Cop Peforming A Welfare Check Kills Woman By Shooting Her Through Her Own Backyard Window

from the it-does-not-get-any-more-wtf-than-this dept

I’m really not sure what to tell anyone at this point. None of this works.

The Talk is akin to a rite of passage for many African-American children, especially boys and young men. Essentially, they are taught how to behave in the presence of police to mitigate potential harm: no sudden movements, don’t question why you’re being stopped, comply with all verbal commands, never raise your voice.

Make it home alive.

Complying with orders doesn’t work. Being calm doesn’t work. What if the only option left is staying inside? Well, that doesn’t work either.

Firing through a window, a white Fort Worth officer fatally shot a black woman inside her home early Saturday after police were called to the house because its doors were open, according to police and the neighbor who summoned them.

Atatiana Jefferson, 28, died in a bedroom, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.

I guess we have to give the Fort Worth (TX) police department some credit. The body camera footage of the shooting was released quickly. It doesn’t cover everything — like the search of the house following the killing of Atatiana Jefferson. Nor has the PD released the name of the officer who pulled the trigger.

What the footage shows is chilling.

A call to a non-emergency line from a neighbor set this in motion. The neighbor was concerned because lights were on and doors were open at 2 a.m., which the neighbor apparently felt was unusual.

There was nothing to be concerned about. Jefferson was simply up late playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew. But the cops rolled in like something ultra-suspicious was happening. And they behaved pretty suspiciously themselves.

Rather than approach the front screen door — which was closed (the inside door was open) — they took a quick peek through the door before quietly moving past the garage and into the backyard. At no point did the officers identify themselves or attempt to make their presence known.

The only thing any officer said was “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” This was delivered by the officer who spotted Jefferson through her window as she (most likely) began moving in their direction to figure out who was in her backyard. The shot that killed Jefferson was fired before the second shouted sentence was complete. Jefferson was given no time to comply with the officer’s commands. She never even made it outside of her house. Instead, she was killed by a bullet fired by a cop who didn’t identify himself — a bullet fired from outside her house through her back window.

Any credit given the Fort Worth PD can be rescinded. The release of the camera footage promised transparency. The statements accompanying this release are nothing more than the department’s attempts to exonerate itself.

Perceiving a threat, the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot striking the person inside the residence…

A person, legally in their own home, approached by strangers in her backyard who never tried to make contact with her or identify themselves as police officers: this is the person the officer “perceived” as a “threat.” How the fuck can anyone survive this mentality? The police were the intruders. They moved like intruders, sneaking around the house and into the backyard instead of approaching the front door or making any attempt to contact the residents of the home.

All the officer saw was someone moving around. He shouted and fired almost simultaneously. “Comply!” the officer shouted shot. You can’t comply if you’re not given a chance. A “perceived threat” might turn out to be something else, if officers would actually give people time to comply with commands (and hand out coherent commands).

The PD continues:

Officers entered the residence locating the individual and a firearm and began providing emergency medical care.

It is legal to own a gun in Texas. The freeze frames provided by the PD show a gun on the floor. The implicit suggestion is Jefferson was carrying it when she was shot. Still perfectly legal if she was. She was in her home. But there’s no explicit statement saying Jefferson was carrying a gun when she was shot. And nothing in the body cam footage suggests the officer could have discerned whether Jefferson was carrying a gun in the four seconds it took for him to shout two short sentences and issue one instant death sentence.

The PD helpfully detailed the “threat” the officer perceived and it’s every bit as ridiculous and sickening as you think it is:

Police said that the officer, who joined the department in April 2018, saw a person standing inside the house near a window.

Not a person with a gun. Just a person. This act is so normal, no one can prevent being perceived as a threat, if an officer approaches a house expecting to be threatened. What is threatening to officers like this one?

A person standing inside a house near a window.

A person standing inside a house.

A person.

You can’t win. You can’t even get on the field.

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Comments on “Cop Peforming A Welfare Check Kills Woman By Shooting Her Through Her Own Backyard Window”

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320 Comments
Anonymoussays:

Re:

Now the book needs to be thrown at him.

It gives me such mixed feelings. I’m happy that the (ex)officer seems to be appropriately delt with… but we had someone shot dead while having an enjoyable evening with an 8 year old nephew… now that child is scarred for life and someone is dead because some jackass hiding behind a badge really wanted to get their rocks off.

Uriel-238says:

Charged with murder

Until the shooting officer is convicted and serving a sentence proportionate to the crime, until Tarrant County makes significant policy changes that will actually reduce the rate at which police weapons are drawn and incidents are escalated (with a resulting reduction in injuries and deaths)…

…I will continue to remain skeptical and downright cynical. Our society has proven time and again we don’t care enough to change.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

America didn’t want to be at war with their law enforcement. We thought we were all on the same side. Whoever is the backbone of training our police forces across our nation IS our common enemy until they come out from hiding and oplenly apologize to our entire country, they will remain enemies against American citizens. Anyone who knows who they are and does not come forward is just as guilty. We don’t know who our enemies are anymore, but it looks like they are wearing badges.

Anonymous Anonymous Cowardsays:

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Qualified immunity seems to apply only when there is no clearly established law or case making the particular circumstances illegal. Two things bother me about this, the first is what the hell does particular circumstances have to do with breaking the law? The second is that when qualified immunity is applied, the circumstances involved don’t create clearly defined laws.

Well, let’s make that three things. The whole concept of qualified immunity along with law officers not needing to know the laws they enforce are big problems. They tell us that ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law, that is, unless your a law officer.

naschsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Do you just come here to make stuff up or do you read about any of it before you post?

I could ask you the same question, since he’s absolutely correct:

"Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine in United States federal law that shields government officials from being sued for discretionary actions performed within their official capacity, unless their actions violated "clearly established" federal law or constitutional rights."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualified_immunity

"Specifically, qualified immunity protects a government official from lawsuits alleging that the official violated a plaintiff’s rights, only allowing suits where officials violated a ?clearly established? statutory or constitutional right. "

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/qualified_immunity

Emphasis added.

naschsays:

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Read it again.

"With regard to certain government officials, including the President, prosecutors, and similar officials, the Court upheld absolute immunity. This doctrine shields those individuals from criminal prosecution and lawsuits…"

Emphasis added. Absolute immunity is different from qualified immunity, and perhaps you can at this point deduce where the difference lies.

naschsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Regardless of that interpretation, I have not seen any references that indicate that qualified immunity protects against criminal prosecution, which if understood your comment correctly, is what you were claiming. You didn’t explicitly state that claim but only mocked someone who stated the opposite, so it’s possible I misunderstood.

naschsays:

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Whether you or I have heard of something means nothing with regards to its legal reality. Second, it is entirely possible that someone has been criminally prosecuted for something, and also sued for the same thing, and the lawsuit failed due to qualified immunity but the criminal prosecution was allowed to continue. I have no idea if this has actually happened and don’t really care to try to find it. By the fact that you have not corrected my interpretation of your claim, and have still not provided any evidence for it, I will assume that you have none.

A Guysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Fine. You got me to google it for you which I usually refuse to do.

Here you go:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/qualified_immunity

Harlow v. Fitzgerald

The first test from the various cases is:

First, the official must show that his position’s responsibilities had such a sensitive function that it requires absolute immunity

Second, the official must demonstrate that he was discharging the protected function of the position when performing the in question

From the Supreme Court, qualified immunity is absolute immunity. That means it’s not just civil immunity lazy ass.

Bluehillssays:

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Harlow v Fitzgerald discusses absolute and qualified immunity separately. They are different doctrines with different elements. And no, I am not relying on Internet searches. I have been litigating qualified immunity claims for several decades. Qualified immunity is not dependent on the identity of the person claiming it, but on the scope of the constitutional right violated as established by the authority existing at the time of the alleged violation.

A Guysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

The question we’re discussing is "does qualified immunity give you criminal immunity or solely civil immunity?"

Do you know off the top of your head? My understanding is that it is immunity from both civil and criminal issues, if you qualify. The other opinion/belief is that it is solely immunity from a civil lawsuit.

Bluehillssays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yes, I do know off the top of my head. Qualified immunity is a doctrine that developed as a defense available to individual defendants against lawsuits alleging a violation of a constitutional right, and continues to apply only in that arena. In any event, most of the criminal prosecutions of cops are based on violations of state criminal statutes. Federal immunity generally doesn’t apply to actions under state law.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yes, I do know off the top of my head.

So you know off the top of your head. But…

Let’s say you’re a district attorney. You file an information against a police officer, charging the officer with… uhh, I don’t know… let’s say felony urinating in public, contrary to your state’s criminal code.

Defendant files what in Washington state would be known as a “Knapstead” motion — essentially a motion to dismiss under Washington criminal procedure. Defendant claims qualified immunity citing Harlow v Fitzgerald (1982) as authority for QI.

What case do you cite in response to tell the court, “That’s bullshit!” ? What case do you cite?

Bluehillssays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Harlow v. Fitzgerald contains the language necessary to establish its inapplicability. Any of the other cases referenced in the article you previously cited would do the same. They all stand for the proposition that an individual defendant is shielded from civil liability for violating a plaintiff’s federal constitutional right if the right at issue was not clearly established. As your hypothetical case does not involve either civil liability or an alleged violation of a federal constitutional right it is simply not applicable. The opposition would be about a paragraph and written by the newest law clerk in the office.

naschsays:

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So, just in case the opinion from the actual lawyer isn’t enough… showing that Harlow included a test for absolute immunity, which confers immunity from criminal prosecution, does not demonstrate that qualified immunity does the same. From the actual decision (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/457/800/#):

"Government officials whose special functions or constitutional status requires complete protection from suits for damages — including certain officials of the Executive Branch, such as prosecutors and similar officials, see Butz v. Economou, 438 U. S. 478, and the President, Nixon v. Fitzgerald, ante p. 457 U. S. 731 — are entitled to the defense of absolute immunity. However, executive officials in general are usually entitled to only qualified or good faith immunity. The recognition of a qualified immunity defense for high executives reflects an attempt to balance competing values: not only the importance of a damages remedy to protect the rights of citizens, but also the need to protect officials who are required to exercise discretion and the related public interest in encouraging the vigorous exercise of official authority. Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U. S. 232. Federal officials seeking absolute immunity from personal liability for unconstitutional conduct must bear the burden of showing that public policy requires an exemption of that scope. Pp. 457 U. S. 806-808."

See the distinction between the two? "However, executive officials in general are usually entitled to only qualified or good faith immunity." If they were the same type of immunity, they would not have written that.

"Federal officials seeking absolute immunity from personal liability for unconstitutional conduct must bear the burden of showing that public policy requires an exemption of that scope. "

Meaning absolute immunity has a broader scope than qualified immunity.

That means it’s not just civil immunity lazy ***.

Is the insult really necessary? It just makes you look bad.

A Guysays:

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That doesn’t change my mind about whether qualified immunity covers criminal charges.

The absolute immunity doctrine means the government official doesn’t even have to try to prove that they were trying to be reasonable in office. Qualified immunity means they have to show they were behaving reasonably within the Constitution in their conduct to receive the benefit. They both seem to cover both criminal and civil violations based on my previous reading on the subject. Not everyone agrees which is fine.

I am annoyed by people demanding evidence for my opinions. Almost all legal analysis is opinion. Even Supreme Court rulings are called opinions. Some opinions are given more weight than others but jumping in to point out you want to find someone you consider to be a higher authority or you won’t believe them is at least rude so I was slightly rude back. I’ve called my sisters lazy asses in the past too. Don’t take too much offense.

naschsays:

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That doesn’t change my mind about whether qualified immunity covers criminal charges.

I wish I could say I’m surprised by that.

I am annoyed by people demanding evidence for my opinions.

"Qualified immunity is stupid" is an opinion. "Qualified immunity is a shield from criminal prosecution" is a factual statement. You should get used to people asking for evidence to back up factual statements, because it’s going to continue to happen.

Even Supreme Court rulings are called opinions.

You understand that’s a different meaning of the word, right?

jumping in to point out you want to find someone you consider to be a higher authority or you won’t believe them is at least rude so I was slightly rude back.

I don’t consider it rude at all to ask someone if they have any evidence that backs up their claims. You’re free to answer however you like, or not at all. If I make a claim and don’t provide any evidence for it, feel free to ask me, too. In fact I encourage you to do so.

Don’t take too much offense.

I would only take offense if your opinion of me held some significance to me, which it does not. I was not offended.

A Guysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Supreme Court rulings are literal opinions in the same sense of the word.

They take 1 opinion from each judge, often written. The opinions often contradict each other in some way. It is called a plurality ruling instead of joint ruling when they use completely different legal theories to come to the same outcome. Sometimes in their plurality rulings they directly and intentionally contradict each other in some way. They vote on whether they agree with the plaintiff or defendant. Whoever gets the most votes wins.

If they don’t all agree, there is often a holding of the court that got the majority and a dissent that lost the vote.

Since there are currently 9 justices, they sometimes come up with 9 different somewhat contradictory opinions, publish them all, and vote on whether the plaintiff or defendant win.

Anonymoussays:

Surprise [was Re: x 16]

I wish I could say I’m surprised by that.

Hey, nasch— not sure if you’re still monitoring comments under this article.

If we were ever going to have a nuanced discussion on this topic, I’d point you to Scott Greenfield’s recent comment over at Simple Justice, and then I’d also toss in a Larry Solum link for a Big Idea, “The Law Is a Seamless Web”.

Otoh, when you’re focused on responding to someone who starts out crudely wrong… … well, I guess it’s not too tremendously surprising that the discussion just doesn’t get very far.

Don't Mess With Texassays:

You can’t stop this. Bi partisan support of police unions across the country has made it so police can and will do whatever they want. These unions have made it so that so every law favors the police over the citizenry they’re supposed to be serving that even if this one guy loses his job (which he did) and somehow ends up in jail, the culture in America that allows police to act this way will not change.

Anonymoussays:

She lost track of time, playing video games with her 8 year old nephew. The door was open to let in a cool breeze, with the screen door kept closed, like many people without air conditioning do. It’s such a sickeningly normal set of circumstances.

We can’t even get cops here to show up at 2am for an active break-in, yet the Fort Worth PD deployed multiple officers just for a welfare check, and they rolled in SWAT style? Where did they think they were, and what were they expecting to do there? It’s like they’ve declared war on the general populace and didn’t bother to tell us. Is there one of those huge German words that means "professional insanity"?

Nathan Fsays:

Re:

We can’t even get cops here to show up at 2am for an active break-in, yet the Fort Worth PD deployed multiple officers just for a welfare check, and they rolled in SWAT style? Where did they think they were, and what were they expecting to do there?

Um… what. There was only one officer involved and he rolled up and was looking around all quiet like. The total opposite of a SWAT teams flashbang led shock and awe tactics.

Anonymoussays:

I will say the police response to this and the earlier shooting nearby where a female police officer killed a man in his own apartment has been swift in the firing and arrest of the officers involved.

While this is a tragic set of circumstances I am heartened by the police forces willingness to swiftly punish the perpetrators. Now if only they improved the training the officers received to prevent this in the first place.

As per usual, the police UNIONS on the other hand…

PaulTsays:

Re:

"I am heartened by the police forces willingness to swiftly punish"

I’m not sure that you should be. The reason these cases have been met with such action is because they’re such blindingly obvious wrongdoing on the part of the officers that you’d be pretty much guaranteed riots if they got away with it. That doesn’t mean they won’t still be protecting their own in cases where there’s even a shred of doubt.

ECAsays:

Iv suggested..

To many persons Iv know that these instances Show that Police are NOT being trained properly, in anything besides Paranoia.

If these 2 police officers had gone up to the front door and knocked..
Even if a criminal was there, or had RUN out the backdoor and gotten away. It would Not have been their fault, after anything happened.
I dont care if they That SHE had a gun at the window…THEY were trespassing. which would of been OK, if something BAD WAS/IS happening..

A little logic goes along way…And why were Doors open? and would a Thief/cook/kook? want others to know they are in the house.. Probably not.
Why would a person In TEXAS, want door open at night?? To get a breeze thru the house..?? why pay a $300 Electric bill??

JUST KNOCK ON THE DOOR, and 90% of the problem would of been solved.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

And that may be what spooked the officer more than anything else: Everyone is armed so everyone is a threat. The officer failed second hardest (first was being a trigger-happy asshole and killing an innocent) at announcing himself as a police officer. Though he definitely needs to take the heat for murder the Fort Worth PD needs to take some responsibility for inadequate training.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

And that may be what spooked the officer more than anything else: Everyone is armed so everyone is a threat.

Of course, he could’ve parked his police car out front with the red & blue lights on, approached the front door, and knocked while saying "police". There was no sign of an emergency. He chose the risky method of sneaking around in the dark.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Take the guns away from the cops

The reason why the cops have the guns is because everybody else has them. This is just the inevitable result of an ?arms race?, in the only country in the world where guns are allowed to proliferate to such a lethal extent.

As the saying goes, the only way to win this game is not to play …

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Take the guns away from the cops

It’s not the guns that are the problem…it’s the people using them.

And when those people have badges, a union willing to protect the worst, and qualified immunity, there is minimal risk ro them for shooting first and investigating later

.Think about this. There are approximately 1 million law enforcement officers in the US. There are also approximately 17 million concealed carry permit holders in the US. Yet those 17 million don’t shoot or kill anywhere near the number the cops do. Even if those permit holders shoot someone in self defense, they don’t have a union or special treatment waiting for them. They face real consequences for what they did.

I get that law enforcement is held to a different standard, and different things are expected of them. But until cops learn there are consequences to their actions, this problem will continue. After all, cops are the ones with all the special training in law and use of force. They should be held to a higher standard, not the lowesr common denominator.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: .it's the people using them.

Well yes. We do enjoy the right to own and carry firearms. With that does bring a level of gun related violence and accidents and such. All freedoms have a price. None of them are truly free. To be honest, I’m sure having reasonable gun control would help mitigate some of the violence. It would be nice if our two party system would come together on that, but unfortunately neither side will budge.

As an American, I am not prepared to give up my right to own a gun to give the people that don’t want to own them a sense of security. That doesn’t mean I’m against reasonable gun control, it just means I’m opposed to an outright ban or unreasonable gun control.

Our forefathers were very careful in enshrining our rights. I’m glad they did.

Wendy Cockcroftsays:

Re: Re: Re: .it's the people using them.

No. The US has a history of institutionalised racism and slavery backed by the force of law. Lynchings used to be advertised on mass media and took place in a festival atmosphere before the civil rights movement put a stop to it.

The children and grandchildren of the people involved in the lynchings, etc., have not learned from the past and are desperate to repeat it. It’s not fear or paranoia that underpins the killings, it’s impunity and a sense of entitlement to preferential treatment in society and under law.

THIS is the problem and until it is addressed, such incidents will keep on occurring. Thoughts and prayers are not enough; there needs to be a reckoning for the attitudes that promote such horrible atrocities. The South Africans had a Truth and Reconciliation Committee. Would Americans be willing to address the evil of their recent history with a view to changing attitudes so this kind of thing doesn’t happen again?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is armed so everyone is a threat.

Every time one asshole or false flag operation ends up with multiple fatalities, every brainwashed person now is deadset against gun owners’ rights and wants to punish the 350,000,000 people who are responsible gun owners by taking their guns from them. That is sick and it is an agenda that the new world order and UN are forcing upon the free world.

Anonymoussays:

Re: people who are responsible gun owners

Presumably Atatiana was one of those ?responsible gun owners?, too. Yet already we see that being offered as an excuse for killing her.

So you see, when the shit hits the fan, the whole idea of ?responsible gun ownership? very quickly gets thrown out the window. Which shows what a sham it is.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is armed so everyone is a threat.

"Every time one asshole or false flag operation ends up with multiple fatalities"

False flag? Lol, Alex Jones is not telling you the truth most of the time you know…

Anyway, did you ever notice how "every time" is happening weekly, sometimes daily, at the moment, and other countries are able to count months, sometimes years or even decades between mass slaughter incidents? That’s something to think about.

Maybe get out of your basement and expose yourself to something that’s not a lunatic conspiracy theory, you might be able to understand.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is armed so everyone is a threa

We are in last place on the top 10 of gun deaths per capita (check the wiki), by country per year, yet everyone seems to be fixated on the U.S. and our rights. I don’t get it.

Why in the hell are so many, like yourself, that don’t live in the U.S., and have never experienced our culture or freedoms as a citizen, so dead set against our constitutional protected rights? What’s it to you?

It’s not like your going to find a whole bunch of U.S. citizens up in arms (lol) about the people of Spain being heavily restricted from owning a gun. It’s not really any of our business to tell your truth.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is armed so everyone is a t

"We are in last place on the top 10 of gun deaths per capita"

So, you’re number 10? What are the countries above you? Supposedly stable first-world countries with functioning democracies, or 3rd world hellholes torn apart by gang violence? We like to think of you as the former, which is why it’s a little worrying to see the kind of comparison on the following link, as well as the seeming weekly slaughter of innocents:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate#/media/File:2010_homicide_suicide_rates_high-income_countries.png

"Why in the hell are so many, like yourself… so dead set against our constitutional protected rights?"

I’m not. That’s a nice strawman, but saying "maybe there’s some relationship to be investigated between your level of gun ownership and the number of needless deaths" doesn’t mean that people want to remove your rights.

However, as a regular visitor to your country with a number of family members who live there (yes, some as much citizens as you are), I do like to see them not die while going around their daily business because someone decided that people shouldn’t be inconvenienced while stockpiling.

"It’s not like your going to find a whole bunch of U.S. citizens up in arms (lol) about the people of Spain being heavily restricted from owning a gun"

Well, mostly because the average Spaniard doesn’t want to own a gun in the first place, and most Americans who seem dead set on doing so don’t seem to care too much about what happens in the world outside their own borders.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is armed so everyone is

"3rd world hellholes torn apart by gang violence?"
Did you even look at the list?

So i checked out your link. Nice cherry picked set of countries. Now who’s tossing out strawmen.

"However, as a regular visitor to your country with a number of family members who live there (yes, some as much citizens as you are), I do like to see them not die while going around their daily business because someone decided that people shouldn’t be inconvenienced while stockpiling.

So you think their safety is worth everyone else’s rights? That in a nutshell, is the problem. I for one do not want to give up my rights for safety. If both sides want to talk about reasonable gun control, then fine lets do it, but taking away my rights is off the table. Thank God our forefathers made sure of that.

"Well, mostly because the average Spaniard doesn’t want to own a gun in the first place, and most Americans who seem dead set on doing so don’t seem to care too much about what happens in the world outside their own borders."

Nice generalization, one in which is entirely opinion. If you don’t want to own a gun then don’t. If you do then you may have to jump through a hoop or two, but in the U.S. you have that right. Do you?.. and before you answer there are only 3 countries that constitutionally protected gun ownership.

I grew up with guns. Ive hunted for food, I learned proper gun safety from my parents and through the military. I have a clean record and I’m a contributing member of society. Why should my rights be limited or taken away because YOU want to feel safer?

