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Monday, December 17, 2012

Guns Don't Make You Safer

Posted by on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 3:02 PM

As Charles has already noted, Nancy Lanza was stockpiling weapons and ammunition in preparation for the end of the world. She thought these guns would make her safer. It didn't work out that way.

Instead, her son Adam used Lanza's guns to shoot her multiple times in the face before heading to a nearby elementary school and murdering 26 people, including 20 small children. He then turned his mother's gun on himself.

To say that this is a common use of personal firearms would be an overstatement. But it is fair to say that personal firearms are much more commonly discharged in murder, suicide, and accident than they are in self-defense. That is a fact. Owning a gun does not make you or your loved ones safer. Indeed, a 2009 epidemiological study at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that people who possessed a gun were 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those who did not.

If you are purchasing a gun for target shooting or hunting or just for the damn thrill of holding a tool that can take a human life in a heartbeat, well then perhaps you are getting your money's worth. And if your actual intent is murder or suicide, you can't get much more bang for the buck. But for most people, if you're purchasing a gun for self-defense, it is not only a waste of money, on average it is counterproductive. Your own gun is much more likely to be used to take your life (or that of a loved one) than it is to save it.

My hope is that if more Americans understood the truth about guns, fewer people would choose to own them. And then we'd all be a little bit safer.

 

Comments (85) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
I'd like to agree with you, but having grown up in a culture where most people hunt (pretty much everywhere I lived in the US and Canada) until I was an adult, I'm not sure they will agree with you.

Common sense is, sadly, not that common.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on December 17, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
2
Good luck getting gun obsessed folks to believe guns don't actually make them safer. And no, evidence and rational argument will not convince them.
Posted by deign_to_say on December 17, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
Hover Dog 3
So, I'm not against the overall message - guns aren't all that great, can cause as much or more harm than they provide in safety - but I sometimes wonder about studies like these.

Isn't saying "people possessing a gun were 4.5 times more likely to be shot" a fallacy of correlation vs. causation? For instance, I could hypothesize that those who live in dangerous neighborhoods are more likely to get shot, and are also more likely to purchase a gun for self-protection. Thus, the data would skew in such a way that it would seem that gun owners were more likely to get shot, when actually location was the cause.

Does anyone have studies that try to account for those kinds of factors? I'm genuinely curious.
Posted by Hover Dog on December 17, 2012 at 3:08 PM · Report this
4
Was she shot with one of her own guns or something? If not, her lack of defending herself with one of her many firearms may have had something to do with it not being a stranger but, you know, HER FUCKING SON
Posted by Reader01 on December 17, 2012 at 3:21 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 5
but how can gun manufacturers make a profit if an artificial need for guns is not created? why do you hate capitalism?
Posted by Max Solomon on December 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM · Report this
6
"She thought these guns would make her safer."

Goldy, unless you have some means of showing that she really did think that the guns made her safer then you need to drop it.
It's one thing when you're talking about someone in your past who said that and that you still have issues with.
It's something else when it is about a dead woman that you'd never heard of before she died.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 17, 2012 at 3:24 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
@3 there have been some studies, but it happens a lot in rural areas too (less densely populated).

A lot of suicides and too much drinking, in general.

And then there are all the kids who play with guns and shoot themselves.

Maybe being one of those big city folk, you didn't grow up with it, but there it is. Don't know that it's "worse" though. That might need a study.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on December 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 8
@3 Here's the original study. "We adjusted odds ratios for confounding variables."
Posted by Matt the Engineer on December 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM · Report this
9
@3: Have you read the study cited in the post? Is there a snowball's chance in hell that you're going to go read the study? No? Then STFU with calling its conclusions fallacious, please.
Posted by rca on December 17, 2012 at 3:27 PM · Report this
ryanayr 10
Put a loaded gun on the table in front of you all day long and tell me if you feel safer. I sure as shit wouldn't.
Posted by ryanayr on December 17, 2012 at 3:28 PM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 11
@6: It has been widely reported that Nancy Lanza owned guns because she was a survivalist- that is, she bought them to protect herself when the world went to hell.

See http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/20…. Or Charles' post earlier today on SLOG: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive….
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 17, 2012 at 3:30 PM · Report this
doloresdaphne 12
I'm an Australian, living in Australia, and I'm a peaceful person, whose never harmed anyone physically, but there have been times of crisis, of intense frustration when if I'd had access to a gun I might have contemplated going postal. Because it's not even an option, I don't even bother to fantasize about it.

Guns make killing easy. They have the power to take brief episodes of insanity and do permanent damage with those brief moments of insanity.

Posted by doloresdaphne on December 17, 2012 at 3:33 PM · Report this
COMTE 13
@4:

Well, considering parallel studies have determined that one is 20 times more likely to be murdered by someone they know, as opposed to a complete stranger breaking into a home, and that roughly half of all murders committed in the U.S. revolve around domestic arguments, it doesn't take a Rocket Scientist to conclude that:

lots of guns in the home + mentally unstable family members = very good chance of said family members using your own guns to kill you.
Posted by COMTE on December 17, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 14
@6 - You want a notarized statement from her? She was stockpiling guns. For the end of the world. Her friends and family said she was a part of a movement to prepare to survive. Presumably, her preparations were done with the intent to better survive the apocalypse. Among those preparations was the stockpiling of guns. I really don't see it as an offensive leap to assume she thought her tangled heap of guns would make her safer.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on December 17, 2012 at 3:42 PM · Report this
Gurldoggie 15
Tell it Goldy. There are more people who agree with you than those who don't, and we won't be silent any longer. Sensible gun control NOW.
Posted by Gurldoggie http://gurldogg.blogspot.com on December 17, 2012 at 3:43 PM · Report this
16
@11
You are confusing "survivalist" with "thinks guns make her safer".
They are not the same.
If Goldy had called her a "survivalist" that would have been okay.
Instead, he attributed a certain belief to her that has not been demonstrated.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 17, 2012 at 3:45 PM · Report this
17
You may as well try to convince an anti-vaccine zealot that their position is wrong using science; they'll just produce their own studies that they claim show the exact opposite, or claim that the lack of corroborating studies is proof of a conspiracy to suppress the truth. Look at the "controversy" surrounding the epidemiological studies of Arthur Kellerman for a case study in how this works.
Posted by Proteus on December 17, 2012 at 3:49 PM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 18
@16: Do you lack basic reading comprehension?

"She bought a gun to protect herself" implies "She thought a gun would make her safer."

Feeling protected means feeling safer.

Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 17, 2012 at 3:51 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 19
The Future Mrs. Dr A's kin are all from east of the mountains. They all live in rural areas, and they all have guns. Some of them hunt, but more of them have guns for personal protection.

One relative shot at a burglar inside her house. Her only regret is not hitting and killing the burglar.

Police response time sucks over there, and (according to them) someone breaking into your house should be killed.

Try and convince them otherwise... just try, I dare you.

Another relative believes there's a bill "On Obama's desk right now that will make every gun I own illegal!" (picture the spittle flying from his mouth as he sprays that to get the full effect).

Try and convince him that's not true... I dare you. Talk to him all day long about the House and the Senate, and about voting, and filibusters, and he won't change his mind. He's just itchin' for someone to try to break into his house so he can kill a guy. He keeps his concealed weapons permit in that clear window pocket in his wallet where most folks put their driver's license. He buys two or three new guns a year. Every year.

Think you can convince these people that they are in more danger than if they didn't have guns? Think you can convince them that they can count on the police to show up on time whenever there's trouble (and to them it's always clearly good-guys-vs-bad-guys trouble)?

Posted by Dr_Awesome on December 17, 2012 at 3:56 PM · Report this
20
@18
"Do you lack basic reading comprehension?"

No, but it seems that you do.

By way of example: a hunter.
It is safer to go to the market for meat.
Yet the hunter will drive further (usually) into the countryside to hunt with a deadly weapon in terrain that is more difficult than the market's floor.
And the hunter will tell you that it is safer for him to skip the hunt and go to the market.

No implications needed.
Goldy has an axe to grind and he's going to do so even if he has to claim that a dead woman had a specific belief that he has no evidence of.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 17, 2012 at 4:00 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 21
Question here:

Does anyone know of good poll results showing the reasons people own guns? A lot of commenters (and stranger staffers) kind of assume that people buy guns "to feel safer." Does that bear out?

The only one I could find is a bit old and only somewhat gets at my question near the end:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/1645/guns.asp…

But it seems people self-report owning guns for hunting, target practice, and defense in pretty equal numbers.

Anyone know of any good polls?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 17, 2012 at 4:01 PM · Report this
22
It's not like this is anything new. It's been known for many, many years.

That said, the odds of dying from your own gun are still, very, very small. You're a lot more likely to fall down the stairs or slip out of a tub, etc.

Personal defense has never been a good reason to own a gun. That said, seems to me that gun collecting, hunting, or target shooting strike me as perfectly good reason to own them.
Posted by GermanSausage on December 17, 2012 at 4:05 PM · Report this
Hernandez 23
In light of this study, which I've read and seen referenced before, should a gun owner face higher health insurance premiums as a consequence of owning a firearm? Should their property value (and that of their neighbors) take a hit if they're keeping an arsenal in the basement? Should this be where the discussion is heading, rather than calling for restrictions and prohibitions that will never pass and likely wouldn't work as intended?

I look at Nancy Lanza and I think "damn, look at the societal cost of her decision to arm herself to the teeth with a violent, mentally ill son at home," and I think of others that are undoubtedly making similar choices. We can't strip their right to own firearms, but we can damn sure mitigate the effects of their bad choices. For far too long we've upheld the right without assigning any meaningful responsibility.

Posted by Hernandez http://hernandezlist.blogspot.com on December 17, 2012 at 4:06 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 24

Woman With Shotgun Kills Rapist

On October 25, Ronnie Preyer broke into a Cape Girardeau woman's home and raped her. Five days later - Halloween night - he tried again. This time, the unnamed woman used a borrowed 12-gauge shotgun on the perpetrator, whom prosecutors call a career criminal. Preyer, who had several past convictions, succumbed to his wounds later that night. The woman will not be charged.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64KQo1DGX…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on December 17, 2012 at 4:06 PM · Report this
emor 25
@20

She was not buying the guns as a hunter. She was buying guns as someone who expected a general breakdown of civilization. Survivalists expect to live in a world where people with stockpiled weapons are more likely to survive than those who don't.

If she really was a survivalist, then she probably bought those guns to be more able to survive. A shorter way to express that is that she bought the guns to be safer.
Posted by emor on December 17, 2012 at 4:10 PM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 26
@20: You are being deliberately obtuse, and quite possible are trolling.

@24: Oh, well then, that makes twenty dead children okay. That's the going rate, right? Twenty dead kids = One dead (alleged) rapist. Good to know.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 17, 2012 at 4:13 PM · Report this
27
@25, she was buying guns because she was a fucking kook.
Posted by GermanSausage on December 17, 2012 at 4:14 PM · Report this
28
@25
"She was not buying the guns as a hunter."

She was a "prepper"/"survivalist".
So you're postulating a "general breakdown of civilization" that somehow bypasses the local grocery store.

Please tell me more about this. I find the concept fascinating.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 17, 2012 at 4:17 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 29
Being anti-gun amounts to being pro-rape.

At least you believe in abortion. So do I which is why I donate tp Planned Parenthood.For being anti-rape I donate to the NRA. I also really like the ACLU and the Puget Soundkeepers.

But fuck those NAZI's at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on December 17, 2012 at 4:18 PM · Report this
30
This is the most slanted article I have read yet since Friday. Conjecture and junk journalism.
Posted by LiberalStooge on December 17, 2012 at 4:26 PM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 31
@28: Let's all play semantic games!

Let me try: She thought the local grocery store would be shut down so she bought a gun to hunt deer so she would be SAFE from starvation!

SAFER!

Do I win?
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 17, 2012 at 4:28 PM · Report this
Sam Levine 32
If you think owning a gun doesn't make you safer, try asking someone with a knife nicely to stop stabbing you or your children nicely and see how that goes. Pointing a gun at them usually prevents the need to discharge it before the stabbing starts.
Posted by Sam Levine http://levinetech.net on December 17, 2012 at 4:29 PM · Report this
Fnarf 33
People buy guns because it makes their pee-pee hard.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 17, 2012 at 4:30 PM · Report this
34
This is the worst article I've read since Friday. Talk about conjecture and junk journalism.

Why don't you mention the guy who was lawfully carrying a firearm in Portland a few days earlier who when spotted with his firearm by the killer at the mall, the killer shortly thereafter blew his own brains out? That's 2 dead and 1 injured whereas if he met no opposition who knows what the count would have been?

And so 27 dead because it was a gun free zone and criminals ignore signs. The fact is guns exist, you won't disarm America without creating a civil war. So deal with it. Get guns out of the hands of people with criminal and mental illness histories. Period.
Posted by LiberalStooge on December 17, 2012 at 4:31 PM · Report this
zivilisierter Wurm 35
@29: "Being anti-gun amounts to being pro-rape."

Jesus Tapdancing Christ, are you huffing gasoline? Is that all there is for you to do on a Monday afternoon in Freedom County?
Posted by zivilisierter Wurm http://peregrinari.tumblr.com/ on December 17, 2012 at 4:32 PM · Report this
36
@31
"Do I win?"

Do you have any statements from her that she did not understand that guns are deadly?
Until then, you are attempting to ascribe a certain belief to a dead woman that you had never heard of before she was killed.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 17, 2012 at 4:32 PM · Report this
37
People argue for the removal of guns except for the police and military because it makes their pee-pee hard.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on December 17, 2012 at 4:33 PM · Report this
38
@6 - there were several tv news stories with her friends saying she lived alone with her son in a big house and wanted protection. So if you want to believe her friends. As well, she talked them up at the bar she frequented, also reported.
Posted by westello on December 17, 2012 at 4:36 PM · Report this
Sam Levine 39
Police officers can go through their entire *careers* and not discharge a gun in the line of duty. It's a matter of having one and being able to use it that matters. Why would someone with a CCL be any different? You're less likely to be put into a situation where you'd need one than a cop, but damned if it doesn't help when you're on the other end of someone that wants to commit acts of violence against you or your loved ones.
Posted by Sam Levine http://levinetech.net on December 17, 2012 at 4:37 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 40
I'm sure this wonderful debate matters to all the dead, slaughtered kids.

Not.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on December 17, 2012 at 4:42 PM · Report this
Daddy Love 41
21

"I'd like to agree with you, but having grown up in a culture where most people hunt..."

What has WHAT do to do with people owning guns for personal protection?
Posted by Daddy Love on December 17, 2012 at 4:43 PM · Report this
Fnarf 42
Gun nuts eat shit.

Here's a real conservative, the non-insane kind, demolishing the idiot argument that teachers should have guns:

We can be absolutely sure that within a few years more people would be killed by teachers who fired their weapons accidentally or in misplaced anger or fear, or by students who stole their teachers’ guns, than have ever been killed in school massacres like those in Newtown and Columbine.

But what troubles me most about this suggestion — and the general More Guns approach to social ills — is the absolute abandonment of civil society it represents. It gives up on the rule of law in favor of a Hobbesian “war of every man against every man” in which we no longer have genuine neighbors, only potential enemies.


http://www.theamericanconservative.com/j…

You can shove "anti-gun is pro-rape" where the sun don't shine. Sentiments like that have only one value: they reveal just what an inhuman piece of scum you really are.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 17, 2012 at 4:43 PM · Report this
fletc3her 43
I was amused by a recent discussion on a local newspaper site after a shootout at the WalMart over in Port Orchard. People were honestly saying that they would have been able to quick draw on the assailant and take him out before he would have been able to shoot them. These people are delusional enough to think they have action star reflexes and they are actually armed. Scary.
Posted by fletc3her on December 17, 2012 at 4:47 PM · Report this
COMTE 44
@43:

Which simply points up one reason there are so many of these gun-fetishists: they all fantasize about being Dirty Harry and outgunning a bad guy, so they can be a hero and get their name in the papers.
Posted by COMTE on December 17, 2012 at 4:55 PM · Report this
Hover Dog 45
@9: Breathe. "I wonder" does not equal accusation. I requested more information.

I read the Science Daily link that Goldly posted, but it didn't answer my question. The link to the study's abstract, posted by Matt_the_Engineer, did. It contained the information I was looking for, and I can now say that I am somewhat more convinced of the study's findings.

I find it irritating that no one can ask a genuine, critical question these days without being accused of concern trolling.
Posted by Hover Dog on December 17, 2012 at 4:56 PM · Report this
Hover Dog 46
@9: Breathe. "I wonder" does not equal accusation. I requested more information.

I read the Science Daily link that Goldy posted, but it didn't answer my question. The link to the study's abstract, posted by Matt_the_Engineer, did. It contained the information I was looking for, and I can now say that I am somewhat more convinced of the study's findings.

I find it irritating that no one can ask a genuine, critical question these days without being accused of concern trolling.
Posted by Hover Dog on December 17, 2012 at 4:57 PM · Report this
47
When I decided to buy a gun for self protection. I signed up for the First Steps course that the NRA teaches. They teach you everything about your gun and how to use it. They drive your point home as well. Then they teach you how to USE the gun in a case where you might need to protect yourself (called 'gun-retention position'). They also brought in a lawyer to teach us all about the state laws regarding guns and what you can and can't do. Owning a gun is a huge responsibility. Unfortunately, irresponsible people buy guns too.

With all of that said, my mom told me that if she had a gun when we were kids, she probably would have shot my brother, sister and my dad. (We were quite a handful.)
Posted by cmuberti on December 17, 2012 at 4:57 PM · Report this
Hover Dog 48
God dammit.
Posted by Hover Dog on December 17, 2012 at 4:59 PM · Report this
49
Here's a philosophical point worth pondering:

If person A is fearful enough of the big bad world to go buy a gun to make themself feel safer,

And person B is confident they can get through life alright without needing a gun to do it,

All else being equal, which one is actually the coward?
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on December 17, 2012 at 5:00 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 50
Guns make me feel like I have a bigger dick.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 17, 2012 at 5:00 PM · Report this
51
@42 When my 8 year old daughter goes to school in the morning she passes through a check-point manned by armed guards. Her backpack goes through an x-ray machine like ones the TSA uses and she has to walk through a metal detector. I'm not sure that's the direction schools in places like Newton, CT should be going, but I think that kind of security probably would have stopped Adam Lanza.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 17, 2012 at 5:09 PM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 52
@39: Police officers, like soldiers, train for hours with their weapons. They undertake refresher training on a regular basis. They are routinely tested on their ability to meet the standards of their weapons training. Failure to requalify results in a loss of permission to carry a weapon until retrained. They are far more trained and experienced and have spent many more hours on the range than the typical civilian gun owner.

And they still get killed when confronted by violence in the line of duty.

While there are occasional exceptions, on average, a civilian gun owner doesn't stand a chance.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 17, 2012 at 5:30 PM · Report this
sperifera 53
@42 - That's an awfully nice world she's living in, huh?
Posted by sperifera on December 17, 2012 at 6:12 PM · Report this
sperifera 54
Actually, that was meant for Mr. Mehlman, sorry Fnarf.
Posted by sperifera on December 17, 2012 at 6:13 PM · Report this
Fnarf 55
@51, last I heard Lanza broke his way into the school. You want armed guards on every door? School systems all across the country are already broke as it is. Funny how "small government conservatives" are always finding new ways to spend billions of dollars.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 17, 2012 at 6:19 PM · Report this
56
@49, normally B.

Things aren't always equal, however. Consider if person A had a stalker, or received death threats, for example.
Posted by GermanSausage on December 17, 2012 at 6:57 PM · Report this
Fnarf 57
@49, Jesus fucking Christ, you people are impossible. You think someone who doesn't own a gun is a COWARD? Fuck it. We're doomed. People like you are large and in charge.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 17, 2012 at 7:38 PM · Report this
58
@55 A classroom full of ghetto children might not have been such easy prey for Adam Lanza. Last summer when I was visiting my daughter, she was showing me around her neighborhood when shots rang out. She dove for cover faster than I did. I was so proud. My former wife teaches 1st grade at the same school my daughter attends. Earlier this she wound up in the ER after one of her students slashed her hand with a razor blade melted onto a toothbrush handle that he had somehow gotten past security. A classmate like that might be a useful person to have around when an emotionally disturbed man with an AR-15 is on the loose.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 17, 2012 at 7:42 PM · Report this
59
I'm ok with people having guns, but I'm for tighter regulations. You're not going to get a majority opinion to pass legislation to ban weapons, and the wild-west neocon "everyone is armed" fantasy will never happen. Instead, the conversation needs to be about how to pass sensible regulations.

For instance, want to buy an AR-15? You better have proof of ownership for a gun safe, along with requisite inspections. Want to buy a handgun? Well, you better have proof of ownership of trigger locks, along with passing a safety course every X years.
Posted by Zap Rausdower on December 17, 2012 at 8:35 PM · Report this
60
Why Ms Lanza bought the guns is hardly relevent. The fact is, she had lots of them, legally purchased, And her son had access to them. @43 is right. Having guns raises the stakes 1,000 fold - that you or someone else will get killed. It's simply delusional to think that arming every one with a gun means NO ONE gets shot!
Posted by pat L on December 17, 2012 at 8:35 PM · Report this
sirkowski 61
@58 And cops never get shot because they're armed.
Posted by sirkowski http://www.missdynamite.com on December 17, 2012 at 8:40 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 62

18 yr Oklahoma Widow with 3 mo Baby Shoots Home Invaders Threatening to Rape Her

2 Men armed with hunting knife.
One had been stalking her before.
9/11 operator says "do what you have to do to protect your baby".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1-Kz3vU5…

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on December 17, 2012 at 9:05 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 63
#42

Looked at in the context of history, Mutual Assured Destruction, or parity of weaponry has been far more successful in keeping peace, safety and the prevention of violence than any disarmament strategy.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on December 17, 2012 at 9:08 PM · Report this
64
I'd like to know how many cases of people defended themselves using semi-automatics or whatever guns that discharge hundreds of bullets in minutes. I'd think it's easier to load and put next to you with just a hand gun to defend yourself. I just don't understand why people so insist on not regulating these weapons. Machine guns and automatics are forbidden so why can't these deadly semis regulated
Posted by JaxBriggs on December 17, 2012 at 9:32 PM · Report this
NotSean 65
@62 FWIW: She used a shotgun.

She had a pistol ready, but the shotgun sufficed.
Posted by NotSean on December 17, 2012 at 9:47 PM · Report this
seandr 66
There was a time when I considered buying a gun for home defense. Then I remembered my wife's temper.
Posted by seandr on December 17, 2012 at 9:51 PM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 67
@58: You are insane.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 17, 2012 at 10:14 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 68
Let's look at the facts of the case:

1) Much as one wants to be amused at Michael Moore's Tweet, the first victim, his mother, was shot as she slept. There was no chance for her to defend herself with any weapon.

2) As Lanza marched down the halls, he was confronted by several teachers and a duo of the principal and the school psychologist, all of whom were unarmed. All of them ended up shot and killed.

3) Police entered the building just after Lanza entered the classroom, and committed his horrible crime. However, it was at the point that he became aware of the police that he realized the game was over and he killed himself. Like any bully, when confronted with a stronger opponent, he immediately folded. These police were not armed with weapons anywhere near the grade of Lanza's...ordinary pistols.

Putting 1, 2 and 3 together, what we could surmise that even the slightest show of force at any point along Lanza's journey to killing the most defenseless would have caused him to end his spree much earlier.

If you've ever watched webcam videos of store robberies, in many cases, the instant the shop owner pulls a gun or even a bigger weapon than the thief has, the thief runs away. Crime is part acting and theater and criminals are at heart cowards. Adam Lanza was no doubt a coward, who would have been stopped with just the slightest show of force. These facts are irrefutable.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on December 17, 2012 at 10:36 PM · Report this
mikethehammer 69
"Adam Lanza... would have been stopped with just the slightest show of force. These facts are irrefutable."

Actually, they're neither facts, nor irrefutable.
Posted by mikethehammer on December 17, 2012 at 11:31 PM · Report this
70
@68 What a coward. That is what this whole psycho gun culture is about. The more killings the more they can justify their gun fetish. That is why it's hardly worth talking to the gun nuts. They thrive on killing and violence. That is why their "solution" is more guns. (I think there is an original Star Trek episode about a being that foments a violently escalating confrontation between humans and Kingons in order to feed off the paranoia, anger, and fear.) It is possible the gun nuts are incapable of compromise without a spiritual awakening or some serious therapy. Just listen to them. Every night before they go to be the last thing they think about is their guns. The rest of us with a range of views are going to have to work around them.
Posted by cracked on December 18, 2012 at 2:04 AM · Report this
venomlash 71
@24: Am I the first one to realize that Halloween night does not, in fact, come 5 days after October 25th?
@68: Conjecture, unsupported assertions, and rhetorical masturbation. You are part of the problem.
Posted by venomlash on December 18, 2012 at 3:10 AM · Report this
72
Agree with Goldy's post, but with 200 million guns already out there, the horse is already way out of the barn. I don't see any changes in the American gun culture anytime soon.
Posted by Patricia Kayden on December 18, 2012 at 5:22 AM · Report this
smade 73
@72 But if we start now, maybe we can make a difference in a couple of generations. And that's worth the effort. We've tried the guns for everyone approach for decades and it's not working. It's time to try something different. We have empirical evidence that tight restrictions on gun ownership in other countries does not inevitably lead to subjugation of the many by the few with guns. This isn't Dodge City and people can lead perfectly productive and secure lives without a hogleg strapped to their thigh. I continue to be astonished at straw-grasping that goes on by those who want to protect their unfettered right to killing toys regardless of how many other people die as a result. It's amazing how people will let others pay the bill for their fun and then argue they wouldn't have it any other way.
Posted by smade on December 18, 2012 at 6:52 AM · Report this
74
@71 The glee with which gun nuts like you call for more guns after each killing is only the most obvious support for my conclusions. Your denial about how callous and blood thirsty this makes you appear is another part of the problem. The bizarre fetishism I know about first hand from experience with otherwise sane individuals who will throw out their other values in an instant if they need to in order to support their obedient worship of tactical gun fetishism.
Posted by cracked on December 18, 2012 at 9:40 AM · Report this
venomlash 75
@74: Read my comment a little more carefully, particularly with regard to the numbers of the comments to which it is replying.
Posted by venomlash on December 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
76
I'm not a Republican or a survivalist or an NRA member, but I do live in a rural area and my family owns quite a few guns. My husband hunts deer, not only as a hobby but because it provides roughly 100 lbs of high-quality, organic, lean meat for our family that we would not otherwise be able to afford. We have a small farm, where we raise heritage breed laying hens, pigs, and a few cows. Coyotes are a constant problem for us; they attack not only our livestock but our family pets, and we find shooting them when they attack to be a more humane solution than setting painful traps. We use guns for a lot of reasons, but I have never been more thankful to have one at my disposal than when a man broke into my home last spring when I was there alone with my two young children. In our rural neighborhood, the police are about 10-15 minutes away, and this man was already in my living room and armed. I didn't have to shoot him; simply firing a shot in his general direction was enough to send him back the way he came. The cops caught him not far from my house. I realize that many people don't have the same need for guns in their lives as my family does, but the idea that guns are unnecessary, or "not worth it" is false. The statistics regarding gun-related deaths are skewed by the inclusion of suicides. When it comes to accidental gun deaths and homicides, you've got a much smaller number, one that falls behind baseball bats, accidental drownings, and simply tripping on the stairs. A gun is like a car. It is potentially deadly; a mistake can be fatal not only for the person who makes it but for anyone unlucky enough to be nearby. Both can also be used to deliberately kill people. Most importantly, guns and cars are both extremely useful tools that many Americans find necessary. Luckily, we won't all have to give up our cars because some of us text while driving, or drive drunk, or drive way too fast.
More...
Posted by Haley on December 18, 2012 at 10:33 PM · Report this
77
@60, it's only delusional if you completely ignore Switzerland, where that's exactly what happens and that's exactly what it means. In Switzerland, all adult males are required by law to be trained to use and maintain a firearm, and required to own one. They have achieved the lowest level of gun violence in the world. I don't believe a system like that would work in a population as large as ours, but it does go to show that the gun itself is not the bad guy, and knowing that your potential victims are armed discourages crime. There's a reason schools make such a tempting target for these psychos; there's a gaurantee that no one inside is prepared to deal with a shooter. Another thing I don't think people from cities or even suburbs often consider when debating the safety issue is that for those of us in rural areas, relying on the cops is quite a gamble. I live in a town of about 1800 people, very spread out and rural. There are only a couple police officers and they are at least 10 minutes away (if you're lucky) on poorly maintained roads. Much longer in the winter, when the roads are icy and snowy. That's a long time to wait if you're in trouble, as I have personally experienced. Gun rights are no different than any other; should 10,000 responsible individuals have to give up a right because 1 individual misused it?
Posted by Haley on December 18, 2012 at 10:52 PM · Report this
78
Emergency preparedness and self reliance are necessary skills should possible economic collapse, occur. Things like food, electricity and even fresh water can be gone in an instant should a crisis hit. Survival guides gives the necessary steps to survive almost any crisis.

"With all the news about economies around the world slipping into further depression," many Americans feel worried about the collapse of the dollar, and the same type of economic chaos could ensue that has occurred in Greece and Spain." Should a disaster occur, help may never arrive.

Doomsday preppers have become increasing popular since the hit show of the same name has aired on the National Geographic channel.

"Preppers" believe that strained relations between the world’s financial super powers, news of economies collapsing, outbreaks and pandemics, all add up to more are enough reason to be take disaster preparedness seriously.

Should the worst happen, Doomsday preppers feel that disaster preparedness is their best chance to survive. These people believe they will not be able to rely on the Government to provide safety and food for everybody.

When infrastructure breaks down; food, supplies, and even life giving fresh water can be blocked from reaching victims due to roadblocks, etc., this type of scenario could create a mass panic. Just trying to find food and water can turn the most well respected man in a community into desperate cold blooded thief trying to feed himself."

Posted by PhooBut on December 18, 2012 at 11:44 PM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 79
@77:

Switzerland, in addition to high levels of gun ownership, has very restrictive gun regulations. Quite unlike the US.

Shooters target schools for reasons of psychlogy and because, like malls and churches, they offer a lot of potential targets. The fact that many mass shooters commit suicide suggests that they aren't overly concerned one way or another about getting shot by someone else.

I am a good driver, as are many others. Why should we have to pass tests, be licensed, and carry insurance simply because a few drivers misuse their vehicles?

If you are a responsible gun owner you should have no issue with complying with regulations. If you are responsible, you are probably already doing most of the things that regulations would impose.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 19, 2012 at 7:21 AM · Report this
80
The trouble with the mentality of anti-gun idiots is that they believe guns are the problem when it’s the scumbags who pick up the guns and commit the crimes. Adam Lanza finally stopped when he was confronted by an ARMED cop, and he shot himself. See how that works?

Mentally ill and criminally insane moonbats have more rights than sane people who make the logical choice to do what is necessary to protect their homes, family, and lives. I own a firearm and I guaran-goddamn-tee you that if anyone breaks into my home, they will leave in a body bag.
Bottom line: If some psychopathic shitbag wants to grab a gun and kill people there’s little you can do to stop it, unless they're lit up by another armed citizen. Banning guns won’t impress criminals; they’ll just be the only ones to have them. The asshole politicians who bitch about gun control usually have armed security details and live in upscale residential areas where crime isn’t much of an issue. Armed criminals deliberately choose soft, unarmed targets. They couldn’t give one shit less about the idea of restrictive gun laws. Every law-abiding American citizen has the right to defend themselves from low life thugs and deranged psychos like Lanza, in spite of the Left’s fatuous politicizing.
Posted by sfcmac on December 20, 2012 at 5:36 AM · Report this
81
The trouble with the mentality of anti-gun idiots is that they believe guns are the problem when it’s the scumbags who pick up the guns and commit the crimes. Adam Lanza finally stopped when he was confronted by an ARMED cop, and he shot himself. See how that works?

Mentally ill and criminally insane moonbats have more rights than sane people who make the logical choice to do what is necessary to protect their homes, family, and lives. I own a firearm and I guaran-goddamn-tee you that if anyone breaks into my home, they will leave in a body bag.
Bottom line: If some psychopathic shitbag wants to grab a gun and kill people there’s little you can do to stop it, unless they're lit up by another armed citizen. Banning guns won’t impress criminals; they’ll just be the only ones to have them. The asshole politicians who bitch about gun control usually have armed security details and live in upscale residential areas where crime isn’t much of an issue. Armed criminals deliberately choose soft, unarmed targets. They couldn’t give one shit less about the idea of restrictive gun laws. Every law-abiding American citizen has the right to defend themselves from low life thugs and deranged psychos like Lanza, in spite of the Left’s fatuous politicizing.
Posted by sfcmac on December 20, 2012 at 5:39 AM · Report this
82
The problem is the NRA and gun nuts (read anyone who does not accept regulation of this remarkably dangerous and deadly technology).

I do not have an absolute right to drive.

Nor does anyone have an absolute right to have weapons.

I want the guys with the power to kill me and my loved ones HIGHLY regulated.

I have had enough of the nonsense from NRA and from gun nuts.

Their "right to shoot" does not trump our right to live.

Period.

Evil, selfish SOBs.
Posted by Stevus on February 8, 2013 at 4:43 PM · Report this
83
@82
1. Driving and owning a car is a Privalage. While driving a vehicle you will certanily come across other people driving cars, or pedistrains walking across the road. With that in mind an accident is much more likely. Thus we have insurence, licenses, and other regulations setup for mutual safety.

2. The second ammendment garuntees every citizen the RIGHT to have and bear arms. This was put in the Constitution by our forebearers, to protect the people of the United States of America from not just those who would do us and our loved ones harm, but to protect us from a tyranical government.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amen…

3. Conceal carry laws are very specific as to when where and how a firearm is to be handled. Part of which you must pass a weapons handling class, both written, and practical.

4.Your arguement of "Thier right to shoot does not trump our right to live" has no bearing when your right to live trumps thier right to protect thier own lives in extreme situations or that of thier loved ones. Especialy IF (and that is a BIG IF) you are the one that is threatening thier rights to live.

5.The real issue here is the CRIMINAL element. I wish that firearms weren't necessary, but when criminals have them reguardless of laws or regulations (they are lawbreakers afterall) our only Effective defence is to be armed ourselves. You call us evil, selfish SOB's. Well, I name you a fool, a dangerously ignorant fool that would rather see lawabiding citizens become defenceless victims to those who WILL carry guns Illegaly reguardless of laws.

6. Here is one source of information for those of you who wish to check.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/…
It seems that those places with the tightest gun controll policies have the higher gun related violent crimes. If that is not enough here is another.
http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/23/31…
How about another.
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cros…
I am sure that there sources out there that may claim differently, and I am sure you will try to find them just to try to put it in my face (so to speak). So, if you do, at least you are reading and learning a bit about the subject. I think of my gun like a condum. I'd rather have it and not need it thn to need it and not have it. In every gun training/qualifying coourse I have ever taken, Safety is always paramount. 4 years in the U.S.M.C. as a military policeman, and my subsiquent training refreshers after I got out, have always been the same.

7. Last but not least, before you start name calling, insulting, or lying about the Facts (truth is subjective to the individual perception), I suggest you get your story strait. We live in a world that is sadly violent. The government is trying to take away our rights, and in so doing, sparking outrage among those who, have guns and those who wonder which right is next on the chopping block. Once the second amendment is gone, there will be nothing to stand in thier way in taking the rest, because we will be defenceless to stop them.
More...
Posted by Rakier on March 19, 2013 at 12:05 AM · Report this
84
@82
1. Driving and owning a car is a Privalage. While driving a vehicle you will certanily come across other people driving cars, or pedistrains walking across the road. With that in mind an accident is much more likely. Thus we have insurence, licenses, and other regulations setup for mutual safety.

2. The second ammendment garuntees every citizen the RIGHT to have and bear arms. This was put in the Constitution by our forebearers, to protect the people of the United States of America from not just those who would do us and our loved ones harm, but to protect us from a tyranical government.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amen…

3. Conceal carry laws are very specific as to when where and how a firearm is to be handled. Part of which you must pass a weapons handling class, both written, and practical.

4.Your arguement of "Thier right to shoot does not trump our right to live" has no bearing when your right to live trumps thier right to protect thier own lives in extreme situations or that of thier loved ones. Especialy IF (and that is a BIG IF) you are the one that is threatening thier rights to live.

5.The real issue here is the CRIMINAL element. I wish that firearms weren't necessary, but when criminals have them reguardless of laws or regulations (they are lawbreakers afterall) our only Effective defence is to be armed ourselves. You call us evil, selfish SOB's. Well, I name you a fool, a dangerously ignorant fool that would rather see lawabiding citizens become defenceless victims to those who WILL carry guns Illegaly reguardless of laws.

6. Here is one source of information for those of you who wish to check.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/…
It seems that those places with the tightest gun controll policies have the higher gun related violent crimes. If that is not enough here is another.
http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/23/31…
How about another.
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cros…
I am sure that there sources out there that may claim differently, and I am sure you will try to find them just to try to put it in my face (so to speak). So, if you do, at least you are reading and learning a bit about the subject. I think of my gun like a condum. I'd rather have it and not need it thn to need it and not have it. In every gun training/qualifying coourse I have ever taken, Safety is always paramount. 4 years in the U.S.M.C. as a military policeman, and my subsiquent training refreshers after I got out, have always been the same.

7. Last but not least, before you start name calling, insulting, or lying about the Facts (truth is subjective to the individual perception), I suggest you get your story strait. We live in a world that is sadly violent. The government is trying to take away our rights, and in so doing, sparking outrage among those who, have guns and those who wonder which right is next on the chopping block. Once the second amendment is gone, there will be nothing to stand in thier way in taking the rest, because we will be defenceless to stop them.
More...
Posted by Rakier on March 19, 2013 at 12:08 AM · Report this
85
Why does anyone still post this tired drivel and expect to persuade anyone of anything, except maybe that all gun control advocates are mindless idiots? Study after study after study has shown that guns are used to thwart more crimes in the U.S. than to perpetrate them. That "personal firearms are much more commonly discharged in murder, suicide, and accident than they are in self-defense" is technically true but meaningless. Successful defensive uses only very rarely require the gun to be discharged, and are therefore conveniently omitted from the figure.

As to the doctors playing criminologists and Philly residents with guns 4.5 times more likely to be shot than those without, well duh. Of course people who know they are at a high risk of being attacked are more likely to get guns for self-defense, and of course that strategy does not work every time (though it clearly *does* improve the odds). One can only wonder how much cred these docs would get if they applied the same logic to their own area of expertise, medicine. Surely people in hospitals are at least 4.5 times more likely to die of cancer, heart disease, and Lord knows how many other maladies than is the average person who isn't in a hospital. Therefore, per Goldy's brilliant logic, we'd all be safer if no one ever visited a hospital.
Posted by Jeff B on June 20, 2013 at 10:30 AM · Report this

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