Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, eh?


But you can’t kill fourteen people quickly with an axe in an immigration center or lay in wait in ambush and kill three cops with a knife, now can you? The recent batch of mass murders were done with firearms and could not have happened if the killers didn’t have them.

Yes, one of the recent mass murders was a deranged brother who decapitated his sister and then got shot by a cop. If he’d had a gun, things probably would have been much bloodier.


This appears to be an inevitable result of the bad economy, a conservative movement circling the drain, feeling betrayed, isolated, and defeated, and the rampant eliminationist talk from right-wing nutjobs on the radio and TV.


We’re gathering more information about Richard Polawski, the 23-year-old man who decided to kill four Pittsburgh police officers and wound five others because it appears he was afraid they — at the behest of the Obama administration — were going to take his guns away.

But this is not just due to an irresponsible right wing egging on the unhinged. The Boston decapitator, the Binghampton slaughterer, and the Oakland police killer – just to name a few recent mass murderers – had no links to right wing politics. As for the Pittsburgh cop killer, right wingers tend to strongly support police, so why would he want to kill them? It makes no sense, but then none of the recent killings make sense.

People have a right to own guns. But those same weapons in the hands of the insane or desperate can kill too many too fast.

My guess, more than anything, it’s the economy that is pushing the marginally rational off the cliff into gibbering madness – and if they happen to have a gun handy and someone to blame…


  1. just ask timothy mcveigh if you can kill in masse without guns. when there’s a will, there will always be a way.

    • Car bombs are indeed horrific. “Buda’s Wagon” by Mike Davis is a brief history of the car bomb, the first instance of which was used by an Italian anarchist, Mario Buda. on Wall Street in 1920 in a horse-drawn wagon, hence the title of the book.

      That was the first car bomb that deliberately targeted innocents and civilians. (The IRA had used them previously but only against military targets.)

  2. Asimov wrote a short story fifty or so years ago about an outbreak of bizarre behavior in the more mentally unstable as a precognitive response to an impending disruption of the planet.

    The End is Near

  3. “But you can’t kill fourteen people quickly with an axe in an immigration center or lay in wait in ambush and kill three cops with a knife, now can you?”

    A man in China killed SIX people WITH A KNIFE, not just people they were POLICE OFFICERS!

    I guess we should ban those cop killer knives huh?


    3 dudes killed 21 people with hammers and steel bars!

      • Thanks for the quick reply,


        But, I don’t think guns should be banned, but much better regulated, but I strongly believe in the 2nd amendment. (I don’t own any firearms, I just think if someone isn’t a convicted felon or mentally unstable I believe they have the right to own one, handguns and semi-automatic rifles that look like fully automatic rifles included, but I’m against the general public owning actual fully automatic weapons, thank god they’ve been heavily regulated since the National Firearms Act of 1934, “assault weapons” are semi-automatic ONLY weapons that look like assault rifles, they are no different other than cosmetically than other civilian weapons)

        I think the best way to reduce incidents like these and gun violence in general is to get rid of poverty and have better mental health care.

        Not to mention all of the violence associated with the illegal drug trade, legalizing drugs would help too.

        Poverty is the cause of most crimes!

        I’m saying this as a pro-RKBA left-winger. More specifically libertarian socialist.


  4. As Bob points out, guns make killing “easier”– which is to say that at least some of the killing would take place anyway. On the other hand, there is some evidence that an armed society polices itself. The mass shooting in Salt Lake City a year or so ago was halted by an off-duty police officer who had his pistol with him, otherwise it would have been much worse. But an armed society without respect for each other devolves into the wild west, so guns are neither the problem nor the solution. Both extremes miss the point.

    (Interesting that Bob chose to put this post two entries after the arson of a hotel– massive destruction that could have killed a lot of people, committed without benefit of a firearm. Then there’s cyanide in tylenol, rat poison in cocaine, and a host of other ways to kill lots of people without guns.)

    I have a hard time divorcing the upsurge in violence from other events like the banking and mortgage scandals, the gutting of the educational system, and the enormous federal debt. What do these have in common? Selfishness and lack of personal responsibility. In a nutshell we are a nation of spoiled brats who wants what we want when we want it, regardless of cost. Far too often, when we don’t get it, we throw a tantrum, whether that’s invading another country, denying someone else their rights, or (for those less powerful) killing a dozen people.

    OK, it’s a bit more complex than that. Powerlessness associated with industrialization, globalization, and loss of democracy also plays a part. So does political extremism that looks at anyone who disagrees with us as “the enemy.” In fact, we’ve lost quite a bit of our humanity over the past few decades.

  5. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that gun control ends all human death as we know it, just the ones that are caused by people getting SHOT. If you have a good case to make, you shouldn’t need to make ridiculous, batshit arguments like “people die without guns too!!!”

  6. Whoa, what makes that a “batshit” argument? We don’t even need to go to Rwanda or Congo, where the machete is the weapon of choice. In South Carolina, which has one of the higher rates of gun ownership, 1/3 of murders are committed WITHOUT guns. IMO you can’t divorce the problem of gun violence from the problem of violence in general. And if you address the problem of violence in general, the problem of gun violence gets addressed right along with it.

    Gun control will obviously reduce gun deaths (as long as we have a stable and reliable police force), and it will probably have an impact on murders overall– but it’s also a safe bet that non-gun murders would rise to compensate.

    OTOH, people like us who live 30 minutes or more from the nearest sheriff’s deputy would be left defenseless against threats both human and non-human. Regardless of what the law says, when I leave home I won’t leave my wife with only a kitchen knife for defense against coyotes or intruders. (And yes, we’ve had both. Fortunately my California girl is pretty good with both a 30-30 and a 12-gauge. She’s never had to shoot anyone or anything, but she’s had to scare them off more than once.) (I on the other hand had to shoot a wild dog that came after our goats.)

    Utah has one of the highest rates of gun ownership and one of the lowest rates of gun-related homicide. Partly that’s because guns are not novelties here, they are essential tools people grew up with as well as a part of life. You’d no more fail to equip your home with one or more firearms than you’d leave it without a fire extinguisher. If guns ever were banned nationwide, expect a lot of civil disobedience here.

    • I agree to the t
      you can’t protect people against something by taking it away from them forcefully. it’s encouraging ignorance. (but yeah, governments like that)
      regarding the batshit argument, bad shit is always happening… how many people kill other innocent people in car accidents? or, as said, car bombings….so should we ban cars?
      a ban is not the way. regulation may be. first of all, conscious and conscientious self-regulation. but that’s another story 🙂
      i’m just afraid there’s other motives behind all the bans…

  7. all we need to prevent another insodent is better regulation.

    if the left wing nutjobs ban guns, then we will be canada without the weed, and where is the fun in that?

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