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Of Course Guns Have Nothing To Do With It

| August 11, 2019

mass shootings united states guns pierre tristam

One of our most interchangeable pictures. Just change venue and date every few weeks. (Scott Spradley)

Of course guns have nothing to do with it. Nothing to do with the 22 people massacred at the El Paso Walmart and the 10 killed in Dayton’s entertainment district the next night, the eight killed in two mass shootings less than a week earlier at a garlic festival in California and in Wisconsin. Nothing to do with the five killed at the Yakama Indian reservation in June. Guns have nothing whatsoever to do with the nearly 300 people killed and more than 1,000 injured in mass shootings so far this year, the 10, 20, 30 or 40 soon to be killed in the next unlucky town yet to become subject of our next moment of shared grief that’ll make zero difference, though let’s not kid ourselves: luck has nothing to do with it either.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive Just before opening fire, Patrick Crusius, the El Paso shooter, posted a white supremacist manifesto online in support of Brenton Tarrant, the New Zealand shooter who murdered 50 people at two mosques earlier this year. Thankfully, Connor Betts, the Dayton killer, may have liked Elizabeth Warren and even been a Democrat. That sent the Fox crowd in a frenzy of celebration. They had themselves a left-wing shooter. So there you have it: we have no white nationalist terrorist problem in America. It’s really more those antifa people we should be worried about (and what slacker generation in its right mind would want to combat fascism), it’s Black Lives Matter, it’s all those damn liberals who see a racist behind every MAGA-head. And obviously Connor Betts’s obsession with guns and violence, his easy access to assault weapons and a 100-round drum magazine that enabled him to murder and maim more than two dozen people in 30 seconds, including his sister, is not the problem. It’s his voter registration card that’s the problem. Maybe it’s Elizabeth Warren’s fault.

But above all, let’s be sure to remember, please, that guns have nothing to do with it.

Two years ago a pair of New York Times analysts graphed the outlying status of the United States, showing how no other nation comes close to America’s frequency of mass shootings. We have less than 4 percent of the world’s population but we account for a third of mass shooters worldwide. We’re not exactly crazier than others. Every country has its mental health problems, and anyway enough studies show that mental health is not nearly as much a contributor in shootings as we’d like to think. Every country has its racial problems, its issues with violence, its issues with poverty. We’re not that special. But we are special in one, undeniable regard. We have 300 million guns. “The only variable that can explain the high rate of mass shootings in America is its astronomical number of guns,” the analysts concluded. The only other country that comes close to our rate of mass shootings is Yemen, a country at war, and it has the second-highest rate of gun ownership in the world, after the United States.

But again, guns have nothing to do with it. All those gun owners of ours are law abiding after all, all of them but those who slip through every year and, so far this year, account for 9,000 gun deaths and nearly 18,000 injuries, including 400 children. Guns were the weapon behind every single one of those deaths and injuries, but of course, guns had nothing to do with it.

The deadliness of mass shootings has paralleled the intensification of global warming, with this first fifth of the 21st century accounting for 13 of the hottest years on record and 17 of the bloodiest mass shootings. Two of the top 10 are in our own gunshine state (the Pulse and Parkland massacres, 67 dead between them), where let’s not forget, the president endorsed the shooting of migrants (“That’s only in the Panhandle you can get away with that kind of statement,” he said in response to the proposal that they should be shot).

I’m not suggesting a link between global warming and mass shootings. Not yet, anyway, except in one glaring regard: Just as global warming deniers cling to rationales that have been debunked as certainly as Mencken’s bathtub hoax, gun-related deniers, who tend to share the same congregations and preachers and hollowed liturgies, cling to delusional fantasies and the sort of analogies that have the ring of logic, at least for the time it takes to burp a tweet, until an iota’s reflection demolishes the fallacy: Jihadists are the problems? Not by a long shot: the overwhelming majority of mass shooters are Americans, at least a third of them white-nationalist terrorists. Assault weapons aren’t the issue? More than half the mass shooters since 1982 used assault weapons or high-capacity magazines.

Vehicles kill more people than guns, so we should ban vehicles? Falls kill 13,000 people a year, so we should ban ladders? Seems to follow, but the last time we heard of a vehicle being used as a weapon was what, when white supremacist James Fields murdered Heather Heyer and injured 30 people in Charlottesville in 2017? Even drunk drivers who get behind the wheel don’t intend to use their cylinders as bullets. When they do, the toll is usually less than massive. By all means though knock yourself out on gotcha exceptions (the arsonists, the hijackers, the fertilizer terrorists). And when a mass killer learns to use a ladder intentionally to mow people down–or when roofers begin their day scheduling their funeral–let me know.

Click On:

The problem with all those absurd analogies, which will nevertheless populate the comment section with reliable ferocity, is that they seek to cloak all responsibilities for gun violence on intent, as if lax laws, absent controls, the massive amount of guns in circulation and the lethal link between proximity, capacity and consequence had nothing to do with it. As if a magazine that enables the spraying of 100 bullets in less than a minute is comparable, even in the admirable logic of the most motivated NRA mercenary, to a baseball bat, a knife, or even a Glock.

Maybe guns are more regulated than toys. Clearly, they’re exacting a toll a bit more disturbing, so they could bear a bit more regulating, especially from a Congress that hasn’t passed a gun-safety law in over two decades. But a more effective background check system means the government wants to take all your guns away. A ban on high-capacity magazines means the government wants to take all your guns away. A more effective licensing system means the government wants to take all your guns away. More effective laws against irresponsible gun owners or dealers who enable the theft of nearly 250,000 firearms a year means the government wants to take all your guns away. (Congress doesn’t pass gun-control laws, but in 2003 it passed a law prohibiting the ATF from requiring gun dealers to take inventories.)

Because of course, guns have nothing to do with it. Video games, the internet and “evil”–those things the rest of the world has no access to, no knowledge of, no capacity for–are the problem. The absence of prayer in schools is the problem. Sunspots, smart-meters, Agenda 21, transgenders in the military, food stamp loafers and Hillary’s emails are the problem. And Mexican rapists. Let’s not forget Mexican rapists. Or any Mexicans really.

After the Parkland massacre in Florida, the governor appointed a commission to study what went wrong. But nine of its 16 members were prosecutors or law enforcement, including its chair and vice chair. The fix was in from the start. Everyone and everything would be blamed–not enough cops, not enough guts to go in and confront a shooter, not enough counseling, not enough hardening, not enough attention to the red flags Nikolas Cruz sent up and of course not enough thoughts and prayers. Everything could and was blamed but our infatuation with guns. A grand jury is still sending out subpoenas to every school district, Flagler included, for safety protocols and other cosmetics of a state projecting he-man toughness on security in what are still among our most secure public places, while millions of guns and their gun owners, legal or not, mentally competent or not, backgrounded or not, can go about enjoying their immunity from so much as a sideway glance from any regulatory agency not hailing them as heroes, Minutemen of the Second Amendment, untouchable, infallible.

We’re making fortresses of our schools, businesses and government offices, we now look over our shoulder in public places, genuinely in fear that we could be next. But heaven forbid anyone should mention sensible gun control of any kind, because guns, as we all know, as we must concede and pledge as red-blooded—and not yet bleeding–Americans, have nothing, absolutely nothing to do with it.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him @PierreTristam. A version of this piece aired on WNZF.

73 Responses for “Of Course Guns Have Nothing To Do With It”

  1. Keep Flagler Beautiful says:

    I’m so disgusted with the NRA’s mantra that “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” If that’s the case, then all we have to do in order to have a peaceful planet is get guns out of the hands of everyone except law enforcement and the military. We have reached the point that it’s the only logical solution. Years ago in Britain, they nipped a foreseeable gun-crime problem in the bud by outlawing handguns and semi-automatic weapons. There was an amnesty period in which the public could turn in their weapons. Yes, it’s true that there was a dramatic increase in the number of knifings, mostly in bars, but a knife cannot kill 22 people at one time. There’s just no comparison. New Zealand recently did the same thing, as they don’t want American-style violence to infect their nation. I’m sick of the NRA running our government and using the Second Amendment as their shield. To our forefathers, guns meant long rifles, not AK-47s. It’s time for strict gun control, not a watered-down half-measure, to be encacted, and Trump had better take it seriously if he wants to be re-elected.

  2. tom says:

    God help us if many people fall for your nonsense.
    FlaglerLive is an excellent publication, except for your preachings.

  3. Anne Freeman says:

    Let’s confiscate guns from all the law abiding people. Sure. More sitting ducks for the sick twisted killers to eliminate. Yes, good solution, genius. How do you confiscate guns from the criminals?

  4. Veteran says:

    A bunch of people killed and injured by knife in CA. Not too long ago people by vehicle in NY. In Europe where guns are hard to get there are multiple stabbings and trucks mowing down crowds. Let not forget the asshole who killed 168 by blowing up the federal building in OK. These sick psychos will find a way to kill multiple people.

  5. Jim in St. Aug says:

    While I get the jist of what you are trying to illustrate, you in my opinion miss the point. If a building falls down, do we blame the builder, or the manufacturer, possessor, or user of the saw that cut the wood that made the building? No we blame the builder, the one with the responsibility to make sure it was built correctly, by competent people, with correct materials.
    Same thing when a ship has a collision, or sinks…Do we go after the builder of the ship, the welder who worked on it, or the Captain, who has the responsibility of the SAFE operation of said vessel. Same reasoning applies in just about any scenario you want to affix it to, from Rockets and Airplanes, to Submarines, all share one thing they are the tools used to commit some type of act, and we hold those who use them in a poor, reckless, or even sinister way we hold those responsible for the action responsible.
    The sheer fact that there is 300 MILLION guns in itself is staggering, and those are likely estimates of the legal ones not the ones not known or purchased illegally, what are going to do with them if you can round them all up make participation trophies for everyone?
    We are losing the battle that everyone thinks everyone else is also human and deserves at a minimum the right to live, pursue a life, build relationships, be accountable not only to oneself, but their families and peers as well. Those that do not do, or respect that need to be dealt with swiftly, surely, and in no uncertain terms. We have way to many “MANS” laws on the books…You don’t have to spell everything out in exact detail in every instance do we. Should we not all understand basic right and wrong? If we did understand, and quit making protected classes of people, I’ll bet 90% of our laws simply are unnecessary. We have to get back to a way of “Say what you mean, Mean what you say,” and if you don’t, then you are accountable for your own actions period….The world is not just Black & White, it is not just 50 shades of gray either, it is colorful, energetic, and can be so full of love it is exhilarating. That is what we should be working toward not against.

  6. commonsense sense says:

    did guns have anything to do with 9/11?

    i dont see anyone calling for a ban on airplanes now do i?

  7. Bill says:

    Boy, I can’t believe I won’t be able to get back the time wasted reading that! An entirely inaccurate rant where you never once blamed the shooters! Fine don’t shoot them self’s, knives don’t stab them by themself, and cars don’t crash into you – by themself’s! No laws will or would have stopped any of these shooting, no back ground check would have helped….. so stop with b/s and lets all figure out why our youth is doing this, what in society is sparking these actions? Don’t blame the implements and certainly don’t put the blame on the fact it is hot outside or raining!!

  8. Jim says:

    Another useless article. Blaming everything and everybody but the person.. We just need more of the old fashion “Nut Houses”. You can outlaw guns but then only the outlaws will have them, It seems with the exception of the Las Vegas Shooter, these shooters have been all under 30. So lets start there with our prevention ideas.

  9. Stop Being Divisive says:

    I really wish we had TRUE journalism in this country again, instead of being SO BIASED with facts backing up the bias. We do NOT have a gun problem in our country. We have a HATE problem. We have a mental health problem. We have a Family and moral problem in this nation.

    A gun does not pick itself up and kill someone. A gun in the hands of a great cop will defend us. A gun in the hands of a soldier will fight for the right to be free. A gun in the hands of a mother will defend her home and children. The REAL weapon is the heart of man. The heart that has the ABILITY to CHOOSE to kill or not kill!

    The fact that criminal minded people are killing innocents does not mean we have disarm the good people. You do not stop criminals by disarming the good people!!! That is illogical.

  10. Mark says:

    Do you even know what an assumed assault weapon is? Please define one for me. How many people are killed by doctors each day? Without a so called assault weapon? Let’s start with abortions. 1973 -2013, 2899 per day. ( That’s without a so called assault weapon. Now, can you tell me how many people are killed by a so called assault weapon per day? It’s not the weapon that is dangerous, it’s the people that are dangerous. They don’t fire themselves. Mine have never killed anyone. These atrocious shootings are blips on the screen. Remember, never let a crisis go to waste. We must control the law abiding masses because we know better. We must change the Constitution (electoral college & 2nd Amendment) because they know not what they do. What changes do you propose that would stop these mass shooting? Be specific not blustery.

  11. Mark says:

    By the way, in 2017 192.43 people died from a drug overdose each day in America. How have drug laws helped us?

  12. Noel DeLorre says:

    And of course, the mass media (print and electronic) have nothing to do with it, despite the fact that this criminal’s name and any online manifesto would never have gotten the publicity he desired had the press not plastered his name and beliefs all over the world in their zeal to sell ads. Mental health experts confirm that copycat killers, like suicides, are more likely to find support or impetus from fellow misguided actors, and the press helps spread that… as the news story last week said…it is a contagion and the media is a carrier. So, why doesn’t the press take a deep inward look at its coverage of these tragedies and work on what share of harm the press is doing, along with the other bad elements at play here, instead of trying to deflect blame to other factors?

  13. Franklin J. Clair says:

    Pierre, yes guns did have something to do with it. They were the tools used to perpetrate these horrible massacres. Cars, trucks, knives, bats, and other tools were used on other occasions to do the same. Until we can change the mindset away from violence nothing is going to change. Guns have been a large part of America since our beginning, why is it these mass shootings weren’t a problem more than 30-35 years ago?

  14. Traveling Rep says:

    Pierre, Thank you for finally coming to your senses to acknowledge that guns have nothing to do with it. I say that with a heavy dose of sarcasm (two can play at this game), in case you didn’t pick it up. Guns have much to do with it. In fact, none of the deranged murdering monsters you’ve citer could have done so without CHOOSING a firearm (in some cases procured illegally) as opposed to any other inanimate object.

    As one of the “red-blooded—and not yet bleeding–Americans”, I am sure you did not suspect me to provide that response. If we want to be honest with ourselves and address mass KILLING events. Perhaps we should also do an in-depth study of mass killings caused by other inanimate objects, such as the happy trigger finger Obama had in initiating on the endless drone strikes in the middle east, the use of airplanes by terrorists during 9/11. I noticed how you conveniently left out the rental truck used by the Nice, France killer during Bastille Day in 2017.

    The point is, if someone wants to commit a criminal act – be it a robbery, massacre, wire fraud, etc. They will choose their weapon accordingly. Yes, by your sarcastic logic, we should definitely blame the inanimate object instead of the murderous, soulless person operating it.

  15. CB from PC says:

    A lot of Liberal policies such as dumbing down education, parents failing to discipline their kids, a criminal justice system which lets repeat offenders out, welfare rewarding single mothers having kids, removing God and morality, and disrespecting the values of the United States, has much to do with it.
    The NRA members are not the ones carrying out these horrendous acts.
    People who are products of the above mentioned are.

  16. marlee says:

    Get rid of the military weapons.

    I’m from Dayton and never thought this mass shooting could happen there…it could happen anywhere.
    It could happen here.

    9 killed in less than 1 minute…26 wounded.

    Why are these assault weapons legal?

    For gods sake, recreational pot isn’t even legal in most states!

  17. marlee says:

    and…..from Ohio…we were raised with hunting.

    We took safety classes from the NRA…

    Tell me….why do people defend the military weapons?

    You still have the rights provided by the 2nd Amendment without them.

  18. Jim R says:

    The U.S. governments wars since WW 2 have killed 20 million people , maybe all the shootings and violence here in the heavily policed HOMELAND are pigeons coming home to roost.

  19. Dave says:

    Any gun that can take more than 6 bullets and uses a magazine is a assualt weapon that should be banned from our country. After that we should disarm the police. This would make out communities way safer! Also it’s not criminals we need to keep guns away from it is your average everyday citizen that commits heinous acts of violence NOT CRIMINALS!

  20. Agkistrodon says:

    ANd what about the Mass STABBING in Cali Pierre, was that the fault of a knife?

  21. What's Different says:

    I am 69 years old. When I grew up in “liberal” New Jersey, I began hunting with my friends when I was 14 years old after taking a course and passing a test. We would get up early in the morning and walk DOWN THE STREET to our hunting fields with our shotguns over our shoulders. The police never bothered us. We never even thought about bringing our weapons to schools, churches, malls, etc. To the best of my memory, I don’t remember there being any mass shootings back then.

    You have to ask yourself…….what’s different now? The guns back then were just as deadly as the ones are now. (yes, there were semi-automatic weapons back then as well). So what’s different now? Is it the violent video games that make killing so impersonal? The violence in movies with guns used by hypocritical actors? Is it we don’t allow God in schools? Is it that education is now much more liberal then back then? Is it the news media? Can’t be just Trump because there were mass shootings under Clinton, Bush, and Obama.


  22. rick stevens says:

    My fingers are on the keyboard, but my mind is telling me not to waste my time sharing my views, because they are complex and unpopular, and the real world of human beings that my words will be directed towards is so polarized that only half will agree, and half will disagree, so why bother? So in the end, this post will not be intended to convince or to change the views of another, but more to shout to the sky in frustration and sadness.
    First, there are too many rats in this cage we call Earth. Too many people means less to share, more pressure to take, and more irrational and ultimately selfish and aberrant behavior. More suicidal tendencies, more unnatural ways of dealing with our emotions and the rhythm of life that our ancestors experienced for thousands and thousands of years. Technology and exponential population explosion have so convoluted the mind of Homo sapiens that we, in my view, have lost touch with the fundamental questions of who we are and why we exist.
    Young people, and even old people, have been indoctrinated by the “information age” into worship of telephones and computers and advertising whose only real purpose is to manipulate their minds so that they can be sold products and ideologies, and they don’t care, and even embrace this new and oh-so-unnatural world. The ramifications are overwhelming and boundless, and very, very bad.
    Children have unchecked and unlimited access to pornography, ethnic and other genres of hate flown on the wings of anonymity and without accountability, bullying, and, worst of all, in my opinion, violent and addictive video games like Call of Duty and countless other horrific and evil games. Developing adolescent minds are by their very nature sponges which absorb and process the confusing input from every direction in the world surrounding them, and they are readily led away from moralistic, socially responsible thinking toward the lowest common denominators of the darker sides of human emotion. Separating reality and fantasy, and cause and effect are fragile and unstable opportunities for children and adolescents, and without guidance and discipline and accountability provided by loved ones and “the village”, it seems so easy to slip into the camo gear of the heroes in Call of Duty and solve their problems thru mayhem and bloodshed and murder. Seems to me none of us wants to recognize that humans have the capability to abandon goodness in favor of evil when there is no consequence, or the sense that nothing is to be gained by staying the course of goodness and socially supportive participation. Video games are evil and should be outlawed, free speech be damned. Lets make an exception and be done with it, for Christ’s sake. Why in the world do so many of us hide behind a single thought like “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, or by declaring oneself a Democrat or a Republican, or a supporter of the Constitution, a document written by well intended people who lived 200 years ago and whose needs and perspective have very little meaning when applied to today’s tech driven and overpopulated world? Who can deny the overwhelming science behind global warming and pollution of the seas and the food supply, and then look themselves in the mirror and feel good about themselves for abandoning the future for their loved ones and the children they too will love? I fear we will never collectively embrace common sense and make decision by committee of more than one to save us from ourselves.

  23. Mia says:

    Ban Assault Weapons. That’s what we’re asking for. We don’t want your hunting rifles or hand guns. We want the Ar15’s & Uzi’s. These are the rapid fire military grade assault weapons that have no business being in a civilain’s hands.

  24. Kevin fisher says:

    Please Flagler county, dont be fooled they need a starting point.
    1st take away semi automatic weapons.
    2nd take away handguns
    3rd take away any guns

  25. John says:

    Just like drugs have been banned you see how well that worked. Criminals still get there hand on them. Wake up people and stop acting stupid. Don’t just leave guns to the criminals only so we can’t defend ourself that really makes a lot of sense. There are still many good law abiding citizens.

  26. Mary Fusco says:

    @ Marlee, do you really think that these sick individuals obtained these weapons legally. I would bet they were stolen, or the perps knew someone who knew someone who could get one for them. Pot is not legal, drugs are not legal yet how many are dying from overdoses each year? Take your head out of the sand. Where there is a will, there is a way. Nothing stops a criminal or a drug addict from getting what they want.

  27. Nancy N. says:

    CB thinks mass shootings are the result of “dumbing down education, parents failing to discipline their kids, a criminal justice system which lets repeat offenders out, welfare rewarding single mothers having kids, removing God and morality, and disrespecting the values of the United States”. Yet Europe, where they do all of that, has none of the mass shootings that we do because (wait for it) THEY DON’T HAVE GUNS!

    I’m absolutely gobsmacked at all the people arguing that guns are not the problem, people are. We are the only country in the world with this problem with mass shootings. So when you all say that it is the people that are the problem, what you all are really saying is that Americans are somehow morally inferior to the rest of the world that manages NOT to have mass shootings. What other possible explanation is there? (Since it isn’t about the guns that those other people don’t have, after all, right?)

  28. Instigator says:

    Because the bad guys have them. Wonder if Pierre lives in a gun free zone….

  29. AR does not mean Assault Rifle says:

    This is one of the worst written, i must obey, articles I think I have read this year!!!! Why do we defend our “Right” to own whatever firearm we want to own??? Because it is our Right to do so!!! End of story!!! I’m all about checking people out before handing them a rifle and telling them not to shoot their eye out, but my god man, it is pretty freaking simple…. The Guns can’t shoot themselves, so you can’t really say that it’s the gin!!! It’s dumbass people and their need to get attention, which is always given by reporters that are to scared to do their job and report the news, not what they are told to say!!! Jesus people, pull your heads out of your asses!!!

  30. Stretchem says:

    “The problem with all those absurd analogies, which will nevertheless populate the comment section with reliable ferocity, is that they seek to cloak all responsibilities for gun violence …”

    Of course, right on queue. Way to go Palm Coast.

  31. Rick G says:

    I read this piece much earlier but there were no responses at the time. So I waited to see if there were any intellectual responses.. Except for a few now I can see that most of you have not disappointed my view of Floridians… Not too bright are you???

  32. Downtowm says:

    Civilians in the United States do not possess military weapons. Military weapons fire full automatic. Civilian weapons fire semi-automatic. Some civilian semi-automatic weapons are designed to copy the look of military weapons. But looks is as far as it goes. They are two different operating systems for firing the weapon. Military rapid fires many rounds with one pull of the trigger. Civilian models fire one round per trigger pull.
    Military rapid fire full automatic weapons are assault weapons. Civilian semi-automatic weapons are not assault weapons. They are just dressed up to look like the military assault weapons. In fact they are the very same semi-automatic rifle that uses a traditional wooden stock and looks like what we know as a hunting rifle

  33. Right says:

    How come the gun is blamed in all these instances but when a cop shoots someone, the cop ( a person) is blamed?

  34. Dumbfounded says:

    And forks act alone in making someone fat.

  35. Sheila Zinkerman says:

    It is a fact that people do kill people with guns. However their kill is facilitated and often more deadly when their weapon of choice is a gun. Stop sidestepping rational gun safety debates with irrelevant sound bites like “guns don’t kill people-people kill people.” Guns are manufactured to kill someone or something and in order to function they need an accomplice. Therefore, people kill people with their guns. Support politicians who campaign with a gun safety platform.

  36. Willy Boy says:

    Young, white male heavily laden with angst and ammo – Man of the Year.

  37. Dennis Talbot says:

    We then need to ban all forms of alcohol. There are many more deaths per year from alcohol related drivers, DWI, than all gun mass murders. Let’s take away the booze from the responsible, occasional drinker, because of the few drunken drivers. I have many guns that are used responsibly and lawfully. If guns are outlawed, only criminals will have theirs. If we remove guns, there will be no need for police to have guns either.

  38. palmcoaster says:

    Lest take out the killing machine firearms from public circulation only belong in the military and law enforcement hands, outlaw those,. Also more strict background checks to all guns purchasers. Laws need to be passed that strictly penalizes by longer prison terms and financial bankrupt the criminals and their enablers. In spite that a human life is priceless.Thank you Pierre for this editorial is just right to the point.

  39. Michael Cocchiola says:

    Lots of false comparisons, as usual. Knives, drugs, sharks, gators… all should be banned because they have killed. But not guns. Guns are special. As a contributor to the News-Journal wrote, “god and the 2nd Amendment give every citizen the right to defend themselves”. This is the bizarre thought process of gun-apologists.

    There is only one answer… vote Republicans out of office next November, then pass sensible gun regulations.

  40. Richard says:

    So Pierre, I assume you will also be writing an article about how knives, truck & cars, airplanes, bombs, etc. etc. etc as you state “have nothing to do it” with regards to mass killings? Sharpen your keyboard and have it! Or better yet how about a truthful article about the REAL reasons for the mass killings?

  41. Jane Gentile-Youd says:

    Marlee says it all. Powder loaded guns were the only guns which existed when the 2nd Amendment was ( carelessly) written,

    Semi-Automatics,. machine guns with 100 rounds, AK’s did not exist! What don’t people understand?

    A Handgun for personal protection does not violate 2nd amendment rights.

    Yes, semi-automatics, in the hands of lunatics do kill and are killing thousands of innocent people which our forefathers never dreamed of, or even hallucinated of, when they crafted the wording of the 2nd amendment. These military weapons and their companions need to be banned from public sale immediately for starters.

    Yes, they should be confiscated as much as possible and even be ‘purchased’ by our police from those who voluntarily turn them in – for starters………

  42. Trailer Bob says:

    Wow, thanks for filling us in on our warped reality. A small percentage of morons use guns illegally. More people die from car accidents, or as you would say, Cars kill.
    The world is getting glorified by more and more insane people, so what is your plan for that? If people like yourself would stop making these killers famous, that would be a good start. You, the media, provide them with the fame they seek. I hate to repeat it, but only the good people would turn in their guns if required, not the criminals and mentally deranged. Lots of typing here, but little in the way of what is really going on.

  43. Geezer says:

    The streets are lined with gold for gun dealers today.
    As soon as there’s a mass-shooting or talk of new legislation,
    there’s a a huge spike in sales. Often times people search for the
    same model gun(s) used in the recent shooting.

    We’re living in fear–by design.

    Law-abiding people (including myself) will become felons overnight
    if a so-called assault weapons ban is instituted. This happened in
    New York State recently…overnight by Governor Cuomo’s executive order.

    If there was TRUST in government, people wouldn’t resist new laws.

    The prevailing mindset is: “give ’em an inch and they’ll take a foot.”
    No gray areas, just black or white.

    Extremes on both sides of the gun debate…no middle ground.

    A great day to own a gun shop, however! Glory days!

  44. Trailer Bob says:

    By the way…what do you plan on doing when someone breaks into your home at 2am? Call the police…lol.

  45. Pogo says:

    @Stating the obvious: “I find myself today offering the same insight I did the night of the Parkland shooting a few hours from our home in Florida, which is this: Republicans will never do anything on gun control. Nothing. Ever. They won’t.” “Beat ’em. Beat every single one of them…”

    A former Republican congressman is calling on voters who want gun control to boot all of his old GOP colleagues from office.

    “If this is the issue that informs your ideology as a voter, the strength to draw in this moment is to commit to beating Republicans,” former Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.) said on MSNBC on Monday.

    “Beat ’em. Beat every single one of them,” he said. “Even the safe ones in the House, beat ’em. Beat ’em in the Senate. Take back the Senate.”

    Jolly urged Democratic presidential candidates who could defeat a Republican senator to drop out and run in those races instead to help flip the chamber. He also encouraged Democrats to unite and beat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

    Jolly, who was in Congress from 2014-2017, took some of the blame for the party’s failure to act on gun control.

    “I tried to move the needle within the party and I failed,” he said. “And it’s important in this moment to acknowledge it.”

    But, he said that the problem was ingrained in the party, which had failed to act after some of the nation’s worse mass shootings:

    “I find myself today offering the same insight I did the night of the Parkland shooting a few hours from our home in Florida, which is this: Republicans will never do anything on gun control. Nothing. Ever. They won’t.”

    Then, Jolly warned his former fellow lawmakers that the tide was turning against them.

    “Your time is coming,” he said. “My mom likes to say the wheels of justice grind slowly, but they grind increasingly and exceedingly fine. That is what has happened to a lot of Republican political careers in moments like this.”

    – former Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.)

  46. DoubleGator says:

    In the sickness which is the American gun culture, the Beatles got it right “ happiness is a warm gun”!

  47. Downtown says:

    You must remember that the 2nd Amendment was not written to allow citizens to own and bear arms. It was written to forbid government interference in the rights of citizens to own and bear arms.
    Our Rights are not granted. They are inherent rights that the government may not prohibit

    To many people commenting are confused about firearms. Civilians cannot own assault weapons. None of these mass murders were committed by an assault weapon. They were committed by people using semi-automatic weapons that are legal. They have been modeled to look like a military assault weapon but do not function like a military assault weapon. It’s like taking a VW and replacing the body with a body from. a Corvette. So now you have a VW that looks like a Corvette but still operates and runs like a VW. You are allowing the looks of the weapon to deceive you into thinking people are using military grade assault weapons when they are not. We have a mental health problem with people suffering mental issues using legally purchased weapons to commit mass murder. We must figure out a way to identify who these people are. Gun control is no substitute for mental health care. Removing guns will only create another weapon of mass murder. Pressure cooker bomb, poison, truck bomb? Removing guns only moves the problem, it does not eliminate the problem. .

  48. Dan says:

    Talk about another ignorant anti-gun article. Tabloid garbage.

  49. Born and Raised Here says:

    As a person who was raised around guns in our house, and taught how and what they are used for in the sport of hunting and target shooting. I have passed this training onto my children, and grandchildren. Perhaps schools should teach classes on how a gun should be handle and what there main purposes are .

  50. TheTruth says:

    All Americans are asking for the government to ban assault weapons, but Trump and Mitch are ignoring it because their NRA donations mean more to them. This is a government that is working only for themselves, what the American people want doesn’t matter.
    And, if Trump isn’t a racists why does he keep spreading hate spee

  51. Agkistrodon says:

    If the Second Amendment was Not intended to apply to “military” weapons, explain the fact that the ONLY weapons of the time, were Muzzle-loaders, which were Military weapons. The people who wrote that new technology would change. I am certain the seen the advent and modernization of stuff in the very own lifetimes.

  52. Jack says says:

    “TheTruth says” I’m not sure where you get your info but you do not speak for “all Americans”. I’d guess there are millions of Americans that disagree with that statement.

  53. snapperhead says:

    According to the logic of some the forefathers would want us citizens (the well regulated militia) to be as equally armed as the military to combat a tyrannical gubmint wouldn’t they? If the 2A was meant so we could have military weapons then why can’t I buy a MK-38 for my boat, or M 252 mortars or a M270 Multiple Rocket launch system? And the criminals will get them because if there’s a will there’s a way right? Am I,as part of the well regulated militia, supposed to take on the military of the US, with all it’s military weapons, with a semi automatic rifle?!?!?!?!? So why are my 2A rights being infringed? It says I have the right to bear arms, not just guns. Anyone know who can rig up an Aim-9 Sidewinder missile system on my Cessna 182?

  54. Outsider says:

    As a previous poster stated, it’s what’s in the heart that causes a person to kill or not to kill. Every time a group of school children bowed their heads in prayer, the liberals and their attorneys shut them down and called it a “victory.” What have those horrible prayers been replaced with? No morals, no values, just the satisfaction that “ your right” to not have to watch those devils pray on a football field has been defended. Were those kids really so bad?

  55. marlee says:

    Mary Fusco

    Check your facts..

    Three mass shootings that killed 34 people over the past week involved semi-automatic weapons and magazines capable of holding dozens of bullets — all of which were legal to purchase by the shooters.

  56. just sayin says:

    Venezuela bans private gun ownership only 7 years ago. Look at that country today. Be careful what you wish for liberals, you just might get it.

  57. Brian says:

    How do you confiscate guns from the criminals? Easy. It’s called the Patriot Act. Simply begin enforcing it on a domestic level and simply eliminate the domestic terrorists as a whole. Every gang banger, drug dealer, member of organized crime…they are all TERRORISTS by definition as defined in the Patriot Act. Since we know the gangs are “organizations” that operate for a profit…we can also seize their assets as far as cash, weapons, drugs, and even real properties such as vehicles and domiciles under RICO statutes while they remain locked up on charges of terrorism without bail, rights, lawyers, etc under the Patriot Act until their trial by military tribunal.
    With the criminal element eliminated, and a ban on assault-style and military style weapons, accessories and ammunition…we won’t have to worry about the criminals having guns to attack law abiding citizens with only piatols, single-shot rifles, and shotguns to defend themselves and their families.

  58. Mark says:


    “All” Americans are not asking the government to ban assault weapons, whatever an assault weapon is. Hate speeches? When? The one where he doesn’t want criminal illegals entering our country illegally? Or maybe when he called some countries “shitholes”, which they are. How about the one where hillary calls people deplorable because they won’t vote for her? No hate there.

  59. gmath55 says:

    You are never going to stop people from getting a gun no mater what laws you incorporate, background checks, what type of gun control you have, or limit the amount of ammunition purchase, or stop a person with mental issues.

    Being a retired engineer I was thinking along the lines of having an app on a smartphone that prevents the gun from firing. The only problem I still cannot figure out is how to prevent the shooter from bypassing the app or system.

  60. Alphonse Abonte says:

    Now for something entirely different……..I do not know anything about the Clintons. I am putting this out there for my own safety.

  61. Downtown says:

    TheTruth is saying that Americans want to ban assault weapons and blames Trump and Mitch for not doing so.
    TheTruth do you not understand that civilians do not posses assault weapons? Do you not understand that none of these mass shootings was committed with an assault weapon?
    Do you not understand that only the military and the police use assault weapons?
    Do you not understand that assault weapons fire on full automatic and civilians cannot own a weapon that fires on full automatic?
    So TheTruth there is nothing for Trump and Mitch to ban because civilians cannot own or possess an assault weapon, it’s been against the law for a long time.
    What your upset about is the appearance of some semi-automatic rifles that copy the look of military weapons. Looks are deceiving and because of the looks of some of the weapons used in these mass shootings you wrongly assumed these were military grade full automatic assault weapons, and they were not. These shootings were done with legal semi-automatic rifles that copied the look of a military weapon.
    So do you want to ban any weapon that copies the look of a military assault weapon? You don’t like the look so you want to ban it?

  62. Jay Effeslton says:

    Well, firearms may be the aggressor’s choice of weapon, but let’s look at this for a second. If liberals have their way, and guns are outlawed or restricted in any manner, what happens when aggressors use other weapons to inflect terror. A car? A gas can, a knife or edged weapons? All which can be used to inflict instant death or great bodily harm. Hundreds of People die EVERY-SINGLE_DAY in this country as a result of alcohol related crashes. Some have deemed that a violent act, still, no one campaigns for the elimination of alcohol sales nor do the bars close in honor of the dead. This, an argument that has been heard hundreds of times. I am usually told there’s no comparison, but to me, alcohol consumption is a voluntary act that take little willpower to control its intake. Alcohol is this aggressor’s choose weapon.

  63. Jay Effeslton says:

    Ban ALL Public Alcohol Sales. Shit down the BARS, Alcohol consumption leads to death – great bodily harm – cirrhosis of the liver, and still, many say firearms kill. Whatever. People kill people the same way that Alcohol kills people.

  64. Mary Fusco says:

    @Marlee, I was speaking in general. Did these 2 actually buy the weapons? I don’t own a gun and never have. What concerns me the most is that we have a generation or most likely more that does not know reality from fantasy. They have spent their lives in front of violent video games without interacting with others. Parents are so proud that their 2 YO can work an Ipad or computer. A 2 YO should be in the playground interacting with other 2 year olds. Of course the Ipad is the easy way out. We are in a sad situation. People have owned guns for hundreds of years. Mass murders have not been happening for hundreds of years. What seems to be the problem and It’s not Trump. Who the hell will people blame for these incidents when he is out of office. Can’t wait. No one wants to take responsibility for their own lives, always easier to blame someone else.

  65. Bobby says:

    I think it has quite a bit to do with prescription drugs. If not street drugs. As a society in this country we’ve adapted to the fact when we have something that bothers us or we get “anxiety” we go straight to a Dr. and get drugs. Next time you pass a walgreens or CVS, look how long the drive thru is, Looks like a mcdonalds line. We are on more drugs i think then ever before and i think they are playing a roll in our mental stability. Just my 2 cents on this matter. Not guns. Reality is we need guns to defends ourselves from all the Zombies in the pharmacy line.

  66. Rick G says:

    As you stated in your piece Pierre there have been excoriating remarks about your article, most of which are totally predictable. Maybe you should abide by my mantra… do not argue with assholes… you are not the f–k face whisperer.

  67. Sherry says:

    Thank You again and again Pierre for having the moral fortitude and courage to continue to be the voice of reason in an ever increasingly divided community. On the one hand, I agree with Rick G about the complete futility of arguing with those who prefer to hold on firmly to their close minded, paranoid cult mentality of FEAR and HATE. . . and the weapons of “Mass Murder” to back up that “paranoia.”..

    However, if “we” crawl into a comfortable space and do nothing while the winds of complete and utter “FASCISM” blow us into a storm too terrible to consider, then we are ourselves complicite in the demise of what was once a peaceful, civilization evolving (albet too slowly) in a healthy way.

    ENOUGH! Our RIGHTS to a SAFE and PEACEFUL life are being taken away!!!

    We need the Senate and this administration to enact “federal” gun safety laws that require stringent background checks for all those desiring ANY kind of firearm purchased through ANY process.

    We also need to ban ALL automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and ANY tools used to create them.

    We need a national database that tracks all gun and ammo sales. . . in order to determine where they may be being stockpiled.

    We need to implement a gun “buy back” program like they have done successfully in other countries.

    Guns should be confiscated from anyone who uses them to commit a crime OR to threaten others.

    When someone calls the police with concern about ANY gun possibly being owned by an irresponsible/dangerous/mentally unhealthy person, that situation needs to be taken very seriously to determine if the gun(s) needs to be confiscated. . .

  68. Agkistrodon says:

    With so many countries Like that to choose from Sherry…………………..

  69. Fuggetaboutit says:

    Pierre left out some interesting information:
    There are 30,000 gun related deaths per year by firearms, and this number is not disputed.
    U.S. population is 324,059,091 Do the math:
    0.00925% of the population dies from gun related actions each year.
    A breakdown of those 30,000 deaths, to put them in perspective as compared to other causes of death:
    • 65% of those deaths are by suicide which would never be prevented by gun laws
    • 15% are by law enforcement in the line of duty
    • 17% are through criminal activity, gang and drug related or mentally ill persons – gun violence
    • 3% are accidental discharge deaths
    So technically, “gun violence” is not 30,000 annually, but drops to 5,100. Still too many? Well, first, how are those deaths spanned across the nation?
    • 480 homicides (9.4%) were in Chicago
    • 344 homicides (6.7%) were in Baltimore
    • 333 homicides (6.5%) were in Detroit
    • 119 homicides (2.3%) were in Washington D.C. (a 54% increase over prior years)
    So basically, 25% of all gun crime happens in just 4 cities. All 4 of those cities have strict gun laws, so it is not the lack of law that is the root cause.
    This basically leaves 3,825 for the entire rest of the nation, or about 75 deaths per state. That is an average because some States have much higher rates than others. For example, California had 1,169 and Alabama had 1.
    Now, who has the strictest gun laws by far? California of course, but you need to first understand it is not guns causing this.
    It is a crime rate spawned by the number of criminal persons residing in those cities and states. So if all cities and states are not created equally, then there must be something other than the tool causing the gun deaths.
    Are 5,100 deaths per year horrific? How about in comparison to other deaths? All death is sad and especially when it is in the commission of a crime but that is the nature of crime.
    Robbery, death, rape, assault is all done by criminals and thinking that criminals will obey laws, is ludicrous. That’s why they are criminals.
    But what about other deaths each year?
    • 40,000+ die from a drug overdose–THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THAT! We outlawed drugs!
    • 36,000 people die per year from the flu, far exceeding the criminal gun deaths
    • 34,000 people die per year in traffic fatalities(exceeding gun deaths even if you include suicide) the same teenagers marching to get rid of guns, are the same teenagers who are texting and driving and killing far more than guns!
    Now it gets good:
    • 200,000+ people die each year (and growing) from preventable medical errors. At that point you are safer in Chicago then when you are in a hospital!
    • 710,000 people die per year from heart disease. It’s time to stop the MCdouble cheeseburgers! So what is the point? If the anti-gun movement focused their attention on heart disease, even a 10% decrease in cardiac deaths would save twice the number of lives annually of all gun-related deaths (including suicide, law enforcement, etc.). A 10% reduction in medical errors would be 66% of the total gun deaths or 4 times the number of criminal homicides……Simple, easily preventable 10% reductions!
    So you have to ask yourself, in the grand scheme of things, why the focus on guns? It’s pretty simple.: Taking away guns gives control to governments.
    The founders of this nation knew that regardless of the form of government, those in power may become corrupt and seek to rule as the British did by trying to disarm the populace of the colonies. It is not difficult to understand that a disarmed populace is a controlled populace.
    Thus, the second amendment was proudly and boldly included in the U.S. Constitution. It must be preserved at all costs.
    So the next time someone tries to tell you that gun control is about saving lives, look at these facts and remember these words from Noah Webster: “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe.
    The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.
    A military force at the command of Congress can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power.”
    Remember, when it comes to “gun control,” the important word is “control,” not “gun.”
    Compiled from the book, “Fire Congress.”

  70. Outsider says:

    Jay Effelston, I’ve made that argument before. Between fatal accidents and people seriously injured in them, diseases, families and lives destroyed by addiction to alcohol, many, many more people are adversely affected by alcohol than guns. How many innocent children are killed by drunk drivers? We could save thousands of lives and families by banning it. Now many will argue that most people consume alcohol responsibly and shouldn’t be punished for the bad behavior of some. Well golly!……

  71. Dave says:

    Like FUGGETABOUTIT points out we need tougher gun laws in ALL cities Not just the big ones, gun laws only work when they are throughout the country not just some states.

    Also I agree with Outsider And Effelston that Alcohol should be banned considering all the damage it causes to our society.

  72. Mia says:

    Ban Assault Rifles! All guns used in the last 3 mass shootings were purchased legally by the 3 white psychopaths.
    Keep yer handguns. Keep yer hunting rifles. Ban those assault weapons with 100 round magazines. Don’t think you hunters need them?

  73. Alphonse Abonte says:

    Criminal perspective:

    I am a criminal.

    I don’t buy guns at stores.

    I don’t care about your stupid gun laws.

    Background checks will not stop me.

    Keep focusing on the good people.

    That is exactly what I want!

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