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NRA – Not Really Accountable

© Matt Bors

Ironically, suggesting that we not talk about guns in the wake of a massacre is just as political as talking about them.



  1. TJ wrote:

    Though in their twisted minds Benghazi was a great thing to talk about in the wake of a massacre.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    Wake of? I thought they started talking about it almost while it was still happening, and long before we had any idea what had happened.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink
  3. ThatGuy wrote:

    TJ is right on. Four diplomats die in what is basically a warzone(tragic, absolutely, but being a diplomat can be very dangerous), and Obama needs to be impeached. Several dozen are gunned down over the course of this year, and it requires weeks, months or years of quiet reflection. Very quiet. As in not even speaking.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink
  4. ThatGuy wrote:

    Hate to double post, but here’s a great editorial:

    While mass shootings get all the attention, Cohen points out that every two days, a bodycount of children or teen victims roughly equal to Sandyhook is reached in individual shootings.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink
  5. TJ wrote:

    No, no, no! Republicans and Fox say you can’t talk about that while it’s still fresh.

    This cartoon is right on the money. Sadly.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink
  6. Arthanyel wrote:

    Thatguy: More than twice as many children are killed every day by cars. More children are killed every day by suffocation. About as many are killed by poisoning and drowning. We need to address the root causes, not outlaw guns, cars, and swimming pools.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink
  7. Thatguy wrote:

    Please show me one instance in which I have supported banning firearms.

    Your argument just doesn’t work. I’m talking about serious regulations on things designed to kill. Your equating that with banning personal vehicles and recreational landscaping features. In all honesty and no small amount of admiration I say that you make a lot of good points on this site. The above isn’t one of them.

    I understand gun control will be incredibly hard and be fought every step of the way, that doesn’t make it a stupid or laughable concept. Nor does it make auto accidents or drownings, deadly as they may be, as sensible a target for regulations or these bans that I am apparently a huge fan of. We’re talking accidents versus murder. Neither can be completely prevented, but getting smarter on guns would help us get rid of senseless instances of violence.

    And perhaps a few accidents to boot.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink
  8. Tony Lenart wrote:

    Imagine if you read there was a country (let’s call it Warkillistan) where bombs are legal, and parents would teach their 8 year old children how to make bombs. Would it surprise you to read that mass killings by bomb attacks were higher in Warkillistan than in other countries? If the Warkillistan government said they had no idea how to reduce bomb deaths, what might you advise them?

    Now you have an idea of how Australians feel when they read about American mass shootings. Guns are highly regulated in Australia (e.g. Amongst my friends (apart from those in the police force) I don’t think anyone owns a gun) and we only have about 20 gun homicides a year. In contrast, the U.S. has 15 times the population, but 750 times the gun-related homicide numbers. (For an example of how Australians think of American gun ownership, see the recent article at

    After our largest mass-shooting, of 35 people, in 1996, our conservative Prime Minister launched tough gun laws and an ambitious buy-back scheme. In the previous 10 years there had been 10 mass shootings. Since the gun control laws were enacted there have been none. And overall, there has been a 47 per cent decrease in firearm-related deaths, primarily suicides (More information on this at

    Australia’s solution won’t fix America’s problem. But it may be part of a wider program that helps. As mentioned in the first article:

    “A study by the California-based Law Centre to Prevent Gun Violence determined that 7 of the 10 states with the strongest gun laws – including Connecticut, Massachusetts and California – are also among the 10 states with the lowest gun death rates.

    Study after study has established that, rather than prevent crime, the presence of guns cause crime.
    Research from the New England Journal of Medicine shows that keeping a gun in the house is strongly associated with an increased risk of homicide, usually by a family member of close friend.”

    “Study after study has established that, rather than prevent crime, the presence of guns cause crime.
    Research from the New England Journal of Medicine shows that keeping a gun in the house is strongly associated with an increased risk of homicide, usually by a family member of close friend.”

    “Some gun reform opponents say that if we are going to ban guns, then we also have to ban knives and other items used as weapons. But there’s no comparison between the damage a person can inflict with a knife and a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle with 6000 rounds of ammunition. Last week in China a man attacked 22 children at a primary school. But unlike the Sandy Hook massacre, there were no deaths because the man was armed with a knife, not a gun capable of mass extermination.”

    And Nicholas D. Kristof has some good ideas specifically related to the American circumstances, at

    – TL (

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink
  9. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I think both Arthanyel and Thatguy are right. We can’t ban all guns, ain’t never gonna happen at least not in this century. But I do think we can get better at safely owning and selectively selling through a better managed and simplified program. I believe most if not all states require an NCIC background check for criminal history. If they don’t I think this is one instance where the Fed can and should create umbrella regulations that require it. Also, given that tha large majority of the more recent massacres have been from persons who were at risk for self and other harm and likely recipients of either medications or therapy past or present we should have a mechanism for gun sellers to check. Now that we have a federal healthcare law lets use it to our advantage. There could be some minimal reporting into a database similar to the style that Social Security uses for sellers to check. The SS database work to verify that a SSN was issued to an individual. An employer enters a # in the query and the response is yes or no with no further info given. If certain medications or mental health conditions were weighted and if a person passed a threshold there SS# could be entered in a database and when a gun dealer checked the database it would either respond yes or no. If it was yes he’d have to tell the buyer there’s some issue you’ll need to fix before you can buy a weapon.

    This won’t help for existing owners or stolen guns, but perhaps it’s a start that we could build on.

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink
  10. Arthanyel wrote:

    Thatguy: The point I am trying to make is that to stop violence and murder we need to address the causes of violence and murder. Going after the tools is not going to make a significant difference in comparison.

    As I have repeatedly stated, although I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment I believe we need more gun control. In the simplest terms, owning a gun is a life or death responsibility and we need to ensure that only those citizens who are capable of exercising that judgement should be allowed to do so. Background checks and licenses. Requirements for both in every transaction, at any location, for any reason. Not a single round of ammunition should be purchased unless it’s by someone that is cleared to do so.

    But going after the tools themselves, or making arbitrary distinctions about which tools are “good” and which ones are “bad” is a trap – and ultimately not a successful solution to the core problem.

    We want to stop children being murdered – I completely agree. Most are killed by their parents and siblings. More are killed by arson fires and by poison than by guns. We want to stop children being killed by accident – I completely agree. Many more are killed in cars, falls and suffocation (including drowning) than by guns.

    So if we want to actually reduce these tragedies, we must put a higher priority on mental health support and limiting access to guns by irresponsible people, not arbitrarily choosing one device over another and claiming that is progress. Modern weapons of war are ALREADY ILLEGAL, and none of them have been used in any of these tragedies. And trying to pass arbitrary restrictions on more than 70 million people hoping to stop less than a dozen from doing something insane is itself insane.

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink
  11. ThatGuy wrote:

    There are 12,000 deaths by firearms per year. As the article I posted points out, most of those aren’t mass shootings. In fact the point of that post was to shift attention from this one massive shooting to every day gun violence that is tragically accepted as the norm.

    I don’t know how else to reject the assertion that I am in favor of arbitrary laws against one device (unless you mean placing restrictions on firearms that I wouldn’t put on swimming pools) other than to say that I’m in favor of regulations on all guns. Not just semi-automatic quasi-assault rifles or handguns or shotguns or hunting rifles or Moonraker Lasers. All of them.

    I’m still pointing out that I think something should be done against gun violence, as they are far more efficient weapons of mass murder than sedans or hot tubs. The U.S. has an astronomical rate of firearm violence in the developed world. I don’t think we should shy away from that just because a lot of people have these weapons.

    Again, these are acts of intentional violence I am talking about. Not car accidents, not drownings, not falls. The only information I could find on arson put the total deaths in 2010 at 200 for all ages, with a high of 350 in 2002. Maybe you have a better source, or we’re adding poison and arson deaths together to make up the difference. Either way, listing other means of murder doesn’t deter me from thinking we should act on one that kills tens of thousands a year and wounds even more.

    In the end, we’re agreeing more than these posts suggest. Some readers here are talking about banning certain weapons or banning firearms completely. I’m not in that camp. I agree with better mental heath services, but I see no reason not to pursue intense restrictions and regulations of firearms and ammunition concurrently, and that means ALL types of rifles, guns and ammo. As I said somewhere here, it isn’t crazy person = gun massacre. The “+ firearm” is an important piece that needs serious attention. We can’t ignore gun control on the premise that gas bombs or building-busting automobiles will replace firearms as means of mass murder. Let’s deal with the problems we’re faced with now.

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    I think it is difficult to address the causes of violence and murder. They are too broad. In order to stem the tide of violence in this country, we need to address gun control. They are too easy to get, and it is too easy to act on with a short temper using them.

    Gun control has other side affects. It would probably reduce robbery. Most robbers rely on guns to make an effective threat.

    Guns are part of our culture, but a negative side that it is time to change.

    Arg, I’m trying to avoid another rant. 🙁

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink
  13. ThatGuy wrote:

    This editorial by Fareed Zakaria is more or less in line with my beliefs:

    Also includes a correction to my numbers above. Last year there were “about 11,000” firearms related homicides, but over 32,000 deaths when you include suicide and accidents, much of this due to suicide as accidents and firearm deaths due to “undetermined intent” come to roughly 800 and 200, respectively.

    From what I could tell by the CDC link that Zakaria links, the 11,000 figure dwarfs the non-firearm homicides (under 5,000), and homicide by firearm accounts for more deaths than accidental drowning or fire deaths (roughly 5,700, taken together). Motor vehicle accidents are a bit more than overall homicide deaths at just shy of 34,700, and “accidental poisoning or exposure to noxious substances” is also higher than total firearm deaths at just over 33,500.

    Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink