Half a century after Dallas, any American headcase can buy a gun

Image     Image Separated at birth?

After Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, I remember a debate raging across the US about gun laws – and reining in perhaps the most pernicious pressure group on the planet after Greenpeace, The National Rifle Association. 49 years later, the guns are more numerous, and the mass-murderers more commonplace.

The NRA tell us it’s all about the Constitution and the Right to Bear Arms: it’s in the Constitution so it must be true and right and proper. But the same Constitution also ‘holds it as self-evident that all men are created equal’, when they obviously aren’t. For the NRA – aka the Gun Lobby – the American Constitution is merely a convenient stick with which to bash the sane folks who want stricter gun laws. The RTBA was based on English redcoats getting ideas about a counter-revolution; it’s about as relevant to today as Jewish Kosher.

In the 1950s, they needed guns because the Commies were coming. In the 1960s, because the blacks were rioting. In the 1970s, because drug-related crimes were usually violent. And ever since, because you might need to mow down a gun-toting lunatic who bought 30,000 rounds of ammunition over the counter. No doubt in 2013, they’re going to need guns to wipe out the fraudsters, bent politicians, Libor fixers, gold regulators, and crooked speculators. And those groups in turn are going to need even better guns to defend themselves against the vengeful hordes of wiped-out Middle America.

Violence breeds violence. There is no such thing as a Human Right. What Rights we have are the result of national laws bestowed upon men by other men. The Right to Bear Arms is wrong. The mourning, vigils, floral tributes and tearful media interviews no longer impress me, because these regular massacres are self-inflicted. They happen because the NRA fills Congressional pockets with munnneeeee, and the electorate isn’t up for changing that.

It’s one of the more extreme examples of why all money flowing from private business and associated lobbying must be stopped wherever liberal deomcracy exists. But it is no less urgent for all that.

127 thoughts on “Half a century after Dallas, any American headcase can buy a gun

      • Bollocks to your bollocks JW. When a stranger is possibly packing a lethal weapon, it makes you mind your Ps & Qs. Of course, that conflicts with the PC ‘authenticity’, and thereby supposedly suppresses ‘diversity’ ‘narratives’, and all that compound adjectival bollocks qualifying substantive bollocks followed by predicate bollocks, adverbial bolloks, resulting in dependent sub-clause bollocks. FFS, you’re supposed to be deconstructing crap, John, not wrapping another turn over the Gordian Knot that mesmerises the people.

      • So you are saying that criminals prefer armed vicitms and dictators prefer an armed populace? Really? I didn’t know that. Please elaborate on why that is so.

      • Tom Stelene

        I don’t think that “bollocks” was meant to mean “this is wrong” – it was meant to mean “So what? The more guns, the more criminals and the more chance of dictatorship”.

        What the gun lobby fail to appreciate is that what’s true at the individual level doesn’t necessarily hold true when it’s extended to everyone. In isolation, it may well be true that a gun adds to the security of the family who possess it. At the same time, it subtracts infintesimally from the security of every other person in the country, and the sum of all these infinitesimal subtractions is greater than the additional security gained by the gun-owning family. If every family in the country possesses a gun, then all of them have the additional security of owning a gun, but they all also have the infinitesimal subtraction caused by a different family owning a gun, multiplied by the total number of such families. The total of the subtractions, for each family, is far greater than the single addition.

        Tell the NRA that OK, there’ll be no move to control guns, but so as to even things up, the government is going to issue a gun to each of those families who haven’t as yet got one – for “additional security, you understand – and listen to the howls from those who criticise control.

      • Dear John,

        What could possibly be ‘bollocks’ about that statement?
        Obviously you think that someone with a weapon (especially a gun) will be inclined to use it aggressively. That may be true for those among us who don’t have the mental ability to deal with conflict in a more civil manner. But what about those of us who would like to be able to DEFEND ourselves upon aggressors?

        I could kill you with a shovel. But does that mean all shovels should be outlawed, or only allowed to be used by those ‘qualified’ and licensed to use one?

      • Bollocks my ass. First, the Brits did not create nor give up their empire peacefully. It was built with bloodshed by guns and independence was gained via bloodshed by guns. Second, in Britain, thugs only invade a home when the occupants are present. Why – to make sure the homeowner provides all the valuables. In the US, the thugs ensure that no one is home. Why – because the cowards are afraid of being shot by the homeowner defending their property as all humans should. This fact was documented by the FT back in 2002. Third, I bet a lot of Syrians wish they had accessed to the 2nd amendment right now. Also, why do you not hold the psychos who write and promote these violent fictional creations accountable? The suspect was acting out a scene written by a commie liberal, not the NRA. The NRA promotes self defense, not cold blooded murder. Or why don’t you hold the drug companies accountable for the homicidal side effects of their anti-psychotic drugs. You are the typical European coward I met while working over there – afraid to stand up for liberty, yet more than happy to raise my taxes.

      • John – it’s not a coincidence that the theater was declared by the chain owner as a “gun-free zone”, and the rule-abiding (note that CCW is legal in Colorado) were disarmed victims. Holmes did not run his spray-and-pray stunt at the local constabulary for a reason. The same condition was true at Virginia Tech, and Columbine. Gun-free zones insure target-rich environments with minimal risk to the criminal.

    • Possibly both slightly true if you insist on being literal but only a simpleton would then infer that owning lots of guns will hamper either criminals or dictators.

      It is a tiny weeny bit more complicated than that.

      John’s response is better but for those who can be bothered reading more here arguments like this spring from inadequate gentlemen who draw comfort by finally having something powerful in their hands.

      The simple truth is that more guns equal more gun crime and dictators don’t loose any sleep about what pea shooter you keep under your bed.

      Criminals and mad men will always be more prepared to use guns to hurt and kill than decent people and the odds are that they will not come at you when you are nice and ready, so what are you going to do? always carry- one in the spout? always wear body armour? train daily at the range? arm your children? not go out? get a bigger gun? get more guns? live in a compound and keep watch in shifts? It is perfectly possible there will be situations where having a gun might get you out of a spot of bother but owning a gun for this purpose is really a security blanket (and not a bullet proof one). Better to live in a society where those spots of bother are minimised. Of course they cannot be eliminated completely, lets be adult now, crossing the road is dangerous too.

