Rising Generation

Today is the one month anniversary of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. At schools across the United States today, many students will walk out of class at 10:00 am to protest Republican politicians’ refusal to enact common-sense gun regulations that would substantially reduce or eliminate school shootings.

I’m so impressed by the moral fervor of these students on such an important issue. The leadership of students who survived the Parkland massacre — one of the fifteen school shootings in 2018 already — has been key to this movement, which effectively builds on years of work that has already been done by students and other people of color who have long been fighting for movement on this critical issue.

The rising generation might just finally sweep away the baby boomers’ morally corrupting mythological fetishization of the Second Amendment. From my observation of this movement, these students for the most part aren’t demanding the repeal of the Second Amendment or confiscation of guns, or anything similar. They are demanding common-sense gun regulations that one could argue in good faith do not violate the Second Amendment[1], even if they would be inconsistent with the NRA-driven fetishization and false arguments about what the Second Amendment supposedly requires. This handy summary list of the common-sense gun regulations being proposed — regulations that would virtually eliminate school shootings and other mass shootings — has seen increased circulation on social media since the Parkland massacre:

14-day waiting periods
No sales by private owners
No sales at gun shows
10 rounds magazine limit
No bump stocks
No cranks
Licenses for all arms
Child lock requirements
Minimum age of purchase at 21
Assault rifle ban
Universal background checks
Domestic violence ban

#GunReformNow

The list is short enough to tweet. I encourage you to do so if you also favor these common-sense gun regulations as part of the effort to curb mass shootings and bring our society closer to the level of safety and dignity enjoyed by all of our peer countries.

Shortly before Christ was born in Jerusalem, the society in the Western Hemisphere “began to decrease as to their faith and righteousness, because of the wickedness of the rising generation” (3 Nephi 1:30), as a mafia-style criminal syndicate known as the Gadianton Robbers was increasing in power in all segments of society. Thankfully, today, we are seeing the opposite — the “rising generation” is brushing away the moral corruption of recent past generations, on this issue in particular. They do this as “conservative” culture-warrioring opinion leaders claim the students are old enough to have weapons but not political opinions — or falsely accuse them of being paid crisis actors or puppets of dark forces that want schools to be safe by reforming gun laws — and as NRA-funded Republican politicians make a (weak) show of sympathy but continue to cater to the gun lobby. In the meantime, “conservative” pundits continue the decades-long work of using “gun control” as a wedge issue to permanently divide Americans in their political culture wars.

And yet the United States remains alone among our peer countries that are developed Western free market democracies in having this problem. Those countries have similar mental health issues. They have no lack of white males who feel romantically spurned or unfairly fired from a job or in some other way rejected by a society they’ve been socialized to believe they should be dominating as white males. But with common-sense gun regulations, if yet another mentally ill white male has murderous intentions, he will not be able to kill as many people with a knife. Implementing common-sense gun regulations will save many of our children and make our schools safer.

As Parkland massacre survivor Delaney Tarr powerfully stated, “We have nothing to lose. The only thing we have to gain at this point is our safety.” I’ll close with her powerful speech at the Florida State House on February 28, 2018 — this stirring speech shows what the rising generation is bringing with it, and what that could mean for the baby boomers’ cherished gun myths:

The people in office have failed us and if they continue to fail us, then they will no longer be in office because we will soon be given the ability to vote—and we will vote them out. And the people around us will vote them out. They must do right by us or they will lose their jobs. And we have brought that up to them time and time again…

We’ve had enough of ‘thoughts and prayers.’ We’ve had enough of ‘We’re in your consideration, we’re going think about it, and we’re going to tell you how we feel because we support you so much.’ Because we know that is not true. Because if you supported us, you would have made a change long ago and you would be making changes now…

So this is to every lawmaker out there. No longer can you take money from the NRA. No longer can you fly under the radar doing whatever it is that you want to do. Because we are coming after you. We are coming after every single one of you and we are demanding that you take action and demanding that you make a change.

I encourage all to watch the speech. Be the Delaney Tarr you want to see in the world!

———

[1] Culture Warrior God Justice Scalia acknowledged in the majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, the most recent Supreme Court case to examine the Second Amendment, that the Second Amendment does not preclude common-sense gun regulations:

“Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott333. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884). Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment , nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

“We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.'” (District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 US 570 (2008), https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZO.html)

This actually says a lot. It says the Parkland survivors and their movement are going to win the day.

Comments

  1. My feeling is that this type of response is why finding a middle road on this issue is so hard. Similar to ones I’ve read from people on the right, it’s angry, full of invective, and works from the proposition that anyone with a different point of view is evil or stupid. It does nothing but convert the already-converted.

    And I say that as someone who would like to see the “commonsense” measures implemented.

  2. Well, sometimes I think it’s important to be counted on the right side of history, even if some find it offensive.

    And I say that as a gun owner.

  3. As Peter LLC knows, nothing in this post or the proposed common-sense gun regulations would abridge either Peter’s right to own the guns he owns (which I’ve seen, handled, and enjoyed with him as well) or infringe on his enjoyment of them.

    But the gun lobby claims otherwise. And a mythologized interpretation of the Founding and the Second Amendment is their primary weapon.

  4. Anyone but the most hardened ideological partisans will be moved and persuaded by Ms.Tarr’s speech and call to action here, and by the advocacy of the other Parkland survivors.

  5. jimbob is echoing what David Brooks is preacher: a climate of vitriol doesn’t speak well for implementing some reasonable measures. And that probably means nothing will be done here, which is tragic. And I say that as a gun owner, too.

    I hope the rising generation doesn’t learn cynicism from this. This is a tough fight. I hope they persist.

  6. Sorry but dialogue on this issue was poisoned by the cynical decision of the NRA and “conservative” pundit cultural opinion icons over the last several decades to spin calls for reasonable gun regulations as a Culture Wars issue in which only “enemies” of “real Americans” or commies who want to destroy the Constitution would ever call for reasonable gun regulations. Not posts like this that respond by highlighting action that brushes such damaging punditry aside.

  7. My sense is that vitriol is not the independent variable in the gun debate. Plenty of ghastly policies have been enacted and implemented by people whose behavior would pass muster with Judith Martin, after all. Consider this photograph, for example: shoes are polished, ties are straight, smiles abound, no pushing or shoving to spoil the festive atmosphere. To wring one’s hands over tone is no doubt called for at times, but when there’s imminent danger to life and limb?

  8. Irritated at generational blame for the world's problems says:

    Stop blaming baby boomers for the problems. When we were growing up the NRA was about gun safety. It has been corrupted, not by baby boomers, but by those who manufacture and sell guns. By corporations. Just as it is unfair to blame all milenials, or all gen X for problems, it is equally stupid to blame baby boomers. Baby boomers inherited a screwed up world from “the greatest generation” just go find a copy of the old song about “we didn’t start the fire.” Written by baby boomers saying that it was not their fault that they inherited a screwed up world, any more than it is milenials fault there s so much gun violence today by YOUNG people. What age was the latest shooter? Not a baby boomer.

  9. east of the mississippi says:

    As a baby boomer who remembers school walkouts and demonstrations over the Viet Nam war I totally support these youth. That said I am a little confused over getting thrown under the bus by this statement… “The rising generation might just finally sweep away the baby boomers’ morally corrupting mythological fetishization of the Second Amendment”.

  10. Supporters of gun regulation have been trying for decades to speak without vitriol. It hasn’t worked. When every reasonable proposal is met with a brick wall of political resistance, followed by more human carnage, you tend to get a little vitriolic. This is the nature of politics.

    Also: no passionate political movement is worth a spit if it lacks a pinch of vitriol.

  11. Heptaparaparshinokh says:

    The NRA’s wholehearted embrace of culture war may have seemed brilliant inside the offices in Fairfax, but it has (unintentionally?) surfaced the longstanding symbiotic relationship between white supremacism and 2A fetishism. If you asked me to sum up all of the gun nuts I know in three words, it’d be: “paranoid,” “unstable,” and “racist.” In his work investigating the Ron Paul Report during Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential run, the writer Jamie Kirchick found an incredibly strong bond between conservative-libertarian politics–of which the NRA stands very much at the center–and white supremacist figures like Lew Rockwell and Jared Taylor. That the NRA couldn’t issue more than token bromides about the murder of Philando Castile by an incompetent police officer spoke volumes about how it views the lives of non-whites.

    Redneck culture in this country–from which US gun culture emerged–has been adopted by “whites” of many European origins, but has its roots in the culture of the Anglo-Scottish borderlands. (The term “redneck” refers to the red neck-kerchiefs commonly worn by this group in the 17th and 18th centuries, rather than the time spent in the sun.) The “Borderers,” who became the Ulster-Scots and then the Scots-Irish, were supposedly “freedom-loving” but in fact were little better than large, semi-organized bands of thieves with notably poor dispute resolution practices and subsequent histories of violent multi-generational feuds. (E.g., the Hatfields and McCoys.) The Tudor and then Stuart kings deported essentially the entire population of the Borderlands to the Ulster Plantations to stop their raiding of commerce between the Scottish Lowlands and the north of England; their descendants, many of whom are my ancestors, ended up settling Appalachia, filtering out after the Civil War into places like Oklahoma and northern Texas, with substantial migration from there during the ’20s and ’30s to California.

    There’s not a whole lot of distance between them and Baluchi or Pashtun tribesmen, just lighter skin and a Bible instead of a Koran–and hey hey, look at this:

    *(See also: the “freedom-loving,” violent, plundering Cossacks of Ukraine, as depicted by Gogol in “Taras Bulba.”)

  12. Aaron Johansen says:

    I have to admit that I roll my eyes when I read “common-sense gun reform.” It makes it seem like the solution to these mass shootings is so easy and that people who question the proposals do not care about the lives that are lost. Of all the suggestions and proposals that I’ve read, the best and in my opinion the one that could actually work is the Gun Violence Protective Orders. That is a proposal that should be debated.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2018/03/01/gun-violence-restraining-orders-save-lives/

    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=.a229725d16bb

  13. jaxjensen says:

    We have common sense gun rules right now. No automatic weapons, background checks, no private large arms (artillery/tanks), no shooting in town limits, laws against shooting people, felons can’t own guns, same with convicted domestic abusers, etc. What we have now is common sense.

    It is not “common sense” to tell citizen they can’t sell their private property to another person. Nor is preventing the firearm ownership of someone old enough to be in the military (at 18 they are obviously old enough to use firearms safely) or not vote. Banning bump stocks seems reasonable (since they basically turn a semi-automatic into an automatic). There is no definable “assault rifle” to be banned. 14-day waiting periods will leave those afraid of domestic abusers vulnerable for an additional 2 weeks (not to mention there is little evidence it will reduce any crime, let alone events planned in advance).

    Everyone I know is against gun violence. It is terrible. Horrific. No one wants it to happen. But if we want to keep kids safe, doesn’t it seem to make more [common] sense to protect them the same way we protect politicians, celebrities, banks, embassies, etc, There are proven methods of keeping valuable things safe, yet we do the very opposite with our kids. Why? That is to say, that it seems to make more sense that if we want to protect kids, that the best way is by using guns, not banning or restricting them. In order to protect kids from guns, we need to protect kids WITH guns. That is common sense.

  14. So jaxjensen, can someone with prescribed medications just sell them to anyone they want?

  15. “…the ‘rising generation’ is brushing away the moral corruption of recent past generations…”

    Rising generations are typically told that. I am old enough to remember when the slogan was “don’t trust anyone over 30.” The man who coined the phrase is now 77. This poisons the conversation from one side, typically the left, by saying that my opponents are not just wrong, but old and morally corrupt and should be dismissed out of hand, while others poison the conversation from the right with their culture war rhetoric.

    Let’s encourage a rational, objective, and evidence-filled discussion of what laws might best meaningfully and effectively reduce gun violence without turning the discussion into a war pitting one generation against another, which will turn off most voters and legislators. We all (or virtually all) want to curtail gun violence.

    I appreciate Aaron Johnson’s comment and would welcome more like that from each side.

    Recommended reading: Now Don’t Try to Reason with Me: Essays and Ironies for a Credulous Age by Wayne C. Booth.

  16. jaxjensen says:

    60% of americans are on prescription medicines; is that a gun-ownership problem to you? Yes, private persons can (or should be able to) sell their private property to other private persons. That is also “common sense.”

    I feel terribly sorry that freedom seems so scary to so many.

  17. James Stone says:

    The rising generation is more like those who were little children at the time of King Mosiah.

    “Now it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the tradition of their fathers”

    Thankfully not every member of the rising generation has been brainwashed into the freedom-destroying group think that the author is so fond of. During dinner last night we discussed whether or not they were going to walk out. All said they weren’t walking out and were actually going to do something that would make a difference in someone’s life like make a new friend or perform an act of service.

    Proud that my kids made the choice that won’t get their photo in the paper but will can make a real difference in someone’s life for years to come.

  18. Brian, that’s not a very good analogy. The difference is that broadly speaking, individual gun ownership is an enumerated constitutional right (based on natural rights theory) and guns aren’t a consumed product with mind altering effects.

  19. jaxjensen, you didn’t address the question. You won’t, because, at the end of the day, if there are restrictions on buying guns or medication (there are), then there should be restrictions on selling. You don’t have an argument against common sense, you have an argument with your rhetoric versus someone else’s. Semantics. Politics. You aren’t just ‘right’ and more ‘common sense’ than other people. Get over it.

  20. Hendrix, same response as to Jaxjensen. We also have laws that provide restrictions on guns– not everyone can just buy every kind of gun, regardless of the Constitution. You arguing beyond the facts.

  21. Hendrix, also, natural rights are opposed to legal rights, which the Constitution provides.

  22. I think it’s hilarious that the commentators here who keep saying “calm down” actually think they’re being constructive. The whole reason for the kids’ protests is that we’re beyond that point. As the political landscape lies right now, there is zero possibility of polite, evidence-based legislative deliberation. The far right shuts it down every single time. The only way to create the possibility of a discussion on this issue is by electing different legislators. And the only way that’s going to happen is with some passionate, out-of-school, not-nice politicking that’s motivated by outrage.

    Then we can politely figure out some better policies.

  23. Free men own guns. Slaves don’t.

    One of the reasons the ACLU was founded was because blacks were being denied their right to own guns. Lynchings happened because people with guns were able to intimidate and murder a population that weren’t allowed to have guns.

    My own ancestors were driven from their homes by the law, but they at least had weapons and a chance at defending their lives and families.

  24. jaxjensen says:

    Brian, I misunderstood your question. I thought you were asking if someone with prescribed medications could sell “them” (guns) to who ever. So I thought I was answering your question. Now I see that you were asking if they can sell their medicines to anyone. I wasn’t trying to not answer, the “them” in your question was misunderstood.

    Prescriptions are given because a person told a Dr. some story about how they needed them. Selling them afterward would indicate that the person either told something untrue to the Dr. in order to obtain them (which would/could be fraud), or the Dr gave an unneeded prescription (which would/could be malpractice). If neither of those happen then there shouldn’t be any prescription drugs available to sell. That isn’t the case with firearms. I don’t need to prove a “need” to have one. I have a right to them, and a constitution curtailing the gov’t from limiting that.

    Just as prescription drugs get sold illegally, so do firearms. The FBI misses people during it background checks. Abusers and felons slip by (or lie). Bureaucracies fail, individuals make bad choices/mistakes, and bad people do bad things. That doesn’t mean that good people should have their legal activities curtailed. I shouldn’t have to make sure that if I sell a car to Joe Blow that he has a valid driver’s license. I shouldn’t have to contact the FBI to determine if he has insurance (the legal requirement) before I let him drive away. It is up to HIM to make sure HE follows the law. It isn’t my fault/liability if he takes the car and drives it into a school bus line of kids.

    So my answer is still YES, private people can sell their private property.

  25. I don’t think it’s a horrible analogy. Gun ownership is a constitutional right, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be regulated, as no less a conservative than Justice Scalia emphasized. Controlled substances are regulated because they can be easily abused and cause harm to people. Guns can also be easily abused and kill people. It’s not inappropriate to regulate things that have the potential to be easily abused and kill people. All analogies break down when pushed too far, but why is that not a good analogy for the point that things with in our society things with a high potential for abuse and harm are regulated?

  26. “All said they weren’t walking out and were actually going to do something that would make a difference in someone’s life like make a new friend or perform an act of service.”

    This is the most common thing I’m hearing as a response, as if protesting and “doing something nice for someone” were mutually exclusive.. My question to this is – why can’t they do both?

    Just because something is an enumerated Constitutional right does not mean that it cannot be restricted or regulated. Free speech is not entirely free; it’s illegal to incite others to riot using your words. Right to assemble isn’t unfettered; it’s illegal to conspire to overthrow the government. Guns cannot be the only exception to regulation, especially when the words “well-regulated” are included.

    I do have hope that these young people will keep their convictions, but previous generations of fruitless protests have made it hard to hope.

  27. Loursat — thank you. Also, the point of this post is to show that the rising generation isn’t going to debate this so much as simply vote out the legislators who believe the NRA/right wing (false) narrative about what the Second Amendment requires. They’ll vote for legislators who are willing to enact the common-sense gun regulations that would greatly reduce or eliminate mass shootings and especially school shootings. We’d take one more step toward being a decent society like our peer developed countries, none of which have this problem and all of which are just as free as we are.

  28. Heptaparaparshinokh says:

    We’d take one more step toward being a decent society like our peer developed countries, none of which have this problem and all of which are just as free as we are.

    Oh, but the rednecks would insist that Aussies, Japanese, and Germans aren’t actually “free.” (Keep in mind that you’re talking about people who tend to be astonishingly ignorant of basic facts even about their own country and even their own ostensible religious beliefs, let alone the rest of the world and other religions.)

    Again, there is a deep cultural problem, as I mentioned above. A large and culturally significant group of Americans are little better than the tribesmen we’ve spent untold billions of dollars fighting in Afghanistan, whose own “freedom” depends on their ability to oppress both their own people and intimidate others.

  29. I have a brother with schizophrenia. He has been in a long term mental hospital for three years. About 10 years ago, during one of his psychotic breaks, my mother woke up to him standing over her bed with knife. Am I grateful there were no guns in the house? Yes, yes I am. He could have done a lot of damage easily and with little meaningful resistance if he had
    access to a firearm while unstable. Permissive gun regulation and lack of quality resources for the mentally ill are are a dangerous combination.

  30. Sidebottom says:

    To add some more promising statistics about the “current generation”: we have made significant progress in reducing firearm-related homicides in the last few decades, down nearly 50% since peaking in the mid-90s and approaching levels not seen since the mid-60s. We have saved nearly a quarter of a million lives, mostly young males, in the process. This tracks well with an overall reduction in crime rates and in spite of a significant increase in the number of firearms in circulation.

  31. I do think blaming Republicans is a low blow. Obama had the house and senate and could enact pretty much any legislation he wanted for years during his term. Democrats didn’t want to tighten gun laws when they were in power because it would have hurt them at the polls with Democrat constituents, too. I am just getting sick of the partisan mudslinging. I happen to think there is a lot of room for compromise. I didn’t vote for Trump, but he may be the man to get gun reform done because he doesn’t care about what his constituents want or what his party says. He isn’t really a conservative or liberal. Totally a borderline insane wild card, but he just might be what we need to get some real, common sense gun reform passed. Many republicans want gun reform, including me, so let’s get it done!

  32. Also, I am a mom of a middle schooler who was in high school during Columbine. I even met a Columbine survivor while at BYU. Something I don’t think the previous generation understands is that my classmates and I watched the coverage on CNN during classes, we all felt like it could have happened at our upper-middle class school just like theirs. We all carry a bit of trauma as the first generation who was taught to run in a zig-zag line if there was a shooter, how to play dead, to be extra nice to the kids wearing trench coats so they might spare us. Our children are now entering middle school and high school and we are a large generation and we care deeply about this. I think as a voting block, republican or democrat, we feel this is a real issue, no matter how statistically rare this is.

  33. Heptaparaparshinokh says:

    Sidebottom, the big reason for that is the removal of lead from gasoline in the ’70s. The association of childhood lead exposure with violent criminality in adulthood is one with rock-solid empirical foundations, and the differing timelines on which states banned tetraethyl lead created a natural experiment that manifested itself in different years at which violent crime started to fall during the ’90s. It was when that first lead-free cohort of young people aged out of prime crime-committing years in the mid/late ’00s that violent crime rates leveled off, with some slight uptick in certain places but nothing nearly as dramatic as what started in the mid-’60s.

    Oddly enough, one of my dad’s fellow temple workers in Chicago was a retired chemist for Great Lakes Chemical who insisted that there were no dangerous health effects from tetraethyl lead. You know what Upton Sinclair said, though…

  34. never forgot says:

    Talk about the ‘fetishization’ of a generation haha.

  35. “Common use” would include by definition the most popular centerfire rifle in the country. Which is currently the AR-15.

  36. jaxjensen says:

    “We’d take one more step toward being a decent society like our peer developed countries, none of which have this problem and all of which are just as free as we are.” Does Switzerland not count as a “peer country”? That would be a ludicrous position, but maybe you think so. But they issue firearms and have the lowest crime rate in the world. And on top of that, being heavily armed kept them from involvement in WWII when their neighbor decided to invaded EVERYBODY else. (Hell, they thought invading Russia in Winter was a better idea than invading next-door-neightbor Switzerland!).

    “About 10 years ago, during one of his psychotic breaks, my mother woke up to him standing over her bed with knife. Am I grateful there were no guns in the house?” Aren’t you concerned about the knife? If she’d had been killed, would you be saying, “at least she didn’t die from a gun?” This is exactly the story that proves that taking guns away won’t stop evil/sick/mentally ill/criminals from hurting others. If somebody IS going to attack you with a knife, wouldn’t you want a gun as protection?

    Look at Australia (another peer) they did more than is proposed here and yet their violent crime went up. Sure, gun deaths went down, but violent crime went up (Manslaughter, sexual assault, kidnapping, armed robbery, and unarmed robbery all saw peaks in the years following the ban, and most remain near or above pre-ban rates.) Suicides by gun went down in AU, but total suicides in AU are up. By only talking about GUN crime, instead of overall crime, it is like saying “At least she was stabbed to death instead of shot.”

    Overall crime, including violent crime, goes down with increased gun ownership. Overall safety goes up, not down, when guns are abundant in society, in groups settings, and for individuals. Protection experts from all areas know that guns keep people and things safe.

  37. When you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns!

  38. Heptaparaparshinokh says:

    Bbell: The “dangerous” part comes from the 20- or 30-shot magazine. Given the incredible killing power of 5.56mm NATO compared to the 9mm handgun rounds (the effects of which paramedics and ER surgeons see much more frequently), allowing a single person to fire that many times without reloading is pretty “dangerous.” The only arguments I have ever seen from gun-rights advocates for civilians to have detachable magazines that large (let alone drum magazines like what Aurora theater shooter James Holmes had) have been fanciful action-movie scenarios that are vastly less likely to occur than a mass shooting of innocent civilians.

  39. Wow Mark, full of great one-liners that don’t reflect anything relevant to the current situation or the OP. Constantly amazed at the people who can’t stay on point. Jax as well. Time for us to stop feeding the trolls.

  40. Heptaparaparshinokh says:

    jaxjensen must think that Baluchistan and Somalia are “polite societies”

  41. jaxjensen, would you like to Google the gun regulations applicable in Switzerland and post them here or do you want me to do it? They go much farther than the list of common-sense gun regulations I included in the original post.

  42. Snap Dragon says:

    Switzerland has extraordinarily tough restrictions on ammunition; basically there are only a handful of people in the entire country that are able to have ammo at home. Switzerland remained “neutral” in WW2 by making a deal with Germany that allowed Germany to run trains right through Switzerland. It had nothing to do with whether or not the populace was armed,

  43. Hep. 556 is one of the least powerful centerfire rifle cartridges made. Ignorance is bliss. Florida shooter used 10 round mags.

    I can personally take 10 10 round 556 mags and fire all one hundred rounds in about 2 mins. Difference between 10 and 30 aint much my friend for experienced shooter. I can take my ggrandfathers 1897 winchestor 12 guage and fire dozens of rounds a minute.

    I enjoy these conversations…..

  44. “there is zero possibility of polite, evidence-based legislative deliberation. “

    Counter-examples: California, Massachusetts, Illinois, and even Florida and other states that have passed legislation to tighten controls on guns. The merits of those laws can be rationally debated.

    “electing different legislators”

    Yes, of course.

    “passionate, out-of-school, not-nice politicking that’s motivated by outrage”

    That sort of outrage fueled the rise of Nixon’s silent majority. Senator Eugene McCarthy and his “clean for Gene” slogan were better at moving the needle of public opinion. Don’t stomp on your own air hose in your outrage.

  45. I think it was luck more than anything that Switzerland wasn’t invaded (there were plans to) and had to do with France’s swift capitulation and the refocusing of military priorities to the eastern front. Anyway, the trend in Switzerland is towards stricter regulation, and their tradition of militias where all able-bodied men serve and receive training doesn’t have much in common with the professional US military.

  46. Heptaparaparshinokh says:

    Bbell, just about any centerfire rifle cartridge can do dramatically more damage to flesh than just about any pistol round, which begs the question of why civilians need access to them, or at least to semiautomatics that fire them. Your point about being able to change magazines quickly is a valid one, although most mass shooters (e.g. the San Bernardino shooters) don’t have the same level of proficiency that the Parkland shooter did. Not that an experienced shooter can’t achieve a decent rate of fire with a bolt-action–I’ve read the stories from the Eastern Front of WWII, too–but it’s a whole lot harder.

    Ultimately a lot of the conversation about long guns is a bit overwrought; they’re much more important symbolically to both their proponents and opponents than they actually are to homicide statistics. The real carnage, numerically, is wrought by ludicrously abundant handguns that make it easy for domestic abusers to become murderers, and for street gangs that use knives and acid in other developed countries to shoot each other in the US. I’d be happy to let the fetishists keep their AR-15s (with strict limits on the amount of ammunition any one household can possess outside of designated shooting range facilities) if they agreed to significant restrictions on the ability of civilians to own handguns.

  47. it's a series of tubes says:

    given the incredible killing power of 5.56mm NATO compared to the 9mm handgun rounds

    I admire your passion, but fear your ignorance. Replace 5.56 with 7.62 and you’d be correct, though.

  48. Counter-examples: California

    Hey, Californian here. I can assure you that California’s gun laws have been met with howls of protest that would make whoever calls this post vitriolic blush.

  49. Leo, my friend, you’re not seeing what’s in front of you. The kids in these protests don’t need to go “Clean for Gene” because they are not rebels (and their hair looks great, btw). They’re on the side of the angels, and they’re expressing the views of most Americans. They are channeling the outrage, not creating it. This is how effective political change happens. When you dump on that, you’re on the wrong side of history, whether you mean to be or not.

  50. “During dinner last night we discussed whether or not they were going to walk out. All said they weren’t walking out and were actually going to do something that would make a difference in someone’s life like make a new friend or perform an act of service.

    Proud that my kids made the choice that won’t get their photo in the paper but will can make a real difference in someone’s life for years to come.”

    I sent my daughter to youth conference last weekend. Unfortunately, one of the speakers admonished the youth to abandon plans to walk out of school because, of course, they would simply be using the walkout as an excuse to get out of class. On the other hand, said the speaker, they should perform three acts of kindness or service. Not only did this speaker discount the sincerity and passion of the majority of the children involved in the walkout, but she provided an example of how to judge and label others by basically shaming the kids who wanted to participate in the walkout. Since then, my daughter has mentioned how many of her Mormon classmates, also conference attendees, have posted on social media that walking out of class is useless and stupid, and that they will be righteously performing kind acts instead.

    A talk at youth conference on being kind and serving others? Awesome. A politically motivated talk demonizing civic involvement? Totally inappropriate.

    My question for that speaker–and James Stone, too– is this: why on earth would we believe (or try to brainwash our children into believing) such a false dichotomy? Personally, I want my children to be civic-minded, politically involved, AND kind to others.

    My highest respect to all kids trying to make the world a better place.

  51. Aussie Mormon says:

    Jax: You need to update your data if you’re only looking at the late 90s.

  52. Aussie Mormon says:
  53. Wow jaxjensen, the thought of shooting my brother who is obviously very ill has never once occured to me or any of my other family members even for self defense. Our focus has always been on getting him treatment. The point I made is that I’m grateful he has never had a gun to use to harm himself or others in times when he hasn’t been mentally stable.

  54. Paul Ritchey says:

    Through recent American history, Church members have been predictably late at getting onto the right side of history on some issues. This appears to be one of them. The children of conservative members of my ward were outraged at their classmates who walked out yesterday. Outraged. Think about that.

    But I do think we’re getting better. The institutional Church has not, apparently, hampered individuals’ abilities to make up their own minds on this issue. And BYU’s announcement is heartening. Compare that with, say, race, or gender equality.

    I hope that, some day, American Mormons will realize that no political party is a reliable proxy for good judgement and inspiration on important issues like this one.

  55. Really well said Paul.

  56. jaxjensen says:

    “I hope that, some day, American Mormons will realize that no political party is a reliable proxy for good judgement and inspiration on important issues like this one.” Truly, when asked if you belong to any group with contradictory goals to the Church’s, every person should answer with their political party (if they are a party member and not just a voter), no matter which party it is.

