Weekend Quick Hits: Gun Nuts Exploit Tragedy, Ken Miller, CI-108

The San Francisco Chronicle and the Livingston Enterprise seem to think the spectacle of a former legislator running a roadblock and reaching for a gun is newsworthy, but as far as I can see, none of the state’s larger media outlets think it’s worth mentioning. Joel Boniek’s arrest is certainly newsworthy—on its own and as evidence of the continuing radicalization of Montana’s Republican Party.

Nationally, that radicalization has led lifelong Republican Michael Stafford to write an excellent piece explaining why he had to leave the Republican Party. He writes, “In the grip of this contagion, the Republican Party has come unhinged. Its fevered hallucinations involve threats from imaginary communists and socialists who, seemingly, lurk around every corner… it offers a dystopian vision of our future- a harsher, crueler and more merciless America starkly divided between the riders, and the ridden.”

Ken Miller is asking a District Court to reverse the Commissioner of Political Practices. I guess Miller would like to find an explanation for his trouncing in the Republican primary, but fluorescent shirts can’t vote.

It took less that 48 hours for some of Montana’s leading intellectual critics to exploit the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado for their uncompromising pro-gun positions. Champ Edmunds suggested another gun would have prevented the shootings, TEA Party leader Eric Olsen found a way to blame President Obama,  and legislative candidate Gary Marbut managed to smear the police and engage in some amateur psychology.

Would it too much to let grieving families bury their dead before trying to exploit a tragedy?

In the excellent news that the anti-woman “personhood” amendment  CI-108 failed to gain enough signatures to make the ballot, came this argument from Annie Bukacek, the leader of the group driving its passage: “the group “will continue the fight, and then some.” It is now focusing on the promotion of “uncompromising pro-life candidates.”  I’d watch the candidates they endorse—since the public has absolutely rejected their extremist position, let’s not give them a Legislature that will do an end-run around the public, which clearly does not believe in their agenda.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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  • My opponent is the Republican incumbent in Senate District 36, Debby Barrett. She is an “uncompromising pro-life candidate” who voted for all the “personhood” bills in the last session and who will no doubt get substantial support from Annie Bukecek’s group.

    I’m firmly pro-choice. I plan to send out a mailer just before the absentee ballots go out that will clearly show the difference between the two of us on this issue.

    I’m afraid it’ll be a very pricey mailer. Hint, nudge. If anyone wants to help me out, go to http://www.turnerforsenatedistrict36.com.

  • “Would it too much to let grieving families bury their dead before trying to exploit a tragedy?”

    So it’s okay to exploit tragedy after the dead are buried?

                • Maybe if you would have just answered my original question instead of indulging in a condescending display of authoritarianism, I’d offer up more than a meaningless repartee.

                • Authoritarianism? Really?

                  Send me your address and I will send you a dictionary immediately.

                  Authoritarianism? I mean, I’ve read absurd claims in my day, but authoritarianism?

                  Are you a parody account?

                • “There’s the way James linked to his post, and there’s the way you linked to yours.

                  Maybe you should think about that.”

                  Instead of answering my question, you told me how to think. Your paternalistic attitude indeed is very authoriarian. No need to send me a dictionary. I know how to google. From merriam-webster.com:

                  “Examples of AUTHORITARIAN:

                  I’d say your approach to running ID has its moments when you come off just like my older sister, who was, and still is, an authoritarian.

                  Of course, all of this distraction is just because you don’t want to answer my original question. Why don’t you want to answer the question, Don?

                • the quote was stripped. Again, here is what M-W had to provide for examples of authoritarians:

                  “grew up with an authoritarian older sister who thought she was queen of the world;
                  an authoritarian coach who runs football practice like it’s boot camp”

                • You seem to be missing the central element of what makes something authoritarian: having power over someone. I don’t have any power over you.

                  Why didn’t I answer your question? Because you’re a rude little anonymous troll who wasn’t actually asking a question.

                • Here’s my original question, what exactly is trollish about it? To be sure, I think your sense of “gallows humor” here is tacky at best, and rather sick at its core. It also is hypocritical, as you were using others’ statements to make your own political statement:

                  Don: “Would it too much to let grieving families bury their dead before trying to exploit a tragedy?”

                  Me: So it’s okay to exploit tragedy after the dead are buried?

                • If you can see how that’s trollish, it makes sense that you think what’s happening here is authoritarianism. Not authoritarian, by the way, but in your words, authoritarianism.

                  You certainly could have made an argument. You didn’t.

                  I apologize if pointing that out rises to the level of absolutist monarchy or fascism.

                • Don, if your replies weren’t so petty, I might try and have a reasoned debate with you over your words. But it obvious you aren’t willing to do so, so I’m just going to leave this right here.

                • Are you really suggesting a reasoned debate after calling me authoritarian for disagreeing with you?

                  I would probably walk away from this discussion, too.

                • No, I realized that there was no possibility of having a reasoned debate with you after my initial comment was met with a flippant paternalistic comment about how I should think.

                  Then again, my bad; what did I expect?

                • I’m not going to argue semantics with you. Suffice it to say you are unwilling to defend your comments or debate them.

    • James, your response to the shoot back crowd is priceless. I wonder if any of these dilholes has actually experienced tear gas before. Hell, you can’t even breathe OR open your eyes! Yet these morons want you to use your Ruger LCP .380 to take the shooter out! Ain’t happenin’. They’re livin’ in la la land. And I say that as a guy who has a concealed carry. It’s damn HARD to carry concealed with anything bigger than my Ruger LCP. Anything else is too unwieldy. The shooter stacked the deck big time in his favor. No one was gonna take him out.

      And really, do you REALLY need to take your gun to the movie theatre? Who would think that?

  • While I completely agree with the comments about the pro-gun lobby, the very same arguments can be made about the anti-gun lobby. EVERYONE is trying to make political hay with this situation – to which I say to all of them… “Shame on you”. The calls for gun control have been just as strident as the pro-gun lobbys and they are both wrong. When we should be having a discussion about guns is when there aren’t bodies laying on the ground or wounded people in the hospital. Jim Wright makes some pretty strong observations about this situation on his blog, Stonekettle station and his primary point is that the only time people are ever willing to discuss things like gun issues is when something horrible like this happens.

    • “When we should be having a discussion about guns is when there aren’t bodies laying on the ground or wounded people in the hospital.”

      Right. Just wait a little longer. Let the gun lobby get a little larger and we’ll make sure their vast amounts of cash keep influencing our citizens and representatives with their advertisements and lobbying. That’s probably the best idea. We’ll just wait other 18 months or so until some other nut-job wastes another dozen lives and bodies and say the same thing allll over again.

      I own guns. I like guns. But I really want to see it become harder for people to do shit like this. The fallacy, that we need our guns to protect ourselves from an overreaching govt. and therefore need the same grade of shit our military can have is ludicrous.

