The acceptable normalcy of mass slaughter

Nothing is going to change.

Nobody is going to say anything new.

This is the society we have chosen.

The slaughter of children will continue.

This is America’s normal.

These are the realities in the wake of the latest school shooting. Embracing God and a perverted definition of freedom, we believe that a person should be able to buy a gun intended to kill lots of kids in a hurry, faster than the armed security guard — the person you think is the solution — can put down his doughnut.

We will, once again, embrace the templated theater of mass killing.

We have passed the “thoughts and prayers” stage of a shooting, we’ve done the candlelight vigil, are working our way through the “how to talk to your children about mass killings” and we should be hitting the “good guy with the gun”, “why does the media use the shooter’ name,” and the “we shouldn’t politicize tragedy” proclamations of co-conspiratorial politicians any minute now.

Everything is proceding right on schedule. Normally.

This image is on the front page of just about every newspaper in America. We’ve seen it all before. One minor distraction on the way to the sports section. A woman of faith in a moment that even God couldn’t stop.

The comments section will soon be filled with the usual people saying what they said after the last mass shooting, and the one before that, and the one before that.

We are one day closer to silence. One day closer to when the nation doesn’t pause to mourn the slaughter of children. One day closer to no candlelight vigils, no TV cameras at funerals, and no self-deceptive, day-after questions about how this could happen.

We are one day closer to the mass killing of children hardly registering a blip in the news cycle.

With every massacre, we have deliberately decided that this is normal, and they don’t matter. Our Founding Fathers were wise to envision that this is the country we should have, and we’re just fine with that.

In its editorial today, the Miami Herald says it’s “ridiculous” to ask when we’re going to get serious about this.

If 20 schoolchildren shot dead in 2012 didn’t move Congressional lawmakers to push through some sort of common sense on gun ownership, it’s unlikely that the Parkland massacre will move them beyond thoughts and prayers, either.

Predictably, there will be outrage as we find out how easily the suspect got his hands on a rifle; local, state and federal lawmakers will either blame, or not blame, our gun culture; others will say guns had nothing to do with it, it’s a mental health issue. If — big if — legislation results, it will die, thanks to the sway, and deep pockets, of the National Rifle Association. Mass shootings in New Hope, San Diego, Orlando and Las Vegas has netted zero gun laws.

Then there’s this question: How long will our leaders, after offering up thoughts and prayers, continue to say, with their inaction, “Oh well?”

Don’t pause to even consider the question. It was answered at Sandy Hook.

  • Jerry

    Have you noticed that firearms section of the Fleet Farm ad doesn’t even pretend to be about hunting anymore?

    • jon

      The owner at the time (stuart Mills III I think) did a propaganda video years back about why we shouldn’t ban assault style weapons… in which he demonstrated how much deadlier they can be than a shotgun…

      Now the demonstration was terrible lopsided with the shotgun user clearly not bothering to aim and just shooting as fast as she could, and the assault style rifle shooter taking time to aim…

      And I’m not entirely sure what the goal of showing that an assault rifle is more deadly actually is… (I think he was trying to sell them as home defense tools… for homes where intruders are likely to be 50 yards away…) but personally I took it as an understanding that when they were shooting at the human silhouette targets there was no intention that these weapons were to be used for anything other than killing people… (and that stuart mills assumes the general public is filled with complete idiots.)

      • Jerry

        Was it one of the shortened stockless “just in case” shotguns they’ve really been pushing recently? Because that would explain a lot.

        • jon

          As I recall it was a normal hunting shotgun, full barrel, stopper in place to keep it from accepting more than 2 shells in the magazine… etc…

          I’m sure the video is still out there on youtube some where, it was bragging about how safe an AR-15 was compared to a shotgun, and then demonstrating how much more deadly it was… (because people are idiots and you can demonstrate the exact opposite of your claim and they’ll believe you.)

  • William_TellAll

    No easy solutions. I sat here for an hour thinking about what to say. My heart cries for those who have lived this terror. Mental health issues, the availability of gun ownership and school security/safety are at the center of this problem. All of these issues are the problems that a polarized country and government system needs to address. Will this bring people to the table or continue to tear us apart?

    • wjc

      Clearly the answer is “continue to tear us apart”.

    • Credit Warrior

      I too am sad. There is a sickness that is growing in this country that is highlighted by a choice to ignore. Many good people suffer from this disease. Time is a false healer for the issues that you identified. I agree that gun ownership, mental health issues, and school security/safety issues are the crux of the problem. All three must be dealt with. Of course we can choose to ignore and yes we will feel better later until the next tragedy strikes.

    • crystals

      I think there actually are some easy solutions, though. Other countries have shown what we can do and the results that followed: a staggering decrease in gun deaths. We just don’t have political leaders willing to do them.

      • William_TellAll

        Yours and my definition of easy may not be the same. I do not know any country other than the US that has over 300 million firearms in it’s citizens hands. This issue is far more than just gun control. There are potentially thousands of “two legged ticking time bombs” that have mental health issues that would find an alternative way to inflict violence on others. Yes, restricting gun ownership would only be a start, but banning guns will never happen in the US. 99.9% are responsible gun owners and would never turn in their weapons. I am for eliminating automatic weapons sales but any solution must include the mental health issue and beefing up security/safety of our children’s schools.

        • Postal Customer

          “This issue is far more than just gun control”

          This is the language of complicity.

          • William_TellAll

            It obvious you haven’t read my other comments. Guns ownership should be restricted…Don’t understand your comment?

        • Lindsey

          So, we should teach our kids how to cower rather than try to be adults about guns?

    • Kassie

      Mass shootings have nothing to do with mental health issues. The only time we should be talking about mental health and gun control is when we are talking about reducing suicide rates. People with mental illness are much more likely to be victims of violence than to cause it.

      • William_TellAll

        Some mass shootings have had a mental health link…Sandy hook shooter and the Aurora shooter. Most do not. Violence and mental illness has a link. Shootings and alcohol have a huge link. The breakdown of the family unit has allot to do with murder by handguns, knifes, poison and that family dysfunctional model creates an growth environment for criminals, character disorders, narcissists and a host of other serious mental disorders . By all means guns should be restricted to those that are responsible which is 99% of the gun owners. By the way I don’t own any guns and I have written and talked with my state and federal legislators on several occasions about these issues. Please contact yours with you views.

        • Kassie

          Some mass shootings may have a shooter that has some sort of mental illness, but ALL involve guns.

          Does mental illness have a link to violence? Not as strong of a link as there is between men and violence. Maybe we should just ban men from owning guns, I think that would solve a lot more problems than banning the mentally ill from having guns.

          • Credit Warrior

            Rational men/women do not murder whether it is one murder or a massacre . Irrational people will use whatever is available to carry out a senseless act. A ban of all guns will fail, however, I believe that semi automatic weapons ban has a chance to be banned or severely restricted. I have been a responsible gun owner (one rifle, one shotgun) for 55+ years. I am in my mid 70’s and still enjoy hunting a few times a year. In our Minnesota community the majority of our citizens own weapons in a responsible manner. Hasn’t been a gun related murder/suicide in the county for almost 25 years and sadly that was an alcohol/drug related incident. I wrote my state and federal legislators this morning about banning sales of semi automatic weapons and for stronger punishments (longer sentences with no parole) for those that commit any crimes with guns.

    • JoeInMidwest

      Mental health issues are huge. And apparently no other civilized nation has the abundance of mental health issues like the US. First place to investigate mental health: Congress, and the White House. Clearly.

      • William_TellAll

        Voting is a powerful tool and yet it is estimated that 50+ million people in this country will not vote. Lots of issues and limited solutions as the average American is not engaged in fixing the issues. Putting food on the table and paying ones bills are what most care about. Sad but true.

  • Gary F
  • Jim in RF

    What I posted the last time this was in Newscut: What well-regulated militia did he belong to and was his membership current? How in the world can someone without a pre-defined position read the 2A and think it allows for unlimited personal rights?

    • emersonpie

      You posted as I was ruminating. Laws already infringe on bearing arms – e.g. grenade launchers. How do constitutional scholars address that? Of course, the gun culture would have to buy into disarming, and who thinks that would really happen? We’re in it too deep.

      • jon

        I believe the supreme court upheld the 1990’s era assault weapons ban… (which was allowed to expire under Bush Jr.).

        Clearly there are things that can be done with in the confines of the constitution and still limit the number of highly effective killing devices on the market…

        • Robert

          The ban had to be very specific and as soon as the ink was dry manufacturers were tweaking designs to get around it. It’s effectiveness was limited.

          • jon

            So we have two options, to do something that will have a limited impact, or keep doing nothing and have no impact…

            Seems like this should be a clear cut choice… but here we are… discussing… encouraging people to go buy guns before some unsee government boogie man takes them away.

          • Robert

            I’m just saying gun bans haven’t proved to be effective. Maybe change tactics and work on limits to magazine size and narrow parameters on ammunition available which courts have been more in favor of.

          • jon

            as I recall the 1995 assault weapons ban featured a major component which limited the removability of magazines in general, and limiting the number of rounds in semiautomatic shotguns in removable or fixed magazines…

          • JoeInMidwest

            I just saw TWO people run stop signs yesterday. So we should take down ALL stop signs since it doesn’t prevent people from stopping or slowing down at intersections.

    • Josh Ruhnke

      The Supreme Court can. DC v. Heller ruled that the 2nd Amendment protects an individual’s right to own a firearm.

      • jon

        Activist judges legislating from the bench.

      • Jim in RF

        They willfully put their hands over their eyes and pretended words didn’t exist and a ‘militia’ in 1790 wasn’t something used to track down escaped slaves. Not the first time, true, but doesn’t make their abrogation of duty any less.

  • Gary F

    Do we even know yet how he got the gun? Purchased legally with a NICS check? Private sale? Purchased by his mom? Straw buyer?

  • For background on the shooter, check out this morning’s Washington Post. The story is “Florida shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz: Guns, depression and a life in trouble”.

  • bjnord

    I got thinking about Las Vegas this morning… the bump stocks legislation ground along until it slipped out of the news cycle, and it died. We couldn’t even do that small thing after an event with 900+ casualties.

    It seems the constituencies that want things the way they are have realized that they just need to put on their sympathetic faces, say a few quiet words, and wait for our short attention span to expire. We don’t seem to have the will or outrage or whatever it takes for the prolonged effort required for lasting change.

  • MikeB

    “We are one day closer to silence. One day closer to when the nation doesn’t pause to mourn the slaughter of children. One day closer to no candlelight vigils, no TV cameras at funerals, and no self-deceptive, day-after questions about how this could happen.”

    So true. We are closer than we think to treating this like a basic traffic accident

  • emersonpie

    Bess Kalb, a Kimmel writer, is tweeting in response to politician’s “thoughts and prayers” how much each got from the NRA. It’s time to call on Minnesota office holders from both parties to give NRA donations to victims’ fundraisers or some such group.

  • jon

    Marco Rubio called this “that terrible day you pray never comes”

    it’s the 8th school shooting so far this year… we were 45 days into the year so far…

    When “that terrible day you pray never comes” happens more often than garbage collection day, can we admit we’ve got a problem?

    In other news the lack of Obama not actually taking anyone’s guns has resulted in remington planning to file for bankruptcy… so maybe our long term plan of doing nothing so consistently is finally starting to pay off… I’m not suggesting we should stay the course, but at this point, I’d like for us to not have a discussion… the discussion has negative ramifications and nothing positive has yet to come from discussions. we need action without discussion or just stay the course of doing nothing… because the discussion only makes things worse.

    • Robert

      Remington’s bankruptcy has more to do with the poor quality control and the duds they’ve produced as new models. Remington has been circling the drain for years.

    • rallysocks

      “In other news the lack of Obama not actually taking anyone’s guns has resulted in remington planning to file for bankruptcy.”

      I have to say I was not sad in the least to hear this.

    • RBHolb

      Marco Rubio has received over $3 million in campaign contributions from the firearms industry over the course of his career.

      He should at least have the decency to keep his mouth shut about praying this day “never comes.”

      • jon

        I’m sure he did pray for this day to never come…
        It went like this “Please not in florida Lord, people will look to me for leadership, and we both know I’m not going to be involved in that!”

  • Gary F

    I read now that his past rants and threats were given to the FBI. So they knew about this guy being trouble last year.

  • The next few days we will see the “It’s a Mental Health Issue” folks bleating, all the while stripping funding from mental health resources.

