Open thread: The shooting

A segment on NPR’s Morning Edition this morning began with, “in the latest mass shooting,” a story lead that was likely written without consideration for irony.

We have a problem and on talk shows throughout the nation so far today, we’re having another discussion about the constitutional rights of Americans, a week after another debate about the constitutional rights of Americans in a different context. Again, the irony fairly hurts.

I’m off today, but it feels as though an open thread is required if only to perpetuate the dream that consensus is achievable on the question of killing each other.

Go.

  • jon

    Numb.

    “thoughts and prayers” until about 10-11am? Then we can get into how that’s useless, then we can get into the 2nd amendment debate and how more guns would have prevented the loss of life, and how criminals don’t respect the laws so we shouldn’t make laws at all…

    Numb…

  • Leroy

    At this point, I feel like everything that can be said has already been said. I’m horrified and saddened not only by this shooting, but also because we know this will happen again.

    In the meantime we will hear all about “thoughts and prayers”, “our constitutional rights are at stake”, “more guns will make us safer”, “now isn’t the time to talk about gun control, it’s a time to mourn”, and “this isn’t a gun issue, it’s a mental health issue”. Then we will slowly go back to not talking about it until the next tragedy happens.

    • >>I’m horrified and saddened not only by this shooting, but also because we know this will happen again.<<

      The sad part about the above statement is that it's now just boilerplate text when it comes to these incidents.

    • crystals

      This describes so perfectly how I feel.

      I’m also worried that attention will turn away from Puerto Rico. We need to focus on responding to what’s happening Las Vegas *and* Puerto Rico, both/and. Not either/or.

      • L. Foonimin

        That worry is very real, the American zeitgeist seems incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time.

    • A-man

      It is becoming a regular copy and paste event.

    • Jeff

      At least in this case I can’t see how arming the victims could have made a difference.

      • Barton

        There would have been more dead, as people pulled out their guns and just started shooting everything that moved.

        • Jeff

          As someone pointed out elsewhere the people in the crowd could have been armed with bazookas, so I stand corrected.

  • Chris

    The second amendment people are less than half the country but hold power though the electoral college, gerrymandering, and the undemocratic set up of the Senate. We need an assault weapons ban and we need to change the prevailing attitudes of the gun culture. Everything has been said, and we need to keep saying it until something changes. The NRA wants you to give up trying.

  • A-man

    You can have your deer rifles, handguns, and shotguns. What purpose do these weapons of mass destruction serve?

    • Gary F

      And what is your plan to protect us against them? Australia had a decrease in gun crimes for a couple of years, now it is on the rise even though they are illegal.

      If we made them illegal, how do you get the ones the people wont voluntarily “sell them back”? Think of the scenario of forcefully going into homes taking them. Think the cops want that duty?

      If they bought them with a background check, then what? From what we’ve been told he didn’t have past crimes even though the authorities “knew about him”.

      If they “knew about him” what is the line they have to cross before “doing something”?

      • My plan is to create a sense that mass murder is an afront to the military.

        • MrE85

          It’s an afront to me. As an old veteran, I can attest that no organization I have ever known performed such strict control to access to weapons and ammunition as the peacetime U.S. Army did when I wore the uniform. Every weapon counted and accounted for, every single bullet counted and accounted for.

          • >>Every weapon counted and accounted for, every single bullet counted and accounted for.<<

            I can attest to this.

        • Blasko

          It already is. Many of my students are military veterans. They served to defend a peaceful, prosperous nation – not a nation in violent chaos. Many of them support the Second Amendment, but also the training and demonstrated responsibility that should come with weapon ownership. Vets can lead the way on this. Their voices should be heard and honored.

      • Ralphy

        I agree Gary. We have so many guns out in the population, and so many willing to use them, it is both too late and all but impossible to put this back into Pandora’s box.

        So, do you have any suggestions how to reduce the carnage?

        • Gary F

          Not sure what the line is with police “knowing” about possible problem people and being able to “do something” about it. My legal background is watching Law and Order and Blue Bloods. It seems that many of people that have had a past run ins with the authorities at some time pull stunts like this.

          Right now we don’t know much, we are all outrage and saddened. Not sure what made this guy go on such a rampage.

          • MrE85

            Again, wrong question. It doesn’t matter what this shooter was thinking. What matters is it will happen again.

          • RBHolb

            No. We are not all “outraged and saddened.” A lot of “us” are just shrugging our shoulders and saying “What are you going to do?” They would rather stand by and let this happen on a regular basis (two mass shootings in the past 24 hours, if you care to keep count) because they’ve concluded it’s an intractable problem. We can’t do anything without actually limiting access to guns, so what else? Thoughts and prayers, because it’s too soon to talk about the politics behind these events..

            For these people, the slaughter of 58+ people who were doing nothing more than listening to music, like the murder of schoolchildren in Connecticut, is the price we pay for freedom. In most parts of the world, it would be called murder. Here, we’ve turned death into a line-item of overhead.

            Thoughts and prayers.

          • Jay T. Berken

            “saddened.” A lot of “us” are just shrugging our shoulders and saying “What are you going to do?””

            Sums up the Presidents speech this morning pretty much. No answers, just sadden.

          • Rob

            Imagine the rampage without an assault rifle. Kinda hard to do. Oh, wait – assault rifles don’t kill people…

          • jon

            If some one were to say, rob a bank, and they did so by walking through an unlocked door in the back that leads straight into the vault, does the bank manager ask “Why did they steal from us?”

            When it happens again, does he ask the same question, and the third time? the fourth?

            At some point shouldn’t he look at the door, close it, and lock it?

            We don’t know why, we do know how, this isn’t first time some one has gone on a mass shooting spree, we know exactly how because we’ve seen it before. When some one tried to bring a bomb on an airplane in their shoes, we started having to take our shoes off at the airport, no one asked “why did he do it, can we stop him from having those feelings that would make him want to blow up a plane? How can we stop other people from having those feelings?”
            NO! We took away the opportunity, we checked shoes at check points.

            Why doesn’t matter, How does, because when it happens again there might be a different why, there might not, it might be the same why, it might be mental health, or access to healthcare, or anger over political parties, or anger over their sports team, or religious insanity…
            If we can eliminate/mitigate the attack vector then the why doesn’t matter any more… the why will turn to either another attack vector (which we can also look to mitigate) or it will turn to healthier options, or just less destructive ones…

            Why doesn’t matter unless the 2nd amendment crowd is willing to start up support groups and get all touchy feely with why people want to shoot up crowds of folks. The concrete thing to do is deal with the HOW.

        • Gary Leatherman

          It’s actually not that hard. It’s called gun control and it works. It does take a large number of Americans to stand up and say enough is enough.

          “On gun violence and how to end it, the facts are all in, the evidence is clear, the truth there for all who care to know it—indeed, a global consensus is in place, which, in disbelief and now in disgust, the planet waits for us to join. Those who fight against gun control, actively or passively, with a shrug of helplessness, are dooming more kids to horrible deaths and more parents to unspeakable grief just as surely as are those who fight against pediatric medicine or childhood vaccination. It’s really, and inarguably, just as simple as that. ”
          https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-simple-truth-about-gun-control

          • Ralphy

            We have about 300,000,000 guns in civilian hands. I would be very interested in any ideas to reel that in. No matter what laws are passed or how many Americans support control, how does one go about reclaiming the mountain of weaponry? How does one convince an NRA brainwash victim to willingly turn in their guns? How does one convince an anti-government zealot to turn in their guns? How does one convince someone who believes that the world is a very dangerous place, and out to get them, to turn in their guns?
            Don’t get me wrong. I am as against the NRA and the tsunami of guns as anyone you’ve ever met. I just don’t know how any law st this point or level of persuasion will motivate people to surrender their guns, short of prying their cold dead fingers.

          • jon

            So how do we handle it if some one chooses to be a criminal right now?

            Do we presently give up and say that there is no way to deal with it, or do we continue to enforce the law, and through attrition get people to follow it?

            Did we give up with DUIs because people are going to drive drunk no matter what we do?

          • Ralphy

            Obviously we continue to enforce the law. But in this case, no law was broken until the shooting began. Nevada has virtually no restrictions on guns. Basically, if you are 18 and have the $, you can purchase as many guns as you want, and openly carry. The hotel knew this guy was armed – he openly carried his collection right through the hotel lobby.
            My concern is how do we, realistically, prevent the next shooting? Ban semi-automatic weapons? Ban owning more than 2 guns? Ban owning more than 20 rounds of ammo? That’s great. But what about the 300,000,000 guns already out? What about the 30,000,000,000 rounds of ammo already out? I’m not saying it can’t be solved. I’m saying I don’t have any practical ideas.

          • Jeff

            It’s hard for me not to be cynical and apathetic after all the countless senseless shootings with little or no action taken. I’m resigned that this is the price we pay so that people can have their 2nd Amendment rights (they can have mine, I don’t need or want it). And as you point out the cat has been out of the bag for a long time. I don’t think giving up the answer, but it’s going to take a cataclysm or a political tsunami to get anything done that restricts gun rights. In the meanwhile a lot more people are going to die.

          • Ralphy

            When will enough be enough for politicians to stand up and push back against the NRA?
            School massacres?
            Shooting the POTUS?
            Theater massacres?
            Office massacres?
            Church massacres?
            Political rally massacres?
            County fair massacres?
            Concert massacres?
            Birthday party massacres?
            Community celebration massacres?
            Night club massacres?
            Apparently all of these tragedies and more are not enough to even open a dialog in congress, much less embolden action.
            When is enough enough for politicians to stand up and push back against the NRA?
            I’m not optimistic that congress will do anything beyond offering “thoughts and prayers”.

      • jon

        Called it, “we shouldn’t have laws because people won’t follow them!”

        seems like we’ve done this all before… how did it turn out then?
        Oh, right, with a mass shooting in Vegas last night.

      • Jerry

        If it would be hard to take guns off the street, maybe we can stop adding new ones? But we know the lobbying and marketing arm of the gun manufacturers (the NRA) would never allow that to happen.

        • Gary F

          They would just come across the Mexican border like drugs do. That is, unless we had a wall…..

          • Chris

            Your pessimism is unwelcome unless you have a solution to offer. Are you really alright with the blood soaked reality the NRA has given us?

          • jon

            Mexico presently has stricter gun laws that then US…
            To own a gun in mexico (a constitutional right there too) you have to have it registered, and there is an effective limit to the number of guns per household (something like 9 rifles and a handgun?).

            This is a numbers game, if we can eliminate 80% of the problem we’ve made 80% of the problem go away, eliminating 100% might be challenging, but doing nothing because we can’t do everything is still doing nothing.

          • Jerry

            since we can’t make it better, let’s keep making it worse.

          • crystals

            Please don’t.

          • Kassie

            Right now, the guns go the other way. Guns we produce are killing people all across Mexico and the rest of Latin America. They don’t have the guns to send here.

          • Rob

            Let’s have a wall, with assault rifle-equipped vigilantes on top of the wall, stationed at about 300-yard intervals.

      • MrE85

        Australia’s current numbers on deaths linked to firearms still look pretty good to this American.

      • RBHolb

        In that case, let’s just throw our hands up in the air and do nothing.

        Oh, except offer our thoughts and prayers. That helps.

      • Jeff C.

        “Australia had a decrease in gun crimes for a couple of years, now it is on the rise even though they are illegal.”

        Wrong. The correct way to write that sentence is:

        “Australia has had significantly fewer gun crimes ever since the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 (21 years ago) and the subsequent National firearms agreement. While there have been years when the number of gun homicides and suicides have gone up since the previous year, the overall amount of annual gun homicides and gun suicides are much much lower today than they were before the extensive reforms to gun regulations by federal, state and territory governments that were implemented in the years following the massacre.”

        FYI – Here is a summary of the reforms from an Australian Institute of Criminology report : “The agreement resulted in restricted legal possession of automatic and
        semi-automatic firearms and further restricted the legal importation of
        non-military centrefire self-loading firearms to those with a maximum
        magazine capacity of five rounds. The agreement further committed all
        states and territories to a firearms registration scheme and licensing
        of persons in order to legally possess and use firearms. Previously,
        only handguns needed to be registered; obligations around long-arm
        registration varied between jurisdictions. In addition was the
        introduction of laws that were designed to minimise the legal
        acquisition of firearms by unsuitable persons.”

      • Postal Customer

        Shorter Gary:

        “Massacres are the price we pay so I can have cool toys.”

      • Jay T. Berken

        “If we made them illegal,”

        Are bazookas legal? If they were, this would have never happened…

  • Veronica

    We don’t know much about the shooter, but if science is any indication, he will have a history of domestic violence.

    The NRA should be treated as a terrorist organization.

    That’s all I got.

  • Ralphy

    Nevada has no permits, no background check, open carry. If you are 18 and have the money, you can buy a gun and brandish it for all to see. Thanks NRA!

    • Rob

      One of the hallmarks of American Exceptionalism is that life is cheap.

      • chlost

        Until it’s your own.

        • Rob

          Still cheap. Then unto dust.

    • Postal Customer

      A background check wouldn’t have caught this guy. He had no background.

      • Veronica

        Too soon to say that.

      • Ralphy

        Perhaps not. But there have been plenty of other shooters that a comprehensive shared database background check would have caught.

      • JoeInMidwest

        Registration of guns would have revealed that he had well over 50 guns which should draw attention, as having that many weapons is more likely either an arsenal or a red flag of a one who is selling weapons on the black market.

  • Jerry
  • MrE85

    It seems to be that this is the time when we ask the wrong questions in a useless quest to understand the personal motivations of this particular gunman. I don’t really care to know what twisted, dark thoughts this man once had. What we all understand, as hard as it is to admit to ourselves, is that this WILL happen again, and again, and again.

    If we come together on a plan to help stop this, we might someday see some different outcomes. This is not a country/world i want the next generation to inherit. Can’t we do SOMETHING to save ourselves, and the soul of this nation?

    • Rob

      Umm, the short answer would appear to be “No.”

  • Mike

    Although I generally support more gun control, I also think it’s naive to assume that incidents like these can be prevented if only we pass more laws. To me, this is a type of cultural sickness that needs more than glib partisan bickering.

    Maybe if our society weren’t so unequal and people didn’t feel so futile and trapped; maybe if we could jettison traditional gender roles and allow men to have feelings; maybe if we could learn to treat each other with mutual respect. Maybe these things would go some distance toward eliminating such horrors. It’s worth a try.

    • Veronica

      An older white man “feeling trapped”?

      No, sorry, guns and those (NRA…ahem) that have called them to arms are to blame.

      • JamieHX

        Why can’t an older white man feel trapped?

      • Jared

        That feels pretty insensitive. I’m not aware of what this man’s issues were as I’ve been avoiding all but minimal coverage when possible (really don’t need to hear people scream with automatic gunfire in the background while driving to work) so I’m not sure how it reflects the current situation. But older white men are just as capable of feeling trapped and having issues with emotional expression that push them to do harmful things to themselves and others. There’s obviously a problem that (it at least seems) white men disproportionately take these issues out with violence and on others but it’s possible that’s part of what Mike is getting at.

        As a white man I am well aware of my privilege and that society is stacked in my favor in many ways, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have moments of feeling hopeless or depressed just like any other human. Luckily I have family and friends who care about me and don’t reject or mock me if I express my feelings but not everyone has that. Guns being viewed as a solution to these issues is obviously a major problem but removing that aspect doesn’t fix the underlying issues some of these people are experiencing.

  • Barton

    before my last trip to the UK, a relative asked, “aren’t you afraid of a terrorist attack happening while you are there?” “No,” I replied. “I am statistically more likely to be killed by a male white American with a gun while in the US than I am by a terrorist with a knife or bomb while on foreign soil.” That relative still doesn’t believe me.

    • Rob

      Sounds like your rellie isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

      • Barton

        used to be, but years of watching nothing but Fox News has changed that.

        • Rob

          There’s a lot of that going around. My brother has the same affliction.

    • gus

      Too few people look to science and statistics to control their fear…good for you.

  • bpost

    I’m no mathematician, so I can’t figure out the probabilities. But there are days I wonder if my offspring, and perhaps future generations, would have a better chance at a long life if my great-grandparents had never emigrated to the US from the Netherlands.

    • jon

      Life expectancy in the US is 78.48 years, and life expectancy in the old country is 81.71 years.

      The hard question is if you or your offspring would have existed should your ancestors not have emigrated…

      (I’m also a 3rd/4th generation dutch immigrant… depending on which branch of the family tree…)

      • Rob

        No, male life expectancy is 76+ years; women is 81+. Don’t mash them together.

        • jon

          I don’t know the gender of bpost, or the aforementioned offspring. Also I’m not comparing genders in the US, I’m comparing the US to the Netherlands life expectancy to each other.
          You might as well compared the life expectancy of smokers and non-smokers…

          And both female and male life expectancies in the netherlands are higher than the US… so why seperate them… only adds noise to a an otherwise simple comparison.

          BUT since I like you.
          US male/female: 76.9/81.6
          Netherlands male/female: 80.0/83.6

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy

          • Rob

            : )

            interesting to see that there’s less discrepancy between M/F L.E. in the Netherlands, and that dudes and women live longer over there. Maybe I need to rethink the whole “staying put in the U.S.” thing…

          • jon

            You are welcome to leave, but as some one whose personal life expectancy is edging up towards 100, I’m going to hang out here where all the ladies are going to be!

            my 91 year old grandfather is in the retirement community with the 60-70 year old widows fawning all over him…

    • Rob

      If I and my wife were younger, we’d be very tempted to move to a more benign country. When younger rellies and friends express fears for their future in the horrorshow this country has become, we encourage them to consider becoming expats.