  57. Jaxjenson: Your post carries so many errors that it is difficult to know where to begin.

    Starting with gun ownership. Switzerland has 24 guns/100 people, placing them 17th in the world below Canada, Austria, France, and a bunch of other countries. Our USA is at 101 guns/100 people, a far, far outlier.

    The reasons for Switzerland’s neutrality in WW2 are many and complex. High rates of gun ownership, and high rates of gun-smartness (see the above posts that describe Switzerland’s rules and restrictions regarding guns) may have played some role. But there were many reasons that the Germans held back. Try reading something not published by the NRA. Like a real history.

    Finally this statement: ” Overall crime, including violent crime, goes down with increased gun ownership. Overall safety goes up, not down, when guns are abundant in society, in groups settings, and for individuals. Protection experts from all areas know that guns keep people and things safe.”

    I would have to guess that the “protection experts from all areas” here are people who strongly advocate for guns, and would continue to do so in the face of actual data. I am sure that there are plenty of “protection experts” from various areas who would disagree strongly with such a statement, given as if it is proven fact. If you can’t see what a ridiculous statement it is, then you aren’t ready to engage in a meaningful discussion.

  58. John f. Well done. I say this a gun owner of many years. As a long time participant in the secondary market, this where a major problem exists. The installed base is a huge issue. We need people of common sense (like the OP) to come together work to overcome the fake history and the knee jerk responses by the money lobbies and listen and act. The kind kids are leading way. God bless them.

  59. A couple of points.
    I see that jaxjensen made a similar point above, but it is clear historically that the level of gun control measures has zero correlation to the level of violent crime in a society. See Chicago for a current low light example of extremely strict gun control and very high levels of violent crime. “Government Solutions” that do not solve the problem are favorites of those who favor large government, not those who are serious about solving the problems of society.
    Many people will take the opportunity to bash the NRA, but remember that there have been large majorities in Congress who say they want more gun control, but did not make it a priority. President Obama (from the violent gun control paradise of Chicago) and Speaker Pelosi were just not the right leaders to push gun control. I agree with the above comments that President Trump is far more likely to be able to get some legislation passed (although many of the lists I have seen are too much wishful thinking). He is liked and trusted by many of the voters that are most likely to vote pro-2nd amendment as a top motivating issue.
    Some obvious non-starters from the list in the OP and comments:
    No private sales – massive constitutional and freedom issues
    No gun shows – Hard to find a bigger violation of the 1st & 2nd amendments at once.
    Hand gun ban – These are the preferred weapons of private security, many law enforcement, and others. There is a reason for this. (These may be the “protection experts” referenced above)

  60. “it is clear historically that the level of gun control measures has zero correlation to the level of violent crime in a society”

    Nope. We’re the only developed country in the world with this problem. Reasonable gun regulations would prevent mass shootings here just like in all of our peer developed countries.

  61. As a shooter, here is my take:
    14-day waiting periods: not evidence-based, and intrusive on shooters.
    No sales by private owners: why not? Just make them go through a gun shop to do a background check. Cost is $15.
    No sales at gun shows: just require background checks. The technology is here. This is a no-brainer.
    10 rounds magazine limit: multiple magazines are just as fast.
    No bump stocks: agree, most idiotic thing in shooting, EVER.
    No cranks: agree
    Licenses for all arms: other restrictions more useful, enforcement a problem
    Child lock requirements: I hope you mean trigger locks, children can be rowdy, but…. agree.
    Minimum age of purchase at 21: agree
    Assault rifle ban: disagree, the definition is based on aesthetics. Politicians can never define anything properly. Many weapons are much deadlier.
    Universal background checks: agree
    Domestic violence ban: agree

    I would include mental health ban, suicide attempt ban. I would also require shooter’s education on a range for all concealed carry permit applicants (Utah currently does not).

    I would encourage sport shooting at the high school level and with youth groups to promote positive activities and images of firearm use. Also a tax on violent media and firearms to fund youth mental health programs.

  62. Kristine says:

    “I see that jaxjensen made a similar point above, but it is clear historically that the level of gun control measures has zero correlation to the level of violent crime in a society. See Chicago for a current low light example of extremely strict gun control and very high levels of violent crime. “Government Solutions” that do not solve the problem are favorites of those who favor large government, not those who are serious about solving the problems of society.”

    This is possibly the NRA’s dumbest talking point. What’s clear is actually that gun laws work very well. Both in other countries and in US states with strict gun laws, gun-related crimes are dramatically lower than in states with lax gun regulation, as are suicides, accidental shooting deaths, and deaths of cops on duty. Chicago is an unusual case because it is so close to two states with some of the least restrictive gun laws in the country. The obvious counterexample is New York City, but you could also choose San Francisco or Boston. Except for Salinas, CA, all of the thirty cities with the highest homicide rates are in states that get high ratings from the NRA.

  63. I admire the OP’s passion. A pity to see it employed parroting false talking points. A single example will suffice.

    15 school shootings in 2018? Hardly:
    https://www.snopes.com/news/2018/02/16/how-many-school-shootings-in-2018/

    You demonize Republicans’ inaction forgetting that the 2009-2010 Congress had the opportunity for strict gun control offered to them on the silver-est of platters. Nothing. Perhaps this isn’t as partisan as you think.

    Aside from the actual shooting, the great crime in Florida was the *multiple* opportunities that law enforcement had to prevent the event and failed. Repeatedly. But greater federal oversight is the solution?

    Passionate pipe dreams.

  64. I would rather be an outlaw, than a waiting and helpless victim. I will not give up my birthright for a little porridge, so why not instill some real values in this up and coming generation of spineless freaks.

    If gun control laws actually worked, there would be no school shootings, no mall shootings, and no concert shootings. The fact is, gun control in America is only aimed at eventual abolishment and confiscation, which will not come without much more loss of life than anyone can imagine.

    These mass shootings seem to be an attempt to soften people up to the idea of giving them up peacefully. It is a very artful manipulation, but in the end; many more still remain to be slaughtered. Only the ignorant, misguided continue to call for a policy that has yet to actually work. It is called insanity.

  65. And we’ve got a false flag conspiracy theorist!

    Take that garbage back to InfoWars, you vermin.