      Maybe, if this nut-job could have had a harder time getting ammo, or not be able to possess a AR-15 (or a copy of it, as I understand) would have helped. Yep, probably would have still killed and hurt people. But probably wouldn’t have killed or wounded as many.
      I know the black gun crowd that is reading that is thinking I’m anti 2nd amendment, or that I work for the UN or some such crap. Get over yourselves. You might be alright with the semi-annual mass shooting spree, but I’m not. “The price of freedom”, is what you think, perhaps? I frankly just don’t get it – and I think the majority of U.S. citizens are with me on this one.

      I’m not sure how this ties into it all, but maybe with a standardized medical record system, certain mental illness diagnoses can be cross referenced by the check everyone must do to buy a retail firearm. Maybe something has to be done with private sales and “gun shows” too. Do something.

      We’ll never be able to stop an evil, crazy person, but maybe we can make it a little harder for them to exact their neurosis on the rest of us.

      • First, Matt, if the majority of citizens were with you on this, we wouldn’t be discussing it. The “assault weapons” ban died in 2004 because it was A) ineffective and B) wasn’t supported by the majority of voters.

        Second, no medical records have been found that even begins to indicate that this wacko was a wacko. Hell, he was a grad student at a neurological institute. The only criminal record he had was a speeding ticket. NOTHING you are proposing would have made a damn bit of difference in this instance.

        As far as the “Assault weapons ban”… that is a joke. In fact, it was the high capacity magazine he was using jamming that reduced the death count. Had he actually known anything about those damn things, he wouldn’t have used one. They are known to jam by those of us that actually, you know, work on the damn things. Moreover, a ban would not have prevented him from getting his hands on one. There are quite literally hundreds of thousands of those things floating around and if you are determined enough, you can get it. Even during the height of the Brady act, you could get all the things banned by that act if you wanted to.

        More importantly – and this is the important part so listen up – there is no functional difference between that weapon and the Remington 742 I use to hunt with. I even have four “high capacity” 15 round clips for it because I hate reloading when I am at the range. The determination that a weapon is an “assault weapon” is arbitrary (and highly inaccurate since an actual assault weapon is either selective fire or fully auto and not available to the public without special permitting).

        Next people bring up the ammo this kid bought. Yes, you can buy ammo in 1000 round lots from many mail order places – including Cabelas – and yes, a lot of people do it. Hell, I will burn through at least 300 rounds every time I go to the range. I have purchased a couple of thousand rounds in a month’s time. Should I be on the “watch lists”?

        The point I am trying to make is that your reaction is based on emotion without logic, knowledge or forethought. If you actually knew anything about what you are talking about, you would realise the futility and ineffectual outcome that result from the things you are advocating for. You are, in fact, no different then those idiots filling my facebook account with statements that basically boil down to “If someone had had a concealed weapon, the bad guy would be dead”. That is utter BS.

        It is apparent that Don disagrees with me and feels that now is the perfect time to try to push a political agenda. I wish him luck. The last time this country did that, we ended up with the patriot act. Mull that one over for a while…

        • I’m not sure that it’s that, my inartful phrasing aside. I would say that we do need to be asking questions about policy soon. The expired Assault Weapons ban would have made a big difference here, for instance. We should talk about that.

          • No, Don.. that is the fallacy I am trying to get you to understand. In fact, the Assault weapons ban would have had NO EFFECT on this situation or might have made it worse.

            Let’s realistically look at the situation. This was a determined individual with an agenda and access to money and time. He methodically prepared to do his deed and met all the requirements under the law to do it.

            Under the so called “Assault weapons ban” his pistols and shotgun were legal. The high capacity mags he used were ALSO available. They just couldn’t be manufactured, imported or sold during the ban. All he would have had to do to get them was buy them from someone that already had them.

            Let’s talk about the main focus that most people have – the AR clone. Even an AR (or any one of a dozen other military style semi autos like my SKS) was available. You just couldn’t buy a new one from a dealer. You had to find one already in existance (not a difficult task given that there were tens of thousands of those military style rifles available prior to the ban). The only thing that would have been difficult for him to get was the 100 round drum mag, and here is the interesting part… had he been using 20 round mags (5), instead of the drum, he would have killed a LOT more people. The drum in his rifle jammed (as they are KNOWN to do). That is why he used the shotgun and the pistol.

            Again, I say, it is difficult to have a reasonable discussion about a topic when there are bodies on the ground. I am sure that you could have found this information yourself given time and a reasonable frame of mind.

            There are things that can be done and should be done. Record keeping should be computerized and centralized so that guns and gun ownership is not ever in question. Every gun manufactured in the US should be test fired by the manufacturer and the ballistic/barrel/action characteristics should be recorded as each gun has a unique signiture. I think that the same rules that exist when you buy a gun in a shop should also exist when you buy a gun at a show or from a private party. All these things could reduce the amount of casual gun violence in the US. Make no mistake, though. NONE of these things will reduce the violence committed by those that are determined to commit that violence. This wackjob would have done what he did even if the strictest gun rules being touted by Bloomberg and his ilk were imposed. He would have found a way, or more likely, he would have used his extensive chemical knowledge to simply build a bomb. Remember the guy was a grad student in Medicine. He has forgotten more about Chemistry that most people will ever know.

            • ” This wackjob would have done what he did even if the strictest gun rules being touted by Bloomberg and his ilk were imposed.”

              That’s possible, but at this point we really don’t know. It’s possible that under stricter firearms laws he might have been more easily discouraged than some now think, or that more intense scrutiny of the buyer might have triggered a red flag.

              The alleged shooter’s study of neuroscience, incidentally, is a red flag to me. He might have been studying it in an attempt to understand his demons as he descended into madness.

                • I’m quite serious. By itself, enrolling in a neuroscience or psychology is not an indicator that something might be wrong, but taken with other indicators of odd behavior, it can be a red flag. It’s entirely possible that the shooter’s behavior in the months leading to the massacre was a plea for help that went unrecognized. Eventually, I think we will find out whether that was the case.

                • I agree. If you’ve never seen mental illness up close and personal, it’s hard to imagine how bizarre it can be. I know. Unfortunately, I’ve seen it up close.. When I look at this guy, I see severe mental illness writ large.

          • My last reply for the night.. I need my beauty sleep just like a non-gun enthusist.

            Don, you know I respect you and have often had some great discussions with you. I respect your work as a teacher and I like your moderate approach to various topics. If you really want to discuss the failure of the Brady Act, I am your guy. I have spent a lot of time researching that particular issue. While we will disagree about why the Brady Act would not have prevented this tragedy (or the Columbine tragedy or the Virginia Tech tragedy), we can at least discuss what we can do – as a society – to try to mitigate some of the damage these wacko continue to do. My experience as a law enforcement officer gave me some ideas that might actually reduce some of it though I think the political will to actually enact them doesn’t exist at the present time.

            My main concern is that we – as a society – all too often is prone to extremism. That extremism often leads us to false conclusions and poorly reasoned acts that are A) ineffectual like the Brady Act or B) unenforcable in the real world. The fact is that we cannot disarm American Society (and I will admit, I would fight such a disarmament). Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that gun ownership is an individual right, it would be even impossible to do so. Moreover, I would not want to see a police state where gun ownership makes you a criminal by default. I don’t think you would want that either.

            If we can have a reasoned discussion about guns in America without the emotional baggage, I am all for it.

        • I’m not sure I’m as far off base as you think I am. I offer that you’re just as emotional over the issue, cherry picking your own facts to suite your own argument. You love shooting and guns and don’t want to be scrutinized either. I can empathize.

          The reason we as a country aren’t talking about keeping track of firearm magazine and ammo sales more is because of the shear amount of money the gun lobby throws out to keep our politicians heads turned and the consumers (voters) heads stuck in the sand.

          I do think that extra scrutiny should be paid to any individual buying over 500 rounds at a time. If that means you make a watch list for extra scrutiny, so be it. I’m fine with that.
          NOTHING, as you say, would make a difference, but you have ZERO evidence to back that claim up. I do – other countries with more restrictive gun laws have a much lower level of gun violence. We’ve never enacted any real gun control, so to say it won’t work is bunk – we simply don’t know (at least in this country.)

          Personally, I don’t care about your 15 round semi-auto clip. Should it be harder for a person to get that? Sure. None of my hunting weapons require that level of bullets… and somehow I manage at the rifle range with my puny 7 round magazine. But, If you want it you should be able to have it. Just like a concealed weapons permit. But I suggest a real background check just like you have to to get a CC permit. It’s privilege to carry that much ammo, attached and ready to fire in a weapon; just like it it’s a privilege to carry a handgun that is out of sight. Whose rights are being violated?

          By the way you’re right – probably not a huge amount of difference between and AR-15 and a 742 when identically configured with the same magazines and barrel lengths. Except for the fact that one is marketed towards woods deer hunting and the other is market for other purposes than that.
          Want my simple solution? If the firearm is a semi-auto and you could potentially jam a clip that holds more than 15 bullets then you get extra scrutiny.
          What if this nut-job in Colorado had to go to the the local sheriff for an interview for his huge ammo purchase or high capacity magazine? Maybe it would have been like the fellow at the shooting range who nearly made personal contact with this nut-job because he has a suspicion he was not of sound of enough mind to shoot at his club. Maybe. At least one chance for the Sheriff to get a whiff that something was not right about him.

          To you, I’m sure this all sounds like squashing on the second amendment and not worth trying. I’m thinking the folks in Colorado are feeling a bit differently than you right now.
          Look it might not all work, but if it makes it harder to kill several more people in a shooting spree, then it might be worth it.
          What is your solution? Is this just a “shit happens” moment in life? Or should we go the Marbut way and arm everyone?
          I still wager you’re as emotionally charged as I am over this. I choose to admit it. I’m not sure if you will.

          • You sure do make a lot of assumptions about me in that reply. Sadly none of them are backed up by either logic or fact.

            Am I a gun enthusist? I guess it depends on your definition. I like guns. I shoot guns. I work on guns. I am both ex-military and an ex-law enforcement officer. I have multiple trophies and awards for shooting (both firearms and bows). I guess that qualifies as a gun enthusist. Sadly, you seem to connect being a gun enthusist to being a nutcase like Marbut. That is your failing, not mine. There are thousands of gun enthusists that sane about it – in fact, they apparently outnumber the people like you who are clueless that we even exist.

            You make a lot of assumptions about the situation in Colorado too. You assume that this guy would have been “detected” by some as yet non-existant law you imagine in your head. Yes, I read the article on CNN about the range owner and his supposed contact with the freak. I take it as a datum point and nothing more. There are far more people that have come forward to describe the individual as sane, rational, even likable. Do I take the range owner’s statements as gospel – not even close. Everyone that had contact with this individual (which the range owner didn’t BTW) will remember that contact in light of events. Memory is the least rational or reliable source of information. There is nothing factual to indicate that this individual was unstable other than his actions in the theatre, nor is there any actual evidence that this individual exibited unusual behavior that would have red flagged his purchases.

            The fact that you think anyone ordering more than 500 rounds should be put on some watch list not only shows your complete and utter infamiliarity with regular shooters, it also clearly indicates your bias. If you instituted that policy, anyone buying a brick of .22 rounds would be on a watch list (that would include a third of this state’s population). You obviously are NOT a shooter and that is just fine but it also means you do not have the experience or knowledge to add anything to this conversation.

            The only thing about this situation that has me “emotionally charged” is the idea that the deaths of 12 people are being used by pundits (like you) and politicians to further a political agenda. Moreover, logic suggests that NONE of those pundits or arm chair quarterbacks have a solution that would have worked in this case. Arming everyone is patently stupid but so is attempting to make the guns all go away. Neither solution is going to work.

            I would also point out that there are societies that actually arm their citizens and their gun violence is a mere fraction of ours. I would posit that the reason Americans kill each other has nothing to do with the availability of guns. I would posit that the reason is because, in American Society, it is a function of our society.

            • Please lay out your solution then. How do we stop this from happening?
              Is this sort of shooting acceptable?
              I’ve more to say to counter your last comment, but an answer to the above question would be interesting to hear from you.

              • “Please lay out your solution then.”

                Talk about a loaded question… My solution to what? People who shoot other people? The murder rate in the US? What do you want me to solve?

                “How do we stop this from happening?”

                I am assuming, by context, that you are refering to the shootings in Aurora and you are not going to like my answer, kitten. The simple answer is – YOU AREN’T. Get this through your thick skull… NOTHING will stop crazy people from doing crazy things. The worst serial killer on record operated in a country that has less freedom than you can even imagine. He was one smart, determined sicko and he wanted to kill. This freak was a smart, determined, patient wackjob and he was determined to make his mark. He did and there was NOTHING you, I or anyone else could have done about it. You have to deal with that little fact before we will ever be able to have an adult, rational conversation. This guy was determined to be “the joker” and laws were not going to stop him. Do you think he cared about the law when he wired his apartment with homemade explosives? Do you think he cared about the law when he walked into a theatre, dropped two homemade teargas cannisters on the floor and started killing people? Wake up… Nothing is going to stop people from killing each other. This just happened to be killing on a large scale. People get murdered every day – by guns, by knives, by hammers, by vehicles, by poison, by electricution.. the list is endless.

                “Is this sort of shooting acceptable?” –
                What kind of a dumbass question is that? Of course it isn’t acceptable and I can’t even believe you asked it. What are getting at? Do you honestly think that I believe that it is?

                Given your three questions, I kind of doubt you have anything to counter my last comment but you are welcome to try. Before you do, though, pause for a moment and reflect that one of my college majors was sociology. Yes, this gun enthusist actually went to college. I am even edumacated. Guess I don’t fit that stereotype either.

                • Look, I understand a deranged person will find a way to do evil, no matter what impediments stand in the way. I get that. But, it just seems to me that we could make it a touch harder on them when it comes to firearms. We make it hard to buy explosives (granted there are certainly ways around that) for the very reason they are dangerous and wouldn’t want them in the wrong hands.
                  I just can’t see how adding a few more hurdles for items we consider easy to obtain now – like larger magazines for semi-autos and mass ammo purchases – to make it just that much harder for someone like this.
                  You’re claiming it’s impossible; impossible to implement and impossible in the likelihood that it would work at all.
                  I’m not so sure of that.
                  I do very much feel for the families and people in Colorado right now. I try to imagine myself as a husband or father who might have lost their loved one, or are watching them die in a hospital bed. I cannot imagine a more helpless feeling – can you?
                  I am sorry if I come off as a pundit to you. I AM just an average Montanan who likes to do all the things your average guy here enjoys. I’m not some assshole hell bent on taking away guns or rights. I just have to wonder if we as a society could do better? Do we have to expect this sort of stuff. The answers might not be savory. Maybe there is nothing that could ever be done. Or maybe there is, but it makes life harder on us but we still get to do what we want. Sort of like air travel. Mighty inconvenient after 9/11 but still doable. And I do feel safer, but I know it’s not fool-proof.