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is armed so everyon

"Did you even look at the list?"

Yes, mostly South American countries currently dealing with drug cartels, along with Jamaica and South Africa. What was wrong with what I said?

"So you think their safety is worth everyone else’s rights?"

I think that rights are often a compromise, and the rights of someone to not be shot dead by a psycho who has no business having access to deadly weapons trumps your right to go target shooting.

"If both sides want to talk about reasonable gun control, then fine lets do it, but taking away my rights is off the table. "

You will note that nowhere have I said I’m for anything but reasonable gun control, but your paranoid ass jumped to a different conclusion and started attacking a convenient strawman.

"Why should my rights be limited or taken away because YOU want to feel safer?"

Why should the rights of other people to live be taken away because YOU want more guns? However you try and spin this, there’s plenty of people who are currently dead because the US laws as they stand now allowed their killers access to guns they would be unlikely to have accessed in any other first world country, at least not with anywhere near . as much ease as they did.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is armed so eve

"Why should the rights of other people to live be taken away because YOU want more guns?"

Freedom. You don’t like it? Then don’t fucking come here scrub. It’s that simple. Your family worried about all the guns? They can fucking leave too. Our country and culture was founded on us having inalienable rights. Owning guns is one of them. It’s a fact, and it’s not going to be taken away or infringed upon regardless of who’s in office. Our supreme court will be sure of that. So suck it you pussy and go about your business.

Wendy Cockcroftsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is armed so

Owning guns is one of them. It’s a fact, and it’s not going to be taken away or infringed upon regardless of who’s in office.

It’s not an absolute right at all. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_law_in_the_United_States#Overview_of_current_regulations

Your freedom ends where other people’s begin. The right to life is the most important of all.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is

"My children enjoying the freedoms I’ve enjoyed is worth more to me than my life."

It meant a lot to the friends and family of every needless massacre victim as well. Perhaps there’s a compromise?

Oh, and your words would be more convincing if you were also attacking the other, more immediate and massive restrictions on your freedom that have happened since 9/11, but you only seem to care about the guns…

Wendy Cockcroftsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone

"The important freedoms remain…"

I know it was Mr. Big Content who wrote this (where has that guy been? He was funny!) but it is true. It’s like a lucky rabbit’s foot or something. Guns make ’em feel safer.

Actually taking up arms against a rogue govenment? They’ve got one now, but they’re all over it like a rash because Trump validates their worst attitudes.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is armed so

Why are you gun nuts always such immature dicks unable to see the world in anything but black and white? Is the constant fear that drives you to need to carry weapons at all times that exhausting on your mental capacity?

Seriously, I suggest "maybe known psychopaths shouldn’t have free access to guns, and maybe their victims have the right not to be murdered" and you act as if I’ve suggested taking away all your constitutional rights. No wonder you’re unable to understand what people are saying, you’re reacting to figments of your imagination.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is arme

Because you, not people like you, JUST YOU.. are a piece of shit. You sit your ass half way around the world using this blog as a tool to throw stones at American culture, proclaiming your moral superiority, and generally being an asshole. I didn’t get it until today. I thought you were just a piece of shit, but now I see that it’s not JUST that, your fucking jealous of our freedoms. You can’t stand the fact that I live in the best country in the world, I have the freedoms to go buy a gun (among other things), and you don’t. Suck it up scrub. I take back what I said about you not coming to the U.S., Stop on by, find yourself a good patriotic American and ask them to teach you how not to be a pathetic pussy. I’m sure someone will help.

Wendy Cockcroftsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is

Neither Paul nor I would have any trouble getting hold of guns if we really, truly wanted to. It’s just that we’re not paranoid maniacs wanting to act out childish cowboy fantasies in real life. We just want peace and quiet.

Perhaps you’re jealous of our freedom from random violence.

Toom1275says:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone

paranoid maniacs wanting to act out childish cowboy fantasies in real life.

Nice strawman you’ve fluffed up there.

It’d be a lot easier to deal with you gun nuts if you’d grow a level of intellectual honesty above plague cultists and pro-birthers.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone

A person who has to have a gun with him to prove his manhood sounds a little more like a pussy than someone who’d rather schools not be slaughtered to protect someone’s hobby. But what do I know, huh, I only know how to protect myself without toys…

Uriel-238says:

"the people it's targeted at..."

All three of them?

Do we actually have data or are you speculating. Is the Bushmaster AR-15 clone the most popular of all the AR-15 clones?

To be fair, I don’t drink beer and I don’t watch spectator sports, failing to get the point of both pastimes, so I am not a good representation of what American men are like. At the same time, those people I’ve known who shoot guns liked old hunting rifles and not field rifles.

So I don’t know there may be fifty million American men (or so) who are driven by the man-card ads to feel insecure and go buy a Bushmaster

PaulTsays:

Re: "the people it's targeted at..."

"So I don’t know there may be fifty million American men (or so) who are driven by the man-card ads to feel insecure and go buy a Bushmaster"

Exactly. The ads are targeting people who are insecure about their masculinity and think that buying more guns will help them be more of a man. Now, there might not be a lot of those people out there, and may well not be a majority of potential gun owners, but that’s undeniably who they’re aimed at.

Uriel-238says:

_Known Psychopaths_

We already have lists like the no fly list in which known psychopaths (known to a small number of FBI staff) are not allowed to fly to or from a US airport. And many of these known psychopaths are on the list for speaking critically of US policy or being a journalist or being a known Muslim.

And so far, we’ve not been able to find a set of non-vague, easily-determined conditions that prevent known psychopaths from having guns without also obstructing a bunch of responsible citizens from having guns.

Uriel-238says:

The occasional mass slaughter

But the solutions I’ve suggested went ignored, and will continue to be ignored because addressing systemic issues is work, whereas banning a thing is easy (even though it won’t work).

Besides which, I already pointed out that banning guns will slow down the rampages a mite, before they work around your new restrictions.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is armed so everyone is a threa

Do you wear a helmet the size of Rick Moranis’s to shield you from the truth around you or are your pajama socks full of peanut butter? Alex Jones is an afront to most people who know what is really happening to America. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he has been placed there by the new world order to disinform intelligent people.

Wendy Cockcroftsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is armed so everyone is a threat.

Every time one asshole or false flag operation ends up with multiple fatalities, every brainwashed person now is deadset against gun owners’ rights and wants to punish the 350,000,000 people who are responsible gun owners by taking their guns from them. That is sick and it is an agenda that the new world order and UN are forcing upon the free world.

Take your tinfoil hat off, mate. We just want to restrict gun ownership to responsible people, and keep them away from criminals and loons.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is armed so everyone is a threa

Take your tinfoil hat off, mate. We just want to restrict gun ownership to responsible people, and keep them away from criminals and loons.

Any other rights you want to restrict to responsible people? Free speech, voting, trial by jury? My memory of the Constitution may be a bit fuzzy, but I don’t seem to remember responsible people being mentioned anywhere in the Bill of Rights.

And before you claim there are court created exceptions to our rights, don’t forget it is the same court created exception that gave us Qualified Immunity in the first place.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is armed so everyone is a t

"I don’t seem to remember responsible people being mentioned anywhere"

Perhaps there should have been. I’m fairly sure that when they wrote about people having the right to bear arms as part of a well regulated militia (a militia being necessary due to no standing army at the time), the founding fathers weren’t envisioning someone in a Las Vegas hotel picking people off with the arsenal of weaponry he’d gathered. They gave you the ability to re-evaluate and amend rules as necessary for this kind of reason.

The sad fact is, whenever action is taken to stop irresponsible people from doing irresponsible things, sometimes it does impact those who are responsible. But, the people suggesting such things are more concerned about the rights of a classroom to not be shot in any given day than they are about which part of your desired gun collection you might not get to buy next.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is armed so everyone is

Yet most people seem to forget that school shooting were beyond extremely rare…until gun control laws were passed. Seriously, if you were planning on committing a mass shooting, which target would you choose? A gun free zone like a school or an area where guns are present like a gun range?

There’s a reason most mass shootings happen in areas where guns are already prohibited. And passing more laws to prohibit something that is already illegal does nothing to solve the problem, instead it creates a false sense of something has been done while eroding the rights of all. If qe continue to trade our rights away for safety and security, as false as those may be, we will eventually end up with no rights, safety or security.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is armed so everyon

"Yet most people seem to forget that school shooting were beyond extremely rare…until gun control laws were passed."

I’d like to see your study on correlation vs causation for that. Lots of factors have come along in the last few decades – gutting of mental health services, large increase in private gun ownership, massive social changes. Pinning everything on a single cause is somewhat foolish, but it is notable that people without access to guns commit such acts with less frequency and less damage.

"There’s a reason most mass shootings happen in areas where guns are already prohibited."

Strange, outside of the US it doesn’t really happen at all in areas with or without guns. Although, to counter your claim I can think of at least one school shooting (Parkland) where people were armed and it still happened, I’m sure there’s more examples. Having guns wouldn’t have helped the victims of the Las Vegas shooting either, and I doubt anybody Pulse shooting would have been generally safer it was expected that drunken fights would be accompanied by firearms on a typical Staurday night.

The main question is – why is the rest of the Western world able to operate without your gun fetish, yet you think that guns are the only answer to all your problems?

Uriel-238says:

"responsible people"

Jefferson was aware of how simple the proles could be and considered at length having a voting license issued only to those people who could pass a (very simple) intelligence test.

The problem is that there’s no way to consistently determine what a responsible person, or a reasonable person (or good practice or common sense) actually is. And whenever you have rights decided by a ambiguous feature, it will ultimately get decided by the oligarchs and aristocrats that capture the regulatory agencies.

This is why the right to vote goes to everyone, especially the idiots and crazies. And this is why we can’t bar rights like arms ownership, even to idiots and crazies.

PaulTsays:

Re: "responsible people"

"this is why we can’t bar rights like arms ownership, even to idiots and crazies."

Well, in that case it’s a damn shame that it’s so often innocent people paying for your rights. If it were simply gun owners paying a price for their rights then that would be once thing, but it too often involves the slaughter of those who had no say in the matter.

Also, funny how you bring up voting, considering how man y restrictions there were to that originally.

Wendy Cockcroftsays:

Re: Re: "responsible people"

Indeed. The pro-gun lobby seems to forget that in other Western countries, we do have gun ownership. However, given the restrictions we have on who can own guns, it’s difficult for irresponsible or crazy persons or criminals to get hold of them. Hence knife crime being a thing — they can’t get hold of guns.

Uriel-238says:

"so often innocent people paying for your rights"

That’s presumptive.

Both Russia nor Ukraine have way more restrictive gun regulations than the US, and yet lead us both on homicide and suicide rates.

The US suicide rate (with fatal outcomes) continues to surge at 45K a year and climbing, less than half of which involve a gun. And that half counts for about half the gun deaths. In the meantime non-fatal suicide outcomes are reported (we estimate) about 20%-30% of the time, kinda parallel with rape cases.

(Considering we just like to throw our failed suicides and other kooks into padded rooms to get doped by nurses and beaten / raped by orderlies, the rising rates are not surprising.)

(Also, the majority of homicide gun deaths, by far, are domestic violence at point-blank range, what could be often substituted with a serviceable kitchen knife, frying pan or baseball bat.)

And the US public gives zero fucks about the ~40K-50K or so innocents a year we massacre through drone strikes who are also paying for our rights given they’re brown-skins in Pakistan or Afghanistan or wherever else Trump has excitedly deployed them. Yes, this is a whataboutist point but still raises the fact that we’re panicking about doing something only when it’s visible innocents getting slaughtered, such as in a rampage shooting. We’re happy to pretend we’ve solved the problem and sweep most of it under a rug, which is exactly what we’re doing fixating on the guns, and not the reasons why people kill.

The whole gun argument is based on false pretenses, it’s a moral panic exactly the way it was for rock-&-roll, for video games and for letting women read saucy romance novels. And at the time of each one, we presumed they were just as deadly as guns.

We fixate on guns. We don’t look for actual causes of homicide and suicide. And until we do, we’re not going to actually reduce the pile of corpses.

In the meantime, arson (by comparison) doesn’t look as terrible on the news as a rampage shooting, all the while, it’s recognized less often as intentional, likely kills more people statistically, and the arsonist escapes detection more often.

Ugh! I’m not ready for this.

PaulTsays:

Re: "so often innocent people paying for your rights"

As I always say, the gun issue is not the only factor, and gun control is not a panacea that will fix everything. But, it is one of the more obvious differences between the US and countries that never suffer these kinds of problems.

"And the US public gives zero fucks about the ~40K-50K or so innocents a year we massacre through drone strikes"

I’m very sure that the same people who are anti-domestic gun violence are also anti-war. But, people will, of course, be somewhat more vocal about their kid’s school having to have active shooter drills because there’s a non-zero chance they will be slaughtered in the middle of a lesson, than they are about military tactics.

"The whole gun argument is based on false pretenses, it’s a moral panic exactly the way it was for rock-&-roll, for video games and for letting women read saucy romance novels."

No, it based on the fact that the US suffers a number of problems that directly involve guns, and situations in other countries prove that without access to guns psychos cause less damage. Look up Sandy Hook – on the same day, the was a nutter who went on a rampage with a knife in China. Look at the results of both sprees. Notice the differences.

Meanwhile, consider that in your examples, all those other countries have the same things. We have the same novels, the same games, the same movies, the same TV, hell we even have the same mental conditions… but not the same weaponry in everybody’s hands.

Uriel-238says:

"a non-zero chance they will be slaughtered mid-lesson"

Schools are safer now than they were throughout US history. We need school rampage killer drills like we need terrorist suicide bomber drills. The same time would be better utilized for more fire drills. The budget reserved for rampage killer awareness would be better spent on outreach programs and suicide prevention.

There are a lot of ways to die of which there is a non-zero chance. Fifty one people a year a killed by lightning in the US.

And yes, in the 1970s it was totally reported on the news that Satanic music driving teens to suicide and murder sprees at incredible, alarming rates. Kids were allegedly being mesmerized by back-masked messages, witches were real (and turning women into women’s-libbers and lesbians) and Satan’s global syndicate was larger than the Roman Catholic Church. Yes, it sounds ridiculous now. It was commonly believed then. (The movies Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist both helped to instill public fear of the Devil’s ubiquitous presence. And the people still believed in ghosts, alien UFOs and psychic powers. It was a primitive, pre-internet era.)

The US state, public and moral guardians have all exhausted their credibility when it comes to telling us what is or isn’t dangerous. You need look only as far as the EPA and FDA of the current administration to confirm it’s still a problem.

You may think you know what’s what, PaulT but from where I sit here, it seems you’re interested in a different outcome than I am. It sounds like you want the scary stuff on the news media to be reported less.

I’m interested in the world being actually safer, but not at the expense of increased marginalization or the state stripping us of more rights. I am already among the Others that are commonly hated and feared. I get to worry about hate crime and trigger-happy law enforcement already. And all your efforts to regulate guns in the US isn’t going to take their guns away in this century.

Wendy Cockcroftsays:

Re: "a non-zero chance they will be slaughtered mid-lesson"

Schools are safer now than they were throughout US history.

Asserts facts not in evidence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States#19th_century

Compare with UK: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massacres_in_Great_Britain

tl:dr; we’ve had two. Ever.

As I’ve said on multiple occasions, I’m fine with sane, law-abiding, responsible people having guns, just not crazies, criminals, and irresponsible people.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: "a non-zero chance they will be slaughtered mid-less

"So you only have rampage data?"

Partly, but from the only country that has them on a regular basis. I’m just looking at the obvious differences that might help explain why you can only explain gaps between rampages in days or weeks, while other countries can count them in decades.

"How many students in 1000,000 fail to survive school?"

Not all of them, but they’re usually for reasons other than someone randomly deciding to end their lives. I’m sure the parents of all the needless victims are glad to know that other children occasionally die at the hands of some other cause.

Uriel-238says:

"dying at the hands of some other cause."

So you aren’t interested in the factors that cause suicide.

This is the situation I fight. Our media fixates on trying to regulate guns as if it is the sole solution to a massive problem. And yes, while media has everyone thinking there are too many guns in the US, it doesn’t slow down the suicide rate. It doesn’t slow down the rate of family annihilation or domestic violence which kill or traumatize kids at a profoundly greater rate than rampage killings.

So yes, the real problems that fester (and are the real problems behind rampage killings) have to get in line and wait until the media stops freaking out about regulating guns, either when they pass some laws, or get excited about something else.

Stop focusing on the big ball of foil and look at the problem.

This is not a simple problem that can be managed with simple solutions.

PaulTsays:

Re: "dying at the hands of some other cause."

"So you aren’t interested in the factors that cause suicide."

I am, but the evidence I’ve seen is that people are more likely to attempt it when a gun is present. Again, you seem to think that only one problem can be addressed at a time, I’m saying that you can address the causes of such depression and make it more difficult when the urge arises.

"This is not a simple problem that can be managed with simple solutions."

You seem to be deliberately misunderstanding what I’m suggesting as solutions.

PaulTsays:

Re: "a non-zero chance they will be slaughtered mid-lesson"

"We need school rampage killer drills like we need terrorist suicide bomber drills."

Well, since to my knowledge the latter has never happened to a school while the former is happening on a regular basis, not really. But, whether or not you personally think it’s necessary active shooter drill are something people think that your kids need to go through, and it’s not for no reason.

"Fifty one people a year a killed by lightning in the US."

Yes, that happens in lots of countries. Kids getting murdered en masse, however…

"And yes, in the 1970s it was totally reported on the news that Satanic music driving teens to suicide and murder sprees at incredible, alarming rates."

So, you’re comparing real tragedies to things people made up now? You’re not an Alex Jones fan, are you?

"It sounds like you want the scary stuff on the news media to be reported less."

Yes, I would like to stop reading about mass shootings. One way to do that is for them to stop happening on a regular basis. This isn’t something being hyped up by the media – people are actually dying needlessly, in situations that mostly don’t exist outside of your borders.

I don’t know the reason why you’re so opposed to the mentally ill not having free access to guns, but at least do something about the other ways people are dying. For some reason guns are so important to the 30-40% of your population that own them that you not only refuse to address the problem, but actively oppose people trying.

Uriel-238says:

I don’t know the reason why you’re so opposed to the mentally ill

Because I’m mentally ill. And here in the states, our government is already eager to strip rights away from people with the slightest excuse.

And you’re endorsing such a policy.

Kids getting murdered en masse

They are not getting murdered en masse.

They’re committing suicide en masse. And a focus on guns (or on school rampage shootings) diverts resources away from the more serious problem.

So, you’re comparing real tragedies to things people made up now?

And now you understand why I don’t believe you can tell what is or isn’t a real tragedy.

PaulTsays:

Re:

"Because I’m mentally ill"

OK… I won’t delve too deeply into personal issues, but there are of course different kinds of mental issues. Some needn’t affect your ability to responsibly own weapons, but some do, even if that’s not the condition you have personally.

"And here in the states, our government is already eager to strip rights away from people with the slightest excuse."

Then you should probably work on that problem as well. The "land of the free" probably shouldn’t have a population that thinks its two steps away from a police state at all times, if there’s any truth to that statement.

"They are not getting murdered en masse."

Just about 10-20 at a time, it seems. That fits the criteria in my mind, yours might differ.

"They’re committing suicide en masse."

Often with guns, too. In fact, I believe there are studies showing that suicide rates go up based on proximity to guns.

"And a focus on guns (or on school rampage shootings) diverts resources away from the more serious problem."

Again with the belief that it’s impossible to deal with multiple issues at the same time. I understand the argument that resources could be better spend, but it’s not all or nothing.

"And now you understand why I don’t believe you can tell what is or isn’t a real tragedy."

I believe that people being horribly murdered, by a person who would not have been able to access the weapons used in any other country, a tragedy. Every needless death is a tragedy, but especially the ones where people have been actively working against preventing them. If you think differently that’s fine, but I am addressing real world events, not the fictions you seem to imagine I’m talking about.

The bottom line is – I think that human lives are more important than someone’s ability to own a gun collection, and I haven’t seen any evidence that the countries that don’t have mass gun ownership are any less free than the US.

Uriel-238says:

"two references"

And bam, the entire black communities in Kentucky, Missouri and Mississippi are prevented from having guns, even for work. Note they can’t even get state IDs so they can vote.

This is not a simple problem that can be managed with simple solutions.

In fact, I should make that my final statement, but it’s so applicable to…everything.

This is not a simple problem that can be managed with simple solutions.

Uriel-238says:

freely allowing everybody to have guns.

It’s not meant to solve our gun-death epidemic. Freely allowing Americans to have guns is based on the precedent that we don’t criminalize things without good reason.

If our representatives want to add more restrictions to what US citizens can or cannot do, they should have evidence that doing so will actually make a difference. This has yet to be shown to be true in the US. And a lot of laws are passed in the US that fail to improve the conditions they were intended to address. The recent SESTA / FOSTA mess which has only worsened conditions for trafficked humans, sex workers and the internet community, serves as a solid recent example.

I mentioned it before. You didn’t even address it. And I’m questioning if you are capable of arguing in good faith. You may not be.

PaulTsays:

Re: freely allowing everybody to have guns.

Which is the worse restriction on American freedom – having to pass a few extra checks to add to your gun collection, or being unable to go to a school, music festival or frigging garlic festival without wondering if some asshole is going to shoot you? Speaking as a non-American, I at least feel free not to have to worry about the latter, but the corpses tell me you have to at least consider it.

Toom1275says:

Re: Re: freely allowing everybody to have guns.

Which is the worse restriction on American freedom – having to pass a few extra checks to add to your gun collection, or being unable to go to a school, music festival or frigging garlic festival without wondering if some asshole is going to shoot you?

Oh look, another deliberately ignorant motherfucker with a bad-faith false dichotomy.

Uriel-238says:

"wondering if some asshole is going to shoot you"

In the nineties we had alleged street gangs which were feral, recidivous youths on PCP who had to be shot because they wouldn’t negotiate, and somehow simultaneously global crime syndicates who ran the world’s drug, gambling, counterfeiting and prostitution operations.

In the aughts every Muslim was a terrorist, and we couldn’t go out into the streets without wondering if that Arab man was going to blow up the entire street block as a suicide bomber.

So at the point we’re deciding every non-white non-affluent gun-owner is a threat, my compassion knows bounds for people who are scared to go out on account of news media.

IRL the United States averages less than one hundred deaths from rampage shootings a year. About the same as lightning strikes.

thirty five times that from fires. It’s tough to guess how much of that is arson. Half? A quarter? A fifth?

Two-hundred and fifty times that from suicides that don’t involve guns.?

But you’re afraid of kids getting shot in school. You’re freaking out about assault rifles (sports rifles, actually, they suck as ARs) when actually it’s handguns doing most of the killing by far.

You’re not looking at the problem, you’re freaking out about the news, which is what everyone does, and has been doing for more than a hundred years. Go ahead and freak out, but don’t try to invent policy while you are freaking out. That’s far more dangerous and will hurt way more people than the gunmen.

? I’m not using some very clear statistics, so I’ll lay them out plain to see here:

rampage shootings, Annual US fatalities (avg): Less than 100
— Typically by AR-15 clone sporting rifle. Shooters love those.

school shootings, Annual US fatalities (avg): Less than 10
— More handguns than you’d think.

lightning strikes (for comparison): Less than 100
Al-Qaeda Terror attacks (for comparison): Less than 100
Hate crimes against transgenders, Annual US fatalities: Less than 100

homicide, officer involved, Annual US fatalities: ~1,000
— typically by service handgun

suicides, gun-involved, Annual US fatalities: ~24,000
— handguns and a few shotguns

suicides, no-gun-involved, Annual US fatalities: ~23,000
suicide attempts, non fatal (estimated), Annual US: ~37,000
— very few guns

Homicides, no-gun-involved, Annual US fatalities: ~6,000
— most street gangstas can’t afford even a Saturday Night Special and modern gang wars are often resolved by dancing or capping contests. Really.
Homicides, gun-involved, Annual US fatalities: ~11,000
— almost all handguns, some shotguns.

Motor vehicle fatalities (for comparison): ~38,000

Sources: BJS, American Association of Suicidology, NHTSA, CDC

Uriel-238says:

"Al Qaeda terror attacks"

Clarification: Al Qaeda terror attacks is misleading. This accounts for all terror attacks that are not classified as something else by the FBI. But it does include all foreign terror attacks.

Domestic terror, such as hate crimes, white pride violence, bombing abortion clinics, etc. are regarded as homicides or manslaughter, except for rampage shootings and spree shootings.

So our 68% rise in hate crimes during the Trump era does not count as terrorism but is not especially classified and mixed in with the other crime stats.

Uriel-238says:

Lily-white

No, the US is shifting towards stripping rights from everyone that isn’t white, isn’t Right-leaning Christian, isn’t affluent and isn’t marginal in some other way (e.g. fat, disabled or crazy)

PaulT if your fear of guns turns into more statutes, it means the same people who have restricted abortion access and get shot at by law enforcement are the once who will be stripped of firearms.

Guys like Stephen Craig Paddock will still have access to guns to complete their dark work.

PaulTsays:

Re: Lily-white

"No, the US is shifting towards stripping rights from everyone that isn’t white, isn’t Right-leaning Christian, isn’t affluent and isn’t marginal in some other way (e.g. fat, disabled or crazy)"’

You should probably work on getting those people out of office, then. There seems to be popular weight behind people who don’t want such things, you just need to get the system worked so that the popular loser doesn’t still get into office.

"PaulT if your fear of guns turns into more statutes"

My dislike of guns (wariness of the kind of people who seem to love them more to people) won’t change anything, because I already live in a country with far less guns and far less slaughters, but no real difference in personal freedom. I have no direct control in the matter, only an opinion that you could do better.

If you’d rather accept that people are going to be pointlessly murdered around you because you’ think that having 20 guns instead of 20 will stop your rights being further eroded, that’s your problem. Just accept that people like me will continue to point out that this isn’t happening anywhere else.

Uriel-238says:

"getting those people out of office"

You mean the people who are locked in place by their state being gerrymandered all to Hell (which the US Supreme Court recently ruled is _not their problem)? Those guys?

Yeah, not unless some miracle happens. Maybe you aren’t aware just how bad a shape the US is in. We have a lot of problems that can’t even be looked at until things like election reform happen.

Uriel-238says:

"this isn't happening anywhere else"

Only because you don’t acknowledge it. As I pointed out, Russia in 2015, 2016 had three times the US Homicide rate and about five times the US Suicide rate, yet guns are criminalized there. I don’t know why. Do you? Is Russia not an industrialized nation? (Since then, the US has been catching up, but is still below Russia).

Ukraine also doesn’t have guns, yet their homicide rate is the same as the US. Why?

Japan’s suicide rate is far worse than the US too, and they famously have no guns. What’s with that?

Still, it tells me that guns aren’t the critical factor we should be focusing on when it comes to reducing America’s numbers. People can be pointlessly murdered in huge numbers without guns lying around. And we still don’t have much evidence to indicate that taking away guns changes that all that much.

PaulTsays:

Re: "this isn't happening anywhere else"

"Is Russia not an industrialized nation?"

What’s fun is seeing people who presumably would have been vehemently anti-Russian during the cold war holding them up as an example, rather than any of the more culturally similar allies who don’t have the problems you have.

"Japan’s suicide rate is far worse than the US too, and they famously have no guns. What’s with that?"

A culture that traditionally promotes suicide as a valid out for perceived failure, and a high pressure working culture that promotes pretty much working yourself to death. What about non-suicide deaths?

"Still, it tells me that guns aren’t the critical factor"

But, they are certainly a number. The massive rise in the number of guns owned by the US public (but, notably, not the proportion of citizens owning them) is a definite factor to be examined.

"And we still don’t have much evidence to indicate that taking away guns changes that all that much."

Yet again – what does that have to do with my suggestion of stricter controls on who buys and sell new guns? I’m talking about tightening up the gun show loophole, not coming to take your existing weapons. Again, you keep hallucinating arguments I’m not making.

Uriel-238says:

"holding russia up as an example"

You failed entirely to address that Russia is a valid example. Whether or not the Soviet Union (which included Russia) was adversarial to the US, or a valid representation of Communism.

You also failed entirely to address that Japan is also a valid example, justifying why people in Japan would want to kill themselves but not addressing that they are perfectly capable of doing so without the ready availability of guns.

If guns were a significant factor then Japan, being a virtual gun-free zone would not have a soaring suicide rate.

Uriel-238says:

"tightening up the gun show loophole"

Then you’re looking to inconvenience hobbyists, hunters and farmers without affecting the levels of gun violence in the US and for no qualified good reason.

And, your stricter controls won’t take guns — or the compulsion to shoot people outright — out of the hands of law enforcement officers, which is the only reason we should be talking about gun control on this thread.

What your policy suggestion will do is make more people who are currently legally owning firearms and trading in them into criminals, when the gun-sale laws become so byzantine that they cannot be followed, they’ll just trade them on the sly the same way people ignore speed limits to facilitate flow-of-traffic.

But you did make a relevant point of culture. You woudn’t be arguing gun control with Mexicans, given their gun rights stem directly from imperial occupation by the French, a threat that has never actually vanished. And I’m reminded that the UK is happy to do without the same levels of free speech or privacy that we want here in the US. Maybe the notion of living as one of those damn colonials is just too alien to you to understand.

And in the meantime, your nation seems awfully willing to risk the Troubles reigniting once a no-deal Brexit takes effect. I can’t imagine you expect the UK’s gun laws are sufficient to keep that fire suppressed.

PaulTsays:

Re: "this isn't happening anywhere else"

"Is Russia not an industrialized nation?"

What’s fun is seeing people who presumably would have been vehemently anti-Russian during the cold war holding them up as an example, rather than any of the more culturally similar allies who don’t have the problems you have.

"Japan’s suicide rate is far worse than the US too, and they famously have no guns. What’s with that?"

A culture that traditionally promotes suicide as a valid out for perceived failure, and a high pressure working culture that promotes pretty much working yourself to death. What about non-suicide deaths?

"Still, it tells me that guns aren’t the critical factor"

But, they are certainly a number. The massive rise in the number of guns owned by the US public (but, notably, not the proportion of citizens owning them) is a definite factor to be examined.

"And we still don’t have much evidence to indicate that taking away guns changes that all that much."

Yet again – what does that have to do with my suggestion of stricter controls on who buys and sell new guns? I’m talking about tightening up the gun show loophole, not coming to take your existing weapons. Again, you keep hallucinating arguments I’m not making.

PaulTsays:

Re: Lily-white

"Guys like Stephen Craig Paddock will still have access to guns to complete their dark work."

Oh, and it’s worth noting – that was my original point. He would not have had any such access in the rest of the Western world, at least not without far, far greater scrutiny. Hence why I call you out for being fine with the people he slaughtered to protect your guns.

Anonymoussays:

Techdirt Crypt [was Re: Re: Re: "two references" ]

Oh. Hello.

I’ll delurk again. Didn’t realize anyone else was still around. Well, I myself wasn’t even here last night when you posted. But it’s getting to be daylight again on the West Coast, and I thought I’d briefly drop back in here to study.

You know what they call newspaper archives?

Well, I guess you must understand that it’s been some time since this article stood at the top of the front page. Tick-tock. A while ago, this article made its passage (as all the articles do) down the right-hand side-bar, and then beyond the gate of “More…”.

Slightly surprisingly, there were still a few comments left to breathe in as the article lay ensconced on the first page of search. But PaulT and Uriel-238 are by now, in this decade, long familiar.

You, though, do you know where you are? This article is now further behind, “More Matches”. which is to say, long off the front page.

Do you know the traditional name for old news archives?

Well, anyhow, welcome, I guess. Welcome. I’m afraid you shall not find many of the librarians and scholars hanging out back here a particularly convivial crowd. Oh, there might be an occasional bottle passed from hand-to-hand, especially as we come up on the first act of opening the holiday present season. Do you like pumpkin spice? The other day, I heard the flavor went on sale earlier than in any previous season… but I digress. Badly. Horribly. Starbucks.

The point I was getting at, is simply that the conversation is not particulary lively back here, and you must not epect any otherwise.

But do you recall the traditional name for old news archives?

Hey! Are you still breathing? Do you recall the traditional name for old news archives? I’m just temporarily-misplacing my memory. Inevitable consequence of old age.

Uriel-238says:

"human lives are more important"

Yes. And some people think human lives are more important than people having access to gangsta rap music or violent video games or friends who hang out in poor areas too, fixating on facts that some killers engage with these factors and ignoring others.

We already have a problem where policy gets enacted in haste that only makes problems worse. Until we get FOSTA repealed, for instance, there’s no reason for me to indulge your simplified model of the problem.

PaulTsays:

Re: "human lives are more important"

"And some people think human lives are more important than people having access to gangsta rap music or violent video games or friends who hang out in poor areas too"

What’s interesting is the fact that you keep referring to things that have no documented proof of happening to defend the actual massacres of innocent people that are happening.

"your simplified model of the problem"

I’m interested in finding out what you think that is. All I’ve suggested is a reasonable tightening of gun laws based on the loopholes known to have been used by mass murderers. Your reaction suggests you’re thinking something else.

Uriel-238says:

No documented proof

Lack of documented proof didn’t slow down the countless hate crimes, open media attacks and litigious attacks on Muslims such as the Islamic community center continuously referred to as the Ground Zero mosque (the building of which was successfully prevented).

And the difference in numbers of victims doesn’t even change your fixation on rampage killings, PaulT Like the rest of modern society, you suck at deciding what is dangerous and what isn’t. You don’t bother to look at documented proof but continue to believe what you want to believe.

You’re not open to reason. Why am I even talking to you?

PaulTsays:

Re: No documented proof

"Lack of documented proof didn’t slow down the countless hate crimes, open media attacks and litigious attacks on Muslims "

Right, you need to calm down because you’re jumping from subject to subject and making less sense. The comment I was referring to was proof of a link between music/games and real life violence, for which there is no proof of a causal link. Now you’ve jumped to anti-Islamic hate crimes and organised violence driven by political misinformation, of which there IS proof of cause and effect. Totally different things.

You’ve abandoned the point in discussion several times in this conversation to leap to some unrelated subject, but now you’re not even pretending to address the same things I’m talking about, even what I was talking about was the subject you brought up in your previous post.

"You’re not open to reason:"

I am, but you appear to have lost it at some point in the conversation. Remember, I only made a suggestion that reasonable gun controls might help stem some of the problems that are unique to the Western world in the US. All this other stuff is what you’ve brought up to try and attack me for some reason.

Uriel-238says:

jumping from subject to subject

I’m only listing all the other moral panics that the US has faced in recent decades, much of which has been on display here at Techdirt. You’re the one who is claiming we can solve multiple problems. Or was your solution to all the other ones just to ignore them, just so that you can disarm the US?

Your chance of doing that is about as good as disarming the police force first.

It sounds like you blame gun access on problems more complicated than one factor PaulT but are not interested in actually looking at those compound factors.

As I said above, you suck at deciding what is or isn’t dangerous. It’s a common problem. Maybe study more and assert less?

Uriel-238says:

"do something about the other ways people are dying"

Do you need a daily reminder? By ending the US drone strike programs, we’d save more civilian lives (including children and grandmothers) than we would making all the small arms in North America magically vanish (and shutting down the markets).

And that would only require one man to sign a document. (Granted, the wrong man. But Obama could have done it too.)

PaulTsays:

Re: "do something about the other ways people are dying"

"By ending the US drone strike programs, we’d save more civilian lives (including children and grandmothers) than we would making all the small arms in North America magically vanish (and shutting down the markets)."

Yes, and while doing that you could also try stopping domestic atrocities. Again, you seem to think that only one problem at a time can be addressed, which is rather simplistic to my mind.

Uriel-238says:

How it's relevant

Why are we talking about taking guns away from civilians when this article is about the police being too eager to shoot people?

Is that from the implication that police are so violent because there are too many guns? Isn’t that blaming the victim?

Are we looking at ways to save lives? There are better ways than fixating on guns.

Are we looking to stop the police from murdering people? Gun control won’t change that. Law Enforcement is excepted from gun laws.

But curiously, we are far more eager to talk about rampage shootings than we are where most of the violence actually is. So yes, it’s a triage situation, and these conversations are going to amount to stupid laws that only restrict rights of some people while others will still be able to rampage all they want.

So stop thinking more gun control is the go-to solution. It’s not.

Uriel-238says:

"Responsible, law-abiding people"

If we’re not responsible enough to have guns, then how are we responsible enough to rule ourselves, or serve as a check on the people we put into power?

And if we’re not responsible enough to have guns, then how are we responsible enough to justify cruel punishment for social offenses? Suggesting we’re not responsible undermines our collective justice systems.

PaulTsays:

Re: "Responsible, law-abiding people"

What amuses me with this kind of reaction is that the majority of people in the US would meet the criteria for being responsible. Nobody’s talking about taking guns from people who are actually responsible, they’re just saying that it shouldn’t be the current free-for-all that’s allowing complete nutcases to access a small army’s arsenal. We’re just saying that there’s a number of differences between the US and countries that don’t suffer weekly massacres (but are still just as free as the US in every meaningful metric), and one of those factors is the trivial nature of accessing guns.

The overreactions we see in this thread and others to this suggestion leads me to believe that the people who doth protest too much know that they’d not pass simple tests to see if they are responsible enough.

Uriel-238says:

"people who are actually responsible"

Nobody’s talking about taking guns from people who are actually responsible

We totally are. As soon as we lump people into groups like the crazies. Our nation is eager to point blame and deny rights to large blocs without consideration of the rights or wellbeing of those whose rights are being denied.

It does raise the question of what standard should be used to determine who is or isn’t responsible enough to own firearms? Diagnosis of a mental condition? Disability Benefits? Suicidal ideation according to a patients (confidential) records? Mandatory annual psych-evaluations for every gun owner?

And while we’re here, how would you prevent that standard from being subverted for the purposes of a given political, such as deciding members of certain churches get a higher responsibility assessment point value than other churches or nonbelievers?

PaulTsays:

Re: "people who are actually responsible"

"As soon as we lump people into groups like the crazies."

Yeah, how dare people treat people with known severe mental issues like they have one! Best let those kids take bullets just in case…

"It does raise the question of what standard should be used to determine who is or isn’t responsible enough to own firearms? "

There are many countries to use as a template if you wish, none of whom have done the things you are scared of happening.

Again, here’s the problem. You seem to be scared of fantasy scenarios that are preventing you from taking action to prevent real world tragedy.

Uriel-238says:

"people with known severe mental issues"

Are less likely to commit homicide than the general populace. And are multiples more likely to be a victim of assault or homicide.

Do you really mean to imply that mentally ill should generally be treated as Hollywood slasher-flick axe murderers? Do you think our mental health sector doesn’t already watch for those who pose a danger to themselves or others, and intervene as appropriate? (We really do.)

PaulT, I am profoundly disappointed in you. I was sure you knew better.

You seem to be scared of fantasy scenarios that are preventing you from taking action to prevent real world tragedy.

Maybe, but no more than you.

I just don’t think the actions you want to take will do any actual preventing. Until the United States actually takes mental health seriously, rampage killings (and domestic violence, and suicides) will continue.

Until we reduce the mads a bit in our our mad, mad, mad, mad world, individuals who were never diagnosed, or were never assessed as dangerous will continue to lose their minds and commit angry suicide.

Take away their guns and you may slow some down for a while. But then they’ll blow things up and burn things down or drive trucks into crowds and maybe find a half-dozen other creative ways to express their rage in mayhem. Our rampage killers are consistently planners. A few more obstacles to gun access may slow some down, but ultimately will serve to make them less predictable and harder to detect.

And, from my perspective, so long as we’re trying to block gun access, we’re not doing the other things. How many lives will be lost waiting for gun control to work? How much longer before we realize these killers are not monsters, but ordinary people our fucked-up society cooked into monsters through unrelenting stress and a brutal, cruel work environment? How long do we have to wait before we stop assuming that crazies are all axe murderers, forcing them to prioritize hiding and affecting an air of normality over actually seeking help?

Decades? Maybe after climate change affects a global population correction?

PaulTsays:

Re: "people with known severe mental issues"

"Do you think our mental health sector doesn’t already watch for those who pose a danger to themselves or others, and intervene as appropriate? (We really do.)"

…and when they slip through the net they have free access to all the weapons they want to use.

"Maybe, but no more than you."

No, I’m concerned about real, documented events that you seem dead set on perpetuating.

"And, from my perspective, so long as we’re trying to block gun access, we’re not doing the other things."

So, you don’t think it’s possible to address more than one issue at a time?

"How long do we have to wait before we stop assuming that crazies are all axe murderer"

I’m not talking about all of them, I’m just saying you should stop supplying them unrestricted access to axes. Seems to work everywhere else.

PaulTsays:

Re: Addressing more than one issue at a time.

"the narrative has always been to look for the one thing, or more specifically, guns or not guns."

Because they always use guns, while the people not mass shooting in other countries don’t use guns?

"We never address mental health, except to scapegoat them."

You can address that at the same time as dealing with the gun problem.

Uriel-238says:

More with false positives.

…and when they slip through the net they have free access to all the weapons they want to use.

Well, it’s that or denying a lot of responsible people access to their rights.

What other rights do you want to strip from us untermenchen? Because those who think like you absolutely will.

PaulTsays:

Re: More with false positives.

"Well, it’s that or denying a lot of responsible people access to their rights."

Sometimes sacrifices have to be made. I’d rather the sacrifice be someone not getting their gun fetish satisfied than over being the lives of people slaughtered at a music festival.

"What other rights do you want to strip from us untermenchen?"

Are you utilising those other rights to murder people? Then, likely they’re worth examining. There’s limits on all the rights you use (yes, including the right to bear arms), I’m just suggesting slight adjustments to that limit.

It’s just strange that you think that making minor adjustments to the loopholes used by murderers is some kind of Nazi move, but you’re fine with the occasional wholesale slaughter of children to protect your guns.

Uriel-238says:

"Are you utilising those other rights to murder people?"

This was the justification in Germany for disallowing rights (including gun access) to Jews, Romanians, Gays and so on. The validity of the rumors (or lack theirof was inconsequential).

But yes, ultimately it did lead to the wholesale slaughter of children.

These are not minor adjustments to loopholes used by murderers though it is like banning motor vehicles as getaway cars.

And yes, the legal loophole closing will be extended beyond guns, as is consistent with western history.

PaulTsays:

Re: "Are you utilising those other rights to murder people?"

Again with the Nazi shit. No other country in the world has the problems you have, and none of us are under Nazi rule. If you think that the USA will inevitably turn into Nazi Germany if reasonable restrictions are increased, that says more about what you think about your country than anything I’m saying.

Uriel-238says:

"the USA will inevitably turn into Nazi Germany"

Have you been keeping up on new in the United States?

Our GOP officials openly talk about white supremacy in the US. The conditions at immigration detention camps are comparable to German concentration camps (and much worse than Japanese internment camps in the US), and while individuals are supposed to be kept there for limited days, some are being held for over a year (and counting!).

Considering the rhetoric of President Trump and Stephen Miller, the GOP and its base are looking to purge all of us who don’t fit their model of conformity. Already Trump is looking to go after naturalized Americans and racial minorities.

We’re fortunate that the current administration is not all that competent, but once the next administration gets into office, it has one chance to fix a lot of problems, beginning with corrupted elections and government capture by corporations and oligarchs. If they fail that one chance, then they will be the establishment, and the discontents will vote in another GOP Mussolini wannabe. Only he may be more competent and utilize the police and surveillance states to quash dissenters.

And I’ll be in a concentration camp, and you and your country will have to contend with a United States that is feeling super bellicose.

So, yes, I have reason to believe the USA is likely to be Puttin’ on the Reich in four to eight years unless we get really lucky and get a lot done.

PaulTsays:

Re: "the USA will inevitably turn into Nazi Germany"

The fantasy you have that your guns are the only thing between you and losing your rights is cute, in the face of you admitting that some people have lost so much despite all the guns.

But, if you want to ensure other people lose their rights so that you keep that fantasy that’s your prerogative, I guess. Again, I’ll be happy in places that aren’t in such danger as you fear, and nobody’s getting shot in their local hangouts.

Uriel-238says:

Fantasy

I don’t have a fantasy that my guns are the other thing between me and losing my rights. But I think that they’ll take away unpopular rights first, like Second Amendment rights and abortion access.

And somehow my right to be openly and evidently part of a marginalized group while still being a full citizen of the society is a violation of religious people’s rights of expression.

My rights are already dwindling, and all your gun control fervor PaulT is not going to save me either from the police or the cattle trains.

But you know how much data we have about gays, immigrants, goths and brown people are corrupting society. Right?

PaulTsays:

Re: "Sometimes sacrifices have to be made."

Yeah, the PATRIOT act was something pushed through while Americans were shocked that people would dare to attack them, most of the signers apparently didn’t even read the thing. As this is a growing issue with time to look at the actual issues, hopefully it won’t be as rash as that decision.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: "Responsible, law-abiding people"

"Remember when the NRA was all about gun safety? That’s what I’m talking about."

It’s worth mentioning that in the time since then, gun ownership has apparently exploded in terms of sales, but the proportion of households reported to have guns has declined. It doesn’t seem to be a case of more people needing them, but certain groups of people simply feeling they need more.

Which, while there’s plenty of non-scary reasons for that to be happening, do seem to be an issue for concern. Especially as guns peaked during Obama’s term and have slumped while Trump is in office, which given the constant echo chamber scare tactics about Obama, suggests emotional/paranoid rather than pragmatic reasons for the extra purchases.

(Sources: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/despite-mass-shootings-number-of-households-owning-guns-is-on-the-decline/

https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/nics_firearm_checks_-_month_year.pdf/view (gun application are tracked rather than actual ownership, as registration is not required)

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/15/the-gun-numbers-just-3-of-american-adults-own-a-collective-133m-firearms

Uriel-238says:

The NRA is incidental (and rotten)

The NRA has turned into a radical political front. I’m not challenging this. Nor am I challenging that the gun lobbyists have used bad data and have obstructed efforts to gather better data. The gun-control lobbyists also use bunk data, and so the whole conversation is bunk. Maybe we’ll know more once the CDC is allowed to file reports about gun use. But we don’t typically compare general violence statistics to gun-related violence statistics.

And the shambles of the conversation doesn’t change that we consistently have sucked at determining what is too dangerous for the public to have. Our government has also sucked at not developing things that nobody should have. (The US has silos of military grade anthrax. Why?)

And it doesn’t change that we are inconsistent with how we decide people are responsible or not. Usually we decide someone is responsible to sidestep insanity pleas, diminished capacity pleas or age matters, so we can try a kid as an adult and murder them in the execution chamber. But then police officers get a free pass if they fear for their safety.

I’ve always been tinfoil-hatted nutbar. I’ve never been the sane one I just try to put a good deal of thought (and often research) into my nutball opinions so they might sound sane sometimes.

But, as I’m learning in my advancing years, there are just some logical conclusions we really don’t want to confront. One of those is that the problems in the United States aggravated by open gun access are not going to be resolved by banning assault rifles or more background checks or banning rifle sound-suppressors or denying gun access according to any falsifiable definition of crazy.

I opine that if we want to save lives we need to address the causes of suicide and homicide, and not pretend that by reducing the available means is going to slow it down. Angry people in unrelenting misery can get very creative.

I also think we may not want to actually save lives, just keep the slaughter off news media.

Wendy Cockcroftsays:

Re: The NRA is incidental (and rotten)

And it doesn’t change that we are inconsistent with how we decide people are responsible or not. Usually we decide someone is responsible to sidestep insanity pleas, diminished capacity pleas or age matters, so we can try a kid as an adult and murder them in the execution chamber. But then police officers get a free pass if they fear for their safety.

Once again, with feeling, "Pass a gun safety test and get two references from the kind of people who would help you get a passport, i.e. doctors, teachers, that kind of thing."

I opine that if we want to save lives we need to address the causes of suicide and homicide, and not pretend that by reducing the available means is going to slow it down. Angry people in unrelenting misery can get very creative.

True, but they can kill more at a time with automatic weapons.

I agree we need to address mental illness more effectively — and compassionately. That the Government won’t spend the money on it is the problem.

naschsays:

Re: Re: The NRA is incidental (and rotten)

Once again, with feeling, "Pass a gun safety test and get two references from the kind of people who would help you get a passport, i.e. doctors, teachers, that kind of thing."

Be careful not to impose restrictions that have disproportionate impact on the poor and minorities. Who is more likely to know a couple of doctors, lawyers, or teachers to vouch for them, a rich white person, or a poor person of color?

Wendy Cockcroftsays:

Re: Re: Re: The NRA is incidental (and rotten)

I’m not rich and have no problem getting such people to sign off on my passport application. I suppose my privilege is from being a Christian: there are a good few professional types in my church.

"Ministers of religion" can sign off on passport applications, which leaves the atheists without a go-to if they’re poor and never see a doctor, use legal services, or have kids in school.

In practice, I’d be very surprised if there were many people who fell through the cracks.

Besides, if you’re indigent and reliant on welfare, you should be more concerned about that than about owning a gun. I’ve been in that situation so don’t take it as an attack on vulnerable people. I’m just saying that owning a gun should not be near the top of anyone’s necessities list.

Uriel-238says:

Ministers of religion

Ministers of religion cannot sign off on passport applications unless they’re ordained by a church that has been officiated to do so, of which many black protestant churches are not.

A lot of people in minority communities cannot get passports or drivers licenses, let alone gun licenses.

So more forms to file at any point only exasperates our current racial segregation epidemic.

I thought after the post Ferguson revelations this was obvious to anyone who kept up on news in the US (such as minding our rampage killings). It surprises me you are not aware of the degree of difficulty it is for minorities and marginalized groups to get licenses…for anything. It’s part of the mechanism that puts minorities in jail for doing things while unlicensed.

Not that the police care if your gun is legal or not: they’ll shoot you where you stand just the same.

Wendy Cockcroftsays:

Re: Ministers of religion

My ministers are not ordained in that way and can sign off on passport applications. Anyone who either went to school or has a kid knows a teacher.

https://traveltips.usatoday.com/forms-required-first-time-passport-application-1708.html

No reference details there; I can’t find anything online.

In the UK, you need a character reference of some kind.

What about two character references from individuals with no criminal records? I’d be satisfied with that.

Uriel-238says:

"they can kill more at a time with automatic weapons."

Do you know the US history regarding arson and bombs?

Fires happen so often we just don’t report them much on the news. And arson is another one of those things that kills more people than rampage killings. It’s just not as grotesque when reported on news media.

PaulTsays:

Re: "they can kill more at a time with automatic weapons."

Once again, you seem to think that only one issue at a time can be addressed. The parents of the children killed in your next school shooting won’t care that more people were killed in an arson attack. They will likely point to the fact that other countries, while perhaps also having arson, have had decades rather than weeks between mass shootings.

Uriel-238says:

Dealing with more than one issue

The problem is we don’t.

The problem is, so long as our officials think they can placate the public by passing laws that allegedly address a related issue (such as a symptom) then they don’t need to create the infrastructure to pass the underlying problem.

And you presume that more regulations on guns will reduce rampage killings. You’ve ignored the several points I made about how they likely won’t, and have only asserted that your lone solution will work. It may not even help.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "they can kill more at a time with

"Frothing at the mouth so much you can no longer tell people apart."

No, on a conversation on mobile and not noticing that the person who decided to interject into an argument isn’t the person originally addressed.

But, what was wrong with my interpretation of his argument?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Everyone is armed so everyone is a threa

Wendy coockroft they are breeding pussies now aday to cower to the new world order who think just like you. There have been plenty of false flag operations by these people with years in planning, buying up real estate to house their players buying out the State police and many other agencies to sway public opinion to influence your type.. and I doubt it could possibly infuriate this generation of zombies.

Uriel-238says:

Conspiracy theories

A better term for them is fringe hypotheses

But fringe hypotheses are usually a symptom that people have intuited that bad actors are afoot, but can’t work out what they’re doing, hence they take wild guesses. We as a species aren’t very good at it.

But just because most fringe hypotheses are outrageous and easily debunked, that’s not to say bad actors are not actually conspiring to engage in malicious action. The US mass surveillance program and the LIBOR scandal serve as two examples, as do the mechanations behind Trump’s election and BREXIT.

So it’s not fair to dismiss fringe hypotheses out of hand when so many complicated clandestine schemes are playing out all the time.

Uriel-238says:

The ones without good evidence

The problem is, many of them take place before evidence is public where the wrongdoing is going on. Given the recent massive power shutdowns in California (which didn’t effect my house personally, by less than a mile) I’m freshly sore about the Enron scandal and the rolling blackouts we suffered as part of its massive Ponzi scheme. When Enron collapsed, justice was had for the crime of misleading the shareholders, but not for scamming the State of California out of billions.

When shareholders lose out on billions, heads go on pikes. I’d think something might happen when someone steals billions from the public.

Granted, I tend to think If this is going on then it’s horrible and we’re all going to get screwed unless something is done. But I’ve become used to being outraged about things situations, and then freaking out because no-one believes it or cares — typically a couple of years before it becomes common knowledge the new public outrage.

I’ve expressed my fear before about the US starting its own genocide program, but the real nightmare is learning it’s been processing undesirables into soot for ten years before evidence went public. Kinda like the Snowden revelations.

Curiously, when we talk about conspiracy theories we tend to imagine the ones that are popular but ludicrous, things like bigfoot; the Air Force covering up an encounter with intelligent alien life; HAARP; contrails as evidence of mass gassing; reptilians running the government. We imagine ones that not only have no evidence, but are outright implausible.

What we don’t imagine are conspiracies that are entirely plausible, but there’s little or no accessible evidence. And those are the ones to which we should say plausible, but too little evidence to tell. And not dismiss them out of hand.

Uriel-238says:

It would make a great political detective thriller, though.

I still wonder, for instance if the people who saw Epstein’s body were only people who would cooperate with a law enforcement deception. Would Epstein have enough dirt on VIPs to warrant faking his death and putting him in witness protection? Do we have any evidence that confirms that Epstein is really dead?

I’m not saying this happened. I’m saying I have too little evidence to say it absolutely didn’t happen. Much like Samantha Bee questioning President Trump’s literacy.

naschsays:

Re: The ones without good evidence

What we don’t imagine are conspiracies that are entirely plausible, but there’s little or no accessible evidence. And those are the ones to which we should say plausible, but too little evidence to tell. And not dismiss them out of hand.

As long as you’re careful about the plausible bit, yes. Plenty of people who believe the moon landing was a hoax and such things are also able construct a rationale for why all the evidence has been kept secret by the conspiracy. Not generally a very compelling rationale but enough to maintain the theory in their minds.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Everyone is armed so everyone is a threat.

This is a perfect example why we DON’T NEED GOVERNMENT. We would be far better off as citizens in our local community making our neighbors safe by sharing the duties of watches. Police have come unravvled with militarized war tactical training as if they were attempting an overthrow of the local population.

tomsays:

This officer’s actions were a big WTF when I saw this on the news. Nothing he did seemed to follow either common sense or police policy.

Several years ago, I called the local non-emergency number because my across the street neighbor’s door was open and her dog was in the front yard at about 1am. She never let that old blind deaf dog out without her sitting on the front porch watching. When the two cops showed up, one asked me why the call which I explained. They then knocked on the door, called out several times, then slowly entered, still announcing loudly. She wasn’t home so we rounded up the dog and they closed and locked the door. Turned out she was out that evening and her door had been not latching a few times. She got a good laugh out of it once she got over the OMG of her dog being out by himself. She had the door fixed a few days later.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:

I’d like to think there is a reality out there where that is obviously a joke.
Upon reading your comment they’d laugh, and then those who thought about it seriuosly would, say something like ‘you’d only say that as a joke, or if you are mentally infirmed’

The only thing I have left to say is: how is that not this reality.

Anonymoussays:

if this person was old or partly deaf they might not hear the command comply,
gun ownership is legal in texas, just because someone owns a gun does not mean they are a threat .
At no point were the cops in danger or threatened by someone .
there should be a rule ,knock on the door, say police loudly.
say i wish to enter this house.wait for a response ,longer than 4 seconds .
A person at home should be given more time than 4 seconds to respond to police .

Anonymoussays:

Re:

there should be a rule ,knock on the door, say police loudly.
say i wish to enter this house.wait for a response ,longer than 4 seconds .
A person at home should be given more time than 4 seconds to respond to police .

That rule isn’t nearly good enough.

The police didn’t have a search warrant or an arrest warrant; they should not have been allowed to force entry based solely on "there are lights on in the wee hours of the morning" under any circumstances. And that’s just entry; the restrictions on use of lethal force should be much more strict than that.

Cdaragornsays:

Re:

The problem with all of these suggestions is that the core issue here was never a lack of rules. There are plenty of rules already established around what cops can and can’t do when they approach a home. There are even rules between when they do have a warrant and when they don’t.

The problem here is that they broke all of them. You can’t solve that problem by making more.

Uriel-238says:

Political Science

PolySci is about getting people elected and getting bills passed through legislature. It’s not about writing ironclad law that actually solves the problems they were intended to solve.

A good amount of law school is about finding ways to interpret poorly-written law to mean what you want.

Hamilton had a few things to say about this sort of thing.

Anonymoussays:

Correction

"Perceiving a threat, the officer drew his duty weapon…"

No. He was skulking around in the backyard with his weapon drawn and pointed to follow the beam of his flashlight. He was pre-prepared to perceive and destroy any "threat" without warning as the video displays.

Another coward cop murders another unoffending black person. Let’s make no pretense otherwise.

Ninjasays:

In the middle of the night like that it could be anyone. It could be me, it could be you. Sure it was a black woman which makes things even worse due to the racism we know there is in the US and consequently in law enforcement agents but it’s not like there was any reasonable time to the cop or the victim to fully understand the situation. This is a risk for everybody.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

It was a Welfare Check. That should have meant, walking to the door and knocking and announcing POLICE. See if anyone answers. Not sneaking around the house like a criminal. Then see a shadow, as you are demanding the person do something, Shoot your gun almost as fast.

So the PIGS idea of a Welfare check ended up the PIG shooting the person DEAD. In what world should that ever happen???

That One Guysays:

'Hello, police? I'd like someone to be killed.'

A call to a non-emergency line from a neighbor set this in motion. The neighbor was concerned because lights were on and doors were open at 2 a.m., which the neighbor apparently felt was unusual.

… And now said neighbor has to live with the fact that thanks to a murderous scumbag and their call their neighbor is now dead and the kid that was in the house at the time is scarred for life.

Maybe instead of calling in the killers with guns you go over and check yourself? Calling the cops in situations like this is like handing over a partially loaded revolver and having the other person play russian roulette with it: it might be harmless but it can just as easily result in the person you are trying to ‘help’ dead, so don’t do it.

That One Guysays:

Re:

It was an incredibly stupid mistake on their part, and one can only hope that people will learn from it and stop making the same mistake, as as sickening as it is to consider ‘only call the cops if you are willing to risk someone being dead at the end of the resulting interaction’ would seem to be a reasonable and ‘safe’ guideline to follow these days.

That said while it was stupid it was still a mistake, so while they may feel guilty for their part hopefully they can get past it and leave the guilt for the trigger happy killer to shoulder, as calling the cops because you are concerned for someone’s safety should never result in that person ending up dead because of it.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

He didn’t know better. But far, far more Americans are murdered by the police every year than the police. They seem to hire mostly dumb people. They don’t know the laws. They don’t give a crap about your constitutionally protected rights. They are trained to flat out LIE!!! They will make up stuff to get you to ID when you don’t have to. They have their goto crimes to arrest you even though it’s bogus and will be tossed most of the time.

DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE, EVER!!!

I recommend YOU watch this VIdeo and part 2. Even the police say don’t talk to them!!!! You’ll learn a lot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: Re:

When ignorance is a demonstrable benefit to the job then intelligence becomes something to be avoided if at all possible, not to mention smarter cops might start asking unfortunate questions like ‘… how are we different from the criminals we’re going after again, given how often we act just like them?’

But New London police interviewed only candidates who scored 20 to 27, on the theory that those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training.

Gotta love the excuse they come up with though, given if it were applied to other jobs anything above average intelligence would bar you from any job that involved training, not to mention how utterly trivial it would be to compensate for(‘If you work for us for X years your training is covered, if you quit before then you’ll need to cover the difference’.)

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Well, to be fair this kind of thing does exist elsewhere. Ever hear of someone being refused a job because they’re "overqualified"? That’s usually because they’re applying for some drone position somewhere and they’re likely to go elsewhere as soon as a non-drone position comes up elsewhere. Same thing – they don’t want to waste money on training someone who leaves 3 months later.

The problem with police doing this is that more intelligent people wanting to get will generally have more motivation to do the job and improve the system than the college graduate getting a dumb factory job to pay bills till something better comes along.

Cdaragornsays:

Re: 'Hello, police? I'd like someone to be killed.'

Some cops behaving like this doesn’t make the act of calling any cops to the scene the equivalent of guaranteeing this kind of reaction. Or even making it remotely likely.

You may choose to distrust every single police officer everywhere because there have been a disturbing number willing to behave like this. Those facts don’t make calling police in unreasonable.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: 'Hello, police? I'd like someone to be killed.'

You may choose to distrust every single police officer everywhere because there have been a disturbing number willing to behave like this. Those facts don’t make calling police in unreasonable.

I disagree. It is no longer safe to involve the police in anything. Handle your own problems.

cattresssays:

Re: Re: Re: 'Hello, police? I'd like someone to be killed.'

I’m a white middle class, almost middle aged mom and the only way I’m ever calling or cooperating with the police is if I am in a car accident, because insurance requires a police report, or I am a victim or witness of violent crime and have confidence that catching the perpetrator will prevent someone else’s suffering, and it’s likely they will be caught.
Cops don’t give a shit about victims or solving crimes that require any effort or risk unless they will personally benefit. From a number of personal experiences, cops are quite happy to threaten victims with arrest and criminal charges instead of actually helping them. And that’s if you’re white, we’ve seen the horrific videos of black women being tased and violently attacked when trying to get help. And I have seen a racist cop treat a black gentleman who had valuable information like garbage and nuisance while collecting my unhelpful statement politely.
There is no war on cops; and though I believe in the non-aggression principle, I would understand if there was. Cops choose to escalate situations, put themselves into more risky situations where they must make these split second decisions instead maintaining safe positions- such as inside or shielded by their car doors until they can get a better assessment or more back up. (Seriously, why would you get out of your cop car if a naked man is running towards you and you can’t clearly see his hands? Why make a an aggressive physical arrest of a man you think is armed instead of making commands to disarm him safely behind your car door? Those are dumb things to do and they shouldn’t be getting a pass for stupidity that resulted in killing another person)
Maybe if cops actually assumed everyone was armed and competent in using their firearm, they might actually treat people with a little respect and dignity so no one would feel the urge to shoot them in their face. But regardless of the number of guns in the US, most people are not armed, and even the violent criminals that are armed have zero interest in shooting a cop because of the blue rage. Cop killers don’t get away, well unless they are other cops.

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: 'Hello, police? I'd like someone to be killed.'

… well that was strange. Either I did something wrong or TD just ate my comment. Anyway, take two I guess.

Some cops behaving like this doesn’t make the act of calling any cops to the scene the equivalent of guaranteeing this kind of reaction.

And playing russian roulette isn’t guaranteeing that someone will end up dead either, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an all-too-possible risk, as the person in the article found out the hard way.

Or even making it remotely likely.

The problem is that it shouldn’t be ‘likely’ at all, yet even on TD, a site that doesn’t focus on police activity beyond occasional articles like this this is not the first such article where police were called in because someone was foolish enough to call the police to ‘help’ someone only for that person to end up dead.

(If you don’t have enough bile in your diet a quick search of ‘wellness check’ in TD’s search bar resulted in an old article where police responded to a potential suicide via breaking in guns drawn, and the first link in that article leads back to an older yet article about how police tazed what was almost certainly a mentally ill person to death after being called by a concerned individual. No charges for those involved with the latter story of course.)

You may choose to distrust every single police officer everywhere because there have been a disturbing number willing to behave like this.

Oh actions like this certainly don’t help that complete and utter lack of trust, to the point that I’d sooner trust an armed drug-addict than a cop, but they aren’t the primary reason for that lack of trust. For that you’d have to widen the scope to encompass the larger group, their frequent abuses of power, corruption and most of all CYA/’us vs them’ mentality.

(Also not helping, but acting as a nice little example of that CYA mentality, is the fact that the department’s first response in this case was to make excuses. Bad excuses to be sure, but excuses nonetheless.)

Those facts don’t make calling police in unreasonable.

Entirely, perhaps not, but it does make it a calculated risk. ‘Is my day bad enough already, or do I want to risk it becoming even worse by calling in the police?’

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: 'Hello, police? I'd like someone to be killed.'

There have been people who have called the police and then end up murdered by the police!!!

The whole war on drugs has caused the death of thousands of innocent people. I remember a story around a year ago where the police broke into a home for some drug raid, woke the guy sleeping in bed from the noise, as he was getting up, the PIGS barge into his bedroom, thinks he reaching for something and shoots him DEAD. These PIGS went to the WRONG HOUSE!!!! There were no drugs. OPS, an innocent man is DEAD and nothing happens to these tyrants. Can you imagine? You’ve done NOTHING wrong. Sleeping in what is supposed to be your secure home, and this THIN BLUE LINE GANG breaks in and shoots you dead. These tyrants are protected by the UNION who defends this crap with all kinds of excuses.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: 'Hello, police? I'd like someone to be killed.'

Which is utterly insane. At least with SWATting they have the excuse of believing there’s a serious and dangerous situation in progress. That doesn’t excuse the over-the-top actions taken before confirming that it’s real, but at least there’s a through-line of relative sanity.

But, a call that says "there might not be anything happening, I just want to make sure my neighbour is OK" ending in violent murder? Absolutely crazy.

I Don't Know, Mansays:

There’s a good article on the "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality at <https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/02/us/training-officers-to-shoot-first-and-he-will-answer-questions-later.html&gt;. The Ft. Worth Chief of Police has said the feds are looking into the Ft. Worth PD training and practices, but has also already said that there was nothing that excused this shooting so we shall see. I suspect somebody had something to do with teaching this officer that this was in fact an acceptable practice.

With the Guyger case and now this, I have some hope maybe the "Lone Warrior behind enemy lines" roleplaying these cops do whereby very single thing that moves is a lethal threat might be getting pulled back just a little bit. After all, at some point the general public might start adopting the same attitude toward perceived threats and guess who they see as a threat?

Daydreamsays:

The link’s slightly borked, I googled the story and it looks like the &gt on the end is mucking the link up.
It talks about a Dr. Lewenski a lot, and his theories to defend shootings by police.

You know what went through my mind as I was reading it, though?
If cops are trained to shoot to kill as soon as they think a gun is being drawn or could be drawn, and as Dr. Lewenski posits, inattentional blindness/selective attention means a cop won’t pay attention to anything else until they’ve shot their target, regardless of any new information…
That implies to me that there’s no way to negotiate with a police officer who has their gun out, and that attempting to cooperate with them or deescalate the situation will only get you shot.
Therefore, you should treat any police officer with a gun in their hand like you would an active shooter; run away, if you can’t safely escape then hide, if you’re going to be discovered then ambush the shooter and fight to kill.

Did anyone else reach that kind of conclusion from the article?

Tin-Foil-Hatsays:

I couldn't shoot someone

If any "not a cop" shot someone in most of these situations that cops claim to feel theatened, they would be arrested.

There are a lot of guns in the USA and a lot of people are armed. That is an unfortunate reality here. We are ALL living in a war zone. Some of us live in states with lax gun laws in bad neighborhoods and don’t even own guns. Imagine that.

In most states you need a damn good reason to shoot someone (unless you’re a cop). People in the military who are being fired on all the time need to have a good reason to shoot a civilian.

If you’re working as a police officer. Get ahold of yourself or get out. Cut out the booze, coffee and steroids if you’re using. You’re not doing yourself any favors.

Tin-Foil-Hatsays:

Re: Re: I couldn't shoot someone

Guns are not the underlying problem. The fact that everyone feels they need go own a gun is indicative of something very wrong. That wasn’t my point anyway. I have to deal with this fucked up, on edge culture just like everyone else. If I feel threatened, the person I injure better be armed or a lot bigger than me or I’m going to jail.