      As for dictators fearing an armed citizenry or a citizen militias what rot.
      US military planners took high Iraqi gun ownership into consideration when planned the invasion but all those guns didn’t worry Saddam Hussein too much and he would have been a prime candidate for some affirmative action from aggrieved gun owners. It took outside intervention to unseat him, all those guns in civilian hand didn’t stop the invasion either.

      and where does this idea come from that if all my patriotic countrymen are armed and form militias in a time of need that they will agree with me come from? Nazi gun control measures are sometimes raised for some reason but remember there was a citizen militia in pre-war Germany, they were known as brown shirts. It would not have made a blind bit of difference if every person in the Jewish ghettos was packing heat, it would have been a great excuse to go in with even more extreme prejudice.

      Very strict gun control in Japan, plenty of gangsters, no dictator and average yearly death from gun crime? can be counted on one hand, even if you don’t have a pinkie.

      I am a gun owning kiwi and if I could buy hand guns at the local sports shop I probably would, just because I quite like guns but I am happy to not own guns that have no sporting use, and restrictions on ones that do, to live in a society that approaches these things with a bit of common sense.

  1. look at that fruitcake with his orange dyed hair. I hope he’s in a state where the death penalty remains – and I hope they fry him good.

      • Of course not. I believe in wild assertions based on nothing more than a conspiratorial mind. I mean, it’s not like people killed innocents in the past. And besides, why would he do it when there’s a perfectly good government to plot the whole thing?

        You make the claim, you provide the evidence.

    • fried…
      Why are so many of us so willing to KILL another human before we are even sure of the facts? And do you believe ALL the information you receive from the media purveyors who seem to only provide what is sensational, bloody, or convenient for the powers that be?

      If a person is found to be GUILTY of a crime BEYOND ALL REASONABLE DOUBT, wouldn’t a better punishment be to have them sit in a confined area and have to THINK about what they have done for the rest of their life?

      Oh I know. You don’t want to have to PAY FOR their incarceration. Well that cost is highly inflated due to the FOR PROFIT prisons we have created thanks to the TRUE CRIMINALS in our society.. THE POLITICIANS and CORPORATE GREEDSTERS.

      That and the fact that most government policies are now driving people to break ‘THE LAW’ (of which there are too many to keep account of, and of which many are merely ‘revenue enhancers’).

      Victor Hugo would be amazed to see that not much has changed since his famous writing as we still put people in dungeons for stealing bread, especially if it’s a third offense, which over here in the Home of the ‘rave (sic) and Land of the Fee (sic) means LIFE in the dungeon.

      And let’s not forget about smoking innocent herbs.

      Let’s all raise our glasses high and cheer for what we have created.
      We are all so civilized.

  2. The UK proves that gun control doesn`t work. Nutters and criminals will always have no problem obtaining them.
    There is a lot of truth in the saying `An armed society is a free society`
    Anything else is a happy clappy mentality.
    And atrocities such as this do not change that.

    • Zeus my dear old goose
      Have you seen the stats for gun killings per year between US and UK? 2011 in the US – 9,146. In the UK, 18. That’s one-eight.
      ‘The UK proves that gun control doesn`t work’. WTF are you on?
      A lot of bollocks around this morning.

      • John. I suspect you`re slightly miffed at the response to this article.
        A dangerous area is statistics…if you use them at least acknowledge that America has five times the population of the UK (and ten times the nutters)
        I suspect a more draconian justice system is called for…lets face it, in ten years this guy will still be going through the courts.
        Too many years of bleeding heart liberalism.

      • John

        The gun lobby don’t do the nett benefit calculation properly. They argue that possession of a gun is a moral right because it adds security to the family which owns it. What they don’t take into account is that this gun being in the hands of someone outside their family subtracts infinitesimally from the security of every other family in the country. The lobby, in effect, falsify the justification, by pretending that the comparison is between the benefit of the gun-owning family and the loss of security of any other family. Of course this is asymmetric, but the actual comparison should be between the gun-owning family’s benefit and the accumulated loss of benefit of every other family in the country – the accumulated, not the average. The lobby try to pretend that because the risk is tiny for each specified third-party, there is no reason for denying gun ownership to those who wish to make a much bigger addition to their own security. It’s arithmetical sophistry.

      • Dear John,
        I know this is your website, but is your answer to everything simply ‘bollocks’?
        Maybe, due to your English gun laws, enough of the ‘right’ people haven’t been shot and killed yet.
        You all seem to be herded into a pen with lots of cameras watching you every second of every day.
        And your police seem to enjoy rounding up those among you who have ‘rioted’ (or is it finally ‘snapped’ in outrage from the oppression and injustice?) and then throwing them in prison for even the slightest error in judgment while your most pompous of asses in your government are raping you blind.
        Some good old fashion lynchings of the proper people might bring society back into line a bit.
        But I think that because I still have remnants of idealism left in me that think that there may be an ‘ultimate justice’ that takes care of things for each of us eventually.
        Meanwhile, the suffering continues without remedy.

      • CEDRIC WARD

        “Maybe, due to your English gun laws, enough of the ‘right’ people haven’t been shot and killed yet … Some good old fashion lynchings of the proper people might bring society back into line a bit.”

        Maybe … might. The fact that something’s a possibility doesn’t mean that it is right to build policy round it.

        Just about everyone in this country who’s thought about it believes that if we had similar gun laws to those in the USA, there’d be an enormous increase in gun-related crime, in shooting sprees by crazy people, and in accidental gun-related injury and death. Sure, it may be possible to establish that the possession of guns adds more than it subtracts to the security of the families that own them, but this is only the DIRECT consequence of gun ownership, and public policy is about assessing the combination of direct and indirect consequences. Excepting the gun owners, the INDIRECT consequences of gun ownership are that everyone in the country is less secure.

    • On the contrary. The level of gun crime is massively lower in the UK than it is in countries such as USA & Switzerland.

      In the UK the incidence of firearms as a percentage of homicides is 8% and we have one of the lowest murder rates in the world.

      The USAs figure is 65%. Switzerlands is 58%.

      Woundings and/or robberies involving firearms follows a similar pattern.

      In our country you face your biggest homicide threat from kitchen knives, wielded in a domestic environment, by a known aquaintance or more usually a family member. For woundings likewise but for robberies it will be more than likely your assailant will again be armed with a kitchen knife, but is usually a juvenile male unknown to you.

      • So indulge me if you will… lets suppose chummy with a knife is in the kitchen unannounced as you come down the stairs in the wee small hours to see what he is up to. Chummy is well aware you are unlikely to have a gun in the house and even more unlikely to have any other sort of weapon as they are all banned.
        At no point do you know what chummy’s intentions are but seeing as he is on your property and armed with a knife he is clearly up top no good at the very least and may be hell bent on killing someone at worst.
        At what point are you supposed to work out it is likely to be the former rather than the latter and ‘call the cops’?
        As this is the only option the bleeding hearts have left you hat do you do if chummy decides its shit or bust time and goes for you anyway whilst the cops are ‘en route’?
        Like it or not unless you are willing to die for liberty there can be no liberty.

      • Even if you had a gun John D, you’d still be only allowed to shoot the knife out of his hand, at 12 paces with the lights switched off. Heaven help you if inadvertently misjudged the level of force and hurt the poor wee mite.

  3. Looking at the above comments, JW’s headline might have read:
    Half a week after Aurora, any European or American nutcase can subscribe to an honest blog – and sully it

      • @InTeleGent, and JW

        Comparing victims of crime as a percentage of the population at NationMaster.com: UK 3rd with 26.4%; USA 15th with 21.1%. Also, on the same site; total number of crimes: USA 11,877,218; UK 6,523,706. There can be many reasons for what appears to be a lower comparative rate of crime in the USA, and I suspect that the right to own firearms may be a factor; after all, where are you more likely to get burgled; in a country which allows the private ownership of firearms, or one that prohibits it?

      • J24601

        I’m sorry to disillusion you, but the Table you used is extremely dubious. For example, it shows the UK as having had 6.5 million crimes in a particular year, compared for example to Colombia (214k), Greece (103k) and Ireland (81k). As the qualification below the Table states:-

        “Crime statistics are often better indicators of prevalence of law enforcement and willingness to report crime, than actual prevalence”

        Another interesting result shown on the Table is that we have, apparently, 327 times as many drug offences per unit of population than the USA, with an astonishing 183,419 offences per 100.000 ppeople. With a population of about 60 million, this means about 110 million drug offences per year. No wonder the cops are rushed off their feet!

      • J24601

        Interesting graph, but I’m at a loss to understand how Ireland, with 80 thousand crimes per year, manages to come out above England and Wales who must have the lion’s share of the six and a half million crimes per year elsewhere reported.

        The danger with all statistical reporting these days is that it’s quite likely to be advocacy research – finding some numbers which are helpful in supporting the point that’s desired to be made – rather than scientific research – deriving the numbers from pure research, and deciding what conclusions it’s fair to draw from them. It’s a good idea, though an increasingly difficult one, not to be fooled by this.

    • Sorry InTeleGent, I didnt realise that blogs were reserved for sycophantic agreement and stern head-nodding (and maybe a little tutting too!).

      I kinda thougth that JW posts here as a source of news and informed discussion. Mea culpa!

      I take it all back JW – you are right, ban guns and shoot all those who disagree!

  4. A hundred years ago, you could buy guns in the UK just as freely as in the least regulated American states today. Yet gun crime was vanishingly small by today’s standards. People like rent collectors and commercial travellers carried more cash then and would sometimes carry a pistol for protection, just as, fictionally, Watson would slip his service revolver into his pocket before sallying forth with Sherlock Holmes to take on the minions of Moriarty.

    In Switzerland, the reservist soldier ( all able-bodied males of military age) keeps his assault rifle and ammunition at home. Yet there are few instances of fire arms rampages there. So there is something cultural involved, additional to the mere opportunity of possessing weapons.

    And, of course, today’s criminal classes do not actually bother about licences at all. There is some truth in the assertion that, if you have fully effective gun control, the only armed criminals will be working for the government.

    • 58% of all homicides in Switzerland involve firearms. In the UK it’s 8%.
      Although their murder rate per 100K of population is only two thirds of ours, That still means you are about 3 times more likley to be shot dead in Sitzerland than you are here.

      • But you are far more likely to be murdered in the U.K. which is the point if you think about it. Your own post would lead us to believe that gunn control does not stop killings, it just changes the method

  5. Firstly, it’s not a “Right to bear Arms”, it is actually worded as “Duty to bear Arms” and refers to membership of State Militias primarily. But hey, don’t let the actions of one nutcase spoil a good argument. The shooter was a neuroscience student, and popped off his tits on the same drugs that killed Heath Leger. In a world where only the military carry weapons the populace is screwed.

    • The text of the Second Amendment actually reads:

      “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”

      (Jefferson’s version)

      and/or

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

      (Congress version)

      It is taken from the right of Protestants to bear arms in the English Bill of Rights. The US Supreme Court says so.

      Here’s the original:

      “That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law”

      To anyone except an American, the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment is clearly derived from the necessity for a well regulated militia, but the United States does not have a well regulated militia.

      • ‘To anyone except an American, the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment is clearly derived from the necessity for a well regulated militia, but the United States does not have a well regulated militia.’

        Please read the Militia Act of 1903.
        reserve militia – consists of every able-bodied man of at least 17 and under 45 years of age who are not members of the National Guard or Naval Militia.

        PS. I am not an American

    • ‘In a world where only the military carry weapons the populace is screwed.’
      My God, it’s a bollocks-fest. Duty or Right….????

      • Dear John,
        Have you ever had any lengthy interaction with a low ranking military person? I say low ranking, because many of us know almost all the higher ranking military personnel are psychopaths, ass kissers to power and have stayed in the military for the power and the pension.
        You don’t really think these brainwashed to kill members of the military, because they couldn’t find a civilian job, would not follow orders from above to fire on the populace they have ‘sworn to protect’ according to some national document now do you?
        I know I fear the young imbeciles my country has bred into being, and I suspect that your young thugs aren’t much more intelligent.
        I certainly hope you don’t run into some of them while on a ‘walkie’ with your pooches some day.
        And please carry just enough cash to give them so they don’t beat you to death with a bat.