                  You make a whole lot of assumptions about how I feel towards your attitude towards you and firearms – all of which are unfair. Debating you on this subject is hard because at every turn you belittle or make petty underhanded comments designed not to further the debate, but to attempt to lower my station in the conversation. I’m really not sure what you’re trying to accomplish with that; you’re smart enough to debate everything on their merits.
                  I truly am, if you’re a beer drinking guy, a person you could have a pint with and talk about this. If I cam off as rude to you – my apologies. But I think there is room for disagreement in this conversation -and you don’t have to be a liberal peacenik to have a divergent opinion to your own.

                  Again, I’m thinking outside of the box. Because I do refuse to believe that there is just nothing we could ever do about the situation that happened in Colorado. We as an society can figure out a way to at least tamp down these events. But of course I’m not a sociology major and I’m very much a layman on the society subject. I just have my own world view.

                • If I “belittle” you in this conversation, it is because you made some very belittling statements about me. You know nothing about me. Period. I am not Malbut, I think Malbut and his ilk are idiots and do not fit the stereotype you have attempted repeatedly to put me in.

                  This reply is the first one you have made that makes any sense. Unfortunately for you, you are still attempting to attack the problem with the delusion that the guns are the problem. Simply put, they aren’t. It doesn’t matter what guns, knives, tools, cars, bombs, chemicals etc are available. People will continue to do back things with them as long as our society enables them to do so.

                  If you are serious about really attacking the problem, focus instead on how we can change our society to one of moderation instead of extremism. I could give you my exortation on why the extremism of our society is the issue but I will simply cut to the chase. It is the extremism of our American Society that fuels the violence in this society. It is an extremism driven by our media, our politicians, our entertainment, and to some extent even our citizens. You are an example of that citizen driven extremism. I made statements that you interpreted as “gun friendly” and you immediately jumped to the conclusion that I was some flag waving, Malbut worshiping militia man who sleeps with a .50 cal Desert Eagle clutched tightly to my bosom. This is extremism. It never occured to you that I am just a guy that has spent most of my life actively using guns and I happen to disagree with your view.

                  If you truly were thinking “outside the box” you would be looking at the root causes of the violence in America, and you would realise that the root cause is NOT the tools (guns, knives etc) but the social attitude the drives people to use those tools to harm others. That seems to be the “out of the box” thinking that Americans can’t grasp.

                  You will never truly prevent situations like what happened in Aurora. Things like that happen all over the world. It is no different than a suicide bomber walking into a wedding and killing 17 people in Afghanistan or a racist in Europe opening up a military weapon at a festival and killing 70 + people. Nutcases exist and they will continue to kill people regardless of what rules you put in place. To reduce the carnage, you have to address the root causes of why these people kill other people. Taking guns away from people simply causes them to find another tool – and they do.

                  As far as proof, it is easy to find. The Brady Act that both you and Don have brought up is plenty of proof. The Brady Act did NOTHING to reduce gun violence. To those of us that have actually worked with guns and law enforcement, we KNEW it wouldn’t work. It couldn’t. Reinstituting the Brady Act would not have stopped this from occuring for the very reasons I gave above. Whether you choose to accept that or not is acedemic to me. The proof is there for you to see simply by researching the Brady Act and it’s (lack of) effect.

                  I have no problem with disagreement. I have problems with illogical, poor constructed and delusional arguments. I really don’t care whether you understand that a complete ban of firearms is not going to happen in today’s political climate or in light of the Supreme Court decision. It simply tells me whether you are delusional or not. The comparison of flight travel to gun ownership is a complete denial of the supreme court decision. Flying on a plane is not a constitutionally protected right.

                  If you are truly interested in why legislation like the Brady Act failed, you first have to understand that you are creating a LAW. Those that are interested in breaking the law by killing someone are not going to be concerned with a law attempting to limit his/her tools. In fact, the only people you will effect with your new law are those interested in OBEYING the law. This is disconnect that you and others simply cannot seem to get. The person you are forcing to “jump through those hoops” are people like me – those of us interested in doing the right thing. The bad guys simply won’t care.

                  Moreover, you have to acknowledge that short of actually taking guns away from people, you are not going to be able to functionally control those mags, weapon types and ammo. There are simply too much of it already in circulation. You will, once again, be effecting the people interested in following the law, not the ones interested in breaking the law.

                  At the very root of my problem with laws like the Brady Act is that they are based on a number of assumptions that are patently false.

                  1) The AR clone used by the Freak in Aurora is an assault rifle. WRONG. An assault rifle is a selective fire or fully automatic military weapon that requires special permitting to own. That clown’s AR, my brother’s AK, my SKS, or even the H&K G-3 I used in competition may look like assault weapons, but they are not.

                  2) Pistol handled rifles are designed only to kill people. WRONG. A pistol grip characteristic is inherently more stable and this is why it is used on military weapons. It reduces felt recoil, it gives a more stable grip while being mobile and it properly aligns the weapon with the eye for scanning. For theses reasons it is also the most popular grip configuration for people who competition shoot (like me). I modified by Remington hunting rifle to a pistol grip configuration for these very reasons. This configuration also allows my wife (5’1″) to use a higher caliber weapon when hunting.

                  3) High capacity mags make it easier to kill more people. WRONG. High capacity mags look mean but rarely function properly. Further, they interfere with the configuration of the gun, making the gun unweildy and unbalanced. Unless you spend a great deal of time working an extended mag or high capacity drum, you are unlikely to be able to handled the weapon effectively. Moreover, high capacity mags are prone to failure as occured in Aurora. The perp would have been far more effective carrying (5) 20 round mags for his AR clone than he was using the drum mag.

                  4) Banning the manufacture, sale, or importation of “assault weapons” or high capacity mags will reduce gun crime. WRONG. First, there is NO evidence that either the Brady Act or any one of the existing assault weapon/high capacity mag bans has had any effect what so ever on gun crime. ZERO. In fact, the evidence suggests that it had quite the opposite effect. By banning these things, it appears that Americans have decided that they need to have them. Again, this goes to our American Extremism.

                  Once again, trying to address the violence inherent in our American society by addressing gun ownership is treating the symptom of the problem, not the problem itself.

                • Hey I appreciate all of your points. I see where you’re coming from – we cannot stop the tide. We might disagree, but you make a good argument for your case. I so happen to think we could do something, but that’s my opinion.

                  I do want to address a few of your points – as I want to clear up some issues/misconceptions, you’re in quotes:

                  “Once again, trying to address the violence inherent in our American society by addressing gun ownership is treating the symptom of the problem, not the problem itself.”
                  Moorcat, I appreciate your perspective. You could be 100% right.

                  “I really don’t care whether you understand that a complete ban of firearms is not going to happen in today’s political climate or in light of the Supreme Court decision.”
                  Where did I EVER say I wanted a complete ban on firearms? You put words in my mouth, if you read what I wrote, I never, ever elude to doing that.
                  Please show me where I did? You constantly write that I want to take guns away from people – which I never say! I simply want more scrutiny! There is certainly a difference.

                  ” I have problems with illogical, poor constructed and delusional arguments.”
                  Just because my arguments differ from yours does not make them delusional. I could call yours the same – but I don’t. I gain perspective, might you try the same?
                  Maybe Don can chime in and let me know if my arguments are so poor they ought to be taken down.

                  “I am not Malbut, I think Malbut and his ilk are idiots and do not fit the stereotype you have attempted repeatedly to put me in.”
                  My only mention to Marbut was in context to his solution to the problem. If you go back and read what I wrote, I asked you if you thought that was a solution. That’s NOT the same as calling you Marbut-ite. After reading everything you wrote, I now understand your position perfectly – we can’t stop this kind of thing.

                  Again, I appreciate your perspective. I hope you understand a bit of mine, despite how poorly written and delusional you think they might be.

                • The assault weapons ban is exactly the kind of ban I was talking about and both you have Don have advocated for it. You are, in fact, trying to take guns away (at least that is the perception that such legislation will generate). This isn’t opinion, this is proven fact. That kind of mindset does NOTHING to reduce gun crime. NOTHING.

                  What I find illogical (not delusional) is that everything you have advocated so far is either too costly as to be unenforcable or simply ineffective. Please show me where ANY of the measures you have advocated for would even begin to have any effect or even could be done. The evidence is already in on the so called “Assault weapons” ban.

                  What I find delusional is the constant assurtion by you and by the Malbut bots that ANY of the measures either group advocates for would have had any effect what so ever on the situation in Aurora.

                  Now, to the other glaring inconsistancy in your reply. You keep saying that I advocate for no action. This is utter nonsense. I have advocated for action – just not as a responce to this incident. In fact, I was quite clear on three seperate actions that have been proven to either reduce the availability of guns to those willing to use them in illegal actions or to aid law enforcement in capturing those that do use guns in illegal actions. NOT ONCE have you, Don or anyone else even bothered to respond to those suggestions. It seems you are all so focused on either the incident in Aurora or your own idea that somehow a new “Assault weapons” ban (or some gestapo watch system) will magically solve the problem. The evidence already supports the idea that better and more central access to gun information aids law enforcement. That evidence is beyond reproach. A few American manufacturers are already test firing their weapons before sale and those records are available to law enforcement (or were) in the attempt solve gun crime. Again, this is proven technology that works. Closing the private sale/show sale loopholes will also aid in preventing the sale of firearms to those that probably shouldn’t have them.

                  What won’t work is a kneejerk effort based on an emotional responce to a specific instance. In fact, it today’s political scheme, any reaction is likely to cause the same kind of buying furver that the election of Obama as President caused. It is unrealistic to even advocate a drastic move at this point. You are far better served by a well thought out, researched and measured responce done in stages and without fanfair. This is how you accomplish a program of limiting access.

                  That said, you have to be aware that NONE of these things will truly prevent access to the scary black rifles, the high capacity mags, silencers, or the fifty million other things that make people lose sleep over. As long of those things exist, they will find themselves in the hands of those that will use them to do bad things. This is a fact that is inexcapable. Until you address the reason bad guys do bad things, all your efforts at limiting access are pissing in the wind.

                  My last point in responce to you is one I have already made and you have patently ignored. Limiting my access to ammo will not stop anyone from doing bad things. Since I am a law abiding citizen, all you are doing by attempting to limit access to ammo is limit MY access. This guy walked into the theatre in Colorado with LESS than 200 rounds of ammo. In truth, he wouldn’t have even made your watch list if he had just bought the ammo he needed to use that day. Fact is, 99.9999 % of the people that buy bulk ammo will NEVER use it to kill their fellow citizens. Once again, attempting to pass a law limiting access to ammo is pissing in the wind, a waste of time and money and unlikely in any real sense to prevent instances of this nature.

                  This is what I am refering to when I say your arguments are either illogical, unworkable or delusional. You are more than welcome to take that as the personal insult you obviously take it as. I am simply stating my perseption of the facts based on actual evidence, not emotion. If an argument is delusional, it is delusional, regardless of your personal attachment to the argument and I will call it delusional if it appears to be.

                • “In fact, I was quite clear on three seperate actions that have been proven to either reduce the availability of guns to those willing to use them in illegal actions or to aid law enforcement in capturing those that do use guns in illegal actions.”
                  I’ve not seen those suggestions in this thread, but I must have overlooked them, please re-iterate.

                  “A few American manufacturers are already test firing their weapons before sale and those records are available to law enforcement (or were) in the attempt solve gun crime. ”
                  Well, that’s good thing after someone commits a crime. I’m not sure how that helps us deal with this Colorado type situation?

                  “Closing the private sale/show sale loopholes will also aid in preventing the sale of firearms to those that probably shouldn’t have them.”
                  I’m with you on this one. I agree completely.

                  ” It seems you are all so focused on either the incident in Aurora or your own idea that somehow a new “assault weapons” ban (or some gestapo watch system) will magically solve the problem”
                  This is the part, you keep putting words in my mouth. I never said I wanted to ban assault rifles. I merely wanted a better system for keeping track of them or and who’s purchasing them (and yes, I get your argument that high capacity magazines are not as dangerous and that weapons that have an “assault style” look to them are not meant to be as dangerous, etc etc – we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one). Maybe it is as impractical as you say. Maybe not. Nether you or I have any proof of that one – it’s just an idea. What if you had to have a CC style check for a firearm described as an “assault rifle”. Maybe it would help. Of course said criminal could just get something else commit their crime. I understand that too.

                • First, Matt, if you were actually interested in having a conversation, you need to do your own work. My above comment where I listed three seperate items that would either reduce availability of weapons to questionable people or aid law enforcement in the investigation of gun crime is still there and still readable by you. I will not repeat myself because you are too lazy to look for yourself.

                  Second, I take a great deal of exception with this line and it clearly indicates to me that you have no interest in a reasonable discussion –

                  “Well, that’s good thing after someone commits a crime. I’m not sure how that helps us deal with this Colorado type situation?”

                  Get this through your head – if you can’t than there is no hope of us ever reaching any common ground – YOU CANNOT PREVENT THE SITUATION THAT HAPPENED IN COLORADO. I have spoken at length WHY you can’t prevent that kind of situation and if basic logic is beyond you, there is no hope whatsoever of having an intellegent conversation. This isn’t about Colorado. This is about guns and how to …try… to address the use of guns in killing people. Anything else is a monumental waste of time.

                  Third – you post “I get your argument that high capacity magazines are not as dangerous and that weapons that have an “assault style” look to them are not meant to be as dangerous, etc etc – we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one). ” That isn’t what I said. What I said is that the specific high capacity mag used by the freak in Colorado was prone to failure and most of us that know what the hell we are doing won’t touch one with a 10 meter cattle prod. Nor did I say that Black Rifles are not meant to be as dangerous. What I did say is that a pistol configuration is more stable and therefore sought after by people who routinely operate guns. Oh, I also said that the modern civilian black rifles are NOT assault weapons (and they aren’t). I don’t know what there is to disagree on. Are you maintaining that the high capacity drum that the freak used is reliable? I hope not. I can post three links in about as many minutes to show that they aren’t. Are you saying that black rifles are more dangerous than my remington 742 hunting rifle? Again, I hope not given I can show ballistics that prove otherwise. Are you disagreeing with the idea that pistol gripped rifles are more stable and easier to use than standard configuration rifles? Again, I hope not because even though it is a preference issue, I can again post a half dozen links from professional shooters and gun manufacturers that would disagree with you.

                  I am a gun guy. I study their history, their manufacture, they usage and their weaknesses. Don’t even get me started on the inherent downsides to the AR system in .223. I HATE that rifle with a passion only exceeded by my hatred of stupidity. It is a poodle shooter that should have been retired after it failure in Vietnam. Sadly, though, all this is a digression from the original topic.

                  You claim to “disagree” with me but the things you disagree with, I never said. You DID say that ammo purchases over 500 rounds should be “watched”. You provided no information on how, who, or when that “watching” should be performed, but you did say it. That idea is (sorry, there is no better word for it) stupid on it’s face and I have explained at length why it is a stupid idea.

                  As far as watching who purchases an “assault rifle” (we are going to have a real issue if you continue to use that inaccurate term in this discussion), I have also explained at length why it is an impractical idea. I have “proven” my point (even though this is a new suggestion on your part). I can’t help it if you can’t accept reality.

                  Do you have any concept just how many companies now sell an AR style rifle or just how many of those rifles are sold? Let me educate you. Remington’s top two sales performers are the AR-15 and the AR-25. Yep, one of the largest gun manufacturing companies in the US is selling an AR (actually 2) knockoffs. And they aren’t the only ones. Colt, Berretta, Century Arms, Armlight… the list goes on. Winchester is even toying with the idea of an AR type rifle. Ruger has had a semi auto style rifle for decades that is just as popular – the Ruger mini-14. They restyled it during the Brady act to keep it “legal” but you could still get the accessories to turn it back into the lean mean “black” rifle it was before.

                  The semi auto rifle market in the US is currently the LARGEST rifle market in the US. You are not going to change that – there simply isn’t the political will to do so. Further, you are NOT going to be able get any law passed that requires a CCW type licencing for the purchase of a semi auto rifle – especially given the court decision that gun ownership is a right. The gun companies are not going to allow it (they stand to lose too much money). The Malbutites aren’t going to allow it because then they wouldn’t have anything to hug tightly to their chest at night, and the special interest lobbies like the NRA aren’t going to allow it because they aren’t going to allow any laws to get passed that weaken their strangle hold on politics (or income).

                  This is all reality and it is time you wake up and smell it. The three things I proposed can be done quietly, with a minimum of muss and fuss and will have an impact on gun crime. They certainly won’t stop a red haired freak from hosing a crowded theatre, but they will stop the more casual bad guy from either getting a gun or getting away after using one.

                • “I will not repeat myself because you are too lazy to look for yourself.”
                  Sorry to offend I simply didn’t find it in your reams of replies. I just wanted a summation.

                  “Second, I take a great deal of exception with this line and it clearly indicates to me that you have no interest in a reasonable discussion”
                  Can you answer anything without being a total asshole?

                  “Get this through your head – if you can’t than there is no hope of us ever reaching any common ground – YOU CANNOT PREVENT THE SITUATION THAT HAPPENED IN COLORADO.”
                  Get this through YOUR head – we disagree on this point. Do you know what a disagreement is? Yelling at me in caps doesn’t make you right! But, I now know since you shouted at me you are clearly right.

                  The rest, I get. I have no better term than “assault rifle” I’m sorry. It’s a shitty term. Find a replacement for us all to use, then we won’t offend.

                  As for my thoughts and comments, they were my own views not a mission to take guns away from people… Yeah, I came up with a few ideas. But they are just that. I suppose any alternative at all should never be discussed in your world. Notice the word DISCUSSED. I’m not making policy, so try not to get all worked up like I am.
                  Isn’t a blog like this made for ideas?

                  But thank for rounding out my education on this – but at the end, I should have known better to say anything at all, lest I get into a shouting match with someone who “clearly has a better understanding about it all than myself.”

                  This I do know: If anything is said that disparages a so-called black rifle, assault rifle or something of the sort (I’ll let you dial in the next pile of comments) you’ll stand up for it.

                  Anyhow, I’m done here. We’re going in circles and will continue to do so. I never hoped to convince you of anything different than what you think. But know you have certainly educated me on the matter, and that I have gained perspective.
                  See ya.

                • Ok, Matt, since you are so militant about it, please explain to me how the situation in Colorado could have been reasonably prevented. I have explained in length why it couldn’t… your turn.

                  As far as alternative to “assault weapons” I have given you two accepted alternatives – semi auto rifles and “black” rifles. I prefer the former as it is accurate as well as specific.

                  I did “discuss” your ideas from both a practical and a logic standpoint. You failed to even respond to that discussion other than the generic “we will agree to disagree”. That is simply crap. It is a cop out. If you really do believe your solutions will work, explain how they will work. That is what a discussion is about, not a childish copout. I have no time or patience (as you can plainly see) for that kind of chicken shit form of discussion. Prove me wrong… I am waiting….

                  Matt, it is apperant throughout this discussion that I DO have a better understanding of this situation than you do. There is no shame in that. I am (probably) older than you, I have spent the better part of my life actively working with guns and I have been in Law Enforcement. My college work in Criminology and Sociology has also given me certain tools to better understand the situation. That is the nature of life. I am sure there are things you know more about than I do. I am also quite sure you could educate me on those things. This ain’t one of them.

                  You also fail in the comprehension department. I guess you missed the paragraph above where I made it clear that the AR style .223 is one my least favorite guns. Believe me when I say that I can more accurately disparage that gun than you can because I know – specifically – where it’s weak points are. It is a crappy gun and the fact that it is being emulated by most of the major gun manufacturers in the US is a point of amazement for me. This is a great example of you attempting (badly) to snark me or disparage me. You have done so throughout this discussion – staring with your first reply to me – and I have pretty much ignored them because they are not germane to the discussion. Sadly, it does show your level of argument, though.

                  I am glad you learned something from the discussion (though I honestly couldn’t tell whether you were being serious or snarky when you said that). I have taught classes in firearms and I have enjoyed teaching about them. In fact, I thing Bloomberg, Fienstein and others would be a hell of a lot more successful in their goal to curb firearm crime if they would learn a little about guns and their use. Good luck with your endevours in the future.

                • “Ok, Matt, since you are so militant about it, please explain to me how the situation in Colorado could have been reasonably prevented. I have explained in length why it couldn’t… your turn.”

                  See, this is where we have a problem. You immediately dismiss any idea I have as unreasonable. You don’t contemplate it in the slightest – you toss it in the dumpster without a second thought because violates YOUR world view.
                  But in the interest to humor you and just complete this discussion I’ll take the bait, but I think I’m done kicking the can…

                  Ideas for prevention, with the above caveat.. I’m prepared for your dismissal:
                  1. In Matt’s world this asshole would have had to fill out more that FFL paperwork to obtain a black gun. I don’t know what that is? But you know all about this – all you have to have is a clean record, not look too high or drunk or shitting-on-the-walls-insane as you plop down to fill out your side of the FFL paperwork. Maybe an extra form to pick up by law enforcement? Maybe this ass-hat would have been looking like he did during his court appearance yesterday or do something odd. As a former law enforcement officer – you can pick up on that vibe I’m confident. But I don’t know the process… just an extra “check”. I really don’t know how to implement it.
                  MAYBE he would have gotten sniffed out. Maybe. Better odds to try, than not to try at all. Yes, I realized if he bought a regular non-black rifle this would have removed this opportunity to catch him. Certainly a weakness I agree. Because I too agree with you that it doesn’t take a black rifle to kill a lot of people. I’m pretty sure my lever action 44 could really inflict damage.

                  2. The mass ammo thing. I threw out 500 rounds before, but what calibers should you keep track of?. Hey I agree it’s pretty hard to keep track of that -but maybe limit mass purchases to brick and mortar stores… so at least someone can lay their eyes on you. Maybe, as above, someone would have noticed something strange. This ass-hat bought 6000 rounds. I know he brought far less than that to the shooting – but maybe with observant eyes and good people someone might have noticed this odd-ball. At least an outside chance.

                  3. I think we can say the same thing about this fella getting his tactical protection. Sell it at a brick and mortar store. Maybe someone would have seen something weird. Maybe not..

                  4. Big clips. Again you and I both know this is hard to define. Maybe to buy these you need extra scrutiny like purchasing a black rifle. If you want it, go get some sort of certification at the sheriff’s office. At least another set of eyes gets to lay themselves on you. You might be noticing a common theme? Interaction with people! Make it less easy to do a faceless transaction. I am a big believer in people noticing things. Maybe someone would have observed something odd..

                  Note in all of these proposed Ideas, I’ve not said you cannot own anything. Just one more chance for someone to look you over. And I never said it was foolproof. Without a doubt this ass-hat could have slipped through everything proposed and carried out his crime. I realize this.
                  He could bypass any of these checks via the black market or maybe just decided to blow himself up. Both would have accomplished his goal I guess. but maybe he would have had to work harder at it. Maybe that would have deterred him. Maybe. Lots of maybes here.

                  Look Moorcat, I know you know more about this than I do, and at least you have your opinions and perspective nailed down! I’m not afraid to say I don’t know something or I might be wrong. Scan back to any of my comments and I doubt you’ll find that level of confidence. I also believe that sometimes people can be so entrenched in their own opinions that they lose sight of the larger picture. If I were that closed off, I’d never venture into this marsh with you. This is certainly not comfortable territory. I’m prepared to disagree, but I’m not in a hurry to be disagreeable. That doesn’t help me learn or have a real discussion.

                  As far as the AR .223 – I really didn’t mean to snark you. I guess my sentences came off as too strong – I apologize. You definitely know what you’re talking about, I have no doubt. I mean that with sincerity. Getting into a pissing match with you wasn’t my intent. I actually follow you and your brothers writing quite a bit. I don’t always agree, but you usually make for a good read. That equates to respect – I want you to know that.

                • “You immediately dismiss any idea I have as unreasonable. You don’t contemplate it in the slightest – you toss it in the dumpster without a second thought because violates YOUR world view.”

                  OK Matt, let me make something perfectly clear here. I did not “dismiss” your ideas without thought. I made it very clear why those ideas were both unworkable and unreasonable. By doing so, I made it clear that I considered them and based on both my knowledge and my experience, I found them to be unworkable. That said, let’s take each of your “maybe” ideas on their merits. We will skip right past the fact that none of these ideas could be put in place in today’s political arena and just assume that they could.

                  ” 1) In Matt’s world this asshole would have had to fill out more that FFL paperwork to obtain a black gun.”

                  First, you would have to define a “black gun” legally. Luckily for you, that has already been done. The definition is idiotic on it’s face, but we can work with it. The AR this asswipe got definitely fit into that description. Since you are not talking about a complete ban like multiple states already have, let’s look at a situation like many of the eastern states have concerning Black rifles. There are four states that require additional BATF paperwork to be filled out by anyone buying certain kinds of weapons. This is an existing law. It is next to impossible to enforce because there is no way to legally obtain medical records but you can at least look at their criminal record.

                  This is where your idea fails. When he purchased that weapon, there was absolutely NO indication that he was unstable. In fact, the ONLY person that has come forward and indicated that he might have been was a range owner that found his voice mail message “disturbing”. This range owner did not meet this individual and there is factual basis for his testimony. Given that, this individual would most likely have passed even the stricter requirements that some states have in place. It isn’t a “dumb” idea, just an idea that has no basis or reason to believe that it would have prevented this tragedy.

                  “2. The mass ammo thing. I threw out 500 rounds before, but what calibers should you keep track of?. ”

                  Let’s assume that buys of large amounts of ammo could be tracked. So what? His name would have popped up on a list with the names of 10’s of thousands of other people (myself included). Since this individual has no criminal history, there is no reason to believe that it would have been an issue for him. Let’s go even farther and assume that it did, for some magical reason “flag” him. What then? The FBI would put a tap on his phone? The police would do a stakeout on his house? Just how much manpower do you want to devote to someone that buys more ammo than you think they should have?

                  Moreover, let’s assume (logically) that this intellegent individual KNOWS that if he buys large lots of ammo, he will be tracked so instead of 6000 rounds through the mail, he spends that four months he spent preparing buying a couple of boxes of ammo a day from the MANY sporting goods stores in the Denver area.

                  Once again, there is no logical reason this individual would have been prevented by watching large ammo buys. Hell, I have purchased more than 6000 rounds (even if you don’t count the .22 ammo) in 7.62 x39, 7.62 x 54, .308, 30.06, .45 and 9mm. All of these calibers are used in military weapons and yes, many of my guns are military weapons. Given my ammo use, by your reasoning, I should be scrutinized by the “authorities” a lot more than this kid. The difference is that I am not going to light off a couple of tear gas cannisters and start shooting up a theatre. This kid did.

                  “3. I think we can say the same thing about this fella getting his tactical protection. Sell it at a brick and mortar store.”

                  It remains unclear exactly what body armor this kids was wearing. The news stories are confusing. That said, most military and police body armor is already restricted and you can only purchase it with certain licenses. The stuff you can buy mail order is usually aimed at security people, bedwetters (those people that are so afraid of the government/police/zombies that they huddle in fear at night clutching their guns and praying for the new day) and collectors. Let’s assume for second that he had walked into the local Army Navy Surplus store and bought it. The ones around here sell it. What makes you think that the clerk – probably a minimum wage retail employee would have A) noticed this guys dementia given that his instructors at a reputable grad school didn’t notice it and B) would have had the first clue on how to report “a bad feeling”? Moreover, what can law enforcement do? Try walking into a police station and tell the clerk that some guy you waited on at your work gave you a bad feeling and see what responce you get. It won’t be pleasant.

                  “4. Big clips. Again you and I both know this is hard to define. Maybe to buy these you need extra scrutiny like purchasing a black rifle.”

                  See 1) above. Again, there is little reason to believe that him purchasing a large magazine in a sporting goods store would have done anything other than make the sporting goods store richer by $150.00. Anything else is wishful thinking. Please show me ONE individual that has come forward that actually physically associated with this guy that thought he was… “off”.

                  In short, this guy was “looked over” by a whole shitload of people and no one twigged to him going “Joker”. He had instructors, guidence councilers, a grad professor etc and not one of them knew he was secretly planning one of the most heinous crimes of the last century.

                  Moreover, this guy was more than willing to break the law. He either purchased or made explosives to booby trap his house. He either purchased or made two tear gas canisters (which, btw ARE illegal in Colorado). He walked into a crowded theatre and laid waste to the better part of 100 people. The law did not mean a lot to this guy. He seemed far more concerned with keeping under the radar while doing his preps.

                  Which all brings me back to my basic assersion that – reasonably – NOTHING could have prevented this wackjob from pulling a Joker. He was an intellegent, organized, dedicated planner and he executed his plan (at least up the point where his gun jammed) with precision and grace. He obviously wanted to survive the encounter so he could witness the carnage he had wrought. This is one sick individual and there is no logical or reasonable expectation that any of the hurdles you suggest would have deterred him.

                  This is what my experience and knowledge tells me and what logic points to.

            • One last thing- you’ve no idea my background or my association with firearms. I grew up on a farm and shot my fair share of .22 bricks … Reloaded ammo, etc.
              I still stand by my comments, even though you belittle my experience and knowledge in the subject. I have plenty, even if I didn’t clean and oil my guns this evening. So do me the favor of not blowing me off immediately, thanks.

              • See that makes your previous comments even harder to understand, not easier (and for the record, it has been at least two weeks since I had to clean any of my guns because I have been too damn busy with my brother’s birthday and work on my house to get the range – sorry to disappoint you).

                You claim to have “shot [your] fair share of .22 bricks” but you advocate that anyone purchasing more than 500 rounds should be on a watch list. If you have fired a brick of .22 rounds, you know that a brick is either 660 rounds or 1000 rounds (depending on the manufacturer). Therefore you know that a third of the Montana population – including yourself – would be on this supposed watch list. Do have any idea just how many people it would take to just administer the list for Montana? Just how much tax money do you want to throw at this thing? Do you have any idea how much paperwork would be involved just for the retailers in Montana? There are five retailers in Dillon alone that sell bricks of .22 ammo and while I have no idea just how many each sells, I do know that one of them sells at least 100 bricks in a month. It is a logistical impossibility. In short, it is a stupid and unworkable idea just from a logical standpoint.

                That said, it is hard not to belittle both your knowledge and experience on the subject. Any knowledgable or experiences person would know the logistical impossibility of what you are advocating. Since I do not know you personally, I can only go by what I read from you here and what I have seen you write indicates either a lack of knowledge or complete delusion. Since I prefer not to immediately jump to the conclusion that you are delusional, I stuck with lack of knowledge. Thanks for correcting me.

            • I still wager you’re as emotionally charged as I am over this. I choose to admit it. I’m not sure if you will.”

              I have already admitted the extent that I am emotionally charged over this situation. You have already lost your bet.

              Let me explain in very real terms why this situation (and especially your dysfunction about this situation) means nothing to me.

              1) Nothing that comes out of this situation will effect me in the least. I already own guns – including three rifles you consider “black” rifles – and no matter how strident or effective your political group becomes, the government will NEVER be able to take those guns away. It simply won’t happen. I own them, I shoot them, and I have no fear of some black suited police breaking down my door. That is Malbut’s fantasy, not mine.

              2) I have no personal connection with the actual events. Yes, I was born 8 blocks from the theatre that this occured in, but I don’t have any family there, I don’t know anyone that was there and I certainly have no connection to the freak that did this horrible act.

              3) To be emotionally charged, you have to have some emotional connection to the situation. I have none. At the very worst, some horrible legislation (like the patriot act) will be passed by people like you, wringing your hands in impotent fear of the big bad “assault rifles” and the scary people who own them. It might effect my ability to buy ammo, or parts for the guns I work on. It might make my FFL licensing procedure a little longer or it might limit what guns I can buy in the future. Now understand, as a realist, I think that any of those possibilities are remote. I think that the people like you, ranting about stricter laws, will be (quietly) drowned out by the money that will flood the political arena by the Second Amendment types and little to nothing will change.

              4) The one area that will change (and you can take this one to the bank), is that gun sales and ammo sales will go up in the next couple of months and that will drive the price of ammo, parts and guns up. That will certainly effect me but not enough for me to get “emotionally charged”. Personally, I think the people that buy guns and ammo out of fear as just as wrong and touched as people like you that think gun enthusists are all Tea party militia men. I will quiety laugh at these idiots and wait until the retailers have an overstock and the price comes back down. Until then, I will shoot up the thousands of rounds of ammo I already own.

              One last thing that even you can figure out. Let’s do some basic economics.

              1 box of 20 rounds of 7.62 X 39 ammo – $4.50 – $6.00 per box (depending on where you get it).
              1 Case of 1000 rounds of 7.62 X 39 ammo – $163.50.

              I fire approximately 250 rounds each range trip and I (typically) make 3 – 4 range trips a month. You see, owning a gun means nothing if you don’t practice. I will not be able to compete unless I train. It is that simple.

              Which makes more sense?

              • You side-stepped the question I asked. What is your solution to prevent another shooting like this one? Or is this sort of thing acceptable in a gun friendly nation?

              • By emotionally charged (for you), I mean in the context of gun control or any serious modification to the current laws on the books. Again, I await an answer to my question above.

                • I would venture to say I know a little more about what laws are currently on the books (you see, it is part of my FFL licensing). I think I did a pretty good job of addressing why I am not emotionally charged. I am sorry you failed to comprehend the answer.

  • Just as an interesting datum point for this discussion, The BATF is reporting that gun sales (as indicated by applications for background checks) have increased in the last year exponencially. In Indiana, in 2010, there were 187,000 applications submitted. In 2011, there were 346,000. that is a HUGE jump in applications. Now the yearly figures have not been released, nor have the breakdown figures been released but it appears that handgun sales is the area that is increasing most rapidly. Since the number of hunting licenses applied for has decreased in the same amount of time, one can only assume that, like in 2008, this increase is fear driven. That saddens me more than I can express in words.

    Given this increase in gun sales (and presumably gun ownership), I think it unlikely that any major gun control measures are even possible. This is just opinion at this point, but I will be watching how far Bloomberg and Fiensteins drive to institute gun policy gets. I predict – based on this information alone – that it won’t get very far.

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