back to article Kentucky gov: Violent video games, not guns, to blame for Florida school massacre

The governor of the US state of Kentucky, Matt Bevin, has blamed violent video games for the Florida high-school shooting that left 17 people dead this week. In an interview Bevin, who is – quelle surprise – endorsed by the National Rifle Association, said that the shooting wasn't linked to the ability of the shooter to …

  1. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Trollface

    What a load of Trump...

    "They have desensitized people to the value of human life, to the dignity of women, to the dignity of human decency."

    So...just like your president then ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a load of Trump...

      Trump does look like a caricature video game character...we would need more studies about how inhaling gunpowder and gun cleaners/lubricants may cause mental illnesses.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a load of Trump...

      There are 300,000,000+ guns in circulation. Legislation won't make most of them go away. Normally when there is any threat of gun legislation sales go up so we are really talking about generations before enough guns are out of the system to stop it being very easy to get hold of guns. Sadly stopping legal sales, though a step in the right direction, isn't going to stop people like this perpetrator getting their hands on them.

      We really are talking about mental illness here. You can get guns elsewhere in the world (even in the UK) yet they are seldom if ever used to commit these atrocities and related knife incidents are thankfully incredibly rare too . The US seems to be different. Blaming guns or video games is oversimplifying the problem. The US has a deeper cultural problem that needs to be cured.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: What a load of Trump...

        "There are 300,000,000+ guns in circulation. [...] You can get guns elsewhere in the world (even in the UK) yet they are seldom if ever used to commit these atrocities [...]"

        Well on the one hand ...

        This guy appears to have walked into a store and walked out a few minutes later with something that you probably couldn't get in the UK or, if you could, would have required the blessing of your local police chief and convincing a psychiatrist that you had a legitimate use for it.

        The result is that even in Northern Ireland, which is a special case, only about 100,000 people (out of 1,800,000) own guns (about 380,000 of them). That's about 5%. I'm not sure if accurate figures exist for the US, but apparently (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/06/04/a-minority-of-americans-own-guns-but-just-how-many-is-unclear/) around a third of the population regularly admit to owning guns (averaging, again, about 3 or 4 each).

        So on the other hand ...

        That's about 5 or 6 times smaller than the US figure then, but the consequent rate of gun crime is, I think much lower. I would also point to the Swiss experience where the laws are much more like the US (and some cantons actively encourage serving militia to keep guns at home) but the rate of gun crime is much lower. Indeed, it appears that most gun-related deaths in Switzerland are suicides.

        On the face of it, then, there does appear to be a cultural difference in the US. (The obvious difference is the reverence in which the Constitution is held and, by extension, its Second Amendment. Anyone trying to tighten gun laws in the US first has to convince everyone that they aren't undermining the bit of the Constitution that keeps America free from tyranny. That shouldn't be particularly hard if you are just trying to keep semi-automatic weapons away from hormone-ridden teenagers, but the question doesn't even arise in most other countries and most of the rest of the world finds the US attitude utterly incredible.)

        However, back on the first hand ...

        I would expect that it would be relatively safe to give a gun to most adults in any country. However, as you increase gun ownership and relax checks, eventually you start allowing them for a small number of people who are very much less safe. I would expect the relationship between percentage-gun-ownership and amount-of-gun-crime to be so non-linear that it looks almost like a cliff edge.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What a load of Trump...

          "Indeed, it appears that most gun-related deaths in Switzerland are suicides."

          The same is true for the US. Roughly two thirds of firearm homicides are self inflicted. Exactly what mix is suicide or clumsy handling is up for interpretation.

          Slightly less dangerous than a swimming pool, slightly more dangerous than a sports car.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a load of Trump...

        We really are talking about mental illness here.

        Disagree with this. Saying it is a mental illness issue is an easy cop-out. If someone feels that they want to wipe out their place of employment, and who hasn't thought that way at some point, then if you live somewhere with gun control it is very difficult to get hold off a weapon and put these thoughts into action, even if you are planning ahead. If you want to commit suicide (one of the biggest gun death statistics IIRC) then by the time you get the gun it is too late and the 'need' to kill others, or yourself has passed for another day. Whereas in countries like the US the gun is easily obtained and it is so much easier to put murderous intentions into effect. We're lucky in countries in the UK because guns are hard to come by so we don't get the opportunity to kill each other so readily. However if the UK had the same gun controls as the USA we'd probably have just as many mass shootings as the US does.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What a load of Trump...

          "However if the UK had the same gun controls as the USA we'd probably have just as many mass shootings as the US does."

          I doubt that. The US culture is largely to blame. But the UK comparison is only hypothetical.

          Compare the US instead to other countries with high levels of gun ownership, such as Switzerland, Finland, Canada, Austria, you find relatively little gun crime.

          What's specific to the US is three things: the casualness of gun ownership, the weak and amateurish regulation, and a bizarre tolerance of selling assault rifles to those with no valid reason to own such weapons.

          1. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: What a load of Trump...

            "The US culture is largely to blame"

            The culture of easy access to guns you mean?

          2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

            Re: What a load of Trump...

            Ah, the Swiss reference is alive and well I see. It needs context. Switzerland has national service, so all able bodied blokes get basic training in the use of firearms. Then there's the fact that reservists keep rifles at home, and used to keep sealed packs of ammunition, with severe penalties for opening them without orders. I believe ammunition is now not kept at home. Sporting rifles are popular in Switzerland, but as mentioned already, the vast majority have had training in the use of firearms. So all these factors skew the stats, and that's before we factor in socio-economics, like a national health system.

        2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: What a load of Trump...

          If someone feels that they want to wipe out their place of employment, and who hasn't thought that way at some point,

          That's some disturbing stuff there AC. I highly doubt that most people have felt a desire "to wipe out their place of employment" or even entertained the thought and I'd go as far as saying that is point where mental health professionals need to step in. Sure, we get all likely get upset at times but it's unlikely to rise to the level of wiping anyone out much less the entire place.

          then if you live somewhere with gun control it is very difficult to get hold off a weapon and put these thoughts into action, even if you are planning ahead. If you want to commit suicide (one of the biggest gun death statistics IIRC) then by the time you get the gun it is too late and the 'need' to kill others, or yourself has passed for another day.

          Suicide is the biggest cause of gun deaths in the US and it typically represents 2/3 of all gun deaths but then there is roughly an equal number of suicides in the US that don't involve guns as well. As for planning ahead that was certainly the case here as it is reported that he purchased the rifle about a year ago

      3. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: What a load of Trump...

        " Legislation won't make most of them go away"

        Australia made guns illegal without a license and reason to own (self defense was not a valid reason), and over a third of their guns were gone in a year and havent had a mass shooting since.

        However the best first step would simply be to ban assault weapons. They have no legitimate civilian use.

      4. JetSetJim Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: What a load of Trump...

        "There are 300,000,000+ guns in circulation. Legislation won't make most of them go away"

        Stop the sale of ammunition (or regulate it heavily), then there's 300m paperweights in circulation.

      5. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: What a load of Trump...

        "Legislation won't make most of them go away. "

        You could try bullet control?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuX-nFmL0II

      6. murrby

        Re: What a load of Trump...

        It's called a buy-back scheme. Worked in Australia. Then anyone owning the now banned firearms (anything automatic or semi-automatic) is breaking the law.

      7. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: What a load of Trump...

        "The US has a deeper cultural problem that needs to be cured."

        It can be summed up as toddler rage.

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Holmes

      "we have a cultural problem in America,”"

      Fu**ing right.

      The "cultural problem" is you have a gun related death rate like Somalia, rather than a so called "First world" country and a culture that promotes getting a gun and shooting people as the solution if you're sad/mad/angry.

      You also seem to have a large number of people with an inability to separate fantasy and reality (nicely summed up by the phrase "Iron Man is not a documentary.").

  2. el kabong

    I know what trump will do

    He's thinking: "School kids need to have more guns, there are not enough guns available to kids, we must give them more guns so they can defend themselves from the likes of Nikolas Cruz."

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: I know what trump is thinking

      They're giving the teachers guns now, sending nominated staff on courses on how to use them and deal with the idea of shooting one of their deranged pupils one day. What a world we live in...

      1. th3ro

        Re: I know what trump is thinking

        What a world Americans live in you mean. I certainly don't live in a world like that.

      2. DougS Silver badge

        Re: I know what trump is thinking

        I certainly hope they aren't GIVING the teachers guns. A lot of teachers have to use their personal money to pay for basic supplies because their schools are so underfunded (even in the rich suburb I live in!) so if they start using those meager funds to buy guns I hope one of the teachers snaps and uses them on the politicians who came up with that brilliant idea!

        1. Martin Summers Silver badge

          Re: I know what trump is thinking

          Giving/allowing them to carry, I don't know if they had to pay for them or not but unfortunately it's a fact that they have them in a pilot state:

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40353408

          The most recent mention of the pilot is in this article some way down the page:

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42804741

          We all live in this world and in the UK what happens in the USA good or bad has a habit of spreading. Luckily we don't make it easy for anyone to get a gun so our chances of mass shooting are great reduced. Strange that isn't it.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: I know what trump is thinking

            Whether or not they are being given the guns, a few states are bound to allow it but it won't last long. Even if an armed teacher takes out a school shooter before he can do much damage, and the NRA crows about it, it is inevitable that an armed teacher will eventually kill a bystander attempting to hit a shooter (doesn't matter how much training you give them, unless they've served in a war zone no training can prepare them for the stress of the real thing) Or he'll have his gun stolen and used to kill a student, or worst of all an armed teacher will go on a spree of his own. People go on shooting sprees in their office, this is no different except you'd really make the news as a teacher allowed to carry killing kids - he'd have a couple dozen sitting ducks right in front of him so he could take out a bunch even if there was another armed teacher in the classroom across the hall.

            The minute a child dies because a teacher was allowed to carry, even if some optimistic massaging of the numbers shows that many kids were "saved" by another teacher taking out a school shooter before he can kill too many students, it will be the end of the experiment.

            1. Strahd Ivarius
              Facepalm

              Re: I know what trump is thinking

              Perhaps before allowing teachers to have guns in the classroom they will remember that the current crop of teachers have been playing videogames in their youth (Carmaggedon anyone?)...

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I know what trump is thinking

              Practically, if teachers are armed with handguns and the killer has a rifle capable of long range accuracy, who has the word "target" written on him or her?

              All this will do is ensure that any not totally deranged killer will shoot the teacher first, kill a few kids and then hide behind the survivors using them as human shields/hostages.

              If I, a grade A wimp who hasn't fired a rifle in over 40 years, can work that out, what of a teenager who plays computer games?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I know what trump is thinking

        As a former teacher in the UK I can honestly say that if I had access to a gun then I would have found the temptation not to use it very difficult at times - although it might have helped with class discipline.

      4. W. Anderson

        Re: I know what trump is thinking

        The writer of this comment is "obviously" an American or American gun mentality sympathizer.

        As is clearly explains in dozens of other comments, many other countries that are "so-called" developed nations do not have this ridiculous mass murder of innocent citizens (children) problem.

        Many if not most Americans always extrapolate any very negative situation at home to be equivalent to or better than bad situations in other countries undergoing civil war, terrorism or complete chaos - just like what's happening in good 'ole USA.

        The convenient saying of "Misery Loves Company" is appropriate for crass excuses from Americans, claiming they live in "Greatest nation on Earth", is "Exceptional" (I guess meaning better than any other) and "with Freedom and justice for All". (sic)

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: I know what trump is thinking

          Thoigh the fact is that there are more gun deaths per capita in the USA than any other country in the world.

          Yes, you're less likely to get shot in Somalia than in the USA.

          Heck, some warzones are safer...

    2. tfb Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: I know what trump will do

      What Trump isn't doing is thinking.

    3. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: I know what trump will do

      "School kids need to have more guns, there are not enough guns available to kids, we must give them more guns"

      Isn't that what an NRA spokesperson said after Sandy Hook?

      1. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: I know what trump will do

        "Isn't that what an NRA spokesperson said after Sandy Hook?"

        It's pretty much what the president of the NRA said after Columbine too. Hasn't that worked well?!

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Martin Summers Silver badge

    He's right, you can't regulate evil but you can sure as hell not make doing evil easier.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Not necessarily. Where there's a will, there's a way. Remember, Oklahoma City and Bath Township both used materials readily available to any farmer.

      1. defiler Silver badge

        Remember, Oklahoma City and Bath Township both used materials readily available to any farmer.

        Yep, and those are two examples from the last 91 years. How many mass shootings have there been in the USA in the last 91 weeks?

        I appreciate playing Devil's Advocate and all, but you should try to pick your fights...

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Let's see. The Unabomber, the infamous Gangs of New York, not to mention all the knife attacks that fall under the radar. I'm picking my fights, and I'm saying don't look at the weapon, look at the user.

          1. defiler Silver badge

            and I'm saying don't look at the weapon, look at the user.

            Of course, but what I'm saying (and many others) is that these acts take a level of determination above and beyond what it appears to require in order to buy an assault rifle and empty it into a crowd.

            Bad people will do bad things with what they have to hand. Some bad people, as you've said, will go out of their way to use every day materials to do truly reprehensible things. But it seems that the USA makes it unreasonably easy.

            Good gun owners are not bad people. But the level of weapons that can be acquired easily is pretty unbelievable.

          2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

            Some stats would be nice,....

