« New Athenaeum Post | Main | Will Israel invade Syria? »

22 July 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


There is no creativity in trying to regulate firearms. Its simple sit around a table and come up with some ideas for sensible regulation. You will then be debating the word sensible for years on end.

As to attempting to determine who is and who is not mentally unbalanced we both will be in the funny farm before it is over wth.

A limitation on the amount of amunition and taxation of amunition is a good direction to head. But again what is sensible.

Otherwise lets move on to more pressing problems.

Will Reks

I think you have the politics on this one exactly right. BHO doesn't want to touch 'gun control' with a ten foot pole. That won't stop people like Wayne LaPierre from pretending Obama wants to confiscate every gun in the USA, melt them down, and fashion himself a throne to sit on.


It has been said that there is a very fine line between genius and insanity. We have just had this demonstrated in an unpleasant manner.

Perhaps we need upper, as well as lower, IQ limits to qualify for gun ownership?

The Twisted Genius

How do you keep an adult with no record of psychiatric problems, no criminal record and no firearms related restraining orders from buying a gun? You don't. All you can hope for (and work towards) is a greater awareness of the complexities and pervasiveness of mental health issues and a health system that can effectively address these issues. It's probable, IMHO, that Holmes would never have embarked on this dark journey if received treatment for his illness. I finally heard one commentator mention that this should start a discussion on mental health issues. It was only two sentences. I know, as you said, this will be drowned out by the wailing and screaming for gun control.

SAC Brat

John Ballard at http://www.newshoggers.com/ has a good explanation on the deinstitutionaliztion of mentally ill patients. The challenge looks to be trying to find a balance between free ranging the mentally ill and recreating pre-reunification East Germany in our borders, with everyone reporting on each other to the Stasi.


The answer is easy, and politically un-do-able. Use the taxing power of Congress, and establish a Federal Excise Tax on ammunition sales.

Perhaps also it is time to revisit the no sales tax on Internet sales. I like Amazon, but let us get serious; their price advantage come from not paying sales tax while the store down the street does. Some people might call that a government subsidy.


You can't prevent the purchase of these items.

You could record the purchase of these items in a database, look for suspicious patterns and, in the event of a match, get a judge to authorize disclosure of the name for a routine follow up. It's not much different than what probably exists today at the NSA for other purposes.

That wouldn't catch everybody, but I think it would have caught this guy...he didn't match the profile of the person who you would reasonably expect to be buying these items.

We can't remove all danger in an open and free society. You have to accept that in exchange for all the benefits there are some dangers lurking and one day you might be the unlucky one.

But we can reasonably minimize the likelihood of these things happening. We just don't have the political will in this country to do so.


Colonel, thank you for the pragmatic take on the matter.

There is some irony, however, in that, while Obama had voted for various gun restrictions in both the Illinois and US Senates, he has done nothing about the matter in the nearly four years he's been in office. And yet the Republican presidential nominee, while governor, actually endorsed and signed into law various elements of gun control. Why BHO gets smacked around on this issue, and not WMR, is wholly a matter of partisanship, not gun control per se.



As a gun owner myself, I'm not terribly interested in restrictions of handgun, rifle and shotgun ownership. But I am sincerely baffled about a couple of things. Is there a logical reason not to regulate/ban assault weapons and high-capacity clips? And why shouldn't the citizens of any city choose to curtail the gun market?

Anyway, here's an amusing take on how the media handles mass shootings, a companion to the Onion article I linked to yesterday. Anthing that clobbers media sensationalism...


 Larry Kart

Colonel: I have never been a gun owner and probably will never want to be one -- in part because a close relative, trained in firearm use, took her life with a legally owned hand gun -- but your position on this issue (or perhaps better "issue") make good sense to me, logically, politically, morally, you name it. And good sense these days is a very good thing.


The police responded in 90 seconds, but he was able in that time to take down 90 people. Would restricting the rate of fire be an acceptable solution!


The first responding officers would have been outgunned, but James Holmes's weapon jammed.


Holmes principal weapon is legal in many countries, but with restrictions.

In Austria one must pass a psychological test.

In Germany, it must be modified to require relaxing after 3 rounds.

In Canada, it is legal to transport this only to shooting ranges.


"congress dare not prohibit people on the terrorist watch list from purchasing weapons" - such is the fear of the NRA.



Being "outgunned" is an excse for people who can't shoot straight or didn't fire at all. it only takes one round in the right place from the pistols and shotguns the police have with them. pl

John Minnerath

Most of these comments ignore the question and still go for more control.
Limit sales, control internet sale, control quantity, control.

I ran across a bit someplace about how Holmes has applied for membership in a private gun club and the owner thought something was flakey and wanted to talk to him personally before allowing him onto the range.
Holmes never followed up and was forgotten, then this happened. It's possible somewhere along the line there may have been other indicators that this guy had a troubled mind.
So, how do you go about deciding who is and who is not stable enough to really own a firearm?

Do we require a psychological profile on every prospective gun buyer?
How about a car owner, sometimes one of those will out of the blue get drunk and cause a terrible wreck.

There may have been some red flags in the past about this guy, there may not have been.
I don't think there is any answer.



"congress dare not prohibit people on the terrorist watch list from purchasing weapons" - such is the fear of the NRA." Citation? Don't post propaganda here. pl



"after 3 rounds." A three round burst impiles a fully automatic weapon with a "selective fire" lever. Are these legal in the US without a machine gun license from the ATF? A semi-auto weapon fires once each time the trigger is pulled. I am not a gunsmith. Are you? If so, you can explain to me how a semi-auto rifle can be made to fire three round bursts and would function mechanically. I know about "bump" fire. I believe that is now illegal. pl


Larry Kart

Thanks. I respect your reason but she could just as well have taped a plastic bag over her head around her neck after taking a sleeping pill. A friend of mine did that. pl



Thanks. How would you define "assault weapons?" pl

r whitman

Any creative "solution" to the problem will have to come from the NRA. Perhaps politicians should be publically pressuring the NRA to do some creative thinking.

For the record I am a long time gun owner, a non NRA member, but I do agree with many of their stands.


RE: "Many of you are a lot more sensitive to death and destruction than I."

Col. sir,

No disrespect intended for the kin of those murdered by this dysfunctional.

But lately I seem to have become so desensitized to watching so much violence on TV (evening news included) that I've become nearly quite numb to it all.

[The worst part being the newscasters seem to over-emphasize the casualty rates as scores in a game.]



This must be bad....

Too much influence of Hobbesian logicks, y'know: "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short"....



This from that first movie (I've just freakin' watched last week).

[Fast becoming passé.]

"Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."

Equation applies equally to other loons?



I have aspired to be one of the loons. pl


Col. sir,



So you are going to provide funding for mental health care with an ammunition tax and ending internet sales tax exemptions in general?

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad