back to article Blood spilled from another US high school shooting has yet to dry – and video games are already being blamed

Once again, a mass murderer has opened fire at a school in America – this one is Santa Fe High School in Texas – and video games are already being blamed. Rather than, oh, say, gun control, or the lack thereof. Details are still coming in. The attack happened just a few hours ago. At this stage, it appears nine students and …

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  1. Florida1920 Silver badge

    Early information

    Is that the shooter used his father's guns. The father was presumably not a victim of mental-health issues. He probably missed the signs that his kid was about to go off the rails. Texas is a very pro-gun state, so good luck getting its citizens to prevent their kids from taking a pistol or shotgun out for a ride. As the kid was only 17, he couldn't legally buy a handgun. But how can you absolutely prevent a messed-up kid from raiding the gun save?

    Please don't say, "Ban all guns," or something akin to that. It may have worked in the UK and parts of the Commonwealth, but it isn't going to happen in the U.S.

    Maybe if the perps got less spectacular coverage, the wannabes would be less inclined to try to outdo them. The recent spike in shootings looks an awful lot like a few losers trying to get their names in the news.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Early information

      "But how can you absolutely prevent a messed-up kid from raiding the gun safe?"

      Don't give him the key?

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Early information

        Don't forget this (alleged) perpetrator also (allegedly) made BOMBS. If he's willing to do that, he's willing to engage in all *KINDS* of different illegal activity to do what he wants to do.

        These kinds of people have a name: criminals. And no law in the world will stop them (but in most cases, it probably deters them). But the law CAN incarcerate them. And so it shall.

        To the best of my knowledge, it was illegal for a 17 year old kid to even possess/transport firearms. It was illegal to bring them to school. It was also illegal to shoot people and plant bombs around the area.

        Having laws against these things did not STOP them from happening. However, it DOES allow the courts to put this (alleged) perpetrator in JAIL, following proper legal procedings. And THAT should prevent him from doing it again, as well as sending a clear message to any OTHER potential perp out there... unless he gets off on a technicality, or slap-on-wrist sentencing for being "underage", and then gets out of prison to rinse/repeat.

        (but this happened in Texas, so they'll throw the book at him)

        1. Dave Harvey

          Re: Early information

          @bombastic bob

          "These kinds of people have a name: criminals. And no law in the world will stop them (but in most cases, it probably deters them)."

          Except that our laws in the UK do (contrary to myths from the NRA) massively reduce shootings, simply because they reduce the availability of guns to casual criminals. Sure, the drug gangs have a few, but the average kid like this one simply could get his hands on one, as his father wouldn't have any for him to steal.

          Which of course is why you need PROPER gun rules, which simply, as in most civilised countries, would ban ANYONE outside the military/law enforcement from owning ANY gun which can fire more than one or two shots without a manual reload. As is often pointed by the NRA and their gun-selling friends, simply banning some people from getting guns is useless - a more comprehensive solution is needed.

        2. JohnG Silver badge

          Re: Early information

          "Having laws against these things did not STOP them from happening."

          True but statistics show that countries with laws limiting access to guns by means of licensing have gun crimes/deaths/homicide rates orders of magnitude lower than the USA. In this respect, the USA is an anomaly among developed wealthy countries, having gun crime/death/homicde rates on par with poor developing countries in Africa and South America.

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: Early information

            Armed security guards in the schools is the only solution.

            I've been coming to this site for 5 years.

            That is the worst and most stupid post I've ever read. Even the Youtube-comments pondscum trolls aren't usually that moronic.

            1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: Early information

              I've been coming to this site for 5 years

              Actually, that's wrong. My first post was 11 years ago.... Time flies when you're an old fart like me :-(

            2. Jove Bronze badge

              Re: Early information

              So in the time it takes the local Police to respond to an incident within a school, how many kids are you prepared to loose before you consider losses are too high?

              What alternative practical arrangement are you going to make to protect individuals during the first response window?

      2. Jove Bronze badge

        Re: Early information

        It is not a single kid - it is pretty much all of the younger generations over there - it just needs the right stimulus very virtually anyone of them to kick-off. Not that it is much different over here either - another 10 years and we will have whole lost generations of morons.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Early information

      Any responsible gun owner who doesn't keep guns in a safe where children - including many teenagers - can't get them and their ammunition freely *is not* a responsible owner, and he or she has a serious mental issue called "gun addiction & worshiping".

      1. Suricou Raven

        Re: Early information

        Look at it from the gun owner's perspective. Gun safes are great if you have a gun for sport or hunting, but a lot of people who buy guns value them a weapons for personal defence. A gun safe ruins that - if you anticipate having to fend off a home invasion, you won't have time for getting to the safe, fumbling with the lock in the dark, unpacking and carefully loading the ammunition. You want that gun ready and loaded in a place you can grab it, like a bedside drawer. Grab gun, flick safety, defend family.

        Or, you know, you could just sneak out the back and call the police rather than declaring yourself judge, jury and executioner. But that doesn't satisfy people's craving for independence or their hero fantasy.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Early information

          Can't sneak out the back if the intruder's already inside. Could see you and want no witnesses. And if you're upstairs, that'll be one of the first places they check, cornering you. And that's not assuming they're directly out for you like in a rape.

          1. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: Early information

            "Can't sneak out the back if the intruder's already inside."

            Let's hope you dont own any guns then. As US studies have shown they are far more likely to be used against you than for you get the chance to use them defensively.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Early information

              "Let's hope you dont own any guns then. As US studies have shown they are far more likely to be used against you than for you get the chance to use them defensively."

              Really? Show the proof, then? How can the gun get taken away from you if you're holding it?

        2. Not also known as SC

          Re: Early information

          @SRaven

          "but a lot of people who buy guns value them a weapons for personal defence. "

          Which isn't necessary a bad thing. I don't think people are calling for guns to be banned but controlled. Does a home owner need a loaded assault rifle at hand 24 hours a day to protect themselves from a home invader or would a hand gun suffice (never having held anything bigger than a .22 target pistol and that was 30 years ago this is a genuine question)? What is wrong with assault / hunting rifles being kept in locked safe and a hand gun readily available?

          I imagine that hand guns kill people a lot less quickly than assault rifles so restricting access to them would help reduce the death toll of a school shooter.

          1. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: Early information

            "Which isn't necessary a bad thing"

            Yes it is. Thats not a legitimate reason to own a gun in most countries. You need a competent and well trained police force with some well trained armed officers.

          2. Anonymous Cow Herder

            Re: Early information

            A step in the right direction

        3. Blank Reg

          Re: Early information

          The guns for self defence is mainly for the delusional. You or someone in your family are more likely to be killed or injured by your gun than the chances of you needing to use it for self defense.

          If you really feel that you need a gun for self defence then either you're paranoid and you don't really need a gun, or you live in a shithole and you should consider moving elsewhere.

        4. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: Early information

          Google "Jim Jeffries gun control youtube"

        5. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Early information

          if you anticipate having to fend off a home invasion,

          The problem with using guns to fend off home invasions is that if an intruder expects a resident of a target home to have a gun, then they need to bring a gun with them to carry out the burglary.

          So the desperate smackhead who wants to grab a few easy to carry items of value to sell for his next score, now has to open fire when he encounters anybody in the home.

          He could even take care of the residents before they wake.

          1. tom dial Silver badge

            Re: Early information

            Many years ago, around 1955, my parents' house was burgled while we were there. The police told us at the time that they considered burglaries of occupied houses especially serious because those burglars, as against those who took care to choose homes that appeared at least temporarily vacant, quite often were armed and presumed prepared to their guns if challenged.

            This was in an inner ring suburb of a major city in which gun ownership was uncommon.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Early information

        Lock up the father too, for allowing the kid access to the guns. He is also responsible for the behaviour of his children under the age of 18.

      3. Old one

        Locking up guns not the solution

        Just search "teen uses gun to stop burgler" to see exactly why "locking up" all guns from teens etc is not a good solution.

        Being an old folk I remember gun racks and rifles in the back windows of trucks in the school parking lot. Going out shooting was a semi common place after school activity but no one even considered SHOOTING someone they had a problem with. Fist fights yes but guns never.

        So what has changed? Violence in video format has become too glorified and in many case instilled at younger ages as kids compete to get better scores. The violence is also mitigated by a reset button that starts over with all the same players alive again. Be it movies or games or TV that the dead aren't really and come back next week to fight again seems to have removed the consequence of actual death even to those who have faced it in their neighborhood.

        I wish I had a simple 20 word solution to the current problem. Florida was a kid bullied and TX was a kid rejected by a girl and then she apparently humiliated him in the class he killed her and 9 others. It seems that in most cases its a desperate revenge for how the shooter believes he has been treated like VA shooter of 32. maybe instead of soft comfort rooms these people need a "let the anger out room" where they punch the hell out of bags or some other let the pressure out relief.... I used to take a short piece of 2X4 and beat the he33 out of it with a hammer.... worked for me.

        1. Anonymous Cow Herder

          Re: Locking up guns not the solution

          I'm not sure exactly how old you are, but gun homicide in the US has been high since the 1970s. It hit a horrific peak in the mid 1990s but its always been pretty high.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: spectacular coverage

      Kids are dead, what exactly do you expect the mass media to do? I hate mass media with a passion but on this they are doing the right thing probably because they have no choice.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: spectacular coverage

        > [...] what exactly do you expect the mass media to do?

        Show some restraint. Don't glorify the killer. Report on people who resolved grievances without going on a rampage.

        There are many things the mass media should be doing to help. Sadly they can't see past ratings.

        1. Captain Obvious

          Re: spectacular coverage

          I wish I could upvote you a million times as I have been saying this forever!

        2. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: spectacular coverage

          That might help. I read somewhere about the theory that it's now a numbers game like the more kills the better.

          News is a big part of the problem. Does one's news feed need to be filled by any single story be it politics or a shooting?

          I can go along with "controls" such as mandatory gun safe locked down and the only access by the owner. I'd love to own an M1 and an M14 but I don't. Same for a .45 pistol. Memory of the military But... kids visiting, a target for burglary, so I don't. Assault weapons weren't used in this case but probably should be banned In my eyes they really are not useful even for home defense or anything other than target shooting. It's their abuse that's the problem.

          The catch with banning assault weapons is collecting them. Perhaps a huge license fee, inspections like they do for machine guns. Yes, you can own a machine gun legally here in the States. Pay the application fee (non refundable as I recall), let the government do the background checks, the site security checks, etc. and then there's a yearly license fee. The problem will still be the illegal ones out there.

          Making something illegal doesn't stop it and that is crux of the problem.

          1. NerryTutkins

            Re: spectacular coverage

            Europe was awash with guns after WW2, but somehow managed to remove them from society and become some of the safest countries in the world.

            Making something illegal does not stop it happening, but are you proposing legalizing rape and murder? This is not a reason not to have laws. If the laws were never broken, you'd not need them in the first place.

            The problem in the US I think is the focus on the big school massacres. The belief that gun deaths are because of mentally ill kids, and that somehow if you can keep an eye on their facebook or stop them playing video games, you'd solve the problem. But the fact is, the vast majority of gun deaths result from the kind of disputes that happen routinely throughout the world - domestic arguments, neighbours rowing over trivial things, road rage, etc. in Europe might result in fisticuffs and someone getting a black eye, but in the US the same red mist ends up with guns drawn and people getting shot. They are not pre-meditated attacks, they're routine disputes which turn deadly only because of the ease of access to firearms.

      2. Zola

        Re: spectacular coverage

        > what exactly do you expect the mass media to do?

        Watch this Charlie Brooker video featuring a forensic psychiatrist and decide if global wall-to-wall coverage of every mass shooting in America is really the best and only option available to the media outlets.

        Mental health issues, inadequate gun control, and the instant "fame" from mass news coverage is a powerful and dangerous combination but at least one of those factors could be addressed fairly quickly, although we know it won't be either of the first two.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: spectacular coverage

          Mental health issues, inadequate gun control, and the instant "fame" from mass news coverage is a powerful and dangerous combination but at least one of those factors could be addressed fairly quickly, although we know it won't be either of the first two.

          Media coverage of such events is often appalling. For the news channels each mass shooting is good for at least a few days wall to wall coverage, "justifying" their existence.

          Here in the UK we used to have a problem with IRA terrorists phoning in bomb warnings on the London Underground. There was a spate of these, fake. Lots of disruption. Cue a bunch of media coverage (though this was the early 1990s so it wasn't as saturated as it is today).

          We sorted it out by banning reporting of these events. The problem soon went away, despite censorship being undemocratic...

          The US constitution seems to be true cause of lots of problems, perhaps it should be changed.

      3. robidy

        Re: spectacular coverage

        Mass media always have a choice in the west.

        The problem is all too often they chose money (i.e. ratings) over balanced reporting.

    4. Simple Si

      Re: Early information

      "But how can you absolutely prevent a messed-up kid from raiding the gun save [safe]?"

      Perhaps by not having one - along with the gun that goes inside.

      I'm truly sorry to hear this has happened again, but history will repeat itself again unless something changes, either the law on availability or further restrictions to firearm capability which might help reduce the death toll in future shootings.

      The UK, in particular London, have had problems with high knife crime - banning knives would not be practical but guns are a different beast.

      1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Early information

        The UK, in particular London, have had problems with high knife crime - banning knives would not be practical but guns are a different beast.

        The genie is already out of the bottle and it isn't going back. The US is never going to be rid of guns. My take on politicians of all stripes who bring that up is they are trying to get out the base using scare tactics because they know this, no matter how sincere they are on the subject.

        Your statement, Simple Si, points to one thing that seems pretty important: the weapons are not the core issue, it's the violence that needs to be addressed. Easy access to guns makes the scope so much greater than it might be otherwise (until kids learn some basic chemistry and we shift from school shootings to school bombings), but why the hell are people resorting to this level of violence? What are the underlying causes that lead people to do these horrible things? I doubt there a single cause. Gang violence, poverty, teens looking to commit suicide by going out in a blaze of glory because teens, mental health issues (of which "teen" might be a subset), a culture that glorifies violence in many forms - how many of these are addressed by the groups fighting over gun rights? How many of them have been addressed successfully or even in part?

        Icon not just because of my handle this time.

    5. Florida1920 Silver badge

      Re: Early information

      "9 thumbs down"

      Wow, I've hit a nerve. Some people have been trying to further regulate guns in the U.S. for more than 60 years. I've seen it myself. Anyone who thinks there's a quick and easy 'fix' is deluded. My post was simply a statement of fact. Meanwhile, the media are swarming all over the Texas school, so the shooter has gotten all the fame and glory he craved. Somewhere in America, the next "troubled youth" is laying plans to out-do him. Having a free press doesn't mean they have to try to out-do themselves glorifying these creeps.

      1. 45RPM Silver badge

        Re: Early information

        You’re kidding yourself, I’m afraid - there has been no serious attempt to regulate gun ownership in the US. The NRA simply won’t stand for it.

        Truth it, there are sound reasons for permitting licensed ownership of rifles and shotguns (essential tools for farmers and hunters), provided that those weapons are demonstrably securely stored when not it use.

        There is no excuse for permitting private use of pistols and semi or fully automatic weapons. They’re dangerous, they kill (as has tragically been seen again today) and they have no practical purpose outside the military.

        1. wallyhall

          Re: Early information

          45RPM - agreed.

          I can’t comment on America’s culture, much less Texas’. But this is clearly a tradegy of significant proportion.

          As a Brit, living close to the US air bases (Mildenhall and Lakenheath) and being a generation of the internet - inevitably I’ve been told I’ve “given up my freedom” and “lost my rights” etc by not having laxer gun laws / greater “gun rights” here in the UK.

          Again - I am categorically not commenting on Texas. For me however, these tragic events continue to remind me that I have a very special right and a very special freedom: the right and freedom to send kids to school without any realistic expectation of them seeing a gun, much less being shot by one.

          My deepest condolences to the families of those killed or otherwise hurt.

          1. Jove Bronze badge

            Re: Early information

            It is not far off the point were we will need guns in London to protect ourselves from the anarchy on our streets brought about the political correctness of the liberal left.

        2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: Early information

          Regulate ammunition supplies.

          For personal protection,. you don't need more than one reload. If it takes more than that you've lost.

          For agriculture (most likely a shotgun), licences and appropriate storage can handle it.

          For target shooting, the shooting range can control it.

          For gun-nuts with a huge cache 'because' - prosecute.

          Avoid a rampager having a big enough cache to shoot more than a few rounds and the problem will be less.

          1. Ochib

            Re: Early information

            "Regulate ammunition supplies.

            For personal protection,. you don't need more than one reload. If it takes more than that you've lost."

            If I go to the gun range to shoot, I will be shooting more than one reload, On average you would use 100-200 rounds for practice 1-2 times a week. Where would I store the rounds?

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Early information

              If I go to the gun range to shoot, I will be shooting more than one reload, On average you would use 100-200 rounds for practice 1-2 times a week. Where would I store the rounds?

              In a safe at the shooting range.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Early information

              Easy, most ranges make you buy your rounds from them. Buy them at the range, when you run out get more. I'm sure they can come up with a frequent shooter card, so you can just have a card to give you another box when you come in next.

        3. L05ER

          Re: Early information

          The Brady bill.

          Good thing you exposed how stupid you are so I don't have to address anything else you said...

        4. Old one

          Really powerfull

          People & media love to blame the NRA not allowing stricter gun laws and even some confiscation of certain types of weapons but have you REALLY looked at the numbers?

          NRA membership is about 5M out of 365M Americans. So 5M of 220M eligible voters is 2.27% of the population tells the Congress and all state legislators what laws to pass..... It ain't the 1% but not much more. Not there is speculation that there are more than 300M guns of all types in private ownership in the US -- some go back a couple hundred years when there were no questions about who could own one. pretty hard to believe that all 300M guns are in the hands of just NRA members as that would be 60 guns for each member. So most likely thee are a lot of non-NRA members as gun owners and also believe in their rights under the 2nd. Otherwise the 97% of the population would have radically changed the laws and called for a change to the 2nd.

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: Really powerfull

            People & media love to blame the NRA not allowing stricter gun laws and even some confiscation of certain types of weapons but have you REALLY looked at the numbers?

            NRA membership is about 5M out of 365M Americans.

            You conveniently forgot to mention the bribes (*cough* donations)

            92% of Americans want to keep net neutraility.... How's that working out?

            1. Jove Bronze badge

              Re: Really powerfull

              More than two-thirds also want to retain the right to own guns.

      2. Dave Harvey

        Re: Early information

        @Florida 1920:

        Sorry to say this, but that pathetic combination of defeatism (nothing can be done) and American exceptionalism (nothing can be done because we're AMERICAN) is exactly where the problem lies.

        Contrary to the mantra of the gun manufacturers (for whom the NRA is simply their mouthpiece), the USA does have a perfectly good mechanism to amend the constitution (e.g. the 21st amendment reversing the disastrous 18th), so perhaps it's time for do the same for the 2nd (or at least clarify it back to its obvious original purpose top allow State militias), and bring the USA back into the realms of civilised countries.

        Those (like you) who argue against the possibility of fixing the gun problem aren't merely discussing the problem, you ARE the problem, and we can only hope that as/when your generation is replaced by your descendants, then perhaps sanity will eventually prevail.

        Yes, I know this is close to a personal attack, and I dislike them in general as much as anyone else, but this is a much wider issue, affecting a significant number of your compatriots, and it's time that arrogant Americans were told just how stupid their ridiculous views are when viewed from any other perspective.

        1. Florida1920 Silver badge

          Re: Early information

          @Dave Harvey

          One point constantly raised when discussing the U.S.'s "gun problem" is a comparison with the UK, Canada, Australia, or all three. Maybe because we all sort of speak the same language. The U.S. fought a war to get out of the Commonwealth. We don't have a monarchy, but we have two legislative bodies. It's easy to blame the NRA and claim the NRA is the problem. The NRA is a membership organization. Yes, they lobby the legislature, just like Big Oil and Big Agriculture. So, is the problem the NRA or the laws regarding lobbying? If the majority of Americans want more gun control, they have a method to get it. It's called "voting." I can remember anti-gun campaigns dating back 60 years. Simply stating the obvious doesn't make me part of the problem. The Texas shooter, BTW, didn't use one of those dreaded "assault rifles" (a term invented by the anti-gun movement); he used a shotgun and a revolver. Should his father be charged for letting him get to them? Maybe, but good luck with that in Texas.

          The U.S. is in a hell of a mess. The president is a gangster, and 40% of the population still supports him. Unfortunately, a significant portion of that 40% are pro-gun. Wishful thinking for simple solutions isn't going to work. You aren't going to solve one part of American cultural dysfunction without solving most of the other parts. As I said, I only stated the obvious. If the majority of Americans rose up and demanded Congress get rid of the entire Trump regime, I might see some hope on the gun front. You don't cure disease by treating the symptoms. School shootings are only the symptom of a much larger problem engulfing the U.S.

          1. 45RPM Silver badge

            Re: Early information

            @Florida1920

            The mechanism of voting is temporarily broken in America, as it is in much of the rest of the world.

            The problem is that the other half of the voting equation is marketing - most people can’t be bothered to investigate the issues for themselves so they will either default to tribal partisanship or go along with whichever campaign is glossiest and triggers a rush of endorphins.

            The NRA is very good at marketing - so of course people buy guns and sign up. It doesn’t, however, follow that the less sexy option of not owning a gun can’t become sexy (the marketing just has to be done right). For example, seat belts and airbags aren’t sexy - but would you buy a car without them (before they were well marketed you probably wouldn’t have wasted your money on a car with them…). Similarly, in the 1970s and even the 1980s most people didn’t have (or want) a computer - but now the damn things are everywhere, and are even seen as being fashion statements by some people…

            …which is a problem because all these computers have enabled social media which allows, for the first time in a century, unscrutinised marketing. In the traditional media, if you lie then you get your wrists slapped and you have to publish a retraction. In this brave new world if you lie then you get Trump and Brexit. Marketing, done right, can help rid us of the scourge of guns and knives. But we do need effective scrutiny.

            1. tom dial Silver badge

              Re: Early information

              "The mechanism of voting is temporarily broken in America, as it is in much of the rest of the world." Is this a comment on the fact that voting outcomes are what (usually) a majority want and not what a minority want? (The electoral college is a special case that solved a political problem in 1789 and for which a rational case still may be made despite the fact that the intent behind it largely has been destroyed).

              Again, is the NRA successful because they induce people to love and acquire firearms, or because a very large number of people already believe, correctly, that they have a right to do so and willingness to join - and fund - the NRA to advocate for them, in accordance with their first amendment right "peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances?"

              Is contemporary social media an extension of the self-appointed institutional "press" or is it a vast expansion of the old fashioned and effective rumor mill that was done largely outside of any formal control? (My answer: a bit of each.) And is its content really greatly different from attacks on Thomas Jefferson or Grover Cleveland (for example) in their presidential campaigns?

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