    • Jim in RF

      It’s already started from The Current Occupant.

      • I expect nothing less.

        It’s a good thing the savings from not funding mental health resources are going to the uber-rich in the form of a tax break.

        /s

    • jon

      Or maybe they’ll just over turn another obama era regulation that prevents the mentally ill from purchasing guns…
      Perhaps they’ll replace the SNAP program with a “guns for the institutionalized” program… ensuring that every person we know to be mentally unstable to have access to as many firearms as they feel they need to be “safe”.

    • crystals

      It amazes me they can talk about it being “A Mental Health Issue” with a straight face while they’re slashing coverage for mental health AND refusing to talk about whether or not people with mental health issues should have access to weapons.

      • Lindsey

        I hate that they increase the stigma of mental health as well. The vast majority of people with mental health issues are perfectly safe.

        • JoeInMidwest

          It’s the mental health of those in Congress, and those in administration. Clearly.

    • RBHolb

      How about a sales tax on guns and ammo, with the proceeds dedicated to funding mental health programs?

    • JoeInMidwest

      The mental health of those in the legislative, the administrative and the judicial branches of the US government.

  • Chris

    Personally, I call Erik Paulsen’s office every time there is a mass shooting and let him know how disappointing it is he has spent his time in congress doing absolutely nothing about this problem. I realize he probably doesn’t feel shame, but it’s all I can think of. To Steve Kerr’s quote, we really just need better leadership in government to work on this problem. It will take a long time to fix but it needs to be done and we can do it.

    • kevins

      Ditto Mr. Peterson of the 7th.

  • >>If 20 schoolchildren shot dead in 2012 didn’t move Congressional lawmakers to push through some sort of common sense on gun ownership, it’s unlikely that the Parkland massacre will move them beyond thoughts and prayers, either.<<

    Truer words have never been spoken.

  • Leroy

    My comment from the shooting (I don’t even recall which one it was at this point, which is itself depressing) still stands:

    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.

  • Okay, here goes. I used to belong to the NRA. It was way back in the 1980s when I got interested in hunting. At that time, the NRA was all about hobbyist firearms and gun safety. Then it went nuts, becoming absolutist and political. They fought tooth and nail against a ban on “cop-killer bullets”. Since I was a police officer back then, I saw that the NRA’s stance wasn’t in my interest and dropped my membership.

    Now the NRA is nothing but “the gun lobby”, and is even more absolutist and extreme. And boy, is it political – hard right-wing – so much so that it’s hard to recognize that it was once considered a wholesome and respectable American institution. Of course there are benign hobbyists among its membership, but the fact of the matter is that we now see a powerful partisan lobbying organization that promotes a cultish devotion to total gun deregulation. Even more disturbing is the undercurrent of anarchist libertarianism among the worst of its adherents. Toss in a heaping helping of authoritarian thinking and racism and you have a toxic stew of bullying lobbying power that cows politicians and leads to the problems we have today that make us so sadly unique among first-world nations.

    How we proceed now must be deliberate. First, we can’t lose hope. Support politicians with spines. Be realistic by acknowledging that gun ownership is not going away and that good people can be responsible gun owners. But demand that we get solutions that actually work, and that means real control over sales, registration, training, and vetting. There will need to be effective gun reduction through buybacks and other methods shown to be effective in other nations. It will be incremental, perhaps maddenly so. Still, we must start somewhere and we must start now.

    In the meantime, act responsibly but politely and firmly. If you are an NRA member now, consider being like me: An ex-NRA member. We can do this.

    • Chris

      We need to re-brand the NRA as the gun sellers lobby, because it’s not been about gun rights for a long time, it’s about selling guns. Most of the NRA’s money comes from gun sellers, not rank and file members.

      • Yes, I refer to it as “the gun lobby”.

        • Jerry

          It’s gun manufacturers’ marketing arm that they somehow get their customers to pay for.

      • emersonpie

        I just read that the PAC of the NRA (Political Victory Fund) gets its money from about 300,000 individual donors. Between 2006 and 2014, donations went up from $11 million to $22 million. Donations surged after Sandy Hook.

        Edit: gun sellers contribute to the “education” fund, not to the PAC. Sorry, the rank & file are the funders of the PAC.

        http://money.cnn.com/news/cnnmoney-investigates/nra-funding-donors/index.html

        • AmiSchwab

          don’t forget russian donors

    • >>At that time, the NRA was all about hobbyist firearms and gun safety. Then it went nuts, becoming absolutist and political.<<

      I was explaining this to my mother just last night and relating my story of being on my Junior High School's Rifle team. We had a range in the school's basement – the school was in a first ring Metro suburb, and the shooting awards were funded by the NRA. That was back in the mid-1970's, before they went insane.

  • BReynolds33

    As I have mentioned after too many of these… nothing happens, because nothing can happen. SCOTUS has ruled, more than once, that firearm ownership is an individual right. So, without an amendment to the Constitution, any ban is going to be overturned quickly. No amendment is going to happen, because there are far more states that won’t vote to ratify than will, and that’s only if you can get Congress to pass it in the first place.

    Short of a constitutional convention, or a civil war, nothing can change.

    We have two sides, diametrically opposed, both with incorrect information and false pretenses and beliefs. Then, those of us somewhere in the middle, who just want to do something… anything… get blocked out. Just like nearly every other political debate in this country.

    What’s the solution? Everyone has their idea, but none of them are workable in the reality we live in. So, if you want the guns gone, you may need to pick one up and pick a fight no one wants to have, or figure out a way to get your state government to call for a constitutional convention. Anything else is just more hand wringing.

    • Did the Supreme Court overturn the rule that allowed a Social Security database to be used to prevent people who are mentally ill from getting guns?

      Nope.

      Also, the Constitution isn’t chiseled on tablets. It’s amendable. We’re not prevented by anything the Supreme Court said from adjusting to recognize that it’s not 1787 anymore.

      We have simply chosen not to.

      We’re not powerless because we have no power. We’re powerless because we’ve chosen not to use it.

      • Gary F

        The reason why the SS database ruling was made is because it also took the 2nd Amendment rights away from soldiers who are overseas and have someone running their estate, and from older people who have children and other people running their estates.

        So, it probably could have passed, if it was more specifically directed at the mentally ill.

        And, of course, it lacked that little important thing called “due process”.

        • RBHolb

          I don’t know where you get your information. Soldiers stationed overseas (and, often, domestically) have others handle their affairs by giving a power of attorney. A lot of older people use these as well. A POA can be revoked at any time, and they do not take away any rights. POAs are not reported to Social Security.

          If a person is under a guardianship or conservatorship, it means a court has found that they cannot handle their own affairs. Again, they are not reported to Social Security unless the ward or conservatee applies for assistance (do you want a person who is found unfit to handle a checkbook to own a gun?).

          But, of course, facts don’t matter to whatever unit of the gun lobby told you this.

        • It wasn’t a ruling. It was rolled back in Congress and signed by the president.

      • Chris

        It’s a bit unfair to say “we” have chosen not to act. Many people, probably a strong majority want to act. But our system, including gerrymandering that gives more house seats to the party that got fewer votes in aggregate, gives too much power to those who want to do nothing, not to mention the influence of the gun sellers lobby that crowds out any moderate republican. It is really time we name and shame the people who do nothing who have blood on their hands. Just think about this: 700 people were shot a few months ago in Las Vegas and absolutely nothing was done about it.

        • Lindsey

          i contacted all of my state and federal reps (of course, they were already on my side, so little movement there), but if every American who felt strongly about gun control did the same, you can bet there would be some movement.

          • JoeInMidwest

            Maybe. That bribe money (aka campaign donations) seem to rule in Washington.

        • “We” refers to society. That should have been obvious to anyone. It’s not an individual headcount of 380 million people.

          • Chris

            Yes, I understand that. And it is unfair to blame the problem on “society” when it is some members of society that are to blame. Should be obvious to anyone.

          • No, it’s really not. We’re a collective. This is what we’ve decided as a collective.

          • Jay T. Berken

            When did this nation start moving away from the collective “we”? Maybe our nation has always been moving away from the collective “we” at the inception of the Constitution? It could be the systematic flaw that has always there.

      • BReynolds33

        Has the database been challenged? I’m genuinely asking. If it hasn’t, it may still be overturned.

        I know the Constitution isn’t chiseled on tablets. But it can’t be amended right now without war or a convention. Congress ins’t going to pass the amendment, and if they did, the states won’t ratify. So it’s a pipe dream and not a real solution. I’m in to try, but it is a colossal waste of time that will lead to nothing except our ability to say “hey, at least we tried.”

        I fully agree we have chosen not to. That’s my point. The people of this country don’t want it to change, so it won’t. We can blame Congress, we can blame whoever we want, but the fact is, it’s on us. And we, as a people, have accepted this reality.

        The power is absolutely ours. But more people don’t want it changed than do. So the power is in the corner of guns. At least right now.

    • jon

      yup, nothing can be done… it’s why we are still plagued by the thompson machine guns sold in the 1920’s being used to commit mass shootings today… we couldn’t do anything then, and we can’t do anything now.

      Unless… wait… nope, thompsons are hardly ever used in shootings now, owners are required to register them, and frankly they cost a freakin’ mint. (though their price in the 1920’s would have been inline with the price of an AR-15 no-days after inflation is accounted for)

      Clearly we’ve done something before, we can do it again… why we don’t do it… because life has become cheap (and that is compared to the 1920’s when diseases that have been largely eradicated in the US still killed thousands of people a year…)

      Messed up world where we can’t do anything but 100 years ago we managed to do something…

      • Gary F

        Just what do we do with the 3 million AR style rifles currently in circulation? What happens if people wont register them? Do the government come and get them? I wouldn’t want to be on the law enforcement team that has to forcefully take away something that was previously legal.

        • Because people who own AR-15 are the type of people who might shoot cops?

          • Gary F

            Any firearm. It’s a constitution right. They were legally acquired. Until some “confiscation bill” was passed, they were law abiding citizens. Do you think all of them would roll over and play dead?

          • Jay T. Berken

            Let’s breathe Gary, breathe.

          • Chris

            Whatever you’re afraid of won’t be worse than a dozen or two people getting randomly killed every couple weeks.Rights have limits.

          • Lindsey

            Happens all the time with laws. Some things are grandfathered in and sometimes people must get rid of the thing.

          • Is there a constitutional right to ALL arms?

          • Can I buy a stinger missile? A nuke? No? Why not. It says right there “the right to bear arms…..”

            It doesn’t say the right to bear ALL arms. And I know how important it is for you to translate that amendment in the most literal way so ….

          • jon

            They were law abiding citizens until they broke the law… You know that is the very definition of a criminal.

            Why are you defending would be criminals?

        • rallysocks

          So let’s not even try?

        • jon

          yup the problem is unsolvable… clearly we’ve never done something like this before… it’s not like I made example of exactly when something like that happened.

          Clearly nothing can be done, and the longer we wait to start doing nothing, the longer it will take for it to take effect.

  • Mike Worcester

    I was up late watching the BBC News and their take on this was interesting. Their presenters could barely contain their shock not that this happened in the first place (they know better), but at the reactions of Americans; they’ve see the pattern before. In sum, they pretty much wondered if their oldest global ally was coming apart at the seams.

  • Al

    Kyrie eleison.

  • Sara J.

    You nailed it, Bob. And I am so sad you did. The truth of the situation hurts so much.

  • rallysocks

    SD Governor Mike Rounds was on the air this morning claiming that we cannot “demonize” one particular weapon, because other guns are deadly as well (duh). His answer to mass shootings in schools is adding “layers of defense” at all our schools.

    I was very disappointed that the obvious question to that line of thinking is: then they take their weapons to the public square just like Las Vegas.

    His verbal contortions and deflection of the actual problem very nearly caused me to just stay in bed the rest of the day and weep for the selfishness of the gun apologists who refuse to let reasonable gun control even be debated by our legislature.

    It’s also sickening that we have a buffet of mass shootings to compare to.

    • crystals

      I have zero problems demonizing the AR-15. I have many problems adding “layers of defense” at schools, because I have actually worked in schools and can tell you the multitude of ways that is not going to solve anything. Including stopping events like this one.

      • rallysocks

        Exactly! And on a practical note, where is the money going to come from to add these “layers of defense”?

        As far as demonizing, I also have no problem with demonizing the AR-15. Or any gun for that matter. AR-15s are easier and smaller to conceal, which may be partly why they are so often chosen, along with its rapid output. But a shotgun could feasibly cause just as much damage if the shooter is rapidly pulling the trigger.

        So, in a way, I guess Rounds is right, we shouldn’t just focus on assault weapons, we should demonize them all.

        • >>But a shotgun could feasibly cause just as much damage if the shooter is rapidly pulling the trigger.<<

          A shotgun has a more limited supply of ammunition and takes longer to reload.

          • jon

            That depends on the shotgun… removable magazines aren’t unheard of on shotguns…

            Which brings us back to the 1995 assault weapons ban that limited the number of rounds a semi-automatic shotgun could have in a removable magazine… the assault weapons ban that was allowed to expire…

          • You are right, of course. I guess I wasn’t thinking about tactical shotguns and was only thinking about actual hunting shotguns.

          • rallysocks

            “That depends on the shotgun… ”

            And the ammo. Pellets can scatter and if the shooter is firing as fast they’re able to, accuracy is lost.

      • Robert

        I always had a problem with people telling me AR-15’s are hunting weapons. Spray and pray is a horrible hunting technique and if someone counters that they only need a shot or 2 to do it then why have an AR-15 with multiple mags. Regular hunting rifles/shotguns accomplish the same, are more accurate, and often cheaper.

      • lusophone

        Yes, “layers of defense” will not do anything. Are we going to send every kid out the school door with an armed security guard? You can create a fortress-like school building, but the second they cross the threshold on their way home they are vulnerable.

        • JoeInMidwest

          Parents will have to remember to have their kids pack their glocks in their backpacks.

    • Jerry

      We have to turn our schools into fortresses because “their is nothing we can do”. Oh wait that’s wrong, it’s because they refuse to do anything. I guess the goal of the gun lobby is to make us as terrified of our fellow citizens as they are.

    • kevins

      I was listening to this on the drive to work. I, childishly, found myself yelling “Bull****” at the radio, as if it cared, which is about the same level of concern folks like Mr. Rounds have for the safety of children.

    • jon

      in 1934 congress wrote up some legislation targeting mainly the thompson submachine gun.

      in the nearly 90 years that followed the thompson has fallen out of favor… and is today extremely rare as a weapon of choice for a mass shooting.

      It’s not because the AR-15 is a more effective killing machine… by most measures it really isn’t… but for some reason after that legislation was passed banning machine guns, in the resulting 90 years deaths by full automatic weapons (which were manufactured as such) have dropped…

      It’s crazy how targeting just one gun can have the effect of that gun no longer being available for killing people.

      • rallysocks

        it’s almost as if history could teach us something!

    • X.A. Smith

      They don’t have enough money to pay teachers in SD, how are they going to afford security?

    • JoeInMidwest

      Clearly a mental health issue. The mental health of those like Governor Rounds, and many in Congress. And their sickness that is more concerned about collecting bribe money (aka campaign donations) that about maintaining a resemblance of justice and humanity in the US. Frankly, the US is

      becoming a shithole country in my opinion unless changes start happening in many perspectives: gun control, ridiculous tax cuts, defense spending (which doesn’t address current spending on obsolete defense items which has the support of those accepting bribes from defense manufacturers).

  • lusophone

    One father’s tweet quoting his son struck me. Maybe others have seen it too. He quoted his son as saying something like, Dad your generation has to fix this, you guys still freak out when this stuff happens, but for us, we are growing up with this, this is normal.

    • rallysocks

      well, that’s a punch in the gut…

  • DJ Wambeke

    >>>“faster than the security guard with a gun that you think is the solution, can put down his doughnut.”
    Please scrub out the unnecessary editorial flourish from this statement. Its inappropriate and offensive, especially given that apparently one of the fatalities in Florida was a security guard/football coach who died while shielding students with his body. (It’s unclear from this article whether he was “on duty” as security guard at the time of the shooting or whether he had a weapon. Probably not, since his line of defense at the time was using his very body as a shield.) But the point is – most security guards are likely doing the best they can with what resources they have. You can make the same (valid, in my opinion) point without resorting to a negative stereotype.

  • Jeff
  • Trump just finished his staff-crafted “thoughts and prayers” speech. The NPR special coverage analysis correctly characterized it as such.

    • crystals

      And did not say the word “gun” once.

      Way to read the room, Trump.

      • It’s always the same with the GOP: Thoughts & prayers, wait to discuss the issue “because people are too emotional right now”, blame mental health, then do nothing and wait for the check to arrive from the gun lobby.

        • crystals

          Profiles in courage.

    • rallysocks

      I’m always amazed when he quotes scripture that a giant lightening bolt does not strike him.

      • kevins

        Trump quoting scripture…only if someone else wrote it, which is clearly the case with this speech. I am surprised that he would even quote scripture, because I’m certain that Trump thinks his words are God’s.

        • rallysocks

          Hey, now! He knows 2 Corinthians!

          • RBHolb

            “And both of them are fine people, the best!”

        • rallysocks

          In all actuality though, that’s a good point. I don’t think he could memorize even the shortest verse “Jesus wept.” And if he did, he would probably prefer messiahs who didn’t cry like losers.

          • jon

            He certainly couldn’t recite it without making fun of jesus for being a cry baby.

    • Postal Customer

      In all practicality, though, it really does not matter what he says. We’re too far gone for speeches to have any effect. Moreover, the president has zero authority do anything about guns. Obama tried and failed.

  • Protect Minnesota does good work and is a 501.c3 organization. We support them.

  • Blasko

    I really appreciate the acknowledgement of the gravity here, Bob. Thank you. I’m becoming cynical. I think these incidents only boost gun sales, only heighten anxiety, only lead to the continued pullback from public spaces, only deepen the reactionary politics of fear. It is so hard to see what the antidote looks like, even though, as many have mentioned, the answer is practically written in the 2nd amendment itself. Supposedly we’re a strong nation. Strong nations don’t live like this, do they?

  • Postal Customer

    Have we reached the part of the cycle in which a gun nut asks rhetorically for sane people to define “assault rifle?”

    • Jerry

      That moment passed within an hour, along with “what about illegal immigrants killing people?”.

    • rallysocks

      I’m waiting for the ‘but cars can kill people!’ argument.

      • jon

        Cars kill fewer people than guns.

        All motor vehicles kill more people than guns (by a remarkable narrow margin)… all motor vehicles would include ATVs, motorcycles, and commercial trucking…
        Of course to operate a motorcycle or a commercial truck you need an additional level of licensure because of the additional risks involved…

        So when some one tells you that we should outlaw cars too, because they kill people, let them know if they outlaw motor vehicles, then we don’t need to outlaw guns, the guns will be stuck on the loading docks of the weapons manufacturers factories… problem solved.

  • NG

    Well written, and tragically prophetic.

  • Chris R

    The NRA is now the enemy of the American people. Its as simple as that.

  • AmiSchwab

    any politician that caters to the nra should be tried for accessory to murder

  • Jerry

    We need to stop perpetuating and believing the myth that it was a well armed civilian militia that one us our independence from England. It wasn’t. It was a well trained professional army (trained by a gay Prussian by the way) that did it. That and the French. But it is that dangerous myth that the NRA and the second amendment types cling to and use to justify their ownership of what are honestly military grade weapons.

  • Anger. Look at our leaders. They manipulate the anger of people, creating targets responsible for the problems of the angry man.

    It’s a lousy management style.

  • Motive is certainly important. Method is not irrelevant, however.

    In the end, though , we’re all wasting our time.

    We’ll be right back here in a few weeks to go through it all again.

  • William Hunter Duncan

    I don’t hear many people calling school shootings the metastisized bile coming out sideways, of a culture in denial about spending something like $5 trillion/yr on war/security/surveillance/propaganda. We talk about gun control, but not for the privatized war machine.

  • JoeInMidwest

    Like everything in Washington ……. just follow the money. The money in the form of campaign donations buys election, which buys congressmen, and then whoever (in this case, the NRA) collects on their bribe money to protect whatever niche they value. It is NOT the citizens that are valued, it is the bribe money supplied by the wealthy and powerful. In this case, the NRA, but recently the wealthy also bought extreme tax cuts. Within a week of the tax cut, Paul $500,000 in bribe money as an obvious thank you for pushing through that tax cut. And it was not the middle class that provided that bribe money. We no longer have a democracy. We have a kleptocracy …. a system in which the wealthy and powerful are STEALING the country. Clearly, we are the next shithole country unless you have bribe money.