      • bpost

        For one of my children, we’ll wait & see if a Canadian grad school will help that occur.

    • X.A. Smith

      I think it was after W was re-elected when I started to hold a grudge against my Norwegian ancestors for coming here.

  • Brian Simon

    In other news, arms makers’ stocks are up. Yay guns!

  • Zachary

    I’m not blaming “Guns”
    I’m not blaming “The NRA”
    I’m not blaming “The Current Political Climate”
    I’m not blaming “Country Music”
    I’m not blaming “Mental Illness”
    I’m not blaming “Las Vegas”
    I’m laying the blame solely on the shoulders of whom it is to blame: This Asshole who chose to murder 50+ people. Let’s call this Asshole what he is: A Murderous Asshole.
    It’s not the fault of anyone other than himself. Someone who is only an Asshole.

    Apologies Bob – I tried to censor myself, but it didn’t work without it. That Word best describes anyone who knowingly and willingly commits atrocities like this. If you want to edit for content, be my guest.

    • crystals

      I am blaming guns, without apology. A man was able to kill a large number of people from a 32nd floor window 400 yards away because he had a stockpile of rifles that enabled him to.

      Yes, he is to blame. But he wouldn’t have been able to do this particular act of domestic terrorism without access to unlimited weaponry.

      • Zachary

        Sort of how we blame Ryder Rental Trucks for killing 168 in Oklahoma City. Or Stanley Tools Brand Box-Cutters for killing 4000 on 9/11. Or Marlyn Manson for killing 15 in Colorado.
        It’s not about guns. It’s about how people are assholes and kill other people. The solution is simple:
        Stop Killing People, people!

        • crystals

          Those are terrible and logically flawed comparisons, actually.

          • Zachary

            In what way? All were about Assholes using legal products in an illegal/immoral manner. Murdering someone is wrong, no matter how you do it. I understand your anger and outrage, I hate these events too, and want them to stop, but the blame has to be on whomever pulled the trigger, not the trigger itself. How do we stop assholes from killing people?

          • Rob

            Bzzzzzt!

            Absent an automatic weapon, no rounds can be fired from that weapon. So it is very much about the existence of the trigger.

          • Zachary

            Absolutely – and this asshole CHOSE to pull that trigger. He could have chosen not to, or to pull it only when he had it pointed in a safe direction and under the supervision of a trained range instructor – but he didn’t.

          • RBHolb

            Well, bad on him.

            Tell you what–why don’t you look for the family of someone who was murdered in Las Vegas, and tell them the whole thing is because the guy was an asshole. I’ll bet that will be a great comfort to them.

            I’m sure that will make the rest of us feel safer, too.

          • Zachary

            I will offer my condolences, and sit with them as long as they need it. I will not let this asshole change my humanity.

          • Barton

            So, you’ll do nothing. There is no humanity in that.

          • Zachary

            Sometime the best thing you can do is just be present with someone. It’s not like I can bring them back.
            What are you going to do?

          • Barton

            what I’ve been doing for years. Calling my elected officials and asking for tougher gun laws. Giving money to organizations who support gun control laws AND organizations that provide fire arm safety courses.

            Being present is the same as offering prayers: dust in the wind.

          • Rob

            But he did pull the trigger, cuz it was there to be pulled. An a-hole without a trigger is just an a-hole, not a mass-murdering a-hole.

          • crystals

            In all of the cases you cited, the object or person (from Ryder trucks to Marilyn Manson) was not actually the cause of mass casualties. It was a bomb in the truck, or the planes that crashed into buildings, or the guns that kids who listened to Marilyn Manson used.

            Yes, we need to stop assholes from killing people. Limiting their access to bombs, airplane cockpits, and guns will help with that.

          • Zachary

            That was my point, is that we don’t blame those things – we rightly place the blame on where it belongs: the perpetrators.

          • crystals

            We don’t blame those things because the truck, box cutters, and Marilyn Manson didn’t kill large groups of people. The bomb, the planes they hijacked, and the guns they used did. Your point is still flawed.

            Myself and many others are smart enough to be able to assign blame to both the perpetrators and the methods they used to inflict mass casualties. It doesn’t have to be, nor should it be, one or the other.

          • Jay T. Berken

            “All were about Assholes using legal products in an illegal/immoral manner…blame has to be on whomever pulled the trigger, not the trigger itself.”

            Ok, let’s say we do ban assault weapons, that a-hole will have still been there, but with less people getting hurt and killed. It is hard for this guy to hurt and kill a lot of people with a knife or a rifle.

