back to article You know what's coming next: FBI is upset it can't get into Texas church gunman's smartphone

FBI agents investigating the murder-suicide of 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, have said they can't yet unlock the shooter's smartphone. In a press conference on Tuesday, special agent Chris Combs said that investigations into the motives and actions of the gunman was ongoing, but that his mobe …

  1. Sureo

    FBI can't unlock smartphone

    If they could, would that change anything?

    1. SL1979

      Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

      Not at all, because the FBI is barking up the wrong tree. They need to be figuring out why this fucktard was able to skirt around all of the red flags that, by all accounts, should have prevented this sick fuck from getting firearms (legally) with the rap sheet that he already had. Unfortunately, even if he had been legally unable to get firearms, he would have still gotten them on the black market anyway. That's the problem. It's always these hot-headed rage-a-holics that end up with firearms. Inevitably, innocent people pay the price with their lives. What the fuck difference will it make if the FBI can look at his phone? It certainly won't solve anything, because the American government doesn't want to admit that it has a gun-related violence problem, not an encryption problem.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

        But think of all the poor children who died.

        Something must be done, and getting a law passed that the FBI can unlock iPhones is the least we can do

        1. SL1979

          Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

          "Something must be done, and getting a law passed that the FBI can unlock iPhones is the least we can do"

          Riiiiight. Because he used his PHONE to kill innocent people, not a gun.

          Put down the crack pipe.

        2. GBE

          Something must be done

          Something must be done, and getting a law passed that the FBI can unlock iPhones is the least we can do.

          I don't see why you got down-voted for this, since that's _exactly_ the sort of thing that happens in these cases. Any restrictions on military-grade firearms (the one thing that _would_ help) is right out, so the FBI might as well pick some totally unrelated goal they want to achieve and try to get some mileage towards that.

          Somewhere, somebody is probably trying to use this mass shooting to justify passing a law to persecute LGBT people, immigrants, scientists, etc.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Something must be done

            I don't see why you got down-voted for this, since that's _exactly_ the sort of thing that happens in these cases.

            It's a special el'reg trick for identifying British readers.

            ie. "Like brassy or goldy but made of iron"

        3. Trigonoceps occipitalis

          Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

          "Something must be done"

          This is something. Bugger all use, but it is something.

      2. kain preacher Silver badge

        Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

        Two reason. First the Airforce failed to have his conviction into the national data base. Secondly being committed to a military nut house does not bar you from owning guns. If he had been civilly commented to a private or sate run nut house he would of been bared from having guns

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

          There is presumably a small logical difficulty in preventing violent killers in the military having guns

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

            Sure, not allowing active duty military access to guns would be difficult, but he was no longer active duty when he bought the guns. There is no reason they couldn't have stopped him from doing so if the process was sane and worked.

            Mental illness in the military isn't reported up the chain to allow banning someone from buying guns. Which makes no sense, as a mentally ill person who is fully trained on using weapons presents a greater danger than a mentally ill person who is not.

            What's worse, Trump also signed legislation passed by congress in early February (i.e. it was one of their legislative priorities!) to undo an Obama regulation that mandated the Social Security Administration must report on mentally ill recipients and people deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs. I don't know under what tortured logic it makes sense for someone getting social security disability payments for mental illness to be able to buy guns, other than Trump's childish urge to try to erase everything Obama did.

            There are enough mass shootings, eventually one will come along that was enabled specifically by Trump's law....but somehow he'll pass the buck and claim someone lied to him about what was in the bill he was signing so it isn't his fault, and his dimwitted followers will probably believe it.

            1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

              "There are enough mass shootings, eventually one will come along that was enabled specifically by Trump's law.."

              He's doing his best to make this the one by claiming it was due to mental illness!

            2. Mahhn

              Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

              That law that he just un-did, also prevented anyone from owning a gun that has ever been identified as depressed at any point in their life. When my father died I was depressed (who wouldn't be) I went to counseling (since it was free from work) for a session just to talk it out. By that one instance, at anytime my license could be revoked. "That law should have been fixed and not removed", but it was poorly written. The press doesn't report things that aren't drama, but you can look it up if you feel like it.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

              "What's worse, Trump also signed legislation passed by congress in early February (i.e. it was one of their legislative priorities!) to undo an Obama regulation that mandated the Social Security Administration must report on mentally ill recipients and people deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs. I don't know under what tortured logic it makes sense for someone getting social security disability payments for mental illness to be able to buy guns, other than Trump's childish urge to try to erase everything Obama did."

              The ONLY thing that the legislation WOULD have done (It never actually went into effect) was to force SSA to provide a list of -ALL- SS recipients who had a "designated payee" on record. Designating someone as a payee is actually quite common.

              For instance, if you have a bum leg and want to set things up so your wife can fill out SS paperwork and take care of your check rather than dragging your bum leg all over town, then you would set her up as a designated payee.

              The biggest problem is that the proposed legislation had absolutely NO provisions to ensure due process before putting you on a list, nor did it contain ANY language on how to contest your inclusion on a list.

              Another major problem is that, in a situation where SSA determines that you need a payee due to mental health issues, this determination is made SEPERATELY from any evaluations to determine eligibility. Stated differently, if you go in with your bum leg and piss off the low-level affirmative action clerk behind their little glass window, that clerk can state that you are mentally ill IN THEIR OPINION and it is NOT subject to review by a doctor.

            4. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

              "Obama regulation that mandated the Social Security Administration must report on mentally ill recipients and people deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs."

              There are companies that get judgements against older people to declare them unfit to look after themselves and sell all of their belongings, their home and put them in a managed care facility all with no day in court.

              The Social Security Administration is not equipped to determine the mental fitness of people. If there is a court approved custodianship, that would be firmer ground to assume that a person is not fit to purchase firearms provided the person involved had been evaluated by a licensed shrink and had the chance to appear in court or submit a deposition if they were physically able to be there.

          2. Velv Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

            "There is presumably a small logical difficulty in preventing violent killers in the military having guns"

            He was disgracefully discharged from the Military, and as a matter of policy such people are meant to be added to the "no guns" list. Clearly the "no guns" list is an effective gun control...

            1. kain preacher Silver badge

              Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

              He had a bcd discharge. had he a dishonorable discharge that alone would of bared him from owning guns. And frankly I think beating your wife and child qualifies for a dishonorable discharge.

            2. Kernel Silver badge

              Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

              "He was disgracefully discharged from the Military, and as a matter of policy such people are meant to be added to the "no guns" list. Clearly the "no guns" list is an effective gun control..."

              So maybe a change of list type from negative vetting (there's nothing to say this person shouldn't have a gun) to positive vetting (this person has applied to their appropriate local authority, who have checked out their background and decided they are a fit person to own a lethal weapon?

              It works in a number of other countries, it just means that the purchaser has to plan ahead and get the clearance to own the gun before heading for the nearest gun shop.

          3. IglooDude
            Joke

            Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

            "There is presumably a small logical difficulty in preventing violent killers in the military having guns"

            Ordinarily I'd agree with you, but this is the Air Force we're talking about.

          4. WolfFan Silver badge

            Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

            There is presumably a small logical difficulty in preventing violent killers in the military having guns

            Actually...

            1 this was the Air Force. Very few people in the Air Force have access to small arms, that's not their thing. Honking great nukes, that's different.

            2 even in arms of service where a lot of folk have access to small arms, very few have access to them under normal circumstances. Every Marine is a rifleman (even the women) but usually the rifles are locked up. The Army is worse: large chunks of the Army never see a rifle once out of basic training, and same with the Navy, there not being much call for a rifle when you're 300 metres down in a nuke sub or are sitting on an aircraft carrier umty-ump thousand miles from land.

            3 the serious head cases tend to gravitate towards the kind of unit where they would have lots of access to small arms. This would tend to put them in units more likely to spend a lot of time out in the bush getting shot at by the head cases on the other side, if they manage to qualify for such units. In many cases they won't, as they often have other problems which disqualify them. The number of violent killers even in gung ho macho special forces units is quite low, and often gets lower when they do something which irritates and/or endangers the others in the unit and they have an unfortunate accident. The military would much rather have the likes of Alvin York or Carlos Hathcock than a violent nutbar.

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          " Secondly being committed to a military nut house does not bar you from owning guns."

          which is odd because I'd have thought with the manpower shortage in the US Military you'd have to be showing severe symptoms of looniness to get a bed.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: " Secondly being committed to a military nut house does not bar you from owning guns."

            Let's face it mental issues should stop no one from being in the army, the commander in chief being the prime example.

            1. 2Nick3

              Re: " Secondly being committed to a military nut house does not bar you from owning guns."

              Back in the 20's and 30's there were a number of US Presidents (Commander in Chiefs) who did not have military experience. There have been a few others along the way as well, but not in groups like that, until recently. 3 of the last 4 Presidents have lacked military experience (and there are those that claim GW Bush's service wouldn't count - that's a different topic).

              So the two worst downturns in the US economy were during strings of non-military CiCs. Yeah, correlation isn't causation, but digging deeper there would be interesting.

              1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: " Secondly being committed to a military nut house does not bar you from owning guns."

                like that, until recently. 3 of the last 4 Presidents have lacked military experience

                And the current one reportedly got draft exemption on the basis that his daddy was rich..

                1. DougS Silver badge

                  Prohibition doesn't work

                  Didn't work for alcohol. Isn't working for drugs. Won't work for guns.