      • savpenrhos….

        The British army may not be as scurrilous as the U.S. Army because it’s not the main force of the U.S. Empire.
        But…it IS an ally in arms as just as susceptible to horrendous behavior both in battle and, if called upon, in the streets of your country.
        Don’t every underestimate what a person with a rifle and a uniform will do if given orders to shoot into a mob of citizens to protect THEMSELVES, not necessarily the community.
        The British Military has a long history of snobbery and ‘above it all ishness. And I’m sure much of that history is still inherent in today’s forces as the upper ranks LOVE to relish in their history and even re-interpret their disasters (of which their have been a few) into acts of bravery instead of stupidity on the part of its leaders.
        I find it hard to thank soldiers for their ‘service’ nowadays.
        In the past, maybe, but today….no.

  6. The NRA is still the most powerful lobby in Washington and an integral part of the military industrial complex. Woe betide any politician who does less than kneel at its altar; they become a candidate for elimination, perhaps with extreme prejudice. No John you are fighting a losing battle.The gun is part of the essential warp and woof of American life, an integral part of its DNA, and one reason that some of us choose to leave.

  7. John,

    You have to keep in mind the original intent of the right to bear arms: it is to make sure that revolutions *can* happen. And frankly that day may actually be drawing near when militias *do* form. The founders of the US Constitution were revolutionaries themselves. And they believed (rightly so) that the ultimate and final ‘check’ on government was the people’s right to “abolish it and establish new government”. Government’s *must* fear uprisings. It is the ultimate (albeit violent) democratic action.

    While the price we may pay as a society may seem high to some, one must note that your country was not founded by men who philosophically and legislatively justified violence as a means of ensuring liberty.

    It may seem uncivilized and dated, but I would argue that it is a notion at is increasingly contemporary.

      • DomesticExtremist…
        Your logic is faulty.
        We just have chosen to not use our right to violently overthrow our government because they have been very effective in gradually dumbing down our population to believe the Nanny State will provide for them, up until now, when it has pulled the rug from under them.
        They are still hoping that ‘god’ will save them, or that there are still enough ‘good men’ left that will come to their rescue.
        All in vain it appears.
        The elite have used our taxes to buy superior weapons to use against us and anyone else who opposes them.
        Our only hope is that once they have eliminated all the slave workers and depleted tax payers, there will be only themselves to grow the food and produce the goods.
        Then there will be another round of violence between those who will be the new slave workers and who will be the rulers based upon wealth and power.
        And the beat goes on.

  8. it must be getting very expensive to recruit police in that place or for that matter any of the front line service people. Who in their right mind wants to risk their life when there are idiots like this around.
    A lot of the problems we now have boil down to the American constitution……..gratuitous violence popularised by hollywood and the whole media………..nuclear proliferation…….to name a couple

    • @tuueyes
      “Who in their right mind wants to risk their life when there are idiots like this around”

      Err, people who believe in right, justice and who are willing to put themselves in harms way for the sake of others – like firemen, lifboatmen, et al – who do these things so you dont have to.

      The world is a dangerous place and will continue to be so. Take the blinkers off! You want to see death? Look at Syria – people fighting for the liberation of their – yes, THEIR – country from a dictator. And yet you look at this, admittedly terrible but relatively minor event, and start wailing for the removal of liberties and greater suppression of freedoms.

      Benjamin Frankin got it spot on when he said:

      ‘Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.’

      • Look at Syria – people fighting for the liberation of their – yes, THEIR – country from a dictator.

        Think you’ll find that in fact it’s Sunni extremists rebeling against rule by a socially-liberal but vicious Alawite minority. And just as Libya before it, Egypt before that and all the way back to Iraq, the country will be more blood-drenched and run by bigger nutters.

      • @savepenrhos

        “…Sunni extremists rebeling against rule by a socially-liberal but vicious Alawite minority.”

        Syrian population comprises
        Sunni 74%
        Shia (Alawite, Twelvers, and Ismailis combined) 12%
        Christian 10%
        Druze 3%

        So that would be democracy in action then – may not be your flavour of democracy and the Syrian people may not get what they expect at the end of it, but democracy is the right of the majority to steer their own destiny.

      • I thought it was those bloody Druze kicking off again – I would have knocked them into shape double quick.

      • Peterloo – If you think the Sunni FSA is even remotely interested in democracy then you are a complete tool.

        Where the middle east is concerned we should be more pragmatic and support governments that suit our purpose and create regional stability in an area that is crucial to our energy needs not run around supporting any old Tom, Dick and Harry fly-by-night ‘freedom’ group. The fact that Islamists now control the eastern half of Libya and al-Quada is calling the shots in Benghazi would have taught a two year old that.

        Israel is not going to take lightly to having a country run by Sunni extremists sat on it’s northern border and the fall of Assad will definatly not be the end of serious blood-letting in Syria – it will just be the start.

      • Peterloo…

        Please don’t confuse POLICE with firemen and other NON-ARMED rescue people.

        Most of our police are now ex-military thugs with a power complex who have been trained to be unthinking killers as is represented by how many citizens they kill instead of apprehending for very simple actions, especially when they have ALL THE POWER AND TOOLS to overwhelm almost anyone and take them into custody rather than kill them.
        And THEY ALL KNOW that their fellow officers and department will always exonerated them under the guise that they want their personnel to be able ‘to go home each night to their families’. As if the citizens they kill so indiscriminately don’t have the same expectations when in public.
        The police have been trained to think of us as ‘THE MOB’ which they have the DUTY and AUTHORITY to keep under control regardless of the situation in which a citizen might become ‘out of control’.
        We are ‘the lessor’ in their eyes.

      • @ savepenhros

        As I said, I doubt the Syrian people will like what their democracy turns out to be – but as free human beings it is their fundamental right to make that choice. Sometimes lessons learnt come with a price measured in pain and bloodshed.

        I also find it ironic that you believe that democracy should be granted to others but only if it suits the needs and goals of your democracy. What gives your democracy the primacy?

        Why does the west insist on projecting their morals, beliefs and philosophies onto other nations and then become offended when their advances, based on such morals, beliefs and philosophies, are rebuffed?

        In some other Eastern societies a dog is a source of food. In the West it is a pet. Who is right? East, West, both, or neither?

        @Cedric Ward

        Ced, I am a Brit and our police are not routinely armed – though they would like to be.

        I do put them in the same bracket as fire, ambulance and the other emergency services because despite a few bad apples, they do a job that I could not do in a million years – well I could but I would last about 5 minutes as I would stick one on the first scrote who gave me lip!

        Sadly the Her Majesty’s Constabulary is under imminent threat of being privatised – the whispers say by G4S the buch who failed to secure the ShambOlympics.

  9. In the armoury where i used to draw my SLR, above the rifle racks was a sign proclaiming “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. A firearm is a firearm, everyone knows what they do. It just seems that Americans like using them to shoot each other more than people in other countries.

    • LeGin…
      A firearm is a TOOL.
      It is used to stop, or kill, an entity (living or inanimate) that is a threat to the holder of THE TOOL. Some use THE TOOL aggressively. Some use it DEFENSIVELY.
      THE TOOL IS NOT TO BLAME FOR THE RESULT.

  10. I am a little disappointed John. I thought your insight was a little deeper.

    When ‘by the people, for the people’ is ignore revolution is not a right it is a duty. We are at a tipping point – the political and corporate elite continue to suck the working class dry, on an increasingly overt basis.

    Taking guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens will not reduce the number of deaths. Look at the UK, we have no carry permits and gun crime is increasing. Taking guns out of the hands of citizens just shifts the balance of power towards the criminals (which includes the government).

    Guns don’t kill people, people do!

    Sorry John but this one read like a poor MSM piece.

    • @Peterloo
      “Guns don’t kill people, people do”

      It is estimated one in ten people are certifiable nutcases. There are approximately 25 million of them in the United States.

      I think the right to bear arms is marginally less stupid than the right to arm bears.

      • @Evo

        “I think the right to bear arms is marginally less stupid than the right to arm bears.”

        All for that – taking a gun and shooting a bear from 100yds is a very unfair fight. Arm the bears and it makes hunting much more of a challenge.

    • Good comment Peterloo,unfortunately John convinced himself a long, long time ago that he’s a “liberal” and hasn’t properly adjusted to what that word means these days. I’d say the lad’s a bit confused on this one, bless him. Grateful for his insights though.

    • I have to agree…MSM sneaking in.

      In Texas last night 13 people were killed in a pickup truck…. Ban Pickup Trucks.

      Abortion Stats…. Ban Abortions.

      Illegal Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan… Ban Illegal Wars…

      Ad Nauseam

    • Well disappoint away Peterloo, but 9,146 still plays, um 18. This site has the sub-head ‘EVIDENCE BASED bollocks deconstruction. If guns exist easily available, people kill other people with them.
      Doh….

    • I tend to agree. I live in Flintshire, which is pretty rural and has a relatively small population, but… I know personally at least 5 people that have had a gun (whether it was a real one is open to question, but you tend to operate on the assumption that it is, in these situations!) pulled on them during the course of petty crime in just the last couple of months. Clearly, anyone who wants to get their hands on a gun can do so. Actually, I’m fairly sure I could hand over about 100 quid today to ‘persons of my acquaintance’ and have a loaded pistol in my possession before the week was out. Have absolutely zero desire to do so, of course (for one thing, I prefer crossbows and recurve longbows for projectile propulsion purposes; archery is more fun than shooting. I’ve done a lot of both), but I could if I wanted to. And in most inner city areas it’s almost trivially easy to do. I have a friend who hails from Toxteth who reckons you can order a 9mm easier than you can get a pizza in some of the rougher parts of Liverpool. And go check out Pepper Hill in Manchester (well, actually don’t!) – even the sweet old ladies are packing heat around there! The cops will only enter the estate in full daylight, in groups of 6 or more and almost always go armed with sub-machine guns. Mostly, they just don’t go there at all.

      I’m not advocating that the UK relaxes it’s gun control laws because ‘if they don’t work very well, what’s the point?’ but nor would I like to see some draconian clampdown that would inevitably lead to TSA-style body searches every time one wanted to enter a public area.

  11. No, Mr. Ward, the problem is the sick violence-fantasies spewed out by Hollywood, TV and video games into a depraved society. Why did these mass killings not occur in the 1800s, or pre-WW2? (Even pre-1960s, for that matter.) The elephant in the room is not guns, but a degenerate entertainment culture. Think Reservoir Dogs, Snoop Dogg. If Ahmajinedad dropped a nuclear bomb on Hollywood Boulevard, I believe I would hop onto the first flight to Teheran and present him with a gold medal.

    • N.R.A. Proposes Sweeping Ban on Movies

      Posted by Andy Borowitz

      FAIRFAX, Va. (The Borowitz Report)—Saying it was “high time to take action against the number one cause of violence in America,” the National Rifle Association issued a statement today urging a sweeping ban on movies.

      Tracy Klugian, an official spokesperson for the gun-lobbying organization, said that the N.R.A. had taken this extraordinary step because it “could not stand idly by and watch movies tear apart the fabric of our civil society.”

      To that end, Mr. Klugian said, the N.R.A. would use money from its PAC, the N.R.A. Political Victory Fund, to support politicians who favored a ban on filmed entertainment.

      In the hours after the N.R.A.’s announcement, politicians on both sides of the aisle were quick to applaud the group for identifying what it called “a long overdue need for movie control.”

      “It is time for us to stop the madness,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner. “As a first step, I am proposing legislation that would impose a two-year waiting period and background check before one is allowed to see a Hollywood release.”

      Minutes later, the White House said that the Speaker’s proposal was “a good first step, but does not go far enough,” arguing that Congress had to “take a hard look at whether superhero costumes and masks should continue to be legal.”

      All in all, the N.R.A.’s Klugian said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the organization’s call for new legislation would be heeded “because our message finally seems to be getting through: Guns don’t kill people. Movies kill people.”
      .

      Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2012/07/nra-proposes-sweeping-ban-on-movies.html#ixzz21WiWsu48

      • Wasn’t Charlton Heston the NRA big cheese for many years? I don’t think he’d have wanted to ban movies!

