With another mass shooting making headlines, the antigun extremists are out in force, from the President stating he would like Australian style gun control (and the firearms bans & confiscations that go with it), columnists not even bothering to hide that they want confiscation, to the slacktivists sharing facebook memes.
Here’s the thing, though. When they are done venting, if you ask them what their plan is to specifically address these shootings, they can’t identify what would have prevented them. Watch Charles W. Cooke do just that on Morning Joe:
I’ve got some ideas though. Pardon the coarse language, but it’s time for real talk and if you can’t handle it, you aren’t ready for a serious discussion on this topic.
Identify the current policies that are failing
All jokes about nuclear holocaust and wiping out humanity as a solution aside, I think we all can agree that the current policy of “let’s make sure that the crazy guy with a gun has a safe working environment” has failed miserably at preventing mass shootings. When you are just nutty enough to commit several death penalty felonies such as mass murder and the like, a sign on a door saying “no guns” isn’t going to stop you. With that in mind, maybe it’s time to allow people to defend themselves since there’s at least 10 instances of people with CCW preventing mass shootings or stopping them from getting any further.
Nobody is saying HURR DURR GUNS EVERYWHERE. Nobody is calling for armed swat teams in schools. Please save the “blood will run in the streets, armed vigilantes getting in fights over tests!” arguments as they haven’t born out in the 30 or so years CCW reform has been spreading through the US. Texas collects CHL revocation rates and unsurprisingly people who bother to go through the legal rigmarole of having a clean criminal record, getting tested and getting a permit to carry commit far fewer crimes than the general population as a whole. Before anyone starts whining about drunk freshmen carrying guns at college, most states have a 21 year old age limit for CCW so chances are the only people carrying are going to be adults doing continuing education or veterans using the GI Bill. All things being equal, I’d rather dudes like Chris Mintz have something other than their gigantic brass balls to fight with if they happen to encounter a school shooter.
As it is right now, even if your state allows you to carry at work or school, you can be fired or expelled for doing so. Maybe, just maybe, that should change.
This is not a “guns everywhere” argument. This is about being pro-choice when it comes to self defense.
Stricter enforcement of firearms violations
Most firearms crimes are felonies. It does no good to make all these felonies if you don’t prosecute. If someone is stopped on a background check because they are a felon, put them in jail. Obama has talked tough on this but hasn’t delivered
Then again, neither has any president. This is a decades long problem, across all administrations. Nobody has ever cracked down on these crimes – you know how you hear about background checks stopping [x] number of felons from getting guns? Each of those is a slam dunk fed felony with prison time up to ten years and fines up to $250k. They aren’t enforced ever so they aren’t effective deterrents – they are a toothless threat. When Colorado passed universal background checks, they touted something like 2900 criminals being stopped by background checks within the state and claimed this was a sign of success (and these were actual felons with ag assault, murder, burglaries, etc convictions). They made around 230 arrests off them. Who knows how many went to jail for it.
On top of that, a couple of these mass murderers had run ins with the cops prior to going hog wild
- The Navy Yard Shooter, Alexis Aaron, had shot out some guys tires, claiming he went into a blackout rage and got his ass kicked out of the navy on another firearms charge.
- The guy that shot up the Lafayette movie theater had been denied a CCW because he’d been brought in on arson and domestic violence charges. Guess what? No convictions.
Maybe, just maybe, getting some of these guys to plead guilty to felonies or putting them behind bars might have prevented them being able to buy a gun in a store.
Fixing the background check system
For those unfamiliar with the process, every time someone buys a gun from a FFL, they are put through the National Instant Background Check system that was proposed by the NRA when the 94 Brady Bill went through. The NICS system takes the info filled in on the ATF 4473 and checks it against a FBI database and returns either PROCEED / DENY / DELAY. It’s only as good as the info that gets put into it.
NICS needs to be fixed. States are inputting crap into the database, or not putting in complete records. The gun industry has a campaign to solve this: http://www.fixnics.org/factinfo.cfm
- Remember the Lafayette movie theater guy? Yeah, GA removed his info from NICS, allowing him to buy a gun from a pawn shop.
- Dylan Roof, the Charleston Church Shooter, had been arrested for drug charges and was pending trial, making him a prohibited person blocked from purchasing. Whoops, the reporting agency didn’t put the data in correctly and when Roof bought his gun, he was passed by NICS.
- Jaylen Fryberg, the Marysville School Shooter, got his firearm from his father, who falsified his 4473. Fryberg’s father was under a permanent protective order and a prohibited person – NICS should have caught that, had the information been properly
Worried about the so called “gun show loophole”? Open NICS to the public
We hear a lot of whining about how everyone needs Universal Background Checks and the Gun Show loophole and that sort of bullshit. The facts are that most of those mass murderers bought their guns at gun stores.
- The asshole that shot up Umpqua? Bought 13 guns over 3 years, all at gun stores. Background checked for each. Apparently he got chaptered out of basic too, so there’s that…
- Roof bought his gun at a store, and was background checked.
- Alexis Aaron, the Navy Yard Shooter, bought his shotgun from a store and was background checked.
- Holmes bought his guns at a store, and was background checked.
- Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter, bought his guns at a store. You guessed it, background checked.
- Eliot Rodgers, the Isla Vista beta bought his pistols at a store, registered them in California’s database, and underwent a waiting period for each after getting background checked – ticking off just about every gun control wish list item.
Lanza wasn’t background checked, but his mom was, and registered her guns, and complied with CT’s waiting periods and all that jazz. Even had them locked in a safe. He just murdered his mom to get to them, possibly because she was going to have him committed. So clearly background checks aren’t a factor in stopping mass shootings and aren’t going to do any good, even if you implement Universal Background Checks.
B-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-but 40% of criminals get their guns from private sales! Nope. Not true. That’s based on a study that came out before the background check even was in place in 1995. On top of that, a study from U Chicago just came out that surveyed inmates in for violent crimes and they asked where they got their guns from. 2% said a store. 70% said family or fellow gang members. In IL you have to have a FOID to get ammo, nevermind a gun, so these enterprising lads would have a girlfriend with no rapsheet buy a bunch of guns, report them stolen, and turn them over to the gang. The rest came from street connections such as drug dealers who’d been traded guns for drugs.
Color me shocked that people who can figure out how to get cocaine from Columbia, superlab meth from South America, heroin from the far east and a host of other illegal shit including human beings for the sex slave trade are also able to figure out ways around obtaining firearms in order to protect their profits.
The “gun show loophole isn’t really a problem. Criminals state flat out that they don’t like buying them from strangers because they worry about stings.
So what can be done? Universal Background Checks aren’t a good idea – it doesn’t solve the problems listed above, and adds a whole host of new ones because the NICS system currently gets overloaded on busy sales days. Plus, it’s really a dick move to whine about people living in food deserts and then make them ride public transit across the county (or in San Francisco or Chicago’s case, out of the goddamn city since there’s no gun stores there anymore) and find a FFL during business hours, forcing them to take time off from their 3 minimum wage jobs…. etc etc etc to use every possible tumblr stereotype about why [proposal x] is racist.
What is a good idea? Open a public, smartphone accessible NICS portal to allow private sellers to prevent unlawful transfers – not perfect but better than nothing and a positive defense against trafficking charges. The Coburn proposal was just that. The same people shitting their pants about how we absolutely had to do something about the gun show loophole and needed UBCs voted in lockstep against it, showing that they really aren’t for making improvements, just telling gun owners to fuck off.
Blah blah blah MENTAL HEALTH
Yeah, it’s a trite thing to say and paid a lot of lip service, but something needs to be done. There need to be clear reporting policies for people who are a danger to themselves and others. This is tough because on one hand you don’t want to prevent people getting help. On the other hand, Holmes told his therapist about wanting to kill people before Aurora and she sent his journal by snail mail instead of getting the cops out there. Aurora was the result. Lanza was supposedly getting committed. Alexis Aaron had several episodes including hallucinations prior to shooting up the Navy Yard. As did Hauser in the Lafayette Theater shooting. Cho,the Virginia Tech Shooter had court ordered psych evals too. The guy from Umpqua was apparently a sperglord and on several meds as well. Notice a pattern?
And you know there’s no way Big fucking Pharma is going to allow a study to be done on what kind of psych meds all these crazy fuckers were on when they shot up the place. So the therapists need to be more proactive as they are the early warning system.
Rounding out this giant TL;DR there this
Stopping things before they start
An ounce of prevention, right? Violence interruption work such as what Dr Gary Slutkin does – http://www.ted.com/talks/gary_slutk…ipt?language=en – this has worked everywhere it’s been tried from Chicago to Iraq.
See also Richmond California’s efforts which led to a 2/3 reduction of murders – http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2…-rate-gun-death – stop likely offenders before they turn into murderers by making them productive members of society. This involves police work and community outreach.
Anyhow, if you don’t like this wall of text SMDFTB
If you want to whine about how we need more gun control, here’s another wall of text from an actual subject matter expert on firearms, competition shooting, firearms training, best selling author and more. This is most of the standard gun control arguments broken down so ignore the parts that you aren’t bitching about.