« Cho Seung-Hui: "I died like Jesus Christ" | Main | Match Game '07 »

Who's looking out for you?

I don't care much for Bill O'Reilly, but I have to give him credit: he's a bulldog on some issues where we need one, and he has a great ear for phrases. And one of his catchphrases, one he used for one of his books, is "who's looking out for you?"

It's an important question, one that we should very, very carefully consider -- especially in light of the Virginia Tech massacre.

First up, also in the "credit where credit is due" department, I have to give praise to Dafydd ab Hugh. His piece on the shooting is a phenomenal read, and inspired this one to a large degree -- because there was one element he did not discuss.

Imagine yourself in one of those classrooms. There's a murderer heading your way, heavily armed and intent on killing all he can. He's not targeting you, specifically, just anyone who's convenient -- and that just happens to be you.

Who's looking out for you?

Let's start off with the police.

They're not there. They are on campus, but they're on the other end. The gunman is a hell of a lot closer than they are, and there is no way they're going to get there before him.

Even more fundamentally, they don't have to do a damned thing. There are several legal precedents that say that the police have absolutely no responsibility to protect individuals. They are charged with protecting society as a whole. So while the police might help you, and -- having known a few police officers -- almost certainly will do all they can to help you, there is absolutely no guarantee they will, or even try.

So you can't depend on the police.

Then there's the college itself. The college has asserted its sovereignty over its campus. It is the sole arbiter of who can and can not enter, and what they can and can not bring with them. They have decreed that no firearms (excluding those carried by law enforcement officers, and other similar circumstances) shall be brought within its ivied halls. With no threat of attack, there is no need for defense. They are making an implicit guarantee: you don't need to protect yourself, because we are already protecting you.

It's a promise they have no business making, because they have no ability to keep it.

The college's rule against weapons is a hollow thing. It is enforced solely by sanctions and social pressures, not force. Anyone determined enough to violate that rule can do so with impunity.

Your professors can't protect you. Liviu Librescu survived the Nazis and did help save some, but he was one old man. His heroism deserves all the praise we can bestow upon his memory, and more, but sadly the world is not filled with Liviu Librescus.

Your parents can't protect you. They're far away from your classroom.

Your classmates can't protect you. They've put all their faith in the institutions and systems and structures cited above, and have had their ferocity and aggression relentlessly repressed. They've been taught to avoid confrontation, to eschew violence, to seek alternate methods of conflict resolution -- none of which amount to a tinker's damn when that conflict insists on confronting you, and won't take appeasement or appeals to reason or pleas for mercy.

The military can't protect you. They don't "do" law enforcement. They're specifically forbidden, by law, to do such within the United States.

God won't protect you -- at least not directly. It's been a very long time since He's intervened directly and openly into the affairs of the world. A "bolt from the blue" would certainly resolve the situation, but it's a thin reed to cling to.

Bill O'Reilly won't protect you. He's in New York, doing what he does best -- being a blowhard for the TV cameras. He'll might raise holy hell after the fact, but that does you damned little good now.

So, in the end, who's looking out for you? There's only one person who you can depend on to protect you.


As Dafydd points out, one of the definitions of "militia" is "all able-bodied adults." I'd expand that into "able-bodied and willing adults," because will is a critical element in the equation.

You need the will to defend yourself -- and, by extension, others and society as a whole.

Liviu Librescu, born and raised in a foreign land, who never served one day in the armed services of the United States, died a member of the United States militia. He never wore our country's uniform, took no oath to serve, was issued no weapon -- but when the time came, he saw his duty and did it.

The heroes of Flight 93 would recognize him, and welcome him as a brother. They, too, saw their duty and gave their lives in fulfilling it.

So, keep that in mind when you think about the people, the groups, the institutions that have pledged to protect you, to keep you safe. They are well-meaning, they are effective, they are to be honored -- but in the end, they are fallible. They are imperfect. In the end, the last line of defense you have is yourself. You may not be able to choose whether you live or die, but at least you'll know you did all you could.

And even if you die, you will not be forgotten. You will have served as a powerful example, and your legacy will be those who remember you and draw strength and courage from your deeds.

Liviu Librescu.

Todd Beamer.

Mark Bingham.

Tom Burnett.

Remember them, as men -- as Americans -- who entrusted their safety to institutions greater than themselves. As men -- as Americans -- who were failed by those intitutions who had pledged to protect the. As men -- as Americans -- who did not give up when confronted with death. As men -- as Americans -- who chose to die, so that others might live.

Sometimes I wonder how we are worthy of such people. But my opinion isn't that important. They thought we were. The burden is upon us to prove them right.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Who's looking out for you?:

» The Thunder Run linked with Web Reconnaissance for 04/19/2007

» The Lasso of Truth linked with The Pillar of Survival

» Stix Blog linked with What has the VT Massacre taught us

Comments (98)

Let me show you how an Amer... (Below threshold)

Let me show you how an American dies.

Exactly on the mark JT. I h... (Below threshold)

Exactly on the mark JT. I have heard over the past three days on where was the police? Why did it take so long? The police can't do a thing until a call is made and then it is with limitations. If the police were to storm the whole campus with a show of force, they would pay dearly for their "disrespect" for their constitutional rights. So, most police departments have the protocols and rules of engagement that would naturally slow their reaction time down.

If one or two students had the right to carry, they may have gotten excited and killed two innocents, but in the end save at least twenty students. It boggles the mind that people focus on the guns and not the motive. He could have bombed them, knifed them, drove a car into a pack of students,etc. This guy wanted to kill, not specifically with a gun. ww

Fantastic post, Jay Tea. <... (Below threshold)

Fantastic post, Jay Tea.

yeah, ms mackriss said he's... (Below threshold)

yeah, ms mackriss said he's a phony. she knows him in the biblical sense, remember????????

Good post. I think it's a g... (Below threshold)

Good post. I think it's a good illustration on why gun control might be well intentioned, but it is extremely misguided and has the wrong effect. For whatever reason people still try to cling to this gun control argument is beyond me...

Don't forget the people who... (Below threshold)

Don't forget the people who jumped the Shoebomber and saved lives, including their own.

Where in our society today are people taught to defend themselves? The only ones I can think are 1) teaching children to get away from predators and 2) teaching women self-defense from rapists.

Wonder what "metrosexual" Howard Dean would have done when faced with a gunman.

I agree with those above: e... (Below threshold)

I agree with those above: excellent post. I also agree completely with your statement that "will is the critical element". It was certainly evident on the day of the massacre that this young man had a very strong will to carry out his perverted agenda. There may have been at least one student among those murdered/injured that given the opportunity would have had the will to fire back. I think having that opportunity in willing hands would have been well worth it.

Mark Steyn has similar thou... (Below threshold)

Mark Steyn has similar thoughts at NRO.

"They are making an impl... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

"They are making an implicit guarantee: you don't need to protect yourself, because we are already protecting you."

That, in my opinion, is the best line of the post. Good point.

Jay, well said.It ... (Below threshold)

Jay, well said.

It is better to die trying, than to die cowering in a corner.

Sometimes, even when you know you can't win, you have to fight.

When I was 17, a senior in ... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

When I was 17, a senior in high school, I was attacked by someone with a knife. It was in the school cafeteria. The kid tried to pick a fight with me, and I refused to be baited. He persisted, and pretty soon, I knew he had a knife (I did not). The clue was no one stiff-arms you with their left hand while they keep their right in their back pocket unless they have something hidden in that pocket.

Once I realized my opponent was armed, I tried to stall the start of the fight -- waiting for a teacher to interfere. Out of the corner of an eye, I saw one male teacher -- who taught science -- come up to see what the commotion was. Then seeing a fight developing he turned around and walked away.

I suddenly realized what Jay talked about in his post -- my safety was my responsibility. I could not run away. So I kept stalling, hoping someone would intervene, until he finally hauled out the knife. I blocked his first blow with my forearm. He landed one blow on me before I closed range. It glanced off my ribs.

By the time the fight was over (it took four people to drag me off of him) he was on the ground, with one of my knees on his chest, one on the knife arm and both hands around his neck. I was also banging the back of his head against a concrete floor. And yes, I was trying to kill him. I though he had nicked an artery and I wanted to make sure he did not stab me while I was unconscious from loss of blood.

He was so badly injured he could not get away. Why was that important? Because in the confusion of seeing me dripping blood (no one had realized a knife was involved until the fight was over -- all of my wounds were on my chest, and I had my back to everyone), the perp had been left in the cafeteria, while I was taken to the school nurse. The school cop went to the scene to take photos, and was surprised to see my attacker still there -- covered in my blood.

It turns out he was one of a pair of identical twins who had been terrorizing my home town for about five years. One would rob a liquor store, gas station or stop-and-rob, while the other was at a party. Then they would play good twin-bad twin -- there was always reasonable doubt.

Now the cops had one of them red-handed. I pressed charges. The other twin also went to jail shortly after, getting caught without the twin defence.

what did I learn from that?

1.) Resistance is better than acqueiesance. I got hospitalized due to that fight, but I would have been anyway -- and I might have been killed had I not resisted. Besides, by ending the situation with me in control meant that I was not a "victim." I was a victor.

2. Resistance is better for society. If everyone resisted criminals -- to the limit of their ability -- the price of crime would be higher. The guy wou attacked me did so because he felt immune from the consequences of his actions. He had five years experience to back that up. NO ONE had resisted one of his attacks before. If some one had and he had gotten bloodied by it, he may have been more reluctant to attack someone in a crowded high school lunch room. As it was, because I resisted, I broke up a crime wave in my town.

If I had a time machine and could go back, I would do it again. If it happened to me tomorrow I would do it again. I might get killed -- but I would probably get killed anyway, and I'll bet I can pop his eyes out of his skull before I die. And the guy that attacked me would wonder when the next time he met some crazy would be if kept attacking people.

So remember, the next time a crazed gunman comes along, don't go gentle into that good night. If you have no other means of defence, throw something at him. Then something else, then pick up a chair and throw that. It's for the children.

Jay, thanks for the link to... (Below threshold)

Jay, thanks for the link to the original article.

Unfortunately all I could ineloquently think of is the stereotypical Nancy or Obama-like response to this incident:

Horrible casualties in colleges! We're fighting a hopeless battle against determined mad men. We need to pull out now and save more lives! All kids out of college by August! Electronic-only classrooms! Stop sending Federal money to colleges unless they can guarantee no more carnage! Its all Bush's fault!

The URL references several ... (Below threshold)

The URL references several key cases, but the full context of Riss v. New York is important. Ms. Riss was the victim of escalating violence by a former boyfriend. The pattern is easy to recognize, and the probability that Ms. Riss was going to be severely injured or killed was extremely high. She and her family repeatedly asked the police to protect her and to enforce the restraining order, but they refused. In desperation, she applied for a firearms permit, but it was denied on the grounds that personal protection was not a "compelling need" After all, that's what the police were for. In the state court of appeals, two of the three judges issued the usual finding: you can't sue city or state authorities because they don't have to protect you, but one of the judges got it right. He said, in effect, you can't deny someone the basic tools for self defense, and then blame the victim for failing to protect themselves.

I urge everyone who hasn't done so to read Snyder's essay "A Nation of Cowards". This idea is explored in detail:

Most people readily believe that the existence of the police relieves them of the responsibility to take full measures to protect themselves. The police, however, are not personal bodyguards. Rather, they act as a general deterrent to crime, both by their presence and by apprehending criminals after the fact. As numerous courts have held, they have no legal obligation to protect anyone in particular. You cannot sue them for failing to prevent you from being the victim of a crime.

Insofar as the police deter by their presence, they are very, very good. Criminals take great pains not to commit a crime in front of them. Unfortunately, the corollary is that you can pretty much bet your life (and you are) that they won't be there at the moment you actually need them.

Should you ever be the victim of an assault, a robbery, or a rape, you will find it very difficult to call the police while the act is in progress, even if you are carrying a portable cellular phone. Nevertheless, you might be interested to know how long it takes them to show up. Department of Justice statistics for 1991 show that, for all crimes of violence, only 28 percent of calls are responded to within five minutes. The idea that protection is a service people can call to have delivered and expect to receive in a timely fashion is often mocked by gun owners, who love to recite the challenge, "Call for a cop, call for an ambulance, and call for a pizza. See who shows up first." . . .
Is your life worth protecting? If so, whose responsibility is it to protect it? If you believe that it is the police's, not only are you wrong -- since the courts universally rule that they have no legal obligation to do so -- but you face some difficult moral quandaries. How can you rightfully ask another human being to risk his life to protect yours, when you will assume no responsibility yourself? Because that is his job and we pay him to do it? Because your life is of incalculable value, but his is only worth the $30,000 salary we pay him? If you believe it reprehensible to possess the means and will to use lethal force to repel a criminal assault, how can you call upon another to do so for you?
Do you believe that you are forbidden to protect yourself because the police are better qualified to protect you, because they know what they are doing but you're a rank amateur? Put aside that this is equivalent to believing that only concert pianists may play the piano and only professional athletes may play sports. What exactly are these special qualities possessed only by the police and beyond the rest of us mere mortals?
One who values his life and takes seriously his responsibilities to his family and community will possess and cultivate the means of fighting back, and will retaliate when threatened with death or grievous injury to himself or a loved one. He will never be content to rely solely on others for his safety, or to think he has done all that is possible by being aware of his surroundings and taking measures of avoidance. Let's not mince words: He will be armed, will be trained in the use of his weapon, and will defend himself when faced with lethal violence.

[Emphasis is mine.]

