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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How Else a Day Like Today Happens

Posted by on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 11:43 PM

As Golob explains, part of what made today's tragedy possible was the gutting of our state's social services network at the altar of Ayn Rand. But you know what else helped make today happen?

A gun.

"It's no surprise to me this happened," the shooter's brother told the Seattle Times. "We could see this coming."

And yet they didn't take away his gun. I mean, how could they? It was his Second Amendment right.

Guns kill people. Not by themselves of course. Somebody's got to pull the trigger. But it's the gun that fires the bullet that shatters both the body of its victim and the lives of their loved ones. And if guns weren't so easy to obtain, tragic days like today wouldn't happen nearly so often.

So just once, instead of incredibly denying that guns have much of anything to do with gun violence, I would like to hear opponents of sensible gun control regulation (say, closing Washington's gun show loophole for starts) explain to the children, spouses, friends and other loved ones of the victims that our freedom comes at a cost.

Because honestly, deep down, you gun control opponents know that's what you believe—that tragedies like today are a small price to pay for the privilege of being an American. You just don't have the balls to admit it.

 

Comments (107) RSS

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1
Was the murderer under a legal prohibition that would prevent him from buying a gun? How did he obtain his pistol? Don't you think you should find out the answers to those questions first?
Posted by Fritz on May 30, 2012 at 11:52 PM · Report this
2
The legal and justice system also let him walk and keep his permits after repeated criminal incidents.

The problem here was not a lack of gun law. There were a lot of problems behind today's tragedy, one of which was a lack of enforcement of current laws. What good are new gun laws if we can't or won't even enforce the current ones?
Posted by Gomez http://misterstevengomez.com on May 31, 2012 at 12:02 AM · Report this
Goldy 3
@1: No, I don't.
Posted by Goldy on May 31, 2012 at 12:02 AM · Report this
meanie 4
Christ Goldstein, what an asshole post.

Is this "I told you so" gloating? or "time to cash in on a tragedy?"
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on May 31, 2012 at 12:06 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 5

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would think an urbist left leaning area like Seattle would have a very low percentage of gun ownership already.

Which makes it odd that the murder rate would be so high...say compared to the rest of the state which probably has many more guns per capita.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on May 31, 2012 at 12:11 AM · Report this
Goldy 6
@4: "Cash in"...? Really? That implies I have something to gain from this.

If there is ever a time to attempt to create awareness about the dangers of our gun culture it is in the wake of tragedies such as this.
Posted by Goldy on May 31, 2012 at 12:13 AM · Report this
7
You all did some great journalism today. Can you let the bodies get cold before trying to score debate points?

Seriously, you're as bad as the mayor and the councilman this afternoon. Have some respect for the dead and the grieving. Tomorrow is soon enough for this kind of thing.
Posted by summerof93 on May 31, 2012 at 12:21 AM · Report this
meanie 8
So, the slog and the stranger get no revenue from advertising? And an incendiary post won't drive traffic and page hits? man the internet gets more and more confusing every day.

Remind us all, cause your so concerned, as always, Guns are what number on the list of things that actually kill people in the US?

Gun control is the no facts, emotional baggage of the left, it seems to evoke the same irrational fervor as the pro life crazies on the right.

but sure, stand on the bodies of random violence for your own agenda ( and to a lessor extent your job ) it sure classes up the place.
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on May 31, 2012 at 12:22 AM · Report this
9
I agree with you 100%. This is not "cashing in", this is bringing awareness to an issue that makes senseless crimes even more violent and destructive than they would be otherwise.
Posted by andernd on May 31, 2012 at 12:23 AM · Report this
10
Yeah, it's almost been 24 hours....let the self-serving rhetoric begin!!!
Posted by Spindles on May 31, 2012 at 12:27 AM · Report this
prompt 11
@6 Of course you do, you dolt. You get to validate your beliefs and say you've always been right about the dangers of gun violence.

Sure, let's close that gun show loophole. I'm not clear on what it is in Washington, but I do remember Harris and Klebold used a gun show 13 years ago to get their weapons and shoot up a school that was 6 miles away from where I was attending high school.

But what else are we going to do Goldy? Last I heard, there are hundreds of millions of guns in the US. If we restrict gun ownership enough, you're simply going to encourage a black market that trades in weapons, not drugs, which I'm sure the cartels would be interested in if we pursue drug legalization. There are already markets for junk guns like High Points and other crap in Chicago and other areas.

If you come up with a way of handling guns that's feasible, I'd love to hear it and get behind it. I wish you put your effort into coming up with solutions to the problems we discuss here, and then we can actually make helpful changes.

Spare us the "guns are dangerous" speech. We get it. Either keep us informed with the news, or give us something to support.
Posted by prompt on May 31, 2012 at 12:45 AM · Report this
12
@11, there is no gun show loophole. No rules are different at a gun show than anywhere else. If you buy a gun from a dealer (someone with a Federal Firearms License) then you have to fill out paperwork and deal with any applicable checks. If you buy a gun from an individual then that doesn't apply -- at a gun show or at a Starbucks.
Posted by Fritz on May 31, 2012 at 12:56 AM · Report this
13
Way to exploit a tragedy to score political points.
Posted by flimsy on May 31, 2012 at 1:02 AM · Report this
14
Washington doesn't have a "gun show" loophole; it has voluntary registration and no background checks for private sales. Take a look at http://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/652004.pdf ; the first line is "This form may be voluntarily submitted by the seller or transferor to report the sale, transfer of ownership, loss, or other disposition of a pistol or revolver."

Since reporting sales is optional under the law, lots of people don't do it. Once a gun's paperwork is no longer "current", there is no incentive for the owner to update the state on subsequent sales.
Posted by Tyler Pierce on May 31, 2012 at 1:26 AM · Report this
The Third Rail 15
Same old arguments. Guns don't kill people, other stuff (CARS EVEN!) kill more people than guns, people would just find other ways to kill each other, if you criminalize guns then only criminals will have guns, there are already too many guns so you can't change it anyways.

