremis. We cannot guarantee 100% safety in this world, nor should we try. We cannot get rid of nuclear weapons, let alone firearms worldwide. And now with the advent of 3D printers, anyone can make an extended magazine. It won’t take much to manufacture a bump stock, either. A person with the means to own over 40 firearms certainly has the means to get a $3,000 3D printer and make their own. Within a decade, metal 3D printers will be affordable enough that manufacturing weapon parts within the comfort of our own home will be possible.

    Look at the Paris shootings – where foreign terrorists used fully automatic weapons to sow terror and death, despite weapons bans in the country. I fully admit it’s rarer, but the occurrence isn’t zero. And even if shootings are rarer, knife attacks, acid attacks, bombings, and driving good old fashioned trucks into crowds still happens. Anti-social behavior can be moderated, definitively punished, but not prevented.

    Kurt may be a little on the extreme side, but there are kernels of wisdom. Our social contract allows for self determination in procreation choices. I’ve heard some folks express desires for breeding licenses or intelligence tests to procreate. How antithetical to the values of self-determination that is! But in allowing self determination, we also acknowledge and allow the termination of unwanted life. Our social contract has established some boundaries – and we’re still having ongoing debates about what is right. But we acknowledge there are some evils we are willing to tolerate. Society still functions despite their existence.

    Similarly, we must balance the potential evil which can be done with firearms by both citizens and police, and the right of people to possess said firearms for personal protection, hunting, and recreation. In our social contract we do not bequeath our entire right to self-defense to the collective, nor do we bequeath our means to do so. We do bequeath some.

    I think Chuck may be right about the bump stocks. While they do not technically make a firearm automatic (one trigger pull = multiple rounds fired; a bump stock still is one trigger pull = one round fired), the rate of fire is significantly increased to the point of making it indistinguishable. We as society have said fully automatic weapons require extra checks and balances. I’m OK with putting bump stocks into that category. Honestly, a $200 fee and extensive background check isn’t that onerous compared to what it allows a person to do.

    Suppressors, though, would not have had a considerable impact in the Las Vegas shooting. I would encourage you to read this article bythe Washington Post which explains why. Please watch the embeded videos. Honestly, suppressors do serve a public health good. They’re not silent like the movies; they do help mitigate hearing damage, though.

    Can we have a debate about the right levels? Sure. Can we learn lessons from each evil act?
    Yes. But not with folks like Jenny who denigrate us and label us as the “other” to take away our humanity. Civil discourse requires civility.

  42. mike from iowa

    Wingnuts in DC are scared to death of the NRA. They fear being primaried by someone with a better NRA rating.

    We need to get the big bucks out of politics. Scotus is looking at teacher’s union and dues paying and the new justice sounds willing and able to tip the rules against unions more. Which I suppose was one reason for the whole ‘let’s not give Obama’s guy a vote” gambit.

  43. Darin Larson

    Wayne B., why does anyone need a fully automatic weapon unless they are in the military? Why does anyone need armor piercing bullets, unless they are in the military? Why does anyone need a 100 round dual drum magazine, unless they are in the military?

  44. Darin Larson

    Wayne B., you and I agree that the violent crime rates and murder rates have significantly lowered over time. Our responses to this trend seem to be different. I wonder why everyone is running out to buy a gun when we are actually safer than we have ever been. I attribute this phenomenon to the gun lobby who sells weapons by the millions while pumping their members full of hysteria that the politicians are coming to get their guns. Certainly, the 24 hour news cycle also contributes to the hysteria whenever there is a shooting.

    Just because our rates of violent crime have been falling steadily doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to reduce them further. Just like when you say some people will always get around the laws against possessing illegal firearms. That doesn’t mean we should make it easy for them. Just because we can’t prevent all crime doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek to prevent some crime or at least reduce the severity of it. What we are talking about with the Vegas shooter is reducing the severity of his crime.

  45. Darin Larson

    Wayne B., if you are going to rest on the assumption our rate of violence is down because of all our armed civilians, you need to confront the reality that the US has a staggering amount of gun violence compared to the rest of the developed world. In fact, “[c]ompared to 22 other high-income nations, the United States’ gun-related murder rate is 25 times higher.”
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-u-s-gun-deaths-compare-to-other-countries/

    A study published February 1, 2016, in the American Journal of Medicine shows how the US compares to 22 other wealthy nations:

    “Even though it has half the population of the other 22 nations combined, the United States accounted for 82 percent of all gun deaths. The United States also accounted for 90 percent of all women killed by guns, the study found. Ninety-one percent of children under 14 who died by gun violence were in the United States. And 92 percent of young people between ages 15 and 24 killed by guns were in the United States, the study found.”

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-u-s-gun-deaths-compare-to-other-countries/

  46. mike from iowa

    Paddock was reported to be a multi-millionaire. Buying guns was not a financial burden for him. The question is should anyone be allowed to own that many usable guns.

    https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=+paddock+a+multi+millionaire&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-002

    You can take yer pick of which flavired news site to agree with.

  47. Wayne, “hyperbolic in extremis”? That’s a million times crazier than anything I’ve ever heard!!!

    Note that I’m not demanding 100% safety as the criterion for any policy enacted under the social contract. I acknowledge in my fourth-to-last (ante-antepenultimate!) paragraph that restrictions under the social contract do not and likely cannot achieve 100% solvency. (Note for HS debaters: if Public Forum had stock jargon, I’d mingle them into this LD/Policy mishmash, too!) I’m offering a deeper, more fundamental criterion for the restriction we impose within the social contract, the balance of individual power. I’m contending there is a basic philosophical justification for capping the number of rifles and/or the amount of ammo one person may own or transport, or the number of bullets that one firearm may legally be designed to contain. My last paragraph contends that if we allow such a grievous violation of this basic criterion of balance of power, we call into question the legitimacy of the entire social contract.

    My conclusion may sound radical, but that’s because I’m getting at the root of the social contract.

  48. Mohamed asks for some attention to the root cause of violence, the hatred behind it. That’s a fair point, and while we still don’t have solid information on the shooter’s background or motive that can even partially explain this massacre, it seems reasonable to say that shooting fellow human beings requires some absence of moral thought, of empathy, of respect, of love.

    It doesn’t matter, to the dead or their loved ones, what flavor of hate set those bullets flying. But we should still use the term “hate” cautiously. We’ve seen no solid connection between the shooter and Charlottesville/Trump-style hate or (perils of false equivalency, but I’ll include it) whack-job Scalise-shooter hate. ISIS claimed him, but we have no evidence of any religious/terrorist hate. The news says he was a big gambler, but we don’t have evidence that big losses at the tables driving him into depression where he might latch onto strands of apocalyptic loathing of his fellow man. Heck, it might have been simple casino-hate: he lost a slip-and-fall lawsuit against another Vegas hotel, so one could speculate (as reasonably as any other speculation floating around) that he harbored some resentment that turned into a perverse desire to punish the casino/tourism industry in Las Vegas.

    Hate is harder to regulate than equipment. Mohamed challenges us to harder policy decisions about education, outreach, and civil discourse.

  49. Darin, to compartmentalize & respond:

    1) Please re-read my post. I don’t argue more guns reduce crime. I argue they are independent variables; crime rates have been falling despite increased number of guns available.

    The United States has a higher rate of gun violence and suicide by gun. We also have a much higher violent crime rate than other developed countries. There’s something deeper than pure access to firearms which drives our violence. If we rounded up every gun in America, we’d still be beating the tar out of each other at a higher rate than other countries.

    2) I won’t get into a need debate. There is a lot of gear I don’t think police departments should have, either. I also don’t think people should smoke cigarettes, and there’s no reason anyone needs to smoke a joint. But if we value self determination (freedom of choice), then we accept people will choose to do things others deem unnecessary, frivolous, or downright harmful.

    2a) We’re entering an era where manufacturing will be democratized. Banning high-capacity magazines isn’t going to stop those who want them from having them. We can punish people after the fact, but I can make a 100-round drum magazine at home. All I need is the feeder spring. It may make it tougher, but renders moot the ban for the lone wolf who will stop at nothing to strike.

    3) I agree with you on looking for strategies to reduce the severity of evil acts. I’m also mindful of the practicalities. Hence I agree with Chuck about the bump stocks. I think they require more regulation than exist currently. There’s also good conversations being had amongst event planners to think about how to improve security at large gatherings.

    3a) In a way, perhaps acts like the Pulse nightclub and this latest mass shooting are mitigated harms. We’re entering an era with autonomous vehicles; imagine the damage someone could do with a semi full of ammonium nitrate driven into a crowd of 22,000 concert goers and cooking off. There’s no driver to kill – that’s done remotely – so you can’t even shoot the driver to stop them. The terrorist doesn’t have to sacrifice him/herself & can live to kill another day. Imagine someone installing an interference device on a bridge which hacks and overrides your self-driving car – telling every car to swerve right off the ledge. This isn’t science fiction; it’s already been highlighted as vulnerability of vehicles on the road today.

    4) I hate using the slippery slope argument, but the UK provides a counter to the oft-toted Australian model. The UK is now debating how to deal with their rising “stabbing epidemic”. Sure, they’ve mitigated some of the risk of mass shootings, but not dealt with the underlying societal problems which provide the impetus behind the violence, and at the cost of the liberties of their citizens. Now they’re looking at further restrictions on knife sizes, shapes, etc. rather than focusing on the root cause.

    4a) Our efforts are better spent trying to tackle those underlying problems which lead to violence. We’ll do so much more for violence reduction by helping Americans have security clothing, feeding, and housing their families… by ensuring they have access to quality, affordable healthcare, and integrating behavioral health into our healthcare system to catch people and give them the positive, prosocial help they need before they turn to violence or suicide.

    Look, talking about “assault weapons” is arranging the deck chairs on a sinking ship. Focus on getting the bilge pump running!

  50. Darin Larson

    Wayne, it is clear to me that the biggest difference between the US and most other developed nations is our proliferation of guns. Our rate of violence may be somewhat higher, but the rate of gun violence is many times higher and the effects of the violence in the US in terms of deaths and injuries are much worse.

    You’re scoffing at reducing the effects of gun violence and making fun of the British for looking at the regulation of knives. We don’t have the luxury to talk about knives right now while people are using military grade weaponry to mow down busloads of people. I wish we were so lucky to only be confronting knife attacks.

    I agree with you that we need to also address the underlying problems that lead to violence in the first place. But I would rather move on all fronts rather than surrender to the NRA proposition that citizens are entitled to carry military grade hardware with them at all times and in all places.

    As a practical matter, and as applied in the Vegas shooter case, I think my case for reasonable restrictions on military grade hardware would have done more to save lives than your social prescriptions. By all known accounts, the Vegas shooter was a wealthy man with all the access to healthcare and other necessities of life any citizen could need. He wasn’t on anyone’s radar for anti-social behavior that could have identified and rectified his murderous future behavior. All we could do with this guy as a society was limit the damage he could do.

    The bottom line is we failed the victims of this tragedy in not making the slightest effort as a nation of laws to restrict this psychos access to weapons of mass murder. I don’t think our freedoms under the 2nd Amendment mean we cannot put reasonable regulations on arms.

  51. bearcreekbat

    A couple points to add:

    (1) Mass murders are good for the gun business and the NRA. Gun and ammo sales suddenly increase due to fear of a social contract response that will restrict such purchases. And stock prices for gun companies moves upward.

    http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/02/investing/las-vegas-shooting-gun-stocks-sturm-ruger-american-outdoor-brands/index.html

    (2) Kurt makes a really strange comment:

    One reason demon-possessed people commit these seemingly senseless acts with firearms is that Satan wants to promote gun control in order to deprive us of our last line of defense against government oppression.

    This seems contrary to the teaching of the devil’s agent Uncle Screwtape. When young Wormwood cheers about the deaths and anguish caused by WWII, Screwtape chastises him in letter 5, explaining it takes time to win the soul of a human and if the human is killed too soon due to the War, the devil loses many years of opportunity to convert the human. Old men are the easiest to convert to the devil according to Screwtape. He makes no mention of encouraging any government to take guns to make people defenseless against being slaughtered by the government.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elYDxslyk7I

  52. I still see two threads clear in this debate: 1) the reality (not fear mongering) is that an individual right to own and stockpile guns is bad for the safety society and 2) the motivation behind denial of these facts is profiteering by gun companies.

    The need to “stop a repressive government” is absurd. Even a Michigan Militia level of armament is clearly deficient to repel any serious movement of a fully armed military. The REAL check against a repressive government military is civilian command. That is what must be maintained, not an absurd “counter force.”

    As violence goes up, so also go up gun/ammunition sales and firearm stock prices. That should tell what tail is wagging the dog here.

  53. mike from iowa

    Why haven’t expanded guns and gun rights made us safer?

  54. Darin Larson

    O, thanks for laying bear the ridiculous argument that guns are needed to “stop a repressive government.” I would add to your civilian command the point that we depend upon our men and women in the military to do the honorable and ethical thing in refusing to obey orders that would go against the Constitution or oppress the people. It is not because the populace stands ready with a hodgepodge of assault rifles to take on our militarythat our democracy is sound and well guarded; it is the belief in our democratic principles that are instilled in our citizens and carried down through the generations that secures our present and future freedom.

  55. mike from iowa

    Fauxknee Pat Robertson blames the Vegas shootings on disrespect for Drumpf. O remeber how belived Obama was to the right and NRA. Robertson once prayed on tv for god to remove the Potus-back in 2014.

  56. mike from iowa

    Let’s try this again- I remember how beloved Obama was to the right and the NRA.

    This is what happens when neighbors call and want answers why they can’t set stove clock.

  57. Richard Schriever

    Kurt Evans, Hitler didn’t increase gun control, he reduced it. Historical fact.

  58. Darin Larson

    They just reported that the Vegas shooter had 12 bump-fire stocks in his hotel room with him. These are the items that Congress failed to ban in 2013 that effectively turn a semiautomatic weapon into a gun that fires like a fully automatic weapon. Democrats in Congress knew it was a matter of time before these devices were used in mass shootings and proposed legislation to ban them. As you know, the legislation went no where without GOP support. The GOP is perfectly willing to let people die to serve their masters in the NRA.

    http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Machine-gun-like-device-part-of-ban-4237269.php

  59. Richard Schriever

    Nuclear weapons don’t kill people, people kill people. Let everyone have nukes!!!

  60. Donald Pay

    This was basically a white country music crowd, which would tend to be pro-gun and pro-Trump. I bet there might have been one Muslim, two Puerto Ricans, three blacks and seven Mexicans in the crowd. All the rest, I surmise, were probably white.

    The shooter was white. White-on-white crime is just out of control. What is wrong with these white folks always killing themselves and blaming it on our society. Can’t they straighten themselves out and get themselves under control?

    Trump said in his inaugural speech that the carnage would stop. Lie. But that’s what we can expect from this creep, who blames the victims of the hurricane for their plight.

    I didn’t see any good guys with a gun stopping the carnage, by the way. One more NRA statement exposed for the lie it is.

  61. Darin,

    I’m not scoffing or mocking Britain for their knife problem. I’m holding it up as an example that the problem of dealing with violence never goes away. And if we feel we must always do something about it, we get to the absurd point of not allowing anyone to own anything more than a paring knife. That is not the America I want to live in.

    Are there lessons we can learn? Yeah. I’m with you guys on the bump stocks. I think y’all are missing the mark on silencers (read & watch that article I linked… silencers wouldn’t have made a lick of difference in Vegas).

    You said yourself that this guy was wealthy enough to have the means to do whatever he wanted to cause mass destruction. The easiest route for him was through firearms. But he could’ve spent his money on a truck full of explosives and done much more harm to that crowd. The number of weapons, magazines, modifications, and ammo means this guy had well over $20,000 wrapped up in this event. Heck, he could’ve rented a small plane, loaded it with explosives (or even just diesel fuel), and dive bombed the concert.

    How do we stop that?

  62. Darin Larson

    Wayne said, “The easiest route for him was through firearms.” This is the crux of the issue. We need to make it harder for someone to duplicate this attack.

    Wayne, you say “he could’ve spent his money on a truck full of explosives.” Sure, but he would have had to learn how to handle explosives and make a bomb with all the components that go into it. In addition, when he went to buy the fertilizer or the bomb components, someone may have gotten suspicious and looked into his motives. Why does this guy need a truck full of fertilizer? Contrast that with the dozens of guns that he purchased without so much as an eye brow being raised.

    As to his options for diving bombing the crowd with a plane, he would have had to train for 6 months or more to get a pilot’s license and then add in the complexities of making a bomb that goes off when he crashed the plane. A lot of complex things could go wrong with this plan.

    By far the easiest plan of attack for this psycho was to purchase an almost unlimited arsenal of guns and ammunition and do what he knew how to do: shoot people.

    We can’t stop every attack, but we certainly can take reasonable measures to make them less likely and less effective at killing large numbers of people. Just like after Timothy McVeigh used his fertilizer bomb in Oklahoma City, the regulation of fertilizer was increased, it is insane not to have restrictions on military grade weaponry.

    You say the silencer wouldn’t have made any difference. I say the silencer is the example of successful regulation. This guy had all the hardware he could want. But he didn’t apply for a permit to get a silencer which would have put scrutiny on him and his background and motives. Furthermore, he didn’t buy 12 silencers on line like he could with the slide fire stocks.

    You say the silencers would not have made any difference. Think about the time it took law enforcement to figure out where he was shooting from. If the silencer was suppressing the sound and muzzle flash, it probably would have taken that much more time to identify his location. More time to find him means more dead people. Also, the time it took the crowd to identify that they were being shot at could have been increased by the perpetrator using a silencer. It took about 20 seconds for Jason Aldean to figure out they were being shot at. How long would it have taken for people to take cover when a silencer was being used from 400-500 yards away? Time is lives lost in this situation. The sound of a gun going off is a warning to people. Using a silencer lessons the chance that people are going to be warned of danger immediately after the first shots are fired.

  63. If it were put on a ballot – which would I prefer to deal with, either a gun problem or a knife problem (without meaning to trivialize), I will choose knife problem. Nobody is dealing with 521 mass knifings in the last 477 days. Knives are not killing 12,000 people a year.

    If there are always going to be violent people, doesn’t it make the most sense to minimize the scope of the violent tools they have access to?

    We must stop this inane hand wringing and recognize we have so much gun violence because of guns.

  64. Darin Larson

    ATF said the Vegas shooter had magazines that held 60-100 rounds each. Obviously this increased his rate of fire by not having to change out magazines as often. Combine the bump fire stocks and the huge magazine capacities and this guy killed and maimed a lot more people than if he didn’t have access to these accessories.

  65. mike from iowa

    For the record. the young lady from hometown Sutherland. iowa who was wounded is now a confirmed kill. I did not know her personally.

    I do know there was mucho difficulty locating this sniper 500 tards away and 32 stories up. If his smoke alarm hadn’t alerted officials he might still be shooting.

    The NRA, and their unindicted co-conspirators wingnuts of all stripes, want civilians to have silencers/flash suppressors to make it even harder to locate hard core terrorists/snipers.

    It is time to brand the NRA and wingnuts as anti-American hate groups and treat them as such.

  66. I’d written:

    One reason demon-possessed people commit these seemingly senseless acts with firearms is that Satan wants to promote gun control in order to deprive us of our last line of defense against government oppression.

    “Rorschach” writes:

    Kurt lost his gun rights because he had a protection order granted against him – so he blames it all on Satan.

    These are among the most unjust things that have ever happened to me.

    (1) SDSU women’s basketball coach Aaron Johnston, who wasn’t an attorney and who’d never previously communicated with me, showed up at a restraining order hearing in 2003, illegally cross-examined me, and deceived a circuit judge into ruling that I’d stalked one of his players.

    (2) After unidentified “personnel of South Dakota State University” had “personally contacted” the attorney general, David Gilbertson’s supreme court allowed the attorney general’s office, in conflict with several relevant South Dakota statutes, to intervene in my appeal at taxpayer expense and overwhelm me with more lies than I could afford to answer.

    (3) I was informed that my constitutional right to bear arms was being violated without a criminal charge, much less a jury trial, much less a conviction.

    Responding directly to the accusation “Rorschach” makes above: The presiding circuit judge who’d originally issued the restraining order removed it prior to its scheduled expiration date over 12 years ago, and my statement about Satan and gun control reflects a view I’d already held for many years before it was issued.

  67. I’d written:

    The number of Americans murdered in gun violence this week will most likely be a tiny fraction of the thousands murdered in induced abortions this week …

    Wayne B. writes:

    Kurt may be a little on the extreme side, but there are kernels of wisdom. Our social contract allows for self determination in procreation choices… But in allowing self determination, we also acknowledge and allow the termination of unwanted life.

    To be clear, that wasn’t my point. My view is that both gun-wielding maniacs and profiteering mass-abortionists should be deprived of liberty after due process, but law-abiding citizens shouldn’t.

    Richard Schriever writes:

    Kurt Evans, Hitler didn’t increase gun control, he reduced it. Historical fact.

    That isn’t a fact, Richard. He did some of each, but Hitler imposed stricter gun control on Jews and other perceived enemies.

  68. Probably just best to stay away from college girls, Mr. Evans. I’m just sayin…

  69. Roger Cornelius

    Kurt Evans is a perpetual victim continually crying out for attention

  70. Roger Cornelius writes:

    Kurt Evans is a perpetual victim continually crying out for attention …

    Maybe, Roger, but I’d like to believe my protests will somehow reduce the likelihood of additional careers and lives being derailed by overconfident cops, lawyers, judges and other accusers.

  71. Mr. Evans writes:

    Roger Cornelius writes:

    Kurt Evans is a perpetual victim continually crying out for attention…

    Maybe, Roger, but I’d like to believe my protests will somehow reduce the likelihood of additional careers and lives being derailed by overconfident cops, lawyers, judges and other accusers.

    Who are these other accusers?

  72. I didn’t have anyone specific in mind, but Aaron Johnston would be a prime example.

  73. Roger Cornelius

    Weren’t we discussing the Las Vegas massacre and not Kurt Evans woes?

  74. Roger Cornelius had posted a comment consisting of nothing but this:

    Kurt Evans is a perpetual victim continually crying out for attention …

    Now he asks:

    Weren’t we discussing the Las Vegas massacre and not Kurt Evans woes?

    If you don’t want to make this about me, Roger, you’re more than welcome to stop.

  75. Roger, you hurt Kurt’s fee fees. Poor pitiful Kurt, always the victim.

  76. An endangered species speaks, an honest republican (who is getting the hell out of Washington’s swamp). http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/10/gop-senator-rex-helps-separate-our-country-from-chaos.html
    Gun laws will not change for the near future because the republican is a purchased commodity by the NRA. Boy howdy though, they are quick to run out the prayer routine when there is a mass shooting. Hint: They could care less because they are careless.

  77. Darin and Wayne mentioned the shooter’s wealth. I suppose he could have bought an automatic knife launcher.

    Wealth is power, and we engage in some wealth control via progressive taxation.

  78. Darin Larson

    We could also allow people to order U-haul trucks filled with fertilizer on the internet, but we make it a little harder than that to pull a Timothy McVeigh in this country. Yet, the Vegas shooter could order the bump fire accessories online and have them delivered to his home in a few days as well as purchase assault rifles on demand three days before the massacre. There is no waiting period in Nevada to purchase guns. No one in law enforcement asks any questions if you want to buy an arsenal of military grade weapons in this country.

    The Vegas shooter could have purchased a pre-1986 machine gun to use for his planned assault, but those are expensive. More importantly, in order to purchase a machine gun you have to pass a background check which puts you on the ATF’s radar. This guy wanted to avoid being on anybody’s radar, and he didn’t have to risk being exposed because our gun laws are so ridiculously lax.

  79. The shooter may have had buyers remorse. Maybe that is why he opened fire on thousands below who would be of the sort that would vote trump. Whatever the case, these machine guns are not for hunters, they are for carnage, big difference. Add silencers, and you have double the terrorist attack, thanks NRA and your paid off republican lackey’s.

  80. The country that is taking us over, Russia will impose this when the ink dries on the simple corporate takeover. https://www.loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/russia.php

  81. Las Vegas was even to bloody for the NRA https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/us/las-vegas-shooting.html?emc=edit_na_20171005&nl=breaking-news&nlid=26013750&ref=cta&_r=0 Hard to believe, but it seems like they may want to do something, time will tell how watered down this will be.

  82. bearcreekbat

    Amanda Marquette provides some additional evidence supporting my earlier comment that “Mass murders are good for the gun business and the NRA.”

    Among other facts, she points out:

    As soon as it was revealed that Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas mass shooter who killed 59 people and injured more than 500 others more, had used a bump-fire stock to modify his semiautomatic rifles into simulated machine guns, sales of the device soared. Both The Trace and the New York Times found that the item was sold out everywhere. . . .

    It’s a grim reminder of one major reason the National Rifle Association and the gun industry work so hard to derail any efforts to prevent mass shootings: They’re good for business.

    . . .

    No one here is claiming most gun lovers are murders in training. I doubt that many of them actually fantasize about shooting up crowds of innocents. It’s just that if you are attracted to the power of guns, then mass shootings are still the most effective demonstration of the power you find so alluring. That clearly overrides any shame that firearms fanatics might otherwise feel about buying a gun or device because some deranged killer demonstrated its awesome killing power.

    Nor should we be too surprised that the gun industry is A-OK with profiting off the inadvertent advertising of their products provided, free of charge, by mass murderers. . . . It would be nice if we could expect corporations to put human lives before profits, but unfortunately, history tells us that doesn’t often happen.

    https://www.salon.com/2017/10/06/mass-shootings-the-gun-industrys-most-effective-marketing/

  83. mike from iowa

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/1/14/1620367/-While-We-Watched-His-Dad-Trump-Jr-Praised-Gun-Silencers-For-Getting-Little-Kids-In-The-Game

    This’ll help. Getting kids to use silencers,

    NRA sez they might support restrictions on bump stock accessories.

    Remington has known of trigger problems sing the 1940’s on some of their best selling rifles and still hasn’t committed to cleaning up their mess.

    Profits- like bcb says.

  84. mike from iowa

    from bcb’s link- There are other explanations, of course, for the surge of gun sales after a mass shooting. The most persuasive is the fear that the firearms used in such a gruesome event will soon be subject to restrictions, so there’s a rush to buy them before they are no longer available.

    Seems to me it is just human nature to treat serial or mass murders rather harshly after horrific crimes. It would seem human nature would tend to treat the weapons as harshly.

    Not in NRA and wingnut America. Guns that are designed to kill efficiently and prove that with mind-numbingly monotonous frequency, achieve a cult like status and following almost immediately after the fact and before the dead are counted and laid to rest.

    What is wrong with Americans?

  85. mike from iowa

    Tucker Carlson to the rescue- He is what is wrong with Americans.

    http://crooksandliars.com/2017/10/tucker-carlson-says-bump-stock-saved-lives

    Automatic weapons aren’t accurate so many lives were saved with bump stock app. I kid you not.

  86. o – “The easiest route for him was through firearms.” true for crime and depressive suicide. the “suicide” if that is what occurred on the 32nd floor, is a poor excuse to those who srtuggle with real depression and take their own lives. a gun in the house makes it very easy and final. very dangerous. those who live in a gun culture are dangerous people for the rest of society.

    wayne b.-u want civil discourse after columbine, aurora, newtown, ND law to run down protestors, Charlottesville, stand your ground elimination of duty to retreat, BLM, outrageous acts by militias, shooters, Nazis in America? You want comfortable gunownership but can’t stand the heat. my oh my.

    Kurt-

  87. mike from iowa

    https://www.rawstory.com/2017/10/slip-in-and-out-of-a-hotel-armed-and-undetected-guns-ammo-editor-outlines-ar-15-bag-features-in-november-issue/

    For the newest mass murderer who has everything. Great way to tell your blood thirsty li’l right wing deplorable how much you love them and hate human targets.

  88. Leslie writes:

    wayne b.-u want civil discourse after columbine, aurora, newtown, ND law to run down protestors, Charlottesville, stand your ground elimination of duty to retreat, BLM, outrageous acts by militias, shooters, Nazis in America? You want comfortable gunownership but can’t stand the heat. my oh my.

    Kurt-

    I’d ask Cory to remove my name from that comment.

  89. Just remember the mass murder at Wounded Knee, with hundreds of murdered innocents, was much the same. White hatred and machine guns on high ground, shooting indiscriminately, all to familiar in this place we call America.

  90. Jerry writes:

    Just remember the mass murder at Wounded Knee, with hundreds of murdered innocents, was much the same. White hatred and machine guns on high ground, shooting indiscriminately, all to familiar in this place we call America.

    The Wounded Knee Massacre began as an attempt to impose gun control on Native Americans, and the men with Hotchkiss guns on high ground were government agents. After they’ve violated everyone else’s right to bear arms, government agents will still have them.

  91. Roger Cornelius

    Kurt,
    In 1890 Native Americans didn’t have any rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
    Native Americans weren’t allowed to have rights until their citizenship was granted in 1924 with the passage of the Howard Wheeler Act.

  92. Kurt, always the paper hanger. The murder of innocents by those with a machine gun happened in America long before Las Vegas. White hatred of those who are deemed different is always the justification of mass murder.

  93. BTW, I think we should all have the right to “bare” arms, that way Kurt and his gang of thugs will not need machine guns for deer hunting or “dear hunting” as is the case of the post. White men should not be allowed to own or operate anything bigger or more lethal than a 410 bolt action single shot.
    As Kurt is kind of slow, their is a difference between bare arms and to bear arms. Sorry, there I go again, hurting your fee fees.

  94. Roger, I saw something the other day. It said that in order for all to address the gun issues in America, “Black NFL players should stand for the anthem with AR15’s over their heads in clinched fists”, I would add, with bandoleers of ammo over their shoulders. Nothing makes Kurt and his gang wet their pants any more than that.

  95. Roger Cornelius writes:

    Native Americans weren’t allowed to have rights until their citizenship was granted …

    America’s founding document doesn’t say U.S. citizens are endowed with rights by the Constitution. It says all of us, regardless of race or citizenship, are equally endowed with rights by our Creator.

  96. Roger Cornelius

    Kurt,
    Clearly those founding documents did not include Native Americans and Blacks.
    The Civil Rights Movement and women’s rights have been an ongoing struggle since those founding documents were introduced and enacted. LGBTE and voting rights are still being fought for to this very day.

  97. Roger Cornelius

    jerry, I saw that Facebook meme, too.
    The other meme that caught my attention was one that said if every Black male adult bought an AR-15 congress would enact gun control in a heartbeat.

  98. I’d written:

    America’s founding document … says all of us, regardless of race or citizenship, are equally endowed with rights by our Creator.

    Roger replies:

    Clearly those founding documents did not include Native Americans and Blacks.

    Regardless of race or citizenship, America’s founding document says we’re all equally endowed with rights by our Creator.

    Learn more here:
    https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration
    https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript

  99. Roger Cornelius

    Those are nice and pretty words, Kurt, but not meant to include women, Native Americans and Blacks.
    Equality was for white men only as history has shown throughout our history.

  100. Kurt ignores that the writers were slave owners and slave humpers, “Lay Down Sally”, would have been Jefferson’s favorite Clapton song, back in the day. Now Kurt and thugs favorite is “Back in the USSR”. In Kurt’s world, god made man and the machine gun, made them targets. The police like to shoot unarmed black men and women, but the white man is indifferent to his targets to shoot or kill and maim, from little school children to music fans. From Las Vegas to Oklahoma City, the lone wolf white man is a clear and present danger to decent society.

  101. Roger Cornelius writes:

    Those are nice and pretty words, Kurt, but not meant to include women, Native Americans and Blacks.

    The phrase “all men” has historically referred to all humans, both male and female:
    https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration

  102. Before the “founding fathers” were fathers, America had a long list of murder. Here are a few directed in particular at the real founding fathers before them.

    1637: 600-700 Pequot were burned alive in their Connecticut village and escaping survivors shot to death

    1644: 500 sleeping Lenape in New York were either burned alive or shot trying to escape

    1675: 350 Narragansett in Rhode Island burned alive or shot trying to escape

    1692: 300 Abenaki killed in Massachusetts Bay

    1712: 300 Tuscarora killed in North Carolina

    1712: 1,000 Fox Indians killed near Detroit

    1713: 1,200 Tuscarora killed in North Carolina

    1832: 150 Menominee in Wisconsin

    1840: 150-200 Pomo in California

    1846: 200 Wintun killed in the Sacramento River Massacre (California)

    1853: 450 Tolowa killed in California

    1860: 200-250 Wiyot killed in California

    1861: 240 Wailakis killed in California

    1863: 290 Shoshoni killed in Idaho

    1864: 300 Yana killed in California

    1864: 170 Arapahoe and Cheyenne killed at Sand Creek, Colorado

    1870: 173 Piegan killed in Montana

    That was all before Wounded Knee. Of course, I neglect to add the numbers of Blacks massacred by the hatred of the white man In Tulsa Oklahoma, a two day massacre in 1921 with dead at 300 or at Colfax, Louisiana in 1873 dead at 150.
    Naw, Las Vegas is just another unfortunate blip on the hate screen for us to forget about in another few days. The news will do its damnedest to make the white hate party of the republican seem as if they want to do something, but in the end, money wins and everything stays the same until the next time when we offer our fake prayers and sympathy.

  103. Roger Cornelius

    Kurt,
    I’m well aware of the meaning of ‘all men’ that are included in the founding documents.
    My point being that by not allowing women and minorities their rights, the founding fathers demonstrated that their intent applied to white men. Thus we had the original definition of ‘white privilege’.

  104. Roger Cornelius writes:

    My point being that by not allowing women and minorities their rights, the founding fathers demonstrated that their intent applied to white men.

    Most of the Founding Fathers worked to secure the rights of women and minorities, and in any case, my point was that government agents who arbitrarily deprived Native Americans of the freedom to bear arms violated their rights, regardless of whether they’d been granted citizenship.

  105. LOL, “most of the founding fathers worked to secure the rights of women and minorities” you must be high man. Women did not get to vote until 1920, Native people 1957 (Thanks Ike). Kurt, one thing about you that amuses the hell out of me, your complete recklessness with the truth.
    As tucker carlson said, having a bump stock saved lives in Las Vegas because with them, you cannot shoot accurately, I immediately thought of you Kurt, when he said that.

  106. Kurt: “The phrase “all men” has historically referred to all humans, both male and female:”

    So your argument is that the Declaration of Independence freed the slaves? (because ALL men were endowed by their creator with liberty?)

    It’s OK to recognize that thinking has changed in 200+ years to get to where you argue “all men” has a universal context, but don’t try to over claim the social norms of that time. These were great men, but they were not modern in their context of thought (except that then as now, profit trumped liberty). And as long as we are talking about context, the Second Amendment was NEVER framed in today’s context as an absolute individual mandate when written. It took modernization of killing weapons, an profit hungry industry, and the Heller decision to get where we are today. The Second Amendment has broadened in context as Congress has passed laws and The Supreemes have ruled on restrictions.

  107. Actually, we have only one (1) amendment to the Constitution, the 2nd. It overrides all of the rest of the amendments in the Constitution, each and every one of them starting from the 1st one and then moving on.

  108. Should it just be renamed the Second Commandment?

  109. Good one o, indeed it should according to these worshipers. If only some of these gunslingers would have gone to Iraq or Afghanistan or even Niger, surely we would be winning there. Much easier to be macho with the defenseless.

  110. mike from iowa

    Now wait a minute, people. Yer perjured Attorney General is giving deference to religious freedumb above all other amendments. Sessions has so decried. Why is this perjurer still in office?

    http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-pol-essential-washington-updates-justice-department-religious-freedom-1507303544-htmlstory.html
    Religious freedumb is paramount in USA.

  111. mike from iowa

    Women couldn’t get credit until the 70’s-1970’s that is.

  112. One thing is for sure, a bump stock is not for hunting. The NRA admits that it is just for the mass killing of humans, simple as that. The South Dakota legislature approves of this, as do the governor and Jackley. So just kick back and wait, some guy that has been saving up all his hate, will try to beat the new score. It is like winning the world series of murder.

  113. Darin Larson

    Kurt seems to be missing the point that it doesn’t matter what the formative documents said. What matters is how they were interpreted and applied.

    The fact the US had to enact the 13th Amendment should illustrate this point. In Kurt’s world view was correct, there should have been no need for the 13th Amendment.

  114. Roger Cornelius

    jerry, regarding your “world series of murder” comment, you might want to give David Newquist’s Northern Valley Beacon post ‘maybe we should just have a national-kill-a-bunch people” day.
    As per usual with David delivers, I suggest you give him a read.

  115. Roger, Mr. Newquist delivers a very potent commentary and was most definitely worth the read. I would disagree with one point of that though, instead of a day, I think we should have the tournaments. We should have a district championship, a regional and then a state. If you have spread enough carnage, then you qualify for the National World Series of Death and Mayhem. Of course now, the benchmark has been set at 58 dead and 500 wounded, so it must be more than that for any kind of consideration. We could have betting pools and handicapping (double meaning of course) done right in Las Vegas! Damn, this could be big. Maybe get the big killer gun lobby to sponsor this with participants getting some kind of shinny badge for the tryout. Fox could televise this right after fox and friends. Talk about social contact, gramps and grams would be delighted while watching and enjoying their applesauce. Would be applicants would be buying up as many bump stocks as their paychecks would allow. Of course, this would put the rich at a very favorable advantage. 15 to 50 guns with thousands of rounds of ammo, not for the poor dude working his ass off. Hunting has become a rich man’s game so this is right on the money for their leisure.
    Thank you Roger for the heads up (pun intended), stay small.

  116. I’d written:

    One reason demon-possessed people commit these seemingly senseless acts with firearms is that Satan wants to promote gun control in order to deprive us of our last line of defense against government oppression.

    On a related note, many psychotropic drugs make people more vulnerable to demonic oppression and possession:
    http://www.rightsidesd.com/?p=31461

    I’d written:

    The phrase “all men” has historically referred to all humans, both male and female…

    “o” replies:

    So your argument is that the Declaration of Independence freed the slaves? (because ALL men were endowed by their creator with liberty?)

    My argument would be that it played a large role, yes. According to President Lincoln, the Declaration is “a rebuke and a stumbling-block to tyranny and oppression”:
    https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration

    It’s OK to recognize that thinking has changed in 200+ years to get to where you argue “all men” has a universal context …

    People today are more likely to misunderstand the phrase as excluding females.

    And as long as we are talking about context, the Second Amendment was NEVER framed in today’s context as an absolute individual mandate when written.

    Its drafting history reveals several clear references to the individual right to bear arms.

    Darin Larson writes:

    Kurt seems to be missing the point that it doesn’t matter what the formative documents said.

    I’m not missing that point. I’m explicitly contradicting it.

    In Kurt’s world view was correct, there should have been no need for the 13th Amendment.

    That’s true, Darin. There should have been no need for it.