epa03323086 Shoppers examine handguns on display for sale at The Nation's Gun Show held in the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia, USA, 28 July 2012. Gun sales have risen in the U.S. in the wake of the movie theatre shooting massacre in Aurora, Colorado on 20 July. EPA/JIM LO SCALZO


At the Nation’s Gun Show in Chantilly, Va., on Saturday, in a cavernous warehouse filled with thousands of customers and tens of thousands of guns, the sharp sound snaps a few heads.

“We’re going to have to have a discussion about those balloon animals,” Annette Elliott, the show’s organizer, said wearily.

Forgive Elliott — and everyone — if nerves are frayed in this era of weekly mass shootings. She, too, has become familiar with the ritual of gun violence in America, but hers comes with a personal twist. Another week. Another massacre. Another round of calls from reporters asking what can be done and who is to blame for the country’s deadly gun culture. After the latest rampage, which ended with 10 dead, including the shooter, at Umpqua Community College on Thursday in Roseburg, Ore., she is hearing the questions again.

“We’re being put out there like it’s our fault,” Elliott says. “But what we’re selling is an inanimate object. And I don’t know what the response is except to arm yourself to protect yourself.” As gun opponents ratchet up the calls for more controls and more regulations, gun owners and sellers have no choice but to push back, she says. The fault, she says, lies with a mental health system that doesn’t have enough resources and with the media which, she says, gives mass killers all the attention they crave.

This response is insane.  The problem doesn’t just lie with the mental health system.  The problem is imbedded in our culture.  We love our guns, we love our violent video games, we love our rights, we love our media, and we love our polarized politics.

The solution to the problem of massacre by gun is not going to be solved by pointing one’s finger at the other guy.  The solution has to be found in a subset of all of these components of our culture.  You can’t leave anyone out.  The gun folks, the mental health folks, the media, and the entertainment industry all have to collude and seek common ground.  Each will have to give up a little.

When everyone decides we all own the problem then perhaps we can get to the solution to eradicate some of gun violence.  We will never get rid of it all but we have to stop the epidemic of mass shootings.


101 Thoughts to “Let’s point a finger at the other guy…..couldn’t possibly be us!”

  1. Steve Thomas

    Moon-howler :
    What do you think when you hear of these killing sprees? What goes through you head?
    Steve, same question. I know you are both caring people.


    Like any sane and rational person, I feel sorrow for the victims and their families, and then I get angry. I am angry at the individual who does this. I am angry at the state of our mental health system, specifically the over-reliance of “community-centered treatment” and the lack of institutional treatment, because I have had a close family member (non-violent) who almost died, after being moved from an institution to “supervised” community treatment. Thankfully, she is now in a nursing home that specializes in elderly with mental illness.

    I get angry when I learn that the killer’s issues were known to family and friends, school counselors, and in a few cases, law-enforcement and the justice system.

    I get angry at the parents of the killer, especially the fathers, who in most cases were uninvolved with or estranged from the killer.

    I get angry at the media for sensationalizing the incidents, and in their rush to “scoop” everyone else, disseminate incomplete, inaccurate, and in many cases false information, or speculation offered as “fact”.

    I get angry at the politicians who rush to the microphones and start calling for “solutions” before the blood is even dry, or the bodies removed from the scene.

    I get angry at the groups like “Moms Demand Action” and “Every Town for Gun Safety” who jam my inbox with fund-raising requests, literally within minutes of incidents like these.

    I get angry when I learn that the latest incident occurred in a place where the victims are disarmed by law or policy, because I believe the right to defends one’s life or the life of an innocent, is the most fundamental natural right that exists.

    I get angry at evil, because I know it exists. I’ve seen it. I know it cannot be legislated away, wished away, or begged away. It can only be resisted and restrained.

    But I don’t get angry at the gun. The gun is an inanimate object. It doesn’t have a mind, or a heart, nor does it have the means to act. I get angry at the person.

    1. That was a pretty inclusive list. Thank you for answering my question. You need to know that often silence is taken as putting right above lives, re Carson style. I feel certain he didn’t mean it the way it came out.

      I don’t get any email from Moms, or everytown. I guess I am not on their radar. Thank goodness. I am on too many lists as it is. At the same time, I am very interested in my Venn diagram organizations all working together. I liked hearing Senator Manchin talking about working with Coryn. He was speaking specifically to mental health issues.