                  Regulation can work, at least to a degree. You can make it harder for those under 21 to procure alcohol, or for the mentally ill to procure a gun. Sometimes under 21 year olds are caught trying to buy booze, or in possession of it, or drunk from it and they get in trouble with the law and something they want (i.e. a driver's license, to play on the high school football team, etc.) can be taken away from them. That threat stops some of them from doing it. Not all, but if your goal is to prevent teenagers from drinking it is at least a partial success.

                  The same could be done with guns. There's no reason we can't close gaps in the process to make it harder for those determined to be mentally ill to buy or own guns, closing the gun show loophole, etc. Won't stop them all, but if those gaps had been closed up this tragedy might never have happened. Sure we can't know that as the same black market that supplies drugs also supplies guns. So those who argue it wouldn't have mattered might be right, but they can't know that anymore than someone claiming it would have stopped him could know it. To argue that we shouldn't do something because we can't be sure it works is to argue we shouldn't have any laws at all - because the law against murder doesn't stop all killing, the law against stealing doesn't stop all bank robberies, etc.

          2. Nick Kew Silver badge

            @John Smith 19

            Is that related to Catch 22?

            1. Pedigree-Pete
              Happy

              Re: @John Smith 19

              @Nick Kew. Probably more CPL Maxwell Q Klinger (and it didn't work fo him either). PP

          3. kain preacher Silver badge

            Re: " Secondly being committed to a military nut house does not bar you from owning guns."

            Airforce is different. They have always had tighter rules and regs for fitness rep and are the first to cull when they don't need man power. It was the Army And marines that were suffering shortages during the gulf war . That's why Bowe Bergdahl was accepted into the Army even though the coast guard bounced saying that he was mentally unfit for duty.

        3. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

          Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

          " If he had been civilly commented to a private or sate run nut house he would of been bared from having guns"

          Even then, there's very little to prevent him getting a gun, American society is awash with them and it shows in the stats just how dangerous it is to have them so easily available.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

        (general comment)

        That's right, leave no tragedy UNEXPLOITED by political activism.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

          That's right, leave no tragedy UNEXPLOITED by political activism.

          No, it's pretty obvious that the problem isn't in his phone, it's in letting people unfit to have guns, have guns.

          If this turns into another FBI banging on about "we must be able to access his phone for great justice" thing, then that there is the EXPLOITATION. They can use another tragedy to bang on about phones, but not this one because we already know everything we need to know - the army and the police both knew they had to flag him so he couldn't buy a gun, but neither of them did due to procedural failures.

      4. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

        Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

        Oh but this isn't a guns issue, just like Las Vegas wasn't the right time to talk about gun control, both shooters would have been able to kill or injure just as many people by pointing finger guns and shouting 'pew pew, pew pew' at their victims.

        Fucking idiots, quite how anyone can say with a straight face that removing guns from the hands of the public wouldn't help prevent this sort of tragedy is beyond me.

        1. kain preacher Silver badge

          Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

          "removing guns from the hands of the public wouldn't help prevent this sort of tragedy is beyond me."

          And just how do you plan to do that? One the second amendment allows for gun ownership. Secondly how do you plan on removing private gun ownership.

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

            It cant be done. Even if US-holy-constitution was rewritten and guns were illegal , theres no way in hell theyd be able to get rid of the millions of guns in circulation , especially with 50% of the population in the "pry it from my cold dead fingers" demographic. Equally no amount of mental health laws would have stopped that asshole getting a gun.

            We can barely keep a lid on it in this country where they've never been in circulation and arnt a god given right in the minds of the population.

            1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

              Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

              theres no way in hell theyd be able to get rid of the millions of guns in circulation , especially with 50% of the population in the "pry it from my cold dead fingers" demographic.

              It could be done. It wouldn't be pretty and there might be a lot of cold dead fingers stretching out for taken guns afterwards.

              It is having the will to do it which is the obstacle, deciding that is the thing to do for the greater good. It likely won't be as easy and as bloodless as it was in Australia. It would likely require some sort of revolution in America to bring it about, a "grand reset". I can't see that happening any time soon.

            2. d3vy

              Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

              "We can barely keep a lid on it in this country where they've never been in circulation and arnt a god given right in the minds of the population."

              What country is that you're talking about? I assume not the UK where every farmer and his mum is packing? We tightened up gun laws in '97 completely banning hand guns, the majority were removed from circulation by their owners handing them in.

              Yes there are likely still a few knocking about but they are not in general circulation.

              We also do not allow semi/fully automatic weapons AND it's still relatively easy to get a firearms licence in the UK.. what it's not easy to do is carry your firearm around in the street or go on a rampage (to my knowledge there has been one in 20 years).

              Gun control does not mean banning all guns. It means tightening restrictions, and banning non sensical weapons - do you really need a fully automatic rifle to "hunt deer"? Sure Vegas could still happen with a good old fashioned one shot at a time bolt action rifle, but not on the same scale.

            3. Unicornpiss Silver badge

              I doubt legislation would have helped much

              Waiting periods and not selling guns to unfit people only keeps guns out of the hands of people who are poor, are utterly stupid, or are hotheads doing spur of the moment crimes, or one or more of the above. He was none of these. And sadly you can be quite psychotic or very bipolar and intelligent as all hell.

              Since his crime was premeditated and highly preplanned, and there are plenty of guns to be had legally and otherwise, if he wanted a gun, he was going to find one. And if he couldn't get guns, he would probably have built some sort of IED or similar bomb.

              Sadly, if you want to kill people, all it really takes in most societies is a third of a brain and a willingness to trade your life for the lives of others. (in a bad way)

              If a maladjusted intelligent person is willing to take time and plan out their crime spree, there's not much any society can do to fully prevent them from hurting people.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I doubt legislation would have helped much

                In other words, if it's not possible to stop it 100%, don't legislate against it?

                You don't need me to tell you how stupid that is.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: I doubt legislation would have helped much

                  In other words, in order to slightly hinder 1 in 3 million, we need to punish 40-45% of US households?

                  You don't need me to tell you how stupid that is.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

            > One the second amendment allows for gun ownership.

            The clue is in the phrase... 'Amendment' - ie a change to the constitution. So just add another amendment to nullify the 2nd, just like the 18th Amendment (prohibition) was nullified by the 21st Amendment.

            Of course understanding how these things work is probably beyond your limited intellectual capacity.

          3. Humpty McNumpty

            Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

            One: Well the amendment specifically says "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" which opens up all manner of possibilities/legal wrangling even while leaving that in place. Moves to extend that right still further are actually quite recent. Also the constitution can be amended if the political will exists, the threats to persons,state and property when this document was written are different to those today.

            Two: In phases with amnesties much as other nations have done in the past, you start with the most ridiculous and work your way down. There are also other options to outright bans, a legal requirement to hold and use certain firearms types in designated/certified ranges for example.

            1. strum Silver badge

              Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

              >Well the amendment specifically says "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" which opens up all manner of possibilities/legal wrangling even while leaving that in place.

              Indeed. A law which required anyone wanting a gun to sign up to their National Guard (and accept NG discipline) - would satisfy the 2nd amendment fully.

              1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                Unhappy

                "A law which required anyone wanting a gun to sign up to their National Guard"

                Indeed.

                "Service guarantees citizenship."

                Did no one wonder where that idea came from?

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

            >One the second amendment allows for gun ownership

            So - cancel the 2nd Amendment.

            Or, barring that, use it for the purpose intended (to be a check on a tyrannical government). Too many people stop reading at the "bear arms" bit without going onto the militia bit.

            1. Chris 15

              Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

              >>One the second amendment allows for gun ownership

              >So - cancel the 2nd Amendment.

              >Or, barring that, use it for the purpose intended (to be a check on a tyrannical government). Too many >people stop reading at the "bear arms" bit without going onto the militia bit.

              I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding of intent with this.

              A Militia recruits/drafts members expecting them to supply their own firearms (or did in this time in history).

              So having citizenry unable to acquire said firearms would negate that.

              Also the term regulated was not used in the manner we think of it today.

              Not that this whole amendment isn't archaic, however you need to understand the framers' intents when they were drafting it.

              Yours

              a non gun nut who thinks the septics are far to heavily armed, and far to ready to use said arms for comfort.

            2. Kiwi Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

              Or, barring that, use it for the purpose intended (to be a check on a tyrannical government).Too many people stop reading at the "bear arms" bit without going onto the militia bit.

              That would be terrible! No wonder they keep edjacamasian down in the US.

              I guess certain small-handed ones are glad to be overseas atm. Terrible. Imagine, the entire Trump administration shot on site... Popcorn?

          5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

            "the second amendment allows for gun ownership."

            And it's working out very well isn't it?

          6. elljay75

            Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

            That's easy.

            Ask the Australian government. Following the Port Arthur massacre, gun laws became one of the tightest in the world.

            Gun amnesties were run. Anyone with a gun who didn't have a legitimate need for it was required to hand their weapon in or have it disabled.

            Once the amnesty was over, anyone who still hadn't handed their gun over was invited for a chat with the boys in blue. Sometimes they were invited to stay in a big house with lots of other naughty people who had done something wrong.

            Gun control isn't complicated. But it does need balls to take the step of removing weapons - especially assault rifle and military grade weapons systems - from the hands of the general population. Something that no American senator or politician has.