  66. Paul Ritchey says:

    And we’ve gone off the rails. I’m surprised it took 65 comments. But I’m not surprised it happened.

  67. it's a series of tubes says:

    Old Man’s comments mirror the response I typed and then deleted before submission. As noted, many of the suggestions are common sense and as a shooter I agree with them completely. Others are clearly unconstitutional and/or would be of zero effect.

  68. Why not raise the age limit for driving to 21. Let’s do the same for joining the military. How about ban police officers, because they are trigger happy and love to shoot minorities, just because they are scared. We live in a nation of cowards, which is reflected in the knee-jerk reaction of calling for everything to be banned or further regulated.

    Common sense would be to raise children to respect people, to not glorify the wanton and often random taking of human life (as seen in video games and Hollywood/television). Guns are not the problem, anymore than automobiles, trains, or opioid medications are. The problem is that people have gotten soft, weak, and yellow. Like it or not, that describes a large portion of the American population and most of the world.

    There will be no consensus on this here or anywhere in my lifetime, but calling me vermin or other childish names only shows the extreme lack of intellect of the person calling the names. I was subjected to brutality both at home and at school and in 38 years, I’ve never once taken a human life. I do my best to avoid physical conflict, but self defense is my God-given right and I refuse to give that up for any man.

  69. Apparently, you can’t see yourself for what you are. You are raving and ranting, acting like a bully, and endorsing insane conspiracy theories. This is not the way that normal, healthy people act. Few things make me feel less safe than knowing that people like you have guns.

  70. That is pure ignorance! I’m not the one ranting or raving and nothing that I have said is a theory. Liberals like Stalin, Hitler, and Roosevelt have all spewed your nonsense and they were all guilty of some of history’s worst atrocities. Maybe you should look in the mirror and check your privilege in the wastebin of history.

  71. @N4MGR Comparing Stalin and Hitler to Roosevelt? I can practically see the spittle dripping off your keyboard. You may also want to lower your blood pressure by reading a dictionary for the term “Liberal.” The doesn’t mean what you think it means.

  72. N4MGR is right, the US has a gun deficit compared to Canada.

  73. Stalin, Hitler, and Roosevelt all use different internment camps as a mechanism of torture and abuse against their citizens. Regardless of what you might think, Japanese Americans were deprived of all of their property and placed in horrible conditions in these camps. Many were shot trying to escape. Liberals do not view people as human beings, but as numbers, subjects, and tools for the use of the collective.

    @Jason, what do you know about spitting on a keyboard? You obviously have nothing better to refute my statements, so you need to tear me down. Normal, sane people actually see through that quite easily.

  74. “Liberals do not view people as human beings, but as numbers, subjects, and tools for the use of the collective.”

    I’m adding that to my Top Ten Dumbest Things I Have Ever Read list.

  75. john f & kristine,
    Kristine gave a counter example (lower violent crime in NYC) that actually makes my main point. NYC has strict gun laws, although less strict than Chicago, and much lower violent crime rate. Around 25 years ago NYC and many other parts of the country saw a sustained reduction in violent crime, but did not see a corresponding massive increase in gun restrictions. Chicago did not see nearly this reduction, but gun restrictions went crazy. Even though the total murders in Chicago is really high, the metro area does not have nearly the highest rate of violent crime. Of the largest cities, the top 3 are Miami, Houston & Philadelphia. A mix of high and low restrictions on guns in those metro areas. For the lowest violent crime rates, the 3 metro areas are Chicago, Washington DC and Dallas-Fort Worth. Once again, there is a mix of high and low restrictions on gun laws in those areas. Inside the metro areas, the most restrictive gun laws are usually where the worst violent crime is (ie. the cities of Chicago and Washington DC) .
    As I said in the beginning, for large metro areas, there is minimal connection with gun restrictions and violent crime rates.

  76. jaxjensen says:

    Isn’t it just SOOO inconvenient when an armed guard stops a mass shooting from taking place in a school. It’s almost as if having that gun in the school saved lives and kept people safe… who’d have thought?

  77. There are two cases where they didn’t in 2018 for the one that did: “There was an armed guard at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, just as there was last month at Marshall County High School. Neither took down their shooter.” https://www.npr.org/2018/02/20/587368514/kentucky-moves-to-add-guns-to-schools-after-school-shooting
    Information contained in a sample size of one isn’t inconvenient no matter which side you’re on – it’s not enough information to draw reliable conclusions.

  78. jaxjensen says:

    But it isn’t a sample size of one. There are other samples proving the point that surrounding individuals/groups/things with guns make them safer. Every professional protection agency knows this. The PROFESSIONALS in the field of safety and protection use men with guns. Politicians show up to anti-gun rallies surrounded by men with guns because those men with guns keep them safe. Obama’s kids went to a school kept secure by multiple men with guns. Banks, concerts, parades, private schools, celebrities (at home and in public)… all kept safe by men with guns. It is not some “idea” or “theory”, but is accepted, proven, reality; surrounding a person/place/thing (including school children) with guns keeps that person/place/thing safer.

  79. Paul Ritchey says:

    Jaxjensen: that’s “SWAT-trained police officer,” not “armed guard.” Don’t demote the guy to Barney Fife status. Neither the training nor the results are equivalent. Guns in private hands don’t reliably stop school shootings. Guns in the hands of very well-trained police do.

  80. jaxjensen, Plenty of law enforcement officers don’t want to show up at a scene and have to guess who is the good guy or the bad guy. You keep talking about these “professionals”, but when this was debated at my University a couple of years ago, law enforcement didn’t want anyone to be able to have guns on campus for this reason.

  81. A school security officer killed the student shooter in Maryland after he had “only” shot two other students. Those two students survived because the shooter was using a handgun not an AR-15.

    On the same day, police shot a black young adult in his own backyard because they thought the cell phone he was holding was a gun. They saw him, in his own backyard, and “feared for their lives” and shot him multiple times while his grandma sat inside the house. http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article205818424.html

    Will the hero school security officer in Maryland — or an armed teacher — be able to not “fear for his life” when he sees a black student with a cell phone in his own classroom?

