Open Thread Jan. 31st

  I am asking for some help  friends and neighbors. I am limited on how much I can post, so please feel free to comment on anything that has your attention in the political world. Be it local or national.

  Thanks for the help.


57 Responses to “Open Thread Jan. 31st”

  1. Laffter Says:

    Well. That last post was like reading war and peace! Wow. – let me think on it
    Will talk to some others

  2. Dave Says:

    Well you ask for suggestions for a motto (sort of like a principle) for your blog. My own personal motto is “Semper Ubi Sub Ubi”

    You need something that communicates what you are about – what is important to you. Perhaps a return to responsible governance!

  3. Dave Says:

    Still for a free for all topic, how about: There are sheriffs in this nation who have communicated their intent to refuse to enforce laws they have determine to be unconstitutional.

    While civil disobedience has a long and storied place in the American story, where does one draw the line between civil obedience and the refusal of officials in positions of authority who fail to fulfill their responsibilities in accordance with their oath?

    Of course there is a distinction from prosecutorial discretion. But under what rule of law are those in authority allowed to refuse to enforce the law? Can their refusal be challenged? And if challenge, who do they recognize as having standing to challenge their refusal. The Executive Branch, Congress, and the States recognize the authority of the Supreme Court to adjudicate challenges to constitutional questions. But are sheriffs free to make those decisions with no recourse? And what of the supremacy clause? Certainly, states are not required to perform federal functions but they must still comply with federal law and federal courts remain the highest courts.

    It seems to me that any sheriff who announces their intent to not enforce federal law is essentially stating that they beyond the law, that they are the arbiters of what the law is based on their own personal preferences.

    While their response would be that they answer to the people, the framework for that answer is within the Constitution, for the people are not only protected by the Constitution, they are bound by the Constitution as well.

  4. kavips Says:

    Dave, I think some of the hype is to degrees of perception. This being Super Bowl Sunday coming up, let me use that as an example. There are a lot of preconceived notions of how the game is going to be played…. That is right now. At the end of the third quarter, the consensus depending on the score, may or may not change. If the game is one sided and you take a consensus poll, you will probably find the consensus on who will win, is now in favor of the team that has a score so high, it is untouchable.

    That model applies to this circumstance….

    If this were about taking “all” guns away, I would line up on the side of the sheriffs. The government by the second amendment is not allowed to do that. But, if it is only about banning all new sales of a certain category of military grade weapons, and high capacity clips, I would be on the side of the Federal government. A rational law was properly made and passed with the proper level of authority, so it must be obeyed.

    Depending on how one feels on this sliding scale of gun regulation, I think will determine how one feels whether violating a law on principle is ones ,moral obligation, or applying enough force to guarantee its compliance whether others want it or not.

    We’ve been here before. The Whiskey Rebellion. John Browns Raid. The Civil War. Desegregation of Alabama’s schools. Vietnam Draft Card Burnings. etc.

    • Dave Says:

      I agree with that thought. But as I said to Frank, there is simply no way that the government can take away 310,000,000 firearms. Folks like you and I can responsd to rational arguments such as in the manner you did, but sheriffs who put themselves above the law, are anathema to our nation.

      Still regardless of what they do about firearms, one thing they can do, is to legislate accountability. Owning a firearm (which as some say is simply a means of efficiently killing a family member as statistics seem to bear out) requires responsibility for its ownership and accountability for it’s misuse. If your weapon is stolen because you did not take proper precautions, you would be a victim of crime, but you should also be accountable (see my reply to Frank on leavingh keys in the car). With liberty comes responsibility and with responsibility comes accountability. Those who advocate liberty without responsibility are simply anarchists.

      • kavips Says:

        True. But keep in mind. Sheriffs have to be elected too. In their counties, if a challenger even hints he is tougher on gun laws than the current sheriff, today’s sheriff is probably out of a job. So a lot of this is hyperbole, and positioning to keep from being challenged by someone on your own team.

        I really don’t think reality will create a situation where anyone will be asking sheriffs to round up guns. However keeping the gun of someone you arrested who was shooting at you, well, I think none of them would object to that…

        I’m really liking the private sector insuring guns, and having insurance companies have to pay out 5 or 6 figure damages to every single wrongful death. I do not see anyone going door to door in the near future rounding up cars. That system seems to work with cars and if we let the private sector modify and control gun behavior, the argument over the involvement of the Federal Government and constitutionality goes away.

        If as a gun owner you are safe, you pay less. If you make a mistake, you pay higher premiums…. Anyways, sympathizing with these sheriffs in very rural areas from a perspective of not being run out of town, I’d probably be saying the same thing, knowing full well i would never be called upon to collect my neighbor’s guns

      • frankknottsFrankKnotts Says:

        Again the idea that mandating anything, let alone insurance will prevent the type of killing we have seen as of late, or even so called ordinary gun violence is fantasy at best. The only people paying the cost would be the law abiding citizen, and as with car insurance you would only pay the higher rates AFTER the accident, so in the case of guns, you would only pay the higher rates after your gun had been used in a violent crime or a terrible accident involving children. What good would this do? Other than make insurance companies the tools by which to deny more people the right to own a gun.

      • Dave Says:

        But wouldn’t a law that identified the proper handling and control of a firearm, to prevent theft or misuse, with appropriate criminal and civil penalties have some effect on those who casually leave firarms around the home?

        Wouldn’t identification of the owner, allow victims of firearms redress in civil court? If you have a firearm and it gets stolen and I get shot, I think I ought to be able to sue you for your irresponsible actions. I don’t object to firearms, I object to irresponsible firearm owners. After all, every firearm starts its existence as a legal firearm unless criminals are manufacturing firearms themselves.

      • FrankKnotts Says:

        Dave, what is it you consider “casually” around the home? Are we talking in a drawer? Or do you think guns are lying on the coffee table? Okay, maybe in some homes. But are you suggesting that all guns must be locked away at all times? Doesn’t make for very good home defense if I have to put in a combination before I can get to my weapon.

      • Dave Says:

        No, I am not suggesting “that all guns must be locked away at all times?”

        When you are home and feel the need for self defense you should have your weapon available for you to get to quickly. But when you go out, your weapon goes into the safe.

        Consider the question of how criminals get their weapons – one way is that they are stolen. At least that’s what folks will say. I am guessing that they are not taken from the hands of the owners, if indeed home burglary is how they get them. I am guessing that they are stolen from folks who left home with the weapon in the night stand.

        Or consider the Nov 6 2012 break in at G&E Hardware in Ocean View where 20 guns were stolen. No siren, no alarm system? Nice that they had a surveillance camera. Better than nothing, but the guy was wearing a mask. Now you have 20 guns on the street. Responsible gun owner you say?

        Want to leave your gun on your nightstand when you pop over to Abott’s Grill for a bite? Fine. Turn you alarm system on. Don’t have one? Then shame on you.

        My point is, guns are primarily stolen because of the lack of responsible gun owners – if statiscally that’s how criminals get their guns.

        So if that is the case, then gun owners need to be accountable and that includes civil and criminal penalties when they do not properly secure their weapons.

      • frankknottsFrankKnotts Says:

        Okay Dave, now tell us how the penalty after the gun is stolen, which by the way is a crime, will stop the thief from stealing it, are you saying that the fear of a fine will cause all to place their weapons under lock and key?
        In my opinion we will always be behind the curve if all we seek to do is to punish, if all wwe are seeking is more laws that are after the fact. Laws punishing otherwise law abiding citizens for having been violated themselves, remember their guns were in their homes and safe until a real crimminal broke in and stole them, that is the real crime in this story. Punishing these people will do noting to stop crimes of any kind.
        I have been busy at work lately (that’s a good thing) and am considering that post on the root issue of crime. But that is where we should be looking, not at simply more laws that are a waste of time.

      • Dave Says:

        I simply saying that if you believe that with freedom comes responsibility and with responsibility comes accountability then those who act in an irresponsible manner should be held accountable for when they act irresponsible.

        Positive control of your firearm at all times is necessary. If you do not maintain positive control or take the proper and prudent precautions and someone steals the weapon and ends a life as result are you honestly suggesting that you have zero responsibility? Sure you aren’t a criminal, but your actions have consequences and when your actions (or lack thereof) results in harm to others, then you share in that responsibility.

        Take the Bradley case. People determined that Beebe failed in it’s responsibility to investigate and/or report what they knew. Beebe committed no crime. Yet, society determined that they bore some responsibility. I could list case after case, example after example of the same scenario. What you are asserting that you have no responsibility to society and in exercising your liberty you are immunized from any accountability that exercise of your liberty effects others.

        I don’t know what the proper measures would be for those who are irresponsible, but let’s face it the gun community bandies around terms like “responsible gun ownership” and “responsible gun owners.” So fine, I’ll accept the distinction that are those who are responsible and those who are not. Since you want to make a distinctioon, I have two questions for you.

        1. What is your definition of responsible gun ownership.
        2. What would you propose as consequences of irresponsible gun ownership?

        If you post a question about root causes of crime, I’ll comment on that there.

      • frankknottsFrankKnotts Says:

        Dave, in my opinion a person who has a gun in their home with their doors locked is a responsible gun owner. Their gun is in their home legally. The person who breaks in and steals that gun is the only criminal, making the gun owner a criminal as well will not negate any other crime that may be committed.
        Now if a gun owner leaves their gun lying on the sidewalk or on the seat of their car, that would be a different matter, they acted in a reckless manner, but to simply own a gun should not make you a crimminal, nor mean that you must pay an additional penalty for that ownership.

  5. frankknotts Says:

    Dave, I too am concerned with an elected official that sees themself outside the law, even as they proclaim their devotion to the law. We need only look to the law suit filed by |Sheriff Christopher here in Delaware, where in he states that he is answerable to no authority beyond the people and the constitution, even as he seeks the court that he does not recognize as having authority, to give him said authority. It all seems like grand theater.
    We are asked to believe that one elected official is beyond question while they tell us that all elected officials are corrupt.
    As for banning certain types of guns and mags.? As I have said before, this is not what frightens me, it is the creep of government intrusion into the decisions that law abiding citizens should be allowed to make for themselves. If anyone thinks that this will stop with the banning of assault weapons and high capacity mags., also thinks that the homosexual movement will stop at civil unions and not seek homosexual marriage, oh wait we already know the answer to that one don’t we?

    • Dave Says:


      Surely we can come up with a better argument than the slippery slope. I don’t disagree that civil union does lead to marriage between two individuals (which would be a slippery slope if one looks at that as a negative i.e. sliding down in a negative fashion). However, that could have been halted simply by government dealing only with the contractual relationship between the individuals (the commerce part) and getting out of marriage business. If one is a liberatarian (which as you know I am not), why would government even have any business “governing” the relationship between two people in the first place?

      Even so, my greater concern is not the slippery slope (regardless of the logical fallacy). My fear is rather the slippery slope in the erosion of the rule of law. Supposing I take a stand that I do not have to stop at red lights because it is unconstitutional to impede my travel?

      The creep of government intrusion in to individual decisions is consequence of people living together in close quarters. Imagine a spasely populated country where one’s neighbors are miles apart and people never collect in groups; no public schools; no Super Bowl; just miles and miles of empty space. Now imagine the need for regulation. That’s right there is no need. Now imagine the opposite where millions of people are living in close proximity. In a country with no regulation, how long before all those people are busy killing and maiming each other? Considering crowd behavior, probably about a day.

      So government intrusion (regulation) is what keeps us civilized. Without it, there would be open warfare at traffic intersections with each person defending their right to proceed. We choose or have to live together. In order for that to work, we have to have rules, but more importantly, we all have to agree to follow those rules. That’s what I am afraid of, that these sheriffs are saying to hell with civilization, I’m not going to follow the rules.

  6. frankknottsFrankKnotts Says:

    Dave, I think that you and I agree on the point of the sheriffs, however the “fear” of a slippery slope should not be discounted.
    As for government being involved in the union between two people? I again agree up to a point. I myself was joined to my lovely wife by a justice of the peace and we are about to celebrate thirty years.
    However the word marriageor wedding carries a larger meaning for some people. It has a faith based meaning. Personally I came to my faith much later in my life, but I now feel that the wedding of two souls happens between those two souls and God, and neither government, not organized religion can solidify it beyond the faith of those involved.
    If you have read anything I have written on this topic, then you know that my concern is not whether a homosexual partner can visit their partner in the hospital, because we all know that in today’s world that is not a problem large enough to warrant legislation.
    My feelings are that this is but a larger move down that “slippery slope” towards attacking the freedom of religion, or in my case, the freedom of faith.
    I believe that the larger agenda of the radicalized left (the same as we have our radicalized right), is to create a constitutional crisis in order to crack that egg and to be able to call for a new constitution.
    Dave I find you to be an honest intellectual, if I am correct, then you should be able to admit that in both cases, gun law and homosexual marriage, there are larger agendas.
    In the case of gun restrictions, it is obvious that there are those who are using the latest tragedy to move a decades old agenda with laws and bans that will do nothing to protect anyone, but that will in Sen. Feinstein’s words,”dry up the supply”.
    Once we admit this, then we must ask ourselves, will this in anyway lower the number of crimes and murders, and please do not trot out the U K. It is not enough to lower the “GUN” crimes while over-all violent crimes remain the same.
    We need to address the problem of crime, the root cause of crime, and guns are neither, they are simply the tools of crime. If you remove one tool of crime without solving the causes of crime then you have done nothing but restrict the honest law abiding citizen and in some cases made them more likely to be the victims of the very crime which you say you want to end.

    • Dave Says:

      “We need to address the problem of crime, the root cause of crime, and guns are neither, they are simply the tools of crime.”

      That is true. Guns are the means of executing the intent. As far as the root causes go, that would be an interesting post to have separate discussion on because the causes are legion. Perhaps it could be broken down into prime causes such has someone has something someone else wants. But even that may not be a root cause. It may be that to covet is human nature. Perhaps crime exists because we are human and societal rules are an imperfect means at best to limit those base desires.

      Still, let’s take nuclear non-proliferation as an extreme example. There is a concerted effort to limit proliferation because the more nations that have nuclear weapons the greater the likelihood that they will be used and that use would be catastrophic. Would you agree with that fundamental thought? I do. There are nations (especially rogue nations) that I wouldn’t trust with a bb gun.

      While nuclear weapons served a purpose (mutuall assured destruction) during the Cold War, those same weapons in other less um..civilized nations is a disaster waiting to happen.

      Isn’t this a similar situation with guns? Responsible gun ownership would mean that guns would rarely, if ever, be used. But ownership by rogue humans, is the disaster it has become. I know that the horse has left the barn. After all, there are an estimated 310,000,000 firearms in private ownership in this nation. What’s the probability of the government rounding them all up? I mean really? You’ve been around government, is it even possible?

      Still, I will agree that there are those who, in the back of their mind, would love to see a nation with no guns in private hands. Of course, that is a pipedream, similar to the pipedream of the those who believe that we can deport 11,000,000 people or that they will all self deport. But you and I, the rational people don’t live in that dream world. We live in the real world, where we know that 11,000,000 cannot be deported and that 310,000,000 firearms cannot be collected.

      So what are we to do? By doing nothing, as groups like the NRA basically advocate, we increase the supply (actually the NRA advocates more guns as an answer – go figure). In fact, they are against even minimum measures of background checks for everyone and registration for everyone. Of course their rationale in being against registration is the dreamworld one where someone will come to collect 310,000,000 firearms.

      In general I am not an advocate of restrictions on responsible ownership. But I want accountability. If you leave your keys in your car and someone steals it and runs down a bunch of people, you should share some of that responsibility. You want to own a firearm, you must be held accountable for that ownership and all that accrues from it. No excuses. You kid takes your gun to school and shoots someone? You are accountable. Not for actions of your child, but for your actions in allowing your child to have access to it.

      Personal responsibility must be accompanied by personal accountability.

      • kavips Says:

        I think the argument is mostly about risk. If one were to truly think of what they were afraid of, if they lived in rural area, their biggest fear is someone drives up on their property, then takes advantage of their superior force. There is no help. In the very urban areas, one’s biggest fear is gun battle in which you get hit by a errant bullet…. .

        But terroristic acts like those of Newton, Aurora, and mall shootings make us afraid to live normally, which is ultimately the goal of what terrorists want to do….

        We want to improve our chances of watching a movie, going to school, or shopping in a mall without having an incident…. if there is an incident and we are there, we would prefer that the gun run out of shots earlier than later.

        From this point of view, if we take away assault weapons and high capacity clips, our risk of surviving such an attack goes way up….

        Likewise, if these weapons persist, and continue to do damage because we can’t control “every” human’s behavior, sooner or later the tide will turn harder towards abolition…..

        The argument for “slippery slope” assumes that people want to go the full way. Slippery slopes in politics don’t happen by themselves, they are voted on by a majority of representatives elected by the majority of people in their districts….. I think that Americans have a better chance keeping all their own guns at home if these passages get passed now, than if you clog up the relief valve on a boiler that is about to explode…. and let the pressure build up even more…..

      • frankknottsFrankKnotts Says:

        Kavips, slippery slopes usually accure due to politician’s fear. The politician over reacts out of fear of being seen as doing nothing, also we cannot ignore that there are people who want to abolish guns and are working to do just that. tie the two together and we get what we are seeing right now. Legislation simply for the sake of legislating. That too is a slippery slope in and of itself.

      • Dave Says:

        I am sure there are people who are “working” to abolish guns. But the reality is, they are in the minority in this country and have no real power to effect such a change. But every action concerning firearms cannot be classified as part of the slippery slope towards abolishing firearms or the argument loses credibility.

        Remember a slippery slope fallacy is committed when we accept without further justification or argument that once the first step is taken, the others are going to follow, or that whatever would justify the first step would in fact justify the rest.

        For example, when the automatic weapons ban was enacted, many people declared that it would lead to abolishment. It didn’t. In fact, the ban expired, so it was an uptick. Given A, B, C, there is no logical argument that would take one from that series to Z. Slippery slope examples are easy simply because you have no burden of proof that any other action will logically follow the first actions.

        Recall the complaint that the rise of social media will lead to the isolation of people? It didn’t. In fact the opposite happened but neither result could be proven and those who were wrong, can simply use arguments like “over time” “in the long run” “eventually” to counteract any cracks in the slippery slope.

      • FrankKnotts Says:

        Dave, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

  7. Dave Says:

    P.S. I don’t disagree with the concept of marriage and it’s connection to faith, but with the government being in the business of “sanctifying” marriage. Everyone, including you and your wife, should be able to have a civil union. Recall that the origin of marriage was basically a contract (between families). Then the Church got into the business. Horse leaving the barn and all that, I’m comfortable with leaving marriage (and it’s basis in faith) to religions who can choose to marry whomever they wish, but the government recognizing and regulating only the civil union aspect. Bottom line, get government out the marriage business and keep it in the regulating civil unions business.

  8. Dave Says:

    And for something relevant and closer to home – page 20 of the Cape Gazette. Person carries a loaded weapon in backpack into a NY City Courthouse. Nevermind that he had no permit to take the weapon into NY or that he says he forgot to remove it from his back pack. Oversights, too much on his mind. Instead consider this:

    Individual carryin a firearm is on “medication, including high doses of Synthroid, a synthetic thyroid hormone that affects mood, memory and functioning.”

    Huh? I mean really Huh!!!??? Guy isn’t mentally ill but you are around someone with a firearm whose “mood, memory, and functioning” are affected. Ponder that for a bit. I don’t know about you, but you’ll never see me entering the Blue Moon under any circumstance. Risk avoidance and that’s a risk. Chances are he’s harmless, but then he did take a gun to NY state and apparently did not know he needed a permit PLUS he tried to take it into a courthouse.

    Personal liberty, but where’s the personal responsibility. If I am on medication that says “Do Not Operate Heavy Machinery” and I get in my car and kill someone accidently, I should be held responsible. If someone tell me my medication is going to affect my mood, memory and functioning, I get move my guns to a location where I do not have access to them before taking that kind of medication. That’s because I believe and practice personal responsibility for my actions.

    As people are fond of saying freedom is not free. The cost of that freedom is the responsibility to my family, my nation, and my community to ensure that practicing my freedom does not infringe on the rights of others to their life, liberty and their pursuit of happiness. That’s where I draw the line on freedom.

    • meatball Says:

      Synthroid, a perfect example of a slippery slope. Yes, medication to correct an underfunctioning or absent thyroid gland can effect “mood, memory, and functioning.” That is what it is supposed to do. That’s what blood pressure meds, advil, tylenol, low T, hormonal replacements, etc. do. Dave now is hinting that anyone who takes any medication for any reason that might effect the users “mood. memory, or functioning” should not be allowed to possess a firearm.

      • Dave Says:

        Nope. I was not hinting that at all. I was identifying actual behavior with a firearm, with the owner of the firearm asserting that medication affected his mood, memory and functioning, which caused him act irresponsibly with a firearm.

        What you should have gotten from that short piece (but did not) was:
        1. Generally law abiding gun owners are not automatically responsible gun owners.
        2. Irresponsible behavior results from other causes even when a person is not mentally ill.
        3. And a persons decision-making and reasonings skills can be easily affected resulting in increased risk to those around them.
        4. Recognition that it is not always black and white and that society should have some means of reducing the risks.
        5. Mental illness may be too inexact of a definition to ameliorate the problem (assuming you agree that the mentally ill can have their rights infringed).

        What I did not suggest or imply is a solution. I pointed out problem. Sometimes recognition of a problem is a good first step. Then rational people can discuss such things about how bit the problem is and whether there are effective solutions.

  9. Dave Says:

    Correction: I did not mean the Blue Moon, which is a fine restaurant in Rehoboth. I meant the Hotel Blue in Lewes.

    • meatball Says:

      I still read your comment as attributing the effects of medication to his irresponsibility, but I’ll take you at your word. Also, I don’t believe he acted irresponsibly but rather criminally.

      #1, he’s in court now for the gun offense when he took the gun to his first hearing where he was accused of ripping the badge off off a LEOs uniform during an OWS protest. The charge was assault and gran larcaney. (I believe an assault conviction strikes his gun rights and there fore made it illegal for him to possess).
      #2, of course this applies to all humans whether they own guns or not.
      #3, see above.
      #4, agreed background checks should be required in person to person sales as well.
      #5, agreed,(and I do). Name an occupation required to carry guns that also has as a group, one of the highest rates of major depression, suicides, anxiety, PTSD, and regular old stress.

      And I agree that you have identified a problem. One out of 310 million guns almost made it passed a metal detector and armed guards into a court room carried by a man with violent tendencies and hypothyroidism who is possibly all ready in illegal possession of, and is now being prosecuted for the crimes he committed.

  10. frankknottsFrankKnotts Says:

    Dave, caution! you are in danger of becoming Jon Moseley! LOL!
    I will answer most of your comments by answering your last one about personal responsibility. We have plenty of laws to enforce when people fail to take personal responsibility. To restrict people prior to breaking any law, in other words making the posibilty of breaking the law actually illegal is obsurd.
    To ban a gun simply because someone may use it to kill people will do nothing to stop people from being killed in other ways and once the powers that be realize that banning gun “A” didn’t stop the killing they will seek to ban gun”B” and “C”. Ley us remember that killing has been a part of mankind since time began, whether you believe the story of Cain and Abel, or you are more of the 2001 A Space Odessey mind, and it is unlikely that it will ever end.
    I agree that to tackle the root causes of the crimes would be quite a task and may explain why law makers go for the easy idea of banning, rather than the heavy lifting of actually solving problems.

  11. kavips Says:

    Frank I agree with you when you say banning guns won’t stop anger killings. What you have to realize is that I don’t worry about anger killings, I don’t worry about drug shootings. The reason is because I don’t go where they are… Or around people who might start shooting…. My only fear is that someone will spray a movie theater, a mall, a grade school, a university, or stopped traffic under an underpass 5 lanes wide, where I’m stuck and can’t move… If it is a small clip and I’m close by, for sure I’m going to jump him, take the hits, and hopefully save everyone else. But with weapons customized to fire a hundred rounds strong enough to push me backwards, what’s the point?….

    That random, way-out-there event, is the only scenario that can actually get to me. And it is not just only a gun issue but guns are part of the equation. All we want is to ban high capacity clips, and some types of assault rifles.

    I know assault rifles are a vague collection and pinpointing which is and which isn’t is tough, but something along those lines needs to be done. Just so when my kids go off to a movie, I can be reasonably sure that barring a chance of one out of a million, no one is going to use a stolen assault rifle, along with a stolen high capacity clip, and show up at the same theater and end theirs, and hundreds of other lives….

    It’s just common sense.

    • meatball Says:

      From wiki re stopping power:
      Though popularized in television and movies, and commonly referred to as “true stopping power” by novice or uneducated proponents of large powerful calibers such as .44 Magnum, the effect of knockback from a handgun and indeed most personal weapons is largely a myth. The momentum of the so-called “manstopper” .45 ACP bullet is approximately that of a 1 pound (0.45 kg) mass dropped from a height of 11.4 feet (3.5 m).[10][note 1] Such a force is simply incapable of arresting a running target’s forward momentum. In addition, bullets are designed to penetrate instead of strike a blunt force blow, because, in penetrating, more severe tissue damage is done. A bullet with sufficient energy to knock down an assailant, such as a high-speed rifle bullet, would be more likely to instead pass straight through, while not transferring the full energy (in fact only a very small percentage of the full energy) of the bullet to the victim.

      • kavips Says:

        Sorry it took so long to answer. I wanted to test your theory so I had one of my kids climb a ladder while I lay on the floor and I had them drop a small can (15 oz) of Libby’s Beets Cooked In Their Own Juice from the ceiling (10 ft). right onto my chest. When I came to a couple of hours later, I wanted to respond. That impact would have seriously knocked me back. But if I knew I was going to die otherwise, with one shot like that I could have pressed onward to engage an attacker. However an Uzi kicks out 10 rounds per second. In the time it takes to say, …”one thousand”… I would have been hit with the force of 10 15 oz cans of Libby’s Beets Cooked In Their Own Juice, all dropped from the ceiling in 1/10 second intervals. In two seconds I would have felt the impact of 20 cans landing on my chest. I don’t think I could continue towards the attacker. I think it would be a good requirement for anyone arguing against the banning of future sales of assault rifles, to undergo having 20 15 oz cans of Libby’s Beets Cooked In Their own Juice being dropped within the time frame of 2 seconds, upon them from the height of their ceiling….

        I think anyone experiencing that blunt trauma, would find themselves in favor of banning weapons except for those which at least give a bystander time during reloading to take down the assailant.

  12. frankknottsFrankKnotts Says:

    Kavips, I recognize the fear and the reasoning of some. But a shot gun with the plug out and five shells in, in a close space like a class room or theater can do a lot of damage, should we ban those? Let us play fantasy here and say we give into the ban and go even further and are able to rid the world of all guns. The next nut case decides to use an IED and blows up an entire school or any building as in Oklahoma City, do we ban bleach and amonia?
    What if a nut case decides maiming is enough and runs through a mall spraying people in the eyes with acid in a spray bottle? Do we ban acid and spray bottles?
    Our world is full of ordinary things that can be turned against us for evil and in ways that can kill large numbers of people. What we are really attempting to ban is evil, and that my friend we will never do on a large scale, we can only do that one person at a time.

  13. Dave Says:

    Yes the world is full of ordinary things that can be turned against us and it is true we cannot ban evil. Still, bleach and ammonia are not manufactured to kill things. Quite simply guns are manufactured for that express purpose. That’s what makes any analogy with things that could be used to kill a logical fallacy because they are being compared to things that are intended for that express purpose.

    • frankknotts Says:

      Dave the point is that there are alternatives to guns for people to use to kill large numbers of people.

  14. meatball Says:

    I would argue that bleach and ammonia are certainly manufactured to kill things.

    • Dave Says:

      Good point. How about I amend my statement and say that they were not manufactured to kill anything above a microscopic level? Would that work?

    • meatball Says:

      My greater point is the old tried and true NRA talking point that guns are tools. I have never intended to use my gun as an instrument of death yet it would probably accomplish the task more efficiently than a tire iron yet less efficiently than chlorine gas.

      • Dave Says:

        I’m sure you never intended to use your gun as an instrument of death, but a hoe weeds a garden better than a gun. LOL.

        Still, I’m curious, if you have a gun, just what did you intend to use it for and far are you willing to go in that use? It’s one thing if you never loaded it and have it just to wave around, but I doubt that you use it in that manner. You either have some present intent or a future intent (even if it is just in case).

        I agree a gun is a tool intended to send a projectile towards an identified target for the purpose of striking and damaging the target. If damage is not the intent, you could have used a paint ball gun or even a low power laser or a camera. So I accede the point about killing. Will the word “damage” and/or “disable” work instead?

        Guns are a tool intended to inflict damage or otherwise disable a specific target.

      • frankknotts Says:

        Dave the question is what is the intent behind the intent to inflict damage? Is the intent to inflict damage simply for the sake of inflicting damage? Or is it to inflict damage to protect ones self? If it is the former, then we already have laws to punish people for that, if they don’t punk out and shoot themselves first.

  15. meatball Says:

    Actually my intent is not to damage the target, merely hit it. Target steel is expensive. I shoot skeet (of course they are destroyed, but they are cheap)and plink targets. It is an interactive game of skill that keeps me socialized sort of like joining the Moose Lodge or VFW except without the alcohol. In short, it’s fun. Paintball has limited range, I use lasers for indoor practice, but for long range, they are unrealistic- no drop, drift, or recoil.

    I’ll capitulate to your attempt to contradict myself as the first rifle I bought about 10 years ago was primarily as a response to an attack made on the girls on my property. One of them died and one was very badly wounded and had to be euthanized with a machete. Those hens were in the prime of their egg laying years when that predator mercilessly attacked them;)

  16. kavips Says:

    Btw, …. Don’t we regulate fertilizer? Can someone who knows fill us in what and if there are current regulations involved when purchasing it in bulk?

  17. meatball Says:

    No, we do not currently regulate fertilizer.

  18. meatball Says:

    Given that neither the murderer nor his mother had any previous criminal or reported mental health issues prior to his stealing his mothers guns, killing her and the 26 others at the school, I don;t think deeper background checks were an issue here. I do support deeper background checks and closing the “gun show loophole” as I do believe these laws could possibly prevent other types of gun crime.

    Lets kick around solutions that I think might have made a difference in this particular case. What would have prevented the Newtown massacre?

    Going for the low fruit first:
    1 Magnetic lock doors. They had this and I note that my children’s schools have this as well. Unfortunately, the shooter broke through this barrier. So

    2. Bullet proof ground floor with vehicle barriers at vulnerable entrances. This combined with the above would have prevented the shooter from gaining entry.

    3. Manned sentry gate. Why not? If you are going to secure the building, you might as well secure the entire campus. He did drive onto the schools parking lot.

    4.Banning assault style rifles. I consider this low fruit with little effect. This weapon’s action is exactly the same as hundreds of other models not called assault weapons. And one does not even need a semi-automatic action to exterminate large numbers of children as the Amish school murderer showed us by using a handgun and a bolt action (fire, unlock the bolt, withdrawal, advance, lock the bolt, fire, repeat) rifle commonly used for deer hunting. We all know by now that most mass shootings involve handguns which at close range are every bit as deadly as rifles of any type.

    5. Banning high capacity magazine. That sounds like a good idea, but I don’t think it would have made any difference in Newtown. It takes seconds to exchange a magazines and again mass murders have wreaked havoc with far less capacity than 30 rounders. Again the rifle the Amish massacre murderer used had a magazine that held 5 rounds and his handgun held 13.

    Gotta go for now, but that should at least get the effective solution ball rolling.

  19. waterpirate Says:

    My ongoing problem with a ban on high capacity magazines and assault type weapons is the inability of those championing it, to truly understand it.

    Many of the current assault type weapons started life as something else entirely. Through modification these benign looking weapons, took on an appearance that scares some people.

    It is like the pornography definition. I know it when I see it. That works for porno, but just cause the look of a weapon scares you, should not mean it is destined for banning.

    I do not think the current mob rallying around this topic knows anythig about modifying or transforming weapons, or tapeing two 10 round magazines together.

  20. meatball Says:

    That’s O.K. kavips, we all have lives outside of these forums. I don’t have time, but can you please look up the last time an automatic Uzi was used in any crime in the US for me? I’m just guessing here, but I would bet $10 that the number of legally taxed Uzis in the US is under 5000. I can’t legally own one in DE and for any state that you can, you are required by law to follow the federal guidlines and ATF personal interview as well as pay the special tax required. The price tag for such a weapon was around 6-12 grand the last time I checked years ago, but I’ll bet there are none for sale now. So again, the stuff of movies clashes with reality.

  21. Dave Says:

    Ok, in the low hanging fruit (aka slow fat bunnies), specifically for schools.
    1. Prevent unauthorized entry (secured entrances – unauthorized entry for 30 minutes)
    2. Decrease law enforcement response time (panic button – fire alarm – up for threat, down for fire)
    3. Individual classroom door locks (electronically controlled for threat?)
    4. Responsible gun ownership (educate, mandate, and penalize) (the no doh! if you have a family member who is kind of a whack job, don’t take him to the shooting range and allow him to have access to guns).
    5. Limit capability of firing a number of multiple rounds without reloading (hey it’s low hanging fruit – there is no cost even if there is marginal benefit)

    Of course identification of a threat to a gathering of children begs the question about locations where children gather outside of schools.

    Also, Sandy Hook is really the tip of the iceberg (or perhaps representative of the larger issue) of guns in the hands of those who should not have them because it creates a lethal combination of powerful weapons and an evil or broken mind.

    To that end and with low hanging fruit in mind.
    1. Register all firearms.
    2. Complete a background check on all transactions involving firearms.

  22. meatball Says:

    Relating to sandy Hook specifically,

    1. We agree
    2, Not a bad idea, but the murderer killed himself about ten minutes after he broke through the glass.
    3. Definitely would have been helpful for the children.
    4. The murderer stole the guns from his own house. I am not sure any amount of education, mandating, or penalizing would have prevented the murders in this case. I actually haven’t seen any characterization of his behavior as “a whack job” only nervous and fidgety. At least not yet.
    5. This one actually flies in the face of the conventional wisdom. Apparently he never emptied a magazine and in fact dropped some 30’s half full. In other words he reloaded frequently.

    To that end:
    1. Although I’m not oppossed, all of the weapons used at Sandy Hook were properly registered so that would have had no impact on prevention.
    2. I agree, but it did not make a difference in this case.

  23. Dave Says:

    “I am not sure any amount of education, mandating, or penalizing would have prevented the murders in this case.”

    I am sure that is true. But it might prevent some and consider this, seat belts save lives. I don’t know how many over the years but certainly some. But people didn’t just get in a car and automatically buckle up. Some (like me) started telling their children to buckle up and decided to set a good example. Now, it’s automatic as is it is with a large majority of the population. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2012 report said that seat belt use has reached 86% (up from 84% 2011. So from 0% in 1984 (when the states started to make their use mandatory) to 86% in 2012 a period of 28 years.

    Will we ever reach perfection? Nah. We live in an imperfect world. Did seat belts prevent all automobile deaths? No again. Did it take a long time for seat belt use to become a part of the fabric of our society. Sure did. I suggest if we start educating, mandating and penalizing/incentivizing now, some day in 10, 20, or 30 years it would be almost automatic to properly secure your weapon and control who has access to it. Culturalization takes time because culture does not change rapidly.

    I do know that if we do what we’ve always done, we will get what we have always got. If you change the culture, it won’t affect you and I. We’ll be gone. But yours and my grandchildren and their children just may be able to die at an old age and not before they’ve had a chance to live. I think it’s important to make the effort, even if the efforts are not perfect.

  24. kavips Says:

    One of the most interesting statistics out there is how mass killings in a public place, dropped way down during the time of the assault ban, and then climbed back up to their previous level upon its release… For some reason, putting the assault weapon ban in effect that decade, had an impact. This year, 2012 was the worst year for mass murders. It is also the year that has the least gun control law in place around each state.

    One could rationalize that perhaps the Tea Party passing so many deregulation bills eliminating checks and balances on mentally ill acquiring guns, is what has given rise to this years record killings….

    • meatball Says:

      I think I would like to see some relevant links, please. Because I think you know that the majority of mass killers don’t use an assault weapon or even a rifle of any sort.

  25. meatball Says:

    That’s actually a brilliant idea! A PSA extolling the prudence of gun security delivered by a wide variety of celebrity personalities and perhaps even focused during programs that appeal to folks who might be prone to shall we say, lapses of responsibility.

    This is, as you point out, not without precedence. Brainwashing* our children to “guilt” us into doing the right thing has been effective in the past. I quit smoking because of it.

    I will call our congressmen tomorrow and follow up with a letter as well proposing this idea as a viable and productive course of action. I suggest you do as well. Thank you Dave. I knew this exercise wasn’t as futile as it seemed. There is much yet to do.

    *by brainwashing I mean erasing habits and preconceived notions about right and wrong not in the more commonly used negative connotation.


  26. frankknotts Says:

    I want to thank you all for keeping the conversation going, there have been some reasonable ideas put forth, even if I don’t happen to agree with some of them.
    I think the panic buttton idea is a good one to shorten the response time.
    I think limiting entry points is a good idea. I think an armed guard is a good idea.
    These are things that might actually prevent or reduce the number of people killed in the kind of attack we saw in Sandy Hook.
    The idea of background checks and tougher penalties or more penalties, in my opinion will do nothing to stop or reduce the numbers of deaths.
    And I have a serious problem with the mentallity that ten deaths is somehow more acceptable than thirrty deaths in regards to magazine bans.

  27. kavips Says:

    I too am impressed by the ad campaign idea. Meatball doesn’t smoke, I don’t litter, and I am conscientious about seatbelt use I know because I saw it campaigned against on TV….

    TV made those things cool to do. My kids are healthy eaters because of TV.

    TV makes taking a gun to innocent people, just at the time things become unbearable in your life, also the cool thing to do…

    So what if TV made getting so mad you went berserk so uncool, that a whole generation grew up learning to deal with their anger issues in a cool fashion?

    What if TV had top children’s icons totally panning Adam Lanza’s way of revenge and offering other ways he could have handled his aggression so all would still be alive today?

    I think that everyone who goes on one of these rampages, has those thoughts in his head that their actions will appear cool to some group or other… Each person is a” man on a mission”, to quote the latest, who is in Big Bear California right now as I type.

    We have the tools to change that mission’s modus operandi..

    Great point.

  28. kavips Says:

    (Moderation alert: contains the links Meatball requested…. Please delete this comment afterward… This is just here to let you know)… 🙂

  29. Dave Says:

    “The idea of background checks and tougher penalties or more penalties, in my opinion will do nothing to stop or reduce the numbers of deaths.”

    My rationale for background checks and registration is as follows. There is a (tired) cliche that if guns are banned (which I am not advocating) “only criminals will have guns”

    When I ask the question, “where do the criminals get their guns?”, invariably I get an answer that includes “they steal them.” Every gun begins its existence as a legal firearm. Every single one. Criminals do not have to manufacture their own weapons. So how does a legal weapon get into the hands of the criminal. They don’t all get stolen. We know there are straw buyers (a criminal activity by the way). We know there are other illegal ways as well. But law enforcement has no means to investigate and uncover those crimes. By not registering firearms, we have handcuffed law enforcement from investigating and enforcing the gun laws on the books and then we criticize that the laws are not being enforced using that as the reason we don’t need more laws.

    Remove law enforcement’s handcuffs. Let them do their job. Registration does not cause any harm to law abiding gun owners but it will give pause to those who are supplying criminals. Closing loop holes in background checks will ensure that criminals are not being provided weapons, except by other criminals who can then be investigated and prosecuted.

    Again, it will not stop all killings or eliminate the possibility of criminals getting guns. For every measure we take criminals find countermeasures, but it might save some lives. It might level the playing field a bit with law enforcement. It is obvious why most law enforcement supports tighter controls – because it is they who are on the front lines. We all get to sit back and opine about them not doing their jobs. They are the ones that face this threat everyday.

    Registration and background checks are an law and order issue.

  30. Dave Says:

    On a sort of unrelated note. See what happens when people who approach things from different viewpoints decide to actually have an intelligent conservation about the issues? Common ground was discovered and I bet we all have a increased measure of respect for one another, even when we disagree.

    Finally, no one called anyone else a name or labeled anyone else. It’s just intelligent people having an inelligent convservation. I look forward to more of this because the places where happens are rare indeed.

  31. kavips Says:

    Most of you have a business. I know when I take over a failing business usually the previous owners had no accountability over their operation. When I come in, I make people responsible for their departments and start paper trails. When something is missing, I can go back to the last person who saw it based on the paper trail. He usually is not the guilty one, but it is a start and from there I can move up and cross reference schedules, and figure out who may be the problem. I then set them up, and terminate them if they take the bait. Once everyone knows their are no secrets anymore, the problems stop.

    I say this because without paper trails, no one knows anything. Answers to your questions of “did you see it” are responded with “maybe”. which is fair. Did they see that one or another one. Paper trails are important….

    We need the same thing with guns. We have them with cars. We even have them with produce, It is time we have them with guns. When a gun gets used in any crime, we should be able to pull up its last registered owner.. “Ma’am, why was that gun used in a crime?” “My son took it” and bingo. Both the son and gun are pulled from circulation…. Once we charge the gun owners as a co-conspirator, the “letting them have a gun or two” will probably stop….

    As to how criminals get guns, I’ll offer another alternative….

    “Why can’t you go to Miller’s and buy one?” “Oh, man… I got this charge from when I was a kid and had to spend some time…. I don’t get passed in any check”. “So how much you got?” “A grand”. “I can get you a handgun for that…”

    That is how most guns get into the market place…Under current law If ever asked, the seller gives the excuse “someone must have stolen it I guess.” when he himself was the thief for pocketing a rather hefty profit….

    Registering every gun puts some stability and common sense into the market….

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