            Thats how I would plan to remove gun ownership.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Holmes

              Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

              Gun control isn't complicated. But it does need balls to take the step of removing weapons - especially assault rifle and military grade weapons systems - from the hands of the general population. Something that no American senator or politician has.

              Slight flaw in your thinking there. A great many yanks believe they have the right to shoot any officer who enters their property. Some will only shoot officers who try to gain further entry without a proper warrant - and a warrant to seize their guns "cannot be proper" in their thinking.

              And there are those who see the government as "enemy" and would shoot officers attempting to enter the property, whether they're protecting their illegal activities or run-of-the-mill nutjobs. And some of them are very much into homes built like fortresses.

              Even if your amnesties etc worked, there are those who would simply hide some of their stock.

              A better option, though perhaps just as hard and requiring the same volume of a different type of fairy dust, would be to bring the thinking of the nation more into line with that of normal people. I understand that Canada has higher rates of gun ownership than the US (at least in some places), but far far lower rates of violence. After all, it's not their "god given right" to shoot anyone entering their property, even if that person's wife was in the car on the street having a heart attack or baby or something, their phone was flat, and they needed to call an ambulance. Or were just drunk and had mistaken the home they were entering.

              While the US mentality is that lethal force is reasonable in situations that aren't life-threatening (or even ones that are, but where it might be trivial to disable the offender), you're going to have problems with violent death. Teach them to value life, and that lethal force should only be an act of last resort, and you'll see this change. Teach them to value life and freedom, and you'll also see their prison numbers fall as they'll not longer have stupidly long prison sentences for stupidly minor offences.

          7. d3vy

            Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

            "One the second amendment allows for gun ownership."

            I think the clue is in the name.. it's already an *amendment*. It can be changed.

          8. Terrance Brennan

            Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

            Even if you take the spurious view the Second Amendment is talking about private gun ownership it still includes the phrase "well regulated" which should allow government to make all sorts of regulations to control the carnage. Such as no semi-automatic weapons, no large capacity magazines, no hollow-point ammunition, etc. An idiot with a bolt action hunting rifle could still kill people but he wouldn't be able to kill as many before being dealt with. In fact, since racial profiling is such a good police tool when it comes to keeping uppity folks under control we should apply it to gun ownership. Based on the vast majority of gun rampage nutters no white men should be allowed to own guns from now on.

        2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

          Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

          Fucking idiots, quite how anyone can say with a straight face that removing guns from the hands of the public wouldn't help prevent this sort of tragedy is beyond me.

          The counter argument goes that if the bad guys are using guns when the good guys have guns, they will still be using them when the good guys have surrendered theirs. Limiting gun sales won't prevent bad guys having guns. Removing guns doesn't make things better, only worse.

          America is a fucked-up country starting from a fucked-up position while the rest of the civilised world are in the better position of preventing their countries from becoming fucked-up. Americans therefore see things differently to how others do.

          While America believes it is better to have guns than not, believes having guns saves more lives than are taken by guns, it's going to stay how it is. Innocent people dead is simply the acceptable price to pay for having those guns.

          America is beyond the tipping point and it's a long hard road back. It may be impossible because fucked-up America is not prepared to do what is needed to be done.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

            You 2nd ammendment guys love sticking to the principle of it, so I assume you still support the slave trade?

            Article 1 Section 8 of the 1787 Constitution puts Congress in charge of "organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress". It should be noted that the militias were all that the newly founded country had in the way of armed forces. In the south these militias had their roots in slave patrols, while in the north they had formed at the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

            During the ratifying convention in Virginia in 1788, several southern representatives, lead by Patrick Henry from Virginia, took issue with that section. Here's are some excerpts of what Henry had to say:

            Let me here call your attention to that part [Article 1, Section 8 of the proposed Constitution] which gives the Congress power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States....

            By this, sir, you see that their control over our last and best defence is unlimited. If they neglect or refuse to discipline or arm our militia, they will be useless: the states can do neither ... this power being exclusively given to Congress. The power of appointing officers over men not disciplined or armed is ridiculous; so that this pretended little remains of power left to the states may, at the pleasure of Congress, be rendered nugatory.

            If the country be invaded, a state may go to war, but cannot suppress insurrections [under this Constitution]. If there should happen an insurrection of slaves, the country cannot be said to be invaded. They cannot, therefore, suppress it without the interposition of Congress.... Congress, and Congress only [under this Constitution], can call forth the militia.

            In this state [Virginia], there are two hundred and thirty-six thousand blacks, and there are many in several other states. But there are few or none in the Northern States.... May Congress not say, that every black man must fight? Did we not see a little of this last war? We were not so hard pushed as to make emancipation general; but acts of Assembly passed that every slave who would go to the army should be free.

            [Abolitionists] will search that paper [the Constitution], and see if they have power of manumission. And have they not, sir? Have they not power to provide for the general defence and welfare? May they not think that these call for the abolition of slavery? May they not pronounce all slaves free, and will they not be warranted by that power? This is no ambiguous implication or logical deduction. The paper speaks to the point: they have the power in clear, unequivocal terms, and will clearly and certainly exercise it.

            In this situation, I see a great deal of the property of the people of Virginia in jeopardy, and their peace and tranquility gone.

            And so Madison drafted the second amendment to satisfy them. It was never about the citizens being able to protect themselves from the government, it was about the states being able to protect their slavery from the federal government. The right has twisted the 2nd amendment's history pretty much the same way many of them try to twist the history of the civil war, claiming it was about "states' rights" and failing to mention that the only "state right" they were interested in was their "right" to keep slaves.

            Source: Bogus (unfortunate name), Carl T.; Professor, Roger Williams University School of Law (Winter 1998). "The Hidden History of the Second Amendment". U.C. Davis Law Review. 31: 309–408. SSRN 1465114. moismyname.

        3. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

          "wouldn't help prevent this sort of tragedy is beyond me"

          The murderous insane and criminal would be very happy if there were fewer guns in America - less chance of them being shot and if they really couldn't get hold of guns they could just copy the mussie terrorist and drive trucks into people.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

          "how anyone can say with a straight face that removing guns from the hands of the public wouldn't help prevent this sort of tragedy is beyond me."

          The difficulty lies in how does one go about that and you can't with absolute certainty say it will actually be a net gain (1)(2) considering in this very instance he was driven off by another guy with an AR-15? Given the current rise in ramming attacks (3) and that they are equally as effective (4) will there be a call to ban cars and trucks? Sure, it's possible to ban guns and you'll find that about 15% get turned in at which point you might feel good but it doesn't really change anything unless you're ready to go door to door, 4th Amendment be damned, and try to take them by force. That will be a recipe for more gun violence than you may be prepared for if not outright civil war as many police and military will find any allegiance they had to the newly instituted police state rapidly dissolving.

          The system to keep guns from crims already exists and should have worked but it didn't in this case because of an error in transmitting his military conviction to the NICS database, that's it. Nothing is perfect and unfortunately this nutter was able to purchase a gun through the normal sales channel. Guesses as to what would have happened had he not been able to buy a gun at the gun shop are as pointless as counting pixies dancing on the head of a pin, would he have laid in wait and stabbed the targeted in-laws, built a bomb, bought a gun on the black market, rented or stolen a large truck, etc. Maybe he just would have held his breath until everybody did what he felt was right by him but I'm not getting that vibe.

          (1) http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2013/06/201361625721431960.html

          (2)http://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-crime/venezuela-crushes-2000-guns-in-public-plans-registry-of-bullets-idUSKCN10S2I9

          (3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle-ramming_attack

          (4)https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2016/jul/14/nice-bastille-day-france-attack-promenade-des-anglais-vehicle

          1. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

            Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

            I agree, any number of things could have happened if he hadn't been able to buy a gun, hell, if he were sufficiently motivated he could have probably killed someone with the laptop I'm typing this on, it's fairly old and pretty heavy so I reckon it could do some damage with a good swing.

            The problem with your argument is that a gun (with very few exceptions) is an object designed with the primary purpose of killing in mind, my laptop isn't, nor is a car, a bus, truck, train, aeroplane, ship etc.

            I'd be willing to make a small donation to the NRA if the number of Americans killed by ramming attacks in the 365 days of 2017 was larger than the number of Americans killed with a gun this week.

            America, where the difficult problems are caused by somebody else or ignored.

        5. Terrance Brennan

          Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

          It is a sad commentary that the most accurate, intelligent articles on the continuing gun violence in America is on a satirical news site. The Onion runs these articles after each inexplicable gun massacre that will continue to happen almost exclusively here in the US.

          https://www.theonion.com/no-way-to-prevent-this-says-only-nation-where-this-r-1820163660

          https://www.theonion.com/nation-to-wait-for-more-facts-on-texas-shooting-before-1820186609

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

          - Oklahoma City bombing

          - Boston Marathon bombing

          - 9/11

          - 2010 Austin, TX airplane suicide attack.

          - Jerusalem terror attacks involving homemade bombs, cold weapons, backhoes, trucks and other machinery...

          Just a few off the top of my head...

          Yeah, you surely can prevent mass killings/ injuries by lunatics and extremists by banning gun sales. In Neverland, that is.

      5. gkroog

        Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

        His "criminal record...should have prevented those purchases."

        BUT: "the Air Force also acknowledged it inexplicably failed to enter his conviction into a government database that all licensed firearms dealers are required to use to screen prospective gun buyers for their criminal history.

        Federal law prohibits anyone from selling a gun to someone who has been convicted of a crime involving domestic violence against a spouse or child."

        (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-texas-shooting/texas-church-gunman-escaped-mental-facility-in-2012-while-facing-court-martial-idUSKBN1D715Q)

        SO, he SHOULDN'T have been able to buy a gun, but the system FAILED the people...

        Your point remains: what this has to do with his cell phone, surely no one will explain to us.

        1. Terrance Brennan

          Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

          No, the law does not prevent ANYONE from selling a gun to someone convicted of a crime involving domestic violence against a spouse or child. It only bars licensed gun dealers; the NRA, our de facto legislature, keeps preventing mandatory background checks for "private" sales between individuals or at gun shows so he could have just gone to one of the many gun shows in the country to buy whatever he wanted if a licensed dealer refused to sell to him.

          1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

            No, the law does not prevent ANYONE from selling a gun to someone convicted of a crime involving domestic violence against a spouse or child. It only bars licensed gun dealers

            Really, you should at least try to educate yourself to a minimal level before you dive in and wind up showing off your ignorance. Let me help, see 18 USC § 922(d)(9) which states: (emphasis mine)

            (d)It shall be unlawful for ANY PERSON to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person-

            (9) has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

            But why let facts get in the way of your bovine scatological diatribe? Not that any of that matters in this particular instance because the nut bar who shot up the church purchased the rifle at a licensed gun dealer because the Air Force failed to transmit the arrest data to the NICS database.

            Based on the vast majority of gun rampage nutters no white men should be allowed to own guns from now on.

            Again a simple google search could have helped you out. White and Hispanic folk are actually slightly under represented as mass shooters by population. Looks like you're 0 for 2. Really, google is your friend here. You might not look like an uninformed arse if you just look before spouting lies.

    2. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

      "our efforts to try to find justice here"

      Seems they think he left justice in his phone.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

      @ Sureo

      Right. He was clearly a disturbed individual - felt rejected, dejected, depressed and anti-social etc. - he hurt animals etc.

      There's nothing on the phone that will help things now.

      @ inmypjs & another anonymous

      Yup, it would be a shameless use of tragedy for a power grab.

      1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

        "Right. He was clearly a disturbed individual - felt rejected, dejected, depressed and anti-social etc. - he hurt animals etc."

        With the exception of hurting animals, as most of us would never do, you'd think IT workers are being profiled here..

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

      oh yes, ABSOLUTELY! Then, they would be able to prevent all crimes-to-be-commited, because.

      ...

      What?! After all, if A = B, then B = ANYTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING! :/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

        "What?! After all, if A = B, then B = ANYTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING! :/"

        Exactly. Let's all give up and go for a drink.

        Mines a bbnbnb daquiri, please.

        1. davidp231

          Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

          Mines a bbnbnb daquiri, please.

          Shouldn't that be a 'bbnbnb dbquiri?

    5. G.Y.

      resurrect Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

      Maybe they can then resurrect some of the dead ...

    6. Eddy Ito Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

      Latest is that it was indeed an iPhone and they could have used his finger to unlock the phone within 48 hours but after that they need the passcode. Needless to say, they sat on their hands trying desperately to find their arse for well over 48 hours and the easy option faded away. Expect a request for 48,000 hours before the fingerprint doesn't work anymore and to not put in a delay until after 20 or more failed fingers.

    7. pks2973steel

      Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

      Yes it wouldn't change things but maybe it could help from letting it happen again.

  2. Field Commander A9

    It sure ain't the Texas we knew any more.

    Someone could just mow down ppl and comit suicide before getting killed?

  3. Ken Mitchell

    Why Do They Want That?

    In the case of the San Bernardino murderer, he had destroyed his personal iPhone, but the Feds wated access to his work iPhone, to see if there was any record of contacts with other terrorists. Since that phone was owned by the county, that should have been easy - except the county hadn't installed the Apple software that would have allowed them to manage all of their phones. And then the Feds changed the shooter's iCloud password, so that they couldn't even connect to the phone that way. When they finally did get in, there was nothing useful there. Big surprise, right?

    In this case, there's no reason to assume that there is anything useful on his phone. There wasn't anybody else involved. And the phone wasn't owned by any government agency to give them any pretense of right.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Why Do They Want That?

      But we already know that the shooter was a Muslim Bernie Sanders supporter so who knows what links to an international conspiracy of Muslim Libertarian Vaccinating Climate Changers could be revealed

    2. big_D Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Why Do They Want That?

      They also have a dead shooter and his smartphone... Did nobody think of taking the phone down to the morgue and pushing the sensor against his fingers?

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Why Do They Want That?

        "They also have a dead shooter and his smartphone... Did nobody think of taking the phone down to the morgue and pushing the sensor against his fingers?"

        I assume the failure here is that they cant get the gun out of his hands. Isnt that what gun crazy Yanks always say "They'll get my gun when they pry it from my cold dead fingers..."

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The reports so far with some editorial....

    Some of the details we are hearing so far are that he was discharged from the Air Force due to bad behavior resulting from domestic violence (i.e. beating ex-wife and infant child), Air Force didn't update National Instant Check database for firearm sales and shooter legally purchased weapons as a result. The shoot also had run-ins with the law in Colorado prior to moving to Texas. The AR-15 continually being characterized as an "assault rifle" is somewhat problematic since no one seems to know what that actually means. Regardless, over 400 rounds were discharged from the shooter before resistance was offered. Resistance came in the form of a resident with a "long gun" who apparently managed to shoot the shooter twice (leg and torso) prior to his fleeing the scene with the resident in pursuit. The shooter crashed his vehicle and apparently committed suicide with a single gunshot to the head (presumably). It is a tragedy and there will be many that rush to encourage more laws and many that rush to defend current laws and many more that will rush to defend their point of view. Short of making all firearms magically disappear and constitutionally dismantling the 2nd amendment, the best we can hope for is a "war on guns" similar to our "war on drugs". That war effort has gone swimmingly so it's difficult to imagine that we will see better results with a war on guns. In any event, it's still another needless tragedy and really points to a breakdown in the fabric of our society that seems to indicate that we have elements that think that extreme violence is acceptable. We can make the mental health argument but we cherish all of our rights that we love to stand on each and every one to support our favorite one(s). Pity us.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

      Wasn't the vicar armed?

      At least back in Belfast you could have been sure a couple of altar boys would be packing Armalites

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

        At least back in Belfast you could have been sure a couple of altar boys would be packing Armalites

        Yeah, but they'd probably have shot the priest by mistake, and then each other by accident.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

        Well, I'm guessing you're meaning the church pastor. Apparently no one else at the church was armed which is not unusual. Contrary to popular belief, people don't generally walk around armed in this country. In cases that don't make the national or international news where there is an armed individual to intervene early in such an altercation, the outcome has been much happier hence why you don't hear about it much.

      3. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

        At least back in Belfast you could have been sure a couple of altar boys would be packing Armalites

        Those were for self defence.

    2. Lysenko

      Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

      The AR-15 continually being characterized as an "assault rifle" is somewhat problematic since no one seems to know what that actually means

      It's pretty obvious what it means: any weapon conceptually descended from the Sturmgewehr 44, which essentially means any rifle with a replaceable magazine and a semi-automatic rather than bolt or lever action. Neither feature is required (or even useful) when hunting deer - they're features that only have utility for killing people.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

        "any rifle with a replaceable magazine and a semi-automatic rather than bolt or lever action. Neither feature is required (or even useful) when hunting deer - they're features that only have utility for killing people."

        "assault rifles" are cool looking. I'm sure some dweeb out there would consider my choice of vehicles not having any 'utility'. I just wanted a Mustang convertible. It looks great and is fun to drive. So I got one. It goes really freaking fast when I want it to [I once passed some asshat going uphill at ~100MPH because he kept speeding up on straightaways on a windy road and went 15mph around every freaking corner, and it was "my chance" and I took it, because I could]. And I leave the top down 99% of the time, because I like it that way. I'm sure I'll be criticized for owning it, too. And driving it. And enjoying it. And driving fast in it.

        Now, substitute "AR-15" for "mustang convertible" and I say, if that's what someone wants to buy, LET HIM. It becomes a matter of personal choice, and it is NOBODY'S BUSINESS, what you or I or anyone else wants to own, right?

        /me points out that in some states in the USA, you can own AUTOMATIC WEAPONS. Check out the "F.P.S. Russia" videos. All you have to do is pass a background check and pay a tax.

        And you're correct. The AR-15 is a military style weapon primarily designed for killing people. It makes it very effective for the purpose for which it was used: stopping a mass murderer from killing anyone else.

        1. Lysenko

          Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

          if that's what someone wants to buy, LET HIM. It becomes a matter of personal choice, and it is NOBODY'S BUSINESS, what you or I or anyone else wants to own, right?

          An argument that can equally well be made for anti-personnel land mines (great burglar deterrent!), C4 or Semtex (tree stump be gone!), Starstreak MANPADS (no more drones over my house!) and Sarin gas (in case the burglar gets past the land mines).

          If you choose to own a weapon primarily designed to kill people the you are demonstrating premeditated intent to .... errr .... kill people. Any other conclusion is equivalent to assuming you have no intention of driving your Mustang you just have have a fetish for waxing paintwork.

          1. Timmy B Silver badge

            Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

            "If you choose to own a weapon primarily designed to kill people the you are demonstrating premeditated intent to .... errr .... kill people."

            no no no no no

            If you chose to own a weapon designed to kill people you may be demonstrating the ability, as a last resort in defence of person or property, to stop people doing you harm. I own a computer and have the skills and ability to do harm with it - does that mean I have a pre-meditated intent to do so? I own knives and tools that make me an proficient butcher - does that mean I intend to butcher people? I own firearms - does that mean I intend to shoot people?

            1. Lysenko

              Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

              no no no no no

              If you chose to own a weapon designed to kill people you may be demonstrating the ability, as a last resort in defence of person or property, to stop people doing you harm

              So that would be "yes" then. I didn't say you were demonstrating intent to murder, just to kill. You are contemplating the possibility of legally justifiable homicide pursuant to defence of life or property. That's still premeditated intent to kill. You're just confining to circumstances that will avoid prosecution.

              The rest of your point misses the point in exactly the same way as car and baseball bat arguments do. The devices you cite are not primarily designed to facilitate more efficient homicide. You can kill someone fairly easily with your bare hands, but it would be quite tricky to pull off mass murder that way.

              1. Timmy B Silver badge

                Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

                @Lysenko

                "premeditated" - you keep using this word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

                I have not decided (though I live in the UK where firearms for defence are not allowed so this is a little hypothetical) before hand that I will kill people with my firearms. I have decided that if I had to I would. The same as if I had to mow someone down with my car to save other people I would. That does not mean I have premeditated intent to kill. My intent is to never have to harm another human being as long as I live. I would if I had to but I don't want to.

                1. Lysenko

                  Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

                  @Timmy B

                  "premeditated" - you keep using this word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

                  I know exactly what "premeditated" means - "contemplated beforehand" (from Latin: etymology is easily looked up online). Your argument is really about mens rea ("guilty mind" - or not) which essentially boils down to "intent".

                  Contemplating the act of shooting someone and then proceeding to do so with fatal results is not necessarily a crime, it depends on the circumstances and the intent of the person holding the gun. In the case of a volatile confrontation with a similarly armed assailant you can probably shoot him with impunity, but if he is simply stealing your car then pulling the trigger sends you down for life.

                  1. This post has been deleted by its author

                2. Kiwi Silver badge
                  Boffin

                  Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

                  I have not decided (though I live in the UK where firearms for defence are not allowed so this is a little hypothetical) before hand that I will kill people with my firearms. I have decided that if I had to I would.

                  So you've opted to go for the kill option. You have decided to kill.

                  Me? I've decided to take what action stops the threat with whatever tools I have to hand. A rugby tackle will be as effective as many other options, though if the target isn't stunned I may be the next victim. If the target is killed or seriously injured then it is likely I will spend at least a few nights in jail on a manslaughter charge. With your mindset, even if they only got a bruise I could be facing a "wounding with intent to kill" charge - but that's NOT why I have decided I will stop them being a threat with minimal force necessary.

                  It could be I club them across the back of the neck/shoulders with a large rock, nearby child, or something else solid enough to stun them and hopefully not kill them or hurt them seriously. Baseball bat or golf club to the legs can take someone down quite effectively. And a hockey stick between a mans legs from behind with a quick upwards and backwards jerk will mean he ain't thinking about his intended victims for a while, plenty of time for them to get away and for you to restrain the perp. I keep cable ties in the car in case bits want to leave it (not that it has happened or is likely to) or need to fix cabling somewhere with a quick-n-dirty method. They'll make sure they're not going anywhere without a police escort.

                  If I was to kill someone during defence, it would be by accident. I tackle them and their head hits the kerb in a bad way, I move on them and in a panic they cut themselves and sever an artery, so on and so forth. I focus not on "how do I kill someone while defending another" (and, it seems for some, not on "and how can I find a situation where I have an excuse to justify this") but "how can I quickly stop someone so they're no longer a threat without permanently harming them?", After all, the guy trying to stop his wife and her sister taking his kid from him might actually turn out to be a guy trying to stop his kid from being kidnapped by two strange women; the guy on a rampage in a local restaurant may just have learned that his son was raped by a teacher - the same teacher the guy had raised concerns about 6 months ago.

                  People break, have an episode, maybe hurt someone, then heal. Do you want to add to the hurt by adding more victims, or do you want to stop the hurt with the minimum death&maiming possible?

                  Value life, protect life - you can still be effective at stopping violence without killing. But first you have to decide that you will not kill.

                  Oh, that sniper on the rooftop of the building across the road where he's got his gun trained on a number of people and your only option is to shoot him? Remember the gun safety law of "identify your target" - that also means making sure he is a sniper and is intent on evil purposes.

                  The same as if I had to mow someone down with my car to save other people I would

                  Most likely you will hit your target and, having totally misjudged your speed, braking distance, and the damage a car does to flesh, continue on and also kill the people you were trying to protect. Almost as likely, your target will dodge out of the way and in that moment of confusion, your foot still on the gas, you'll hit and kill more people than the perp was interested in harming.

            2. Paul Smith

              Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

              "I own a computer and have the skills and ability to do harm with it - does that mean I have a pre-meditated intent to do so?"

              No, because a computer is not primarily designed to do harm, and has many practical uses other than doing harm. An assault rifle on the other hand, does not.

              You own firearms, that means it is safe to assume you intend to shoot them. If you own a firearm whose only purpose is to shoot people, then yes, it is safe to assume you intend to shoot people.

              1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

                Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

                If you own a firearm whose only purpose is to shoot people, then yes, it is safe to assume you intend to shoot people.

                Except there is no such firearm. Simply because you cannot conceive of other purposes does not mean those purposes don't exist. Most firearms in the US, regardless of type, are used in sport or training far more often than they are used to shoot people.

                1. Kiwi Silver badge

                  Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

                  Most firearms in the US, regardless of type, are used in sport or training far more often than they are used to shoot people.

                  Are the training targets roughly man-shaped, with extra points for centre of head and centre of chest? Or are they simple concentric circles. If the former, then the training is still for killing people.

                  1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

                    Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

                    Are the training targets roughly man-shaped...

                    That would depend on the training, wouldn't it? I reserve man shaped targets for close range handgun work but for 5.56/.223 I tend to use targets the size and shape of a groundhog, for .308 I use both deer and hog shaped targets. I use both groundhog and deer/pig for my Winchester 100 carbine in .243. Lastly the .38-55 mostly sees a 3'x5' steel gong at about 800 yards but I only paint a 3'x3' square on it and only count the ones in the square but I find the 1' bands left and right provide auditory feedback to help me dope the wind a bit as even a slight cross breeze tends to shift point of impact considerably at that distance.

                    I assume the police largely use people type targets and some departments seem to substitute actual black or brown people since let's face it, blue lives matter more.

              2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

                If somebody breaks into my home, I intend to shoot them. The police are, at best, at least 10-15 minutes away if they aren't already on another call.

                In regular practice, the only things in danger of being shot by me are cans, paper and over-ripe fruit.

            3. Kiwi Silver badge
              Pirate

              Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

              If you chose to own a weapon designed to kill people you may be demonstrating the ability, as a last resort in defence of person or property, to stop people doing you harm.

              I've had many threats against me (look over my posting history if you wish more detail), and yes I've wondered about killing some of those especially at the worst times, or during some PTSD-type episodes after.

              I took up Tae Kwon Do.

              But then, in our nation you're not that likely to be a victim of a "ranged weapon". We don't wear skirts and hide behind large arsenals of weapons (unlike some girly nations where the menfolk have suspiciously tiny hands), we do things up front and personal here. Which is probably why our murder rates are quite low. You're almost more likely to be an innocent bystander shot by a cop than to be shot by a criminal. Even our cops aren't routinely armed with guns, though they do have stab-proof vests.

              So come on yanks, man up - get rid of your guns and use the most real weapons of all - your brains and your fists! (and feet, elbows, knees (if you're having fun)...)

              (yes I have fought to defend myself and others, and no I did not consider it my right to kill the opponent, I considered "right" to be "do as little harm as possible to end the threat")

              --> Swords coz a bit more up-front and personal than a gun.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

            If you choose to own a weapon primarily designed to kill people the you are demonstrating premeditated intent to .... errr .... kill people.

            This. Automatic weapons aren't used for "hunting" so they can't use that pathetic excuse. What's left? "Home defense"? Hmm...yeah...a little overkill, don't you think? Why not put a Claymore mine under your doormat while you're at it?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

              "Automatic weapons aren't used for "hunting" so they can't use that pathetic excuse."

              Interesting non-sequitur as automatic weapons were not used at the church in Texas and it doesn't appear anyone is suggesting using them for hunting. Perhaps you're thinking of the 2015 attack in Paris. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34814203

          3. RTUSER

            Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

            The difference in all of the parallel examples to owning a firearm is that the aren't constitutionally protected. This situation is relatively easy to address; propose and pass a constitutional amendment repealing/modifying the second amendment.

            1. WolfFan Silver badge

              Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

              The difference in all of the parallel examples to owning a firearm is that the aren't constitutionally protected. This situation is relatively easy to address; propose and pass a constitutional amendment repealing/modifying the second amendment.

              Good luck with that. You'd need a two-thirds majority in Congress (two thirds of both the House and Senate) to pass an amendment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Five_of_the_United_States_Constitution As about 40-45% of the population owns at least one firearm, unless you can convince some of them to give up their guns the votes ain't there. If two-thirds of Congresscritters voted to mess with the 2nd, some of them would not be re-elected. And their successors would withdraw approval. The current Congresscritters know this. They would vote to mess with the 2nd only if:

              1 they're retiring anyway

              2 the district/state/whatever they represent has a big enough majority who want guns gone for them to be re-elected

              3 they want to make a gesture and commit political suicide

              4 some combo of the above

              Please note that recent (and even not-so-recent) gun legislation has not filled me with confidence; there was the 'assault weapons ban' which didn't ban any 'assault weapons'. (It banned civilian sales of weapons with certain specific features, such as a bayonet lug, or a magazine which could hold more than 10 rounds. Gun manufacturers removed the features in question, including the magazines... and sold kits, separately, which could add 'em back on. In particular the restriction on the magazine sizes was pathetic, as magazines holding 20, 25, 30, 35, 50, and more rounds already existed for those weapons, and it was a trivial exercise to make more.) Someone who practices can achieve quite high cyclic rates even with bolt-action rifles; when the Germans ran into the Foot Guards at Mons in 1914, they thought they'd run into mass machine guns. They hadn't. They'd just walked into range of riflemen with bolt-action rifles who could deliver 20-30 aimed rounds per minute, despite having to reload as SMLEs only held 10 rounds and, worse, used 5-round charger clips. You'd have to get rid of bolt-action rifles, and possibly lever-action as well, not just semi-autos. Attempting to do this would not be easy, politically. Recall that large numbers of those who vote Democratic would oppose such legislation. There has been, for example, lots of noise about the ease of getting cheap handguns, often referred to as 'Saturday Night Specials'. Many either don't know or don't recall that the original name was 'Niggertown Saturday Night Specials', as cheap firearms were often the only ones that blacks in deep south segregation or in northern ghettos could afford. (Things have changed...) A lot of American gun legislation was aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of dark folk. Enough dark folk remember to make it quite difficult for the Dems to push too hard... and a lot of rural white boys who vote Republican like guns, too, so the Reps ain't gonna push, either. And, besides, anyone who does will be buried under pro-gun money at primary time. Political suicide, plain and simple.

          4. Muscleguy Silver badge

            Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

            Re removing tree stumps with semtex. There's a legendary series of ads for Toyota Utes in New Zealand. In one a rope is attached to the vehicle and the stump, it drives off and the stump flies out of the ground and demolishes the outside dunny (long drop lavatory). This series of ads made 'bugger' not a swearword in NZ.

            Here's a compendium: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xmlhtf7xenQ

            There is a risk that if you try semtex on your stump it will sail off and demolish something.

            Mind you the over the road neighbour who helped me get the fallen mountain gum out of our front garden used that method to get the stump out, except he went very slowly up our drive. Worked like a charm. The Virgin engineer who came and repaired our cable feed the fallen tree's roots broke was presented with a clear space of work (dragging this back to tech stuff).

        2. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

          @bob

          Shit. The world must be coming to an end. A post of yours I agree with. But then I am a rare beast being an active UK hunter and gun owner. I don't personally own one but I do know other UK hunters, particularly in pest control, that use semi-automatic 22 rimfire. This is when a semi is useful in hunting. When there is likely several targets to be had in quick succession.

          1. Solarflare
            Mushroom

            Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

            I say give all Americans low yield nuclear weapons, tell them it is for thei 'rights' 'freedoms' and 'safety'. The problem will be sorted out pretty quickly and in a few hundred years the world will have a lovely large expase to be colonised again.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

              > I say give all Americans low yield nuclear weapons

              Give them high yield nuclear weapons. Over and done with sooner.

          2. Lysenko

            Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

            Full disclosure:

            I worked on small arms proof testing for NATO for several years. I've fired more rounds through more different weapons than 99% of NRA members, but I've never owned a weapon personally nor wanted to.

            After tens of thousands of rounds from 4.5mm to 12.7mm, covering just about every military issue weapon on the planet (and many civilian), fired into everything from paper targets to pig carcasses to chobham armour I find it insane that there is less oversight associated with being a helicopter pilot than being a gun owner. I wouldn't even trust me with a gun now because I'm over a decade out of practice and would need a couple of weeks daily practice to ensure all my safety muscle memory was back.

          3. Kiwi Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

            @bob

            Shit. The world must be coming to an end. A post of yours I agree with. But then I am a rare beast being an active UK hunter and gun owner. I don't personally own one but I do know other UK hunters, particularly in pest control, that use semi-automatic 22 rimfire. This is when a semi is useful in hunting. When there is likely several targets to be had in quick succession.

            I'm from Kiwi farming stock, and the last time I used a gun was also in pest control. A .22 semi-automaic can be good for popping off a bunch of rabbits quickly. I have no problem with this.

            In fact most pests are easily dealt with by .22. An AR15 or AK47 may not be as effective, and thus there's no reasonable reason to own them. They're useless for hunting larger animals as well. A 303 bolt-action with a 5-shot magazine is plenty for hunting deer or pigs, though if you get a pissed off boar charging you then you might be re-thinking the effectiveness of an AK - but improving your aim would be just as effective.

            1. WolfFan Silver badge

              Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

              In fact most pests are easily dealt with by .22. An AR15 or AK47 may not be as effective,

              you do know that AR15s are usually 5.56mm, or just about 0.22, and that the AK74 is 5.45mm, don't you? Yes, the AK47 is 7.62mm, but it's a 7.62mm round which isn't as powerful as an all-out rifle round, such as the 0.30/7.62mm or 0.303/7.7mm rounds used by the likes of the M1 Garand or the Short Magazine Lee-Enfield.

              and thus there's no reasonable reason to own them. They're useless for hunting larger animals as well.

              It would appear that AR15s, being around 0.22, and AK74s, ditto, would be perfectly reasonable weapons by your own criteria. And they are quite useful for hunting larger animals. Their design use is, after all, hunting humans, a fairly large animal.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge

                Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

                Was actually thinking of something else, no idea why I wrote AR15.

                .22s do well for a lot of stuff especially pest control because you can get several rounds off before the rabbits decide to hop away. And the sound at maybe 50 metres (trying to recall how far it was way back then) is barely enough for rabbits to pay attention. You can be giving their heads extra ventilation and they'll barely pay you any attention. Louder guns don't work so well. (for non-poison non-trap rabbit control you want to be able to stay in place for a while getting rid of any bunnies in the area, you don't want them running away or going to ground until you've made a significant dent in the adult population).

                AK47s are pretty useless when hunting despite their ability to fire in seemingly any conditions. At least for what we have over here. You should try it some time.

                ("pink mist" icon El Reg? Or perhaps a hole-y bunny head?)

        3. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

          Without easy (designed for killing people easily and rapidly) gun access those people would still be alive.

          From my reading of the media, the killer apparently had some issues with mother in law & church killing visit was in hope of finding her there (she wasn't there).

          Unless he was very badly mentally ill, chances are, without gun, he would have calmed down at some point and lost the murder mother in law urge - even if he had not lost the urge, without a gun (e.g. bare hands, knife, whatever) attack on M-I-L, there would have been far less collateral damage.

          Most people would regard themselves as vaguely sane (ish), however I'm sure some people have, at some point, had a heated argument with a relative / friend where they reached an extreme irritation point.

          If, when extremely angry, if they had a gun in their pocket, how many people might have used it in brief spur of the moment off their head in rage snap point? Not many, but probably some.

          I would not know how I would behave in such a scenario as never had a totally "lost it" experience (& have no desire for one) but could not categorically say I would not do something stupid in such a context as it's unknown territory.

          The harder it is to kill lots of people when you are temporarily unhinged the better, IMHO

          1. Timmy B Silver badge

            Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

            @tiggity

            "Without easy (designed for killing people easily and rapidly) gun access those people would still be alive."

            We've not seen any instances where people have driven cars or trucks into groups in order to kill, have we? The issue is that we have people that somehow and in some way have grown up thinking that killing other people is a resolution for their problems. How we deal with this is not an easy thing and likely beyond us as a species right now.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

              We've not seen any instances where people have driven cars or trucks into groups in order to kill, have we?

              How many deliberately kill lots of people with cars or trucks? How many with guns?

              The issue is that we have people that somehow and in some way have grown up thinking that killing other people is a resolution for their problems. How we deal with this is not an easy thing and likely beyond us as a species right now.

              The US has a problem with this. Other countries? Not so much. The issue is with the US culture, where "lethal force" is considered perfectly reasonable and acceptable. Countries with cultures of "minimum force" or "zero force unless you truly have no other choice" don't have the same issues. We have violent crime in NZ but relatively few murders. We have laws that say killing in self defence or defence of another is a valid defence to murder and manslaughter charges, but we don't have people going around killing others even when it could be argued "he needed killing".

              If a backwards little shithole like NZ can do it, surely the mighty, powerful, and ever-righteous USA can figure it out.

        4. edris90

          Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

          well anything that effects my awareness or experiance is my business.measured by effect, you can not observe something without effecting it, therefore if i have observed something, then it and i have effected each other and therefore are eachothers busines

          in reality laws simply change the official story, to save their asses everyone with direct influence begins looking for or avoiding knowledge, details and events to hopefully find the result that will maximize their perception of their personal future stability within their career. its not a conscious intent, nut a side effect of the survival drive in the subconscious. laws don't change behavior, the just decide whose turn it is to be demonized, if you want to successfully. and sustainably change behavior in other people then you have find a way to get them the perception and experience that whatever behavior they are currently was giving them. if the new source of perception and experience results in an equivalent experiance, they will no longer desire the previous, their percieved needs having been met. anything less would result the underlying percieved need not beiong filled, fuleing motivation to recover the previous source, or fear that the alternative source you are offering could be insufficient and then it would be too late, this virtually guarentees hostility and conflict. this is a game of human motivations and strategies by wich to feel safe. you don't feel safe when they have guns. they don't feel safe when you have guns, everyone is going to try for what makes them feel safe. laws be damned fear is a greater motivator then the cultural worship of legal processes.

        5. Kiwi Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

          And you're correct. The AR-15 is a military style weapon primarily designed for killing people. It makes it very effective for the purpose for which it was used: stopping a mass murderer from killing anyone else.

          Does it not bother you that there is something about your culture that makes this a common occurrence? (not the using a gun to stop a mass murder, but the mass murder in the first place)? The only other countries that have this issue are those with a large ISIS presence, and, er, well I can't think of anywhere else where it is such a common event.

      2. RobertLongshaft

        Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

        "Neither feature is required (or even useful) when hunting deer - they're features that only have utility for killing people."

        The right to bear arms has absolutely nothing to do with hunting dear, so your argument is not valid.

        1. jmch Silver badge

          Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

          "The right to bear arms has absolutely nothing to do with hunting..."

          "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"

          You're right, it has nothing to do with hunting. It also has nothing to do with home defence, self-defence and all the other NRA BS. The intent was to not have a strong central military and citizens would use their own weapons if the country was invaded or if the US was overtaken by a tyrant and the local militias could resist a centrally controlled army.

          Both use cases date from an era when the average citizen could easily own weaponry that was about equivalent to the best military weaponry. Since clearly you're not going to use 2nd amendment to allow citizens to own tactical nukes, somewhere a line has to be drawn at what weaponry is reasonable for citizenry to hold in a militia scenario*. Also, since right to bear arms stems from "well-regulated militia", limit permission of weapon ownership to registered embers of local militias, and make it truly "well-regulated" in allowed membership, weapons training, central militia storage of certain classes of weapon. All of that would be well within scope of 2nd amendment, but NRA nuts have extended 2nd amendment to mean any American can own and have in their possession, even publically, any type of weapon.

          *this might, of course, include automatic weaponry

          "hunting dear" Hehe ;)

          1. strum Silver badge

            Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

            >an era when the average citizen could easily own weaponry that was about equivalent to the best military weaponry.

            You're right - but it's worth noting that in Revolutionary America, only a small percentage of Americans could afford such weapons. This amendment was crafted by folks who could.

            Then you've got the myth of 'the Wild West', where, supposedly, no-one left the house without a sixgun. Of course, reality wasn't at like that. Real cowboys didn't wear guns. There might be a rifle available in emergency, but no mass gun ownership. (Most cowboys were black or Hispanic.)

            Indeed, right up to the 1950s, gun ownership in the US was rare (and largely rural). It was the end of WWII, when the arms manufacturers had loads of unsold weapons, that the notion of an armed citizenry began to be pushed. And it just growed and growed...

            1. WolfFan Silver badge

              Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

              Indeed, right up to the 1950s, gun ownership in the US was rare (and largely rural). It was the end of WWII, when the arms manufacturers had loads of unsold weapons, that the notion of an armed citizenry began to be pushed. And it just growed and growed...

              Err... no. The growth of American gun culture is linked to the period between the end of the American Civil War and the beginning of the 20th century. In particular, that's when the NRA got its start. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Rifle_Association There were several reasons why, not least being the large number of veterans of both the Union and Confederate armed forces who took their guns home with them. Arms vendors such as Colt and Winchester and Smith & Wesson did very well for themselves. The number of guns in private hands went down in the early 20th century, but then went back up again, mostly in the South and South West, before the American entry into the First World War. WWI gave it a boost, and so did WWII. (WWII gave it a serious boost.) However, stats show that, for example, the Browning Automatic Rifle was a popular civilian firearm throughout the 1920s and 30s. (Clyde Barrow used BARs. So did the posse which ambushed him and riddled his car, and his body. The Thompson gun may have got the press, but the BAR piled up the bodies.) The BAR would meet every definition of an 'assault rifle' except for the fact that it used full-up rifle rounds, not cut-down ammo like an AK or small-caliber ammo like an AR15.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

        OK...sure, I can't really argue with your definition or your assessment other than to say that the 5.56mm x 39mm round was developed to actually not kill enemy soldiers. The predecessors (M1A1 and M14) were absolutely deadly in all cases so the assault nature is somewhat suspect.

        Regardless of the weapon type, we still aren't addressing the core issues of our people's behavior. These situations all (generally) seem to have a lot of serious warning signs leading up to the event yet we haven't change anything about how we handle those things. A lot of our freedoms cause us problems, not just the freedom to own firearms.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Gimp

          Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

          Regardless of the weapon type, we still aren't addressing the core issues of our people's behavior. These situations all (generally) seem to have a lot of serious warning signs leading up to the event yet we haven't change anything about how we handle those things

          I guess a part of the problem there is that for every one who shows warning signs and goes on to kill, there are many thousands who show more warning signs and never harm anyone.

          Also, psychology is involved, and the first (and perhaps only) class of people who should be locked up for life without change of release due to how dangerous they are to society are psychologists. The only thing psychologists agree on is the need to find new ways to torture people and keep them under their thumb.

          I probably show many warning signs - a pathological hatred of psychologists, I've had "hand-hand combat training", I've thought about killing people (and other violence), I've been around guns and used them since I was a toddler; and I've been "trained" how to shoot them, first learned to shoot from a "sniper position" (toddlers can't hardly hold a .22 rifle in the normal fashion!), have associated with criminals (of course I'd much prefer they don't repeat the experience and do what I can to help them stay out of trouble, but I do have "known criminal associates"), have been a victim of traumatic experiences and have quite seriously considered revenge (before I learned to think about what happened in the other persons' life to make them act that way), have a significant distrust of "authority figures" (that said, I think the only things cops are authorities on is how to lock up innocent people, how to plant evidence etc, I don't see them as "authority" especially as I'm a taxpayer thus pay their wages - so I don't see them as "authority figures" anyway, those I believe should have authority I also trust!). How many more do you want? Hell, even in the last week I had a brief desire to run some slow nut off the road. How many here haven't been having a bad day further compounded by someone who appears to not be able to drive and have not wanted to remove said bad driver from the road using population? In those events I find somewhere nice, stop, call anyone I have an appt with and tell them I'll be late due to traffic issues, sort myself out, and restart my journey when I am calm.

          There are those who would want me locked up for life, or at least monitored, because I could be a threat. I'm probably not, and I've come this far without snapping and killing people. The guy who speeds through my street might crash and kill one of the neighbours kids and then who knows, but I'll probably be more focused on trying to resuscitate said kid than worry about the idiot who's crying about how unfair life is because his BMW now has a bloodstain on it. Not like hollywood where the good guys leave the suffering victims and engage the bad guys in a chase that causes more innocent victims.

          TL:DR; Many people show some or all of the warning signs, without committing any offence or having any reasonably worrying behaviour.

          (El Reg: where's my "off the rails" icon?)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

          I am fascinated with anthrax, sarin gas, and biological weapons.

          Why can't I own them? MY RIGHTS ARE BEING INFRINGED

          1. WolfFan Silver badge

            Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

            I am fascinated with anthrax, sarin gas, and biological weapons.

            Why can't I own them? MY RIGHTS ARE BEING INFRINGED

            You can own them. Just be prepared to use them, as your neighbors may object, often with 5.56mm, 9mm, 7.62mm, or 12.7mm projectiles.

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

            "I am fascinated with anthrax, sarin gas, and biological weapons.

            Why can't I own them? MY RIGHTS ARE BEING INFRINGED"

            And, what if this shooter blocked some doors and lobed in a gas bomb of something nasty? It's not hard to find out how to make that sort of stuff online.

            I dont' suggest substituting one for the other, but in places were firearms are harder to obtain, there seems to be no problem with finding a means to commit mass murder. Delivery/rental trucks being in fashion recently.

      4. SundogUK

        Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

        If you believe the second amendment is about hunting deer, you really are a fuckwit.

      5. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

        Got to disagree, Lysenko. The StG 44 was select fire meaning it could, at the flip of a switch, change function to fire either semi-automatically or fully automatically and was designed around 1942. An AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle and never was capable of fully automatic fire although it was later developed into the M-16 which is a select fire rifle. The AR-15 itself is based on the AR-10 which was designed as a replacement for the M1 Garand and all were semi-automatic with the Garand being developed in 1928. Thus, although the action changes from a long stroke piston rotating bolt in the M1 Garand to direct impingement rotating bolt in the AR variants the lineage is not from the later developed Sturmgewehr. About the only common trait is the pistol grip stock which is largely cosmetic.

        I'll also argue that having a quick follow up shot provided by a semi-auto when hunting is not only useful but more humane. Hunting conditions vary greatly from one moment to another and one cannot predict things like wind gusts or the twitches a deer might make. A quick follow up shot ensures a quicker and more humane kill in the event the first shot doesn't quite find its mark and only serves to wound the deer. No hunter I would hunt with desires to bring pain or suffering to an animal, all try their best to make clean quick kills, and all hate the thought of losing in the brush a wounded animal that will likely endure a slow and painful death.

    3. Blotto Bronze badge

      Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

      @ac

      “Breakdown in society”

      That makes it sound like it’s something new and not something that’s been happening for decades if not at least a century.

      American society is broken.

      How long before it becomes more like that of Canada or Europe?

    4. jmch Silver badge

      Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

      "the best we can hope for is a "war on guns" similar to our "war on drugs". That war effort has gone swimmingly so it's difficult to imagine that we will see better results with a war on guns"

      Drugs, at least in small quantities, are far easier to smuggle and carry around concealed. Small handguns might also be easily concealed but assault rifles should be esay to pick up in a search. The problem isn't teh ability to round up and remove weapons from circulation, it's the lack of political will, which stems from lack of organisation of anti-gun lobby. I would hazard a guess that a majority of Americans would be in favour of sensible restrictions on weapons, but they're not that arsed about it to form an effective lobby.

      The pro-gun NRA on the other hand is rabid-foaming-at-the-mouth serious and heavily and publically supports any pro-gun candidate in any election with an anti-gun candidate, so many politicians, even if anti-gun, pipe down or risk losing elections.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: The reports so far with some editorial....

        Australia has had some success in changing its gun laws and buying back guns from citizens. However, the cultural, demographic (far smaller) and geographical (no land borders) differences may be too great for this to be a worthwhile comparison.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A precedent they've made without knowing

    They've paid Cellebrite to unlock the iphone last time.

    Now Apple and even the court can question why aren't they going to pay Cellebrite for another quotation to unlock their phone since they did it before, weaken their defense of forcing the phone companies to unlock from the start.

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: A precedent they've made without knowing

      "They've paid Cellebrite to unlock the iphone last time."

      I keep reading that as "They've paid Cenobites to unlock the iPhone last time".... More effective or not?

  6. Winkypop Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Barking up the wrong telegraph pole

    Worry about the raging gun problem, don't worry about motive.

    In this case, would motive change anything? (serious question)

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Barking up the wrong telegraph pole

      You need to define "who's" motives here.

      IF the FBI, it's about power and the "need" for a back door to encryption.. you know, just in case the shooter's phone has something like a message from a known terrorist group.

      IF the shooter's, there's a gray area as to motive. Some people snap for a trivial reason, others for major reason. Luckily, most people don't snap and shoot up a building, night club, etc. Most of us just deal with it.

      Overall... would the motive of killer or the FBI make a difference? Will it make a difference in the future to prevent these things? Hell if I know, but I doubt if the FBI's motives will stop anything.

  7. lifetime security

    The NSA can get into any equipment. Remember that when Apple asked the FBI director if they had approached the national security agencies, he replied, 'Yes, we have asked.'. But he did not say what the response was.

    The FBI will be trying to make this a political case to go after the phone manufacturer again. But the case is not about this POS; it is about our rights to not have our personal records open to government spying. The government wants to spy on us in every way possible.

  8. ratfox Silver badge

    Pity they don't say what type of phone it is. I assume it's an iPhone, but maybe there's other phones that are hard to unlock.

    Or maybe they tried both 1234 and 2580, so now they're stumped.

  9. DougS Silver badge

    Sounds like this time they're going to try to work in secret

    Instead of making everything public with a lawsuit. But if that's the plan, there's a certain orange buffoon who now has access to 280 characters per tweet who will probably spoil it by saying something like "FBI is trying to work with Apple (or whoever) to get access to shooter's phone, if they refuse steps will be taken!".

    Or some similar meaningless threat that will be ignored because everyone knows Trump is a weakling who threatens but never follows through on anything.

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    TL:DR. Loon with gun shoots in-laws. What? FBI don't think he's a lone gunman?

    Which is a bit of a novelty for them. Isn't it normally a lone gunman?

    The BS is strong in this case.

    I quite like the idea of some Texan saying "Son, I don't carry in a House of God. The Lord protects me," while I'm thinking of a certain Harrold Dresden also saying "Kevlar in my coat protects me."

    I know which option I'd be pinning my faith on.

  11. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    Flame

    Terrorists

    A couple of people have mentioned the theory that the FBI need to get into the phone to see if the shooter had any contacts with terrorists.

    What evidence is there that the shooter might have had contact with terrorists? None. Absolutely none.

    Terrorism is the excuse that governments are using to exert more and more control over the population. If you speak out against the government's "war on terror", in the eyes of the government, you're practically a terrorist yourself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Terrorists

      The 'you're either with us or against us' argument, boiling down all the complexities and nuance of an argument into simple binary, black and white statements designed to inflame the minds of those who can't think logically about anything that has shades of grey

  12. Velv Silver badge
    Mushroom

    "murder-suicide"

    You what?

    It was NOT a "murder-suicide".

    This was pure out-and-out murder by a man who had access to guns.

    He tried to get away, and may have died in the escape, possibly by his own hand, but lets not dress this up. It was another mass killing as a direct result of the free access to guns in the USA.

  13. teknopaul Bronze badge

    What we need is a pin number required to access the trigger on the AK47s that only the feds have.

    Then everyone will be happy :)

    Seriously, might not be a bad idea to lock down guns so only the registered owner's finger can pull the trigger.

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      Wouldn't have helped in this case. If the procedural steps had been followed he most likely wouldn't have been able to buy guns legally. He owned those weapons and his fingerprints would still fire them if such a technology was in place.

  14. gkroog
    Mushroom

    How ever did law enforcement catch criminals before the invention of the smartphone?!

    Their statement:

    "In a press conference on Tuesday, special agent Chris Combs said that investigations into the motives and actions of the gunman was ongoing, but that his mobe was a closed book to them."

    So, they say they NEED full, unrestricted access to ALL cell phones to catch criminals, and they make out that they're at least somewhat helpless until they have that...

    Either, that's complete rubbish, OR, the FBI is rubbish...

  15. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    Now is not the time to be discussing encryption control.

    What...? It always works for the gun lobby.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is no defendant to be tried, thus there is no crime

    Apparently FBI didn't really need the data in the other 6,999 phones. But, this one they do. Why?

    Right. It's a high visibility crime and they figure they can strong arm a judge into seeing things their way.

    In this case there is no crime to be investigated because the criminal is dead. Instead this is all about politics and usurping the peoples rights.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LOL

    Funny how people crying the US is so violent, when they are 94th (country) in the world for murder rate.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate (most of which a gun is not involved)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LOL

    Funny how people crying the US is so violent, when they are 94th (country) in the world for murder rate.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate (most of which a fire arm is not involved)

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: LOL

      We now have a lower murder rate than Somalia!

      Making America great again

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: LOL

        And lower suicide rates than Greenland, Sweden, Finland and Belgium! Then again, as far as suicide goes Mexico's rate is lower than the UK, Australia and Canada.

        What was the point of the comparison again? Oh yea we must get our homicide rate from Mexico and a suicide rate from Greenland almost like we are stuck between the two.

  19. jonfr

    Android ruled out?

    I'm rather sure that Android can be ruled out. Since encryption is rather weak in that operating system and phones if I go with my phone security set-up (Sony Xperia Z5). Encrypting it prevents me from backing it up so I don't bother.

  20. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Meanwhile, on Qatar Airways flight QR-962 (Doha-Bali)...

    "A Qatar aircraft was forced to land midflight after a woman used her sleeping husband’s thumb to unlock his smartphone and thus discovered that he was having an affair. ...forced to make an unscheduled stop in Chennai, India, when the cabin crew was unable to restore order."

    "...unable to restore order." <- Sounds hilarious.

    Has the FBI tried a finger ?

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, on Qatar Airways flight QR-962 (Doha-Bali)...

      Not since Apple gave them the finger the last time.

  21. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Yeah, i know...

    Restricting access to guns wouldn't prevent this...Says only country where this regularly happens...

  22. Heathcote Pursuit

    Guns don't kill people, encrypted smartphones do

    Ask any politican and they'll tell you its true.

  23. Unicornpiss Silver badge

    iPhone legislation

    That's now two unstable people that committed serious crimes and both had iPhones. Perhaps we need legislation to keep criminals from buying iPhones, or at least a cooling off period before being able to purchase one.

    Of course anyone that shelled out money for the iPhone X may need an additional cooling off period to keep them from purchasing a gun and doing violent acts after succumbing to buyers remorse after purchasing one.

  24. MachDiamond Silver badge

    crime vs. phones

    In the case of the San Berdo shooter, there were questions about affiliation with terrorist groups and after investigators screwed up and reset passwords for the associated iCloud account to the phone they were lost to figure out how to use any other avenue to investigate. I guess they become so used to gleaning data from phones that if they can't, they're stuck.

    In the case of this shooting, there doesn't seem to be any connection to a network of nutjobs, this whacko was most likely a solo act. If there is a question, why can't the FBI send a query to the NSA to have somebody look and listen to this guys cell phone recordings to see if there is anything there? Does the FBI need admissible evidence for something or are they just fishing? Obviously, they can't outright admit that the NSA is recording everybody's texts, meta data and voice calls even if it's widely suspected.

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