            ...you say knife attacks, but the stats don't back that up. In the USA in 2016, 7,105 people were murdered with handguns. Just 1,604 were killed with knives. Now, you cannot make the argument that in removing guns, knives will take over, figures for the UK show 186 knife homicides in 2015, so we have nowhere near the number of homicides that firearms facilitate.

      2. Richard 12 Silver badge

        After Oklahoma, fertiliser was regulated

        It's now very difficult to buy. You need a licence, and to get that you need to prove you need it.

        Why are guns the only thing the USA refuses to even consider properly regulating the sale, training and use of?

        Heck, dogs are better licenced.

      3. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Where there's a will, there's a way. Remember, Oklahoma City and Bath Township both used materials readily available to any farmer.

        1967 - Jayne Mansfield is killed when her car runs under the rear end of a tractor trailer. Since then, all trailers have a DOT bar at the rear to keep cars from going under them.

        1982 - Seven people die when Tylenol packaging was tampered with. Since then, it takes a PhD, channel locks, and a sharp object to get into a bottle of pills.

        2001 - One person attempts to blow up a plane with a shoe bomb. Since then, all air travelers have to take off their shoes for scanning before being allowed to board.

        Since 1968 - 1,516, 863 people die from guns on American soil. Since then, the problem apparently can't be solved except with thoughts and prayers.

        But no, please do continue with your whataboutery

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          An Egypt Air was deliberately crashed with all killed and nothing happened afterward...AFTER 9/11. Why? Not much you can do when the killer was the PILOT.

          Shoe Bomber? I'll raise you an Underwear Bomber and an A-hole Bomber.

          And what about those recent deliberate crowd rams using cars and trucks?

          1. Tom 38 Silver badge
            WTF?

            And what about those recent deliberate crowd rams using cars and trucks?

            I cannot believe that you actually did continue on with your whataboutery. Can you not stop yourself?

          2. TheVogon Silver badge

            "And what about those recent deliberate crowd rams using cars and trucks?"

            Easier to dodge than a hail of bullets at least. And less likely to be fatal.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "You can't regulate evil"

      Cool: so he thinks we should get rid of all laws, the police, the courts and the prisons.

      I wonder what his view is on legal executions? Or on the supply of drugs?

  4. Ben Tasker Silver badge

    > There are games that literally replicate and give people the ability to score points for doing the very same thing that these students are doing inside of schools, where you get extra points for finishing someone off who’s lying there begging for their life

    Rather difficult to amass those high bodycounts without the gun though, isn't it?

    Kids in the UK also play those games, and yet we don't seem to have the equivalent happening.

    And that's being generous and accepting the hypothesis that games are anything to do with this. Couldn't possibly be just that an angry, misguided and disenfranchised teen had access to an AR-15 and chose to take that anger out on those he felt had wronged him

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Kids in the UK also play those games, and yet we don't seem to have the equivalent happening.

      Since only the crims and police in the UK have guns the kids cant get them to use so they revert to using knives out on the street. I think the UK has one of the highest knife crime ratings per capita of anywhere.

      Same reasons, frustrations over perceived wrongs/payback, different weapons.

      1. Alt C

        would you like to cite where you got that claim? a quick google doesn't provide me with those stats, searching for 'knife crime per capita', what it does provide me with is evidence its very hard to compare one country with another as each may have a different definition of knife crime.

        the only thing it does seem easy to compare are factual events - death by gun in country x & y.

        To a greater or lesser extent you are probably right but it doesn't really alter the fact the UK is still safer than America, an AR-15 makes it easier to kill 17 people than a knife and politicians lie through their teeth to get their agenda across.

      2. JLV Silver badge

        >highest knife crime ratings

        >I think the UK has one of the highest knife crime ratings per capita of anywhere.

        Canada has a lot of problems with stabbings too. And, guess what, when you look at our homicide rates, it's way lower than the US's. Guns make it too easy to kill, psychologically and also in terms of practical ease.

        Of course, if you don't have guns, knives are next. What did you expect, genius? Teeth?

        I'll trade my "inability to defend myself" and our "knife problems" anyday over your recurring bloodbaths. And I like guns myself, just would rather give up that access than live in the fear and paranoia you've all legislated yourself into.

      3. NoOnions

        "I think the UK has one of the highest knife crime ratings per capita of anywhere."

        That's because they cannot buy guns! A nutter running around with a knife will do much less damage than a nutter with a gun.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          UK can buy guns, in fact around 2015 we had nearly 2 million registered guns in this country - https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/number-guns-uk-record-high-6509872, out of a population of 70 million, that's not bad going.

          Still not got anywhere the level of gun crime the USA has though..

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I think the UK has one of the highest knife crime ratings per capita of anywhere."

        However we have a murder rate per capita one fifth that of the US. Therefore, the mode of murder hardly matters because there is no way that knife crime makes up the difference.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I think the UK has one of the highest knife crime ratings per capita of anywhere."

        It has a much lower level of violent crime than the US.

      6. mrbawsaq

        Guns are perfectly legal in the UK, so it's not just Cops & Crims who have them.

        Try googling for a local gun club in your area and I'm sure you'll find one within 30 minutes drive or so.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      I've played violent games since I was a young kid, starting with Space Invaders and going through to CoD like games... It drove me to shoot anybody, or attack anybody. I haven't actually hit anybody in my life, the closest I've come to physical violence was Judo, which is more about defence and using the aggression of your counterpart against him in a non-violent way (you don't injure your oponent, you immobalize them).

      On the other hand, I didn't have any access to firearms.

      1. big_D Silver badge
        Headmaster

        It NEVER drove me to shoot anybody or attack anybody!!!

    3. P. Lee Silver badge

      >Kids in the UK also play those games, and yet we don't seem to have the equivalent happening.

      In the UK, he wouldn't have been classed as a "kid" he'd be classed as an adult.

      But "An adult walks into a school and shoots people" is less of a heart-string tugger and generates animosity towards the individual rather than the "the system."

      US politics is hyper-partisan. If someone came along and wanted to take away my free speech under the guise of "hate control" I wouldn't trust them with anything else either. That said, perhaps a minimum age of 25 on gun purchases might at least ensure there is two adults involved in the decision for those who are still young adults.

      And at least half the video game comment is accurate. I don't think games cause the behaviour but the culture of being willing to kill those around you does appear to be an issue in America. The Swiss have plenty of guns, the Canadians have plenty of guns and neither of those two groups have the terribly high homicide rates found in the US. It is an American cultural problem.

      And those saying, "but Trump..." need to start taking a less idiotic stance. There isn't a single problem which will be fixed by blaming Trump. Had Hillary won in 2016, nothing would have been different. Obama was in power for how many years? How did he change the situation here? Are you blaming Trump for the degradation of women? What was Weinstein doing during the Obama and Clinton administrations? What was Bill Clinton doing during the Clinton administration? What was Hillary doing when Bill was in power? Where was #MeToo during all those years? Now its all the President's fault? That's ... politically convenient.

      Don't get me wrong, Trump isn't a good person. His moral aspirations set a fairly low bar, but his opposition seem to be able to go even lower. They are ok will killing hundreds of thousands of children before they are born every year. Those supporting gun ownership will look at that and tell those advocating gun control just what they think of that kind of morality.

      1. TomG

        Constitution

        It seems everyone thinks all the US government has to do to solve the gun situation is to activate the National Guard, have them go house to house and confiscate everyone's firearm. Please be aware we have a set of rules called the Constitution wherein is stated the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. If wholesale confiscation is the answer, then the rules have to be changed.

        1. Swarthy Silver badge

          Re: Constitution

          We also have a bit that protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, yet we have warrantless wiretaps, PRISM, Section 702, and Civil Asset Forfeiture.

          You can't tell me that the legislature is prohibited from anything more effective than "Thoughts and Prayers" by the 2nd Amendment alone; when the 4th was barely a speed-bump.

    4. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "Couldn't possibly be just that an angry, misguided and disenfranchised teen had access to an AR-15 and chose to take that anger out on those he felt had wronged him"

      It's misleading to state the guy was a "teen". He is 18 and, therefore, considered an adult. Technically a teen, it's more appropriate to say "adult" when somebody has left school.

      In the US, you cannot buy a gun and leave the store with it. You must pass a background check first. Guns sold at gun shows or online have the same restrictions. Guns may only be shipped to a licensed dealer and the buyer may pick them up from that dealer if the background check is complete.

      What is an "assault" rifle? The definition varies quite a bit around the world. What I normally see is that any rifle that has a wood stock is a "hunting" rifle and anything with a metal or plastic stock is an "assault" rifle.

      The highest shooting crimes in the US are currently in areas with the most restrictive gun laws.

      1. TheVogon Silver badge

        "Guns sold at gun shows ... have the same restrictions. "

        No they don't. And neither do second hand gun sales:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_show_loophole

      2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        "The highest shooting crimes in the US are currently in areas with the most restrictive gun laws."

        Uh huh, and why do think that is? Do you think that gun legislation leads to gun crime, or, maybe, just maybe, guns are restricted due to high levels of gun crime?

        1. rh587 Bronze badge

          "The highest shooting crimes in the US are currently in areas with the most restrictive gun laws."

          Uh huh, and why do think that is? Do you think that gun legislation leads to gun crime, or, maybe, just maybe, guns are restricted due to high levels of gun crime?

          Or may, just maybe, everyone is conflating a number of very different issues.

          1. Unlawful use of legally held firearms by their owners

          2. Unlawful use of legally held firearms by a household member taking an inadequately secured firearm

          3. Unlawful use of legally held firearms by a thief/burglar

          4. Gang-on-gang/organised criminal use of black market guns that have always been black market and never touched the white market

          The areas of the US with the toughest gun laws are places like Chicago, Detroit and California (namely LA). Remarkably enough they suffer significantly from number 4. Indeed if you look at "American Gun Crime" it is massively concentrated in the top-10 metro areas. Those areas tend to have very strict gun control at a state/county or city level but still have high crime - because you're in group 4. You can go out to rural Wisconsin where every house is basically guaranteed to contain multiple hunting rifles and shotguns but gun crime will be extremely low.

          Talking about gun violence in America is lazy and meaningless. America is massive and some areas have European levels of crime (despite widespread gun ownership) and others have very high levels of crime despite near-bans on private ownership. Availability and crime rates only correlate for certain categories of crime and only in certain areas.

          It is abundantly obvious that you need different solutions for the different categories of firearms crime, because each is caused by different social factors. Better regulation or indeed prohibition could stem groups 1 and 2, but by definition will do absolutely nothing for group 4 (this is what we found in the UK after 1997 when gun crime continued to rise post-prohibition - Dunblane was a statistical anomaly in a country where the only other significant gun crime was strictly organised/black market. British white market firearms just don't end up being used in crime).

      3. JLV Silver badge
        Trollface

        >It's misleading to state the guy was a "teen". He is 18 and, therefore, considered an adult.

        He couldn't buy a beer but he could buy an AR-15.

        Yup. Makes total sense to me.

      4. Hans 1 Silver badge
        WTF?

        What is an "assault" rifle? The definition varies quite a bit around the world. What I normally see is that any rifle that has a wood stock is a "hunting" rifle and anything with a metal or plastic stock is an "assault" rifle.

        According to your definition an AK-47 is thus a "hunting" rifle ?

        DISCLAIMER: I am not into guns, don't need them ...

        Besides, Tramp wants to arm teachers, listen Duck, watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rR9IaXH1M0&feature=youtu.be&t=5m5s

        Next, a depressed teacher shoots at the kids, then, NRA will say: Let's arm the school kids as well! Then, a teacher gives a numpty a C and the numpty says: "My AK-47 in my schoolbag tells me this is worth an A+!, thank you in advance!"

  5. redpawn Silver badge

    Guns don't kill people

    blood loss and organ failure kills people. Blame the victims.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about this: Neither are to blame.

    Other countries with comparable gun ownership have far, far lower rates of gun violence. Even crazy third-world dystopias are less violent.

    The problem is cultural. American culture, obsessed with a Manichean view of the world in which everything is either utterly good or utterly deserving of destruction, is the reason why tragedies like this continue to happen. Guns are just the way they choose to make it so.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      I do believe you're on to something. It is cultural and probably goes back to values the kids have been taught, if any. Many parents don't see their children for hours on end as the parents are busy and the kids hide out In rooms. In many cases, parents leave it to the schools to teach things like this and we all know how seems to work as there's no time to even teach the basics much less decision making, a bit of morality (yeah.. I went there but it doesn't have be religious based), nor accountability. There's a disconnect here it seems that's being ignored in all the blaming going on.

      1. Daggerchild Silver badge

        *Switches on US TV*

        "I'm a police officer!"

        *someone runs*

        "Stop or I'll shoot!" *aim's at chest height* *BANG* *BANG*

        *person falls to ground with perfect non-life-threatening thigh/shoulder wound, dropping evidence that they are evil and have no children that love them and can be jailed until they die*

        "Good shooting Lou! Case solved. Where shall we go for lunch?"

        *everyone forgets the shot guy ever existed*

        Sure, it's video games that teach you to dehumanise people and normalise killing people with guns in public in the real world, without repercussion, and become hailed by society as a righteous hero.

        Oh, no, wait, I'm thinking of US news, every time the police break into a black person's house and shoot them dead in self defence, then go free. It's *amazing* how often that happens. Blue lives matter.

      2. Gene Cash Silver badge

        American kids today are pretty much treated like prison inmates, so I don't see why people are shocked when they act like it.

        They're treated like crap and alienated to the point they think "shoot everybody" is the best idea.

        We have asshole school administrators that insult kids and jeopardize their schooling when they happen to wear a t-shirt or make an incredibly minor infraction by expelling them from school for several days for a first offense. These people are the core problem.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Gene Cash and his adolescent - authority made me rebel

          Unless you go to school during a zombie apocalypse (not real either) then there really is not any good reason for killing your classmates or teachers.

          What we have is an local overdose of insanity, the unfortunate thing is that since the majority of people in the US are irrational then after living there for any length of time you will tend to be infected and accept irrational behaviour and values as being sane.

          Given that guns are for killing and handguns/automatic rifles are designed for killing people, if you think killing people is acceptable then live in the US but also recognise that your acceptance includes other people's right to kill you and the ones you love.

          There have been attempts in the past to change the US and rethink the idea that killing people is cool or necessary however these have been overwhelmingly rejected by the majority of the voters.

          So if you do not like killing or your loved ones been killed then as a minority in the US the only option left to you is to move to somewhere else where your desires are in the majority and the minority who have US values can be safely locked up so they harm no one. Star spangled straightjacket optional

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There are no countries with comparable gun ownership, and ease to obtain one at a supermarket. Nor where assault rifles are available to everyone. Nor I know any Constitution with a provision like the second amendment, and no will to change it after a quarter of a millennium.

      The cultural problem is exactly this.

      There are countries IIRC like Switzerland where able men after military training keep rifles, but they are also bound to attend more training at regular intervals, far easier, in a small country, to spot troubled ones. And a very different, and richer, society, anyway. So, hardly comparable.

    3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      +1 for 'Manichean' - you don't get vocabulary like that in the Fail Online.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "+1 for 'Manichean' [...]"

        As a religion whose founder died ca 276CE the word has obviously captured a common trait of human nature. The essence is insisting that issues - particularly pertaining to a given morality - must be taken as black or white with no grey areas.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @ Anonymous Coward - "+1 for 'Manichean' [...]

          It certainly simplifies one's belief system. When everything is black or white there's no thinking or consideration of outcomes involved. Much easier in the moment, but can make for far a more difficult future.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "+1 for 'Manichean' [...]"

          One of our lecturers at university actually argued that religious belief does have significance for social outcomes. The US has a very strong Protestant minority who believe that any bad things that happen to you are a punishment from God, so unfortunate people have done something wrong for which they need forgiveness, and if they don't seek it they are damned. No Manichaeanism required.

          The US attitude to crime and healthcare on this hypothesis can be explained by Protestant fundamentalism, while the historically rather different British approach is based more on the nominal Catholicity of Anglicanism and the idea that we are all morally defective and shit happens without God as a causative agent. Therefore society as a whole should improve itself by dealing with crime and health as general social problems.

          It may be popsci but it makes a kind of sense.

    4. Blank Reg

      It definitely is cultural, but how do you solve that? I'm afraid the only way is total destruction of the gun culture. Luckily it's dieing off anyway as gun ownership has been in decline for decades and the average gun owner just keeps getting older, and eventually will die off to the point that there aren't enough of them to have much political clout. But the process can be accelerated by making gun ownership more responsible and less desirable with mandatory training, licensing, background checks, no open carry, no concealed carry etc. It need to become socially unacceptable to own a gun.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "[...] no concealed carry [...]"

        Trump is currently supporting a bill to make "concealed carry" of guns legal in all states.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Upvoted in recognition of this post. I do not support open carry or gun ownership at all without strenuous licensing, background checks and mental fitness test(s). Military style weapons and handguns should be a non-starter. Nothing available to the public should be able to hold more than six rounds.

      2. defiler Silver badge

        It need to become socially unacceptable to own a gun.

        I disagree. It's not socially unacceptable in the UK. I know several people who own guns. I also know that these guns are subject to license and periodic inspection to ensure they're properly stored, and the owner is subject to background checks and license renewal.

        It's the ludicrous ease with which people can acquire firearms (registered and unregistered) in the USA that bewilders me.

        1. Blank Reg

          @defiler

          Yes but the problem is so severe in the US that I think it's necessary in order to turn things around.

          1. defiler Silver badge

            @blank reg

            I think we're both on the same side here, but three of the people I know who hold guns use shotguns to control vermin on farmland. I think it would be short-sighted to ostracise farmers for using these tools to do their jobs.

            Others have guns for fun, and that is a much more difficult case to argue.

            If this were a rabbit and hare forum, we'd probably reach a fuller agreement :)

  7. inmypjs Silver badge

    Probably revenge...

    for the piss taken out of his wing nuts.

    I suggest they ban the sale of guns to teenagers with sticky out ears - probably work just as well as measures anyone else is proposing.

  8. Oh Homer
    Facepalm

    Erm, what about...

    Australia and Japan, for example, do they live in a magic protective bubble that shields them from the supposedly desensitising effects of violent video games?

    No?

    Oh well, I guess that selling guns like candy really does pile up the body count, after all.

    Who'da thunkit?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Erm, what about...

      Actually we in Australia do have somewhat stricter censorship of video games. We can't have games where drugs are a positive impact on gameplay, or shootemups where bodies pile up, and some other various slightly random, but basically understandable limits on just how over the top games can be. We've had several AAA titles banned from sale in Australia over the years as a result, and every now and then there'll be a title that has an "Australian" version just toned down for our ratings system.

      We also have pretty tight gun controls. We don't have mass shootings (for decades now) after we took the guns away from most people after the Port Arthur massacre. People often point to that fact as proof that means + motive + opportunity is still the basic formula for crime, and limiting access to the means has a direct impact on the body count.

      We have our share of people with grievances and people with stability issues, but we manage not to kill kids at school.

      Oh, and I've been to Kentucky and it's a dump. QED :)

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Erm, what about...

        Just means no farmer's been. Ray enough to imitate Oklahoma City yet. But there's no way to stop it given all the materials needed are tools of the farming trade (and the fertilizer WAS denatured then; they REnatured it, however).

        Like I said, don't look at the weapon; look at the user. After all, Japan and South Korea have terrible suicide rates IN SPITE of strict gun controls.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Erm, what about...

        Germany is similar when characters in-game die, they can't lay there bleeding, they generally disappear (CoD being the classic).

  9. Brian Miller

    (X|Y|Z) (is|are) the cause of (A|B|C)

    (Simplistic cause) is to blame for (tragedy) so (simplistc solution) should be enacted.

    Fill in the blanks with what you'd like. Group A has one set, group B has another set, etc. It's the same template, again and again.

    What is the prevention for violence? Global mind control. Everyone is a citizen of the new state. The injection is serum and nanochips will just take a moment.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: (X|Y|Z) (is|are) the cause of (A|B|C)

      Bet you some of them reject the treatment and BECOME omnicidal maniacs due to it. IOW you simply can't win.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

    America is 11th per 100,000 deaths by firearms.

    Not trolling but when you have a larger population these things are bound to happen, this statement is from facts.

    If you remove the guns from America then America would probably become Germany of old before the UK does.

    I also don't see many western people running around doing street fighter moves.

    1. Len Goddard

      Numbers

      >> America is 11th per 100,000 deaths by firearms.

      Have you looked at the 10 above? The first European country on the list is #22. Interestingly the US is the only country on that list with more guns than people.

      If you are going to quote numbers, this is possibly more telling:

      "The death toll between 1968 and 2011 eclipses all wars ever fought by the country. According to research by Politifact, there were about 1.4 million firearm deaths in that period, compared with 1.2 million US deaths in every conflict from the War of Independence to Iraq."

      1. inmypjs Silver badge

        Re: Numbers

        Politifact - lol I'll take Wikipedia over that any day.

        Found an old post on these forums. 2013 suicides by firearm 21k2 (and 20k not by firearm). Homicides by firearm 11k2 and accidental death by firearm 0k5.

        So twice as many people killed themselves than others with firearms and as many again killed themselves without firearms. 1.4 million over the period is about 38k p.a. so looks like Politifact grouped suicides and accidents with homicides to create some fake news to suit their agenda.

        Substantially more Americans killed themselves in the period than have been killed in all wars - so bloody what!

        1. redpawn Silver badge

          Re: Numbers

          Dead kids. That's what.

        2. Hans 1 Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Numbers

          Substantially more Americans killed themselves in the period than have been killed in all wars - so bloody what!

          Suicidal people need help, not guns! I think Politifact are spot on, the whole point is saving lives, take away guns and you save lives, fact - it works everywhere else, why would it not work in the US ?

          Listen, accept that you are wrong, you can turn the facts the way you want, no assault rifles => thousands of lives saved yearly, fact, undeniable fact!

          Icon: Even Paris understands that ...

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Numbers

            "Suicidal people need help, not guns! I think Politifact are spot on, the whole point is saving lives, take away guns and you save lives, fact - it works everywhere else, why would it not work in the US ?"

            Oh? South Korea is #2 on the list of per capita suicides (the list INCLUDES the Third World). Japan is #11. Both have strict gun controls. The US? Middle of the pack.

            Don't look at the weapon. Look at the user.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Numbers

              Suicide is very sad and not uncommon in hyper-competitive markets, especially where face or personal and familial reputation is overly important. I'd suggest that suicide rates should be considered differently than homicide rates. There's a great big world outside of American borders where cultures, thankfully, differ greatly from America's. It appears to me that more and more American's are becoming unidimensional in their world view. It's like they're not being taught anything in school about the world.

              You're statement, "Don't look at the weapon. Look at the user.", is beyond ridiculous.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Numbers

          "Substantially more Americans killed themselves in the period than have been killed in all wars - so bloody what!"

          As guns are mainly used for suicide, we could all hope that you gun owning nuts do the deed!, hurry up then you might get sensible laws.

      2. Oh Homer

        Re: "Have you looked at the 10 above?"

        Yes, they're in good company - El Salvador, Columbia and friends.

        Incredibly, even Mexico has less gun violence than America.

        The idea that America has the right to police the rest of the world, is utterly comical.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      11th worst in a class of 195 is pretty frickin bad, I wouldn't be braggin about that

    3. JLV Silver badge

      Sure. But sort the list by Total, descending.

      Honduras

      Venezuela

      El Salvador

      Swaziland

      Guatemala

      Jamaica

      Colombia

      Brazil

      Panama

      Uruguay

      USA

      These are countries before you. You do know Latin and Central America have a really bad reputation for safety and homicides? Low police budgets, corruption and notorious incompetence. These are pretty much all 3rd world countries.

      Are these your peers? The first two Western countries that appear are Finland and Switzerland, at a third of your rate. Switzerland, for one, has had interesting stats wrt to gun suicides and issuance of weapons to military reservists.

      https://www.thetrace.org/2016/09/military-suicides-switzerland-gun-suicide-prevention/

      >when you have a larger population these things are bound to happen, this statement is from facts.

      This is deaths per 100000, so how does a larger population figure into it???

      I actually have a fair bit of sympathy for the US on this. The Constitution is an admirable document, the amount of coercion needed to effect strict gun control would be off the charts, and there are no easy fixes at this point - too many guns are already in the system to quickly fix this. What looks obvious to the rest of us would be anything but in practice, even if there was the political will.

      But claiming "guns don't kill people" is disingenuous and ignores the practical experience of most countries with similar wealth/governance as the US.

      1. Lysenko

        there are no easy fixes at this point - too many guns are already in the system to quickly fix this.

        Europe was awash with guns after both world wars. Now it isn't. How did that happen? In any case, even if you don't have the backbone to face down a few dozen "militia" sociopath incidents, you can just ban sales of ammunition and watch the problem start to solve itself over a few decades.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Europe was awash with guns after both world wars."

          The spike in UK gun crime that ensued was then in support of criminal gain activities.

          The collapse of the Weimar Republic was partly caused by the extremes of the political left and right factions starting to fight a street war.

        2. rh587 Bronze badge

          Europe was awash with guns after both world wars. Now it isn't. How did that happen?

          Mostly down to a Parliament dominated by upper/upper-middle class MPs who were concerned that our trained population with combat experience might follow the Bolshevik example.

          That was pretty much the exact reasoning for the Firearms Act 1920 - make rifles and pistols expensive, price out the plebs, reduce the risk of armed insurrection. The "licence" was much like a modern Rod Licence - pay yer money, no further checks other than being able to afford one obviously meant you were "the right sort of person".

          Which at it's most reductionist comes down to... oppression of the working classes by the political elite in maintenance of the status quo.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Which at it's most reductionist comes down to... oppression of the working classes by the political elite in maintenance of the status quo."

            Interesting argument as most victims of gun crime are, I believe, relatively poor people.

            1. rh587 Bronze badge

              "Which at it's most reductionist comes down to... oppression of the working classes by the political elite in maintenance of the status quo."

              ...

              Interesting argument as most victims of gun crime are, I believe, relatively poor people.

              The reference was very explicitly to the Firearms Act of 1920 - which you would know, having specifically omitted that line. You know - the 1920 which came shortly after the 1917 when the Romanovs were taken out and murdered by the the poor people (which followed the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland).

              It was a legitimate concern for the government back then.

              These days of course, not so much.

          2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Why TF would "the working classes" need to rise up against something using firearms? What on earth would that possibly achieve except mass slaughter of the working classes rising up as well as innocents?

            These state's power vastly exceeds that of any half-organised bunch of looneys with guns.

            1. Mark 85 Silver badge

              Go back a bit in history to the early 1900's. There were protests and riot by labor unions and the government sent in the troops to "restore order" which usually involved gunfire from the troops only. Also see rh587 reply here for more specific history: https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2018/02/16/violent_video_games_guns_florida/#c_3432326

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'These are countries before you'

        So not so much different from those s******e countries, after all, isn't it?

      3. d3vy

        "too many guns are already in the system to quickly fix this"

        That argument seems to be put about a lot... Just because something is difficult or will take time doesn't mean it shouldn't be done.

        Tightening regulation now with an aim for an all out ban in 100 years would be better than doing nothing and still having the same issue in two generations time.

    4. toejam13

      > America is 11th per 100,000 deaths by firearms

      About half of those deaths are suicides. Some countries do not count suicides by firearm as homicides like the US does. So it can be difficult to compare.

      That said, this tragedy touches upon a couple of ugly issues. First, nobody can have an honest conversation about gun law in the US because so many of its politicians have been bought and paid for via campaign contributions from gun manufacturers and their advocacy groups, such as the NRA. They will not bite the hand that bribes, err, feeds them. Nothing is going to change until election finance law changes, and that won't happen until corporate personhood is revoked.

      Second, many people in America see these shootings as acceptable losses. When you exclude homicides in poor urban areas and suicides, the homicide rate by firearms in the US drops to rates similar for Eastern Europe. They fear that without arsenals, Obama and his henchmen might show up to their farm and seize it for redistribution to poor blacks and illegal immigrants. Or they'll show up in tanks and burn them out, like Waco or Ruby Ridge. Or some other moonbeam fantasy that AM talk radio hosts dream up to keep their listeners paranoid and tuned in.

      If any legislative changes come out of this shooting, it'll be to get more guns into schools, not fewer.

      1. inmypjs Silver badge

        "and their advocacy groups, such as the NRA!"

        That is just bollocks. The 'abortion' industry spends about the same as the NRA on political lobbying and support. The unions spend about 50 times more.

        The idea that politicians are NRA thralls or even influenced by them is pure libtard bollocks. They are influenced by the 40 odd % of Americans that keep guns in their homes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "The idea that politicians are NRA thralls or even influenced by them is pure libtard bollocks"

          Looking at that list of donations by politician, then, the nearly $7 million they gave one of them, and the over $3 million they gave to Rubio, must be seen as complete altruism. The top two together got more money from the NRA than the Russians are accused of spending to get Trump elected. Impressive that the NRA expected and got nothing for it.

          1. inmypjs Silver badge

            "money from the NRA than the Russians"

            Wow one bit of libtard bollocks is bigger than another bit of libtard bollocks.

            In 2016 labour unions spent $1.7 billion on politics and lobbying.

            Even the politifact Libtards can only make all NRA political spending add up to $302M over the last 19 years. Planned Parenthood spent $38M in 2016 alone.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Suicides...

        Usually, they took one life only, theirs, and not tens of others. Most suicides don't use firearms.

        If this guy had took his life, instead of killing others, I would have had nothing to object, I believe you can do whatever you like of your body and life, but not of others'.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Suicides...

          And if that life happened to be a breadwinner on whom others depended? No one lives in isolation, you know?

      3. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Homicide

        "About half of those deaths are suicides. Some countries do not count suicides by firearm as homicides like the US does. "

        Homicide is the catch all term for a person dying as a result of a persons actions. Suicide, or even accidental death at your own hands is inherently a homicide.

        Hence homicide rates and causes of homicides can be compared, and hopefully prevented.

        Suicide versus accidental death can be hard to prove without other evidence of a persons state of mind. But a bullet in the head is a firearm homicide whether it's deliberate or a really unlucky negligent discharge.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Homicide

          Thing is, if the gun wasn't there, would the homicides just shift to other means. That's why I mentioned the high suicide rates in low-gun countries like Japan. They just jump in front of trains, jump off buildings, or poison themselves instead.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Such a polarising topic, my original comment pointed out the mistakes made by both sides but it seems I've been pegged as a gun loving republican. Who knew people get blinded ...

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "America is 11th per 100,000 deaths by firearms.

      Not trolling but when you have a larger population these things are bound to happen, this statement is from facts."

      wow, way to show how dumb you are, notice it says "per 100,000" that means the size of the population has been taken into account Mr Troll.

    7. TheVogon Silver badge

      "Not trolling but when you have a larger population these things are bound to happen"

      So why doesn't it happen in say China then?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same games played elsewhere

    FPS games are played in other countries, yet strangely they don't have the same effect.

    UK School shootings in the last decade - 0

    Australia School shootings in the last decade - 0

    Canada School shootings in the last decade - 1 (La Roche)

    US school shootings this year - Accounts vary, but certainly greater than the combined total of the UK, Australia and Canada for the previous decade.

    This wiki article lists 10 (take with usual wiki required sack of salt)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shootings_in_the_United_States#2018

    Other accounts state that the number is as high as 18.

    So, is it that US players are affected differently to players in otherwise similar English speaking countries? They cannot distinguish fantasy from reality? They are morons?

    Or is it just possibly the fact that a fuckload of firearms are freely available could be the differentiating factor?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Same games played elsewhere

      Ever thought it really IS the former combined with building resentment? Which in other countries would be vented by, say, joining an extremist group that's easier to reach there than here?

  12. Hardrada

    Two year waiting period, anyone?

    The lack of a waiting period is relevant to gun control in general, but not to this case unless the story author is proposing a period of over a year.

    He's correct that Republicans and the NRA are cherry-picking the US Constitution, but a devil's advocate can find instances of Democrats and gun control advocates doing so in the opposite direction. For example, arguing that the 2nd Amendment is obsolete due to changes in technology could open the door to similar arguments about the 1st. (You no longer need to stand on a soap box, and the number of people you might be able to incite is orders of magnitude larger.)

    What's missing from both of those arguments is that enforcement has also improved. The violence we currently have in the US is not even remotely close to what he had when the National Firearms Act was passed. An even more dramatic change is how effective enforcement agencies have become at catching people who commit it. A thug in the 1920s could kill occasionally and get away with it for years; now someone with a grudge has essentially no choice but to do as much damage as possible in an hour because the SWAT team will be there by then.

    It's also hard to come up with an argument for gun control that isn't an argument for alcohol prohibition. When you tally the murders and domestic violence incidents in which the attacker was drunk, rapes involving the same, fatal accidents and cirrhosis deaths, fetal alcohol syndrome and associated violence, and traffic deaths, the human cost is similar and maybe larger.

    There are also few people who could claim a genuine need for ethyl alcohol under the strict standards that are used for gun ownership in many places. (Pick a utilitarian application for it, and there's a better, safer technology: portable water-makers and -purifiers, refrigeration, safer preservatives, non-abusable oral disinfectants and better mechanical cleaning methods.)

    I enjoy a Newcastle now and then, so I'm simply pointing out that the public-interest arguments used by gun-control advocates would make it hard to defend my freedom to do so. I don't really *need* it, and the ready availability of liquor (with no waiting period and no background check for past drunk driving convictions - even fatal ones) costs perhaps 50,000 lives in each year in the US.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Two year waiting period, anyone?

      But which is worse? Alcohol-related deaths or the Anarchy drawn by Prohibition?

    2. Reaps

      Re: Two year waiting period, anyone?

      "It's also hard to come up with an argument for gun control that isn't an argument for alcohol prohibition. "

      Way to miss the point dumb ass, is alcohols main purpose to kill things?

      guns main purpose is to kill stuff.

      stop with the "whataboutism", it makes you sound like a f**king idiot.

      1. Hardrada

        Re: Two year waiting period, anyone?

        @ Reaps: "Way to miss the point [esteemed colleague], is alcohols main purpose to kill things? guns main purpose is to kill stuff."

        I have some personal experience with the comparison you're trying to draw between deliberate and accidental death:

        I was nearly stabbed when I was in grade school (with something that would have gone right through me), and I've been T-boned by a driver who went out-of-turn at a stop sign while I was biking home from work.

        The former was scarier, but mainly because I was younger at the time and the car wasn't going very fast. Based on that experience, I would prefer tangling with a guy holding a six-inch knife to facing down a car going 30 mph or more.

        Given the complete lack of a utilitarian purpose for ethyl alcohol, your argument seems a bit odd. Guns at least have some niche uses that haven't been replaced by something better:

        - Chemical irritants work very well against bears and muggers, but you can't use them into the wind or indoors.

        - Tasers are very effective when they work, but both of the barbs have to hit, and they won't go through thick clothing.

        - Ketamine darts are too slow (minutes) and Ketamine is a controlled substance.

        When I lived on a mountain outside of Seattle, one of my neighbors found a cougar eating his dogs. He shot it. I don't blame him. I've also stopped to help people in rough parts of Minneapolis at times when I might not have if I'd been unarmed. Those people never knew that I was carrying a weapon - only that I was friendly and helped them change their flat tire or let them use my phone.

        Strong doors and rolling shutters would be a good alternative to guns for urban home defense, but the people who need them most tend to be renters who relocate frequently. It's also theoretically possible to make a dart that would penatrate a limited distance and deliver a fast-acting sedative like fentanyl (another controlled substance), but a thick sweater over a leather jacket would defeat it. It would also be pretty lethal without respiratory aid.

        > stop with the "whataboutism", it makes you sound like a f**king idiot.

        I'll admit that I enjoy a good shag, but the other part surely has more to do with your morning pint.

        (Also note that I didn't bother to downvote you. Thanks for the laugh.)

        1. Hardrada

          Re: Two year waiting period, anyone?

          It should have read: 'It's possible to make a dart that would penetrate a limited distance and deliver a fast-acting sedative... but a thick sweater UNDER a leather jacket would defeat it.'

          The engineering challenge is penetrating hard clothing without over-penetrating and killing kinetically.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Two year waiting period, anyone?

        "Way to miss the point dumb ass, is alcohols main purpose to kill things?"

        YES! It's a POISON. People literally make themselves SICK with it...AND LOVE IT! And let's not start on all the trouble that comes with reduced inhibitions and so on...

        Yet the 1920's PROVED people would rather turn their backs on their country than on their vice.

  13. Herbert Meyer
    Angel

    the answer

    Eventually Miss Mercer or DeVos or one of the other droids will say that the way to prevent School Shootings is Home Schooling. You should not herd children together into Public School Target Zones, but keep them safe at home. Presumably a well armed, Christian home.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    27

    What do you call it when 27 Americans are murdered by guns?

    An average day.

    --

    Condolences to those affected.

  15. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Something is definitely f'ed up with our society

    When I was a kid I had a lot of access to firearms. And like everyone else I had good and bad days, good mates and bullies. But if problems needed solving ... at most we would use our fists. Maybe a knife but that's more for show and intimidation t. I grew up in an absolute hell hole of a rust belt town. But at some level we still respected life. It literally never would have occurred to me to use a lethal weapon... Nor did it seem to occur to very many other people.

    I do believe that video games desensitize people to killing. Why? Because I see many parallels in the dehumanization of enemies in the games to what I've experienced in military training. Taking human life is an inherently unnatural act. To make men (or boys apparently) go over that line you've got to objectify the enemy and normalize violence. I grew up blasting aliens. That's ok because they are not human... Then we get zombies. Human, but that's ok because they are possessed. Now we no longer pretend in games at all, we "whack" humans at 100+ frames per second. That's ok?

    Well, maybe not. There is a slippery slope here. Looking back at basic training.. similar. Hell, the US Army is using a first person shooter game as a recruiting tool!

    At this point I'd say gun control has got to be part of how the problem is addressed. I don't need a high capacity mag semiautomatic rifle for hunting or sport. If I can't get a varmit on a single shot, my marksmanship needs some work. Lacking highly lethal small arms will not make one's murderous impulses go away but maybe we can reduce the carnage.

    Yes, addressing violence in media and games... Addressing insane gun laws... Neither is a complete solution. Something is very wrong in society. But you've got to start somewhere.

    My one fear of gun control is the fact that our police are armed to the teeth and not particularly trustworthy. That may be a problem.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Something is definitely f'ed up with our society

      "Because I see many parallels in the dehumanization of enemies in the games to what I've experienced in military training. "

      Therein lies an important point. Humans usually only find it relatively easy to kill another person if they are convinced that person is "other". That is a cultural problem when a society breeds an attitude of "us against them" in many areas.

      The USA has that problem today. The UK is going that way - as are other countries where populist demagogues are preaching "purity and separation" as a quick fix.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    America Fuck Yeah

    < What causes Blindness... >

    < Does America have an IQ-problem or a Self-Awareness problem... >

  17. Les Matthew

    I'll believe it

    when they start using Magic Missile.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Supreme Court is to blame

    No one is pointing to the real problem. The blood of innocents is on the hands of supreme court justices who voted in favor of individual right vs. collective rights for gun ownership as outlined in the second amendment. The SCOTUS decision strengthened the gun lobby funded organization NRA which made everyone believe that gun ownership for the purpose of recreation and hunting is somehow a constitutional right. This has led to a significant weakening of gun control laws and dumb arguments like "guns don't kill people, people kill people", "cars also kill people so ban them", "bad guys will always get guns", "knives can also kill people" and so on. As a party, Republicans are to blame because they advocate for lax gun control laws.

    The gun lobbyists blame gun violence on mental illness, a myth, which has been proven wrong by experts in field of mental health. No such connection exists.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Supreme Court is to blame

      This issue would change if there were no private money in politics; no lobbying; and pols and high level bureaucrats had a five year wait to work for companies in industries they'd affected. There are a few very well run countries with rules like this.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: The Supreme Court is to blame

        But any with as large of diverse a population? Saying your country can do it better is one thing, but can you say that while managing some 400 million people at once? As I recall, only India and China have larger total populations, and neither I would consider shining models of government.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        if there were no private money in politics; no lobbying

        You mean corruption of your elected politicians by minorities with the money to buy their votes, well yeah corruption in office should be classed as the treachury it is, i.e. hanging is too good for them

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The Supreme Court is to blame

        Very true, absolutely 100% correct. But there is a reason why lobbyists' money makes a difference and it is not solely politicians. People are their own enemies. All politicians like to win elections to stay in power, some have truly altruistic motives, some to line their own pockets.

        So, if a politician decides to go against the gun lobby, guess what would they do? They would spend millions of dollars on TV ads trying to convince people that Mr. XYZ is coming for your guns. Majority of people in US are so stupid that they believe this drivel and would vote the politician out. The politicians do not have that kind of money to counter these ads. No one wants to be voted out. So they start making compromises.

        It is a vicious cycle and the root cause is that in US, the president gets to nominate the supreme court justices (at least few of them). Historically, the supreme court justices have always voted in tune with the president. Unless there is separation of politics and judicial system, unless the politicians can work without the fear of lobbyists, bad things will continue will happen.

        Only people can change the system through their votes, but when the votes are swayed by a one minute TV ad, nothing will change. In any democratic system, people get what they choose.

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          I have a cunning plan my Lord

          @AC

          "So, if a politician decides to go against the gun lobby, guess what would they do? They would spend millions of dollars on TV ads trying to convince people that Mr. XYZ is coming for your guns. Majority of people in US are so stupid that they believe this drivel and would vote the politician out. "

          How about if a high-profile, non-politician (Oprah?) decided to stand for election on a serious ban-all-guns ticket? They wouldn't need to spend money on TV ads, but the NRA would have to spend a fortune. The candidate would lose, but winning wasn't the intention. Draining the NRA bank-balance is the intention, even the gun-nuts don't have unlimited pockets. Rinse and repeat. Eventually they'll run out of money and a serious politician can give it a try.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: I have a cunning plan my Lord

            "Draining the NRA bank-balance is the intention, even the gun-nuts don't have unlimited pockets."

            Yes they do. It's called fundraisers. Combine this with a "cold, dead fingers" mentality, and people will sooner bankrupt themselves than give up their arms for fear the government will oppress them.

            1. hplasm Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: I have a cunning plan my Lord

              "...people will sooner bankrupt themselves than give up their arms for fear the government will oppress them."

              No problem. The gun nuts are generally anti social-care payments too. They can reap what they sow when their money runs out.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: I have a cunning plan my Lord

                You mean WE'LL reap it, you mean. I mean the whirlwind that'll result from millions of dead-ended people with nothing left to lose.

  19. Hans 1 Silver badge

    USian Logic

    Violent video games [...] blamed

    What a relief, there I was thinking they would blame Kinder surprise eggs ...

    Seriously, could you not at least get rid of the big and/or [semi-]automatic weapons and maybe, just maybe, you could think about blaming your education system as well? We have violent video games in Europe as well and no mass shootings ... except terrorist attacks, not quite the same as school boys ...

    I know, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rR9IaXH1M0

  20. DavCrav Silver badge

    “There are video games that, yes, are listed for mature audiences, but kids play them and everybody knows it, and there’s nothing to prevent the child from playing them,”

    Fixing it for you:

    “There are guns that, yes, are listed for mature audiences, but kids play with them and everybody knows it, and there’s nothing to prevent the child from playing with them,”

  21. Sanguma

    stranger in a strange land

    I like flash fiction:

    https://antisf.com/the-stories/marhaen-sukarno-in-las-vegas

    Maybe they should look at licensing people who want to commit mass murder, since they've already licensed serial killers in the form of the various Police Depts across the US of A. Then there's the Right to Bear Arms - 6 months or 9 months? which is more likely, folks?

    http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10063/20130404-0048/www.antisf.com.au/the-stories/to-bear-arms.html

  22. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Legislation can save lives.

    It's always difficult to prove, but since handguns were banned in thee UK after Dunblane, 20 years ago, we've not had any more school shootings. The US has had 18 in 6 weeks this year. Possibly coincidence...

    Someone elsewhere in a lovely bit of whataboutery said that 10,000+ people are killed in car incidents involving drunk drivers, but no-one is calling for a ban on cars or alcohol. Actually really not a good example. In the UK we decided to leave cars and alcohol alone, but come down hard on the combination. Drink driving was explicitly banned in the UK in 1967. By 1979 (first year of statistics) there were 1640 deaths on the road where one driver was drunk. Last year it was 200. And it's been down to a consistent 230-240 for the last six years. So, just since 2010 that's nearly 10,000 alive now who would otherwise have been dead in a wrecked car. (Probably more actually, given the increased number of people and cars and access to cheap booze) - we changed the law, but equally importantly, we changed people's ideas. It is not acceptable to drink and drive in the UK now.

    Just sayin'...

    1. Hardrada

      Re: Legislation can save lives.

      @ Anonymous Coward: "At some stage, we all have to accept that this is the country that the Americans have chosen. As a Brit I find it baffling that anyone would accept [it.] ... However, despite constant hand wringing and many attempts to "do something about it" after every tragedy, I can only conclude on the basis of outcomes that this is the country they want."

      If you want to understand it, it might help to look at where many immigrants to the US have come from:

      - Silesians and Pomeranians fleeing the Prussian draft.

      - Irish fleeing the potato famines

      - Small-time businesspeople fleeing Cuba

      - Cambodians fleeing the Khmer Rouge (including a friend of mine)

      - Various members of Continental European underclasses

      - Motivated people who just wanted a bit more freedom.

      (I was shocked when I read Lieutenant W. Leefe Robinson's after-action report on his downing of SL 11 and saw that it was signed "Your obedient servant" - BUT that didn't cause me to cluck condescendingly at Great Britain.)

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Legislation can save lives.

        Put it this way. It would seem, to most Americans, if one or the other extreme is inevitable long-term, they would prefer "every man for himself" anarchy to the "papers, please" police state. Plus, there are still plenty who remember the Cold War.

    2. Hardrada

      Re: Legislation can save lives.

      @ Pen-y-gors:"Someone elsewhere in a lovely bit of whataboutery said that 10,000+ people are killed in car incidents involving drunk drivers, but no-one is calling for a ban on cars or alcohol. Actually really not a good example. In the UK we decided to leave cars and alcohol alone, but come down hard on the combination. Drink driving was explicitly banned in the UK in 1967. By 1979 (first year of statistics) there were 1640 deaths on the road where one driver was drunk. Last year it was 200. And it's been down to a consistent 230-240 for the last six years."

      The US has similar rules governing alcohol in combination with both cars and guns. The former were enacted during roughly the same period that you mention, albeit with less extreme results: We used to attribute roughly half of fatal auto accidents to alcohol, but by the time the total number of deaths peaked several years ago, it was down to a third.

      It's complicated to estimate because US states use different definitions of intoxication, and reporting is inconsistent both geographically and over time.

      Where I am, it's illegal to carry a pistol if you have any detectable alcohol in your blood. (The standard for driving is 0.08%.) It's also illegal to carry one in public without a permit.

      (I mis-posted my reply to @AC here, and it should have been more explicit: A lot of the aforementioned immigrants had very bad experiences with government and don't trust it to be their sole protector. That doesn't mean that they don't appreciate it or make use of it when it works. My Irish ancestors fled Great Britain for the Americas only to be stuck in a war among Englishmen when the Colonists declared independence. They left for Quebec. They did not hate the British or the Colonists - or the Protestants for that matter. In fact one generation was married in a Protestant church. They were just free-spirited frontier people who didn't want to be caught in collective wars. )

  23. Christian Berger Silver badge

    The culprit is obvious: Schools

    http://www.der-postillon.com/2018/02/nra-schulen.html

    And of course, humans:

    http://www.the-postillon.com/2017/11/guns-dont-kill-people-people-do.html

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The culprit is obvious: Schools

      YES! Schools and people are the problem! Guns don't kill people! People kill people!

  24. Banksy

    Not this again...

    How many more studies do there have to be that show that video games do not cause violence before dipshits like this senator understand that they do not?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Not this again...

      Show us one where a recent rampager couldn't have been influenced by video games...because he or she never had access to them. THAT will be the only way they're convinced.

  25. MJI Silver badge

    Shooter games

    In shooting games you are usually either dealing with aliens, or in a warzone, if not you are being attacked and need to survive.

    I have NEVER seen a game where you have to kill lots of school kids, yes I have played games will killings on school property, but one was people infected with Cordyceps and another feral ghouls. NOT children.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shooter games

      In general to get someone to kill other people as a matter of course they need to believe the victims are "other". Even when someone is mentally ill - that perception is probably still necessary to override empathy.

      That often means a definition as "subhuman" - but otherwise could be a perception of some "threat".

      To put other people into such categories is down to the culture of a society in promoting "them against us" polarised ways of thinking across the board.

      Those who quote the biblical Commandment "Thou shalt not kill" - should remember that it was meant to apply only to those within a small society who conformed to certain dogma. People who did not conform - or were from rival societies - were explicitly defined as fair game or even compulsory targets.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shooter games

        "Those who quote the biblical Commandment "Thou shalt not kill" - should remember that it was meant to apply only to those within a small society who conformed to certain dogma. People who did not conform - or were from rival societies - were explicitly defined as fair game or even compulsory targets."

        What about Hindus, where they're religiously commanded not to kill even the tiniest fly because it could be a reincarnated relative of theirs or something?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Shooter games

          "What about Hindus, where they're religiously commanded not to kill even the tiniest fly [...]"

          The modern ones seem fairly keen on killing those who are not Hindus - or those of the Hindu "Dalat" lowest caste who breach the Hindu system's job/rank preservation rules.

          Jainism is the Indian religion whose monks wear masks to avoid the possibility of killing a fly. There are various sub-sects from many schisms - but their central core is non-violence.

          Buddhists are also supposed to be non-violent - but recent events in Myanmar have definitely contradicted that. At a monastery in Macau they have a public restaurant that follows their generally vegetarian principles. It was a surprise to find fried oysters on the menu. Apparently that is where they draw the line at "sentient" life.

          The nominally Christian*** Quakers are a religion whose members have proved many times to be conscientious objectors to war - at great personal cost. They often undertook some of the most dangerous unarmed jobs in support of the wounded on the battlefield.

          ***Many Christian organised religious groups dispute that the Quakers are Christian. Their philosophy is non-hierarchical - and all about personal conscience.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shooter games

        @ "In general to get someone to kill other people as a matter of course they need to believe the victims are "other" ", well "it is okay to kill them they are not human like us" does make it easier to override society's training against murder but killing is something that humans do and have done since before we evolved from "animals". Otherwise it would not be necessary to put "do not kill" as a rule for tolerant societies and include it in Bible etc.

        So since people can and will kill then without society making killing and violent behaviour seens as abhorant then it will become acceptable. That people enjoy violence in entertainment shows that there is an innate attraction.With this in mind, it is clear that tolerance of violence in any form dilutes societies teachings but unltimate hmans are violent.

        So yes violence in video games, TV, movies all conflict with the message society is trying to have accepted i.e. don't kill people. That being said, humans are able to hold conflicting idiologies and attempt to live by them even though they are mutually exclusive. So on the one hand we have societies need for stablity and a feeling of safety against the fact that not all societies put the the same value on sanctity of human life and not every individual accepts societies teachings to the same degree.

        Ultimately you can either accept that humans are violent by nature and control the damage possible when an individual lashes out or you can attempt to pretend that people are all good/bad as extremes and ignore the problem so it keeps biting you in the ass when reality doesnt coincide with your ideals.

        All humans have the potential to kill, society can control this tendancy with, per individual, levels of success but if you want to stop people killing each other then that would require radical change to the breed.

        So on the question of why there are more killings by guns in the US then there is no question that it is directly related to the availiblity of firearms, exposure to the idea that violence in any form is okay (standing armies, "killing in self defence", media presenting violence as entertainment, societies use of violence as a punishement, violence in parenting and any druf that reducues the individuals ability to suopress violence tendancies) however if you were able to clamped down on violence completely and even quietly dispose of the individuals with the highest tendencies for violence it would still exist albeit in a much more limited form simply because it is who we are.

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: Shooter games

          In considering another person as 'other', perhaps the US political system with it's excessively partisan outlook should bear some of the blame.

          It would be helpful if the people running the country could show that reasoned compromise rather than rabid ranting at the 'others' was the way forward.

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Shooter games

          Where else but the US do you see so many different cultures butting heads with each other? I recall that the biggest chunk of homicides in the US are criminal-on-criminal: related to gang wars between rivals disagreeing over culture or fighting for turf. Take them and the suicides away, neither of which are going to go away even if you take the guns away, and the end result isn't as bleak as it looks.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Shooter games

            "Where else but the US do you see so many different cultures butting heads with each other?"

            Many European countries - particularly those that had colonial empires. Immigrant communities usually preserve the traditions and cultural outlook of their original country for at least a couple of generations.

            The USA's major immigration by specific communities stopped several generations ago.

            Even within what might be called the indigenous populations in Europe there are fracture lines based on geography within a country - and on perceived ranking in society.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Shooter games

              "Many European countries - particularly those that had colonial empires. Immigrant communities usually preserve the traditions and cultural outlook of their original country for at least a couple of generations."

              But many have been insulated by the influence of the colonizers (creating a common ground) whereas many of the immigrants to the US came directly, keeping most of their cultures intact, raising the potential for culture shock.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Shooter games

                "But many have been insulated by the influence of the colonizers (creating a common ground) [...]"

                A colonised country adopts and perpetuates the colonisers' culture of that time. Wind the clock on and you find that the colonising country's culture has changed - but the colony less so. The Anglican Communion is a perfect example of that - with African/Asian churches holding to Victorian dogma and colonial laws that deny human rights to many people.

                Nowadays people from the Scandinavian countries are often surprised to find that their US relations have a social culture that is still representative of their major emigration era.

                The same could be said of the USA in general. It has unusually high religious observances for a first world country. That is a legacy from the waves of immigrants over several hundred years - many of who were already at odds with liberalisation in their original countries. The South African Afrikaners in the 1970s were shocked by the then liberal culture in the Netherlands.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Shooter games

          "Otherwise it would not be necessary to put "do not kill" as a rule for tolerant societies and include it in Bible etc."

          The Ten Commandments cover the behaviour that is likely to disrupt the social cohesion of a small tribal group. The laws in Leviticus allow, and even demand, the killing of those outside that tribal group - or its members who do not conform to the tribal laws effected as religious dogma.

          While a mob of any size can often be incited to mindless violence - many pastimes are societal safety valves to channel that aggression, often vicariously, away from disruptive conflict.

          Steven Pinker's book "The Better Angels of Our Nature" (2011) explores the nature of violence in human societies and argues the trend has been towards reduction. He does attach a caveat that the trend is reversible if a society's general culture becomes intolerant and less educated.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Shooter games

            The laws in leviticus also allowed safe cities for those who had committed crimes, rights for slaves and immigrants - so its not quite as simple as you make out.

  26. MJI Silver badge

    Idiot

    Not just the village idiot.

    Not even the city idiot.

    He has made state idiot.

    Well done!

  27. Triumphantape

    Not so sure about video games, but violent TV, movies and the constant coverage by the news media definitely gives some of the weaker minds out there ideas.

    Humans are an imitative species, we are very good at it, and I feel the excessive media influences copycatting.

    If it bleeds it leads... indeed.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Guns should be almost totally banned

    For the vast majority of people, there is no good reason to have a gun. The UK changed its gun laws substantially after massacres in Hungerford and Dunblane (e.g. see https://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/17/world/europe/dunblane-lessons/index.html ). Farmers can still get shotguns and there are some rifles for hunting. But, for example, the laws recognise that no typical citizen should be allowed a handgun.

    These changes seem to have helped - at least somewhat - as one would expect. And the only down-side is so minor it can be ignored (some people who liked hand-gun shooting, as a sport, were disappointed).

    Arguments such as home defence have no real force. Obviously, I would be annoyed and/or terrified if someone stole my posessions or attacked me in my home. If I had a gun, I might be tempted to point it at them and there's some chance it would go off. Would that make things better? No - instead of a burglary, we'd end up with a burglary and a shooting.

    Why the USA still has so many guns is mysterious to me, and distressing. Depending on how one parses the sentence in the Constitution, there's not even - necessarily - a constitutional right for individuals to bear firearms.

    There's presumably a separate, valid discussion to be had about video games. But it's not "either or". I'm sure plenty of shootings are done by people who don't play video games much.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Guns should be almost totally banned

      "But, for example, the laws recognise that no typical citizen should be allowed a handgun."

      What about "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away"?

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: Guns should be almost totally banned

        Doesn't seem to come up much, as most of our criminals don't carry a gun either.

        Push comes to shove and you have no choice, you grab the nearest object and twat the bastard as hard as you can.

        The primary aim being to get into a safer situation. Don't ask me why but we just don't get a boner for killing someone like some of your gun owners do.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Guns should be almost totally banned

          Because home invasions frequently present cornering situations, especially if the resident is being deliberately targeted as for a rape. This also tends to present knife-in-a-gun-fight situations where lack of parity tends to mean you lose.

    2. rh587 Bronze badge

      Re: Guns should be almost totally banned

      For the vast majority of people, there is no good reason to have a gun. The UK changed its gun laws substantially after massacres in Hungerford and Dunblane (e.g. see https://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/17/world/europe/dunblane-lessons/index.html ).

      Probably worth noting the UK had zero school shootings in the 150 years prior to Dunblane. And none since. A sample size of 1 is not sufficient to claim that the laws had any sort of effect...

      Farmers can still get shotguns and there are some rifles for hunting.

      And tens of thousands of people shoot through target clubs. I have a number of rifles at home, none of which will ever be used to take a life - whether of a prey animal or human. They are designed explicitly for target shooting and optimised to that purpose and frankly would be a mare to lug about in a field.

      But, for example, the laws recognise that no typical citizen should be allowed a handgun.

      You state that as if it is some sort of universal truth. Yet we are unique in Europe for such a prohibition. And we do make exceptions for the GB squad to keep and use their pistols in the UK, which represents an admission by government that not only are there legitimate uses, but that such ownership can be managed safely with no risk to the public. As is the ownership by certain game keepers and vets of revolvers for humane dispatch where a captive-bolt is inappropriate. The Czech Republic even has concealed carry but on account of their serious, non-casual approach to it, they do not have the problems that the US does.

      These changes seem to have helped - at least somewhat - as one would expect.

      Citation required. As the BBC reported in 2001, handgun crime rose 40% after Dunblane. Not because of Dunblane or the prohibition, but because there was a general rise in gang-on-gang violence and the smuggling of black market firearms into the UK. The 1997 prohibition did absolutely nothing to prevent this rise in crime (which was driven by smuggled firearms that had never touched the UK white market), and indeed crime levels only tailed off as a result of enforcement programmes like Operation Trident.

      The 1997 prohibition did nothing other than put a bunch of pistol-specialist gunsmiths out of business (yay for small business). Rates for firearm-related violence are defined entirely by how much effort the Police put into tackling organised crime.

      A couple of good things did come out of Dunblane - the computerised NFLMS (for all it's flaws) makes it much easier for intelligence to be cross-referenced. The Police took over a decade to realise Thomas Hamilton was a wrong-un, and it was then a failure of Policing (refusal to revoke his Certificate by senior officers) that ultimately allowed the Dunblane Massacre to unfold. They knew, they were complacent, they sat and did nothing. These days intelligence sharing between Police departments is instant, and the public is safer for it. You could reintroduce target pistol shooting into Approved Clubs today and the public would be perfectly safe - safer than they were in 1995, 1965 or 1905 (when there were also no school shootings).

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Guns should be almost totally banned

        "Citation required."

        See citation already provided, https://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/17/world/europe/dunblane-lessons/index.html

  29. Wolfclaw Silver badge
    WTF?

    Can't remember a video game killing anybody, just sicko's with real guns, those with vested interests and politicians in their pockets will use any excuse to stop gun control laws. Maybe they would change their minds if it ever happened to, let say a school with kids belong to politicians ???

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Politicians have been DIRECTLY targeted in the past (some killed like two of the Kennedys) with little to show for it.

  30. Matt_payne666

    People will hurt people... there is no way to stop that, its human nature... but its the tools that are available which decides the ferocity of the attack... from fists, to knives, to bullets, the damage is exponential.

    Over here, guns are heavily restricted - no handguns, shotguns are limited to 3 rounds, and certainly no high fire rate rifles...

    taking a UK spec shotgun into a packed school would be devastating, no question, probably moreso than a standard handgun... but with every projectile the odds of scoring a hit goes up - 6 rounds in a revolver = you would have to be a pretty good shot to make each count, but put 30-100 rounds inside an automatic the odds of hitting more targets starts to look better...

    Let the americans have their guns, gun are a great hobby and the majority of users are responsible, but maybe, like the UK limit the number of rounds allowed in a magazine - physically shorter 5-10 capacity will still allow recreational use or at a push - self defence, but in the hands of a lunatic having to pause to change magazines may give the valuable few seconds for the situation to defuse.

    Yes, modification and illegal magazines would negate that ruling, but the lunatic that is busy amassing blackmarket equipment is a different sort of motivated to the disillusioned maniac that is just using readily available over the counter supplies...

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Over the counter supplies can still allow for Molotov cocktails, fertilizer bombs, even homemade guns. That gene's well out of the bottle. Remember, the worst nonmilitary massacres in US history didn't use guns.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "[...] but in the hands of a lunatic having to pause to change magazines may give the valuable few seconds for the situation to defuse."

      Mass shootings have involved the shooter having to change magazines several times. Military style weapons are designed for a quick change in battle. Notice how many times in war zones you see two magazines taped together - so only an inversion action is needed rather than pulling one from the body.

      Even where intervention is possible at close range - it needs people to make a potentially suicidal counter-attack - rather than a self-preservation retreat. Enough time to defuse a situation verbally is possible only when the shooter voluntarily pauses.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's not only how many rounds you fire, but also the caliber and type of bullets. Those guns fire high-speed bullets designed to create maximum damage to targets because of the very force of impact and bullet design. They can also easily get past any light protection you could find.

        Self-defense weapons may be designed to simply "disable" an attacker with far less lethal effects unless critical organs are directly hit. Assault rifles and ammunition are designed to kill as much as they can, and even those who survive may sustain lifetime injuries.

        It also means whoever needs to face them has to be far more protected and armed - and if you turn any ground into a battlefield, "collateral damages" can escalate quickly as well.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Assault rifles and ammunition are designed to kill as much as they can, and even those who survive may sustain lifetime injuries."

          IIRC a .45 handgun can kill just by the shock to the blood system - without having to hit any vital spot.

    3. rh587 Bronze badge

      but maybe, like the UK limit the number of rounds allowed in a magazine - physically shorter 5-10 capacity

      The only magazine limits in the UK are on shotguns. Rifle magazines - whether semi-auto, bolt action, lever action or straight-pull are entirely unregulated. I can use a 5-rd mag or a 100-rd drum mag (if I'm feeling flush and can afford the ammo!).

  31. Matt_payne666

    oh, and the video game side of things.... I cant remember any game, let alone all the games, where you walk into a school and shoot your classmates... as for bonus points "where you get extra points for finishing someone off who’s lying there begging for their life." I'm not sure what games he plays... but they are pretty hardcore!!!

    the closest thing I can think of is the airport scene on Call of duty something or other, which was a 20 second glorified cut scene. and certainly no more or less brain damaging than stuff on the telly.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      There are rampage type games outh there - Postal being one series. But even then I don't remember there being a school or anything like that.

      Mind you, it's irrelevant because nothing will desensitise an impressionable mind like there being a school shooting on the news every other day, inevitably followed by politicians making excuses for it to avoid having to actually deal with the issue.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is what the US has chosen

    At some stage, we all have to accept that this is the country that the Americans have chosen. As a Brit I find it baffling that anyone would accept a situation where there is a non-zero chance that their kids will be shot to death at school, or that attending a concert could be the last thing you do, or attending a gay club, or any of the other gun-related incidents in recent years.

    However, despite constant hand wringing and many attempts to "do something about it" after every tragedy, I can only conclude on the basis of outcomes that this is the country they want.

    The individual stories are heartbreaking, but at some stage we just have to accept that if the American populace cared that deeply about any of this, it would have been fixed by now, ergo it is an active choice.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: This is what the US has chosen

      IOW, forced into a choice, Americans prefer Anarchy to the Police State, especially given recent examples like Ruby Ridge, Waco, and the "martial law" seizures following Katrina.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is what the US has chosen

        "[...] Americans prefer Anarchy to the Police State [...]"

        It is my impression that the USA is a "police state". Big city or small town - the law enforcement agencies often seem to consist of people elected to make their own rules and be above the law themselves.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: This is what the US has chosen

          Thus the paramilitaries to counter them.

  33. dsralston

    Video games bad

    Odd, I've played video games and violent video games most of my life and never killed anything besides a few animals. Just maybe, perhaps, video games aren't the problem and it's the lack of parenting skills by certain demographics to be engaged and interactive with their children. Just maybe it's the acceptance by some in our society that taking a life in the womb is no different than taking a life out of the womb. You all cry about the 17 that are now dead - but couldn't give two shits about the over 800 every day that are willingly murdered by their mom via planned parenthood.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Video games bad

      "[...] but couldn't give two shits about the over 800 every day that are willingly murdered by their mom via planned parenthood."

      It would help if those states against "planned parenthood" would recognise that people need well-rounded sex education and access to reliable contraceptives - to avoid the use of abortions as a contraceptive.

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Video games bad

      Odd, I've played video games and violent video games most of my life and never killed anything besides a few animals

      Poor shot then? Mind you, those damn Cougars in GTA V

      I've played video games and violent video games most of my life and only got one lousy T-shirt what I mostly killed was <u>Time</u>.

      but couldn't give two shits about the over 800 every day that are willingly murdered by their mom via planned parenthood.

      Ah, fruit and nut-job then.....Carry On!!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And a few other things too

    Violent video games - a good start. Add to that, extreme public sexuality, violent movies, violent TV and cable programs, little accountability for one's actions, diminishing morality, vilifying the police, declining religious participation (so no place to learn morality, it's not happening at home), lessening parent accountability for child actions, more permissive drug and alcohol use, declining respect for national values, institutions and identity, rising hedonism, rampant focus on social media, declining respect for the legal process, declining understanding of our economic system, declining understanding of our government system, an emphasis on victim-hood, partisan news reporting, conflation of gender... to name a few other areas of concern. Maybe just "societal breakdown" would be a better description. We have met the enemy and he is us. We are doing it to ourselves. No one else is to blame.

  35. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: The AR-15 has been available for sale to the public since 1964

      You'd have thought violence would've come sooner given games like Cannon Fodder, Wolfenstein 3D, Blake Stone, and Doom had been around for longer than that (and note, the former three featured human targets and blood and guts).

  36. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    So what do we blame for Governor Matt then?

  37. FuzzyTheBear
    Coat

    People dont matter ..

    Only gun manufacturer's bottom line does.

    They will do everything to protect the bottom line of their shareholders.

    Lives dont matter. They wont give up a penny to save lives.

    So stay tuned , Americans will suffer again and again.

    But the shareholders wont and they wont frown at cashing the cheques even if it's covered by the blood of innocent kids.

    Shareholders of those companies are the ones with the blood on their hands.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: People dont matter ..

      One could almost draw a parallel with the tobacco manufacturers...

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No doubt the solution will be more guns and less video games. BUT MORE PROFIT. So that's ok then...

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Ironically the video game industry is most likely much more profitable than the gun industry, but with much worse lobbying.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Violent games? But where were the parents?

    You see... When I showed signed of misbehavior because the Hulk was an awesome TV series and I knew I could smash through that door we had in the living room my father made it "pretty obvious" that what I was doing wasn't exactly appreciated. So from that point on no more "Shell smash!", well, actually: "Pete smash!", because that's my real name.

    So.. hmm, where were the parents?

    1. Phil 54

      Re: Violent games? But where were the parents?

      Well, in this case they were dead.

  40. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Prescription drugs

    An article I skimmed in the last few days noted that most of the US shootings in recent years have been by mentally ill individuals that have been on very potent psychoactive drugs. Change the dosage on those or stop taking them abruptly and people can dive right over a cliff. Couple that with a person that has social issues and plays FPS video games and bad things can happen.

    Authorities had been told that he was threatening to do something like this and had the rifle. The FBI admitted they didn't follow up. It's a breakdown all up and down the chain. Of course, the FBI is currently going through a period of not knowing what is and isn't against the law.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Prescription drugs

      The article was outright wrong, as the evidence is quite clear that the vast, vast majority of mass shootings are carried out by people who are not mentally ill.

      That's a story invented by people trying to come up with a reason that doesn't involve the guns that were used.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Prescription drugs

        What evidence? I would think wanton disregard for your fellow man (antisocial behavior) is ITSELF a mental illness.

  41. This post has been deleted by its author

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you're going to keep shooting people US psychopaths

    And lets face it, you are, as the US never fixes this! Can it be at least some that deserve it, versus just random / innocent schmucks. I've a few purely hypothetical examples. Aim your AR15 assault rifle roughly in this direction:

    #1. Any social media site that tracks non-users all over the web.

    #2. Any OS vendor trying to be #1 through OS slurp and OS Ads.

    #3. Any IoT vendors who think Privacy is there to be sucked away.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you're going to keep shooting people US psychopaths

      I agree that the people who run the #1-3 are offensive but if it is okay to kill them then same is true for everyone's pet hates.

      I wonder if there is anyone who doesn't appear on someone elses pet hate list

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If you're going to keep shooting people US psychopaths

        Wow. What about that guy who leaves his trolley in the middle of the aisle in IKEA?

        Tough justice...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'Tough justice...'

      Just sayin in a just world things might be a bit different. But Life never lets stray bullets go to those who got golden parachutes after the Equifux scandal etc. Only the good die young and all!

  43. Jamesit

    Up here in Canada people play violent video games and we don't have as many mass shootings, there have been a few but far fewer.

    Gun control laws are needed to prevent unstable people from having easy access to firearms.

  44. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Joke

    AR-15 is that like PG-13?

    So the MPAA has age categories for assault rifles?

  45. DesktopGuy

    An Australian perspective

    In 1996, Martin Bryant killed 35 people and injured 23 in the Port Arthur massacre in Australia.

    That tragedy led to the National Firearms Agreement (NFA).

    "Australian State and Territory governments placed extensive restrictions on all firearms, including handguns, semi-automatic centre-fire rifles, repeating shotguns (holding more than 5 shots) and high-capacity rifle magazines. In addition to this, limitations were also put into place on low-capacity repeating shotguns and rim-fire semi-automatic rifles."

    Whilst I was never a fan of the Prime Minister of the time - John Howard, especially his treatment and demonisation of asylum seekers, this would have to be his crowning achievement.

    There has not been a mass shooting in Australia since then - coming up to 22 years.

    Contrast that the the USA which has had 1,624 mass shootings leading to the deaths of 1,875 and the injury of 6,848 in the last 1,870 days.

    See - https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2017/oct/02/america-mass-shootings-gun-violence

    I can only hope that Americans come to their senses and realise it is easy access to weapons that leads to these almost daily tragedies.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: An Australian perspective

      They'd rather have anarchy than the police state. Remember that America was founded on DISTRUST of government, and it idolizes freedom and rebellion. The Mountain Men, Dixieland Pride, and so on. Combine that with more culture clash than anywhere else, and you basically have an ammo dump.

      1. DesktopGuy

        Re: An Australian perspective

        Not sure why the downvote. Everything said was fact.

        At the time of the shooting Tasmania and Queensland had the loosest gun laws in the country mainly due to more farmers.

        The then premier of Queensland, Rob Borbidge played a vital role in getting a consensus and passing the legislation, although conceding later that it cost him the Queensland election. Politicians can sometimes act for the good of the country and not their own self interest.

        The USA has the chance to change the course of their own history like we did in Australia if their politicians are brave enough which unfortunately does not seem to be the case.

  46. vgold
    Unhappy

    Kentucky governor and Trump

    One can't really take seriously anyone from Kentucky ditto for its governor. Consider that Mitch McConnell the senator is also from Kentucky. Trump? Might as well came from Kentucky.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Kentucky governor and Trump

      Except he's been a New Yorker all his life. Calling a New Yorker a Kentuckian is like calling a Doberman a Shih Tsu.

      1. jimdandy
        Windows

        Re: Kentucky governor and Trump

        Geshundheit!

  47. unwarranted triumphalism

    And the rest of you lot jumped on me the last time I criticised gamers... looks like there's something in it after all.

    Why else would they act so defensive?

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ask yourself.

    If you have children imagine they have been shot; having seen the effects of gunfire it is not pleasant.

    Would you care if the perpetrator is mentally disturbed?

    Could they have done it without a gun?

    Where do you start?

  49. W. Anderson

    Reality Check

    The governor of Kentucky must have forgotten that most of the "violent " video Games that he refers to have AR15 type "mass killing Assault Rifles as primary weapon, the same as used by the Florida school shooter and most of the other hundreds of mass killings/murders in USA in last two or more decades.

    Just how effective would violent games be as an inspiration to all these nut cases for carrying out mass murder, if they could not "easily" get their hands on anything other than a switch-blade or broom handle as weapons?

    When USA State Governors and Congressional politicians are idiotic, supporting a totally dysfunctional President of the country, what chance do sane citizens have against violence by crackpots.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Reality Check

      Gasoline and a match...

      Fuel oil and fertilizer...

      The family car...

      A box cutter in an airliner...

      Where there's a will, there's a way.

  50. JavaJester
    FAIL

    The Guns are Not the Cause You're Looking For ... Move Along

    One of the oldest NRA mind tricks: It isn't the real guns that spray bullets and kill people that are the problem, it's the pretend ones in video games that are the threat. This gun fetish must not be pandered to any more. How many people need to die before America wakes up and has the political courage to try the obvious solution of limiting access to deadly weapons? Australia and the UK did it to great success.

    1. sisk Silver badge

      Re: The Guns are Not the Cause You're Looking For ... Move Along

      Eh, it wasn't such a great success in either of those countries. Look at the murder rates instead of the gun murder rates. Sure, the gun murder rates dropped off, but....

      In Australia the murder rate stayed mostly steady for a decade, even spiking way higher one year (I've no idea what happened with that statistical blip) after they banned guns. After a decade the murder rate finally started to drop off, but I have trouble believing that had anything to do with a law that went into affect 10 years earlier.

      In the UK after the gun ban went in the murder rate rose for 10 years straight before leveling off. After that it start dropping and is, now, about the same as it was before the gun ban went in.

      So, basically, those gun bans were only successful if you think being stabbed to death is somehow better than being shot.

  51. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    The 2nd Ammendment was probably right for its time

    i.e. the time of Muzzle Loaders and single shot pistols and no organised police

    Now the USA has automatic weapons and has at least three layers of Law Enforcement.

    Is there a need to still have the 2nd Ammendment?

    I know that the gun lobby will be out in force but personally, I don't think it is needed.

    Let the downvoting begin.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The 2nd Ammendment was probably right for its time

      Yes. BECAUSE of the police, which can be turned against the population. Put it this way. The Continental Congress was AGAINST a national standing army. And before you say what's a gun against an army, consider Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Yes. BECAUSE of the police, which can be turned against the population"

        Just, any authoritarian government today turns the *military* against the population, with tanks, helicopters, etc, all with far heavier weapons than an assault rifle. So, unless you get antitank and antiaircraft guns and missiles, you have no chance to resist it.

        Enemy in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq had far more heavier weapons than AK-47s only. Ask those in M1A1s hit by Russian antitank missiles..

        The four soldier killed in Niger couldn't defend them with their M4 carbines against terrorists armed with heavier machine guns (12.5 and 14.7 mm ones).

        Anyway, the second amendment give the rights to bear arms, not any arms - I would like to see what would happen if someone should start to buy second hand tanks and cannons.

        And exactly because today there is a national army, there is no any "well regulated militia". and thereby the whole amendment looks really anachronistic.

        1. Hardrada

          Re: "Yes. BECAUSE of the police, which can be turned against the population"

          @ AC: "Just, any authoritarian government today turns the *military* against the population, with tanks, helicopters, etc, all with far heavier weapons than an assault rifle. So, unless you get antitank and antiaircraft guns and missiles, you have no chance to resist it."

          That's a solid argument, and one that even some pro-gun activists will acknowledge. It's worth noting, though, that most regulations governing heavy weapons in the US are semi-recent, and many were enacted to suppress leftists.

          Machine guns were banned here in the early 1930s as a check against anti-bank anarchists.

          Up until the 1970s it was legal to buy 20mm light anti-tank rifles, but fears about the Symbianese Liberation Army using them led to the law being changed.

          One old hillbilly told me about an ad for one that read "Stop that gopher IN HIS TRACKS!" :)

          There was another round of gun restrictions during the Reagan years after some Black Panthers marched into a statehouse holding (but not aiming or firing) rifles.

        2. sisk Silver badge

          Re: "Yes. BECAUSE of the police, which can be turned against the population"

          I would like to see what would happen if someone should start to buy second hand tanks and cannons.

          Fun fact, you can if you've got enough money. A lot of organizations will buy them as decorations. About 45 miles from where I'm at someone set up one of the Davy Crockett nuclear cannons that they'd bought second hand as part of a military memorial. Mind you they're disabled, but I'd imagine a semi-competent gunsmith could probably fix them (maybe not THAT one....there's a bit more to it than most guns).

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: "Yes. BECAUSE of the police, which can be turned against the population"

            An episode of Adam-12 actually featured a legally-purchased, road-certified TANK. I'll look it up later.

            1. Hardrada

              Re: "Yes. BECAUSE of the police, which can be turned against the population"

              There's an international treaty governing de-militarization of (and trade in) big guns. IIRC, the procedure for most field artillery and tank guns was to fire a .50 BMG or 20mm round through the barrel transversely to render it unusable.

              To 'fix' that you'd need to fill the hole and clean up the rifling, and probably also heat-shrink or braze a reinforcing sleeve onto the outside of the barrel. No idea how accurate it would be.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Hardrada

        Re: The 2nd Ammendment was probably right for its time

        @ thesaucymugwump: "Some would say that the police have become too powerful with their many killings of people who were not a threat, e.g. Justine Ruszczyk."

        She was killed less than three blocks from where I'm sitting right now. I've lived in this area for most of 34 years, and it's one of the safest parts of Minneapolis. Generally the biggest danger in taking a late night walk in the summer is that there will be too many people out doing the same thing. (Oh, and you might be bitten by a rabid fox.) In the winter it's that it's too bloody cold.

        There's never gunfire anywhere near hear. People are so well protected that one of my neighbors got spooked when I pelted a raccoon with a low-powered CO2 pistol because he couldn't tell the sound from a gun.

    3. Hardrada

      Re: The 2nd Ammendment was probably right for its time

      Steve Davies 3: "i.e. the time of Muzzle Loaders and single shot pistols and no organised police [and civilian militias with artillery]. Is there a need to still have the 2nd Ammendment? I know that the gun lobby will be out in force but personally, I don't think it is needed."

      Of course not. And we can all exercise our free speech rights while standing on park benches and yelling at the tops of our lungs, just as the Founders intended. No Tweets or laser-printed leaflets for you, Sir. That's not what they had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment, and it might even lead to Fake News.

    4. sisk Silver badge

      Re: The 2nd Ammendment was probably right for its time

      The 2nd Amendment isn't about defending yourself against crime. It's about defending yourself against the government. The police are EXACTLY the people we'd be up against in the kind of situation the 2nd Amendment was meant for.

      Basically, the founding fathers didn't trust themselves or their successors to stay honest. And, based on some of the crap the US government has pulled in the last hundred years or so, that was probably wise on their part.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[...] declining religious participation (so no place to learn morality, it's not happening at home), [...]"

    The Churches by their scandals have largely forfeited any claim to being arbiters of morality - as have politicians and other state institutions. It is ambitious politicians who are currently trying to undermine the independence of the judiciary. Many also seem to have a poor grasp of economics.

    Alcohol and drug consumption by the youth in England is declining significantly. Even students have largely lost a taste for hedonism compared to previous generations - they are more concerned about their job prospects.

    "Conflation of gender" is nothing more than the human right of "pursuit of happiness" - so people are able to feel comfortable in their own skin. Previous generations had to be hypocrites paying lip service to roles in society imposed by organised religion as an arm of the State's social control.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Alcohol and drug consumption by the youth in England is declining significantly. Even students have largely lost a taste for hedonism compared to previous generations - they are more concerned about their job prospects.

      Was this before or after they heard the robots will hold all the jobs in the near future?

  53. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    Its not you it me, its not her its him, after you, me first.

    We're the problem here, all of us, every single one who reads this site and everybody else. We've created a society and culture which promotes and influences an aberrant selfish materialistic culture upon the young, amplified by self-interest amongst the powerbrowers, in combination with a strange all or nothing immediate gratification reward system skewed and televised by media playing all day long to all ages. For the hard of thinking, the poorly educated and the ostracised, where do you turn without social skills, money, a girlfriend or self-esteem?

    There isn't a single solution, magic wand or vote-winner I'm afraid. Dare I say it, but education, social strategy and above all personal commitment to go and make a difference in any way you can whether you're a law-maker, man in the street or even a developer and of course, old father time, maybe with a bit of luck slowly build a civilisation we can proud of.

    Now, I'm off to watch the Winter Olympics. #hashtag

  54. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Call School Uterus

      Perhaps if we called the school a uterus the GOP might care about the children that die inside them.

      I thought we were....what have you, next period?

  55. Stumpy

    It's odd...

    ... but I've been playing video games (both violent and non-violent) frequently since sometime around 1982 - in fact you could say I spend most of my free time doing so, and not once have I had the urge to either:

    (a) Go out and massacre kids at school

    (b) Go out and massacre people in the street

    (c) Go set fire to some great public building

    (d) Go wield a baseball bat at other users on the road

    ... or any one of countless violent things I could get up to.

    Odd that isn't it, if games are to blame for the problems?

  56. jimdandy
    Big Brother

    Kentucky Gubbermint

    Thank you all for your kind and considered ideas and opinions regarding the latest subtraction of our already over-optimum population levels here in the Dis-United Straits of Amerigo Vespucci. Unfortunately, since our current mind-control experiment is still undergoing some minor tweaking (yes, that is an ongoing project from the 1950's, but we are still striving to get it right) there have been and may continue to be a few variances from the original program. We fully intend to correct any errors and establish new controls and management techniques before we actually place this program into full operation. Once that program is fully engaged and operational, all such abberant behaviors will become sub-optimal and will therefore become extinct.

    Trust us; We are you and we are the Government. And we are also the Walrus. Koo-koo-ka-choo.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the problem?

    All of the dead were American.

    No great loss.

  58. tiggity Silver badge

    One of the most depressing things is that in many US schools it's now routine to have training in what to do in the case of a school shooting incident.

    Such things include throwing books / anything at hand at the murderer - things that gain a few seconds, the aim being to reduce the killing rate until "help" arrives.

    If the murderers were not armed with guns that make mass slaughter very easy then the death rate would be far lower.

    Amidst all the arguments about guns are for sport not killing people. What form of "sport" needs anything like a semi automatic rifle? Any sporting test of marksmanship shoud all be about only needing 1 shot to hit each target - not about spraying multiple shots in a brief period of time so almost impossible to miss.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    World of Marshmellows

    You can't regulate stupid. The laws are the problem - period. There is a reason why the Constitution say "gun rights shall not be infringed". Gun restrictions only apply to people who obey the law. Until you marshmellow-headed, hamstper cage ball wanna be's get that through your heads, these types of atrocities will continue to occur. What comes next after you get rid of all the guns? Get rid of all the cars, the fertilizer, the knives, the hammers, the shovels.... Prohibition doesn't work. Allowing sensible people to be armed is the ultimate cure for these lunatics.

    Or perhaps the Dumocrats think they can actually afford to put a cop on every corner. That will be fun, especially since the only way that can ever happen is with A.I.

    I'd rather take my chances with grandpa and his glock.

  60. Drefsab_UK

    hmm

    I fail to see how video games are the issue, if that was the case why is it games that are globally available not the cause of gun crimes outside of the USA?

    I'm not just talking about nations like the UK where gun ownership is rare and very heavily controlled, but look at the other nations of this world with much less restrictive gun laws and still have these video games? Oh wait they dont seam to have the same levels of violent gun crimes how could that be?

    Why don't you look at the controls they do have, do they give firearms aware casually or sell them in supermarkets, nope. Do they at least use a little bit of common sense before allowing just anyone to pick up a high power assault rifle? yup.

    Banning video games will not change anything. Actually making gun ownership something serious that needs checks and suitibility verification is needs to happen. If you like guns and you are sensible with them and mentally stable then fine, If your unhinged and want something to blow some mother frackers away then sorry no rifle for you.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: hmm

      Uh, what about Sandy Hook? That gun was STOLEN.

  61. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I don't think within my lifetime the US will change their attitude on gun ownership, but there are areas where it could be improved. For a start the US requires people to be trained and pass a test before they can drive a car, yet as long as you have no criminal record and no history of mental illness you can buy a gun without any training, and kill a lot more people than with a car.

    Perhaps all gun owners should be required to be given a set number of hours of training on the safe use of guns and pass a test to get an 'gun operators license'. No license and you can't own a gun. This should at least reduce the number of accidental shootings even it might not stop someone like the Florida shooter. But then again if the shooter had been monitored for a few hours in an environment around guns it might have shown up some signs of instability or recklessness and the shooting might have been prevented

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He was known to be unstable by mental health professionals. He shouldn't have been able to buy a gun in my opinion. But some idiot whom i'll not name but whose name rhymes with rump repealed the executive order that would have kept a mentally ill shooter from buying a gun.

  62. unwarranted triumphalism

    Liberal 'logic'

    > semi-automatic weapon

    > spray of bullets

    Does not compute.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Liberal 'logic'

      "spray of bullets" usually rapid fire and not well-aimed shots. Unlikey to come from a bolt-action. But the media goes for the sensational headlines, etc. and so if the Kennedy assassination happened today, Oswald would have shot him and the car up with a spray of bullets.

  63. IGnatius T Foobar

    Violent culture, not guns, causes violence.

    The culture that claims guns are responsible for gun violence, is the same culture that produces the violent films, violent television shows, violent music, and otherwise unwholesome crap that is *actually* responsible for gun violence. How about Hollywood cleans up its own house before talking about making rules for others.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Violent culture, not guns, causes violence.

      Hollywood produces what America wants. After all they need box office returns to satisfy their investors for fiduciary duty.

  64. sisk Silver badge

    To be fair we DO have a cultural problem in America. There are nations out there with proportionally just as many gun owners and nowhere near our crime levels. There are also nations with many fewer guns with much, much higher murder rates. We do indeed have a cultural problem in America that gun control can never solve. We will continue to see violence until we deal with the real issues, and to my mind that violence is no less palatable if it's done with a knife than with a gun.

    That said, the problem is NOT video games, and in my opinion the shooter in Florida shouldn't have been able to legally buy a gun. First, if he's not old enough to handle alcohol (drinking age is 21 in the US) then he's not old enough to handle a gun unsupervised. Second, he was known to be mentally ill. I don't know what kind of morons have been arguing against the restrictions that would keep legitimately mentally ill people from buying guns, but they should be on the receiving end of a clue-by-four. And I say that as someone who grew up with guns - even though I don't own any right now - and firmly believe that the US government is far too untrustworthy for the US population to be unarmed.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "First, if he's not old enough to handle alcohol (drinking age is 21 in the US) then he's not old enough to handle a gun unsupervised."

      But the draft age is 18. That's why the 26th Amendment lowered the voting age to 18: because people were old enough to be sent to die for their country but not old enough to vote for the people sending them to their deaths. 18's also the legal adult age; you'll have to change that first.

    2. Hardrada

      They're not morons.

      @ sisk:"I don't know what kind of morons have been arguing against the restrictions that would keep legitimately mentally ill people from buying guns, but they should be on the receiving end of a clue-by-four."

      The problem with that was illustrated in an article* on gender crossing by the University of Chicago's Deirdre McCloskey last April:

      "In most states even now, if two people who don't know you from Adam (or Eve, for that matter) are willing to claim falsely, and without penalty, that they heard you threaten to kill yourself—or in my case, threaten to have a nose job—sheriff's deputies will escort you in handcuffs to the local locked ward for three to five days of observation.

      "What's worse, they might keep you there indefinitely, particularly if you let them drug you on admission. No kidding. If you are accused of murder you at least have a chance of getting free sometime, especially if you are innocent. If you are accused of being crazy, the government can put you away forever on the say-so of one psychiatrist."

      (*https://reason.com/archives/2017/03/18/sex-shrinks-and-the-state)

      McCloskey can't legally own a gun in the US. She hasn't committed any crime whatsoever, let alone a violent one. She's actually been a TARGET of state violence.

      The legal picture she painted is also a bit too rosy. In Minnesota (where I live) there's no requirement for multiple witnesses. There's not even a requirement for probable cause - in other words, they can hold a person for 72 hours even if it's clear that they COULDN'T be committed under the law. There's no written standard of what it takes to justify it - just a no-string-attached delegation to the professional opinion of the person doing it, plus a broadly-worded good faith indemnity to make sure that they don't take that duty too seriously. There's not even a minimum standard for what has to be done in those 72 hours to ensure that the rationale for detention is factually accurate.

      (The worst example that I can give you is a child abuse victim who was held on the say-so of their abuser despite having both an extensive Child Protection Services record on-file and cell phone photos in-hand documenting the abuse. There was nothing they could do afterward because there is no requirement that the clinic staff bother to look at any of it - even if doing so would take a mere 30 seconds or a five minute phone call to have the records sent over.)

      There's also no right to a public defender, and unlike a person in the county jail, someone on a psychiatric ward is liable for a bill of $1,000-2,000 a day. That's $3,000-6,000 after 72 hours that they won't have to hire a private attorney.

      So the problem with your suggestion is that the majority of the people who would be swept up in such a dragnet are abuse victims or harmlessly odd people who've spent their lives as human piñatas.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: They're not morons.

        I wonder if anyone who's been held like this has challenged the holding on Sixth Amendment grounds (being unable to confront one's accuser).

        1. Hardrada

          Re: They're not morons.

          @ Charles 9:"I wonder if anyone who's been held like this has challenged the holding on Sixth Amendment grounds (being unable to confront one's accuser)."

          I have a sneaking suspicion that several of these will go to civil or criminal court, and that's definitely one avenue.

          There are a few others.

      2. sisk Silver badge

        Re: They're not morons.

        @Hardrada You make a good point, but at the same time we've got mentally ill people going on rampages and killing people by the dozen every month or so in this country. And that, in my opinion, is all down to the rather insane way we approach mental health in this country. Yes, we need a way to assure that only the legitimately mentally ill end up in psychiatric hospitals, but we also can't keep ignoring mental health problems.

        I don't pretend to know what the answer is, but in my opinion it's painfully obvious that mental health is the direction we need to be looking.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: They're not morons.

          "Yes, we need a way to assure that only the legitimately mentally ill end up in psychiatric hospitals, but we also can't keep ignoring mental health problems."

          Trouble is it's an UNhappy medium. You can either leave violent lunatics loose, unlawfully lock up falsely ill, or simply have BOTH at the same time. Seems you can't win no matter what you do. And remember, you've had nutjobs in Europe, too. The ones driving trucks through crowds, that shooter in Norway?

          1. Hardrada

            Re: They're not morons.

            @Charles 9:"...or simply have BOTH at the same time."

            That's the part that really worries me. A bad law would probably not do much to stop violent crime and would likely make the existing abuse problem worse.

            It's possible that cleaning up the hold/commitment system would reduce violent crime even without any tightening of the background check system, since we're currently wasting a lot of beds and clinic resources holding people who pose no credible risk to anyone.

            Shrinks like to go after harmless eccentrics for the same reason that police departments like to focus on speeding and non-violent drug dealing and prostitution - going after dangerous people is scary and labor intensive - so getting them back 'on task' might be as close to a panacea as we'll get on this one.

  65. Hardrada

    An offer:

    @sisk,

    I'll make a binding offer right here:

    If you'll advocate for sane adjudication of mental health accusations, I'll advocate for tight restrictions on people who are fairly judged to be a danger.

    I'm a former organizer with ties to both major parties (and even some Green and Libertarian contacts), so that's not a casual offer.

    Some of it is just common sense; a probable cause requirement wouldn't interfere with reasonable detentions (since someone making threats could still be held on the spot, and someone more insidiously dangerous can't be charged or committed anyway), and it would have the side effect of saving taxpayers and ratepayers a lot of money.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: An offer:

      I don't know. You'd still have to PAY for those "sane adjudications", plus there will always be knock-on effects and people who cheat and game the system.

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