Glad we didn't apply that last bit of wisdom to the issue of slavery (too many slaves, can't change it). I don't think anyone would claim that gun control would be easy, but no one ever gets anywhere only doing what's easy.

And @8, you're making Goldy's point. "Guns *ONLY* kill 30,000 people a year, so what's the big deal?"
Posted by The Third Rail on May 31, 2012 at 1:34 AM · Report this
16
Goldy is a tremendous cock, news at 11
Posted by Reader01 on May 31, 2012 at 1:57 AM · Report this
17
"And yet they didn't take away his gun. I mean, how could they? It was his Second Amendment right."

So, Goldy, who are you attributing this sentiment to? The brother (that would be "he") in the previous paragraph is the only person who would make sense...but why do you assume the guy's extended family had the power to "take away his gun"? The guy was 45, and there's nothing in that linked article that makes it sound like they wanted him to run around untreated for mental illness and brandishing a gun. Unless you don't mean his family by "they" (in which case you might want to edit your piece).
Posted by g on May 31, 2012 at 2:10 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 18
Thank you Goldy. And it's sad that the Slog 2nd Amendment lovers are doing all they can to avoid ANY culpability for what happened today.

BTW, what the fuck does anyone need a semi-automatic gun (that was used Wednesday) for anyway? The only animal you hunt with that weapon is called human.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on May 31, 2012 at 2:24 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 19
One other piece of bullshit that keeps getting floating by by the gun nuts/war mongers (oddly they tend to be the same breed) this entire notion of "freedom comes at a price" is largely bullshit used to justify unnecessary violence overseas and at home. Freedom DOES come with responsibility. It would be nice if the NRA types would accept some.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on May 31, 2012 at 2:27 AM · Report this
20
We need to make guns illegal because prohibition works. We need to make guns illegal because they are the only object that exists that can kill people.

If this man had mental illness, I would like to ask where were the mental health professionals to help him? They were probably having their budgets cut because money needed to go to the banks instead of to helping out people. Further, we are hearing these arguments from people I can only assume voted for Obama or Bush or McCain, or will vote for Romney or Obama. You vote for the bankers henchmen, you get your money stolen and given to the banks. Our country is in a very sad state because no on seems to recognize that voting for capitalists won't change anything.

Wow, that went off on a tagent quickly. Make of it what you will.
Posted by antifa7 on May 31, 2012 at 2:41 AM · Report this
21
(Re: #17: he was 40, not 45.)
Posted by g on May 31, 2012 at 2:52 AM · Report this
22
@10 FTW. I favor gun control, but man, the black and white, I'm right-you're wrong culture prevalent in our society - in addition to lax gun laws and the lack of services for the mentally ill - is an important contributing factor to the state of mind that allows individuals to alienate themselves from others and pull the trigger. When tragedies happen and people like Goldy and the NRA draw their battle lines, it's counter-productive. Goldy's over-simplifying a complex issue and just baiting the trolls, as he always does about guns. His position isn't wrong, but his method is, just as the NRA's is as well (on a much larger scale).
Posted by Centrists Rule the World today on May 31, 2012 at 3:03 AM · Report this
23
@17, by "they" he means the 2nd amendment thumping assholes who are willing to let innocent people die in our streets and businesses and homes if it means they can take their Glock to the range on the weekends and feel like a badass walking around knowing the CCW shirt they bought from Woolrich is going to make them that much quicker on the draw, should they need to make a split second decision as to whether the people around them live or die.

That they.

Goldy and @9 are on point. Are you other assholes going to lambast everyone who thinks and talks more about controlling access to handguns after this series of tragedies? If you advocated for stricter handgun laws before these tragedies, are you an opportunist if you continue to advocate those same things now? No, of course not. So shut the fuck and stop holding the fact that Goldy is right about this, and has been for years, against him.
Posted by Erspectdeeznutz on May 31, 2012 at 3:04 AM · Report this
24
@23, I hope that's what he meant, rather than blaming the guy's family. Sloppy writing if so, though.
Posted by g on May 31, 2012 at 3:09 AM · Report this
25
@20: we need to make handguns illegal because they are the only objects on this Earth THAT EXIST FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF KILLING PEOPLE, that aren't yet illegal.
Posted by Deeznutzstillawaitingdueerspect on May 31, 2012 at 3:14 AM · Report this
26
I do not own a firearm, have no intention of buying a firearm, and know only of their use from what little I have gleaned in reading the literature. That said, everyone in a democracy of able body and mind should own and understand the operation of a firearm. Take from that what you will.

It seems the shooter was not of sound mind, and should not have been allowed a firearm. In the armed forces, if I understand correctly, those taking anti-psychotics are prohibited from armed duty. I don't understand why the same proscriptions don't apply here.
Posted by Central Scrutinizer on May 31, 2012 at 3:19 AM · Report this
27
"And if guns weren't so easy to obtain, tragic days like today wouldn't happen nearly so often."

Goldy (not you other unwashed, uneducated, immature, disgusting Slog posters -- Fnarf excluded), if you can look at other comparable first world countries where gun laws are much stricter (ie: Australia and England), and actually prove this meaningless statement (meaningless because it cites nothing; it is just noise), I will consider rethinking my position on guns, which is the one you hate: people kill people; gun's don't kill people.

But even at that, I still do not understand how forcing a market to go underground is going to help anyone at the end of the day. 2 words: drugs and abortions.
Posted by Swearengen on May 31, 2012 at 3:42 AM · Report this
28 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
29
Uhhhh, I sit in Amsterdam at the moment. They got drugs, whores, booze and lots of street peeps here, just like Seattle....BUT, they DO NOT have firearms violence such as this. why? Guns are highly restricted and public carry is totally forbidden. Perhaps some of you should actually experience the difference and then you can comprehend what is means to not have the threat of such violence ALWAYS on your heads. Even in combat zones elsewhere, this level of violence is not seen. American civilians act like American military....shoot them all and let God sort out the good ones....I think there is a connection. Civilians are taught by example that lots of dead folks equal good practices...
Posted by pupuguru http://www.godsweed.org on May 31, 2012 at 3:54 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 30
@29..clearly Amsterdam hates freedom. *kidding*
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on May 31, 2012 at 4:15 AM · Report this
31
It's funny how quickly those who defend guns and their current accessibility become touchy and easily offended by the mere mention of stricter gun control. It's almost identical to their perception of the "bleeding heart."

I love you, Goldy.
Posted by Esteban on May 31, 2012 at 4:26 AM · Report this
32
Less tolerance for the "mentally ill"

would have solved this problem.

Euthanize. Euthanize. Euthanize.
Posted by f-hipsters on May 31, 2012 at 4:28 AM · Report this
33
Ian was not a felon, could legally own guns- probably bought them before ever going to court in 2008. The point is he shouldn't have been able to buy those, no one should. Fuck the 2nd Amendment! He was an angry guy, but without guns no one would be dead. He would not have been able to run back to his apartment, get a gun and kill four people in less than 5 min. If he had stabbed one of them, others would have jumped him, the victim could have received medical treatment. The woman he carjacked would have been thrown to the ground, beaten up not executed. Without easy access to weapons, Ian would have had time to think before it was too late.
Posted by Monk67 on May 31, 2012 at 4:34 AM · Report this
34
I'm of the mind that gun control is a moot point; that genie is already out of the bottle. You may as well try to take away iPhones from people.

Alternatively we could create a deterrent (may not work in the case of the mentally ill). How about use a gun to assault, loose a hand. Two strikes and your out.

Barbarism to stump barbarism (ouch, did I just say stump?)
Posted by jnonymous on May 31, 2012 at 4:55 AM · Report this
35
I haven't read all of the comments yet but LOL @ 11 : You're a total moron if you don't think there isn't already a black market on guns or that it isn't already huge. This is apparent in US citizens being able to obtain guns via "loop hole" and illegal purchase as well as sale of illegal arms. While the Mexican drug cartels were still a hot button item multiple police sources were quoted as saying that many of the groups got their arms from US markets via legal and illegal means.

Guns are a tool of death. That is their sole purpose. The reason they offer 'protection' is because of the fact that they will cause you to die, when properly aimed, in no uncertain terms. They are the only thing that can kill two people in an instant and that can offer little to no warning before the victims are gunned down. Anyone caught in the crossfire or bearing witness to the attack can be taken out as well - all it takes is a steady hand and finger.
Posted by funkathrusta on May 31, 2012 at 5:08 AM · Report this
36
Mental illness and firearms are not a good combo,, even in war. Please note the number of catastrophic incidents among active duty military personnel. Combat troops and others are suffering from abnormally high rates of mental illness. Maybe firearms CAUSE these aberations....

Perhaps the sight or feel of firearms triggers latent psychosis in some people.....Perhaps the possession of a weapons enhances delusions of grandeur and invincibility? Whatever, crazy people with guns create problems that sane people with guns cannot cure or prevent.
Posted by pupuguru http://www.godsweed.org on May 31, 2012 at 5:11 AM · Report this
37
@36 is absolutely right.
Posted by Esteban on May 31, 2012 at 5:21 AM · Report this
prompt 38
@35 I did say there was a black market. I even referred to the market that existed when I lived in Chicago that felons got guns from. And if guns were illegal in the US, I'm sure people would start smuggling them in.

Let's be clear. If we could eliminate guns in this country tomorrow, I would be thrilled. But there's no way we could possibly get all of these guns that already exist in this country back from the people who have them. If we tried, the only guns we'd get back are from the people who are already law-abiding. I think that gun control is a lost cause. They're out there. They're not coming back. It sucks.

If I could redo our gun system from scratch, I'd let them have their guns - as long as they were stored at a local gun store or armory. Get your jollies shooting up stuff there, but don't bring it out into the same world that I'm trying to safely enjoy.
Posted by prompt on May 31, 2012 at 5:30 AM · Report this
39
People need to stop claiming Goldy, or anyone else who chimes in in anyway on either side, is using this tragedy to gain political points or further an agenda. When things such as this happen it is our duty and in our best interest to reflect and meditate what the circumstances were that caused such an event whether they be individual, local, national, political, religious .. whatever. If we're not learning from these tragedies, what the hell are we doing?

With the killer dead we're left to answer not only the "Why?" but the "How?"

In this case the "How?" could be attributed to many things but for me, if Ian did suffer from mental illness, it's easy to point to slashed budgets for those with illness. If the system wasn't supporting these people it was, at the very least, keeping track of them and gave them a place to go and get reevaluated, checked in on if they were pulled in by police for minor disturbances.
Posted by funkathrusta on May 31, 2012 at 5:30 AM · Report this
40
Gun Violence, Mental Illness and Firearms Laws: Research Evidence and Questions for Science, Policy and Practice. https://bit.ly/LFsFAn

Gun laws and mental illness: how sensible are the current restrictions? http://michellawyers.com/wp-content/uplo…
Posted by atown on May 31, 2012 at 6:01 AM · Report this
41
I am a friend of 2 of the victims. On a friends facebook page, someone was preaching it's not guns but people who kill.... debate aside only a lowdown scrub would feel the need to protect their political positions on such a personal forum..or just wait a bit and let us vent and mourn.
Posted by lukeg on May 31, 2012 at 6:10 AM · Report this
42
Goldy,
"I would like to hear opponents of sensible gun control regulation (say, closing Washington's gun show loophole for starts) explain to the children, spouses, friends and other loved ones of the victims that our freedom comes at a cost."

Isn't that YOU?
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on May 31, 2012 at 6:31 AM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 43
Clearly we like having guns more than we like people. After all, it's easy to replace a person.
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on May 31, 2012 at 6:45 AM · Report this
CC-Rob 44
I want to know about the money trail of the hand gun manufacturers. What companies are flooding our streets with cheap firearms. How many are sold a year? How much cash do they make selling them? We need to shine a light on these merchants of death.
Posted by CC-Rob on May 31, 2012 at 6:54 AM · Report this
45
The Gun Supporters are making the wrong argument. They need to be staking out the position that the 2nd Amendment is a fundamental right and its observation, in the form of easily accessible handguns, is *more important* than preventing the occasional bloodbath. That we should allow lots of guns in spite of all the death and destruction. And they should stop with the absurd pretense that there is no correlation. That would be a piece of ground much easier to defend - invulnerable to weapons like facts and statistics.

Now me, I say ban away. Ten years ago, when torture was the hot topic, wingnuts were telling us the Constitution isn't a suicide pact. And I agree! But they seem to have forgotten.
Posted by Alden on May 31, 2012 at 7:02 AM · Report this
BLUE 46
So just once, instead of posting random statements about guns and violence, I would like to hear Goldy say something germane. I'm happy to grant that everything you write on this is 100% true (tm). But, Jebus, this is America, there are laws and precedents. Until you're ready to take on the real elephant in the room it's just a lot of incendiary repetitive yawn hot air.
Posted by BLUE on May 31, 2012 at 7:10 AM · Report this
47
more guns is the right wing's alternative to social services.
Posted by 12341516 on May 31, 2012 at 7:16 AM · Report this
48
What did Goldy say?
"Again, handguns are legal, and there's nothing we can really do about that short of amending the constitution (or possibly, shooting a few members of the Supreme Court)."

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…

That's okay, Goldy.
Looks like you edited it out afterwards.

"Instead, you argue as if I am advocating for gun control, when I never have."

So Goldy is against gun control?

http://www.thestranger.com/slog/archives…

But then Goldy doesn't like me much. Internet tough guy is tough.

"I'm imagining a gun just reading your comments."

http://www.thestranger.com/slog/archives…

The core problem is that Goldy does not like guns.
Goldy does not want people to own guns.
But Goldy does not have the courage to directly say that.
All he will do is attack straw men after a shooting occurs.
And when pressed on the issue, Goldy claims otherwise.

"Loved the rifle range, and especially looked forward to the few times we got to shoot a handgun. It was loads of fun."

http://www.thestranger.com/slog/archives…

It's easy (too easy for some) to see the problems AFTER a shooting occurs.
But 20/20 hindsight is not what is needed here.
If you want to advocate changes, then be specific about what changes you want WITHOUT knowing any details about the NEXT shooting.
That's a lot more difficult and something Goldy has always avoided doing.
More...
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on May 31, 2012 at 7:18 AM · Report this
49
Fuck guns. Fuck gun nuts. Fuck the NRA. Fuck (the current interpretation of) the Second Amendment. Guns kill people. Let's highly restrict if not ban them. Peace. Fuckers.
Posted by DMonaghan on May 31, 2012 at 7:47 AM · Report this
50
[Repeat of my comment on Golob's post, lightly edited:]

I have a brother in just this situation: mentally ill, with delusions, very attached to his right to bear arms. I fear it's just a matter of time before he lashes out violently against one of the two major targets of his resentment: 1) our parents or 2) women in general. I can't speak to the mental-health funding issues because as a right-wing extremist he would never, ever use anything publicly funded, and he can't be involuntarily committed until he hurts someone. But his case has everything to do with gun policy. A man with his psychiatric record has no business owning a gun--his reason for wanting them is precisely why he shouldn't have them. Even the most avid gun nut, if he knew my brother, would agree. And yet there's no stopping him from his little one-man arms race. There's no other country in the world where my brother could buy guns. We're just sitting on a time bomb and nothing can be done.
Posted by Bug Sis on May 31, 2012 at 7:50 AM · Report this
Rotten666 51
I can't fucking stand most of you people. Morons calling for a total ban (did someone really say prohibition works?) and the other half with that refuses to recognize that these weapons are only built for death and mayhem. By all means continue to grind your axes and score political points with each other while accomplishing absolutely zero.

I would like to see some real suggestions that aren't pie in the sky nonsense. What are some real achievable goals that can make our city safer?
Posted by Rotten666 on May 31, 2012 at 7:55 AM · Report this
52
@51
"... (did someone really say prohibition works?)"

I think that was intended to be sarcastic.

"I would like to see some real suggestions that aren't pie in the sky nonsense. What are some real achievable goals that can make our city safer?"

Seconded.
Let's have a reasonable discussion about how to mitigate the NEXT shooting instead of ranting about the LAST shooting.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on May 31, 2012 at 8:04 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 53
Washington D.C. has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, but have the third worst gun murder rate in the country (last I checked). This has been a trend for years, so clearly gun restrictions and gun bans do not stop gun violence. These overarching, blanket bans encourage black market sales, and statistically do nothing to stop gun violence.

It has never mattered how many guns are out there, but only whose hands the guns end up in. I would rather a sane man have 1,000 guns than a disturbed man have a switchblade.

I would support yearly or bi-yearly licensing and psychological tests for anyone who owns a gun, a possible complete ban for people who have ever been arrested for a violent crime, and perhaps heavy restrictions for people with mental disorders. A huge pain in the ass for gun owners, but a small price to pay if it saves any amount of lives.

Also, we have to begin overseeing private gun sales (citizen to citizen), and sales at trade shows. Too long have these been legal ways for criminals to acquire guns.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on May 31, 2012 at 8:09 AM · Report this
54
Goldy's job on the Stranger payroll is to piss people off and get his fanboys braying so they piss more people off in the comments section.

This post adds nothing positive to a long-standing discussion and is simply using a horrible tragedy to drive an agenda. That tells you everything you need to know about Goldy.
Posted by Gomez http://misterstevengomez.com on May 31, 2012 at 8:16 AM · Report this
Fnarf 55
The gun lovers are out in force today, closing ranks behind one of their own as always. Yes, the killer is one of YOU, and you protect him. Every gun owner in the country is an accessory to murder, and every one of us, not just those who died, is a victim. The friends and family of the people whose deaths you enabled will be suffering the effects of this horrible crime for a minimum of two generations.

Nice work, gun nuts.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on May 31, 2012 at 8:20 AM · Report this
56
Each gun should have a serial number.

Any suggestions on easy ways to verify that the paperwork for each serial number is up to date?

Or some way of identifying "straw buyers" and at which point the serial numbers are filed off of weapons intended to be used in crimes?

I'm going off of the understanding that 99%+ of the guns owned are legally owned by law abiding citizens and are NOT used in crimes.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on May 31, 2012 at 8:21 AM · Report this
Rotten666 57
@55 Yeah that was helpful.
Posted by Rotten666 on May 31, 2012 at 8:27 AM · Report this
58
Gun owners are by their nature craven and cowardly. Everything is someone else's fault. Any bad things done with guns, well, they're not the 'right' kind of gun owners.

Frankly, it's fine with me when gun-owners kill themselves (either by accident or on purpose - there's a reason so many spur-of-the-moment suicides are with guns) or their own families (accidental discharge while cleaning, showing off the gun, hidden in an easily found place with no lock).

But that's why gun owners are like vaccine-deniers. Let them kill themselves. But we lose herd-immunity when there are too many who go un-vaccinated. Just like there's more violent crime with guns. You can't get away from these facts, but they straight up don't give a fuck.
Posted by johnjjeeves on May 31, 2012 at 8:32 AM · Report this
59
I can't help wondering to what extent this tendency to attribute a mystical aura of death and destruction to firearms actually fuels gun violence in the first place. Sometimes I wish more of my fellow liberals would actually get comfortable with them, and learn to see them as a simple tool.
Posted by Ben on May 31, 2012 at 8:34 AM · Report this
Fnarf 60
@56, 100% of the guns used in crimes were purchased by law-abiding citizens. Guns are the most exciting finds for house burglars.

@57, I have no interest in being helpful. Look, you've won; the Supreme Court says so. You're happy to be associated with the craziest, most dishonest, most right-wing, most activist court in the history of the US. Fine. It's all yours. Start packing. Carry ten guns everywhere you go.

Helpful. Right. On a day like today especially we should be MORE SENSITIVE to the feelings of gun owners, who hate being called what they are: accessories to murder.

Yes, you've won, and here's your reward. Enjoy your bloody victory. I hate your stinking guts for it.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on May 31, 2012 at 8:45 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 61
@55, 58

Saying that gun owners are all responsible for every gun crime is like saying every car owner is responsible for any accident, and anyone who owns a penis is responsible for every rape. It is not helpful or rational to blame a problem on a fabricated, monolithic block of people who all behave in one way. People who do that to races are called "racists."

But yes, by nature anyone who does something illegal or immoral with a gun is in fact not the "right" kind of gun owner, just as a person who kills someone with a hammer is not the "right" kind of hammer owner.

Save that shit for the nuts who want assault rifles openly availiable, and the wingnuts blocking meaningful gun control measures.

You have a computer, so are you also partially responsible for all cyber crime?
Posted by Theodore Gorath on May 31, 2012 at 8:45 AM · Report this
lark 62
@53 TG,
Agree completely. Well said.
Posted by lark on May 31, 2012 at 8:46 AM · Report this
63
Amidst all this debate about whether guns are evil and the placing of blame on guns, politics, the police, and just about everything and everyone but the shooter, I have to wonder why no one else thinks it's crazy that the shooter's own brother says, "we could see this coming"? Where is the blame for the family and friends of the shooter who knew he was violent and possibly mentally ill and yet did nothing but "hope" that he would get help?

Further, where is the blame for a society that doesn't provide affordable and effective care for the mentally ill? You can argue all you want about guns, but would this shooter have ever even picked up a gun if he was receiving proper treatment in the first place?
Posted by anathema on May 31, 2012 at 8:51 AM · Report this
64
Ok, unofficial Slog poll, should the United States significantly increase legal restrictions on gun ownership at the federal level? Yes or no?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on May 31, 2012 at 8:55 AM · Report this
65
@63 ". . . would this shooter have ever even picked up a gun if he was receiving proper treatment in the first place?"

Maybe not, but I don't think any society can completely prevent mentally unbalanced individuals from going on homicidal rampages, and a psycho with a Glock is a lot more dangerous than a psycho with a meat clever.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on May 31, 2012 at 9:00 AM · Report this
66
hey theodore, are you dumb? "clearly gun restrictions and gun bans do not stop gun violence." oh really?

EVERY nation that has effective gun control is FAR more safe than the usa or yemen.

your denialism is like denying evolution; the facts are all around you; this shit does not happen in france, germany, england, BC, etc. (the rare instance as in sweden camp is just that; generally folks in sweden aren't shot up like we in america are).

we blame the deaths on people like you who are dishonest, stupid or evil in promoting gun prevalence.
Posted by theodore to blame on May 31, 2012 at 9:06 AM · Report this
67
@53 The guns that kill people in DC largely come from Virginia, which has practically no restrictions on gun purchases and doesn't enforce the restrictions that do exist. The NYPD has been sending straw buyers to gun shows in Virginia for years to show that that's where the flood of guns used to commit crimes in northeastern cities comes from. Virginia's response has not been to crack down on straw purchases (that would be bad for business) but to outlaw police from other jurisdictions investigating Virginia's gun market. In other words, DC's restrictions (which have been eliminated, by the way, thanks to Antonin Scalia and his fellow gun-mongers on the Supreme Court) would work just fine if the district weren't right up against a torrent of cheap, illegal gun sales. 
Posted by Prettybetsy on May 31, 2012 at 9:06 AM · Report this
rara avis 68
I have a question about guns and gun rights: in all the touting of the 2nd Amendment, no one ever seems to address the "well-regulated militia" part of it. Gun ownership seems minimally regulated (or perhaps inconsistently regulated) and gun owners aren't forced to part of a well-regulated anything.

I'm not trolling; I've just never understood how we square gun laws with what the amendment actually says. Seeking some clarification on that point.
Posted by rara avis on May 31, 2012 at 9:10 AM · Report this
69
@57
"Yeah that was helpful."

Exactly.
Although it was helpful in illustrating the core problem in addressing this issue.
Too many people don't WANT to address the issue.
They just want an excuse to rant about something.
The couldn't even clearly state their position (and any flaws in implementing it) if they were asked to.

Anyway, moving on, gun ownership is enshrined in the Constitution.
So either the Constitution needs to be changed (not going to happen any time soon) or ...
We need to address the fact that restricting access to guns will probably take a trial. The same as restricting voting rights or restricting free speech or restricting freedom of religion.

I don't think the judicial system can afford that many trials.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on May 31, 2012 at 9:16 AM · Report this
70
@68
And so Jesus bless America with The Google.
And from The Google was found The Wikipedia.
And many rejoiced for their answers were now easily found.
And many rejected the blessings of Jesus and turned away from The Google.

Here, let me Google that for you.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Ame…
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on May 31, 2012 at 9:21 AM · Report this
71
@29: "Uhhhh, I sit in Amsterdam at the moment. They got drugs, whores, booze and lots of street peeps here, just like Seattle....BUT, they DO NOT have firearms violence such as this. why?"

Just one year ago:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphen_aan_…
Posted by doceb on May 31, 2012 at 9:33 AM · Report this
Lissa 72
@61: Thank you. I like your licensing idea a lot. I've always thought that if you need one to drive you it wouldn't be unreasonable to require one to shoot. I would also like to see mandatory gun safety classes for gun owners and regulation for private sales modeled along the lines of those applied to private sales of vehicles.
@60: I know you are upset. I myself can't stop crying. This whole thing is a horror show. But you have met me. We have spoken and I have met Mrs. Fnarf. I am a real person and a gun owner. I, like most of the other gun owners here are not herp derping about "jack booted thugs" coming for our assault weapons. We are trying to address the issue of guns in this country in a meaningful way. Calling me names and hating my stinking guts really is not helping anything and is only making you feel worse than you already do. Let's work together on this please? Cuz I loves ya, ya hot headed bastard. Xoxo
Posted by Lissa on May 31, 2012 at 9:37 AM · Report this
NaFun 73
Crazy people should be allowed guns just like epileptics should be allowed to drive. It's their rights as 'Mericans!
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on May 31, 2012 at 9:38 AM · Report this
Rotten666 74
@60 Perhaps before you began grandstanding for everyone and running your mouth you should have read what I actually wrote in the comments you fucking insufferable pompous jackass.

Posted by Rotten666 on May 31, 2012 at 9:42 AM · Report this
75
@72
"I like your licensing idea a lot. I've always thought that if you need one to drive you it wouldn't be unreasonable to require one to shoot."

The problem with that is that driving is not a right enshrined in the Constitution.
You don't need a license to vote.
You don't need a license for free speech.
You don't need a license for freedom of religion.

So that's going to be a pretty difficult hurdle to get across.

"I would also like to see mandatory gun safety classes for gun owners ..."

Mandatory voting classes as well? Not allowed to vote unless you pass this class? Oops you failed the class. No vote for you.
You'd have an easier time getting mandatory classes for everyone.
Such as in school. But then you'd face the anti-gun people not wanting their children to be exposed to guns.

"... and regulation for private sales modeled along the lines of those applied to private sales of vehicles."

That runs into the problem of only harming law abiding gun owners. The criminals aren't going to do it.

I'm wondering if there's some voluntary way to handle part of that.
At least to reduce the size of the initial problem set.
Some way of voluntarily showing that the guns you have purchased have their serial numbers and are still in your possession (or that you have paperwork transferring them to another person).
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on May 31, 2012 at 9:59 AM · Report this
GlamB0t 76
Before I jump in and read the rest of the comments I just want to say that this is the most important time to talk about these things. It hurts like hell, but that's when you have the communities attention. We have to talk about (not scream talking points), and have a serious dialog about the problem.

I believe there are two important factors at play here: gun violence and health care. Let's put aside guns for a second to discuss the deplorable health care we have in America. A sustainable and rehabilitating mental health care system is non existent which is absolutely disgusting. We have soldiers home from war, elderly folks with dementia, and unstable people who are denied any access to mental health care because it is still taboo and/or doesn't even exist.

Just like you can't legislate guns away you can't cure mental illness with some bullshit overpriced magic pill, shove unstable people into society, and expect positive results.
Posted by GlamB0t on May 31, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
Lissa 77
@76: I absolutely agree with you.
Posted by Lissa on May 31, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Report this
78
Tragedies like this are a small price to pay to be an American. It's about "free" not "safe".
Posted by ThereISaidIt on May 31, 2012 at 10:31 AM · Report this
79
Tragedies like yesterday's in Seattle are a small price to pay for the privilege of being an American. It's about "free", not "safe".
Posted by ThereISaidIt on May 31, 2012 at 10:36 AM · Report this
Posted by ThereISaidIt on May 31, 2012 at 10:41 AM · Report this
81
Just stopped by to say thanks for dancing in the blood of my friends for your political agenda, you cunt. I hope your ignorant gun-fearing ass finds itself in a situation where you need one to survive.
Posted by pissed off friend on May 31, 2012 at 10:42 AM · Report this
82
@60 Yes. That's what Seattle needs ater a hate-filled lunatic kills five total strangers is more seething hatred for total strangers. Excellent.
Posted by tkc on May 31, 2012 at 10:55 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 83
This is not about lack of Gun Laws or lack of Mental Health Services.

Did he have legal possession of the guns? If he did, would he have had legal possession of the guns under RCW 9.41.040 if the State had aggressively pursued involuntary commitment for mental illness or prosecution for his previous violent crimes? Did he seek, and was he denied, Mental Health Services?

This is about the lack of willingness and/or ability of the State to involuntarily commit and institutionalize the mentally ill and/or aggressively prosecute and incarcerate the criminally violent. (Both causes I would happily pay more to fund if I believed Olympia had any real political interest in them.)

“Stawicki could be a troublemaker, he said, but the cafe wanted to be tolerant, and continued to allow the troubled man to enter.”

This sums up societies “progressive” and “enlightened” (tolerant) approach to the mentally ill perfectly. We prefer to let them roam the street, and occasionally shoot up a café, over removing them from society and institutionalizing them. It wasn’t that way before 1975, and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, when, nearly overnight, it became politically incorrect to deal with the mentally ill responsibly. We are now paying the price with every Kyle Huff, Jared Laughner and Ian Stawicki we continue to allow to move freely about in our communities.

Let’s review what we “know” about Stawicki so far (from the Seattle Times article http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/lo… ):

"You could just tell he was a ball of negative energy," said cafe owner Kurt Geissel.

“Stawicki could be a troublemaker, he said, but the cafe wanted to be tolerant, and continued to allow the troubled man to enter.”

“While police said they did not know the motive for the shootings, Stawicki's family said he had a history of anger and mental-health problems that he refused to deal with.”

"Angry. He was really angry toward everything," Andrew Stawicki said.

“Despite his problems, Ian Stawicki would not talk about his mental illness, his anger or other troubles, his brother said.”

"Someone like that is so stubborn you can't talk to him," he said. "It's no surprise to me this happened. We could see this coming. Nothing good is going to come with that much anger inside of you."

“Stawicki was arrested in February 2008 on a misdemeanor domestic-violence charge in Seattle and soon posted $10,000 bail. His attorney fought the charges, and they were dismissed.”

“He was also charged with fourth-degree assault in Kittitas County in 2010, but that case was dismissed as well; court records did not indicate why.”
More...
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on May 31, 2012 at 11:12 AM · Report this
Teslick 84
Fnarf @ 55: Usually you are the voice of reason, but I can't disagree with you more.

"The friends and family of the people whose deaths you enabled will be suffering the effects of this horrible crime for a minimum of two generations"

So, when some drunk driver who got loaded off Costco booze plows into the family of 5, can we also blame everyone who voted for I-1183? That's the logic you're applying here.

We tolerate way more deaths and mayhem to alcohol and smoking, but not many people are suggesting further restricting or banning those products. Sensible gun restrictions? Yes. Better mental health services? Absolutely.

Again, I respect your opinions 99% of the time, but you're being inconsistent here.
Posted by Teslick on May 31, 2012 at 11:21 AM · Report this
blip 85
Guns don't kill people, but people with guns can cause a fuck ton more damage than someone with any other kind of weapon. There would have been far fewer senseless deaths yesterday if a gun wasn't involved.
Posted by blip on May 31, 2012 at 11:30 AM · Report this
86
@80: You may be confused. The quoted block there was from a previous post, and you linked to an article about the same incident I did.
Posted by doceb on May 31, 2012 at 11:34 AM · Report this
87
Fnarf @60 (and other places)

If you were to successfully outlaw gun ownership would you feel any safer? If you would then please get yourself down to the mental health facility of your choice as you are clearly touched in the head. People have been killing other people for as long as humans have existed. For most of that time guns didn't exist. And for those that claim it wouldn't have been as bad with a knife you might be right or you could be horribly wrong. With a 3 inch blade you are likely correct but if the blade is just a slight bit longer, like, oh... a 9 inch blade you get horrible and lethal cuts and a much bigger mess to clean up. The only difference is that the killer has to get close to the victims. If he wants to kill at some remove he will need to get a crossbow. Of course if he is willing to build it himself he can not only have a crossbow he can have a repeating crossbow. I would much rather take a bullet than take a crossbow bolt. People have survived being hit with 10+ bullets in them. I don't know of anyone surviving 10+ crossbow bolts in them.
Guns don't kill people, People kill people using the closest item that they think will do the job. In the current world this tends to be guns but it really doesn't change things without them.

Oh and to make you feel better (NOT). If a magical being popped up and removed every single gun from the face of the Earth it would take me less than one hour to build a nice home-made muzzle-loading weapon using home-made gunpowder. That hour is from starting with nothing I needed to make it till the point it was loaded and ready to fire. It wouldn't be the most accurate weapon ever made but it wouldn't matter since most people wouldn't even have a crossbow or simple bow to shoot back with. The most difficult thing to come up with would be the sulfur needed for the gunpowder. And even that wouldn't take that long to find.

That said I firmly believe that some restrictions on ownership aren't always a bad thing.
More...
Posted by Romial on May 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM · Report this
venomlash 88
@87: "People have survived being hit with 10+ bullets in them. I don't know of anyone surviving 10+ crossbow bolts in them."
People have survived being attacked by bears. I don't know of anyone surviving being attacked by sperm whales. Therefore, sperm whales are more dangerous than bears.
Do you see the flaw in this logic?
Posted by venomlash on May 31, 2012 at 12:13 PM · Report this
89
Washington State Gun Shows are put on by the Washington Arms Collectors. In order to buy or sell a firearm at the show you have to be a member, in order to be a member you have to go through a background check.

http://www.washingtonarmscollectors.org/
Posted by pbyrne on May 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM · Report this
blip 90
@87 There is absolutely no way this guy would have been able to kill as many people as he did if he had a knife, a crossbow, or a muzzle-loading gun, none of which can be fired in rapid succession from a safe distance.
Posted by blip on May 31, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
91
I grew up in a family that owned guns. I was taught how to safely handle and operate a gun at an early age. My dad's guns were always locked up. I currently own a handgun, although I do not keep bullets in the house.

Most of the people I know in Seattle have not even seen a gun in person, let alone have learned how to handle one. Their experience with guns is all video games, movies, and awful assaults like the one yesterday. It's understandable to me that most people react with a wish to ban all firearms, but it is not the right answer. Guns are out there, they will continue to be out there regardless of any ban, and somebody who wishes to use one will always be able to find one.

What I think would be useful is less glorification of violence in our culture, more investment in education, more services for the mentally ill, more services for the impoverished, and decriminalization of drugs and prostitution to reduce gang violence. Guns are a problem because we live in a quick-fix culture that has a lot of deep problems.

I once witnessed a man get hit and killed by an irresponsible driver. Emotionally, I would totally support an across-the-board ban on cars. Logically, I understand that it was the person driving the car and not the actual car that was at fault.

One last point: Someone above mentioned blaming the family who could see this coming. Do you know what they actually could have done to prevent this? Not much at all under current law.

What happened yesterday was so incredibly sad. It is natural to wish that banning guns will prevent something like it from happening again. Truly, a ban on guns will not address the problem of why people turn to violence in the first place.
Posted by Lori E. on May 31, 2012 at 12:37 PM · Report this
92
Just to clarify, I am not opposed to stricter gun regulations, such as required classes or licensing or waiting periods, only an outright ban. I'm not convinced that these measures would actually prevent tragedies like what happened yesterday, but I am not a "gun nut" who feels that any regulation is an imposition.
Posted by Lori E. on May 31, 2012 at 12:48 PM · Report this
93
I know few of you give any credence to the Seattle "Weakly", but a lot of you (Goldy included) probably need to read this:

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweek…
Posted by Gomez http://misterstevengomez.com on May 31, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
94
During the turbulence of the 1960s, the two contrasting faces of the NRA came into focus: the smiling, benevolent sportsman and the fevered, angry Second Amendment fundamentalist. NRA Executive Vice President Maxwell Rich represented the first face. The second belonged to a large, imposing man with a shaved head who looked like a cross between Mr. Clean and a .45 slug—Harlon Bronson Carter. Carter was unyielding in his opposition to gun controls. In 1975, as head of the NRA's newly formed lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA), he was asked if he would "rather allow those convicted violent felons, mentally deranged people, violently addicted to narcotics people to have guns, rather than to have the screening process for the honest people like yourselves?" Such a sacrifice, Carter responded, was "a price we pay for freedom.", And it is Carter who defined the modern-day NRA.

http://www.vpc.org/nrainfo/chapter2.html
Posted by tiktok on May 31, 2012 at 1:46 PM · Report this
95
Could the shooting have been a side effect of antidepressants? Profiting from misery is the American way.

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/02/25…
Posted by Happy Pills! on May 31, 2012 at 1:56 PM · Report this
96
Tragedies like today are a small price to pay for the privilege of being an American.

There. I said it.

Anything else you want?
Posted by Vance on May 31, 2012 at 3:10 PM · Report this
icouldliveinhope 97
@93: Rick Anderson is, for the most part, pretty legit on these kinds of matters, no matter who he is writing for.

Goldy, I'm not anti-gun control specifically, but I think that Golob's piece was much more nuanced and well-researched, and gets a lot more into the root causes of tragic incidents such as these. I don't want everyone to run around guns blazing or anything, and I reject the NRA's from-my-cold-dead-hands rhetoric, but I also maintain that I can be all those things in regards to gun control and find this post simplistic, reactionary, and tangential, right?
Posted by icouldliveinhope on May 31, 2012 at 3:25 PM · Report this
NaFun 98
Where the hell is Fifty Two Eighty?
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on May 31, 2012 at 5:32 PM · Report this
smade 99
Bring back Moynihan's 10000% tax on ammunition.
Posted by smade on May 31, 2012 at 10:02 PM · Report this
Tom X 100
Gun owners are almost all fucking douchebag cocksucking idiots. What would make you want to have a dialogue with fucking douchebag cocksucking idiots?
Posted by Tom X on June 1, 2012 at 1:05 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 101
That's OK, @100; we don't particularly want to have anything to do with idiots like you either.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on June 1, 2012 at 3:10 AM · Report this
Lissa 102
@100: Tom go on up and read my comment @72. I don't know who you think you are describing but it isn't any of the gun owners participating in this conversation.
Posted by Lissa on June 1, 2012 at 8:57 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 103
@100: I can't imagine anyone would want to have any kind of dialogue with you. Finish middle school and try again later.

Incredibly stupid statements like yours are the opposite of anything that is good, progressive, or helpful.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on June 1, 2012 at 9:22 AM · Report this
104
@101-103 Tom X is an asshole, but I can understand why people get mad at law abiding gun owners such as ourselves when something like this happens. I think America's permissive gun laws make it easier for criminals and psychos to get their hands on powerful modern weapons.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on June 2, 2012 at 3:16 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 105
And that's where we will have to agree to disagree, Ken. But like it or not, those laws won't be changing any time soon, so talking about that is a waste of time.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on June 2, 2012 at 5:05 AM · Report this
Lissa 106
Tom is angry and feels helpless in the face of awful tragedy, I think. Yelling at some one, anyone is a normal impulse, but yeah, doesn't really do any good. As far as lax gun laws allowing crazy people to get guns I have to point out: He wasn't always crazy. His guns all had paper on them and he passed the back ground checks to buy them. He'd never had a conviction. He'd never been committed. There was no way to know that this particular man would do this terrible thing as opposed to any other person who passed the checks and bought a gun on that same day. In this country, you can't (in theory) lock some one up, or abrogate their rights for something they might do. We all might do anything.
Posted by Lissa on June 2, 2012 at 11:52 AM · Report this
chemambru 107
I hate it when people refer to guns as "simple tools". A drill is a tool. It's designed to make holes in things in order to attach them to other things. A gun is designed to make GAPING CRATERS IN LIVING THINGS SO THAT THEY BLEED TO DEATH. I feel like it's a pretty simple distinction.
Posted by chemambru on June 3, 2012 at 11:33 AM · Report this

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