Press Speculates Batman Shooter Must Have Played Video Games; They're Right: He Loved Guitar Hero

from the unless-you-want-to-blame-guitar-hero-i-guess dept

I'm going to assume that most of us are by now aware of the tragedy that occurred late last week, when an Aurora, Colorado theatre showing the new Batman movie was allegedly shot up by a James Holmes for whatever reasons people like him have for this kind of depravity. I'll refrain from discussing any details about the shooting, since that's not really apropros for Techdirt. However, I did notice something that seemed worth pointing out.

First, Reason has been keeping a running list of all the things politicians and media pundits are blaming for the shooting (hat-tip to E. Zachary Knight for the link). For those of you keeping score at home, based on the aggregate blame-machine that that article has counted up, the shooting can so far be blamed on: The Tea Party, a lack of Christianity throughout the country, bullying, Star Trek (not kidding), or Occupy Wall Street. And, of course, video games.

The organization responsible for the salvo against gaming is CNN, via Pat Brown, who stated his stance simply:
"Teenage psychopaths get inspired by [video games] and want to make it real"
Interestingly, I was somewhat heartened (as much as one can be in a situation like this) that I had not seen such a rush to judgment against violent video games in this case, particularly considering that this whole tragedy occurred mere miles from Columbine, where violent video games were skewered over a decade ago. But maybe there is a good reason we aren't seeing violent games being blamed in this case: because suspect James Holmes apparently didn't play them. He is apparently known for playing video games, but not of the violent variety (via TMZ):
"one of James Holmes' classmates at the University of California at Riverside played Guitar Hero with the shooter all the time, and "for hours."

The male student is telling friends he is "shocked," never having had a clue that Holmes had a propensity for violence. It's an interesting side note, because people with violent tendencies often act them out in various ways, and video games are definitely an outlet."
The point that needs to be made is that we're likely not going to understand what motivated James Holmes to do what he did for a long time, if at all, and the rush for media members and political forces to judge a tragic situation through their own biased viewpoints rather than to simply wait for the facts to bear themselves out is dangerous.


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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:17am

    To be fair, he probably stuck the buttons on the guitar controller violently

     

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    IronM@sk, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:28am

    RPGs

    Another article mentioned Role-playing games, but didn't venture as far as mentioning which one(s).

     

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    Rachel Keslensky, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:33am

    Must be all the "satanic" lyrics, then.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:34am

    How about we put the blame where it belongs, on James Holmes.

     

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      Media manager, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:20am

      Re:

      You're not allowed to do that, even in this article, you'll notice they stated "was allegedly shot up by a James Holmes", not "that the bastard James Holmes shot up the theater"

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:29am

        Re: Re:

        Innocent until proven guilty. It's rather important that we at least make the attempt to uphold it.

         

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          btr1701 (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          > Innocent until proven guilty. It's rather
          > important that we at least make the attempt
          > to uphold it.

          That only applies to the right of a defendant in a criminal trial; how the *court* has to treat him.

          The rest of us are free to acknowledge reality. However, the media has to keep saying 'allegedly' because until a jury renders a guilty verdict he can sue for them libel if they publicly call him a murderer prematurely.

           

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    Ashley Sheridan, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:35am

    I don't get this propensity to blame video games for violence. A lot of people play Minecraft, but you don't find them digging huge holes in their garden and muttering about diamonds. Pretty much everyone has played Tetris, but we don't suddenly get this urge to rearrange box-like shapes into neat rows (imagine the problems at your local supermarket if we all kept trying to re-organise the cereal aisle!)

    It's become too easy to just lash out and blame someone else these days. If it wasn't video games it would be films, or music, or books, or theatre productions (all that Shakespearean violence is just not setting a good example)

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:42am

      Re:

      To be fair, as a child of the 80's, I once rushed into a pet store, removed all the turtles from their cages, and began stomping on them repeatedly while screaming "Where's my damned Princess!?!?!?".

      Years of corrective therapy later and I still am not allowed into Chicago pet stores....

       

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      MrWilson, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:46am

      Re:

      To be honest, because of Skyrim, whenever I pass brightly colored flowers near a pathway, I immediately think I should stop and pick them because they will likely be useful later when I find myself near an alchemy table. And then I laugh at myself and move on.

       

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      Travis Penner, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:47am

      Re:

      Actually, a friend of mine loved Tetris so much he LOVED helping people move. He would arrange all their crap on the moving van so as to maximize space. Pretty violent eh?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:54am

        Re: Re:

        Actually, a friend of mine loved Tetris so much he LOVED helping people move. He would arrange all their crap on the moving van so as to maximize space. Pretty violent eh?

        After playing Assassin's Creed last year, I took a trip to Rome and kept looking for vantage points to clear my map.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:48am

      Re:

      Whenever a lightbulb goes out I drink the neaest green liquid in the hopes it'll relight it again

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:49am

      Re:

      Pretty much everyone has played Tetris, but we don't suddenly get this urge to rearrange box-like shapes into neat rows

      We don't? News to me.

       

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      Tunnen (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:59am

      Re:

      Everytime I need to pack a bunch of stuff into a car or a storage locker, I end up getting that Tetris song stuck in my head...

       

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      Berenerd (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:47am

      Re:

      When ever my lantern goes out I hold still in fear of being eaten by a Grue....

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 7:31pm

      Re:

      As someone once said, comedy in the movies doesn't cause comedy on the streets.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 3:53am

      Re:

      I'm sorry, but I'm fairly certain that 9/11 was just Bin Laden's attempt at playing real-life Tetris.
      Of course the part of his plan where he was supposed to sort the debris as they fell did not work out as well as he expected.

       

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    Richard (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:35am

    Loner

    The perpetrators of these events are almost always portrayed as "loners".

    Ever wondered why this is?

    Well my guess is that most people who work/live/study/etc with these people are not going to admit to being friend with them to avoid suspicion of their own involvement. The safest way do do this is to describe the individual as a "loner", whether it is true or not.

     

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      Kaden (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:52am

      Re: Loner

      I always experience a tad of disorientation when news reports reveal 'The suspect was described as a 'loner' by friends and family'

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 3:59am

      Re: Loner

      You might be right, however we need to at least consider another option:

      It takes a certain lack of empathy to shoot complete strangers, including children. Therefore, it would be plausible that
      a) This lack of empathy causes such people to be socially isolated (lack of empathy can make people uncomfortable around you or make you care little about having friends)
      b) This lack of empathy comes from being socially isolated (if you have poor social skills or feel like people reject you, you might stop caring about others)

      Or perhaps:
      c) These people have other problems that both make them lack empathy and cause them to withdraw from social contact (possibly depression or many other disorders).

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

        Re: Re: Loner

        "It takes a certain lack of empathy to shoot complete strangers, including children". Kinda says something about the military and the way they are trained, doesn't it?

         

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    Machin Shin (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:36am

    You know, I would really love to see the Government, and everyone else as well, quit trying to place blame for things like this anywhere other than where it is due. The guy has serious issues and he is the only one to blame. He did it of his own. The games, movies, or whatever did not "make him do it".

    These people love to place blame on things they don't like to try and get that thing outlawed. I fully expect to see people protesting all kinds of things over this. Violent games will be up there on the list and gun ownership will also be up there. These things do not by themselves cause issues. The problem is the guy.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:41am

      Re:

      To be fair gun ownership is one area where blame can fairly be placed.

       

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        :Lobo Santo (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:45am

        Re: Re: G.O.?

        So gun owners everywhere are to blame for this?

        Couldn't possibly be anything else?

        Well, thank you for having cleared that up.

        ಠ_ಠ

         

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          Richard (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:52am

          Re: Re: Re: G.O.?

          So gun owners everywhere are to blame for this?

          No - but one particular gun owner was - and a set of rules on gun ownership that could have prevented him from obtaining a weapon would have stopped it.

           

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            :Lobo Santo (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: G.O.?

            That a bullshit argument (unless you happen to be a bona fide psychic, knowing full well the past, present, and future. Are you?)

            We already have a set of rules on gun ownership.

            Oh, wait, I get it. If there were responsible armed people in the crowd it would have been a very short incident because he would have been shot in short order.

            Yes, you're right. We need rules in place which require more people to own and carry guns.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:03am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: G.O.?

            How? Are you proposing a full psychological evaluation for everyone that wishes to purchase a firearm?

             

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              Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: G.O.?

              Are you proposing a full psychological evaluation for everyone that wishes to purchase a firearm?
              Well if you wanted to play "Catch 22", from a certain point of view wanting one could pretty much clear that up... after all, there's a pretty good chance if you're going to get shot it's with your own weapon I understand. :-p

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: G.O.?

                You are right. I give up. I'm going to go take my soma now ... there is always soma, delicious soma.

                 

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              ltlw0lf (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:31am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: G.O.?

              How? Are you proposing a full psychological evaluation for everyone that wishes to purchase a firearm?

              There have been more than a few police officers who failed a psychological evaluation, only to sue the psychologist and the police department who fired them after years of work. Psychological evaluations are not flawless, and in at least one case I know of, a police officer received three psychological evaluations, with two of them saying he was sane and cleared for work and the third saying he wasn't. There are so many things that can go wrong.

              And the problem is that we still have cops out there who are certifiably insane and found so after a court ruling, and yet they make it through the process. Shrinks can be very gun-shy (pun intended,) and if they have to review everyone any time someone buys a gun, they are going to reject 100% of them (since if they accept someone who later goes out and shoots someone, they are liable for the results.) If they had the option, I suspect they would prevent 100% of the officers from being hired, but they know they have to let some through.

              This will work as a way to ban all guns, but people have to ask themselves, if they ban all guns, will this never happen again. Since Mexico has banned all guns, yet there are many more gun related deaths in Mexico (using hardware supplied to them by the US Government itself as part of Fast and Furious,) is banning guns really going to fix the problem?

               

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            Machin Shin (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: G.O.?

            I would like to point out there are already gun control laws, and they don't work. There was a shooting near where I live, some thugs robbed a gas station and then shot and killed the two guys working there.

            They arrested the thugs and what would you know, they were felons. It is illegal for felons to have guns..... so by your wonderful "make it illegal and they won't have it" logic, this must have never happened. There is no way these felons had guns, I mean it was ILLEGAL.

            You really think a guy like this that plans out a mass killing really gives a damn about if his gun is legal or not? Criminals DON'T FOLLOW THE LAWS.

             

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            Berenerd (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: G.O.?

            I am not a gun owner, but honestly, that argument is getting old. I don't care how you restrict gun ownership, people who WANT to get a gun WILL STILL GET A GUN or simply put a van through the wall of a movie theater and blow it up.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: G.O.?

            Yes, and we can see how well the gun ownership laws would have worked, by the way how well the DON'T KILL OTHER PEOPLE laws worked.

            Also he was in a Gun Free Area in the theatre, so he broke gun control laws as well.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: G.O.?

            Well lets play a little what if, lets say you completely ban guns. No one is allowed to have one. Sounds safe, block all gun imports no one should ever die from a gun again.

            So instead this guy wanders down to the local gas station, fills up his Jerry can. Then using a few glass bottles prepares some Molotov Cocktails and hurls them into the theater. Theaters don't exactly have an abundance of exits in them. I mean two well aimed throws and he'll probably have the exits covered. So what's next, we blame the gas station for selling him flammable liquids? More fuel control! Gas tanks must all be locked and only unlock able at a gas station.

            To be honest, in a lot of ways you are lucky that he HAD access to guns. If he was being half creative he could have caused a hell of a lot more damage.

             

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              AzureSky (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 1:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: G.O.?

              you know how easy it is to make explosives with stuff you can buy at walmart or homedepot?

              My friends father use to make his own stump removal explosives(pipe bombs with home made explosives) was cheaper then pre made stump explosives and infact, more powerful.......

              I mean there are alot of very easy ways to make stuff that would kill far more people then a full auto gun.....just takes creativity and the ability to read......

              hell imagin if he got ahold of some cyanide crystals, do you know how easy it would be to gass the whole cinema complex without anybody knowing what was going on till it was to late.....

               

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 4:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: G.O.?

            Rules don't keep people from killing people.
            Rules do not apply to wackos and criminals.
            Rules didn't stop him from having explosives in his apartment.


            RULES don't stop People who don't want to be stopped!

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: G.O.?

            See, the problem with this is rather simple. You're making laws for the criminals, but by definition a criminal does not follow the law. Get it? Got it? Good.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:49am

        Re: Re:

        People can always find a way to kill. Why not blame tear gas manufacturers? Had they not sold him the canisters, more people could of escaped sooner.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:51am

        Re: Re:

        Actually, if more people had guns and were educated in their use shit like this wouldn't happen.

        People would have either scarded himm off with all the barrels pointed at him or killed him before innocents got hurt.

         

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          Richard (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:20am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, if more people had guns and were educated in their use shit like this wouldn't happen.

          That is a myth.

          If more people had guns and knew how to use theme then more nutters would have guns and know how to use them - so there would be more incidents like this.

          There would also be many incidents in which people were shot by mistake because somebody thought they were about to do something.

           

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            Machin Shin (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You would be surprised. A lot of people love to point to the "wild west" saying we don't want to go back to those days. The thing is if you actually look back at those days they were not so "wild" as people think. Yes everyone has a gun, it was needed to protect yourself in the wilderness, but there were not shootouts every day at noon or any of that bull shit.

            If more responsible citizens carried guns then this kind of thing would be less common. If your a thug and have a gun you feel invincible, until you realize everyone around you also has one, then your on a level playing field. Most crooks are bullies and if there is one thing a bully hates it is a fair fight.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:13am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Except we're in the 21st century. Running amok with guns is, well, the popular thing to do, unfortunately. More people with guns = more potential for incidents like this.

               

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                AzureSky (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 1:21pm

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

                not really, its the psychology of the situation that you need to consider, as said above most criminals are bullies and when theres more risk then possible reward OR more chance somebody will stand up to them, they tend to not act out.

                Look at it this way, have you ever seen a bully pick on somebody that was their own size/build or larger? its pretty rare.
                if you have ever seen how a bully reacts to somebody their size or larger telling them to knock off picking on somebody smaller/weaker OR what happens when the victum gets a friend whos larger/stronger(more of a threat) thats pretty much what you would see.

                look at for example Chicago vs pheonix for example, in pheonix you can carry without a permit, per capa the gun crime rate is FAR lower, because theres alot more risk then in Chicago(where they have FAR FAR FAR stricter gun laws)

                Im not a gun owner at the moment, I just know how people think and have worked with criminals over the years, and know how they think, as soon as they see you as being somebody they cant intimidate, their whole attitude and personality changes.......hell if you even look like you could be a threat you get mroe respect then if you look like a possible target.....

                 

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              The Groove Tiger (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:48am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              In the "wild west", people weren't actually allowed to carry their guns openly into every bank, saloon, etc that they went to. In fact, a lot of shootouts were because cowboys (actual cow ranchers) who spent most of their time guarding their cattle waltzed in everywhere carrying guns pissing off every law enforcer around.

               

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                The Groove Tiger (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:53am

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

                From:
                http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/07/23/1112703/-De-mythologizing-the-Wild-West-gun-laws-wer e-actually-stricter-then-than-now

                http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-winkler/did-the-wild-west-ha ve-mo_b_956035.html

                "Yet this is all based on a widely shared misunderstanding of the Wild West. Frontier towns -- places like Tombstone, Deadwood, and Dodge -- actually had the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation.

                In fact, many of those same cities have far less burdensome gun control today then they did back in the 1800s.

                Guns were obviously widespread on the frontier. Out in the untamed wilderness, you needed a gun to be safe from bandits, natives, and wildlife. In the cities and towns of the West, however, the law often prohibited people from toting their guns around. A visitor arriving in Wichita, Kansas in 1873, the heart of the Wild West era, would have seen signs declaring, "Leave Your Revolvers At Police Headquarters, and Get a Check."

                A check? That's right. When you entered a frontier town, you were legally required to leave your guns at the stables on the outskirts of town or drop them off with the sheriff, who would give you a token in exchange. You checked your guns then like you'd check your overcoat today at a Boston restaurant in winter. Visitors were welcome, but their guns were not."

                 

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            citation needed

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 5:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            From what I gather from the news reports James Holmes Purchased the guns used specifically for this one event.
            He didn't have guns lying around and decided that because he had guns that he would go kill some people.

            At the same time,that evening,lots of people who own guns didn't shoot anyone.

            So "nutters" sometimes have guns, but will also kill with explosives or knives or their fists or hammers or rocks or cars or....

            There always have been and always will be Nutters.They will kill with whatever is handy.

            But I know one thing for sure.
            If one of your nutters is coming at me with a Machete,I will be happy to shoot them with my gun

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          In the Aurora case it is extremely unlikely that an armed civilian, or even several armed civilians, would have made a difference.

          Please consider the following police gunfight statistics:

          NYC 2006: 364 shots, 103 hits, 28.3%
          NYC 2005: 472 shots, 82 hits, 17.4%
          LA 2006: 67 shots, 27 hits, 40%

          Bad marksmanship? Police officials and law enforcement experts say no, contending that the number of misses underscores the tense and unpredictable nature of these situations. For example, a 43 percent hit rate for shots fired from zero to six feet might seem low, but at that range it is very likely that something has already gone wrong: perhaps an officer got surprised, or had no cover, or was wrestling with the suspect.

          “When you factor in all of the other elements that are involved in shooting at an adversary, that’s a high hit rate,” said Raymond W. Kelly, the New York police commissioner. “The adrenaline flow, the movement of the target, the movement of the shooter, the officer, the lighting conditions, the weather ... I think it is a high rate when you consider all of the variables.”


          Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/weekinreview/09baker.html?_r=1

          Do you remeber the 1997 North Hollywood shooting rampage? 200 cops, 100s of rounds fired, only ended through a combination of SWAT arrival and a gunstore owner providing officers with high powered semi-automatics.

          http://articles.cnn.com/1997-02-28/us/9702_28_shootout.update_1_armored-police-c hief-willie-williams-car-wreck?_s=PM:US

          Trained professionals have a gunfight accuaracy of 43%. The shooter is wearing body armor and moving. The site was a dark theater which was filling with tear gas. People are running around everywhere in a state of panic franticly trying to escape. If an armed civilian is in the back row and retruns fire everyone else in the theater is going to beleive that another maniac is blocking the exit, they have no way of knowing that the civilian gun owner is trying to help. Enter a second armed civilian, that person might beleive the first civilian is working with the maniac and fires at him/her. All of this with %40 accuaracy. In this case the more armed civilians you have the worse the situation will get. If the police arrive while all these people are still in the theater it will turn into a blood bath.

          Given all of this I beleive that even an exceptional marksman would have been more likely to kill or injure an innocent than stop the maniac.

          /not opposed to gun ownership
          //not opposed to concealed carry
          ///wishes someone had put the shooter down

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Without arguing for either/any point of view, and assuming you're reporting this accurately, I find myself wondering... what the heck was this idiot's (no names please) accuracy rate? How many rounds were fired? we know how many people he hit. I suspect that he has a higher rate than what was reported for trained professionals. Why? does training make no difference at all? OR does it make you worse? I really am curious...

             

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              ltlw0lf (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Why? does training make no difference at all? OR does it make you worse? I really am curious..

              He did not have rounds coming his way, and was able to act with impunity. Your accuracy goes way down when you are trying to find cover and keep the other guy from hitting you. Adrenaline does wonders to your accuracy. Training doesn't involve cross-fire (though most departments now use sim-rounds and airsoft for training,) and qualifications do not involve being shot at (though the simulators (PATS) do get you some of those experiences.)

              Where training makes a difference is that you realize that you are going to suck and you try to avoid the pitfalls that normal untrained shooters get stuck in, mainly with tunnel vision and with wild shots. It was impressed on us in training that your body will always go where your mind has been, and so training something over and over again allows you to quickly respond to stress, giving you an edge over someone who isn't used to stress.

               

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              GuyFromV, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 1:13pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: shooters's high accuracy

              I believe his hit ratio was magnified greatly by what I have heard witnesses report; that he caused confusion and panic with his appearance, timing and tear gas to scare them into running back toward the exits up the aisles. This probably set them up for withering enfilade fire. Meaning he merely had to aim for a stationary, preordained killzone that allowed his shots to have maximum efficiency with minimum effort. I'm even betting he struck several victims with a single round multiple times. It fits with this evil fuck's seemingly resourceful ruthlessness and shrewd premeditation for terror.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:09am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Reality doesn't work quite like your action movie-like fantasy.

           

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        Gothenem (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:53am

        Re: Re:

        Sorry, I have to disagree. Even if the US had gun control laws equal to Canada or many European Nations, this event still would have happened. Gun Control Laws or Gun Ownership Bans will not eliminate events like these. It may make it easier for law enforcement agencies to catch people before the act, but nothing is fool proof.

        Now, I am not saying that better Gun Control Laws aren't needed, they are, but they aren't the issue here.

        And taking guns away from people? That is not a good idea.

         

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          JMT (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 4:55pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So you're saying that there's absolutely no correlation between the ease with which one can obtain guns and the extraordinary high gun murder rate?

          No other first world countries have these kinds of mass shooting with the alarming degree of regularity that the US does. It's naive to think that's not directly related to the obsession with protecting the 2nd Amendment and the ability to get guns so easily.

           

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        Machin Shin (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:39am

        Re: Re:

        Yes it is all the guns fault....

        Take a moment and look at the countries where guns are outlawed. Did it stop crimes like this? NO IT DID NOT.

        In fact China was having a problem a while back. Guys running around school stabbing as many people as they could. Guns are not the problem.

        This by the way is coming from a fan of violet video games who also has a growing gun collection. I greatly enjoy shooting guns and yet I have ZERO desire to go shooting anyone. In fact I don't care to shoot anything that is living without a good reason. I just really love target shooting.

         

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          ChrisB (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:08am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I agree. Looking at the top 8 countries for gun deaths per capita, half do not allow citizens to carry guns.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence

           

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            Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I agree. Looking at the top 8 countries for gun deaths per capita, half do not allow citizens to carry guns.
            Er, yeah... but they are pretty much the bottom 4 of the "top 8" and mostly places where organised crime or civil unrest or both are a problem. And I'm not convinced Zimbabwe really counts as a place where you're not allowed to own guns, whatever the "law" says :-P

            Also, if you want to be picky, the "top 8" are mostly central/south american and the next 8 are mostly eastern european.... with the US nestled right in the middle there.

            Does this prove anything one way or another? Hardly... just saying you can spin a stat like that any way you want. Especially when "can own guns" on that chart isn't further qualified. The UK for example is down as "can own guns" but it's a damn-sight harder to do so than, say, the US (or France for that matter) and highly limited on where/how then can be stored/used.

            Should guns be controlled? Absolutely! How much? Hell if I know... I think the UK law is stupidly and pointlessly restrictive, the US law stupidly and pointlessly lax, the answer's probably in the middle as usual.

            “They say that 'Guns don't kill people, people kill people.' Well I think the gun helps. If you just stood there and yelled BANG, I don't think you'd kill too many people.”
            ― Eddie Izzard

            ...if you combine the populations of Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Australia, you'll get a population roughly the size of the United States. We had 32,000 gun deaths last year, they had 112. Do you think it's because Americans are more homicidal by nature? Or do you think it's because those guys have gun control laws?
            Toby Zeigler (Aaron Sorkin)

             

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              Machin Shin (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:13am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Guns are a tool. Will banning guns lower the number of deaths caused by guns? Yes. Will it lower the number of murders? No.

              My point is your blaming the tool not the person. If someone is setting out to murder someone they will do it. A gun is not needed to do so. You take away the guns and they will use other things.

              So what you going to do? Ban guns and they use bows, ban bows and they use blowguns, ban blowguns and they use throwing stars, ..............

              Violent people are violent people. Quit blaming the tool and start figuring out how to catch the people instead. What your doing is like blaming a car for vehicle deaths. I mean just imagine how few deadly accidents we will have on our roadways if we just outlaw vehicles.

              Guns have a lot of legitimate uses. Living on a farm I use can tell you there are many uses for a gun that few things could replace. I just recently used one to deal with a venomous snake. Sure I could have used something else, but not with the same level of safety a rifle gave me.

              Also, what do you think would happen when you take all the guns from hunters? You think it is bad now with how often people hit deer in the road, just wait and give them a few years to breed with zero predators.

               

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                Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 2:57pm

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

                My point is your blaming the tool not the person
                I'm not blaming anything, nor do I think firearms should be banned. The way I see it, some level of control is just simple logic. To what extent that should be I'm not even going to pretend to be qualified to answer, but my reason suggests it's probably at least a bit more control than goes on in the US at the moment.

                Ban guns and they use bows, ban bows and they use blowguns, ban blowguns and they use throwing stars,
                All those things are true, but however you slice it (and again I'm not suggesting a ban or anywhere close), a firearm is about the most efficient tool for killing things available to the general populous anywhere and all the other things you mentioned;
                a/ Require more skill to use
                b/ are typically less dangerous to the user (I'd lay a reasonable wager the number of people that have shot themselves with a bow and arrow by proportion of users is waaay lower than gun owners and the number of accidental deaths from any of those even more so)
                c/ are way less efficient at killing lots of people at once.

                Firearms are naturally more dangerous because they are efficient and simple to use almost without skill. Yes I know it's a tool and there are plenty of legitimate uses... sport even quite apart from hunting/protection from animals in the wild. You say you're safer with a gun? Fine.. you probably know how to use one safely... so do I as it happens as well as enjoying doing so. Perhaps then a start on "gun control" and reducing gun deaths might be as simple as education and a few madatory safety requirements?

                 

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              btr1701 (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 12:04pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              > We had 32,000 gun deaths last year,
              > they had 112.

              One thing people who quote the number of gun deaths/year in America never do is sort out the good deaths from the bad ones. When a homeowner drops some thug who was breaking into his house in the middle of the night, that's not something I'm going to cry about and wonder what we can do to stop.

              And it's also relevant to note that the vast majority of those gun deaths/year in America occur in the cities and states with the strictest gun control laws. Chicago banned possession of guns altogether and it's a war zone compared to cities in states like Texas where gun laws are more lax.

               

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                Richard (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

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

                Chicago banned possession of guns altogether and it's a war zone compared to cities in states like Texas where gun laws are more lax.

                But the lax laws in Texas make it a lot easier for criminals in Chicago to obtain guns.

                 

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                  btr1701 (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 3:04pm

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

                  > But the lax laws in Texas make it a lot
                  > easier for criminals in Chicago to obtain guns.

                  Ah, so you not only want to remove the right of the people to own firearms, you want to take away yet another power from the states and hand it over to the warm embrace of the federal government.

                  Wonderful.

                   

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                  varagix, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:31pm

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

                  But the lax laws in Texas make it a lot easier for criminals in Chicago to obtain guns.

                  Actually, it doesn't, or if it does, its due to a failing on the part of law enforcement. Federal law restricts transfer of firearms between persons of different states, requiring them to first be transfered to a federally licensed dealer in the purchaser's state. Assuming, of course, that no other restrictions apply, such as the taxation and registration of Title 1 and Title 2 weapons.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:35pm

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

                    Yeah, tell that to Ohio. Here you can buy a gun from a private owner without transfer papers or taxation. Only the gun stores have to register the sale.

                     

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                Richard (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 2:03pm

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

                When a homeowner drops some thug who was breaking into his house in the middle of the night, that's not something I'm going to cry about and wonder what we can do to stop.

                Hmm - much more likely to happen the other way around. Examples of homeowners "dropping" (nice euphemism) thugs are quite rare. In any case I don't think the death penalty is appropriate for simple housebreaking

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 2:14pm

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

                  I do

                   

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                  btr1701 (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 3:03pm

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

                  > Much more likely to happen the other way around.

                  Yes, that's popular myth, promulgated to serve the notion that taking away people's guns would be doing them a favor by protecting them from themselves. Nanny-statism in full flower.

                  > Examples of homeowners "dropping" thugs are quite
                  > rare.

                  Thank goodness. But when it happens, it's not a problem that needs to be corrected.

                  > I don't think the death penalty is appropriate
                  > for simple housebreaking

                  Then don't shoot the people who break into your home. I reserve the right to do so with the ones who break into mine.

                  As for the poor thug, well, if he doesn't want to die while breaking into people's homes, there's a simple solution available to him: stop breaking into people's homes.

                   

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 2:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              simply too many guns out there. Somewhere around 350,000,000 in the USA. That's like one for every man, woman, and child wandering around the country side.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              ...if you combine the populations of Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Australia, you'll get a population roughly the size of the United States. We had 32,000 gun deaths last year, they had 112. Do you think it's because Americans are more homicidal by nature? Or do you think it's because those guys have gun control laws?
              Toby Zeigler (Aaron Sorkin)


              And do you know how many Swiss men between 20 and 30 have a firearm at home? ALL OF THEM!

               

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                Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 11:34am

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

                And do you know how many Swiss men between 20 and 30 have a firearm at home? ALL OF THEM!
                Yeah, but the Swiss would never shoot someone - make the place too messy. Alternatively, maybe it's because the regulations for obtaining one are reasonably strict, as is the requirement for safety training including requalification and there are rules about what you can own and where/how you can carry them... but I'm just guessing. Oh, and I think you meant almost all of them.

                 

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        Mr. Applegate, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:51am

        Re: Re:

        Really?

        So by your logic: Cars Kill People; Knives cut people; Food makes people fat...

        Maybe we should ban food, cars, knives. You know what the root of all evil is, knowledge. Let's ban that, if anyone shows signs of knowledge they should be beaten with a shoe until no knowledge is shown.

        So, by all means, let us "be fair". It is called personal responsibility.

         

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          Richard (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 2:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So by your logic: Cars Kill People; Knives cut people; Food makes people fat...


          Cars are not intended to kill people, knives are not intended to cut people and food does not make you fat if eaten in reasonable quantities.

          Similarly if you have a use for a gun that does not involve killing or threatening to kill other people then I think you should be allowed to have one - given suitable precautions. (eg ballistics profile registered, 3rd party insurance taken out and gun and ammunition stored separately and securely with two vetted people required to access them).

          However US law falls far short of this and many there encourage belief in the myth that you are safer if you have a gun than if you don't.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "...knives are not intended to cut people..."

            Greetings! Welcome to Planet Earth.

            "A bayonet (from French baïonnette) is a knife, sword, or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit in, on, over or underneath the muzzle of a rifle, musket or similar weapon, effectively turning the gun into a spear.[1] In this regard, it is an ancillary close-quarter combat or last-resort weapon."
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayonet

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            My gun is very specifically for killing other people. It is there for our protection. Not just from robbers, but from the state, as well. Do not tell me I need another reason to have it. That isn't your decision to make.

             

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              Richard (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 5:31am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              y gun is very specifically for killing other people. It is there for our protection.

              and the person it is most likely to kill is you!

              Just like the patent system there is a myth that guns can protect the weak from the strong - but the reality is quite different.

              but from the state, as well.

              Good luck with that!

               

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                Mr. Applegate, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 7:47am

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

                While I agree that a gun will not save a 'weak person'. I strongly disagree that carrying a firearm for self defense will most likely kill me. I have been licensed to carry and have carried a firearm for 30 years.

                Due to past jobs I was frequently in 'troubled' neighborhoods late at night. I have had two occasions where presenting my firearm protected my well being. On one of those occasions I actually drew the weapon, on the other I merely opened my jacket far enough that they could see it. I have never had to discharge my weapon.

                So, I am living proof that carrying a firearm can protect people from those that do others harm.

                In the case of the theater attack in Colorado, if there had been a number of people carrying, chances are quite good that one of them would have been able to eliminate the threat and mitigate the damage. The danger there of course is that they shoot the wrong person.

                There are no easy answers, but I can assure you that gun control will not prevent violence. In this case the guy had on the order of 30 homemade bombs in his apartment, enough to destroy the entire building. If he had not had access to guns and ammo he likely would have simply taken a bomb to the theater instead, with similar or worse results.

                "but from the state, as well.

                Good luck with that!"

                It worked once, it could work again, if there were solidarity and the need arose. I don't need luck, I carry her with me always.

                 

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes, I missed this:

            However US law falls far short of this and many there encourage belief in the myth that you are safer if you have a gun than if you don't.

            I keep hearing people call this a myth, yet they cannot prove that it is. There is no evidence, no real study, that we are safer with or without a gun. It depends upon too many factors to be truly tested. In one part of the country having one might be the best thing you could do, while in another you're more likely to shoot yourself out of boredom. Unless you can prove the statement, don't keep spouting that myth, please.

             

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              Richard (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 5:44am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:


              I keep hearing people call this a myth, yet they cannot prove that it is.


              If you believe that then you cannot prove that it is not so you cannot use the argument either.

              However the statistitics tell one thing pretty clearly.

              If you have a gun then the person who is most likely to be killed by it is you.

              Suicides plus accidental deaths outnumber homicides, and of course the homicide figure contains a substantial proportion of people shot with their own weapons.

              In terms of eveolutionary pressure the inevitable result of this is that in the long run gun owners are a doomed subspecies.

               

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                Mr. Applegate, Jul 26th, 2012 @ 9:37am

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

                “However the statistitics tell one thing pretty clearly.

                If you have a gun then the person who is most likely to be killed by it is you.”
                Cite please!

                I cite: http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.fourexamples.asp#lower

                If you are referring to this statement: ” In homes with guns, the homicide of a household member is almost 3 times more likely to occur than in homes without guns."

                Let me point out problems with those statistics: “ This statistic is based on a three-county study comparing households in which a homicide occurred to demographically similar households in which a homicide did not occur. After controlling for several variables, the study found that gun ownership was associated with a 2.7 times increase in the odds of homicide.[14] This study does not meet Just Facts' Standards of Credibility because:

                1) The study blurs cause and effect. As explained in a comprehensive analysis of firearm research conducted by the National Research Council, gun control studies such as this (known as "case-control" studies) "fail to address the primary inferential problems that arise because ownership is not a random decision. ... Homicide victims may possess firearms precisely because they are likely to be victimized."[15]

                2) The study's results are highly sensitive to uncertainties in the underlying data. For example, minor variations in firearm ownership rates (which are determined by interview and are thus dependent upon interviewees' honesty) can negate the results.[16] [17]

                3) The results are arrived at by subjecting the raw data to statistical analyses instead of letting the data speak for itself. (For reference, the raw data of this study shows that households in which a homicide occurred had a firearm ownership rate of 45% as compared to 36% for non-homicide households. Also, households in which a homicide occurred were twice as likely have a household member who was previously arrested (53% vs. 23%), five times more likely to have a household member who used illicit drugs (31% vs. 6%), and five times more likely to have a household member who was previously hit or hurt during a fight in the home (32% vs. 6%).[18])”

                Elsewhere in this discussion you have asserted repeatedly that banning weapons will reduce gun violence. I use the same sites statistics to set that record straight as well.

                Cite: http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

                “During the years in which the D.C. handgun ban and trigger lock law was in effect, the Washington, D.C. murder rate averaged 73% higher than it was at the outset of the law, while the U.S. murder rate averaged 11% lower.”

                “Since the outset of the Florida right-to-carry law, the Florida murder rate has averaged 36% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 15% lower.”

                “ Since the outset of the Texas right-to-carry law, the Texas murder rate has averaged 30% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 28% lower.”

                “Since the outset of the Michigan right-to-carry law, the Michigan murder rate has averaged 4% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 2% lower.”

                Oh, and this holds true outside the United States too:

                Homicides Reported by Police in England and Wales
                “Not counting the above-listed anomalies, the British homicide rate has averaged 52% higher since the outset of the 1968 gun control law and 15% higher since the outset of the 1997 handgun ban.”

                The anomalies listed below were not included in the above statistics:”
                ‡ Large anomalies unrelated to guns:
                2000: 58 Chinese people suffocated to death in a shipping container en route to the UK

                2002: 172 homicides reported when Dr. Harold Shipman was exposed for killing his patients

                2003: 20 cockle pickers drowned resulting in manslaughter charges

                2005: 52 people were killed in the July 7th London subway/bus bombings”

                So, no gun control does not work! The statistics seem to show that over and over. Care to try again?

                Please be sure to cite your sources so they can be properly vetted.

                 

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            Mr. Applegate, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 4:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes, that pesky 2nd Ammendment to the U.S. Constitution just keeps getting in the way doesn't it?

            I agree, cars aren't intended to kill people, food doesn't have to make you fat. Still there are groups of people out there trying to ban certain foods, to make cars slower...

            The point is the entire line of thinking is not rational.

            Look at prohibition in the U.S. did that stop people from drinking? NO!

            Look at the drug laws; Do they stop people from making, selling, buying, and using illegal drugs? NO!

            But let's assume for a moment that we can eliminate all firearms in the U.S., and that this individual could not have gotten a weapon or ammunition. He had like 30 BOMBS in his apartment and enough incendiaries to blow up the entire building. So if he didn't have access to a weapon, you don't think he would have walked into the theater with a backpack full of explosives and set it off? Either remotely, or "going up in a blaze of glory", of course he would have. Timmothy McVeigh anyone?

            The problem is society tolerates drug dealers, gangs, anti-social behaviors. Society as a whole does not recognize or properly treat metal problems. Don't treat the symptom, treat the real problem. We need much tighter families, nosy neighbors, better diagnosis and treatment...

            Gun violence, in fact any violence, is a symptom of much deeper problems, and is not an indicator that guns are the problem. Just like fat people (I am one) are a symptom of a deeper problem than the food I eat. So if you wouldn't see it reasonable to ration food to control the weight of the population, why would you ration guns?

            The real truth, the one no one wants to admit, is that we as a society, don't have the will to make real changes. But we will rush to the easy "There I did something, that will help (and not affect me)" solution.

             

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              Richard (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 5:51am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Gun violence, in fact any violence, is a symptom of much deeper problems, and is not an indicator that guns are the problem.

              Wishful thinking much!
              Look at the gun death statisitcs by nation - and see the prove that gun control does save lives.

              As for that 2nd amendment - well the kind of arms that were available at the time were far short of modern guns in lethality (except maybe to the shooter himself!)

              The fact is that the US does not interpret that amendment literally as the right to bear ANY kind of weapon. (Try getting hold of a tactical nuke for private use under the 2nd amendment!). The state has always made the choice about which kind of weapons may be owned privately and which may not. The 2nd amendment is really pretty meningless. At most it permits the types of weapons that were available when it was framed - not modern firearms.

               

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                Mr. Applegate, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 10:11am

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

                So you are saying that violence would not occur without guns?

                What planet do you come from? Look at TOTAL Intentional homicide rates.

                The United States ranks about 35th on the list of Intentional Homocide Rates (any source).

                Cite: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate


                Certain countries, such as Ireland have a much higher gun ownership rate and a much lower violence rate. In Jamaica violent crimes actually increased sharply after handguns were heavily restricted and a special Gun Court was created. This shows regulating gun ownership is not the answer.

                I believe that has a lot less to do with guns and a lot more to do with our culture. Unfortunately, there are very few willing to tackle the real issues (and that goes for a lot more than violence). Most just want to say "See I did something" without taking the time or putting in the effort to REALLY determine what the problems are and how to fix them.

                Look at McVeigh, or others who used bombs, planes as missiles... Address the reasons people feel a need to perform these acts. Take away guns (which you can't) and they will move to bombs or ???

                 

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              Richard (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 6:09am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Look at the drug laws; Do they stop people from making, selling, buying, and using illegal drugs? NO!

              But let's assume for a moment that we can eliminate all firearms in the U.S., and that this individual could not have gotten a weapon or ammunition. He had like 30 BOMBS in his apartment and enough incendiaries to blow up the entire building. So if he didn't have access to a weapon, you don't think he would have walked into the theater with a backpack full of explosives and set it off? Either remotely, or "going up in a blaze of glory", of course he would have. Timmothy McVeigh anyone?


              I think prohibition and drug laws are a bad example. (incidentally I support drug legalisation). However I do believe that an unarmed society (like the UK - where even the police do not carry guns routinely) is far safer than an armed one.

              Hav8ing said that I also believe that current UK gun laws are overkill. Personally I would not prevent private individuals from having any access to guns (which is pretty much the situation here in the UK). However I would insist on 3rd party insurance amd ballistic registration (as with motor cars). I would also insist that the individual has a genuine reason to own a gun that does not involve shooting or threatening other people (even if they are in the wrong).

              Think about it. If you have a gun for self defence in the event of robbery where do you keep it? Hide it away and lock it up and you will not get to it in an emergency. Make it accessible and the bad guy may get their first - or your children may shoot each other by accident.

               

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                Mr. Applegate, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 11:25am

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

                Of course you think prohibition and drug laws are a bad example.

                The question is why?

                They clearly show that just because it is against the law doesn't mean people will follow the law.

                Take look at Jamaica, there they added significant gun restrictions and added a special "Gun Court" The violence rate went up significantly. Take a look at Ireland, the gun ownership rate there is much higher than in the U.S. yet the violence rate is lower. Japan, does have strict gun laws, but they also have a much more strict society in general and the lower rate of all kinds of violence in Japan can be traced back to their culture, which is generally a lot more respectful of others than the culture here in the U.S.

                I have said it many times in responses on this thread.

                Violence (of any kind) is much more an indicator of problems in a society that can not be legislated away any more than drug or alcohol use or speeding for that matter. Society must be united, and demand respect conformity, and personal responsibility. To date that is something the good old USA has refused to do, so we have these problems.

                Actually, I sleep with a gun on my headboard, I carry a gun daily, and I have no children in the house. I was introduced to handguns by my father at about 8 years old. I was taught how to respect, shoot, clean, maintain and secure weapons properly. Could someone take my weapon and shoot me? Sure, and I could be struck by lightning too. I am not going to worry about either.

                If there had been more like me sitting in that theater "carrying" the "Batman Shooter" would have been dead, and the loss of life and injury to others would have been much lower. True it would still be a tragic event. But he could have chosen to use a bomb too, he had thirty in his apartment.

                I will freely admit that carrying a weapon is not for everyone. You have to have a cool head, be good with your weapon and be able to make sound judgments, you can't be weak, or second guess yourself. But the bottom line is you could outlaw all weapons today and the problem would not get any better. The black market for guns, which already exists, would gear up in a week, and those wouldn't be the legal handguns of today, but full auto models all around, with extended clips (think a 9mm or .40 full auto with 15 and 30 round clips).

                Then where will you be?

                No way to track guns, no way to even track the purchase of ammo, no taxes... Just like, shock, prohibition and the illegal drug trade. The only difference is more people would die.

                The examples show human nature, which is way more powerful than any "gun law" could ever hope to be.

                 

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                btr1701 (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 1:27pm

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

                > Make it accessible and the bad guy may get
                > their first - or your children may shoot
                > each other by accident.

                Why do you assume everyone has children?

                 

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:12am

        Re: Re:

        How true...If the members of the audience had been allowed to exercise their constitutional right and carry a concealed weapon, he could have been stopped before he ever killed any of them.

         

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          VMax, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:14am

          Re: Re: Re:

          He seemed to have been thinking that. He was wearing full body armor.

           

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            btr1701 (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > He seemed to have been thinking that.
            > He was wearing full body armor.

            Even with the gear he was wearing, being struck by .357 hollowpoints is going to feel like being hit in the chest with a sledgehammer. It's going to stagger him, hurt him, possibly break his ribs, knock him down, and most importantly, keep him from continuing to shoot everyone else.

            And once he's down or stunned, you press the advantage and run *toward* him. A room the size of a movie theater, you can cover that distance in seconds. Run right up to him, put the barrel under his chin and pull the trigger. That's what I've been trained to do. I realize most people who are licensed to carry don't have that kind of training, but they at least could provide the suppressive fire that would give everyone else in the room time to escape.

             

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              Richard (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 6:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That is the fantasy - reality is not like that.

              The more people have guns the more people will get shot. It's that simple.

               

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                Mr. Applegate, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 11:37am

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

                It is not fantasy (it is an ideal scenario), and it most certainly is not "that simple".

                The bottom line is if someone wants to hurt people they will find a way. This idiot had 30 bombs in his apartment. If he hadn't had access to guns, the likely outcome would have been a bomb in the theater that would have killed and maimed more.

                Let's stop drinking! Prohibition didn't work out so well.

                Crack is illegal too, people still manufacture, sell, buy and use it.

                Gun laws will not prevent anything, it is an illusion designed to make people feel safer without, in fact, providing safety. It is "The easy answer" and makes people feel like something has been done. However, Gun Laws would be no more effective than prohibition was for alcohol, or the drug laws are for drugs.

                Anyone who thinks differently isn't being honest with themselves, or anyone else.

                 

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                btr1701 (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

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

                > The more people have guns the more people will get shot. It's that simple.

                Except in cases where armed citizens have actually stopped spree killers in their tracks.

                Though press accuonts downplayed it, the 2002 shooting at Appalachian Law School was stopped when a student retrieved a gun from his car and confronted the shooter. Likewise, Pearl, MS, shooter Luke Woodham was stopped when the school's vice principal took a .45 from his truck and ran to the scene.

                And Jeanne Assam, a parishioner who volunteered to provide security for the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, rushed forward while everyone else was running away, and put a stop to Matthew Murray's rampage in 2007. "I saw him coming through the doors and took cover," Assam said. "I came out of cover and identified myself and engaged him and took him down. I didn't think for a minute to run away." If she had run away, the gunman, who had a rifle and 1000 rounds of ammunition on him would have killed many more than the two people he managed to shoot before Assam put an end to him.

                And don't forget the two cops who stopped Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter. They acted in much the same conditions as were present in the Aurora theater. Confusion, chaos, panic, people running everywhere. The only difference was the light level. They were able to rely on their training and experience to bring down the shooter before he was able to make his massacre ten times worse.

                The idea that fighting back against these assholes is somehow an even worse idea than everyone just lying there waiting to be executed hoping the government can save them in time is absurd.

                 

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          JMT (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 5:01pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So in a dark room full of hysterical people blinded by tear gas, you want more people with guns, looking for someone else with a gun. Yes, that would be so much better...

           

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          Richard (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 5:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          .If the members of the audience had been allowed to exercise their constitutional right and carry a concealed weapon, he could have been stopped before he ever killed any of them.

          and there would be regular incidents of innocent people being gunned down because some gun toting fool thought they looked suspicious.

           

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      Richard (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:48am

      Re:

      Violent games will be up there on the list and gun ownership will also be up there. These things do not by themselves cause issues. The problem is the guy.

      I'd like to agree with this - except that it is an admission of defeat. If you say "the problem is the guy" then there is by definition absolutely nothing that can be done about it.

      Personally I think that there is something the US could do about it - and that is to put restrictions on gun ownership that more or less in line with what the UK used to have (before our government went a bit too far ansd banned all handguns, even those used by target shooters).

      I know all the arguments that this comment will provoke - I've seen them all before - but frankly the statistics of gun death in the US vs the UK are unanswerable.

      Now I know that it would not prevent all incidents of this kind - but it certainly would reduce their severity.

      To say nothing can be done but blame the individual is just defeatist.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:51am

        Re: Re:

        Then they'll just switch to nail guns.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 7:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          A "Toolbox Murders" reference? I have that movie on DVD. And no, I've never shot anyone with a nail gun.

           

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        varagix, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:04am

        Re: Re:

        The problem with that is that implies that the guns are the reason for the violence, and that gun laws are an effective deterrent for violence. Banning guns simply takes the guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, the kind of people who could otherwise have been trusted with them in the first place. Criminals and maniacs would still have them, because they were already willing to break other laws in the first place.

        And I don't see how blaming the individual, the person who did the crime, is defeatist. The gun didn't decide to shoot 70+ people and kill over a dozen. It was the man who obtained the gun, loaded it, and fired it. Shifting the blame to the gun itself -is- defeatist, because you're already admitting that there's nothing you could have done to stop the man using it.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Of course it's the guns fault, just like hpw my pen keeps misspealling werds.

           

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          Richard (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:42am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Banning guns simply takes the guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, the kind of people who could otherwise have been trusted with them in the first place. Criminals and maniacs would still have them, because they were already willing to break other laws in the first place.


          Another regular myth.

          Where do criminals and maniacs get their guns from?

          Answer - either by stealing them from law abiding citizens - or (as in this case) by buying them from the outlets that are set up for law abiding citizens.

          Remove guns from law abiding citizens (who have no reasonable use for them anyway) and you choke off those routes.

           

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            :Lobo Santo (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: NG

            Yes, let's round up all the guns! What possible reason could exist for common people to own guns?! None at all! Let's take them all away from those poor retarded people -- for the children!

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Looks like I'll just have to cut people up with knives.


            Oh you banned that? No probs I'll just find some other way to kill people.

            INNOCATION TIME

             

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            varagix, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Or the more reasonable thing: catch the guy before he does it. I have yet to hear how a man carrying... what was it? A semi-automatic variant of an AR-15 with an after market 100-round drum magazine and 2 hand guns, got into a crowded theater without being stopped by security.

            Remove guns from law abiding citizens (who have no reasonable use for them anyway) and you choke off those routes.

            No reasonable use? Hunting, target shooting, self defense? Those not reasonable? There's plenty of reason to want to own a gun.

            And a person determined to cause that much havok wouldn't be limited by gun restrictions. He could have gotten a gun illicitly, made a gun, modified an otherwise legal gun. Heck, he didn't even have to use a gun. People can make explosives with house hold items; would you ban those things as well?

            Again, why is banning guns, disarming the population, the answer? And "the UK's statistics prove it works" isn't the answer. Countries like Sweden have a far higher rate of gun owners, but a far lower rate of gun related homicides. If UK 'proves' it, then Sweden equally disproves it.

             

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              JMG, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 1:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Or the more reasonable thing: catch the guy before he does it. I have yet to hear how a man carrying... what was it? A semi-automatic variant of an AR-15 with an after market 100-round drum magazine and 2 hand guns, got into a crowded theater without being stopped by security."

              He walked in the main entrance like everyone else with no guns, paid for a ticket, and entered the theater. Then he walked out through the theater exit and propped the exit door open. Went to his car and got dressed in the body armor, geared up, and re-entered via the propped open exit door. He didn't just walk right into a crowded theater guns in hand where everyone could see. He waited until the theater was dark and the movie was playing before re-entering.

              I can't believe that the movie theater had no type of alarm alerting them that an exit door was propped open. I have to think the door had to be open for 10 - 15 minutes minimum while he went out and prepared. I'd think they'd have some type of system in place to prevent people from sneaking in the exit doors to see movies without paying.

               

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                Anonymous, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:35pm

                Are you so sure...

                ...that the guy who walked in was the same guy who walked out through the exit door?

                 

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                  JMG, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 5:46am

                  Re: Are you so sure...

                  From the always truthful wiki (surprised it already exists):

                  "It is alleged that the shooter bought a ticket, entered the theater, and sat in the front row; about 20 minutes into the film, he left the building through an emergency exit door, which he propped open; he then went to his car, which was parked near the exit door, changed into protective clothing, and retrieved his guns;[3][4] about a half hour into the film, around 12:38 am,[5] he re-entered the theater through the exit door."

                  I have seen nothing to state that it wasn't. I was mistaken in that I thought he went out prior to the movie beginning. Supposedly, he left 20 minutes in and returned 10 minutes later via the propped open exit door.

                   

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              JMT (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 5:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "There's plenty of reason to want to own a gun."

              There are no good reasons whatsoever for needing an assault rifle and a large-capacity magazine. These sorts of things should be extremely hard to obtain, but they're not.

              "And a person determined to cause that much havok wouldn't be limited by gun restrictions."

              Of course he would. The harder it is to get something, the harder it is to get! Simple. He may have been determined to do something, but the scale of what he did was a direct result of how easily the items were obtained.

              "Again, why is banning guns, disarming the population, the answer?"

              Strawman argument, nobody is suggesting that is a realistic option.

              "Countries like Sweden have a far higher rate of gun owners, but a far lower rate of gun related homicides."

              So Americans are less law-abiding, less responsible, and more murderous than the Swedish. That's not something to be proud of.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:01pm

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

                How about we get rid of our guns when the government gets rid of theirs?

                 

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                varagix, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:50pm

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

                There are no good reasons whatsoever for needing an assault rifle and a large-capacity magazine. These sorts of things should be extremely hard to obtain, but they're not.

                The large-capacity magazine, yeah I can agree that should be regulated if not restricted. But assault rifles fall under Title 2 weapons, which requires federal taxes and registration, and even then is currently prohibited to all except those in security, law-enforcement, and military positions, as are nearly all other 'machine guns'.

                That being said, the gunman didn't have an assault rifle; he had a semi-automatic sporting rifle based on an assault rifle frame. In other words, it looked like one, but it didn't function as one.

                Strawman argument, nobody is suggesting that is a realistic option.

                Maybe nobody here, but to hear some people talk about it, they won't be happy until most if not all firearms are illegal for civilian use.

                So Americans are less law-abiding, less responsible, and more murderous than the Swedish. That's not something to be proud of.

                No, I'm not proud of it. A larger than normal percentage of the population is angry and violent, and a lot of people direct that energy towards destructive ends and targets of convenience. I'd prefer if more energy were put towards the root of that problem, rather than symptoms of it.

                Oh, and if that was a backhanded insult on the Swedish (and the Danish, since they have similar levels of ownership and crime), I just gotta point out that just about everyone is more murderous and less law-abiding than them. Just sayin'.

                 

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                  JMT (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:45pm

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

                  "That being said, the gunman didn't have an assault rifle; he had a semi-automatic sporting rifle based on an assault rifle frame. In other words, it looked like one, but it didn't function as one."

                  Apart from not being fully automatic, in what way did it not function like an assault rifle? And what exactly is a "sporting" rifle? What sports do you compete in with one?

                  "Oh, and if that was a backhanded insult on the Swedish..."

                  Nope, just pointing out that they're obviously far better behaved with guns than Americans are. Their statistics do nothing to prove tighter gun control isn't required in the US.

                   

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                    varagix, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:18pm

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

                    Apart from not being fully automatic, in what way did it not function like an assault rifle? And what exactly is a "sporting" rifle? What sports do you compete in with one?

                    Considering that an assault rifle, by definition, is a rifle that can fire full auto or burst, and has a detatchable magazine, the only similarity is the magazine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_rifles

                    Unless you want to pull out the "assault weapon" label the expired 1994 Assault Weapon Ban created, in which case, yes, the model of weapon in the shooting is, both specifically stated in the law as an 'assault weapon', and would also qualify as one under the conditions listed in the expired law, as would any other semi-auto rifle that has any two of: a telescoping or folding stock, a pistol grip, a mount for a bayonet, a flash suppressor, or a barrel mounted grenade launcher.

                    I'm fairly certain the grenade launcher would have fallen under the Any Other Weapon or the Destructive Device categories of Title 2 weapons though, and also be restricted like any other explosive device besides. And a mounted bayonet would count as a brandished and deadly weapon under just about any law I'm aware of. Any of the other aspects of an 'assault weapon' has absolutely no impact on a gun's killing ability. It's almost entirely cosmetic.
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Assault_Weapons_Ban

                    Not that it matters much; 75% of recorded gun violence incidents involve handguns. I have yet to see a Handgun Ban or Handgun Restriction Act proposed as a solution (the pistol section of the AWB hardly qualifies, as it doesn't even touch the most common handguns out there). Not that I think it would necessarily work, but if gun control -would- work, that would be what does the job.

                    A 'sporting rifle' is, as far as I'm aware, any rifle that was made with sporting purposes in mind, ie hunting and competitive shooting (think speed and accuracy contests).
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_sports

                    "Sporting rifle" itself isn't a legal term, I don't believe, but US law does specifically refer to firearms determined in court to be intended for "sporting purposes" as being legal, usually when referring to weapons not already covered by terms such as "rifle", "short barreled rifle (SBR)", "machine gun", etc, etc.

                    As far as I'm aware, the only legal sporting rifles generally are semi-auto and manual action rifles with a total length of at least 26" and a barrel length of at least 16". Anything shorter than that is a SBR or short barreled rifle, which is a Title 2 firearm. And its entirely possible for certain rifles to be classified as an AOW or Any Other Weapon, which could mean it could be further regulated or restricted.

                    And of course state laws can be more strict and/or convoluted. I'd compare California gun law, for example, as being like the bastard child of the federal Assault Weapons Ban and copyright law, after having graduated an accelerated course in legalese. Any gun owner or dealer there would likely also have to be a law student as well to avoid actually breaking the law, and even then that doesn't stop numerous wrongful arrests from what I hear.

                    Nope, just pointing out that they're obviously far better behaved with guns than Americans are. Their statistics do nothing to prove tighter gun control isn't required in the US.

                    Maybe, but statistics within the US show that any time a crack down on guns happens in an area, crime and gun violence -rises-. Sometimes drastically.

                    It's likely the only way you could deal with this right now is to address the issues behind the violence rather than the tools. Or to get at the actual criminals without endangering, criminalizing, or disarming otherwise innocent civilians. Else-wise it'd be like smacking a hornets nest in an attempt to reduce hornet stings, ie totally counter productive.

                     

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                      JMT (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 3:36am

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

                      "A 'sporting rifle' is, as far as I'm aware, any rifle that was made with sporting purposes in mind, ie hunting and competitive shooting (think speed and accuracy contests)."

                      I'd agree with that, which is why I have an issue with an AR-15 being defined as one.

                       

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                        varagix, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 7:59am

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

                        I don't care to argue this too much more, since I'm pretty much not interested in most 'modern' gun designs, but I honestly want to know what the reasoning is. What seperates a civilian model AR-15, or any other semi-automatic that happens to share a similar frame shape, from a rifle that is exactly the same in capabilities, but happens to have a more 'traditional' sporting rifle design?

                        As far as I can tell, there's no practical difference. Civilian AR-15s use civilian ammunition calibers, have all the same capabilities as other sporting semi-automatic rifles, and is legally treated by many countries as a sporting rifle (subject to those countries' particular laws).
                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AR-15#Legal_status_of_civilian_ownership

                        And if you're going to split hairs over "made for" vs "originally designed for" (or at least thats what it appears; correct me if I'm wrong), what seperates, for example, a civilian version of, as an example, an M14 bolt action rifle, from a bolt action designed from the ground up as a sporting rifle? Or a civilian version of an M1 compared to other similar semi-automatics that were designed from the get-go for civilians?

                        As far as I'm aware, most of the arguments against it consists of "it looks kinda like a modern military rifle, ergo it must be a modern military rifle, and therefor should be banned." I'd rather law and policy be based on facts than appearances.

                         

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                          varagix, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 9:16am

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

                          for example, a civilian version of, as an example, an M14 bolt action rifle, from a bolt action designed from the ground up as a sporting rifle? Or a civilian version of an M1 compared to other similar semi-automatics that were designed from the get-go for civilians?

                          Ugh. Brain fart. That's what I get for posting first thing when I get up before work. The M14 isn't a bolt action rifle. Please disregard my horrible memory. But still, I gotta know what separates 'modern' semi-automatics like the AR-15 from more regularly accepted 'traditional' rifles? Like I said, it all seems to be based solely on appearances.

                           

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                    varagix, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:30pm

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

                    Actually, I overlooked one thing with the federal Assault Weapons Ban. It also banned large capacity removable magazines. If there's any part of the ban that I have absolutely no problem with, it was that.

                     

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Do you honestly beleive that removing the point of sale in the US would stop the flow of guns into the country? How well has that worked with cocaine and heroin?

             

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            btr1701 (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 12:22pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > Remove guns from law abiding citizens
            > (who have no reasonable use for them
            > anyway)

            I respectfully disagree. My sister is alive today because she had a reasonable use for her gun-- namely to fight off the man who attack her and tried to rape her (and likely kill her). It was later learned that she was the third woman he'd attacked. He raped and killed the first two.

            Now he's sitting in prison serving a 142-year sentence and walking with a cane thanks to the shattered knee he received when my sister shot him as he attacked her.

            I'd say that's a pretty damn reasonable use for a gun and it's not for people like you to take away the rights of others to defend themselves in such situations.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That is not what he meant...
          Violence is inevitable, but controlling the damage is possible. In US, damage control is mostly metal detectors, but some increase in gun-control might also make it a less frequent occurance. You have to admit that knifes are less likely to kill people than a full-automatic fastshooting penis-analogue. At the same time, it will be less random, what the person hits.

           

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            Mr. Applegate, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:48am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Really? You think so?? More than 500,000 guns are stolen from peoples homes every year. How is even outlawing guns outright going to fix the problem? It won't. It is far to late to put that genie back in the bottle.

            Well lets look at some facts in the USA:

            14,000 - Murders by Guns /Year
            18,000 - Suicides by Guns / Year
            32,885 - Deaths by Auto Accidents / Year
            100,000+ - Die from Illegal Drug Use / Year

            So the illegal status of drugs in the U.S. has obviously done a lot of good. It has prevented so many needless deaths. Well maybe not.

            Please think. Gun Laws are not the answer. Just because it is illegal doesn't mean people won't break the law. If that were true:

            There would be no people speeding; doing illegal drugs; there would be no piracy...

            Think of the children! Raise them right and they won't feel compelled to break the laws in the first place.

            Oh, wait.. thinking, that is hard. Knee jerk reactions are easy, even if they will not solve the problem.

             

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              JMT (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 5:28pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Please don't compare gun deaths to car deaths as some kind of excuse against control. As terrible as car death rates are, the car's usefulness to society is orders of magnitude huger than the gun's. They should simply never be compared in these terms.

               

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                Mr. Applegate, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 4:12am

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

                I was not directly comparing car deaths to gun deaths, at least that was not my intent. I understand that cars are more useful to society. I was only attempting to put things in perspective, by showing that as high as the number of gun deaths may sound, and as horrible as they are, they are still a small percentage of the deaths in this country.

                 

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 6:16pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Strawmanning is fun, aight?
              Where did I state that guns should be made illegal to own?
              And please raise your level of discussion from ad hominum to what is written. It makes your rants seem less aloaf.

               

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                Mr. Applegate, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 4:19am

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

                Let's see you started your post with "That is not what he meant...", that opens up the post you were replying to as well. Since you are attempting to "explain it".

                 

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          Richard (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Shifting the blame to the gun itself -is- defeatist, because you're already admitting that there's nothing you could have done to stop the man using it.

          I'm not shifting the blame to the gun. I'm shifting the blame to your misguided and inaccurate reasoning.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:11am

        Re: Re:

        Personal Responsibility much?

        Just because a person has guns does not make him a gun nut or homicidal.

        And the UK (To pick one country that has very rigorous gun laws, has a very high rate of gun violence. The seems to dispute your claims.

        Try again.

         

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          Richard (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And the UK (To pick one country that has very rigorous gun laws, has a very high rate of gun violence. The seems to dispute your claims.

          Look up your facts before you post!

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence


          England and Wales Gun Homicide per 100,000 0.12
          US Gun Homicide per 100,000 2.97

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yup comparing the US to UK is dumb.

            He should have compared US to Canada
            Where with similar rates of gun ownership there are vastly different levels of gun related homicides.
            Leaving us with the difficult question:
            If it isn't the prevalence of guns in society that cause gun related homicides, is it just the the citizens of the U.S. are unevolved?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:53pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:10pm

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

                All four countries reported that handguns were the most common type of gun used in the commission of firearm-related homicides. In 2006, handguns were responsible for 75% of all firearm-related homicides in the United States, 57% in Canada, 47% in Australia and 44% in England and Wales.

                Canadian homicide data from 2003 to 2006 indicate that where registration status was known, 7 in 10 firearms used to commit homicide were reported by police to be unregistered.2 Among persons accused of homicide, 27% were found to possess a valid firearms license. Data from Australia show that most firearms used to commit homicide are unlawfully held by accused persons
                From above link


                Handguns have required registration for many many years in Canada. 40% of homicides are already committed with illegal handguns.

                How do we make them more illegal?

                Murder was already illegal too!

                 

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            varagix, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Low population, low percentage of gun owners (6.2% UK vs 88% US according to Wikipedia), equals lower rate of gun homicides. But explain how the UK has well over double the rate of assaults?

            http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_ass_vic-crime-assault-victims

            Thats 2.8% of the population having been a victim of an assault in the UK, vs 1.2% in the US.

             

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              Chris Brand (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:04am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Personally, I'd likely pick a greater chance of being assaulted over a greater chance of being shot and killed, all else being equal, particularly as "assault" has a very broad legal definition.

              (For background, I emigrated from the UK, and I can see both sides of the gun control argument. I just thought this was an odd argument to make)

               

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                varagix, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:38am

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

                I'm just pointing out how misleading statistics can be. Another person pointed out that the statistics quoted for gun related homicide also included things like killings done by police officers and done in self defense. We're talking .0000297% vs .0000012% of population here.

                Also we're looking at -just- the US and -just- the UK here. Sweden has about 1/3 as many gun owners as US and 5 times and many as the UK, as a percentage, but their rate of gun related homicides are far lower than even the UK's. Similarly for Norway.

                If anything, I've seen more convincing arguments that the US's higher gun violence rate is tied to a higher crime rate and the populations willingness to turn to violence to prevent crime or becoming a victim of a crime, not to gun ownership itself.

                 

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                Richard (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:49am

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

                Personally, I'd likely pick a greater chance of being assaulted over a greater chance of being shot and killed, all else being equal,

                Particularly since around half of UK assaults are classified as "non-injury" assaults!

                 

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              Richard (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Things like assault are pretty hard to pin down (unlike death). Those figures are unlikely to be consistently gathered in different countries. (Presumably) for that reason Wikipedia does not seem to quote crime statistics by nation for anything other than homicide.

               

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            Nastybutler77 (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            From the very article you reference:

            "Gun violence defined literally means the use of a firearm to threaten or inflict violence or harm. Gun violence may be broadly defined as a category of violence and crime committed with the use of a firearm; it may[1] or may not[2][3] include actions ruled as self-defense, actions for law enforcement, or the safe lawful use of firearms for sport, hunting, and target practice. Gun violence encompasses intentional crime characterized as homicide (although not all homicide is automatically a crime) and assault with a deadly weapon, as well as unintentional injury and death resulting from the misuse of firearms, sometimes by children and adolescents.[4][dead link] Gun violence statistics also may include self-inflicted gunshot wounds (both suicide, attempted suicide and suicide/homicide combinations sometimes seen within families).[5]"

            So you're counting suicides by gun in your statistics? As well as self defense and police shootings? Very compelling argument ya got there.

            Oh, and as far as you trying to make a causal link between strict gun laws and homicides, try looking at Zimbabwe's figures. Guns are illegal there, yet their Gun Homicides per 100,000 is at 4.75, so your little comparison proves nothing. Outlawing guns does little to nothing to prevent gun violence. I'm sure if Columbia banned all firearms, it's rate of firearm homicides would hardly drop, as I doubt the drug cartels would stop using them. What a dolt you are if you think that's the solution.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 7:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "...I doubt the drug cartels would stop using them".
              The U.S. Department Of "Justice" would make sure they are well-supplied.

               

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You are right, I should have taken my time to research a country that shows my point better. Thanks for showing me that.

            I'll just have to rest with personal responsibility then.

             

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        Machin Shin (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:53am

        Re: Re:

        Yup, we could ban guns and move on to people stabbing each other. The point is this guy had a problem. I don't care what laws you have in place he would have done something.

        Outlawing guns will not get rid of them. It just makes them harder to get and more expensive. So quit pretending that outlawing them gets rid of them. If making something illegal gets rid of it then WTF is up with all the drugs?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:57am

        Re: Re:

        If you say "the problem is the guy" then there is by definition absolutely nothing that can be done about it.

        Captain Hindsight is overrated. This tragedy happened, and nothing can be done to change that now. No one can go back and change that boy's choice to do great evil on innocent strangers.

        Personally, I feel the charade of polarization in DC as reported by the mass media, has as much to do with completely desensitized people wreaking violence on others as any other factor today.

        You can "take away the guns" (hello enormous black market run by despicable, violent and dangerous people (hello war on drugs)), but you can't take away free will.

         

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        Nastybutler77 (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:07am

        Re: Re:

        Hmmm, explosives are illegal without proper permits and licenses, yet without these permits and licenses Timothy McVeigh somehow managed to load a box van with enough home made explosives to kill 168 people and injure another 680. This incident renders moot every liberal's call to ban guns whenever a mass shooting happens. If a psychopath has a will, they'll find a way, laws or no laws, guns or no guns. Now sit down and keep quite.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          > If a psychopath has a will, they'll find a way, laws or no laws, guns or no guns.

          Think statistically. For each nutso who goes all the way, there will be several who either give up or get caught in the middle. Changing the proportion of the ones who fail can change the amount of serious incidents in the end. You can never prevent them completely, but you can change their amount and severity.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Given that those who want a gun, will get one, illegally if needed. I would rather have everyone who wants a gun to get one via the system and have a paper trail. Then if a person does anything stupid, much less a horrible crime, we can look back and see what may have gone wrong.

            Gun violence in many urban environments happens with black market weapons. For those that enjoy guns and are happy to buy them legally and have done so, how is your solution going to solve the larger problem of black market weapons?

             

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              Richard (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 12:02pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Gun violence in many urban environments happens with black market weapons.

              Problem is that the black market tends to be a fraction of the "white market". Make the white market smaller by removing from it those who actually don't have any real use for guns and you make the black market smaller too.

              Personally I think that if you want to have a gun for some practical purpose then, subject to obvious safety precautions such as compulsory 3rd party insurance (as with cars), you should be able to.

              Sensible practical purposes would include as target
              shooting or hunting.

              However if youwant a gun in the mistaken belief that it makes you safer, or that you can somehow help to fight crime then you are a dangerous idiot who cannot be trusted with a firearm.

               

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                Mr. Applegate, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

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

                You don't like the U.S. Constitution? The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution seems to indicate that I have the right to keep and bear arms, with or without reason. Feel free to try to get a Constitutional amendment passed to change that.

                I carry a weapon for "Personal Protection". I have never had to discharge my weapon for personal protection, but I have displayed it twice to those who would do me harm. For some reason the police were nowhere to be found when I needed them.

                As for your premise that "the black market tends to be a fraction of the 'white market'" lets look at some other illegal activities.

                Lets look at drugs, Marijuana is illegal in the U.S. so by your assertion since there is no legal pot, there will be no illegal pot. I wonder how it all gets here then.

                Care to try again?

                If this deranged individual didn't have access to guns, he likely would have brought a bomb to the show in a backpack and killed everyone in the theater. He had something on the order of thirty home made devices in his apartment.

                You don't suppose, just maybe, we need to work on the root cause rather than saying "Cars kill people, outlaw cars" (By the way more people are killed by cars than by guns).

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 7:50am

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

                  "For some reason the police were nowhere to be found when I needed them."


                  When seconds count, the police are only minutes away

                   

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        btr1701 (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

        Re: Re:

        > If you say "the problem is the guy" then
        > there is by definition absolutely nothing
        > that can be done about it.

        And how does falsely blaming something else like video games or movies help with that? You're still not actually doing anything about it. You're just fooling yourself into thinking you are.

        Sometimes there are problems that can't reasonably be solved.

         

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          Richard (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 1:47pm

          Re: Re: Re:


          And how does falsely blaming something else like video games or movies help with that? You're still not actually doing anything about it. You're just fooling yourself into thinking you are.


          I agree that those things don't cause these problems.

          I also don't believe that availability of guns causes these problems - but it does make them worse.

          Sometimes there are problems that can't reasonably be solved.

          True.

           

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      varagix, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:52am

      Re:

      I've already seen an online petition going around asking Congress to reinstate the old federal Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 1994. Anyone thinking that's a good idea, a) doesn't know what was in the ban in the first place, b) doesn't understand guns at all, and c) for some reason thinks that criminals would refuse to break a gun ban even when they were willing to attack, injure, and kill people.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 4:17am

      Re:

      Sorry, but you're not placing blame where it's due.

      We, as a society, need to figure out once and for all why people do these shootings and we need to prevent it from happening again.

      It's easy to go "He's evil, he's completely to blame, end of story" but I'm curious what exactly drove him to do this.
      Blaming the guy completely is just the easy way out - it spares us from having to question whether we share any responsibility.

      I don't want to speculate since I don't know why he did this, but maybe too many people gave him trouble, maybe he needed friendship but couldn't find any, etc.
      I don't know the answer, maybe the guy was just a dick for no reason, but we should at least be asking these questions.

      But we're not asking those questions. Instead we're pointing the finger at him.
      And tomorrow, another kid will be rejected by his peers. And in a few months, that kid might be made fun of or insulted over something stupid. And in one year, a girl he's asking on a date might turn him down in a demeaning way.
      And one day that kid's going to get a gun and shoot a bunch random people, because he will have enough and at that point nobody will be able to convince him to care about other people anymore.
      And maybe we can prevent that next shooting if we start learning the lesson right now.

      But we don't want to learn the lesson. We don't even want to know if there's a lesson we should learn. Because if it turns out we contributed to that shooting in the slightest way by the way we behave as a society, it will make us feel bad. We can't deal with the truth if it's inconvenient.

      Yeah, the guy decided to get a gun, enter a theater, aim at the crowd and press the trigger. That's obvious and we all know it.
      Now we can either point out the obvious and argue about the role of gun control and video games (even though we know full well the debate won't change anything) or we can start asking "Why did he enter that theater in the first place?"

      Your call, people.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:41am

    The media is also blaming the internet.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:44am

    Video games get blamed for so much but the fact is that millions of people play video games every day and have no violent tendencies as a result.

    Being a psychopath is not even a prerequisite for violent behaviour which is another thing the press fail to grasp.

    Finding other people or things to blame is a way of removing personal responsibility for their actions. That really annoys me.

     

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      MrWilson, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:59am

      Re:

      "...the fact is that millions of people play video games every day and have no violent tendencies as a result."

      This is the same reasoning that needs to be applied to all moral panics.

      The fact is that over a billion Muslims haven't tried to kill anyone.

      The fact is that over a billion Christians aren't spouting hate and vitriol at gay people. Some of them even are gay.

      The fact is that many people who violate copyrights (almost everyone who uses a computer with an internet connection technically) also pay for so-called "intellectual property."

      The fact is not everyone in the 1% is a greedy bastard.

      The fact is not everyone receiving food stamps or welfare is lazy or a drug user.

       

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        Zakida Paul (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:06am

        Re: Re:

        Exactly. It's a pity this kind of common sense doesn't sell newspapers. That's why they tend to go with the usual sensationalist bollocks we read every day.

         

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      AdamBv1 (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:35am

      Re:

      Exactly, people also seem to forget there are over 80 million legal gun owners in the US with over 300 million guns that do nothing wrong every day.

      One psycho shoots a place up and they want to punish millions of responsible people? When does it make any sense to pass laws to regulate less than one part per million away? What could they even possibly pass that would be effective in this case anyways?

       

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    Jay (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:45am

    Well, that just makes it easier for them to blame "the rock music." Rock: It's Your Decision was trying to warn us!

     

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    Deep Space, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:47am

    Colorado Shooting, Batman & High Fructose Corn Syrup

    Colorado Shooting, Batman & High Fructose Corn Syrup
    http://12160.info/video/colorado-shooting-batman-high-fructose-corn-syrup

     

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    Watchit (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Perhaps he went postal because he didn't play enough violent video games? Couldn't get it out of his system you know?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:55am

    unfortunately, this kind of sensationalism is exactly what politicians want. it gives them yet another excuse to introduce some other useless fucking restrictive legislation that will remove even more citizens rights in one way or another, using the 'for the children' as the reason.

     

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    Spike (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:59am

    How come violent Hollywood films never get blamed?

    Oh right, they spend the most lobbying dollars, and of course CNN owned by a media conglomerate has nothing to do with it either. :-)

    Violent PG-13 films FTW!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:03am

    Yeah, it's funny when the media cast randomly for what outside agency might have contributed to a mass murder.
    Especially as they ignore the advice they sought from psychiatrists on how to cover such events, if they want to help keep a lid on copycats.

    The psychiatric advice having been.

    "If you don't want to propagate more mass murders...

    Don't start the story with sirens blaring.

    Don't have photographs of the killer.

    Don't make this 24/7 coverage.

    Do everything you can not to make the body count the lead story.

    Not to make the killer some kind of anti-hero.

    Do localise this story to the affected community and as boring as possible in every other market. "

    http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/media/2012/07/how-media-shouldnt-cover-mass-murder

     

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    tea-addict, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:37am

    Some matter on evil influence

    Games don't kill people. People do.
    What "made him do it" is left to speculation. IMO he definitely had some p2p connection issues...

     

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    arrgster (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:38am

    Numbers

    When people start blaming video games or violent movies it really shows how little they know about the world as a whole.

    Lets just think about some numbers. Almost 7 billion people on the planet. Around 300 million people in the united states. There are around 40 million monthly players of call of duty at this time. At least 16 million people have seen batman so far.

    Now, how many have gone nuts and shot up a movie theater? 1

    world population 1 in 7 billion

    US citizens 1 in 300 million

    Call of duty players 0 in 40 million (he didn't play call of duty)

    Batman movie watchers 0 in 16 million (he wasn't watching the movie he walked in and shot up the place)

    So statistically he is a anomaly and very rare as a whole. We shouldn't start saying movies, games, or guns are bad because a minuscule percentage of the population did something very abnormal.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:41am

    With the Patriot act and all of the government spying going on, I am really (not)surprised at how the inept our government is at identifying a person who is building up an arsenal weapons and body armor in a relatively short period of time. I say this without knowing what other chemicals or explosives or IED ingredients and parts he may have also purchased. Of course none of it is illegal to purchase, but given the specific items purchased, volumes, and time frame, red flags should have flown. At the very least send an agent to see what the guy is up to. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes to figure out if the guy needs psychiatric help.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:46am

    Wheres the blame for movie studios?
    Only seems fair, even if this is bs

     

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    ebilrawkscientist (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 9:52am

    Hair Products.

    I for one place the blame for this squarely upon the makers of hair products that directly cause psychopath behavior in unstable people.

     

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    Jim G., Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:29am

    You have to look at the histotical data to make a rational decision

    Here is what I observer about loud arguments regarding gun control laws, including this one. The participants argue mainly from two different viewpoints: 1) Theoretical arguments like “I bet that even if we had gun control laws they would not work.” 2) Anecdotal arguments like “We have gun control laws in my state and somebody used a gun last week anyway.”

    I think both these perspective are quite weak. In order to understand how effective or ineffective gun control is you need to look at broad patterns across different states and countries over an extended period of time. For example, it’s certainly interesting if there are far fewer murders in the UK using guns, but we’d have to consider things like the average level of violent behavior in the UK vs. the USA. If the folks in the UK commit other acts of violence at a different rate than folks in the USA then you have to take that into account when measuring the possible effect of these laws.

    I think it’s a mistake to frame the question as “Would gun control laws have stopped this specific tragedy from happening?” That just results in loud arguments over something you can’t possible predict. The question is more like “Would gun control laws lower the rate of violent crime in the long-term in a particular culture?” And of course this one benefit should be balanced against other problems that would be created by these same laws.

    Until you start looking at the data you aren’t thinking rationally. You are just adding to the heat without generating any light.

    Taking this perspective into account some of the common arguments become easy to respond to. Here are just two examples:


    >If a psychopath has a will, they'll find a way, laws or no laws

    > I don't care what laws you have in place he would have done something.

    This might be true, but that’s probably not very significant when it comes to what laws we institute. Gun control laws might (or might not) be a good idea completely independent of whether a crazy person who is dedicated to their craziness is able to commit mass-murder.

    >as far as you trying to make a causal link between strict gun laws and homicides,
    >try looking at Zimbabwe's figures. Guns are illegal there, yet their Gun Homicides per 100,000 is at 4.75

    You are right, an example like this demonstrates that simply having a law in place does not guarantee gun violence will stop. However, one country by itself is insufficient to prove gun control can’t be successful. Zimbabwe is a crazy country with other extreme problems.

     

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      Richard (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:16am

      Re: You have to look at the histotical data to make a rational decision

      If the folks in the UK commit other acts of violence at a different rate than folks in the USA then you have to take that into account when measuring the possible effect of these laws.

      If you look at that data - using the link I gave earlier - then the result is quite clear.

      Non-gun murder in the UK is lower - but not that much lower than the US. Gun murder on the other hand in MUCH lower. The US has a murder rate 3x that of the UK - and most of that difference is explicable on the basis of gun availability alone.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:41am

    He called himself "The Joker." Are video games to blame? I think comic books or movies are the obvious influence in this, if something is to blame. Are we going to ban those, too?

    I don't think it's any of those--I'm just tired of the media pointing fingers where they shouldn't be pointing.

     

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    cookie house, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:42am

    Why was "Use brain" law not created? Because subjective interpretation.

    With guns we have: inappropriate gun users + paranoia everywhere.
    Without guns we have: murderers + some paranoia.
    Those who want a gun will get it anyway without any law concerns.
    Gun (and fear) production should be limited.
    This looks like an unattractive social concern to me.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:00am

      Re: Why was "Use brain" law not created? Because subjective interpretation.

      Correction:
      With guns we have: inappropriate gun users + murderers + a politically opinionated class of gun owners who threaten everyone else into submission + paranoia everywhere.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:29am

        Re: Re: Why was "Use brain" law not created? Because subjective interpretation.

        Oh, I think both sides of the argument have berated society.
        I also see enough paranoia on both sides to think that's pretty evenly handed out.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:57am

    You've got a typo in the last line there...

    I know that with the recent frequency of individuals disrobing as "protest" it can be confusing but the facts won't ever "bare" themselves. Instead they might "bear" out, which is not to say go wild or anything. ;)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:58am

    Guitar Hero probably has a lot of angry rock music in it, right? Let's blame that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 11:02am

    Think about the children!

     

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    Anonymous, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:06pm

    If I have a beef with my neighbor and I pick up a gun, go over to his house, and kill him, I'm a villain. But if I put on a uniform, pick up a gun, and go to a foreign country and kill people who have never done anything to me, I'm a hero. Exactly how does that work?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2012 @ 8:59pm

    Interesting article here:

     

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    Wally (profile), Jul 24th, 2012 @ 10:46pm

    Video Games and Violence.....

    ......are not the cause of the shooter's issues. As I predicted, the guy was nuts. I just got a call from a personal friend of mine working on the case. Ready for this? He was interested in owning a gun and was disallowed from joining a gun club. Not even the NRA would have accepted his application to the organization based on his blatantly obvious mental condition. Before they got into his booby-trapped appartment, they called his home phone and his voice had a guttural voice that changed every third word. When bomb squad finally got in, a message was on the machine stating he had been rejected.
    Also, according to witnesses, he started firing when gunshots started being heard in the film. Timed exactly with each one.

     

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    Anonymous, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

    Jimmy's got a quick hand...

    All the Dark Knight fans with the midnight tix better run, better run, outrun my gun.
    All the Dark Knight fans with the midnight tix better run, better run, faster than my bullet.

    (Surprisingly, there have been no references to "Pumped Up Kicks" in the responses. So I made one.)

     

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    Miff (profile), Jul 26th, 2012 @ 6:59pm

    As everyone should know by now

    Video games do not cause violence. Violence stems from the factor that has always been in human civilization... Rock and Roll! ( ;) )

     

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    Laroquod (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 2:51pm

    Star Trek?

    Who has attempted to link the shooting to Star Trek? Please help me I need to know.

     

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    Andreas (profile), Aug 1st, 2012 @ 3:49am

    GH

    If you think Guitar Hero is non violent, you should watch someone trying to play guitar hero 3 dragonforce - through the fire and flames on expert level: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2peKSpifrk

     

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