Mark L, I had a very simila... (Below threshold)

Mark L, I had a very similar incident, but with a gun. I was walking home from a bar with a friend about 2am when we got held up from behind. That area of town is known for it's illegal aliens, and this was one of them. He stood behind me and slightly to my left with the gun to my neck, my friend in front of me, both of us with our arms out parallel to the ground. I spoke calmly to him telling him I was just going to reach back into my pocket with my right hand and get my wallet. Inside, I was shitting my pants, scared to death, yet at the same time furious, raging mad that another human would do this to me. I slowly moved my right arm down toward my right back pocket, and then I snapped, swung around and "chopped" his arm knocking the gun to the ground. As I did so, I yelled to my buddy, who couldn't really see what was up as he was looking straght ahead, to grab the guy as I dove to the ground to jump on the gun. The guy started to take off, no doubt shitting his pants knowing that we surely would have hurt him, badly. And I would have. He got away. I felt the same way looking back, that that was some scary ass shit and I could've been killed, but I wasn't going to be a victim. Needless to say, my then girlfriend, now wife, was none too happy about my reaction to the guy!

Thanks for the stories, Mar... (Below threshold)

Thanks for the stories, Mark L and D-Hoggs. I read the "Armed Citizen" in my NRA magazine every month. I've only had one armed confrontation and it ended well because I had a Doberman in my car and a .357 in my hand. (He sideswiped me on a lonely mountain road in Colorado, then after we both stopped, he came to the car grinning and saying "You're going to do exactly as I say." Then my dog silently bared her teeth at him -- she wasn't much of a barker -- and I held up the gun. He hustled out of there like his pants were on fire.)

I've taught my four kids that if there's a shooter in the school, to run away. Don't obey the teacher, don't stay under the desk, get out and don't stop until you're home. The whole concept of "hunkering down" only works if you have the ability to defend the doorway, and teachers are unarmed.

In Colorado last year a filthy creature entered a school in Bailey and lined up six girls in a classroom. He ordered the boys and the teacher to leave, and they did. He then fondled the girls, raped a couple of them, and killed one of them and himself.

I hope those boys and that teacher never get a good night's sleep for the rest of their lives.

"They are making an imp... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"They are making an implicit guarantee: you don't need to protect yourself, because we are already protecting you."

If they wanted the University to be a gun-free zone they needed to build an inpenetrable barrier around it and post guards with metal detectors at every enterance and screen every person and every object that passes through that barrier. (Not unlike what happens at airports.)

The idea that you could create a "gun free zone" by passing some legislation or rule is far beyond stupid. Whoever is responsible for declaring the Unversity a "gun free zone" bears the second most responsibility for this tragedy, second only to the killer himself.

Every day we hear the 'give... (Below threshold)

Every day we hear the 'give them the money and they'll go away' argument that doesn't work in most cases. It is a cowardly response pushed by the democrats here and around the world. Safety and peace only comes when the 'bad' guys know your will hurt them, seriously. Show Iran some before and after pictures of Japan's end in WWII, and make a firm promise. Quit the BS or this is just a sample of your end. Give the criminals some long prison sentences and keep them there.
Does anyone really expect the current congressional leadership to 'protect' this country? Does anyone really respect the current congressional leadership (other than mad dog political types who want to change the country to a different form of government, non elected)?

Excellent post!I w... (Below threshold)

Excellent post!

I wrote an email to both my sons yseterday morning, that pretty well echoes (though is not as eloquent as) your piece. Here is what I wrote them:
My wonderful and precious sons...

I have waited a couple days after the Virginia Tech tragedy to collect my thoughts and send this email.

God forbid you should ever find yourselves in any situation even remotely like what happened there, or on Flight 93, or at Columbine, or at Breslan, or at...(the list is, sadly, too long and growing). But if you DO ever find yourselves in any situation even remotely like what happened this week...FIGHT, and don't stop fighting! It is your best, and maybe ONLY way to increase your odds of survival. Don't let anyone ever line you up against a wall. I am not blaming the victims at Virginia Tech. They were badly served by a college administration that didn't even warn them to "be on the lookout...". While we never know what we would do in a crisis situation, it is important to plan. And the plan is simple: Fight!

At the risk of sounding like Tim Allen's character in 'Galaxy Quest': "Never give up...never surrender". Not a joke.

While your mother and I would do everything in our power to come to your aid, it might not be possible...and you can count on NO ONE else to come to your rescue. Sorry to be so dramatic, but there it is.

I adore you both. Stay safe, stay vigilant.

All my love,

Excellent post, JayTea.... (Below threshold)

Excellent post, JayTea.

Police, more appropriately known as law enforcement, are a stop gap measure that prevent things from spreading 'too far' or as Jay said, to protect society. Law enforcement cannot protect always protect an individual from an immediate threat. That's why the right to self-defense is so important. Ultimately, I'm responsible for me and I can, hopefully, count on the state for backup.

Each individual is the last... (Below threshold)

Each individual is the last line of defense, and we expect the Government to be the first. The Government (Federal, State or Local) has to provide for the common welfare of our society.

As an example, and contrary to what was directed to my comments yesterday, there is no reason, logic or right to own guns that can hold a 33 round clip, or in this case a 17-round clip.

If clip sizes were limited to 6 or 8 rounds the victims (in this case) would have had a better chance to rush the attacker as he would be forced to reload or switch weapons two to two 1/2 times more frequently.

Here was McCain's comment on high capacity clips:
..when asked whether ammunition clips sold to the public should be limited in size, said, "I don't think that's necessary at all."

Why that's a fantastic idea... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Why that's a fantastic idea Barney. It's completely out of the realm of possibility that anyone could carry more than one clip of bullets so limiting clip size would limit the number of shots they could get off without reloading.

Yup it's totally out of the question to carry multiple clips that could be changed in a fraction of a second.

/scarcam off

Barney, I actually agree wi... (Below threshold)

Barney, I actually agree with limiting clip size, and a few other sensible gun restrictions. I spent 8 years in the Marines and know first-hand the incredible firepower such weapons provide.

Of course, this would ONLY make sense if the law creating these restrictions was worded something like this:
"Anyone found to be in possession of a XX round clip will be automatically sentenced to XX YEARS in prison". The only exceptions could be for licensed gun collectors, etc.

Revolvers, and 10 or less round clips should have no restrictions.

I live in California, the land of the ludicrous plea-bargain. If "restrictions" didn't come with automatic mandatory sentencing then they would be worse than worseless.

Barney, forgive me for stat... (Below threshold)

Barney, forgive me for stating the obvious, but criminals tend to break laws. Especially minor laws that get in the way of the big laws they intend to break.

His guns were already illegal on the campus, and at least one of them had its serial number removed.

Toss in that there are zillions of these magazines already floating around. Just passing a law ain't gonna make 'em go away.

Toss in that he had two weapons, meaning he could keep one loaded and handy while reloading. Maybe, if he'd had smaller clips, he'd have taken along a third or fourth gun. That's what I would have done.

Or chained the doors and set the building on fire. That's not that big a step; he did chain some of the doors.

He decided to commit his rampage, and kept doing it as long as he had victims. No one stopped him.

There's an old saying that "it's a poor craftsman who blames his tools." It's applicable here, Barney. You're blaming the tools for the deeds of the tool-user.


P. Bunyan...while I agree t... (Below threshold)

P. Bunyan...while I agree to some extent with your comeback to Barney, I do believe that some of the massive clip sizes do make it easier for someone like the twisted moron at VT to wreak havoc.

As I said in my response to Barney, though, the reality is that I don't favor ANY restrictions of this kind because they would ONLY be enforced on law-abiding citizens, NOT on criminals.

One more name you could hav... (Below threshold)

One more name you could have added who I think would fit right in:
Fabrizio Quattrocchi.
Google it.

BG, I won't waste bandwith ... (Below threshold)

BG, I won't waste bandwith on pointing out how the two sidearms used operate, but I will strongly disagree with your opening line.
I, barneyg, am the first line. Always. My governmet, and other citizens, and most important, my family is what I hope to always protect. What good am I if I wait for "the government" or "the police"?
The Common Welfare? That is only constructed by the actions, not the forced inactions, of each of us.
No, bg, I will not wait for the police to "handle things", nor will I expect my fellow citizens to somehow shield or protect me and my family. I am the first line.


Great post. I wrote somethi... (Below threshold)

Great post. I wrote something similar on the 17th called Conclusions. When did we forget about 9-11?
I was not there but I do wonder why one did so much to many...especially college men.

Excellent post. Great comm... (Below threshold)

Excellent post. Great comments.

No problem Justrand. Barne... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

No problem Justrand. Barney is just a typical far leftist who lives in a fabricated state of reality. I just like to point that out from time to time.

This is one of this issues I'm rather extreme on. If it were up to me I'd pass a law requiring everyone to carry a concealed firearm. I wouldn't punish those who didn't of course, but if such a law were in existence violent crime would drop to next to nothing.

If they wanted the Unive... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

If they wanted the University to be a gun-free zone they needed to build an inpenetrable barrier around it and post guards with metal detectors at every enterance and screen every person and every object that passes through that barrier. (Not unlike what happens at airports.)

The problem with this is that, in this case, nutjob was bound and determined to do this. You could have had the building surrounded by the 82nd Airborne Division with fighter cover overhead and he still would have tried it. It would have neded differently, of course.

If clip sizes were limited to 6 or 8 rounds the victims (in this case) would have had a better chance to rush the attacker as he would be forced to reload or switch weapons two to two 1/2 times more frequently.

Good point because we know how well the "gun free zone" rules worked.

In a nanny state, nanny loo... (Below threshold)

In a nanny state, nanny looks after you, just like she did in the nursery. You are not expected or encouraged to look after yourself in a nanny state, because you are assumed to be unqualified or incapable of doing it, and you might mess it up if you tried. You can't handle your Social Security private account. We must do it for you.

Wait to be rescued. In addition to the people noted above, I'd like to add the kid who comandeered one of the idle school busses in New Orleans during Katrina. He hotwired one (that wasn't in Nagle's flooded lot) to start, loaded it up with his relatives and friends from a poor neighborhood and drove them to safety in Houston.

"Don't try to be a hero" is the message we send out too often today.

First of all, the term is <... (Below threshold)

First of all, the term is "magazine" not "clip".

Banning high-capacity magazines is a stupid idea for several reasons, including:

1. As in this case, if I can control a group of people (e.g. line them up against a wall), then I can control the situation so that I can fire and reload before someone can get to me. The capacity of the magazine doesn't matter.

If a group is willing and able to rush the person with the gun, the reload time is not important. The group would be foolish to take the bullets and wait for violent offender to reload. If you're going to attack: do it at once. The gun can only point in one direction at a time.

(And yes, this comes from personal experience. I had to face down a small group to get away. Both sides were armed, but the critical fact was the Alpha male was not willing to take a bullet just to get me.)

2. Think for a minute about what you intend to ban. A magazine is a box with a spring in it. The most complicated part of it is the end that fits into the gun that sends the cartridge up into the action. OK, how do I convert a 7-round magazine into a 30-round magazine? I cut off the bottom, add a bigger spring, and glue on a bigger box. I can easily test it, too, without anyone finding out that I did it.

Of course, if high-capacity magazines are illegal, such modifications are illegal. So is mass-murder.

BarneyGEach indiv... (Below threshold)

Each individual is the last line of defense, and we expect the Government to be the first. The Government (Federal, State or Local) has to provide for the common welfare of our society.

Yes, relying on the Government as their first line of defense worked so well for the victims. The government had them disarmed and helpless.

As I said before, self-preservation is YOUR right and responsibility. Law enforcement can only hope to contain a problem once it has occurred due to the simple fact that they cannot be everywhere at all times. This was demonstrated yesterday when law enforcement were able to REACT which potentially contained the problem.

There's a parallel between this tragedy and the human suffering of Katrina. Both are due, to some extent, in modern people's belief that government is responsible for their safety and security.

I see a lot of criticism, b... (Below threshold)

I see a lot of criticism, but no justification to have 33 or 17 round clips on semi automatic hand guns.

Sure he broke the law by carrying guns on campus, but buying a Glock is not (even if you are mentally disturbed-thanks NRA).

Jess, if we are the first line of defense, then why should we have any laws or even pay for a police force?

Lastly, I own several guns (rifles and one shot gun). There are several common sense gun laws that most all reasonable persons can agree to. One is a ban on high capacity clips. Another is to eliminate the back ground check loophole at gun shows, and finally, known mentally disturbed individuals should not be allowed to own a gun.

I am sure that we can all agree to modify the HIPPA laws to allow the release mental illness data to the background check database.

Something else about the su... (Below threshold)

Something else about the super-high-capacity magazines: they tend to be much less reliable than the standard ones, and throw off the balance of pretty much any pistol you can name. Anything past about 15 rounds in a pistol gets really, really impractical.

I think they should sell MORE 30+ round magazines. It'll help us find the morons and amateurs, and it's a lot harder to clear a jam inside a magazine than it is to do a fast reload with a standard 15 round one.

Barney, you are blowing smo... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

Barney, you are blowing smoke.

If a shooter is fool enough to put a 33-round clip in a 9mm handgun, let them. That sized clip will throw the gun out of balance, making it harder to use. Large clips used by bad-bad-Leroy-Brown types are a feature to those of us trying to survive a nutjob -- not a bug. So there *is* one justification for making them legal.

Your proposal makes life easier for the nutjob. You can eject an empty clip in and replace it with a loaded one in five seconds. If you have two handguns -- like this guy did, that means one is *always* loaded.

Care to make a useful suggestion? One useful to the intended targets of the nutjob,not the nutjob.

You want some defenses for ... (Below threshold)

You want some defenses for large-capacity magazines, Barney? Here's some from someone who doesn't own a gun, never has, and doesn't ever want one:

1) "I shoot a couple hundred rounds a week to keep up my proficiency. A larger clip means I can spend my time more efficiently."

2) "My gun was designed to hold that many rounds, and a magazine of that size. The smaller magazine upsets the balance."

3) "If I'm ever in a situation where I need to shoot, I want to focus every bit of my attention on shooting accurately and effectively. I don't want to have to keep count of how many shots I've fired."

4) Katrina.

5) The LA Riots after the Rodney King verdict.

And finally, the most devastating one:

6) "I want it, and who the hell are you to tell me what I can't do under the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution?"

For bonus points, apply Barney's argument re: magazines to high-proof alcohol and cars that can do in excess of 100MPH. Then explain how well the restrictions on cold medicines have crippled the drug trade.


BG, You're kidding, ... (Below threshold)

You're kidding, right? I mean seriously - do you honestly believe that police departments provide you with individual protections?
Of course we have laws - but I sincerely hope that you recognize that "law", in and of itself, exists only when all involved agree & behave accordingly.
"Law" and "Police" will not stop one who wishes to ignore agreements and conventions, and if that person wishes my family harm, I am responsible - not "Police" or "Law Enforcement".
You claim to own firearms, as do I. I have planned for many years on how to best deploy them in the case of need. Should I instead rid myself of them & rely on the Police? I will not. You, of course, may.


Barney, So what i... (Below threshold)


So what is a reasonable magazine capacity. 10 rds instead of 15? So to shoot 30 shots a killer has to reload one extra time, something that takes 2-3 seconds. Maybe 5 round clips? Or perhaps we can go back to muskets? The killer could still be an avid hunter, but he couldn't use his muzzle loader to kill more than one person at time without reloading. (sarcasm)

And I would agree, mentally ill people should not be in possession of firearms. However, at what point, after they have been treated and determined to be "well". do we let them have their rights to own firearms back? Lots of questions. I'd be willing to be that there are laws already on the books that just go enforced. Either that or the ACLU will say we're violating rights to privacy..

1) Those known to be mental... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

1) Those known to be mentally disturbed aren't allowed to have weapons. If the notification laws had been followed, Cho would have had his purchases denied on this basis.

2) There's no such thing as a "gun show loophole".

3) In preventing crime, magazine size is completely irrelevant.

"I am sure that we can all ... (Below threshold)

"I am sure that we can all agree to modify the HIPPA laws to allow the release mental illness data to the background check database."

Posted by: BarneyG2000

Yeah, I'm sure your ACLU friends would allow that barney.

I got some high-capacity mo... (Below threshold)

I got some high-capacity moon clips for my S&W 625. They didn't work very well. ;)

BarneyG200:Jess, ... (Below threshold)

Jess, if we are the first line of defense, then why should we have any laws or even pay for a police force?


Police / law enforcement:
As I said before, police are law ENFORCEMENT... which means by necessity that they are a reactionary force. Only once a law has been violated and the violation brought to proper attention, are law enforcement able to do anything. As in the VA Tech shooting, law enforcement did its job when it acted to prevent the violence from spreading or continuing.

Laws do not prevent anything. Let me say it again... laws do not PREVENT anything. Laws basically provide a means of recourse and provide boundaries, that when violated, can result in punishment (again, note that everything is entirely reactive).

People are finally starting... (Below threshold)

People are finally starting to notice that a lot of the more "interesting" violent crimes are committed by people who, in previous times, would have been locked up in a funny farm...

You can see a lot of them on public display in most large cities. We call them "homeless" now, but people used to refer to them as "crazy people."

"Jess, if we are the fir... (Below threshold)

"Jess, if we are the first line of defense, then why should we have any laws or even pay for a police force?"

Boy, you're really grasping with that one.

A) I have two hand guns, one shotgun and an 75 lb german shepard in my house.

B) I also have a neighbor two doors down who is a cop.

Which do you think makes me safer? A or B?

And let's say Mr. Psycho indeed have two guns with smaller clips and didn't kill as many people. What are you going to tell the parents? "Thank goodness we have restricted gun clip laws so your kid was one of only a few." ??

And Barney,I'd app... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

And Barney,

I'd appreciate it if you could explain how, in your fabricated reality, the NRA is responsible for mentally ill people being able to legally buy a firearm?

Cirby and marc argue the hi... (Below threshold)

Cirby and marc argue the high capacity clips are a detriment and jay argues they are not?

The difference between life and death in this situation could have been the two to three seconds the killer needed to reload a new clip, and no you can not fire one gun and reload another at the same time.

Still nobody has presented a reasonable argument for allowing high capacity clips.

Personally I would eliminate semi automatic hand guns except for collectors and competition shooters, but I would compromise to 6 to 8 round clips.

Agreed, P. Bunyan... Especi... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Agreed, P. Bunyan... Especially since the NRA was one of the proponents of the very notification laws that were apparently ignored in Mr. Cho's case.

I guess it depends on what ... (Below threshold)

I guess it depends on what you view as a "reasonable" argument.

As with any variety of gun control, making high capacity magazines illegal would do little to keep bad people from getting them.

It would be better if this nut case couldn't get guns at all. But that doesn't work either.

Barney, like I said, I'm no... (Below threshold)

Barney, like I said, I'm no gun expert. But lemme get all Goldilocks on you:

Let's say that the gun in question was designed for a 15-round magazine.

Barney's clip: This one is too small.

30-round clip: This one is too big.

15-round clip: this one is JUST RIGHT.

Remember the use of the word "balance," Barney. That implies a happy medium, between "too few" and "too many."

Oh, that's right. Since Fox News uses the word "balanced" in its slogan, it's a bad word to Barney. My bad.


BarneyG2000:The d... (Below threshold)

The difference between life and death in this situation could have been the two to three seconds the killer needed to reload a new clip, and no you can not fire one gun and reload another at the same time.

I haven't read that he didn't reload. What's the source of your information ?

The second round of killing... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

The second round of killings went on for several minutes (don't remember exactly- something like 20). "A few seconds" were irrelevant. The size of his magazines were irrelevant. Most points Barney tries to make are irrelevant.

mike, if each classroom hel... (Below threshold)

mike, if each classroom held 25 students and the killer had one gun with 17-round and the other with 12-rounds then he only had to switch guns, kill everyone in the classroom then reload and moving to the next class room.

Cho could not have purchased a high capacity hand gun if that type of gun was illegal. He purchased his guns legally.

So since you didn't answer ... (Below threshold)

So since you didn't answer my question and simply engaged in conjuncture, I can safely conclude that there was no basis for your original point.

Cho could not have purchased a high capacity hand gun if that type of gun was illegal. He purchased his guns legally.

You continually fail to grasp that making something illegal doesn't prevent it.

He killed 32 other people a... (Below threshold)

He killed 32 other people and wounded a lot more.

It's pretty damned obvious he reloaded.

He was only firing stock 15-round magazines, according to more recent reports (not the super-capacity mags some folks have claimed).

From the eyewitness accounts, it's really, really obvious that he tended to open a door, emptied a magazine into the room, stepped back from the door, reloaded, and resumed fire.

Actually, he apparently pur... (Below threshold)

Actually, he apparently purchased his guns illegally, due to his recorded mental health problems. The state just screwed up by not blocking him from buying them when the background check was run.

So much (once again) for relying on government to protect you.

No, _Mike_,Just lo... (Below threshold)
P. Bunayn:

No, _Mike_,

Just look at drugs. It's totally impossible to buy pot in this country because it's illegal.

And since it's illegal for people to sneak across the boarder we have absolutely no illegal alliens in this country.

/scarcasm off

Cirby:Some of the ... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:


Some of the reports I've seen on other boards from LE people in the area are saying he was using the triple tap pattern... In other words, 3 rounds per execution.

RE: High-capacity magazines... (Below threshold)

RE: High-capacity magazines
"Terrified students lined up against the wall of their classroom and shot, execution-style."
This doesn't sound like a great deal of accuracy was required.

The main reasons why a ban on high-capacity magazines is a bad idea is that anyone can circumvent the law with ease. Magazines are not exactly high-tech pieces of equipment. And if a bad guy can control the situation (small, isolated groups) this well, it won't make any difference.

RE: Two or three seconds to reload
Only if the operator is a complete klutz. And, by the way, he had a second gun. That is no only the fastest way to reload, it is also the fastest way to retain control of a small group. He can use the second weapon to keep others at bay, and if he can order them to back up, then he can get all the time he needs to reload.

RE: Mental incompetence
Over the last several decades the definition of mental incompetence has changed so that mentally disturbed people have more personal freedom than they used to. This has made society as a whole more dangerous as these individuals commit terrible crimes. If someone wants to try to amend the law to allow nation-wide to allow more mental health records to be used in the background check system, then that would be great. But it won't help that much, it might not have prevented this crime at all, and the law-makers will probably have to battle advocates for the mentally disturbed.

You continually fail to ... (Below threshold)

You continually fail to grasp that making something illegal doesn't prevent it.

Is this really the argument you want to make, Mike? You can't prevent it, so don't bother making it illegal? We can't prevent murder either.

(btw I'm don't think high-capacity magazines are even an issue, I'm just curious about the argument here)

Wow, Barney really screwed ... (Below threshold)

Wow, Barney really screwed himself up with his blatant lies this time. He's stuck haivng to limply defend the retarded notion that the clip size matters because he wants to fault Bush for the whole thing, as he did in the last VT shooter post comments.

"Sure he broke the law by carrying guns on campus..."

What he's saying is: Sure the guy broke THAT law, but he would have followed THIS OTHER law. Surely he couldn't have broken both, right?

He didn't need to "fire one gun and reload another at the same time." He needed to reload and have the threat of being able to instantaneously stop reloading and shoot someone with the other gun. Apparently that worked out pretty well for him.

Most people who have guns are not necessarily the best shot. I wouldn't want to explain to some kid
that their folks died after they failed to critically injure a burgler in 6-8 shots and Barney didn't "feel" that they should have any more opportunities. In typicall liberal fashion, Barney feels he should be the sole decider of arbitrary limitations on others.

Then Barney goes right into creating loopholes in the new fantasy law he wants passed... making it instantaneously useless. If collectors and sportsmen can get a thing, criminals can too.

"it might not have prev... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"it might not have prevented this crime at all"

Agreed-except for the "might" part. He would have just used some other weapon or found a way to purchase the guns illegally.

mike, if legality did not p... (Below threshold)

mike, if legality did not play a part, then why didn't Cho purchase a fully automatic weapon? There are plenty of small caliber fully automatic weapons that are easily concealable in a back pack?

cirby, have you checked out the Fed and VA background check laws? As far as I could see Cho's situation did not prevent him from buying guns.

P. Bunyan:Exactly ... (Below threshold)

P. Bunyan:

Exactly why I said "might". He certainly had other options to acquire the weapons. A change in the law would have made it harder and potentially increased his risk of discovery.

Is this really the argum... (Below threshold)

Is this really the argument you want to make, Mike? You can't prevent it, so don't bother making it illegal? We can't prevent murder either.

You're reading into my posts something that isn't there. Read them again. I'm certainly not arguing that since something can't prevented it shouldn't be illegal. I'm arguing that laws are NOT preventative but punitive. Laws simply provide a method of recourse (and are thus reactionary not preventative).

That is laws do not prevent anything they simply provide a means of recourse.

You're reading into my p... (Below threshold)

You're reading into my posts something that isn't there. Read them again.

Oops, nevermind then. Sorry bout that.

BarneyG:mike, if ... (Below threshold)

mike, if legality did not play a part, then why didn't Cho purchase a fully automatic weapon?

Are you contending that somehow he didn't want to break that law ?

Your originally argument was that if he had smaller magazines then the students could have rushed him and subdued him but that it was somehow the larger clips that prevented this (rephrase if I'm misunderstanding). I contend it didn't matter and wouldn't have mattered. Did the students know whether he was using std size magazines and when they realized the he wasn't decided that it was best not to charge him ?

To people who insist on pur... (Below threshold)

To people who insist on purchasing automatic pistols:

DON'T load the magazine to capacity.

It wears out the feed spring and your pistol WILL jam. Maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow...

10 rd. clip = 9 rds.

RE: Why high-capacity magaz... (Below threshold)

RE: Why high-capacity magazines?

This issue was raised in detail by the 1993 Violent Crime Control Act that included the Assault Weapons Ban. The ban proposed that high-capacity magazines should only be sold to law enforcement officers. Why not ban them completely? Why not have one set of rules for everyone? (I believe that they do in Canada.) For example, when the AW ban was first passed, a New York city official announced that he was putting in a purchase order for the 10-round magazines. This policeman's union immediately killed that idea.

Law enforcement officials stated that police officers needed the utility of high-capacity magazines. The implication, of course, was that citizens do not. That's an interesting idea. One or more bad guys that have the stones to shoot it out with police would somehow never be the same bad guys that would try to take on a private citizen. Also remember that if a home owner ends up trying to defend his home, his family, and himself against a violent offender, he is probably alone. He doesn't have a badge. He is not protected by special laws covering assault or killing a police officer. He doesn't have the communications system that will send him backup at a much higher priority that any other police call. He may not even have a spare magazine that he can use to reload.

The police had a problem. They were considered experts in law enforcement and experts in these tactical situations, and they were telling the public that they need these magazines. Fine. Please explain why you need them and we don't. They couldn't do it. In fact, by any reasonable standard, a lone citizen has a greater tactical disadvantage.

BryanD: I fill my clip, th... (Below threshold)

BryanD: I fill my clip, then I make sure one round is in the chamber so I'm ready :-)

BryanD...It depend... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:


It depends. You can load them to capacity, but only if you're not cycling ammo in and out of the mag. It's the repetition that kills good quality springs. Poor quality springs, on the other hand, are going to crap out regardless.