  82. I would also encourage reading this breakdown of the RAND data grab because it’s quite a bit to navigate:
    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/2/17050610/guns-shootings-studies-rand-charts-maps

  83. Jax, the single example you provided is absolutely a sample size of one. If you want to bring other data to the table, that’s acceptable, but be aware that data is minimal and inconclusive, in part due to reversible congressional action. (https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/02/18/whats-missing-from-the-gun-debate-217022)

  84. Guns can be protective in trained hands, which is why they’re used for security in the examples you provided in your followup comment. That’s a different conversation than whether proliferation of weapons on a national scale will have the same effect.
    https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2088.html

  85. “A growing body of research suggests that violence is a contagious behavior that exists independent of weapon or means. In this framework, guns are accessories to infectious violence rather than fountainheads. But this does not mean guns don’t matter. Guns intensify violent encounters, upping the stakes and worsening the outcomes—which explains why there are more deaths and life-threatening injuries where firearms are common. Violence may be primarily triggered by other violence, but these deadly weapons make all this violence worse.”

    “…violent crime rates have actually dropped in the U.S. in recent decades. According to the FBI, rates were a whopping 41 percent lower in 2015 than they were in 1996. The NRA attributes this decrease to the acquisition of more guns. But that is misleading. What has increased is the number of people who own multiple guns—the actual number of people and households who own them has substantially dropped.”

    “…some argue that even an unused gun can thwart crime. The logic here is that in areas with high rates of concealed carrying, criminals don’t want to victimize people who might have guns, so they don’t commit violent crimes. The most famous study, published in 1997 by John R. Lott, Jr., then a research fellow at the University of Chicago, and David B. Mustard, an economist now at the University of Georgia, looked at county crime rates in several states that had passed laws making it easy to get gun permits at various times prior to 1992. They compared such rates to crime levels in places that did not have easy access to guns during that period.”

    “…in 2004 the National Research Council, which provides independent advice on scientific issues, turned its attention to firearm research, including Lott’s findings. It asked 15 scholars to reanalyze Lott’s data because “there was such a conflict in the field about the findings,” recalls panel chair and criminologist Charles Wellford, now a professor emeritus at the University of Maryland. Lott’s models, they found, could be tweaked in tiny ways to produce big changes in results. “The analyses that we did, and that others have done, show that these estimates are very fragile,” Wellford explains. “The committee, with one exception, concluded that you could not accept his conclusion that more guns meant less crime.” Wintemute summarized it this way: “There are a few studies that suggest that liberalizing access to concealed firearms has, on balance, beneficial effects. There are a far larger number of studies that suggest that it has, on balance, detrimental effects.”
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/more-guns-do-not-stop-more-crimes-evidence-shows/

  86. Heptaparaparshinokh says:

    As a note Lott was widely accused of cooking his dataset, and the NRC findings didn’t exactly exonerate him. It wasn’t quite academic misconduct on the level of Michael Bellesiles, but it’s close.

  87. That’s the point I’m making.

  88. Heptaparaparshinokh says:

    Yeah, I remember it well because I was working on a master’s in economics at the time.

  89. Adam Selene says:

    I’ve been reading up on gun laws in other countries, and while the list of restrictions above are a good start, it is clear that the United States could do better. For instance, in Mexico, anyone other than police or military are heavily regulated as to not only whether they can own a firearm, but the type of firearm or caliber. Licenses to own or purchase weapons require an extensive background check including proof of NO criminal convictions. Even then, the number of weapons a person can own is severely restricted. Weapons using military calibers, including the same caliber as used by Cruz, are prohibited. There is only one store in the entire country that sells ammunition or firearms to civilians. There is no way that someone like Cruz could get a gun in Mexico. If we had firearms laws like Mexico, we could not only eliminate school shootings, but probably be completely crime free.

  90. Heptaparaparshinokh says:

    The 2A fetishists would say “But Mexico has so much gun crime!”, of course ignoring that the flow of weapons south across the border–many of which were purchased legally before disappearing into the grey market without any sort of tracking, thanks to the “registration leads to confiscation” crowd–is quite substantial. The right-wing outrage over Operation Fast & Furious was incredibly disingenuous given that the guns “walked” across the border represented a drop in the bucket compared to the flow that goes south every day.

  91. Adam Selene says:

    Gun trade over the border with Mexico is irrelevant if there are laws prohibiting people from buying those firearms, duh. There are plenty of other countries to pick from that don’t border the U.S. anyway: Brazil, Venezuela, Guatemala, etc.

  92. Heptaparaparshinokh says:

    Uh…gun trade over the border is highly relevant. I’m not sure if you follow the reports of all the murders committed by the various narcotics traffickers, including of law enforcement officials (who are, to be sure, often involved in the trade themselves) and not a few judges. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to get guns in from the US than to smuggle them up from South America, although certainly there are lots of AKs floating around Central America as a result of the region’s various civil wars.

    Chicago’s and Illinois’ relatively strict gun laws are irrelevant when lightly regulated Indiana is right across the street. If there were a national firearms registry that ensured that straw purchasers couldn’t make firearms disappear across state lines with minimal chance of detection that’d be one thing, but again, the “registration = confiscation” people have made that impossible.

  93. Adam Selene says:

    To Heptaparaparshinokh: No, the cross border gun trade cannot be relevant if it is illegal to sell those guns. The difference between Mexico and here is that the U.S. has the gun-show loophole. So, using your example, someone from Illinois can go to Indiana and buy a gun and then resell it. Mexico is completely different because it is against the law to resell firearms that way. All that will happen is that the straw purchasers, as you put it, will buy their guns, cross into Mexico, and then they won’t be able to sell them because of the strict laws. The guns end up stuck in a warehouse somewhere or the government confiscates them, and, either way, the importers go broke.

    And, yes, I do watch for news about what is going on Mexico, but I have yet to see anything as terrible as the school shootings here. I know people that own condos in Mexico and they tell me it is much safer than here, anyway.