Another horrific shooting in America occurred last night at at Country Western concert in Las Vegas. The motives of the shooter are not yet known, the investigation is just getting started but already people are rushing to put a political slant on the man and the event. ISIS has even claimed the man was part of their organization (claiming her converted a few months ago.) Hillary Clinton is blaming the NRA, some are claiming its an act of a White Supremacist, and there is much rhetoric on gun control over the social media feeds.
I'm tired of people rushing to judgement instead of waiting to see the truth. The FBI has already confirmed no connection to terrorism. What are your thoughts on this event?
Easy answer. For most of my life, assault rifles were illegal. We had no massacres with them.
Now they are illegal, and we get one massacre after another. And yes, it is very much political thanks to the NRA buying off Congress.
By the way, the NRA is now demanding that Congress lift restrictions on silencers despite strong opposition from police organizations. Can you imagine how many people would be dead today if the shooter had silencers?
Maybe you could expand on your thought promisem. If by "assault" rifles you are talking about semi-automatics like the well-known AR-15, I don't recall that they were ever illegal. There was a 10-year period when their sales were banned, but not ownership of the guns.
So, pre-2004 there were no "assault" rifle massacres? And post 2004(? +/- a couple years), we have them "one after another?" I think there might be another explanation other than the gun's availability. How else would you explain the pre-1994 period when the same guns were legal and available?
GA, you are referring to the 1994 ban, but there were other restrictions well before 1994 including the Roberti-Roos Act. We will get nowhere in a discussion if we dive into what laws were in place at what point and for which guns.
I would love it if you could address my larger point of the growing number of massacres using assault rifles along with the NRA's control over Congress. While we're at it, do you agree with lifting restrictions on silencers despite opposition from police organizations?
promisem, it was your point about the illegality of "assault" rifles that I addressed. I believe the facts pertinent to your assertion contradict it.
Your larger point about the growing number of massacres - which I must assume runs primarily along gun control lines, has been discussed multiple times in these forums. We probably wouldn't break any new ground there.
But... I will discuss one aspect of it that I think is relevant. And that would be the almost instant worldwide exposure and notoriety. I think this nearly automatic "15 minutes of fame" has driven a majority of non-terrorism shootings of recent years. My impression is that both the Sandy Hook and Dylan Roof incidents probably had that motivation. Which means I do not think the availability of "assault" rifles is a motivator.
The NRA's control of Congress is really no different than any other lobbyist group's control - like the Trail Lawyers or the Pharmaceutical industry. The fault isn't with the buyer, it's with the seller.
I do support restrictions on silencers.
I agree with your point that the pursuit of fame could be part of the problem. I don't think a lobbying group that floods the country with assault rifles is on the same playing field as the trial lawyers or pharma industry.
Thank you for answering my question about silencers.
promisem, the victims of the opiode epidemic we are currently experiencing, folks suffering the potentially life-altering consequences of artificial pharmaceuticals pricing, and the victims of the lack of tort reform might feel like they are part of the playing field of injustice too.
I will not waste days looking into this matter, but I did watch a few videos on youtube last night made by people who were there, taken with their phones, as the attack occurred. Evidence was clear of the following:
1- More than one shooter. At one point in particular I could clearly make out two very distinct and different types of weapons being fired.
2- There was a shooter on the lower level, about the 4th floor, the muzzle flash was clear, beyond any question or doubt.
I have some experience with weapons and CQB/combat scenarios, if that helps give any credibility to my opinion.
There are various (even understandable and logical) reasons why the truth in this matter will never come to light. Not the least of which now is once they come out with a story like this (single shooter, crazy old man with no motive), they do everything possible to stick to it and sell it.
So it becomes a futile point to try and figure out, how many were involved, why, what their beliefs were, was Paddock even the shooter, etc. .. but one of the things that is clear, is that they are making it painfully obvious in the storyline that there were a massive amount of high powered rifles and automatic weapons at his disposal.
Right now, not only do on-sight videos taken during the attack prove that the official story is false... but the fact that they have not produced dozens of security videos showing Paddock coming and going carrying all these weapons and loads of ammo to the room is striking. There is absolutely no way, in Las Vegas at such high profile place, there weren't multiple angles of every entryway and access point to that hotel.
I won't waste my time on this more than I already have... but the same people who bought the story that the Benghazi 'riots' happened because of a youtube video are going to believe the official storyline on this tragic event. The rest of us know better.
Yes, in LV there are cameras everywhere. Funny how he is not showing up on videos.
Oh BTW, I do AMT & yesterday got this survey, (cut& paste partial)
Looks like they are doing a poll on the most acceptable reason for the shooting?
_____HERE IT IS_____
You will read about Stephen Paddock and one possible explanation for his actions. You will rate your perceptions of the explanation.
Read the explanation and imagine that it is an authoritative account of what happened, arrived at following a rigorous investigation. I was given one choice,after the survey the choices across crowdsourcing was:
Severely abused as a child
He finally acted on violent fantasies that he's had for a long time
He was secretly working for ISIS
It was simply a choice he made
I think we need to wait and find out where this person got the guns he used in Las Vegas. A fully automatic weapon is illegal and has always been illegal. If this person was able to obtain these weapons legally, then we've got a problem. If he was able to obtain them illegally, no law would have stopped him. Gun laws only hurt the law abiding, they do nothing to stop those who get their weapons illegally. These people are not restricted by laws. Gun laws will make us more vulnerable to those who get illegal guns and there are many of them on the streets.
Were true "assault rifles" - fully automatic rifles - used then? I haven't seen that.
I saw the videos. They were fully automatic. No one can pull the trigger that fast.
Thanks, but I prefer the word of the person that examined the weapon over the conclusion of someone watching a home video. The only thing I can find is that there may have been at least one assault rifle - is there anything from those people that actually handled the guns?
I thought so too promisem, but, we can't be sure, and are probably wrong.
A friend pointed out something that I hadn't heard of before. It's called a "bump stock," and it's a legal accessory for semi-auto rifles, (primarily AR and AK types. It allows a legal AR-15 to fire almost like an full automatic. The rifle is still only firing one time per trigger-pull, but the bump-stock uses the rifle's recoil to pull the trigger instead of the human - or something like that. A quick google search would be more helpful to you than an explanation from me.
I ran across that somewhere, too - it makes the gun "stutter fire" and while it isn't at machine gun levels, it's quicker than a normal semi-automatic rifle. The article I saw didn't mention the stock; just that there such modifications available.
GA, a device that speeds an semi-automatic rifle to the point of shooting 400 to 800 rounds per minute without making someone pull a trigger makes that rifle an automatic rifle.
Mike, the press released the sources of the weapons today, and they had some interviews with the owners of the gun shops where the guns were legally obtained. This man passed all background checks, but it also appears that he had been planning this and amassing these weapons for the last 2 years. He'd also bought 8 weapons recently at a particular gun shop. Seems like this should have raised a red flag. The crux of the problem appears to be the interchangeable "butts" or stocks that can turn a legal semi automatic into an automatic weapon capable of firing 700 rounds per minute. These are easily obtained online. I saw this on CBS. They also said that these butts probably will be the next focus on changing gun laws.
Another angle to this story was that the shooter was the child of a "psychopath" bank robber who was on the FBI's most wanted list in the 1960's
Yeah, I just saw a report on Twitter about that. Curious.
Today's news state he was wealthy and retired - gambling for months at a time and traveling
The press called him a "multimillionaire". Where did he make or inherit his money? It's curious about his wife or girlfriend, whichever she is because authorities haven't determine that yet. Apparently she has returned to her native Philippines. The question is: Did she know what he was planning and flee without alerting the authorities?
The question I have is why did it take 72 minutes to get to this guy? He is holding up in a hotel room.
Where is all the security? The cameras? They can track a thief from stealing chips at the gaming table but they can't catch a guy shooting from a hotel window 32 floors up....
Awful. Just awful. I have my thoughts on America's gun situation but there's absolutely no use in expressing it anymore. It's clear nothing will change.
I don't believe that ISIS was involved strictly based on their claim as it's pretty typical for them to pipe up and claim anything that results in death and fear. I don't believe he was a white supremacist as a country music festival is probably not where a white supremacist would find most of his intended targets.
I honestly have no idea what anyone's motivation is for killing 58 people. There's nothing that makes any sense. All I can really say with certainty is that it's a tragedy and I wish the world was a kinder place.
There you have it, it does not make any sense. Sometimes in life, there are things we have no control over... just like a person wanting to commit suicide, no laws can stop that. These automatic rifles were illegal to began with. If someone breaks the law, as many criminals do, no amount of gun laws will stop them. IMHO
Before we politicize this into a pro-gun vs. anti-gun argument, why not just wait until police are done investigating?
Yes, it's interesting, isn't it, that hours after the shooting, it's called a "Lone Wolf' instead of a terrorist action - before the investigation has even begun.
"reporters who asked if it was a terrorist act: “No, not at this point. ... Instead, terms like "lone wolf" and "mentally ill" are often used about white male ..."
Shooters of color are called ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs.’ While white shooters are called ‘mentally ill’.
U.S. media outlets practice a different policy when covering crimes involving African Americans or Muslims. As suspects, they are quickly characterized as terrorists and thugs (if not always explicitly using the terms), motivated purely by evil intent instead of external injustices. While white suspects are lone wolves, an act of just “one hateful person” .
It's a valid question. And one answer is simply that we know the core fact: once again, someone bought one or more assault rifles and murdered dozens of people.
The question that goes with that core fact is, how to we prevent more such massacres from happening?
Absolutely correct. Unfortunately we'll do the same thing that we've done in the past, and that has failed the world over. We'll talk about taking more guns away with the quaint notion that if we deny the preferred tool, killers will slink away and go about their lives without killing anyone.
What we will NOT do is address the causes of the violence in our country. We won't even try - it is much easier, politically, socially, culturally and financially to deny constitutional rights.
We will not do the same thing because the NRA has a lock on Congress. The NRA thinks the solution is more guns for everyone along with removing limits on silencers.
What is your solution?
Oh, we'll talk about it - the screams for gun controls are already rising.
Mine? I suggest a strong effort to understand why our culture is so violence prone. Then work at finding and implementing a solution that might result in fewer murders.
How about you? What do you think our response should be?
Remove the private sale loophole. Maintain strict adherence to the mental illness database.
Why (loophole)? Taking guns away doesn't solve a thing - worldwide experience shows that, so why bother infringing on constitutional rights to accomplish nothing? It buys votes, but I deny that buying politician's votes is more valuable than my freedoms.
Sorry, but I deny governmental right to my doctor, and particularly, psychologist reports - that's worse than denying constitutional rights. Can we all chant Hoover! Hoover! in unison? A witch hunt to end all witch hunts, and giving government the right to remove us from our home and society at the drop of a hat.
Which leaves the mental illness thing as a major problem. And personally, I do think it a major cause, especially in mass murders like Vegas. I just don't have an answer except requiring a yearly (or bi-yearly? Monthly?) mental checkup of every person in the country - a fate worse than even the mass murders and loss of life we see.
Because the private sale loophole means anyone can sell a gun to a child, convicted felon or mentally ill person without getting caught.
But you ignored that taking guns doesn't help. Are you prepared to prove (prove!) that adding to the difficulty and cost of getting a gun will help? Because we've been down the road of guessing that it will dozens of times, only to find that it doesn't.
What little I have seen on the cases of child, felon or insane person getting a gun is that it's not done legally anyway. So what will making private gun sales illegal help?
Do you see the gun control argument being analogous in any way to the travel ban argument? Seems like we want to penalize law-abiding people to stop a few bad apples.
That said, I really like your mental illness screening idea except that I don't think having the government making value judgments based on those evaluations would be everyone's cup of tea. But perhaps you were being sarcastic.
We always penalize law-abiding people to stop a few bad apples. It's what laws do.
Very little analogy, though - citizens of Syria, living in Syria, are not guaranteed protection under our constitution, nor are they guaranteed entry to the United States. Whereas we ARE guaranteed the right to bear arms, and that makes a huge difference.
Mental illness; I meant what I said - that requiring mental exams every month or year, with the government expected or required to take negative action against law abiding citizens because some quack determines they are mentally ill, is so far out of line that I prefer twice the murder rate we have now. Mentally ill people are in desperate need of help, but without their explicit consent, and no history of violence, I am NOT prepared to say the government may take any action whatsoever against them. Not force treatment, not force drugs on them, not take their guns or right to a gun, not to incarcerate them in an institution. (Are gay people "mentally ill"? Those that believe, or don't believe, in a god? Those participating in S&M?)
But what kind of arms? Any arms? Do you really think those who wrote the Constitution envisioned a day when people would have access to machine guns?
I think the question really boils down to: do average people need semi-automatic and automatic weapons and should they be readily available?
And you're absolutely right on your other point. The government doesn't do well trying to legislate morality. And the murderer in Vegas apparently had no past criminal behavior, so there was no reason to believe (at least that we know of yet) that he was capable of such a thing.
As with so many, you confuse need with the right to do (or buy) anything you wish. It isn't about that - it's about want and desire. That someone else doesn't like you having a gun does NOT have the slightest thing to do with your right to own one should you wish to.
As far as the writers of the constitution; I'm pretty confident with thinking they they knew weapons technology would advance far beyond what it was at that time. They didn't see fit to include "arms but not cannon with chain shot", for instance, or just limit it to edged weapons. No, they made available to John Q Public the most advanced weapons available without restriction.
And no, don't think I advocate that you can have an H bomb in your basement. I'm comfortable with a virtual ban on any military grade weapons.
I support a person's right to own a gun, but I think it's time to fundamentally distinguish between a gun and a mass-killing machine. There should be no restrictions on the former, but the latter should be all but banned. So, seems we are pretty close on our thoughts on this matter?
Perhaps. I support a very near ban on machine guns, which we already have. I support a ban on such things as bombs, grenades, rocket launchers, etc., which we already have. I even support background checks on the purchase of all guns, knowing it won't stop gun ownership of felons, etc.
But I pretty much stop there; any further restrictions are contra-indicated as there is zero evidence it helps anything at all and the loss of freedom is wasted on political posturing.
Wilderness, I think we are surprisingly close in our assessment of what might make a difference. I say let people have their handguns and their hunting rifles. I can certainly understand the desire to protect oneself and the desire to hunt. Both are a part of our culture. However, any military-style weapon, perhaps it's time to do something about those, maybe going as far as to make their sale illegal. Semi-automatic weapons; etc. While I don't think it will stop murder, it will certainly make mass shootings more difficult. Criminals and psychopaths tend to be lazy, so fewer of them will go to the trouble to seek these things out.
And I agree with your point about examining the root causes of what makes our society so violent. We need a conversation around this where everything is on the table. I play violent video games, but perhaps that's a cause. I watch violent tv shows and perhaps that's a cause. The lives of people who commit these crimes need to be examined and discussed. Are they all Athiests or are they all Christians? Are they all religious or non-religious? It would be interesting to see a study on these mass murderers and what kinds of qualities they share.
You can have all the conversations you want but it will not change human nature. Part of that nature is the presence of evil. We cannot legislate that out of our lives. I will remind you of the Oklahoma city bombing. There was no assult weapons used and yet, he took down a whole building...using fertilizers.
Where there is a will, there is a way. It is the same with Islamic terrorism. We can do all kinds of prevention and security checks but they will just come up with soft targets... when will people learn? You can't fight yesterdays battles. Why not adopt something that actually works. Look at Israel and how they dealt with terrorists.
Except we do legislate it. According to you, why not allow people to buy grenades and bazookas. Why not make it easier for crazy people to kill then? The question isn't whether we legislate or not, the question is where we're going to draw the line on guns and whether or not we're going to define certain types of weapons (like we do with grenades) as massively destructive.
True, but how will it help in this particular case in Las Vegas. He was a law abiding citizen. He had money. He bought weapons both legally and illegally we assume. He modified them to make them automatic shooting. He did everything and no new laws will prevent a recurrence, which is why we would consider new legislation...
I didn't say it would help in this particular case, although if it were harder to get automatic and semi-automatic weapons and high-powered rifles, perhaps this wouldn't have happened. I'm not saying that statement is accurate, but I'm saying it's worth a discussion.
Or to put it another way, how damaging is it to the 2nd amendment and gun owner's rights to massively restrict their ability to purchase high-powered rifles, semi-automatic, and automatic weapons or to take away that ability altogether?
And Jack, I recall you making a very important point and that's that sometimes there are no answers to things. I live by that motto. Things aren't always black and white and most things do not have simple answers. That doesn't mean we shouldn't come up with some options and try some things. Heck, they might fail, but given the alternative is massive death, seems like it's worth trying.
I said nothing in my post above about taking away guns via the loophole. Do you favor giving guns to children, felons and mentally ill people?
Define "children" (17 years old? 15?) and describe how you will identify the mentally ill. While you're at it, define which felons are to be permanently denied constitutional rights - does the conviction of a DUI carry a life sentence of no guns? Possession of an ounce of marijuana? Curfew or loitering?
Which mental illnesses carry that loss of guaranteed right? BiPolar? Agoraphobia? ADD? Claustrophobia?
What you make sound simple, isn't.
There is no solution in a situation like this.
We might start by stopping the sale of guns to felons and mentally ill people.
Isn't that the law already? As far as we know, this man is not a felon and not known to be a mental case until now.
No, it is not the law already. There are no federal laws and some states do not require background checks or block any category or person from gun ownership.
Even 75% of NRA members agree with licensing and background checks but if you can afford to drive to another state, you can avoid that requirement.
Making automatic weapons illegal to private citizens and requiring licensing of each gun with checks on high volume purchases might well have prevented this from happening.
How does that prevent a criminal who does not abide by any laws, of getting these same weapons?
That is the whole problem, elephant in th room, about the gun debate. You can have all the laws in the book but it can't stop a criminal from getting guns. Hence, what good are these laws?
It reduces their access. Lower access means less use. The correlations are easy to see by nation, state and jurisdiction. When access to guns is throttled, gun crimes decline. Illegal guns start as legal guns that are onsold or stolen--when less are available fewer are diverted and they become more expensive. The current shooter accessed legal guns, if they were illegal there is certainly a chance he would not have accessed them. There is no evidence he had criminal connections.
By that logic, we should have very few drug addictions... they are illegal and expensive and yet, why are so many people hooked on drugs?
Whoa! Sounds like you're seriously suggesting that we should ban guns, either through laws or by making them too expensive, because the owner might be the victim of the crime of robbery? I'm sorry, Psyche, but that has to be the most inane reason yet for violating the 2nd amendment.
Australia now has the lowest murder rate in recorded history after banning guns.
Yeah. 20 years and lots of additional efforts later, it does (I assume - I didn't bother to fact check the claim). Unfortunately for the premise you wish to convince others of it's pretty plain that it wasn't due to banning guns. Not when it took a decade after confiscating them to see any change in the rate of decrease.
Mexico also banned gun ownership. How is it working out there?
The nice thing about Australia, is it is essentially and island unto itself.
It is not sharing a border with Mexico, and drug cartels, and it does not have the largest standing army, or police force, as America has.
This argument is kind of like the one for a national health care... when people point to a country that has only 10 million people, and 65% of them are employed, and they say "see, they have universal healthcare and its wonderful!" ... well, they have 65% of their population employed and paying into it... America has 35% of its population employed and paying in... if you do the numbers, estimate the costs, it doesn't quite work when the majority of the population isn't paying in.
It IS illegal for a convicted felon to own a gun.
"In 1968, the U.S. Congress passed the Gun Control Act, and it was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. One of the primary purposes of the legislation was to further regulate interstate transfers of firearms. However, the law also reinforced existing federal law that made it illegal for a felon to own a gun. Although Congress had already passed the National Firearms Act of 1934, which made it illegal for felons convicted of a violent crime to own a gun, the Gun Control Act expanded the prohibition to include all felony crimes."
Typical of those fearing guns - anything to get them away from the citizenry. Get a DUI; lose your constitutional rights for life. Get caught with a little weed, same thing; the constitution no longer applies to you. Convicted of printing money? It's obvious that you intend to kill someone; lose your rights for that, too.
Again, the shooter did not lhave automatic weapons. He bought a legal attachment that turns a legal semiautomatic into an automatic, according to CBS. These are obtained without any hassle online. That is where the govt. should be focusing attention at this point. No private citizen needs these, and anybody who buys one should be scrutinized for motive.
No, it isn't enforced. How do you know his mental health history?
Is pro- or anti- automatic rifle a political issue? I don't see it. The majority of American support making these types of weapon illegal for private ownership--including people from all political parties.
Today I brought my friends some kinder eggs from Denmark. This candy is illegal to sell in the US, but machine guns aren't.
No, they aren't illegal to buy. Just VERY difficult. (Legally buy, anyway)
You are right. The majority does oppose it. Polls even show NRA membership is less extremist than the NRA board.
But laws in America go to the highest bidder. The NRA has a lot more money to spend on politicans than the rest of us.
Pure evil lurks in the hearts of people like this murderer, that is the only explanation that makes any sense.
I will answer that. No laws can change the hearts of men. I believe in some forms of gun control but as this incident clearly shows, laws does not translate into desired outcome. These automatic weapons used were illegal and yet, it was bought and used to kill. What do you do them? Ban all guns?
Unfortunately Jack, you are correct. Centuries ago it was mass slaughter by the sword, decades ago it was mass slaughter with the Gas Chambers, or starvation, or exile to Gulags. The Middle East has many more injuries and deaths from IED and roadside bombs versus guns. No laws can change the hearts of men.
Why didn't the murderer roll a few grenades into the crowd? Or explode a few poison gas canisters?
You know why? That stuff is much harder to get.
You might be able to figure it out if you try.
You talk like it is something we can control. We can't control people who are crazy just like you can't stop someone committing suicide. If someone wants to get weapons illegally and used it to harm others, what laws will stop that?
Crankalicious, bombs, grenades, etc. may be hard to buy, but there are instructions online for anybody who wants them badly enough to build them themselves. And if you are rich like this guy probably was, you can probably obtain them from the black market.
Sure, but you don't see nearly as many mass killings with them because they're hard to get. People like what's easy, including mass murderers.
Is the built in assumption that if harder to get they won't be used if the easy method is unavailable? Because I'd have to call BS on that one; insanity is not stopped nearly so easily.
I would never say that any of these idea will stop anything. Crazy people will do crazy stuff no matter what, but the argument that making buying guns harder will just mean we'll see just as many mass killings with grenades so we should just let them kill people with the guns to make sure everyone has the right to buy an automatic weapon is a ridiculous argument. Remember, I am not advocating for confiscating everyone's guns, I'm just arguing for more restrictions and possibly a near ban on automatic and semi-automatic weapons.
As an aside, the GOP pulled their most recent gun bill, which would have eased restrictions on silencers. Undoubtedly, this bill will make it back to the floor. It's really a shame the lunatic in Las Vegas didn't outfit all his weapons with silencers, though I'm sure he could have if he tried. Is that really the kind of legislation we need?
Like Australia, which has had a steep decline in murders by guns ever since the country started clamping down on them. The graphic below comes from the Aussie government.
Can we all agree that lobbying for a company that cares more about their bottom line than they do about the well being of our citizens is bad, regardless of the nature of the company?
Can we all agree that we can certainly address more than one problem at once?
However, I would say the NRA is particularly insidious because they are promoting consumer items that have very little redeeming value. Pharmaceuticals do help people. I honestly don't see how a private citizen owning guns that can kill 59 people in 16 minutes is helpful to anyone.
"However, I would say the NRA is particularly insidious because they are promoting consumer items that have very little redeeming value. "
To you. Do you not care about others? That they find "redeeming" value where you do not seems rather obvious.
"I honestly don't see how a private citizen owning guns that can kill 59 people in 16 minutes is helpful to anyone."
In other words, no one needs such a gun. Or any gun for that matter. But of course it isn't about "need" and it isn't about being "helpful". It's about rights, guaranteed rights under the law.
And no, I'm not comment on whether automatic guns, or parts to modify something else into an automatic, should be readily available. Just commenting on the attitude that your desires and feelings should be the same for everyone. They aren't.
I'll think this is a good idea when you can show me Australia has the size and scope of crime as we do in the United States. Unfortunately, we don't have Australian criminals, we have American criminals. Also, we don't live on an island like Australia, we're connected to other countries. It's a bit different.
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