      I think that institutionalizing the mentally ill got demonized. I can also remember, as a young psych major, going to all the various institutions and seeing people living in deplorable conditions doing deplorable things. I expect that those people I saw would be treated with meds today. However, who oversees the medication? Are there even people other than Hinkley living in institutions? What became of all those seriously mentally ill people?

      I want to speak in defense of those family members…the world is not that enlightened and you cannot do a damn thing with an adult who refuses to take medication or get help. If that person has not been adjudicated, there is almost nothing you can do. Many families have family members who are “different.” I certainly did when I was growing up. It also gets worse as the person ages. That person can also go to work and function and the family gets the brunt of the disturbances. I would have never considered my family member going on a killing spree.

      I don’t think most people (operative word–most) get angry at guns. They see guns as tools that can cause mass destruction in the hands of the wrong person. My issue with using guns as tools, is that unless you are using some primitive device, a nano second is all you need to alter the course of someone else’s life or even your own life.

      I don’t want that kind of responsibility. That’s my choice. but I also think a lot of people can’t wisely use that kind of power. I don’t know how you regulate that. I don’t think wisdom can be regulated. somewhere there needs to be a happy medium where we can regulate between the criminally insane and just the stupid and unwise.

      Where do habitual offenders fit into the works? I know that alcohol and guns don’t mix but neither does alcohol and driving. Who regulates it and how.

      I have said many times how I used to take a friends weapons from him when he visited and he got them back when he left.

  2. Steve Thomas


    It does not surprise me that you have an incomplete understanding of the “background check” issue, as politicians, the media and anti-gun groups have tossed about a boat-load of misinformation and demonstrable lies. Rather than state the fact that the overwhelming majority of spree-killers obtained their weapons after passing a NICS FBI background check, perhaps it might help if we knew more about the current and proposed “universal” systems.

    Federal law 18 U.S. Code § 921 defines a gun-dealer as (A) any person engaged in the business of selling firearms at wholesale or retail, (B) any person engaged in the business of repairing firearms or of making or fitting special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms, or (C) any person who is a pawnbroker. The term “licensed dealer” means any dealer who is licensed under the provisions of this chapter.

    In the age of the internet, the definition of dealer was expanded to include “auctioneers” whether traditional or on-line.

    Anyone who meets these criteria must have a Federal Firearms License. Anyone who engages in the defined activities without a license, is breaking federal law.

    The current system requires the completion of a Form 4473 for all transfers (sales and other) from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer to anyone else besides another Licensed Dealer, and a NICS background check conducted.

    Many states require the completion of an additional form, application for a “purchase permit”, an interview with local law-enforcement, and once permission has been granted, the purchase can be made. There are states, (like California, where the latest shooter obtained some of his guns) which also institute a 3-week waiting period, in addition to the “permit to purchase” and interview with law enforcement.

    All on-line gun sellers are classified as “dealers”. Every gun that is purchased via these sites must be shipped to an FFL dealer, who completes the transfer only after the purchaser completes the 4473, any required state forms, any additional state requirements AND passes a NICS check. You can’t buy a gun on Craigslist and have it shipped to you, unless the seller transfers it to an FFL, the FFL ships it to another FFL, and the receiving FFL legally Transfers the firearm to the purchaser, AFTER completion of the 4473, state forms, additional state requirements, and a NICS check is completed, contrary to what many politicians and groups assert.

    Gun Shows: There is no “gun show loophole”. Dealers, as defined by federal law, must follow the same process at a gun show, as they would in a brick-and-mortar store, or online. “Gun Shows” don’t have any special exemptions. Furthermore, every gunshow has both Federal and State law-enforcement on-site, monitoring both Dealer AND Private sales (if private sales are permitted under state law)

    Private Sales: Some states permit private sales, and these can be conducted at a gunshow, your living room, your driveway or any other place where you can legally possess a firearm, provided that the seller does not meet the criteria listed in 18 U.S. Code § 921. This means the actual owner of a firearm can legally sell the firearm to another individual, without involving a licensed dealer. It is a crime for ANYONE, dealer or private individual to knowingly TRANSFER (sell, give, etc.) a firearm to a prohibited person (Felon, Fugitive from Justice, Subject to a protective order, Dishonorably Discharged, Illegal Alien, previously adjudicated mentally deficient) or a minor if prohibited by law. Some states define a “minor” for handguns as “less-than-21”

    So what are these “Expanded” and “Uniform” background checks all about? Let’s look at Oregon, who passed and implemented one of these laws, this very year:

    Oregon requires all TRANSFERS include a NICS check. Now this sounds “reasonable” on its face, but let’s “peel the onion” and see what constitutes a “transfer” under Oregon law: All permanent or temporary transfer in physical possession of a firearm, the only exception being a temporary transfer to a minor by, or with the consent of, parent or guardian for the purposes of hunting or target shooting. That’s the ONLY exception. So what are just a few of the routine and (previously) lawful activities that that are now illegal in Oregon, without first conducting a background check through a licensed dealer?:

    -All private sales

    -Gun range rentals require a NICS check

    -Letting a buddy shoot your gun while both of you are at the range

    -Storing guns for a relative or friend while they go on vacation, or on military deployment, or have a change in living circumstances.

    -Loaning a collectible/historic firearm to a museum

    -letting someone inspect/repair your firearm while engaged in a shooting competition

    -and a WHOLE bunch more.

    We know the Oregon shooter obtained his firearms legally, after completion of a NICS background check, and at least one was purchased after implementation of the new law. It was illegal to knowingly transfer a firearm, whether by dealer, straw-purchase, or private sale to a prohibited person BEFORE the “expanded” “universal” checks law went into effect, and it remains so. We know this “expanded” “reasonable” law had no preventative effect on this incident, as the shooter obtained his firearms in CA and OR, both states having implemented these restrictive laws. We know that going all the way back to Columbine, the overwhelming majority of these mass-murderer’s weapons were obtained from an FFL after a background check was done on the purchaser. In most cases the purchaser and the murderer were one-in-the-same. In a few cases, the purchaser acted illegally and was actually a straw-purchaser, who transferred the weapons to the murderers in violation of state and federal law. In the Newton CT case, we know the weapons were stolen in conjunction with the owners murder. In a few cases, such as the Navy Yard, the murderer had actually been temporarily committed to a mental health facility, or in the case of VA Tech, had been ordered to seek treatment by a judge. In the Charleston SC case, the murderer was a prohibited person, under felony indictment, but the FBI contacted the wrong law enforcement agency for disposition of the case, and approved the transfer. In the Giffords and Aurora CO cases, the murderers were known to family, friends, their schools, and the courts, to have profound and persistent mental illness, and yet insufficient action taken regarding adjudication and reporting. In the Ft. Hood and Chattanooga cases, the murderers were known to have ties to terror organizations, and were on Federal “watchlists”, none of which was reported to NICS.

    We know that the feds prosecute less than 1% of “prohibited persons” or “straw-purchasers” who intentionally provide false information on the 4473, and fail a background check.

    Plus, we know that common criminals don’t go through a legal process to obtain firearms. They steal them, purchase stolen guns, or have a “permitted” person conduct a “straw purchase”.

    We also know the BATFE knowingly operated a “straw-purchasing” operation, and allowed hundreds of guns to “walk” into Mexico, failed to track them, and many mexican nationals were killed, along with a US border patrol agent, then tried to pin it on the dealers who were acting under orders from the BATFE, and NO ONE was prosecuted for this clear violation of Federal law.

    This is why the memberships of NRA, GOA, SAF, and all the state gun-rights organizations oppose “universal” checks, or will consider “reasonable restrictions”, especially when these are being floated in the wake of incidents where that which is proposed, or has been actually implemented, did not or would not have prevented the incident used to justify these restrictions.

    1. Truthfully, my head is swimming. But I do thank you for providing the information.

      Let’s go back to Cho for a minute. That should have never happened. All the warning signs were out there. I would like to talk about why the system failed. He should have never been allowed to buy a gun. I know he did legally…but…he shouldn’t have.

      I don’t expect you to be an expert of turquoise. I am not an expert on gun violations. Outline where the system broke on Cho, please.

      (turquoise or reproductive rights) Tech is very personal to me, for some reason.

  3. Steve Thomas

    “I don’t get any email from Moms, or everytown. I guess I am not on their radar. ”

    I signed up for their email list. This way I know what BS they are spreading, and the tactics they are using.

    “I think that institutionalizing the mentally ill got demonized. ”

    It did, and many of public the institutions up through the 1960’s deserved the scorn. This changed in the 1970’s and into the 1980’s. In the 1980’s, states began closing them, for budgetary reasons. Most patients were put into the community, and many became homeless. This was the main cause of the explosion in the homeless population during that time, and persists today. Before that time, those living on the streets were “bums” “winos” and drug addicts.

    “world is not that enlightened and you cannot do a damn thing with an adult who refuses to take medication or get help.”

    You can if you are willing to do so. My family member was an adult. Her parents and siblings petitioned the court, and the court had her committed. You can at least get a hearing, and put it in the judges hands, while ensuring “due process” and, if warranted, get a protective order. Even a short, involuntary commitment is enough, and people subject to protective orders banned from owning firearms.

    “My issue with using guns as tools, is that unless you are using some primitive device, a nano second is all you need to alter the course of someone else’s life or even your own life.”

    Same can be said about automobiles, yet with each horrific accident, you don’t see politicians calling for increased licensing requirements, background checks for purchase, etc. Instead, we target the behaviors, like drunk-driving, distracted driving, speeding, aggressive driving. We don’t ban cars because they “look fast” or limit the amount of “horse power”. We don’t limit gross weight either.

    “Where do habitual offenders fit into the works? I know that alcohol and guns don’t mix but neither does alcohol and driving. Who regulates it and how.”

    It’s a crime to be intoxicated while possessing a firearm, just as it is for operating a vehicle. If you get popped for public intoxication or DUI, and you have a firearm on your person;

    -There’s the original offense
    -There’s the secondary offense of possessing a firearm while intoxicated.
    -If you don’t have a permit, and the weapon is concealed, a third offense is added
    -If you do have a permit, and are convicted, your permit will be revoked by the county clerk.
    -If it’s illegal drugs you get all of the above, plus the drug-related charges.

    “I have said many times how I used to take a friends weapons from him when he visited and he got them back when he left.”

    Which would be a crime under the proposed “universal background check” unless you conducted a transfer through an FFL, and paid the associated transfer fees.

    Transfer fees: Can be as much as $30.00 per transfer. So, it would be $60.00 for you to relieve your guests of their firearm and return it to them when they leave. It would be $60 on top of a rental fee, when renting a gun on a range. $60.00 on top of the repair costs for someone to take their stuff to a gunsmith $60 per gun to store your stuff in a friends safe, while you go on vacation…and on and on.

    1. Let’s put it this way…if he wanted to come into my house and visit, he gave me his gun. He didn’t have to give me his gun. He could have not come in my house.

      He could have also gone and put it in his car.

      I used to sign up for email of opposing philosophy. Then I got tired of reading their crap. Unfortunately, I still have NRA crap coming into the house, thanks to my son. He moved, the mail didn’t.

      The difference in automobiles and guns is purpose. An automobile’s purpose is to transport from point a to point b. A gun…well, we all know what the ultimate goal is on anything that has ammo. The automobile analogy falls on very deaf ears here.

      That is the first thing I taught my kids…once the trigger is pulled, its way too late. It’s the reason *I* don’t like guns. That is not to say that everyone else has to feel the way I do. It’s just a respect I have for guns.

    2. I should have said I don’t get any email about guns at all other than my son’s occasional flyer from NRA. he is no longer an active member.

  4. Steve Thomas

    “What is Senator Joe Manchin was on this morning addressing the reporting of the mental illness component and incorporating information into the Cornyn bill. (which still isn[‘t on the table yet)
    He reminded the audience that only adjudicated mental illnesses were reported.
    Stay tuned, more to come.”

    Schumer D-NY and Stabbenow D-MI announced they are proposing a “gun-bill” which lists the usual “reasonable” items: Expanded background checks (which don’t prevent crime), outlawing “straw purchases” (newsflash, they’re already outlawed under federal law) and prohibiting “domestic abusers” from owning firearms (another newsflash, under current law, you don’t even have to be convicted of domestic violence. Get slapped with a protective order, and you are a “prohibited person”.

    Nothing requiring states to report data to NICS, or penalties for failing to do so. Nothing about requiring the DOJ to prosecute straw-purchasers or those who provide false info on a 4473. Nothing about bringing back project exile with increased penalties for possessing a gun while committing another crime, even if the gun isn’t used. In otherwords, NOTHING about better enforcement of existing law, and none of which will prevent or reduce crime. Nope. Just erecting more hoops for those of us who follow the law.

    1. Is that what Manchin is proposing? It sure doesn’t sound like what I heard on TV this morning. The person I heard was Manchin teaming up with Cronyn.

      Not sure about project exile. I tend to not like the punishment end of things. I am more in favor of prevention.

      Which existing laws do you not think are being enforced?

      I would like to see more about those who haven’t been involuntarily committed but who are still crazier than bat-sh!t. That’s a slippery slope, I know.

      Do you feel, at this time, that everyone who owns or has access to a gun in your circle of acquaintances should? I can’t think of anyone at this moment but I used to know several.

      This morning you spoke of blaming fathers. I also blame mothers. This recent shooting involved a mother who was at fault (if the media is to be believed) as well as the Sandy Hook case. I don’t think they were bad parents. I think they were unwise parents who were trying to make their troubed children normal.

  5. Ed Myers

    This is the danger of having more gun vigilantes:

    “A woman who has a concealed pistol license fired at a fleeing shoplifter earlier this week, but police said Wednesday that she was not being threatened when she decided to shoot at him multiple times in a parking lot.”

    The amazing fact is that the police did not immediately see that discharging a gun in a parking lot by a white woman was criminal behavior. (Imagine if the shooter was black!) That illustrates how much governmental institutions acquiesce to gun culture promoted by white suburbanites. The videos of supposed gun “saves” shared on facebook that I’ve previewed all have “the good guys” continuing to shoot at the backs of fleeing “bad guys”. Is there no respect for sanctity of life in the gun owners community?

    The solutions to reducing mass murder is to reduce the speed with which a perp can fire a gun. 1) Have classroom doors that lock instead of requiring a brave person to hold the door closed. It takes time to shoot through a door. Have bulletproof portable whiteboards that can be used as shields to rush the perp from multiple directions. Fiddle with ammunition tolerances so that guns jam if fired too quickly or too many times. Reduce handgun lethal range by changing bullet composition.

    Since we can’t control gun ownership control ammunition. I love the idea of making ammunition degrade over time. Encourages gun owners to practice regularly since the ammo is going bad anyway.

    More details on changing bullet composition to reduce collateral damage:
    The damage to one’s body from stopping a moving bullet depends on the mass of the bullet, the speed and the surface area of the bullet. A bullet that spreads out into a 10 inch pattern of mostly square-ish objects that can’t penetrate clothing isn’t going to be lethal at 50 feet as a bullet that maintains a conical shape to pierce through clothing, skin and bone at a very small point of entry. Encourage invention of handgun bullets that transform from a solid mass into a cluster of pellets a short time after exiting the barrel. Those pellets will decelerate much faster than the bullet because of increased coefficient of drag over an increase in frontal surface area thereby reducing their lethality very quickly.

  6. Steve Thomas


    The system failed when the judge went against the recommendations of the health professionals who knew Cho, and ordered him to outpatient treatment, which Cho failed to seek. A 72 hour involuntary commitment when he failed to attend outpatient treatment would have been reportable to the system.

    Yes, firearms have an inherent danger. So do cars. So do knives. So does fire. So does water. “Purpose” is determined completely by the person wielding the item. As to my circle of acquaintances, I would gamble that I associate with many more gun owners than you, as this is simply one of the “commonalities” that we coalesce around. Not a single one of them causes me any concern regarding their ownership of guns. Now, if I did have concerns I wouldn’t hesitate to ask them to let me hold on to their stuff for a while, or I would approach their family if they refused. Same as I would take a friends keys if the intended to drive drunk.

    As far as blaming mothers, I’ll leave that to a mother to do. But, Lanza’s mother was in the final stages of having her adult son committed when he murdered her and stole her guns. Her guns were stored in accordance with CT law, in a safe, but she kept one ready for self defense. Whether or not this was wise is a matter of debate, but hindsight is 20/20. She obviously loved her son and wanted to get him help, and petitioned the court to commit him. I wonder if she could have fathomed her son not only murdering her, but murdering others as well.

    1. I believe Cho was inexcusable. Does the judge still sit on the bench? What were his consequences? I also believe Tech was to blame. All the warning signs were there. Instead of demanding mental health evaluation, he was given his own private teacher. Inexcusable. Schools do have some control over these things. Go for an evaluation or leave school for instance.

      Thanks for the refresher course. You stated things as I remember them. This isn’t my sword to fall on so I didn’t fully trust my memory. As I said, Tech is personal to me.

      You probably do associate with more gun owners than I do although I can’t think of many people I know who aren’t gun owners. Many years ago, not so much though. Everyone was. I will say that pure volume, you would win hands down. I would trust dedicated gun owners more than the occasional gun owner. Not sure I am making sense. I think gun enthusiasts/hobbyists know more about the law and the consequences than someone who decides they want to pack heat. It was one of the heat-packers that I just wouldn’t let in my house with weapons. I held out my hand when I saw him. He knew I thought he was an AH because I told him so. He forked over his weapon as soon as he saw my open hand. His particular brand of A-holitry usually involved booze.

      I never knew that about Lanza’s mother. I thought she took him to the range. I was unaware that she was committing him. You said, “fainal stages.” Right there, is a problem. There should be no lag time. I imagine it would be a difficult decision to make…once you make it, that should be it. Let the mental health experts decide, using some tried and true guidelines (rather than some jerk psychologist saying the person in question was potty trained wrong). Creigh Deeds comes to mind when I think of the BS of waiting, no beds, etc etc.

      The Lanza kid had access to more than a single weapon. If she knew her kid was nuts, why was there access to guns at all? Feel free to go after mothers. I have no problem going after fathers.

      We don’t know enough to go after the fathers in both of these cases. (At least I don’t) Why weren’t the father’s involved with their kids? We will probably never know. Doting mothers, hideous kids, selfishness who knows what causes absentee fathers. It isn’t always within everyone’s control.

  7. Steve Thomas

    @Ed Myers
    Not only should this woman have her permit revoked, she should be prosecuted for recklessly discharging a weapon in public. Period.

    As far as your “ammo” argument goes, when police adopt this as their ammo for their duty guns, and have found it suitable for their personal defense , I’ll consider it. Until then, you might just as well propose bullets made from unicorn poo, as they’d be more effective, and more available.

  8. Steve Thomas

    I have no beef with Manchin working with Cornyn, and support their efforts. My beef is with Schumer and Stabenaow, for the reasons cited above.

  9. Steve Thomas


    You want to reduce potential collateral damage? Hit the target, and hit it with something that might actually stop the attack.

  10. Ed Myers

    “Not only should this woman have her permit revoked, she should be prosecuted for recklessly discharging a weapon in public. Period”

    You didn’t address the fact that police averted their eyes. That is the story. Government is cowed by gun activists to not prosecute this sort of reckless behavior for fear of a full-throated “they are coming to take our guns away!” . With media attention they might get around to slap-on-the-wrist charges. Seesh. Guess we need a few more “good” gun owners to whip out their guns and start firing back at gun-owners-suddenly-turned-criminal idiots like her. /sarc

  11. Steve Thomas


    I have no idea what you are talking about…”averting their eyes”? Sweet Buddha on a rubber raft…

    I believe those who carry are subject to the same use of force criteria as law enforcement. If you fire your weapon at someone, you had better be able to satisfy the legal threshold for use of deadly force. Based on what I know of this incident( and believe me when I tell you the story is known in the gun community) she failed to meet the standard, and should be charged. Were I the prosecutor, as pro-2A as I am, I would charge her with attempted negligent homicide. You intentionally launch a bullet towards a human, you better be able to justify that your life, or the life of a innocent was in danger. Shooting the tire of a fleeing vehicle does not, unless the vehicle is aimed at you or someone else, in which case, you are only justified to shoot the driver.

  12. Steve Thomas

    We probably both know many gun-owners, but I am sure you would agree that I sub-define the group a bit further. The gun-owners I associate with are serious people. Not a “bubba” in the bunch. They are mostly veterans, current and former federal, state, and local LEO’s and those who aren’t have made some serious personal investment in professional training. I have no time for “bubba’s” and “mall ninjas”.

    1. Good. I don’t either. I do not have a gun circle of friends. (and you don’t have a turq circle of friends :mrgreen:) My friends, for the most part, are incidental gun owners. I no longer have hot dog gun friends, that I am aware of. They did scare me. I think probably the people you sub-define are very responsible. I think my point is, I have known people who are jerks. What do we do about them?

  13. Steve Thomas

    @Ed Myers
    Some time ago I issued an invitation/challenge to host you for a range session. I am rescinding that offer. While you might pass a background check, I have concerns regarding your mental state, and feel I would be an irresponsible gun owner, were I to allow you access to a firearm.

  14. Pat.Herve

    Steve Thomas :
    You want to reduce potential collateral damage? Hit the target, and hit it with something that might actually stop the attack.

    Steve – does this not raise the issue of training. If NYPD – a very well trained police force – cannot hit the target with 83 bullets – how is the average gun toting person going to react in a stressful situation? We all see how stupid people are driving cars – texting, watching a movie, etc while driving.

  15. Steve Thomas


    Talk to a cop. I have. Just because a cop carries a gun, doesn’t mean he or she regularly trains with it. Mostly, the only time they shoot is during their annual requal. Same applies to the military. I go to the range at least monthly.

    Another aspect is the NYC department mandated 15lb trigger. 15 pounds is excessive and does impact accuracy. 7.5 lbs is the standard for most departments as well as federal agencies.

    1. Will you please explain 15 lb trigger vs 7.5 lb trigger? I am guessing its a mechanical setting indicating how many pounds of pressure are needed to release the hammer/striker…but that is assuming.

      I think PWC cops have to have more practice than annual.

      I think also that it is more than just hitting a target. What worries me is some yahoo who isn’t trained to handle the stress of the situation. Now that does take special training that has nothing to do with marksmanship.

      My mother was an excellent marksman (woman) but she would have shot her own foot off in a crisis.

  16. Steve Thomas

    Moon, you surmise correctly regarding “trigger weight”. A 15lb trigger is ridiculous and will affect accuracy, which is already degraded in a crisis due to the body’s involuntary responses.

    Regular training and practice is the best way to minimize the effects, and involves much more than marksmanship. Drawing from concealment safely and smoothly (not necessarily quickly), seeking cover, stance, shooting from positions like on your back or with a simulated injury. Shoot/no shoot drills. All of these are part of good personal defense training. Training is learning new information and skills. Practice is applying the information and skills in an attempt to master. Many who carry a firearm occupationally don’t train or practice regularly.

  17. Ed Myers

    If a security technique (firing a gun) is needed at best maybe once a lifetime and epic fails in times of stress unless the owner has thousands of hours of preparation and spends tens of thousands of dollars in ammunition and range fees, then a gun is not an effective solution to a personal security problem. Of course gun owners are free to make the stupid choice to waste money on guns instead of real security features like door locks and security alarms. The policy implication: how to prevent damage to innocent bystanders and property from stupid and reckless gun owners who favor the ability to kill someone if the opportunity arises instead of being content with more reliable techniques that just stop or prevent an attack.

  18. Cargosquid

    @Ed Myers
    When you demonstrate that you have even a basic level of commonsense, much less a basic level of knowledge about self defense, firearms, security, and the law……then we’ll take your advice.

    Your straw arguments are both ludicrous and insulting. Insulting because you obviously think that no one will notice your outrageous exaggeration.
    “If a security technique (firing a gun) is needed at best maybe once a lifetime and epic fails in times of stress unless the owner has thousands of hours of preparation and spends tens of thousands of dollars in ammunition and range fees, then a gun is not an effective solution to a personal security problem.”

    More reliable techniques? Really? And what do you do when they DO break in? Apparently you live in moated castle.

    Door locks are for my protection and for the protection of those that seek to enter my house with bad intent.

  19. Ed Myers




    Determine the relative frequency with which guns in the home are used to injure or kill in self-defense, compared with the number of times these weapons are involved in an unintentional injury, suicide attempt, or criminal assault or homicide.


    We reviewed the police, medical examiner, emergency medical service, emergency department, and hospital records of all fatal and nonfatal shootings in three U.S. cities: Memphis, Tennessee; Seattle, Washington; and Galveston, Texas.


    During the study interval (12 months in Memphis, 18 months in Seattle, and Galveston) 626 shootings occurred in or around a residence. This total included 54 unintentional shootings, 118 attempted or completed suicides, and 438 assaults/homicides. Thirteen shootings were legally justifiable or an act of self-defense, including three that involved law enforcement officers acting in the line of duty. For every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides.


    Guns kept in homes are more likely to be involved in a fatal or nonfatal accidental shooting, criminal assault, or suicide attempt than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense.

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