          • Zachary

            does the amount matter? one? two? Sixy? This a-hole still commited the crime of murder. Granted, yes, the fewer people killed is better – and I want that number to be zero – but my underlying question, is why are people assholes? How do we stop the assholes? Whether it’s from a knife, or a truck, or a gun, or texting and driving – it comes down to people. Stop being assholes and murdering people!

          • fromthesidelines21

            Yes, let’s fix humans to treat each other better. While we wait for that, is there any restriction to gun ownership/use you would be willing to explore that could be effective in reducing the toll events like this exact? One dead is too many but right now it is way to easy to get to 50+. Something has to be tried.

          • Zachary

            It starts with us. We can all chose to not be assholes to each other.

            Sure, let’s start with looking at the universal background checks. Lets make sure that people who have an obvious ‘assholenish’ can’t easily aquire them. Let’s look at mandatory training and safety instruction. If you own one, you should know how to use it correctly and safely. I would say next, let’s work on improving people’s relationships with other people. That seems to be the biggest cause here. “I don’t like X about you, so I am going to Y…” once we can get past the whole “You’re not like me” barriers that people put up to divide us, and get to the “I’m human, and you are human just like me” that will help alot.

        • Chris

          You are part of the problem. There are things we can do. People who say there aren’t, are in the way.

          • Zachary

            Simple two step solution to end ALL gun violence:
            1. If you have a gun, don’t use it to shoot people.
            2. If you don’t have a gun, don’t use someone else’s to shoot people.

          • jon

            So no onus on the owner to keep their gun secured from people who would use them for ill conceived notions?

            Responsible gun ownership my ass.

            The difference between a good guy with a gun and a bad guy with a gun is potentially as small as one bad day… one person moving the wrong way… one ill conceived suspicion…

            Heck guns are a terrible way to kill people, especially if you aren’t picky about who you kill (like firing randomly into a crowd would get you) bombs are so much more effective, you can take out a whole city block with the right chemicals… but bombs are used so rarely in mass killings… because they are hard, hard to make, hard to transport, they require effort and understanding… Guns, Guns are easy, go to the store buy one, buy the right ammo, and you are on your way… we should make guns hard… we made bombs hard, we made automatic weapons hard (and then easier) but the ideal that it should be hard to kill some one is to much for some folks, because they an always kill some one so why should we bother making it difficult?

            IF we can’t fix all the problems so instead we choose to fix none of them, we’ve still done effectively nothing, and the problems will not get any better.

          • Zachary

            no, the onus is on PEOPLE to stop being assholes, and wanting to solve issues or make points by murdering other PEOPLE.

          • Jay T. Berken

            “onus is on PEOPLE to stop being assholes”

            You did not watch the Vietnam documentary, did you?

          • Zachary

            I did not. I don’t get PBS in the reception hole I live in. But yes, if people stop being assholes, a lot of the world’s problems will go away.

          • Rob

            You can stream PBS

          • jon

            Got it I’m going to leave my guns laying around a daycare center because the kids should know better than to shoot each other!

            Responsible gun ownership my ass.

            Secure your weapons, they are your responsibility, it comes with owning them… failure to do so makes YOU the asshole.

          • Zachary

            Both points I listed used the operative term of “you”:
            If “you”…
            Be a responsible gun owner. That’s one of the things that goes with it. Know proper safety and handling and storage, don’t be dumb about leaving them around, and know where they are. Oh – and don’t shoot anyone with them.

          • Ickster

            Ah. So the onus is on all of us to just be nice, and everything will be just fine. Got it. Guess we can disband the police and the military now. Probably also able to get rid of the Justice Department and the courts because you came up with the brilliant idea no one ever thought of before — just be nice! Wow!

          • Chris

            Ok, got you down in the gliberatarian camp.

        • Kassie

          After Oklahoma City, we started regulating fertilizer.

          After 9/11, we increased security and tightened down what could be brought on a plane.

          After mass shootings, we do nothing.

          • MikeB

            A thought experiment – just imagine on 9/12/01 political leaders saying, “Thoughts and prayers to the victims. But let’s not politicize this. No need for any action except blaming those who flew the planes….”

          • Zachary

            And we should do something – but how do you make sure that we don’t slip into “Future Crime” mode and punish people who committed no crimes for the actions of a very few.

          • Jay T. Berken

            “how do you make sure that we don’t slip into “Future Crime” mode and punish people who committed no crimes for the actions of a very few.”

            Tell that to the 58 families whom just lost their loved ones.

          • John O.

            Not true! We offer “thoughts and prayers.” /endsarcasm

        • Jerry

          Have you tried bringing a box cutter on a plane? Buying tons of fertilizer without an obvious reason? We have made changes in the examples you cited. With guns, nothing.

  • Rob

    Kumbaya on gun control/reducing proliferation ain’t never gonna make it. The cat is way too far out of the bag.

    I think all citizens of legal age should be issued bazookas and plenty of rounds, and should be required to carry their bazookas locked and loaded at all times. Mutually Assured Destruction is about the only thing I can see that has more than a snowball’s chance of cutting the weekly carnage in this country.

  • Sara J.
  • fromthesidelines21

    Some good information here that isn’t likely new to most of you.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/2/16399418/us-gun-violence-statistics-maps-charts

    It’s a matter of will plain an simple. In response to international terrorism we’ve decided on perpetual global intervention. AND we significantly changed our air transportation system, militarized local police, passed the patriot act…

    Totally lazy and morally repugnant to say nothing can be done to limit gun violence. People will continue to be violent. Why make it so easy for them to cause massive tragedies?

    • fromthesidelines21

      AND in response to the meth cooking crisis many years ago we now have to show ID and are limited to the amount of cold medicine we can purchase at a time. Why the heck can’t we do that for ammunition?

      • Rob

        Cuz ‘merica

  • Dave S.

    I thought this article from back in January was enlightening:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/10/upshot/How-to-Prevent-Gun-Deaths-The-Views-of-Experts-and-the-Public.html?_r=0

    Looks like 60% of Americans support almost all of these measures, and experts believe that well over half of these measures would be effective. Seems like a no-brainer, so this means that the weapons industry, their lobbying arm (NRA), and the poor rubes who’ve been convinced by the NRA that we’re better off with more guns somehow carry more weight with our elected officials than the majority of Americans and the experts. Maybe we’re not vocal enough.

    • Christopher Hahn

      Seriously, what could we do (how would we begin)? I don’t think banning all firearms would pass congress. Assault weapons bans I think are usually so specific that they are useless once the lawyers find a loophole.

      How about a ban on any weapon which can kill X people in 30 seconds?

      • Chris

        Have you called your congressional representatives to tell them what you think? That’s a good start.

    • Rob

      Being vocal enough ain’t the problem. The NRA’s lobbying might, political power and propaganda chops are well-nigh invincible.
      All the shouting in the world won’t move the meter.

  • Postal Customer

    Mayor Chris Coleman said we need background checks.

    The gunman had no background. Hmm. I wonder if perhaps Coleman’s idea is faulty.

    • 212944

      Seems to me that having “no background” would be a red flag, something to investigate.

      I like the idea where, if you want to purchase a gun you need to have someone – friend, relative, NPR lobbyist, whomever – co-sign on your behalf and be held criminally and civilly liable for any of your actions with said firearm.

      It would certainly add spice to family get-togethers …

      Son: Dad, pass the gravy, please …
      Dad: Sure, son. Here you go.
      Son: …and testify on my behalf as someone you consider mature, responsible and sound enough to own a shot gun?
      Dad: Nope. And give me back that gravy.

      • lusophone

        No background as a red flag? Isn’t that the defense the cops in FL used to pull over the State Attorney down there?

        • 212944

          No “background” when filling out the background check forms, which is what Coleman recommends for firearm ownership.

      • jon

        How many school shootings have happened where the parents bought the kid the gun that was used?

        Don’t get me wrong I think the idea of holding gun owners legally responsible for their guns is a solid one (and if anyone wants to argue with it, then I’d ask why they don’t support responsible gun ownership? because that’s all I’m asking for, is a legal responsibility to be a responsible gun owner) but it falls apart if some one is planning to use their own guns in a shooting and then turn them on themselves…

        Universal background checks, and waiting periods are a good start… it isn’t even about catching people with a background, it’s about making it difficult to get guns… because guns right now are used because they are easy.

        A gun registry would be nice, though again it would mostly be about making buying selling, or owning a gun a little more complicated, enough to discourage people who don’t really have much of a need, or even a desire for a gun…

        Heck even some mandatory training, demonstrating some basic level of proficiency wouldn’t hurt… again not about catching bad apples, but about making getting a gun a little more challenging… something that you’d have to be willing to jump through hoops for.

        Would these things solve all the problems? Nope, not even close, and certainly not overnight. Would they be a step in the right direction, probably, because our goal shouldn’t be to solve all the problems, boiling the ocean just doesn’t work (even climate change is only pushing 2 degrees C warmer on the ocean) but fixing little things, one step at a time, creating a better world than what we came into instead of a worse one… we can do that, if we really wanted to… but we don’t.

  • Kassie

    I’ll just put this out there, instead of banning guns, we could just ban men. It would be more effective… #banmen

  • Barton

    Have you all seen this chart from The Guardian? Basically one person a day killed in the US from a mass shooting incident for the last 1,700 (ish) days.

    There were 6 other mass shootings in the US in the week prior to Vegas.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2017/oct/02/america-mass-shootings-gun-violence

    • Rob

      As Pogo said: “We have met the enemy, and they is us.”

    • Jeff C.

      O.M.G. That is stunning. Shocking. Thanks for sharing.

      “There is a mass shooting – defined as four or more people shot in one
      incident, not including the shooter – every nine out of 10 days on
      average.”

      An average of 3 or 4 people injured in a mass shooting per day for the past 4.75 year (6,510 in total).

  • E.B.

    I’ve spent a lot of time today researching leaving the US. Nothing at all is going to change, and I just can’t bring myself to imagine living here for the rest of my life. This country seems broken. I love my city, but I really hate this country today.

  • AL287

    I am a substitute teacher and I have been in the same kindergarten classroom for the last three days.

    The boys outnumber the girls 2:1.

    There is one kid in particular who does absolutely nothing except hit other children, yank toys away from them, roll around on the floor and generally causes a nuisance all day. He can’t sit at the table with other children because he can’t control or limit his abusive behavior. His impulse control is zip.

    His regular kindergarten teacher is at wits end because until he is “tested”, an aide can’t be scheduled with him for the school day.

    The unfortunate aspect of all this is there are several more male students headed in the same direction as well as some of the girls.

    Teachers around the school say children’s respect for adults and authority has been consistently circling the drain for the last several years yet when I had a “talk” with these students about proper manners and behavior in the classroom, some of it did sink in (with a few).

    I don’t know if the Las Vegas shooter had the benefit of a surrogate father figure or not since we know his natural father was a psychopath and a top ten wanted criminal. If he didn’t then at least we MIGHT know the root cause of his sudden and deadly emotional collapse.

    If you don’t grow up learning limits and where the fence is, it is highly unlikely you will know appropriate personal boundaries when you grow to adulthood. You’ll wander your entire life searching for the “fence.”

    Something caused the shooter in Las Vegas to “snap.” It could be gambling debts/addiction, real estate deals gone bad, or the threat of bankruptcy.

    We may never know the reason for his sudden plunge into psychosis. We also do not know how many more like him are out there and I think that is what has a great many of us ill at ease right now.

  • Pej
  • Re: the 300,000,000 guns in the US statistic.

    Individual and household gun ownership has been in decline since the 1970s, when 1 in 2 households owned guns. Now, 1 in 3 do. So, while the number of firearms has increased, ownership of them has become concentrated into fewer hands and fewer households.

    “The Demographics of Gun Ownership”, Pew Institute

    http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2017/06/22/the-demographics-of-gun-ownership/

    • Rob

      Yup. Lots of what sociologists call “super owners” out there. My brother is one of them. He’s got about 12 handguns and two or three assault rifles.

      • Ralphy

        Same story with my brother in law.
        He is so ready for the bad guys – he has guns hidden behind the Sheetrock in various rooms in his house, and in the trunks of his cars.
        All told, I’d guess he owns about 20 firearms. And pretty much accepts the NRA as gospel.

  • Ralphy

    Right now the only “gun control” bill in congress is an NRA supported bill to legalize silencers (to protect the shooter’s hearing).
    Can you imagine how many more people would have been shot if nobody could hear the guns?

    • kevins

      Obviously, the NRA is empathic about the hearing of the poor deer that brave men use assault style rifles to shoot at.

  • AmiSchwab

    time is now to talk, time was now before “latest” shooting ; time was now in all coverage of this insanity.

  • Guest

    One problem with armed citizens, is in a case like this, folks running, one well-meaning armed citizen with his pistol out looks exactly like a dangerous shooter.

    HOW could a cop know how many shooters exist and IF this guy running with the crowd is trying to help or to hurt.

    Both acting reasonably, yet another tragedy a split-second away.

  • JoeInMidwest

    When it is acceptable to give virtually anybody access to guns which can kill some 50 people within minutess, why don’t we just make possession of bombs a constitutional right as well?? At this point, the real terrorists are in congress, the ones that accept the “bribes” from NRA and ignore any “common sense” as they are more interested in the possession of as many “cents” as they can.