Yes, let us ban semi-automa... (Below threshold)

Yes, let us ban semi-automatic weapons... just because! I mean, revolvers are slower than semi-autos, right? That is why the "automatic" is in the name, right?

Let us ban "high"-capacity magazines... just because! I mean, there could never be a self-defense situation wherein someone's life was on the line, and he or she had to have 15 rounds as opposed to 6 or 8, and the pause necessary to perform the reload cost him/her his/her life! Of course there could not!

Of course having two guns does not mean one can shoot one while reloading the other one! I mean, you obviously cannot reload and fire at the exact same time, but, obviously having one fully-loaded and armed gun and one that is still in the process of being reloaded means that you could not pause in the reloading process to shoot the other one! Of course it does not!

Of course a "rational argument" is necessary to defend a right that the Constitution said was unassailable! I mean, if you cannot adequately defend it, you obviously do not need it, right?

Of course we should rely solely and entirely upon the police and the Government for our own personal safety and defense... I mean, they are required to come to our aid, are they not? And there are obviously enough police members to ensure that all civilians' problems are responded to immediately and before any loss of life or property occurs!



Do people even bother to try and think their "arguments" through before writing them? Good lord... it is like shooting sedated fish in a barrel.

byranD is absolutely right ... (Below threshold)

byranD is absolutely right about compressing the spring. If you load a magazine to full capacity, use that round to cycle the action and put it in the tube. This will leave the magazine a round short, but it saves a lot of stress on the spring.

Also, if the magazine is stored for extended periods in a loaded condition, it is a good idea to buy spare magazines and rotate them every few months. Unload one set of magazines to decompress the springs completely, and then put the ammunition in the other set of magazines.

In addition, follow the manufacturer's instructions about lubrication. If the slide dries out it may not function.

And finally, do not load premium ammunition (e.g. hollow points or pre-fragmented rounds) into a self-defense gun that you haven't thoroughly tested with that ammo. Many semi-autos are designed for military ball. They don't always feed correctly with all ammunition. A life-and-death situation is not a good time to discover that the gun in your hand doesn't like the ammunition you purchased.

In many cases a revolver is a better choice.
1. It requires less maintenance (no springs or slides to worry about).
2. No ramp jams.
3. No safety mechanism (except the one between your ears).
4. If you have to point it at a bad guy at close range, he may thing about several things: (1) Is this person willing to shoot me? (2) Does the person know how to use it? (3) Is it even loaded?
Question #1 is critical. Question #2 is partially answered by a revolver because they are easier to use. The answer to question #3 is obvious: if he looks down the side of the revolver, he can see those nice shiny little bullets staring back.

First I have to say this ha... (Below threshold)

First I have to say this has been about the best debated issue ever on this site. There are disagreements, but the civility for the most part is there. Only to dream of this being the rule.

More innocent people are killed by drunken drivers then by guns. Yet cars and booze is still available. Even strict DUI laws are on the books.

This person is an aberration. A freak. A sicko. We don't have to change, add or delete any laws. This could not be prevents.

On the discussion of clip size and freqency of changing may have saved lives: If some of the students were able to conceal carry, less people would have died.

On the government and police being our first line of defence: Dream on. Never was and never will be that way.

I was at the post office yesterday. A trip I try not to make because of the lines and inefficiency. Took me 45 min. to get through the line. And the government wants to take care of my healthcare? ww

On the day people love me, ... (Below threshold)

On the day people love me, I'm byranD(sic)!

fizzle my shizzle!

linoge, please. Based you ... (Below threshold)

linoge, please. Based you your logic we should all have the right to own any weapon we choose. I want a shoulder fire surface to air missile, because if 9/11 happens again and if the hijacked plan flies overhead, I should have the right to shoot it down.

The second amendment includes "well regulated".

Bogus assertion. The laws i... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Bogus assertion. The laws in place at the time and even today differentiate between "arms" and "ordnance", which isn't.

And things like RPG's, Shoulder Fired SAMS, etc, are ordnance items, not arms.

To clarify, the legal term ... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

To clarify, the legal term "arms" was and is limited to specific items. The Second Amendment covers these specific types of itesm. RPG's, SAMS, etc. aren't arms under that definition, they're ordnance.
Ordnance isn't covered under the Second Amendment, since even then they viewed ordnance items as community assets.

WildWillie...If the Virgini... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

WildWillie...If the Virginia Tech shooter was majoring in Middle East studies, and had a video 'Allah Akabar ' sent to NBC would you still only be saying This person is an aberration. A freak. A sicko. We don't have to change, add or delete any laws. This could not be prevented

"The second amendment i... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"The second amendment includes "well regulated"."

The clause "well regulated" modifies "militia", not the right to keep and bear arms.

It DOES NOT say:

A Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the well regulated right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

It says "well regulated militia".

Get it? The milita's should be well regulated, not the right to keep and bear arms. No matter how much you leftists want it to say that.

The usage of "regulated" at... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

The usage of "regulated" at the time of writing meant "equipped and able"...

Jay,This was very ... (Below threshold)


This was very good. It reminds me of watching a Fox News interview the man whom the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness" was based on. Pulling himself up by the bootstraps doesn't even begin to describe what he did.

Anyway, The host asked him what message he would give to those who are struggling in life as he had. I was waiting for some feel good answer, but I should have known better. What did he say?

"The Calvary ain't coming."


"First of all, the term is ... (Below threshold)
Dan S:

"First of all, the term is "magazine" not "clip"."

Posted by: kevino at April 19, 2007 11:46 AM

I must strongly disagree! What's more, American Heritage Dictionary must also:

American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source
clip 2 (klĭp) Pronunciation Key

1. Any of various devices for gripping or holding things together; a clasp or fastener.
2. A piece of jewelry that fastens with a clasp or clip; a brooch.
3. A cartridge clip.

Online Etymology Dictionary - Cite This Source
clip (2)
"fasten," O.E. clyppan "to embrace." Meaning "receptacle containing several cartridges for a repeating firearm" is from 1901. Meaning "piece of jewelry fastened by a clip" is from 1937.

I wish this pedantic crap would stop. Both terms are used. You will note, its usage for guns (1901) predates its usage for hair clips even. "Magazine" is something I read! :)

I don't really care which people use, I just wish the language police would stop trying to enforce one term over the other when both have a history if the usage in question. And if someone comes up with a new word tomorrow that catches on, that's fine too. That's how English works.

And it has zero to do with the substance of the argument, except as a backwards sort of appeal to authority: See? You don't know about guns, you don't even know it's a "magazine," not a "clip." In fact, all you prove is you aren't as knowledgable yourself as you think you are (and that you probably had it drilled into you by the Marines that "this is my rifle, this is my gun." That's a case of discipline inculcation, not instruction in semantics, no matter what that drill sergeant thinks. It's part of how the military (appropriately) creates cohesion and discipline so than in situations of extreme stress members of the group don't get bogged down arguing irrelevant things like... semantics.)

Now that I got that off my chest, I agree with the rest of your post.

list, what well regulated m... (Below threshold)

list, what well regulated militia did Cho belong to?

There is not distinction on the definition of 'arms' in the 2nd amendment. Why can't I own a fully automatic 50 caliber?

Dan S,Can't have t... (Below threshold)

Dan S,

Can't have too many educational posts.

My magazine turns into a clip inside a pistol, but stays a magazine inside a rifle.

Maybe because Clip sounds more petite. Like the clip of Ann Coulter's toe, to the Clop of her heal. Clip clop clip clop...(she's wearing clog heals, see. skinny legs, big shoes, a weakness of mine. Gets me off-topic every time.)

DanS:You clearly a... (Below threshold)


You clearly are not familiar with the difference between the M-1 Garand Rifle of WWII fame (it was clip fed) and the M-14 of the fifties and sixties (it was magazine fed).

This, from the M14 Wikipedia entry, may help:

The M14 was developed from a long line of experimental weapons based upon the M1 Garand. Although the Garand was one of the most advanced infantry rifles of the 1940s, it was not a perfect weapon. Modifications were beginning to be made to the basic M1 rifle's design since the twilight of the Second World War. Modifications included adding a fully automatic firing capability and replacing the 8-round "en bloc" clips with a detachable box magazine holding 20 rounds. Winchester, Remington, and Springfield Armory's own John Garand offered different conversion designs. Garand's design, the T20, was the most popular, and T20 prototypes served as the basis for a number of Springfield test rifles from 1945 through the early 1950s.

There is not distinction... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

There is not distinction on the definition of 'arms' in the 2nd amendment. Why can't I own a fully automatic 50 caliber?

I dunno. Unless you've got a felony conviction or other disqualifying factor, it's most likely because you can't afford one.

FYI...A *BARGAIN* ... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:


A *BARGAIN* price on a Browning M-2 .50 caliber machine gun these days would be $30,000. You can reasonably expect to pay $40-50K.

So, "Not being able to afford one" is the reason most of us who want one and can pass the background check don't have one.

My sincere condolences to a... (Below threshold)
Lady Jane:

My sincere condolences to all of the victims and their families. There are no words to express the grief. My deepest gratitude to the heroes. The world could use a few more. But I gotta ask, while not excusing or defending what he did, who was looking out for guy with the gun? Hate is a learned behavior. Rage is merely its expression. This has less to do with access to guns and ammo and the right to carry them, as it does to respecting each other. Several people suspected he needed help, but neglected to act. People usually don't go ballistic unprovoked. This was the end of a life of torment. Also, what makes you think God wasn't there? No one knows for sure where God is or isn't. My guess ... it could have been much worse had He not intervened. Most wouldn't recognize a "bolt from the blue" if one hit 'em right between the eyes.

Actually, BarneyG2000, that... (Below threshold)

Actually, BarneyG2000, that was not my point, nor was that logic inherent in my point. But considering you are throwing up straw men to protect yourself, you have already admitted a lack of "rational argument", to coin a phrase. Oh well.

Mantis "You can't preve... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Mantis "You can't prevent it, so don't bother making it illegal? We can't prevent murder either."

The argument here is that making guns illegal will not solve the problem. The opinion that it would is not supported by statistical evidence-- its been tried. If you totally disarmed the populace, guys would be using a big nail pounded through a 2 x 4. Do you want to make nails and 2 x 4 illegal?

At least that's my argument here.

Good points Lady Jane.... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Good points Lady Jane.

The argument here is that m... (Below threshold)

The argument here is that making guns illegal will not solve the problem.

Oh, I agree. I was questioning the logic of that argument. But Mike was right, I hadn't read the entire thread, and I was reading his post out of context.

What's sad is the lawmakers... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

What's sad is the lawmakers trying to ban guns and features don't know what the f**k they're talking about:


One thing that both right a... (Below threshold)

One thing that both right and left (wizbang and D.U.) agree on is: admiration for Liviu Librescu.

Perfect eloquence, Jay. Pe... (Below threshold)

Perfect eloquence, Jay. Perfect eloquence. Thank you.

>If clip sizes were limited... (Below threshold)

>If clip sizes were limited to 6 or 8 rounds the victims (in this case) would have had a better chance to rush the attacker as he would be forced to reload or switch weapons two to two 1/2 times more frequently.

This is a patently ridiculous statement from someone who obviously knows very little about guns. Plus- it's equally ridiculous as it reveals the liberal mindset. You want to pass a law, the aim of which is to force mass-killers to reload a few more times, hoping that this will SLOW DOWN the rate at which he murders people??!! Do you understand how STUPID that sounds??

People, the point of the post is clear: We are all responsible for our own safety. If you surrender that responsibility to others, you are at their mercy.

I NEVER want to be at someone else's mercy for my personal safety.

Dan S:Words have m... (Below threshold)

Dan S:

Words have meanings. You can't rely on a dictionary, particularly a single dictionary, to understand the full meaning of a word or the comparison of two words. If you had bothered to look up both words, you probably would have discovered that magazines of the type used in the Glock do more than just hold the ammunition. If you had bothered to google "clip magazine semi-automatic", you would have found numerous sources that describe the difference.

The Wikipedia has articles that are on-point. REF: Magazine_(firearm) is good, but REF: Clip_(ammunition) is even better:

A clip is a device that is used to store multiple rounds of ammunition together as a unit, ready for insertion into the magazine of a repeating firearm. This speeds up the process of loading the firearm as several rounds can be loaded at once, rather than one round being loaded at a time. Several different types of clips exist, most of which are made of inexpensive metal stampings that are designed to be disposable, though they are often re-used.

The term clip is commonly improperly used to describe a firearm magazine, generally a specific type of magazine known as a detachable box magazine, or even a firearm belt. These uses of the term are incorrect; a clip is used to load a magazine, while a magazine or a belt is used to load a firearm.

The differences are significant to what I wrote. If you are unfamiliar with half-moon clips used to load some revolvers, the Wikipedia has photographs.
1. Consider two shooters who aren't experts. [Cho bought his gun 36 days before the shooting.] One is armed with a revolver that uses half-moon clips, and the other is using the Glock. An expert can reload both quickly, but not a poorly-trained shooter. All of my comments about control, weapons retention, and speed of reloading apply to magazines - not clips.
2. All of my comments about maintenance apply to magazines - not clips.
3. All of my comments about modifying the capacity of magazines apply to detachable box magazines - not clips.

Furthermore, it is significant for educated people to listen to the words being used. When so-called experts are shown on TV or quoted in the press and you see them throwing around terms incorrectly, you should think about it.

And, finally, I have a low pain threshold for using incorrect terms in this space. Over the years, there are certain people that try to confuse the meanings of words. They want to frighten people or simply obscure the truth. In the debate over the right to keep and bare arms, this occurs quite often.






Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile


Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links


Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login

Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy