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1

i think you need to buy the stupid gun, take the reciept down to the po, get interviewed, including a talk with a nice mental health professional, get a criminal background check, then wait a month, then you get your stupid gun.

every time you buy another one, you get to repeat the process.

but...but...but...the scary negroes will buy one from the crack dealer! that's a red herring argument. 99.99% of americans, including almost every fruitcake like cho, don't know where to go buy an illegal gun.

Posted by Max Solomon | April 19, 2007 11:57 AM
2

There's only one solution to this: arm every single card-carrying ACLU member. Arm them to the teeth.

Posted by Hernandez | April 19, 2007 12:06 PM
3

I totally agree, but only if you have to do the same with driving cars or having children.

btw a shooting happened at VT in 2002, and was stopped by a citizen with a concealed handgun.

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=%5CNation%5Carchive%5C200209%5CNAT20020917a.html

later VT decided the way to make people safe was to ban all guns. I guess that worked out well.

The world isn't a black and white place, and closing our eyes and hoping all the bad stuff will go away if we legislate guns, drugs and oh noes! smoking is a farce at best and a nanny state for everyone in its current incarnation.

do you trust the government to save you and keep you safe? its not there job, and look how well they are doing with terror and natural disasters.

Posted by vincent | April 19, 2007 12:11 PM
4

I understand how people believe we need less guns than more. But I am curious as to how you expect to take the guns away from the people who own them.

Communities have held gun buy-back programs, only to wind up selling the guns rather than destroy them, because the local government needs the money.

I would just like to hear people offer solutions to the problem rather than complain about gun nuts.

Posted by elswinger | April 19, 2007 12:13 PM
5

i think you need to buy the stupid gun, take the reciept down to the po, get interviewed, including a talk with a nice mental health professional, get a criminal background check, then wait a month, then you get your stupid gun.

every time you buy another one, you get to repeat the process.

but...but...but...the scary negroes will buy one from the crack dealer! that's a red herring argument. 99.99% of americans, including almost every fruitcake like cho, don't know where to go buy an illegal gun.

Posted by Max Solomon | April 19, 2007 12:17 PM
6

Dan --

That's a nice straw person argument. I have both a gun and an ACLU card.

The NRA, an objectively anti-gay, pro-spousal abuse, and utterly unreasonable organization, has done a profound disservice both to the Second Amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights--but they don't represent all gun owners.

nate

Posted by nate | April 19, 2007 12:19 PM
7

yeah i dunno why i reposted that.

if the gun store had done a mapquest search on cho's residence, it would have shown he lived on a campus where guns are banned. then, no guns for cho.

Posted by Max Solomon | April 19, 2007 12:20 PM
8

The gun lobby is much better than other rights groups about not giving an inch on the right they feel will best protect their interests. Most NRA members probably can't articulate grievances well, so guns are what commands the respect.

Free speech advocates are pretty weak willed in comparison.

Posted by fromohio | April 19, 2007 12:22 PM
9

Dan: Haven't you heard of libertarians? They are well-represented within the ranks of the NRA. Libertarians generally care a lot about gun rights, as well as about the other rights you mentioned.

That said, I don't find it surprising that people in an organization concerned with the rights of gun owners would be primarily focused on, uh, the rights of gun owners. The NRA is a large, diverse (go diversity!) organization. Its members undoubtedly disagree on many subjects. Let those members in favor of (or against) abortion rights -- or any other pet left/right causes -- agitate for those positions in *other* organizations. This fetish for combining all issues into a single, overarching effort is one reason that the left hasn't been more successful getting its various agendas adopted.

Posted by Libertarian | April 19, 2007 12:24 PM
10

Armed wing of the ACLU is a good start. But where we really need to focus is starting an armed wing of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Once those fine ladies are toting assault rifles... well. I'm not sure what will happen, but I'm sure it will be fabulous.

Posted by mason | April 19, 2007 12:30 PM
11

Dan -- AMEN. (One quibble -- the attorney-client privilege (that is, to have confidential communications with your attorney) is not a constitutional right -- the right to *have* counsel in certain legal proceedings (but not all) is a right guaranteed by the Constitution.)

Posted by Jonathan | April 19, 2007 12:31 PM
12

Gun owners are pussies. That's why they own guns.

Posted by DOUG. | April 19, 2007 12:31 PM
13

That book actually made me a second amendment supporter! You pointed out that liberals tend to insist on a strict and literal interpretation of the first amendment, while conservatives want a strict and literal interpretation of the second, and maybe we could come to some kind of agreement that involved respecting the whole damn Constitution. So I thought to myself, you know, that's true. From now on I'll back *both* amendments equally. So I do. So, yeah, you've created at least one gun rights supporter out of this card-carrying ACLU-er.

Posted by Shannon | April 19, 2007 12:36 PM
14

Nate @6: What is your evidence that the NRA is "objectively anti-gay"? I don't doubt that many vocal NRA members and even leaders are anti-gay (see: http://www.planetout.com/news/article-print.html?2002/04/29/2), but that's not what one means when making such a strong claim about an organization.

To merit that designation, I'd expect to see something in the organization's platform, for example. Has the NRA taken a stand on same-sex marriage, adoption rights, employment discrimination, Don't Ask Don't Tell, hate crime legislation, and various other gay-rights issues? If not, why not just say that many (but certainly not all) NRA members are anti-gay and leave it at that?

It seems like people now use the phrase "objectively so-and-so" to mean that a conclusion is so obvious to not require argument. That's usually a sign of a sleight of hand in progress.

Posted by Libertarian | April 19, 2007 12:37 PM
15

9 -

Nate, Dan didn't say the NRA represents all gun owners.

They represent all gun nuts, whether said nuts owns guns or not. In fact, nuts without guns are a special concern of the NRA, and they work day and night to put a gun into the needy hands of every unarmed nut in the nation.

Posted by elenchos | April 19, 2007 12:48 PM
16
I understand how people believe we need less guns than more. But I am curious as to how you expect to take the guns away from the people who own them.

Pry them out of their cold, dead hands? It's a matter of new guns, not old guns. Just like emissions controls target new cars, not old cars. The number of guns will decrease over time due to death, rust, kids breaking them during playtime, confiscation in murder investigations, etc.

Posted by jamier | April 19, 2007 12:48 PM
17

How about this:

If you don't like guns, don't own one.

If you don't like pot, don't smoke it.

If you don't like abortions, don't have one.

If you don't think gay people should have full marriage rights, don't marry one.

Otherwise, butt the fuck out.

Posted by ivan | April 19, 2007 12:55 PM
18

Ivan... When a stoned, gay fetus kills 32 college students I'll butt out. For now your parallel is bullshit.

Posted by DOUG. | April 19, 2007 12:59 PM
19

Also, Dan, it seems that you are suggesting that I must use a freedom for which I agitate in the defense of other freedoms in order to be consistent. If gun nuts want to convince non-gun nuts of the value of an armed citizenry, perhaps they should use their guns to defend all of our freedoms, not just their freedom to own guns.
So the only way for gun nuts to be consistent (ie., non-hypocritical) is to launch an armed raid on the local courthouse when it approves a further erosion to, say, the 4th Amendment? Unless and until 2nd Amd. supporters shoot at a bulldozer to protest eminent domain abuses, they're hypocrites?
Seriously?

Posted by torrentprime | April 19, 2007 1:00 PM
20

Doug, the issue is not the ownership of the gun but the use of it. You're trying to pretend ownership is the issue, but it's not. Owning a gun does not equal high school massacre. Mis-use (ie, violent criminal activity) is the crime, not the ownership.

Posted by torrentprime | April 19, 2007 1:03 PM
21

Honestly, I really don't get why it's SO problematic for gun owners to have to be interviewed and go through some training in order to buy a gun. We make people go through training in order to drive a car. Why not guns? How is that so at odds with libertarian ethos? Do libertarians not believe in licensing drivers either? Is that too nanny state-ish?

Posted by arduous | April 19, 2007 1:03 PM
22

"Butting out" of gun ownership becomes a hell of a hard thing to do when said gun owners are, y'know, pointing them at you.

Posted by Darcy | April 19, 2007 1:03 PM
23

arduous, your post shows how tangled the gun control debate gets. Restrictions, safeguards, and slow-downs on ownership are backed by many people, and many/most? libertarians don't have a problem with this (except in a philosophical way, for some), but there is a difference between all of the above and an outright ban, which has much, much higher opposition (as I believe it should, until we repeal the 2nd Amendment). Many posters here and elsewhere seem to be leaning towards "get rid of them!" which seems to indicate they didn't learn the #1 lesson from the War on Drugs.

Posted by torrentprime | April 19, 2007 1:07 PM
24

Yes, Darcy, they're allllll out to get you. How many do you see right now? Inside the mail box? Under the bed? I hear NRA people can hide in plain sight, so it's best to be cautious.

Posted by torrentprime | April 19, 2007 1:08 PM
25

Whenever I hear these clowns advocating that if all the students and faculty were armed, somebody could have shot Cho and stopped the massacre, I start to bang my head on the desk.

Imagine all these armed students at their drunken frat parties, in their dorm rooms with their hidden kegs, after their football team looses to the cross-state rival, at rages, getting in disputes with their professors over a grade, when they get rejected by their lust object, when many of them are experiencing personal freedom, drugs & booze, and sex for the first time in their lives. Seriously? You think all these students being armed would be a good thing? If every student and faculty member at UW were armed, you'd have a hundred gun deaths a year on campus, easily. Not all in one massacre, of course, just spread out over the year. So I suppose that would be okay.

Then I imagine the actual Virginia Tech shooting. What if all the students and faculty had been armed? Cho walking down the hall starts shooting. Students and faculty from all sides start whipping out their guns shooting back. How many innocent bystanders do you think would go down? Then other armed students and faculty come out of nearby classrooms, see someone in the hall with a gun (not Cho, but someone else with a gun) and shoot them. You'd have mass chaos of students shooting other students thinking they were saving the day. You'd have had just as big a massacre, and you'd have it happening on every campus in the country.

Arming all the students and faculty. Brilliant.

Posted by SDA in SEA | April 19, 2007 1:15 PM
26

17 -

If you don't like guns, don't own one.
Can't argue with that.


What if I don't like lead slugs speeding towards my body at several hundred feet per second?

Posted by elenchos | April 19, 2007 1:24 PM
27

SDA:
If guns are such a problem in our society, and we have too many of them in too many places, and it's just so damn easy to get, then why doesn't your nightmare scenario take place every day? Why aren't rural high schools where gun ownership is higher erupting with crossfire tragedies every day? Maybe because your nightmare scenario is more nightmare than actual scenario?

Also, your brilliant analysis of how an armed response would go down is sickening. At one point, Cho went into a room, forced the people to line up, and he killed them execution style one by one. So you prefer orderly murder rather than a chance for someone to fight back. Hey, at least there was less chaos, right? Do you really think that a gun on the other side mightn't of helped, just a bit? Maybe trained, licensed armed men and women could have helped stop or limit a wandering, slow 3 hour massacre that took the lives of 33 people because there was no one armed nearby?

Posted by torrentprime | April 19, 2007 1:24 PM
28

bang your head on your desk then. No one has ever said that every one should have a gun at all times, thats just your bullshit whiny liberal hyperbole. Thats right up there with right wingers stating that gay marriage will mean all their children will be sodomized, cause you know its the gays....

you can draft up whatever strawgunman you want, but the sad sad fact for the gun haters is this event could have been prevented, like the first, if people who had the *choice* (remember choice, its what women don't get to do cause judges decide for them ) to legally carry and defend themselves, were still allowed to do it on that campus. Unfortunately people chose to obey the law banning guns, except for the sick insane fuck who decided to kill people because the world had imprisoned him.

Posted by vincent | April 19, 2007 1:34 PM
29

Ha, Libertarian, you crack me up - Libertarians are always trying to distance themselves from the conservative bastards they have been voting for and the nutso conservative groups they've supported all these years. Trying to plead that the NRA is "diverse", ha, well whatever helps you sleep at night. The organization used to be headed by the Nuge for chrissakes. It's like when the Republicans parade their only 5 black members on stage at a convention and call themselves the party of diverstiy. If anyone is being fooled by sleight of hand here, Libertarian, it's you.

Oh and all you gun nuts, who the hell is trying to take away your 2nd amendment right to form a militia (seriously, read the amednment you idiots)? Being against armor piercing bullets and gun show loopholes is not anti-gun, it's "sensibly" pro gun-safety. When you so vehemetly oppose sensible gun regulations you expose yourselves as the "gun nuts" that you are. you want the whole world to be like Doom, or Grand Theft Auto. C'mon, admit it.

Posted by longball | April 19, 2007 1:35 PM
30

Add a 500% tax on bullets.

Posted by elswinger | April 19, 2007 1:36 PM
31

look, everyone agrees with gun regulation, even libertarians. the question is just where to draw the line, and what hoops are required to be jumped through.

Posted by infrequent | April 19, 2007 1:52 PM
32

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

Okay, perhaps someone can parse this so that the militia part becomes the right that should not be infringed? I admit that it's the only right that required a justification, but the fact that gun owners haven't felt a reason to assemble a militia doesn't counter the fact that it says the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Posted by fromohio | April 19, 2007 1:54 PM
33

#3... What that article doesn't mention is that Gross and Bridges, the two gun-fetching heroes, were both ex-law enforcement and were going back to school. So they were actually trained to deal with what they encountered, unlike the other 99% of the populace.

Posted by dirge | April 19, 2007 1:56 PM
34

if you make being a part of a militia a requirement, then the NRA will simply become the NRAM.

Posted by infrequent | April 19, 2007 2:01 PM
35

"If guns are such a problem in our society, and we have too many of them in too many places, and it's just so damn easy to get, then why doesn't your nightmare scenario take place every day? Why aren't rural high schools where gun ownership is higher erupting with crossfire tragedies every day?"
- torrentprime

Uhh, maybe because guns aren't allowed on campus?

Posted by SDA in SEA | April 19, 2007 2:03 PM
36

Guns are a tool. Period. Just like a bulldozer, or a car, or prescription drugs, or whatever. It's use as a symbol aside, it is just a mechanical device. And there is no legal reason why guns cannot be regulated, and strongly regulated at that, just like we regulate the use of other potentially dangerous items in our society. Even the Second Amendment specifically states that it is concerned with a "well-regulated" militia, not just a bunch of randoms with assault rifles "defending their homes". And of course, there are legitimate uses of guns by the public (mainly hunting and sport shooting), and those should not be up for debate, just like there are legitimate uses of cars and drugs that should not be up for debate.

All that being said, what kind of sick, pathetic SOB believes that the answer to gun violence is to give everyone a gun? To tie us inextricably to these fetishized instruments of death to save ourselves from them? That's twisted and sad logic, if you ask me.

The mythic image of a gun in the hands of a noble and responsible private citizen is a bunch of pathetic garbage. Every right-wing nut between here and the Atlantic Ocean is spouting off that if someone just had a concealed weapon, this would all have been averted, and when you take away guns from responsible gun owners, only criminals have them.

You can't deny those kinds of miraculous, ldealized what-ifs, or that there are some gun owners that are good people that would never use their weapons in anything but the most serious of situations. However, people are unknown quantities, and they are not all noble and responsible, and they make mistakes. I don't really agree with taking guns "out of the hands of responisble gun owners", but I don't quite trust that the people around me are responsible to the point that I would want to allow them the ability to kill me or anyone else at a moment's notice. And overreactions, confusion, and irresponsible or idiotic or disturbed gun owners that should not have been given licenses in the first place would undoubtedly take as many lives as you would "save" from these incidents.

Posted by bma | April 19, 2007 2:05 PM
37

I don't want to ban guns. I don't think everyone who owns one is a right wing nut job. I am very disappointed with the NRA. It seems to me they should be taking the lead on reasonable gun control. Not an outright ban but I think buying a guy SHOULD be difficult. You SHOULD have to jump through hoops to get one. Maybe a few extra hoops would have saved 33 people the other day.

Posted by monkey | April 19, 2007 2:12 PM
38

@28: ...you can draft up whatever strawgunman you want, but the sad sad fact for the gun haters is this event could have been prevented, like the first, if people who had the *choice* (remember choice, its what women don't get to do cause judges decide for them ) to legally carry and defend themselves, were still allowed to do it on that campus.

Promoting guns as a way of increasing safety is garbage. Again, you're making the assumption that everyone aside from a crazed lunatic shooting people in a mall is a sane, reasonable and responsible gun owner. Personally, I just can't trust you or anyone else that much. Concealed carry laws give you the ability to kill me (and the people around me) in an instant. Unless there's a REALLY good reason that you should have that kind of thuggish power over me, you shouldn't have it. Period. And crowing about self-defense or the ability to stop theoretical mass murders is not a good reason in my mind.

Posted by bma | April 19, 2007 2:19 PM
39

BMA: Your final statement is a defense of stronger qualification and licensing procedures, and as such, I agree with it. If you intended it as a justification as to why we should ban guns, then it's not sufficient to override the 2nd Amendment (i.e, "some people misuse a right, so we better take it away from everyone as a precaution").

Posted by torrentprime | April 19, 2007 2:23 PM
40

Hell if I'm going to get into a gun-control argument on The Stranger (I have other things to do this year, after all), but I did want to make one point:

Second Amendment advocates are not aligned with the ACLU because the ACLU has made it clear many, many times that they do not want us. They view the second amendment as a "collective right" (read: the only people whose gun rights are guaranteed are the state National Guardsmen). They have said so.

The NRA is a second amendment lobbyist group because it needs one. A broad civil rights group (the ACLU) has decided that one right doesn't really exist, so another group is needed.

Like it or not, rights-lobbyist groups often ARE co-opted by the left or the right and drift off-mission. It doesn't make anybody a hypocrite to acknowledge that.

Posted by LabRat | April 19, 2007 2:41 PM
41

I can accept stronger licensing procedures for getting to use a gun, and the fallacy of an outright ban. But carrying them out in public, or to a restaurant, or to school, without a very good reason? Unless you have a VERY good reason, I can't accept that society should promote that, through concealed carry permits or anything else.

Posted by bma | April 19, 2007 2:56 PM
42

Doug @ 18:

My parallel is bullshit? I don't think so. Please consider this:

Prohibition of marijuana will not succeed.

Prohibition of reproductive choice will not succeed.

Prohibition of equal marriage rights for all citizens will not succeed.

Prohibition of self-defense choice will not succeed.

Posted by ivan | April 19, 2007 2:58 PM
43

I am with Chris Rock (and I think @ 30) on this one. Make bullets really, REALLY expensive. The would be no more innocent bystanders if every bullet was a few hundred dollars. As Chris Rock says "I would fuck you up! If I could AFFORD it!" Certainly a student like Cho wouldn't be able to afford it.

Posted by jubejube | April 19, 2007 3:09 PM
44

@43
Yes, deadly force should only be in the hands of the rich. They're the only ones responsible enough.

Posted by fromohio | April 19, 2007 3:12 PM
45

When is anyone going to talk about what really caused this horrific tragedy - severe mental illness, apparently improperly treated. If Cho had survived to be brought up on charges, he would likely have been found not guilty by reason of insanity. Looking at what happens when an insane person get hold of a gun is not a fair debate of the gun issue. The issue is why was he even on the campus when he was clearly so disturbed.

Posted by Cat | April 19, 2007 3:33 PM
46

The issue is why was he even on the campus when he was clearly so disturbed.

this gets back to something that is impossible or just wrong to enforce. what are you going to do? lock up everyone who seems "disturbed"?

Posted by infrequent | April 19, 2007 4:29 PM
47

@27 - It doesn't happen every day because it's extremely RARE that someone goes off like this guy. On the other hand, it's relatively COMMON that someone who thinks they're a responsible gun owner find their gun used in ways they don't intend. The nightmare scenario described by SDA is perfectly plausible. It doesn't happen much because it doesn't happen much, AND because most places don't allow people to carry concealed weapons. If they did, you'd see a lot more random "mistakes" where they thought someone was up to no good. Better safe than sorry, right?!

@36 - True, guns are a tool. A tool for killing people and/or animals. Cars, bulldozers, etc. - the danger posed by these tools is a side-effect of their primary use. Guns primary effect is danger. They are not "potentially dangerous" -- they are always dangerous, if used. They are tools of death.

Posted by Tone | April 19, 2007 4:51 PM
48

Where does it say in the 2nd Amendment that they're only talking about guns? I think we should all have the choice to own nuclear weapons!

Then when another Cho (or, say, someone from North Korea) tries to nuke us, we can nuke him first!

I mean, why does the whiney liberal NRA just stick up for assault rifles and automatics when there are so many more bitchin' ways to kill people?

Posted by HBomb | April 19, 2007 11:38 PM

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