Las Vegas Mass Shooting - Oct. 1, 2017


#603

Ha. And for the rifles, let’s specify bolt-action while we’re at it.

Also, what percentage of Americans would you say hunt for the purpose of feeding their family? I don’t mean that they condescend to eat venison sausages from their sporting kills, but that without venison they’d go hungry. 0.01%? Less? And what percentage of Americans are ranchers with coyote problems? Another 0.01% or less? Not that both these types of people don’t deserve their weapons, but that they are vanishingly insignificant components of gun ownership.


#604

Couple of pieces from 538 (it’s a 14 part series.) I’m not sure where Strollen is getting his figures for the costs of gun control measures, but whatever they are I’d rather gun owners bear that financial cost instead of the victims paying that cost now with their lives. They too have rights.


Unfortunately humans have killed off apex predators (wolves, cougars, grizzlies) and require direct human intervention (aka sports hunting) to keep deer and elf population in check (which is one reason these predators are still to this day continually under assault.)

Ah, no. I’m an extreme environmentalist and I sure as hell don’t want my car taken away. What we do want is stricter fuel efficiency requirements, which if you look at some European cars is entirely possible (and not just those tiny half cars.) Within the next few decades there will be a large reduction in gas-only cars, whether from market forces or regulations. Reducing demand for oil and gas from efficiency standards is a net positive except for the oil and gas industry which wants demand for their commodities to remain high.


#605

I was responding indirectly to the statement “For a hunter, a gun is for feeding the family” – population control and sport hunting are other categories. The claim implies that guns are used to provide food as a basic necessity, which IMO can only be true of a vanishingly small number of Americans.


#606

Doh. Sorry about that.


#607

No problem. Also I must say I think the elf population isn’t big enough to be a serious concern :)


#608

lol, typo preserved for posterity.


#609

Have you seen Ulthuan and Naggaroth? Damned things are everywhere.


#610

I always feared going into formaton at tech school when I was in the AF, precisely because of the Vegas scenario. I always thought it was possible that one of our own could flip out due to how people were being treated and just kill a bunch of us (seriously a lot of folks flip out in longer tech schools). I figured if I could buy a gun, ammo, and enough stuff and sneak it on base (even post 9-11 it’s not that hard), someone else could, and they might be inclined to get some revenge and formation would be the perfect time. Just don’t show, then blast away from the window. You’d probably get about 30-40 people before they’d get you.

A bumpstock wouldn’t have been necessary or even really help all much, but it did in the Vegas scenario because spray and pray works with that big of a crowd.


#611

While these mass shootings are the things that grab everyone’s attention, the prevalence of guns just lying around is a direct threat to the lives of way too many kids, like this little girl in Florida a few weeks ago who shot herself looking for candy in her Grandma’s purse, which contained a loaded handgun: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/post-nation/wp/2017/09/21/4-year-old-fatally-shot-herself-with-handgun-found-in-grandmothers-purse/
David Frum brought this story up on tonight’s All Things Considered.


#612

My favorite moment in King of Dragon Pass is when you’re faced with some immediate problem that’s a threat to the existence of your entire clan, and one of your advisors says “But what about the elves?!?!?!” Come on guys. You know they’re lurking out there in the forests just waiting for a chance to strike.


#613

Personally I think that 34,000 automobile deaths a year is disgusting, and unacceptable. I think it points to a need for regulations, technology, and culture change. It’s absurd, and awful. It IS far worse than terrorism.

Fortunately, although more could always be done, governments, industry, and people around the world, including municipalities in the US, are really focusing hard on this issue now. Many agencies and municipalities have adopted Vision Zero. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_Zero. See the list of US cities adopting the policy or framework. Governments are cranking up penalties for drunk driving and distracted driving. Roads are being redesigned, in many cases at significant expense and without adding lanes or traffic capacity. More bike lanes, multi-use paths, segregated bike-ways, wider sidewalks, lower priority in urban areas for cars, higher priority for walking, cycling, and transit. Scramble phases at intersections, roundabouts. Cars with ever-increasing safety features (backup cameras mandatory, now there are pedestrian detection systems gaining popularity). Check out http://www.880cities.org/ where the principle is that 8 year olds, and 80 year olds, should be able to navigate a city safely on their own. There is actually a building and large momentum to hammer down the amount of deaths related to autos these days via whatever means necessary, often times causing direct inconvenience to drivers. 21st century earth, and especially millenials, are awake to the fact that building an entire society around the personal car has led to shit cities and high fatalities and unhealthy people that aren’t happy either, and there is huge interest and willpower to tackle this issue.

The United State isn’t worst in terms of road fatality rate. 10.6 deaths per 100,000 residents per year, in line with Uzbekistan and Mexico, not as bad as Russia or Brazil. Sweden is 2.8, Canada is 6.0.


#614

DOT says Americans take 1.1 billion trips per day in their vehicles. That’s 401.5 billion trips per year.

https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/subject_areas/national_household_travel_survey/daily_travel.html

I wonder what the death toll would be if Americans shot guns 401.5 billion times per year?


#615

As usual, Sweden points the way to paradise!


#616

You say that only the last one has the function of killing, but really all three of the last three reasons do. The hunter feeds her family… by killing a thing. The rancher protects her livestock… by killing a thing.

A car provides SO much more utility without being disingenuous. My car can get me to the grocery store and back, or transport me across the country, without killing anything.

If the only thing that attracted people to guns was that they are “designed to accurately place a projectile with a certain amount of force,” they should take up Nerf, or Airsoft, or even golf. To say that about guns is like saying “Land mines aren’t meant to kill people. They just expel a mixture of gases and force when pressure is exerted on them.”


#617

… all we need to do now is expel all Americans who aren’t at least 75% Scandinavian.


#618

Please, won’t someone think of the gnats!


#619

Golf clubs aren’t designed to put a golf ball in a hole. They’re designed to impart momentum on a golf ball, that’s it. If people use it to put the ball in the hole, it’s not the fault of club manufacturers. In fact, clubs are often used recreationally to hit a ball towards random grass, not a hole. They’re called driving ranges. We need to stop assuming that the entire purpose of a golf club is to hit a ball towards and then into a hole. They’re just tools, and plenty of people use them without hitting a hole. I know I do.


#620

Yeah, I have no fear of guns, and like I said I’ve gone to ranges. The main purpose of a rifle is to fire ammunition at a living target and kill it. There are certainly manufacturers that are making rifles to appeal to the vanity of owners by looking cool, and there are rifles being made primarily for range target shooting, but in either case, the general purpose of the rifle remains the same. The only real exception is the Barrett M82 and the like, which were designed top-to-bottom for destroying or disabling equipment, but even then, almost all military forces that have them train for anti-personnel use anyway.

To go back to the car analogy, the main purpose of a car or truck is to transport people or things. You can build a car for racing or off-roading, you can make them for stunts, you can build them for travel on the moon. The general intent of a car remains the same.

If all you wanted a gun for was target shooting, then you could get a pellet gun or a laser painter. If all you wanted a gun for was hunting, then a bolt-action would serve.


#621

I grew up with guns myself. My father is a gun nut and the sole reason he switched (as a blue collar union worker) from the Democrats to the Republicans in the late 70’s / early 80’s is because Jimmy was gonna take his guns. And then Bill was gonna take his guns, and then Obummer.

Anyway, I was shooting guns practically by the time I could walk. They’re not scary, exotic, or strange to me. But what does fucking weird me out is how they are fetishized by a large segment of America. My dad would probably be OK if he was evicted from his home, denied healthcare, and lived the remainder of his days on a dirt floor as long as he could take his arsenal with him. And I’m really not exaggerating much about that, I’m being serious. He’s that much of a single-issue voter, and he has plenty of company around here.

Even growing up steeped in gun culture, it’s something that I will never be able to wrap my head around.


#622

I like you and I like your post and I want you to feel good about yourself.