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Tired of Hearing about Mass Shootings?

If you don’t want to keep hearing about mass shootings, there are a few things you can do.

For example, you can stop listening to the news. A better (but similar) solution would be for the news to stop giving quite so much attention to mass shooters, so that angry and mentally disturbed people won’t go on a rampage in order to get attention.

But here’s a much better solution: After the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, a bill was introduced that would require background checks on all gun purchases (the Sandy Hook shooter had a history of mental illness). Even though this law makes good sense, it died under heavy lobbying from the gun industry.

Here’s an article that lists the 46 Senators who voted against that law, and also lists how much money each of them received from the gun industry.

And here’s the important part. It gives you addresses, phone numbers, twitter handles, and other ways of contacting them so you can express your displeasure. It even gives you suggestions on how to have maximum impact.

I believe that the Second Amendment gives people the right to own guns. But no right is absolute. Free speech does not give you the right to slander people. Freedom of religion does not let you sacrifice animals to your deity of choice. It is time we stop sacrificing our children and our neighbors.



  1. ebdoug wrote:

    Please read the various versions of the second amendment. “Well regulated militia” “A GROUP of men who will defend our country.”
    So go house to house asking to see the gun registration and what registered group that regularly practice to defend our country. If the information isn’t giving, get a warrant to search the house. All of our military active/or retired should retain the right to bear arms.(unless proven otherwise)
    NRA should be able to accept those conditiones. They like all this posturing with guns.
    After all Bush sent the defenders of our country (National Guard) out of this country to go play war games in Iraq so when Katrina invaded our country, there were little National Guard left.

    Friday, December 4, 2015 at 4:02 am | Permalink
  2. David Freeman wrote:

    Thanks for the link about the 46 senators. I was surprised by how LITTLE money was given directly to the senator’s campaigns, generally about $10,000. I doubt that has any influence compared to PACs and mailings and threats.

    I want guns to be treated like vehicles:
    1) registered to a responsible adult
    2) up to date liability insurance required
    3) ‘drivers’ test to demonstrate knowledge of basic rules of the road

    Friday, December 4, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    One of the things that has constantly amazed me since I started doing this blog is lobbying data and how cheap it is to buy a politician.

    I guess if our politicians are whores, I want them to be *expensive* whores.

    Friday, December 4, 2015 at 10:05 am | Permalink
  4. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    I don’t disagree with keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. What’s never talked about though is who those people are. Of course criminals, but who else? And more importantly how do we decide who is on that list?

    In France like most of Europe, assault weapons are banned and they require background checks on privately transferred guns. Sound Familiar?

    In France just this year, more people have died from mass shootings then occurred in the US during all of Obama’s presidency and that includes the most recent.

    What about the other mass (not by definition, but because the same groups are committing them) shootings by gangs in our cities every day. In my town as of yesterday 316 people have been gunned down. That’s over 48 per 100,000 residents. Who cares, not newsworthy. And I’ll bet anyone that not a single legally owned or registered gun was used in a single murder in my town.

    So maybe IK is right, we should just get the press to drink a big ole cup of shut the bleep up.

    We should not be blaming guns, we should blaming the people using them. Call out the thugs, terrorists, crazies and the just plain mean. Maybe they should all be registered, pass background checks and pay liability insurance. But I guess it’s easier to blame an object in todays society. Oh I forgot the PC police will be censoring my mini rant. Oh my.

    Friday, December 4, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink
  5. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    And here’s an interesting article on the dramatic decline of gun violence in America. But the “news” might not ever tell you.

    Friday, December 4, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink
  6. ThatGuy wrote:

    “In France just this year, more people have died from mass shootings then occurred in the US during all of Obama’s presidency and that includes the most recent.”

    Not true. Not even close to true. France this year has indeed suffered an exceptionally bad year of mass shootings (for them), but more Americans have died as a result of mass shootings in the same period. Moreover, nearly all of France’s victims (481 of 508) were killed or injured in the Paris attacks. Only two other mass shootings took place in France this year.

    I’ve seen the article where you got that figure, and it’s nonsense. 462 Americans have been killed this year in mass shootings, while 1,312 have been wounded. That’s just this year, not Obama’s presidency. Compare the 355+ mass shootings to France’s three and you gain a little perspective on how often this is happening.

    You do have a very strong point that most of our gun violence (the remaining ~8,000 murders per year) does not qualify as mass shootings (four or more people injured or killed per incident) and these are worthy of a lot of attention. As is the US’s high firearm suicide rate. To downplay mass shootings because of these facts, however, is willful ignorance.

    There’s nothing PC about wanting to address the most common theme of gun violence, which is guns. Our Congress, as you’ve seen, has allowed a loophole to remain open that maintains the right of folks on no-fly and terror watch lists to purchase weapons. For all the talk of mental health being the primary issue (and it is certainly an issue) nothing has been done to improve our care for those unfortunate souls.

    This idea that people are blaming guns is also a bit disingenuous. Blaming inanimate objects will get us nowhere, but recognizing that it is far too easy to obtain and retain those inanimate objects, dangerous as they can be, should be common sense. Close the loopholes, enforce insurance, education, and proper storage requirements. Require gun owners to report lost or stolen weapons (this is how legal guns become illegal), require private and online sales to be subject to background checks. Close firearms shops that are found to be regular sources of misused weapons. There are plenty of simple ways to start trying to keep guns out of the wrong hands, but we aren’t even trying. Meanwhile, we’ll continue on our average of one mass shooting per day.

    Friday, December 4, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Permalink
  7. ThatGuy wrote:

    Woops, sources: (data differs slightly from NPR, though this is linked in their article)

    The article claiming more French casualties this year than in 7 in the US:
    Shockingly, the columnist didn’t provide sources. Nifty use of pull quotes though.

    Friday, December 4, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink
  8. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    Thatguy – Thanks for the info. It is hard (as most info comes from news accounts) to get actual real data.

    I am not trying to minimize the tragedies inflicted on our population by these mass killings, but it’s always the same predictable response. In my state they have mandatory background checks, waiting periods, double checks (state and federal) for assault style weapons, mandatory gun safety class for any firearm purchaser. And we still have one of if not the highest per capita murder rates in our city. So on an evidenced based analysis those more stringent measures are at best meaningless and at worst a failure. So now what?

    I’m just saddened by the American on American violence, it just makes no sense, what’s wrong with us as a society that we place so little value on another human life. Have we as a people lost the empathy gene?

    The answer is not just a background check and a gun safety class or liability insurance. That only penalizes the 99% of legal gun owners who already do the right thing.

    As an example of what doesn’t work, car owners are required to have insurance. If that’s true why does everybody also need uninsured motorist coverage. Who’s going to enforce liability insurance coverage?

    I don’t know, but the same ole solutions just won’t work, maybe they’ll stop a couple people. Maybe not.

    Friday, December 4, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Permalink
  9. Iron Knee wrote:

    Another article about gun deaths in the US that should be read is –

    I have posted several times about the reduction in homicide and violent crime over the last few decades. But we still have far more homicides (per capita) than any other similar nation. Most homicides are done by someone who knows the victim (domestic violence, gang violence) and don’t count in the mass shootings.

    What I don’t understand is why we even bother to have background checks for people buying weapons, but then have such huge loopholes. That just means that law abiding people are inconvenienced, while criminals have no problems getting guns. Close the freaking loopholes!

    Friday, December 4, 2015 at 2:52 pm | Permalink
  10. ThatGuy wrote:

    PatriotSGT, the problem is that our state-by-state gun laws are effectively a giant loophole. State A can have strict, even draconian gun laws, but unless they have checkpoints at every point of entry to their state barring firearm entry, weapons will simply move from States X, Y, and Z that are less strict on firearms to states that are more strict. This is why pointing to Baltimore or Chicago or DC and saying “strict gun laws don’t work!” is shortsighted (not attributing to you, just something I’ve seen).

    I think everyone, GOP especially, should take heed of this editorial from 1991 from a very popular Republican on the necessity of gun control:

    As to penalizing law-abiding gun owners, it seems a majority of them are in favor of stronger gun control. As a driver, for example, I want the most effective regulations governing other drivers. It provides peace of mind and helps create a culture of responsible drivers, even though there will always be bad apples and outright accidents.

    With gun laws, we don’t have anything approaching even that modest culture. Even if we just made the NRA’s safety guidelines law (punishing “accidents” with firearms as if, as every trained shooter is taught, there are no accidents with firearms, for example) we would help create a society that isn’t so goddamn gung-ho about guns. Punishing people who don’t report lost or stolen or sold weapons would massively assist in cutting down future illegal guns. We would of course still face a problem with those that are already lost/stolen/sold and in the wrong hands, but I just don’t buy the argument that a difficult task isn’t one worth taking on.

    Ultimately we have a lot of “this doesn’t work so why bother,” “if guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns,” (as if that’s the point of laws!) and other such nonsense going around. We offer the victims’ families thoughts and prayers and then we move on. It’s proven to be a sadly sustainable circle of idiotic violence, to the point where we don’t even try to make gun ownership difficult for the insignificant minority among us too callous, stupid, or evil to value human life or responsibly own a gun. For a country that freaks out about everything, we really don’t freak out about this enough.

    As a point of ridiculous comparison, sharks kill fewer than 10 Americans per year, and attack fewer than 60 per year on average (usually fatalities are even lower), and yet this summer we saw calls for culling sharks in “safe zones” along our coasts (this would be environmentally dangerous for several reasons). Simply put: we are as insane on guns (something that kills loads of Americans) as we are on sharks (something that doesn’t) just in the complete opposite ways in which we should be.

    Friday, December 4, 2015 at 3:19 pm | Permalink
  11. Dave, TN wrote:

    What ted cruiz and other gun/terrorist supporters like to point out that shootings occur in “gun free zones”, but the fact that the weapons are coming from near-by gun free for all zones. In the case of the France terrorists bought theirs in Belgium which is a much less restrictive environment. The Washington DC area was heavily restricted on their possession of firearms but the crime rate was high, but the fact that neighboring Virginia has virtually no restrictions on guns and is known as the pipeline for guns to the northeast is often ignored.
    It does little good to restrict their use on one side of an imaginary line while the other side has guns practically given out in gumball machines. While I may be over estimating the freedom of gun access, not by much. The solution seems a little harder to agree upon, especially since the terrorist supporting NRA muddy’s the waters every time congress shows the least amount of interest in restricting gun access. The terrorist have their reasons for the evil actions they take, what justification explains the NRA and the congress representatives that have sold their souls for the twenty pieces of silver to support this kind of terrorism.

    Friday, December 4, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink
  12. Dave, TN wrote:

    THATGUY, sorry to make a comment rehashing the same point you made very well but my screen didn’t show your comment til I posted mine.

    Friday, December 4, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink
  13. PATIOTSGT wrote:

    Close the freaking loopholes! Spot on!

    Punishing people who don’t report lost or stolen or sold weapons would massively assist in cutting down future illegal guns. Double spot on!!

    Here’s one that I’ve posted several times.
    Make it mandatory for health care and mental health Providers to submit a code to the NCIC database for a non-criminal record for mental illness, that would preclude said persons from buying a weapon. Investigators who see the code won’t know what it’s for so it somewhat protects the individuals privacy. The code could be removed if deemed appropriate by the Provider who put it there.

    Keep talking PI contributors, keep talking!

    Friday, December 4, 2015 at 9:10 pm | Permalink
  14. ebdoug wrote:

    As I said before: Enforce the second amendment. Groups that practice to protect this country.

    Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 3:58 am | Permalink
  15. Thatguy wrote:

    Ebdoug, I forget which case it was, but at some point the Supreme Court ruled that those were separate clauses. Meaning Americans have the right to keep arms without the requirement to bear them.

    Also I’d be concerned if we legally encouraged more growth of private militias, which have abounded since Obama’s election.

    Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink