Was the mass murder in Las Vegas an act of “pure evil” as stated by Donald Trump or was it something else? Is mental illness “pure evil” or some chemical imbalance in people’s brains? I do believe there is evil. Don’t get me wrong. But I am very uncomfortable branding all bad things evil.

At some point I think we as a society need to start taking a long, hard look at our own contributions to these unspeakable acts. Is it easier to control mental illness or whether citizens and residents get their hands on inordinate amount of weapons with little or no background checks as to stability and temperament to own such weapons?

I don’t necessarily want to go round up everyone’s weapons. I have been clear on that in the past. I want certain weapons to be available to most of us. Simple guns, pistols, rifles that the average citizen can use for personal protection should be available for purchase and ownership for most of the population. However….

Weapons like those used in the Vegas massacre should not be owned by everyone. Now, should certain individuals be allowed to purchase such weapons after presenting themselves for intense vetting? Yes, probably. Gun ownership of those types of semi automatic weapons should not be the default.

I don’t know enough about individual guns to argue the point. However, it’s time for Americans to decide if they want to tolerate these kinds of mass killings that just seem to be getting worse and worse. We need a multi-tiered system of gun ownership and we need it now.

I shouldn’t be allowed to go into a gun store and by an AK-47. I don’t have the operating skills to own that kind of gun. Do I have the temperament? I don’t know. I think society has to decide, relying on experts in the field, what temperament is needed and also what mental health indicators make us good candidates for gun ownership that allows weapons that can kill massive numbers of people in seconds.

If we resist regulations that make it more difficult for the average joe to get weapons of mass destruction then I believe we are absolutely contributing to the problem and perhaps our own wants and greed are the very evil some folks are speaking of.

Just something to think about. We can’t control all mental illness. We can’t control evil. Maybe we need to start attempting to control the tools used to commit evil and murder.

24 Thoughts to “Was it an act of “pure evil?””

  1. Update: 12:30 pm Oct 2

    58 dead
    500+ injured, some very seriously

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  2. Steve Thomas

    Moon,

    You know that I cannot let a gun rights & mental illness discussion just go by, as much as I’d like to. You also know that I have a unique perspective on what passes for mental health care in this country, and I do let this color my thinking.

    I loved my mother. My mother was mentally ill for much of her adult life. She wasn’t ”
    evil”. She wouldn’t hurt a fly. It got to a point where she just couldn’t make rational decisions, and she needed to be placed in the care of the state. I love the 2nd Amendment. I don’t prioritize the bill of rights. They are all equally important. As much as I loved my mother, and as much as I love the 2nd Amendment, My mother wasn’t a person who should own guns. Heck, she wasn’t a person who should be able to vote.

    But we don’t know that this guy was mentally ill. What we know about him is minimal and speculation. We don’t know why he did what he did. He very well may have been mentally ill, or he may just have had a run of bad luck financially and personally, and was mad at the world. This will come out in time. His every tweet and vote will be examined, each side wanting for find that “Aha!” facebook post which will allow them to put the murderer on the opposing team’s bench. It’s just human nature to try to find a reason. If we find a reason, we think we have a chance to prevent the next one.

    This guy chose a gun. I wished he hadn’t, but he did. He also could have chosen a car or a truck, or a car/truck loaded with ammonium Nitrate. He obviously had murder on his mind. The tool should manner little. Whether that mind was sane or not remains to be seen, He may have not been rational, but his actions, depriving someone else of their life, were evil. Charles Manson was a certifiable kook. His actions were pure evil. He never killed anyone personally. He used persuasion and charisma to get others to do the killing.

    Predictably, Polls and Celebs are screaming for gun control, screaming for new laws, before the blood has even dried. Never mind nothing they advocate for would have prevented this tragedy. Others will scream for greater screenings and such in venues presenting “soft targets”. Does it really make any difference if the murderer’s motivations were based on recognized terrorist ideologies, or just someone who was mad because his girlfriend left him? The pro-gun people will circle the wagons, and point these things out, and the “bitter angels” in this crowd will get down-right nasty.

    Yesterday morning, I took a knee. As a matter of fact, I took two. I got down on both of them at Chapel Springs Church, and I prayed. Watching the Ken Burns documentary, I was reminded just how riven and rended this country was during those time. Political and Racial tensions threatened to tear this country apart. No matter who we elect, half the country will object. I prayed for discernment. I prayed that the Lord would help me to see what the “other side” is so angry about. I prayed for all of our elected leaders, regardless of party. Most of all, I prayed for peace. Not just an end to violence, but a real peace, one that comes when folks realize that in the end, we’re all on the same train. We can club each other into the ground, the train will just keep rolling.

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    1. Steve Thomas,

      Steve, I am glad you posted. You offered an interesting perspective.

      Actually I thought of you when I wrote the post. I wouldn’t mind if you had a nuclear bomb. I think you are a person of good intention and are a man of honor. Some people I want to have nothing They are irresponsible with a butter knife.

      If my suggestion is gun control, then I guess so be it. I just don’t think every jackass in the world should be able to buy weapons that are capable of killing multiple people in a very short period of time. I am not saying EVRYone. I am saying that people should have to qualify to buy high powered guns.

      You are right. You can mow people down with cars. How do we control that? I would say barriers would be the place to start. Sidewalks, etc should have barriers. Will it stop everyone? Of course not. If it slows someone down, then good.

      The higher the capability of committing mass damage, the higher the bar should be as far as guns.

      Mental illness–I believe anyone who commits mass murder is mentally ill.
      Manson–I think that is where evil kicks in. I expect you and I have a different definition of evil. I expect your definition is much more solid than mine. Remember though, I am the person who won’t allow a ouija board in my house.

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      1. Steve Thomas

        “The higher the capability of committing mass damage, the higher the bar should be as far as guns.”

        With a school bus, a person can take inner-city kids on a camping trip, or, they can plow into a crowd of people at a festival. With a pressure cooker, a person can cook a meal for the homeless. With a hammer and nails, a person could build them a house. With bleach or peroxide, a person can treat water to make it safe to drink. Or, a pressure cooker with nails and peroxide and some plant-food could be used to construct a bomb. Bricks can be used to build hospitals, break windows and bash skulls.

        Guns are amoral, just like buses and bricks, hammers and nails. There isn’t a way to prevent a person with malice in their heart from inflicting harm on others. Banning objects won’t work. Its the heart and mind that does the killing. The tool chosen matters little. Terrorists know this. They’ve gone from guns to bombs to cars and trucks, and back again.

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      2. The difference is that cars, pressure cookers and baseball bats, all which can be weaponized, have a primary function which has nothing to do with riddling a person, animal or innate object with bullets.

        I don’t want to get rid of the guns. I want to raise the bar on who can access those guns of mass destruction. Not every Tom, Dick or Harry needs to military grade gun, nor should he or she have one. Somehow we need to change the default–that being whoever wants something should be able to have it.

        We aren’t going to do away with trucks and cars. However, gradually access to pedestrian walkways is changing. (Pennsylvania Ave. springs to mind)

        All objects are amoral. The people are the only ones who have morality. So, why should everyone be given access to all weapons? I don’t think they should. I think we are the ones who are lacking morality if we don’t demand that the standards on who has access to what don’t change. That’s where the bar has to be raised.

        Someone with malice in their heart can go through and stab people to death. That someone just can’t stab as many people as another someone can who has military grade machine guns by the dozens.

        We aren’t stupid people. There has to be a away to better regulate who gets to play with the toys.

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  3. Steve Thomas

    “That someone just can’t stab as many people as another someone can who has military grade machine guns by the dozens.”

    Who has access to “military grade machine guns”, besides the actual military, and a few, highly regulated collectors?

    The fact is nobody does. Even the shooter in Las Vegas didn’t have a “fully automatic” weapon, inspite of what was reported in the news. He had two semi-auto rifles equipped with “bump-stocks”, which while increasing the speed in which a single trigger-pull can occur, these accessories do not change a semi-auto to an auto.

    I support prohibiting those who have been adjudicated (have appeared before a judge, and have the benefit of due process) mentally deficient from owning firearms. I support prohibiting convicted felons from owning firearms, unless their constitutional rights have been restored. Beyond that, I oppose any restrictions as infringements of the the 2nd Amendment. Mass shootings, while horrifying, are rare. If we as a society want to curb “gun violence”, we need to get tough on crimes involving firearms, not the firearms themselves. 58 victims is a tragedy. So are 486 who have died from gunshot wounds in Chicago, this year. We brush this off mostly because it involves criminals killing other criminals, and because the victims and perpetrators tend to be members of the same race.

    Last week there was an attempted mass-murder at a church in Tennessee. A Sudanese immigrant, in possession of several legally purchased firearms placed in his care by a relative for “safe keeping”, entered a diverse church with the intent to shoot as many as possible. He killed one victim in the parking lot, entered the church, and wounded six more, before a church-member drew his legally carried firearm and ended the attack. The suspect is in custody. There was little mention of this in the MSM. I can only speculate as to “why”. The point is, a gun in a bad man’s hands was used for evil. A gun in a good man’s hands stopped him.

    I doubt there will be any new gun controls as a result of the Las Vegas shooting. Maybe the pro-gun legislative agenda will stall for a time, the “optics” being wrong. No easing of silencer regulations, and National Reciprocity shelved for a time. The anti-gunners will claim victory, and gun owners will go on buying silencers under the current regulations (which really only result in a 3-6 month wait and a $200 tax) and utilizing the current patchwork of reciprocity laws to carry outside of their home states. The left will feel good, but neither of these will prevent the next evil person from attempting a mass murder. Nothing, short of a complete and total ban on privately owned firearms would have even the slightest impact. Criminals will still have guns, and kooks will just switch to other means, including weaponizing vehicles, bombs, machetes, etc.

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    1. There is a lot of political space between those who want some regulation about what kind of weapons people can buy and who can buy them and those who want totally unregulated access to all weapons. Those of us who want some regulation of what and who are also not all far left. Attempts to paint people in one political corner of the other will probably be the undoing of the NRA.

      Meanwhile, there has to be discussion about solutions that involve types of weapons and who gets to own what. As long as people are polarized there will be one mass murder after the other. I am almost desensitized. What? Have we had a two month break? I can’t even keep track. Unfortunately, massacres aren’t rare.

      Mass murders aren’t the same as the violence in Chicago. Most of those murders aren’t random. Those murders stem from a different origin. I think those solutions will probably have to come out of Chicago.

      Why does any non-military American need a military type weapon? No one has answered that to my satisfaction. I am just one of those people who feels that the Constitution is rather open ended about 2nd amendment. I am sure the founding fathers had no inkling of what kinds of weapons their posterity would produce.

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      1. Steve Thomas

        MoonHowler,

        Moon,

        Let me point to another scourge on the people of our country: Opioids. Heroin, is outlawed. The importation, manufacture and distribution, 100% against the law. Other substances derived from opium, strictly controlled. Who can dispense, highly regulated. Who can possess, also highly regulated.

        Has the total ban on “Military Grade” opioids stopped people from selling it, or worse, using and OD’ing on it? No. Has the strict control of “sporting opioids” stopped the illegal distribution and use of these drugs, even though there is a “legitimate use” tied to them. Again, No.

        The difference here is if you completely outlaw Oxycodone, you aren’t violating my constitutional rights. As much as I lean libertarian on certain issues, the fact that Heroin is banned doesn’t phase me a bit. If you talk about “sensible” and “reasonable” gun controls, without understanding completely the underpinnings of the 2nd Amendment, or the form and function of the items you wish to subject to greater regulation, then we have an issue. Doing “something” for “somethings sake” doesn’t solve the problem, anymore than “free needle exchanges” and “shoot-up safe spaces” does anything to address the root cause of the problem. People can be evil. People can be self-destructive.

        We are starting to find out more about this murderer, and the odd life that he led. It appears that he put quite a bit of time and effort into the planning of this. He wasn’t a “spree killer” who just snapped. He was a determined killer, spending weeks or months, and a considerable amount of money, to ensure success. Sending his girl-friend overseas and wiring money for her up-keep. Booking adjoining rooms, that met a certain criteria, weeks in advance. Staging weapons and ammunition in the room. Installing surveillance cameras outside to observe approaching law-enforcement, and interior cameras to document his attack. Regardless of his motives, this was an act of terrorism. It was an act of evil.

        We know from history that the strictest gun laws cannot stop someone who has the will, and the means, to acquire that which they deem necessary to commit evil acts. France has very strict gun-laws, These didn’t stop the several Islamic extremist terror attacks where full-auto AK-47’s were used. It didn’t stop the attacks where trucks and machetes were used. All they did was create a disarmed populace, unable to resist evil.

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      2. I believe you have to treat gun violence as its own entity and not really compare it to other social evils. The intent of heroine isn’t to kill. That’s a by-product.

        I think that if humans limited their study of gun violence to guns and the people who use them, there are solutions. Right now, I am not quite ready to throw my hands up in despair and just say people are evil and they will do what they will do.

        I think we have 2 variables here that can be tweaked. We can decide who all gets to use guns and what kind of guns we can use. This isn’t all that difficult. We already do that. Some people are forbidden to own or use a gun: children, felons who have not had their rights restored, some mentally ill people, etc. Obviously not everyone can own certain types of weapons. How about everyone eligible for gun ownership having access to pistols, rifles, etc. However, when it comes to those weapons capable of multiple kills in 10 seconds, perhaps those who buy them should have to qualify.

        Obviously, you and I don’t see the 2nd amendment in exactly the same light. Our opinions differ.

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  4. Steve Thomas

    The more we find out about these mass murderer, the more I am convinced that he is a sociopath.

    Also, here is an interesting article regarding one anti-gun researchers findings on the efficacy (or lack thereof) of gun-control schemes in reducing actual deaths by firearm.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/i-used-to-think-gun-control-was-the-answer-my-research-told-me-otherwise/2017/10/03/d33edca6-a851-11e7-92d1-58c702d2d975_story.html?utm_term=.99040072b29e

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    1. I finally got straightened out. Good article. Not particularly helpful in solving a problem with no solutions.

      I think people have the right to commit suicide if they are adults. I don’t recommend it but …..

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  5. Steve Thomas

    “I think that if humans limited their study of gun violence to guns and the people who use them, there are solutions. Right now, I am not quite ready to throw my hands up in despair and just say people are evil and they will do what they will do.”

    Moon, Nor am I, and you might be surprised that I agree with you. The article I sent you, where the anti-gun statistician concluded the same thing. We already criminalize behavior. We can’t solve anything by criminalizing items. This limits the rights of the law abiding and does little to address the root causes of violence. As the article pointed out:

    Most gun deaths are from suicide. If someone is a suicide risk, identified by a professional, declared by a judge, past behavior as a potential indicator, limit their access to firearms. Will this stop suicide? No.

    The next group is gang-on-gang violence. We already prohibit felons from purchasing or owning firearms. Extend this to misdemeanor gang-activity as well. Bring back project exile, which was shown to be very effective in deterring murder. Commit a crime, any crime, and if a gun was present, whether used in the crime or not, automatic 5 years on top of whatever penalty for the crime. Will this stop everything? No.

    The last group is victims of domestic assault. Have a protective order placed against you for abuse or stalking? Turn them in, and forget about buying them. Apply project exile penalties to any violations. Will this stop everything? No.

    What these “common sense” actions will do is “something” meaningful, that studies have shown do have a positive impact. Also, these actions will not infringe upon the rights of the law-abiding. These are solutions that have the support of the pro-2nd amendment crowd. I know. I get the publications and emails. I listen to the podcasts and read the editorials. I’m up on the chatter in my gun community.

    As far as limiting weapon types, magazine capacity, banning features (bayonet lug? Pistol grip? flash-suppressor), these will accomplish absolutely nothing. Look at history. Limit someone to a six-shooter, they’ll just bring more six-shooters. Limit magazine size? Check out how quick a moderately trained shooter can change a magazine. Bayonet lug? When is the last time a spree-killer resorted to the bayonet. Pistol-grips don’t effect accuracy. A “flash suppressor” doesn’t hide the muzzle flash. It redirects it away from the shooters face, and those around the shooter. It makes the flash less obnoxious, not less visible, and it certainly doesn’t improve accuracy. Ban a
    “bump stock”? Sweet Jesus, a “bump stock” is a novelty that actually DECREASES accuracy, and lethality. I’d never put one on something I own. Had the shooter not been using these, the deathtoll would have likely been higher. Full-auto is called “spray and pray” for a reason. Aimed fire is what is taught in the US Military, because it is more effective. Putting a bump-stock on a semi-auto rifle doesn’t make it “fully-Automatic”. It doesn’t even approximate it. It makes it less effective. Ban them and feel good, but it won’t make a bit of difference.

    These “controls” have been proven to have absolutely zero impact on gun-related homicides, and yet that’s what the uneducated, ignorant, and dishonest people push.

    There are proven solutions, and there are the lazy non-solutions. Let’s try the ones that work, and make them better, instead of the actions that have been tried, and failed. I am 100% for that.

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    1. What are the ones that work?

      Then if banning guns doesn’t work then I am all for banning people. Not everyone needs (or should have) the same fire power. As long as everyone gets something, no rights (in my mind) have been violated. The 2nd doesn’t enumerate what arms…just arms.

      While I am saying this, I also don’t think anything would have stopped our latest psycho-burger.

      I think my latest passion might turn to voicing support for first responders who every day go to work not knowing if they are coming home. I understand there was a demonstration at the BOCS against the cops who killed that teenager in Haymarket. Maybe people need to think about split second decisions and how it can mean life and death for law enforcement officers as well as fire and rescue.

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    2. I couldn’t read the link. My WaPo subscription was acting up.

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      1. Steve Thomas

        MoonHowler,
        I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.
        By Leah Libresco October 3
        Leah Libresco is a statistician and former newswriter at FiveThirtyEight, a data journalism site. She is the author of “Arriving at Amen.”

        “Before I started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate me. I wished the National Rifle Association would stop blocking common-sense gun-control reforms such as banning assault weapons, restricting silencers, shrinking magazine sizes and all the other measures that could make guns less deadly.

        Then, my colleagues and I at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and I wound up frustrated in a whole new way. We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence. The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns.

        I researched the strictly tightened gun laws in Britain and Australia and concluded that they didn’t prove much about what America’s policy should be. Neither nation experienced drops in mass shootings or other gun related-crime that could be attributed to their buybacks and bans. Mass shootings were too rare in Australia for their absence after the buyback program to be clear evidence of progress. And in both Australia and Britain, the gun restrictions had an ambiguous effect on other gun-related crimes or deaths.

        When I looked at the other oft-praised policies, I found out that no gun owner walks into the store to buy an “assault weapon.” It’s an invented classification that includes any semi-automatic that has two or more features, such as a bayonet mount, a rocket-propelled grenade-launcher mount, a folding stock or a pistol grip. But guns are modular, and any hobbyist can easily add these features at home, just as if they were snapping together Legos.

        As for silencers — they deserve that name only in movies, where they reduce gunfire to a soft puick puick. In real life, silencers limit hearing damage for shooters but don’t make gunfire dangerously quiet. An AR-15 with a silencer is about as loud as a jackhammer. Magazine limits were a little more promising, but a practiced shooter could still change magazines so fast as to make the limit meaningless.

        As my co-workers and I kept looking at the data, it seemed less and less clear that one broad gun-control restriction could make a big difference. Two-thirds of gun deaths in the United States every year are suicides. Almost no proposed restriction would make it meaningfully harder for people with guns on hand to use them. I couldn’t even answer my most desperate question: If I had a friend who had guns in his home and a history of suicide attempts, was there anything I could do that would help?

        However, the next-largest set of gun deaths — 1 in 5 — were young men aged 15 to 34, killed in homicides. These men were most likely to die at the hands of other young men, often related to gang loyalties or other street violence. And the last notable group of similar deaths was the 1,700 women murdered per year, usually as the result of domestic violence. Far more people were killed in these ways than in mass-shooting incidents, but few of the popularly floated policies were tailored to serve them.

        By the time we published our project, I didn’t believe in many of the interventions I’d heard politicians tout. I was still anti-gun, at least from the point of view of most gun owners, and I don’t want a gun in my home, as I think the risk outweighs the benefits. But I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them. Policies that often seem as if they were drafted by people who have encountered guns only as a figure in a briefing book or an image on the news.

        Instead, I found the most hope in more narrowly tailored interventions. Potential suicide victims, women menaced by their abusive partners and kids swept up in street vendettas are all in danger from guns, but they each require different protections.

        Older men, who make up the largest share of gun suicides, need better access to people who could care for them and get them help. Women endangered by specific men need to be prioritized by police, who can enforce restraining orders prohibiting these men from buying and owning guns. Younger men at risk of violence need to be identified before they take a life or lose theirs and to be connected to mentors who can help them de-escalate conflicts.

        Even the most data-driven practices, such as New Orleans’ plan to identify gang members for intervention based on previous arrests and weapons seizures, wind up more personal than most policies floated. The young men at risk can be identified by an algorithm, but they have to be disarmed one by one, personally — not en masse as though they were all interchangeable. A reduction in gun deaths is most likely to come from finding smaller chances for victories and expanding those solutions as much as possible. We save lives by focusing on a range of tactics to protect the different kinds of potential victims and reforming potential killers, not from sweeping bans focused on the guns themselves.”

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      2. I finally got it to work so I could see the article. I think there is a lot that can be done, perhaps not to stop a mass shooting like Vegas but other things. For instance, I thought the 12 handguns a year that Virginia used to have was not a bad plan. People got to buy guns. If they needed more there was a way to apply. What did it stop? Virginia continues to be a “gun runner” state. People can come in, buy up our guns, and resell, often illegally. I also think a waiting period is a good idea. Good grief, if there can be a waiting period on a medical procedure, there is no problem waiting for a fire arm.

        I am fairly certain that was a good plan. Finally, if it stops the carnage, I am willing to whittle back on a right or two. I don’t think any of our rights are unlimited.

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      3. Steve Thomas

        MoonHowler,

        “Good grief, if there can be a waiting period on a medical procedure, there is no problem waiting for a fire arm.”

        Tell that to the woman, who has just left an abusive relationship, has filed for a protective order, and her ex has yet to be served. Tell that to the woman whose ex has been served, and he consistently ignores the order. NJ has a “waiting period”. First, you have to get a permit to purchase from the state. Only with approval, can a NJ resident purchase a firearm. Carol Bowne of NJ was stabbed to death by her ex, while “waiting” for her permission slip. Would she still be alive if she’d been able to walk into a gun store, pass a back-ground check, and walk out with her handgun? No way to say 100%, but it would have increased the odds.

        As the article indicates, this is one of the top three demographics of gun-related murder victims: Women, at the hands of an abusive partner. If you institute a “waiting period” with the intention of delaying the yet-to-be-served subject of the protective order (who will automatically be banned from purchase, once filed and served), you are also imposing a wait on the potential victim.

        That’s the problem with “blanket solutions” like bans, waiting periods, purchase limits…they disproportionately impact the law-abiding, without solving the issue of criminal behavior.

        “Project Exile”…I like this solution. It targets behavior, not objects. Commit a crime, get extra time for having a gun. Want to know why the program first implemented by none other than Tim Kaine (then mayor of Richmond) was scrapped? Because ERIC HOLDER (then a civil-rights attorney) and the ACLU sued and said it was disproportionately harsh on minorities. The fact that those crimes prosecuted were robberies, drug-dealing, gang activity, where a gun was present, didn’t matter to Holder. Skin-color did. See the largest group of gun-related deaths, after suicide, in the article.

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      4. Try telling that to a woman who wants an abortion. She has thought of nothing else other than her options for several months.

        Are you willing to impose a waiting period for women who might want an abortion? How about that woman who has to travel miles to find a provider?
        I think our feeling about waiting periods might very well depend on whose ox is being gored.

        I am not so sure that someone who doesn’t own a handgun needs to be relying on one as a first time owner. That sounds like risky business to me. It sounds to me like the law needs to be tightened at the other end….put some teeth in those restraining orders.

        I actually don’t like waiting periods but it is a solution. I like the 12 a year better.

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      5. Steve Thomas

        MoonHowler,

        “I actually don’t like waiting periods but it is a solution. I like the 12 a year better.”

        Waiting Periods….the states that have them…no measurable impact on crime. That is the operative phrase. “12 a year” isn’t “12 a year”, it’s one-a-month, and it is a clear infringement. Also, no measurable impact on crime.

        As far as waiting periods for abortions, I’m opposed. As long as it’s legal, someone should be able to get one, according to the restrictions. We restrict gun purchases based on age (18 for rifles and shot-guns 21 for handguns) residency for ownership (must be a US citizen or Resident Alien), residency for purchase (must be a resident of the state to purchase a handgun), place (FFL Licensee), type (National Firearms Act items require special scrutiny, Short Barreled Rifles, Silencers, Full-Auto) etc.

        I think you have gained the impression that firearms are loosely regulated. They are not. The industry, including those who manufacture, sell and possess are subject to all kinds of laws and regulations. There are more laws regulating firearms than there are abortion. I am sure that you will also agree that if abortion were banned altogether, there would still be those who sought them, and those who performed them.

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      6. Yes, I agree. Actually, you said the right thing. I do think that a person buying a weapon should have to wait long enough for a background check. I don’t think that firearms are unregulated. I think they might not be appropriately regulated, in some cases. But I could say the same thing about booze.

        Maybe the answer is to simply not go anywhere. Certainly no one could arm themselves against what happened in Vegas.

        I am not sure this man was evil. I think there are too many questions still unanswered. I am also not sure if he was a “madman,” whatever that is.

        It seems that each time we have one of these mass murders, more questions arise and we know less than we did before.

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      7. Steve Thomas

        MoonHowler,

        Well the NRA has taken a position on “Bump Stocks”, and that is “let the ATF decide”. I support this position. If the ATF decides these need to be regulated like silencers, so be it. The antis can feel like they did something, and then perhaps we can look at real solutions like bringing back project exile.

        On another note, DC has suffered it’s 3rd consecutive loss in court, regarding its carry permit scheme, where the applicant had to demonstrate “good and sufficient reason”, self-defense not being “good and sufficent”, and has decided not to appeal. DC is now a “shall issue” jurisdiction. I’ll tell you why they didn’t appeal: May issue states like NY MA CA MD CT asked them not to. If DC had appealed, the case would likely go to SCOTUS, and there was the danger that ALL “may issue” state laws would be struck down. Since DC is heavily dependent upon the good will of congressional delegations from these states, I guess they decided to “take one for the team”.

        I just hope national reciprocity gets passed. It’s high time for it. I already have the right to carry in 38 states, and residents from all 50 states enjoy reciprocity in the commonwealth. Time for the patchwork of state-to-state laws to go.

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      8. Are you suggesting you want federal regulation of firearm laws?

        It seems to me that the 2nd amendment is a federal law. Why should the states get to interpret it patchwork style?

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  6. El Guapo

    The fact is that, with a few extremes on both sides, most want to restrict some types of arms and who can have them. Most would prefer that those who have in the past committed mass murder with guns not be permitted to own guns. Similarly most of us want a complete ban on private ownership of surface to air missiles and 50 caliber machine guns.

    The argument is about where in the middle we should be. Those that say they’re against gun control aren’t being honest with themselves

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    1. Define gun “control.” Technically we have gun control. No machine guns, no kid ownership of guns, felons are restricted as are many classes of non-citizens. The mentally ill, if adjudicated, can’t own guns.

      I think that the argument is more over the term “reasonable” and “common sense.”

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