    • Jannie & A C-B
      ‘The elephant in the room is not guns, but a degenerate entertainment culture.’
      Did we have that in 1963? I don’t think so.
      Do we have the same media culture in the UK? I do think so.
      9,146 dead from gun homicides in the US, 18 dead in the UK.
      Sorry, but your arguments don’t stand up. Culture will make a difference, but not 500 times the difference.

      • Your figures for the UK do not include killings by people employed by the State (eg police but other agencies too) eg the de Menezes murder where the police gunman was quite obviously out of control and running on adrenalin. But because he worked for the State, that’s OK. The base figure of 18 also seems to be a govt stat ie unbelievable.

      • BT

        There are plenty of blogs where it’s par for the course to denounce as lies any evidence that contradicts your trumpeted point of view. Why post on one where it isn’t?

      • Bollocks. UK stats are inaccurate/false IMHO. When I lived in Brixton for some years, according to the local papers (and police notices) there were more than 18 killings a year in that area alone. I knew plenty of folk robbed at gunpoint in London. I could’ve obtained an (illegal) gun within hours in London.

  12. I’m not sure that it is the buying of guns that is the problem, so much as the buying of a staggering 6000 rounds of ammunition without anybody raising so much as an eyebrow. I mean, that’s enough to start a small war, hardly what is required to defend yoursefl from muggers or go out on a deer shooting trip. Can you imagine the state of the deer if you pumped 6000 rounds into it.

    It didn’t take the police long to discover our nutty Batman adversary had bought 6000 rounds. Why exactly had they not been informed of this strnage behviour before? Are there other nutters out there sitting on vast stocks of bullets? I’m assuming it is quite a common occurence.

    • If I understand correctly (using ZeroHedge as my primary source) ammunition will act as currency in the not too distance future. Therefore stockpiling rounds is equivalent to being a prudent saver of precious metals. :)

      In some ways this “logic” actually make sense if you believe a dollar/fiat collapse will ever be allowed to happen in a way in which the general population have any control over the resultant monetary system.

      After all at least ammo has utility beyond a pure mechanism of exchange. In many ways it also ticks a number of other “money-esque” properties: fungible, easily transportable, durable..

    • @ Just Sayin’

      “a staggering 6000 rounds … hardly what is required to defend yoursefl from muggers or go out on a deer shooting trip”

      You are clearly not a shooter then.

      I am a shotgun owner and shoot clays on the weekend. On a Sunday morning I can shoot 200 shells off, more if the weather is nice. So thats about 1,000 shells a month. My wife shoots too, so thats 2,000 shells a month. Given that our guns are not automatics and so shoot at a rate of about 2 per minute. Its not unusual for me to buy 2,000 shells at a time.

      So when you start talking about semi and full auto weapons with cyclic rates of 100’s of rounds per minute then 6,000 rounds is not so unusual.

      I am guesstimating, because I dont have experience of auto fire, but a morning at the range shooting targets with an auto would probably consume, what, a magazine every 5 minutes? 20 round mag (40’s are rare in civilian hands) so an hours shooting would be 240 rounds. A 4 hour morning stint and you have put 1,000 rounds down range. So he really bought 6 weeks supply of ammo.

      • A 5.56mm asault rifle (SA80, Steyr, M16 etc) will emopty a magazine of 30 rounds in 1.8 seconds on automatic.

        That said you wouldn’t go to a range to fire automatic. It’s highly inaccurate and achieves little except making a noise if the target is more than spitting distance away. In the British Army we only use rifles on automatic when clearing trenches or clearing rooms.

        Any other time is a waste of ammo – even in an ambush.

      • @savepenrose – apples and oranges. Holmes had a semi-auto AR-15, which in typical AR-15/M-16 fashion, proceeded to jam during use. Further, I know of no report that indicates he brought all 6,000 rounds to his event. Why is this number material to the investigation? It’s only repeated ad nauseam to gin up support for ammunition bans, magazine bans, and say, there’s a vote in the U.S. Senate on the UN Small Arms Treaty. Just a coincidence, nothing to see here, move along.

    • Actually, if one is serious about getting and staying proficient with a firearm, 6000 rounds is only a few months supply (I assume Mr. Batman didn’t buy them all in one place and time?) given that our man owned four different firearms. You have to send at least a couple of hundred rounds, per weapon, downrange every month to build and maintain the skills necessary to shoot well. In fact, most members of the UK armed forces have never shot close to enough groups to attain more than basic proficiency. Sobering thought, eh? Each soldier has a fully automatic 5.56mm rifle and is actually pretty crap at using it!

  13. There is only one thing that is worse than having a gun, and thats not having one!
    Gun control works, just ask Hitler, Stalin, and the likes.

    There is no doubt about it, the law abiding yanks are going to need their guns.

    • On behalf of all of me here at Sloggers’ Roost, I’d just like to thank all those members of the NRA for their vivid contributions to today’s comment thread, and add one final point in closing:
      9,146 v 18.

      • JW post a link to your source so we can see what it is based on. BTW I live in the US and you have no idea what you are talking about. You also have an unarmed police force. A smaller population, and no drug invested gun toting cartels on your borders. BTW mexico has no guns so put up those stats for a comparison to the US and let’s see what they look like.

      • 9,146 v 18

        John, I acknowledge your position on this – everyone is entitled to an opinion, but replies like ‘bollock’ just makes you seem churlish and infantile.

        So I’m going to assume that these numbers are the US:UK gun-related deaths? So factoring in the 5:1 population differential we are at 1,829 v 18 – I cant argue that a 100:1 US:UK ratio is very high.

        I think you will agree that we can peg the UK 18 as murders – i.e. unprovoked shootings with the intention to cause death. How many of the US 9,146 are? How many are homicide caused in self-defence? How many are accidental deaths by firearms?

        Start to break the numbers down and the ratio will reduce. Again I concede, that it would be hard to reduce a 100:1 ratio down to near parity. Yes, availability of guns will have a proportionate amplifying effect on the number of gun-related deaths – that’s math for you.

        If I was at home and someone broke into my house I can only assume their intentions are not to the benefit of me and my family. In such circumstances I would rather be judged by twelve than carried by six.

        A gun pointed at someone’s face is the universal symbol for “get the f**k out of my house now!”.

        But hey, this is your blog so I am, so to speak, a guest in your home. We will have to agree to differ on this one.

        Regards

      • John, get out of your quaint French ivory tower and spend a year in the underbelly of South London, then tell me you want gun control for law-abiding citizens! I’ll bet you here and now $1,000 that not only that but certain other (extremely non-PC) attitudes will undergo a massive change.

  14. It’s always seemed to me there are few issues that more easily divide those who want to see small accountable govt -vs- big govt statists who insist the citizen must be defenceless against govt, than ownership of guns. Your mask is slipping ;-)

    It’s already been said, if all the movie goers had been armed, the loony gunman would have been long dead. An armed society is a polite society.

    • You must be tired of typing the same thing, Wardy. So let me help out in this instance: Bollocks. (You’re not entirely wrong BT. One of the reasons our fatality figures from shootings are so low is that whenever there’s a shooting in good ole London Town innocent people have an opportunity to take cover. This is because the gunman always clearly cries, ‘Would you mind awfully if I let you have it, you bastard?’ They always let themselves down at the end there, but that’s because we’re only a little bit armed as a society, and therefore still a little lacklustre in the etiquette department.)

  15. Despite all the noble talk about the second amendment, for the average American, the right to bear arms merely translates into the right to shoot your neighbours face off when his dog barks all night.
    Hence the numbers JW keeps quoting.

    • BS and you comment is about as ignorant as JW stupid stat. He provided no link so we can see what it is based on and a better comparison would be the US neighbor – gun free mexico.

    • And if they dont have guns they will use knives, no knives then sticks, no sticks then rocks, no rocks then hands, feet and teeth.

      People will always kill people, technology just makes us more efficient.

      You want to stop people being shot? Get rid of all the people!

      • Or insist rock/paper/scissors is the final arbiter in a dispute resolution. Used once to good effect in resolving a court case by American federal judge Gregory Presnell.

        Guaranteed to disarm the most aggressive of gun wielding assailants as they are forced to clutch their sides once you commence hostilities……..

  16. James Holmes is in police custody, in solitary confinement. He was clearly under the influence of very powerful drugs when he appeared in court.
    I remember when I was in Chadswell Assessment Centre children’s “home” (run by wicked child abusers), the day they rushed in to inject me with Valium (I didnt know it was Valium until recently when I read my Social Service paperwork) to take me to the psychiatric hospital “place of safety”. I couldn’t see outside of myself, but what James Holmes is displaying in court, thats pretty much how I felt, very drousy, awake but not functioning properly, my body felt wierd, but I knew where I was and able to communicate with my social worker.
    What I would like to know is why James Holmes was given a strong drug before going to court, who gave it to him, for what purpose? Because, even murderers are SUPPOSED to get a fair trial, surely we have not yet got to the stage where we are wanting to string people up from lamp posts without giving them a proper trial?
    I would like to know, from his own lips, why he committed this horrible crime, and how, and I would like this trial to have the same painstaking coverage as the Dr Conrad Murray trial.
    I hope people won’t misunderstand me. I think murderers deserve the death penalty, but I also think they, and even more importantly, the rest of us, deserve a fair trial, where justice is seen to be done. The secret family court experience has taught me that much!

  17. Or to look at it another way..Sandy’s putting the world to rights view > If you are a malodorous, murderous loser who knowing your life is worthless choose to go down in a blaze of publicity as one of the worlds great killers. Wouldn’t the motivation to do so be so much less if the press chose not to publicise your butchery in such a glare of lurid headlines? How about all networks refuse to even mention the name let alone publish pictures of mass murderers and when found inevitably guilty they are executed with charred remains put in an unmarked bit of landfill. Any record of the court case can be buried deep in some legal book on precedent. Why do we give these people the media coverage they so desperately crave to give some final validation to their worthless, nay toxic, existence?

    • It’s local news. Unfortunately there is global 24/7 rolling TV coverage hosted by Phil Tyme and Prue Rient.

    • sandysview…
      I suppose you would also burn books that you don’t agree with.
      Life is full of things we don’t like.
      It’s up to each of us to deal with them in a constructive manner.
      NOT to go into DENIAL about them.

  18. Gun crime and gun caused injuries (not deaths) have doubled in the UK over the last 10 years. The massive clamp down on guns in the UK after Hungerford, Dunblane and the laughable 2006 reduction in dangerous crime act have had no impact on gun deaths. England / Wales combined is often below the EU average for gun deaths, conversely Scotland and Nothern Ireland are routinely above the EU average. Make of it what you will.

    The notion that the citizenship of the USA with their guns can hold their government to account is risible. Unless the military and paramilitary law enforcers changed sides en masse.

    • @bemused: No, it’s not risible. The US is due another revolution and without gun possession, American citizens would be defenceless against the heavily armed fascist state.

      • A sign in a front garden of a suburban American read… “My neighbour is anti gun ownership, therefore I promise not to use my guns against you if should you choose to commit armed robbery against him”
        :-)

      • I agree. And usually I’m with JW on most points, but the simple fact is; if you are rendered incapable of defending yourself against government repression, no matter how unlikely we deem that to be, then the government is free to repress you. And being what it is, will commence to do so.

  19. Pingback: TAX AVOIDANCE: The case for giving governments a rude shock. | A diary of deception and distortion

  20. JW- Does not happen often – but on this one I totally disagree !

    The right to bear arms is fine – so long as criminals forever lose this right once the responsability of being law abiding is broken. OK I know there are always likely to be tragedies such as we get from the USA every couple of years. I’m sure that the banning of handguns has not prevented a single shooting tragedy in the UK either.
    But the tragedy of the people not being able to defend themselves against a tyrannic state is worse and if a challenge arises between state and free people…………. the unarmed masses will suffer much more than these unusual occurrances are ever likely to produce. Youtube has some ‘good’ vids displaying what happens when those armed with stones try and take on those armed with rifles.
    Walking down a street with a concealed weapon with your wife, daughter or whoever when confronted by a large group of potential do badders. You can control the situation and protect those around you much easier with a gun than by dialling 999 into your mobile phone (which they’ll probably steal whilst doing you and yours harm). Now I might support your view when teleportation devices exist and a mass of prepared cops can ride in on their chargers to rescue every one, every time.

    • Just ask the citizens of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, syria, ect ect if they would have liked to have been lawfully armed!

      • Iraqis own weapons up to and including medium machine guns quite legitimately – did under Saddam, still do now. Likewise Afghanis and Libyans. Not sure about Syrians but firearms seem to be part of the arab culture so i would assume the same there as well.

  21. Half a Century after Dallas, any American Military Industrial Complex Bankster can buy a politician……and if he can’t buy him, blackmail him, suicide him, accidental death him …. then they JFK him!

    American citizens keep your guns …the day is going to come when you will bloody well need them!

  22. Forgotten in the argument is the difference between conditions and limitations. A conditional right is not a right at all but a privilege, so by definition, the “right to bear arms” (an extension of the right to self-defence), is inalienable. However, this does not imply unlimited arms, otherwise nukes would be fair game. Arms used to be swords, and could equally be vases or baseball bats as they could guns. Offensive weapons do, by definition, provide more than just self-defence.

    Rights without limits imply that abortion extends to infanticide, free speech extends to the government providing you with your own newspaper and tv station, and medical care extending to hospitals on every street corner.

    Limits are not conditions, and so are not in violation of your rights. This is what you get when ideologues run things.

  23. First post, although been reading JW’s very informative blog for over a year now.

    No one has pointed out the elephant in the room, likely because the leftist MSM has helped us all forget to consider “evidence based” arguments on the subject: race and socio-economic status. Yes, race. Yes, economic status.

    What percentage of the 9,000+ annual shootings in the US are perpetrated by those of a middle class and higher WASP background? I’d venture to say the number is vanishingly small. Some evidence-based information:

    Blacks are seven times more likely to commit murder than other races in the US. Blacks in the US are three times more likely to use a gun when committing a crime as compared to all other races. Hispanics commit crime at a rate three times that of whites, whereas Asians do the same at only one quarter the rate of whites. By far the single best correlating factor in predicting murder rates in an area is the percentage of blacks and hispanics residing there (correlation = 0.81).

    How is that for evidence? Here’s a bit more: of the interracial crimes committed each year in the US involving blacks and whites, 85% of those crimes are committed by blacks. That’s a bit off topic regarding gun crime, but helps explain cultural tendency to violence including murder.

    The correlation with economic status is weaker: the violent crime rate as a function of percentage of population in poverty or unemployed has a correlation of only 0.35 and 0.36 respectively. It’s a correlating factor, yes, but less than half as strong as that of race. However, combining both race and economic status you come away with an almost complete explanation for violent crime including murder, and most definitely including gun crime.

    Let’s face it…the US is still paying for the egregious sin of slavery, which has combined in modern times with a globalist mixing of cultures as well as a widening economic gap brought on by vulture capitalism to produce a volatile societal mixture. This is the real evidence-based explanation. Not guns.

    Guns don’t kill people. Angry, disillusioned people stripped of their indigenous culture and forced into a foreign one as an underprivileged minority and placed into a subservient economic position kill people. Anything else is BOLLOCKS.

    • Spot on.

      Oh, and lest anyone think I’m being ‘racist’ here… I come from a mixed race background. My gran looks like a shorter, slightly paler version of Whoopi Goldberg!

      • Woodgnome…same here. Although my mother’s side is of English extraction, my paternal grandparents moved to the US from Puerto Rico having immigrated there from Galicia, Spain two generations prior. So according to the US Census Bureau I am a minority of “hispanic” background. Go figure.

        In any event I have never committed a gun crime and never intend to, although I am a gun owner and fervent advocate of the right to bear arms as a hedge against tyrannical government.

  24. How about the Texas tower shooting from the 1960’s? Armed citizens were essential to buy time for the authorities to stop that lunatic, otherwise that death toll would have been higher.

    Why is it wrong for me to have the tool – a firearm – necessary to defend my life from someone who would take my life?

    Americans are different from Europeans. We are not collectivist, obedient serfs (though that has been changing lately). Here individuals are independent, responsible, equals under the law who value their liberty and respect the liberty of others. This arrangement recognizes that the initiation of force by one man against another is an evil – and can only be stopped by using force in kind.

    I don’t know exactly, maybe it’s 1/3 of our population is armed – and there is no reason to fear those people. That many people armed and peaceful is a good thing. That is what is possible in a civil society based on individual rights and the rule of law. Other countries should learn from that.

    Here when you buy a gun you fill out ATF federal form 4473 and there are a number of questions on there which pertain to drug use, criminal record, mental stability, etc. Any ‘yes’ answer disqualifies the applicant right there. If the answers are ‘no’ then next the FBI runs a background check on him. All this is what the anti-gunners here wanted because they say it’ll stop criminals from getting guns. I guess a gun-control crystal ball should be consulted with every gun purchase from now on.

    One of the biggest loads of ‘bollocks’ is what comes from the professional anti-gunners. Going back for decades these people are brazen, sheer shysters when it comes to their assertions on guns and gun laws. They are totalitarians who naturally object to an armed citizenry.

    Look at Obama’s Fast & Furious operation. They deliberately broke laws and covertly armed Mexican criminals so that American guns would end up at crime scenes, then Obama and the anti-gunners could call for more gun bans. Hundreds, or more, Mexicans and some Americans were killed with these guns. What have the anti-gunners said about that? Nothing. I wonder why.

  25. Some people might say -depends who is killing who and where it is happening.
    In a fair and just world, maybe guns are not required. I suspect if you went to central Africa, inner city Detroit, the Albanian suburbs, and maybe even the City of London, however, you might feel a little more secure if you had the means to protect yourself from people who wish you harm and consider you without any value whatsoever..

  26. The point that is being missed is that since guns have been removed from the hands of the people here in the UK is that gun crime has risen dramatically. Only criminals use guns against other human beings to secure their loot or make a violent point or simply kill rivals. Guns do not kill people, people kill people, governments kill people, criminals kill people. When a nation is armed then home raiders are at danger of being killed and so what! when a nation is armed other nations dare not attack them as Japan would not do a land assault on the US in the second world war simply because there was a gun behind every blade of grass and those are Admiral Yamamotos own words. Only cowards and fools want gun control because they are themselves frightened of other people.

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