Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Killer Control

The Republicans seem to be considering a nod to gun control after the latest round of shootings. I'm actually not opposed. Here's why.

For starters, let me say that I am a huge believer in individual freedom. I am also completely opposed to a liberal favorite: group punishment -- unlike liberals, I don't believe you can stop bad people and bad things by punishing good people and good things. I also know that any attempt to ban guns would be impossible, would tear apart society (the public will not surrender), and will only leave guns in the hands of bad people. I also know that even if we could somehow wish away guns tomorrow, the killing would not stop. If anything, it would get worse as these people start coming up with creative ways to take massive numbers of lives. I could kill hundreds with a simple hammer, for example, were I so inclined. Trust me, there are 300 million guns in the US, if they were the problem, you would know it. And killers kill because they are killers, not because they have guns.

So why would I agree to some form of gun control then? To be frank, there are certain people who just should not be allowed to own guns... criminals, crazy people, Democrats... and they need to be watched.

A law allowing the government to gather information on which persons may have these so-called "red flags" and keep them from owning guns while keeping an eye on them strikes me as both eminently reasonable and narrowly tailored enough not to tread on the rights of the people who should be allowed to own guns.

I know the argument against, which is that the Democrats will try to jam the whole camel under the tent once they get the nose through, but I'm not really a fan of the "the other guy can't be trusted" argument as a means for inaction. I think it is better to organize your society rationally and defend it rather than leaving a bad situation because you fear the other side might exploit it.

I also think that politically, it is much more prudent to be the rational party on this. These mass killings and other gun killings affect people in ways that other crimes simply do not. If you don't let the air out of this balloon slowly, it will pop one day and that will result in an overarching oppressive scheme. It is better to give 5% than lose 100%, and right now I think those are becoming the alternatives.

Lastly, I see this as a good opportunity to try to make some real changes which the left will not like. It's time to allow states to hold crazy people longer than 24 hours, to force mental patients to take their pills, to raise the ratings on video games and movies that use gun violence, to let victims sue media companies for copy-cat crimes, to ban the media from reporting the names of shooters or their manifestos or otherwise make heroes of these guys, to add punishments that might deter them like castration or to give their assets to their victims. None of these is a silver bullet, but each combined will have an effect on this... and each will piss off the left something fierce. They will freak out and fight every one of these, and in the process will expose themselves as not wanting to do anything to stop these killings because all they really want is to take away guns.



Anthony said...

Red flag laws sound reasonable. Many shooters work their way up to it over the course of months if not years. If some guy (or woman) is working themselves up to mass murder better to interdict them ahead of time. Post 9/11 the government got a lot more aggressive about rounding up Muslim terrorists. We can do the same with a broader range of budding killers.

Its noteworthy that a lot of these guys (like many non-killers nowadays) are weakly tied to their local communities but strongly tied to the internet. The ability to find people online who are into whatever you are into is a wonderful and terrible thing. It can provide solace but it can also make a person more angry/delusional that the neighborhood and the larger world in which they live are not more like the wonderful people they found online. Why go out and meet the impure? You know the truths of the world, but randoms are unlikely to. Hang out online and feed your rage, until it bubbles over and you decided to do something. On that note, most shooters are guys determined to die but trying to make a statement before they die and leave nothing but pain to the non-believers (including family and kids), so I doubt any punishment would mean much to them.

In an ideal world the rhetoric would get toned down, but that is not going to happen in the foreseeable future. Both political fringes love to feed the fears of their fanbases with each other's idiocy and to embrace their star idiots no matter what they do. Given all that I'd be shocked if politicians agreed to laws which let people sue others for the actions of killers. That would put politicians and the avid supporters at risk. Or course, there are always emergency decrees...

Unknown said...

Would be great if govt partners with private companies to create a social credit scoring system.

Google has your mail, IMs, social media, search, driving locations and speed, phone history, purchases...

Why stop at guns in using this Red Flag information?

AndrewPrice said...

Here's your problem, unknown.

1. That's all already being done. In fact, that's been done your whole life. So you're defending a world that never was.

2. If you're suggesting that we should not do anything, then you are out of the debate. Something will be done. Do we do something rational and limited that makes sense or do we wait for something terrible to be done by those left in the debate.

3. I suspect that you're quite happy to allow "red flag" use in other areas such as recidivist laws, DUI laws, keeping out criminal immigrants, denying welfare to drug users, screening teachers, cops, doctors, etc. So if you think guns should be different, then you need to explain that... and I don't think you can come up with a reason that criminals or crazy people should be allowed guns.


Anonymous said...

Andrew; Thankyou for posting this. I had some thoughts on it that I was going to share on Facebook, but what Facebook amounts to is "Fuck you!" "No fuck you!"so it's not really productive. I think Red Flag laws are the worst possible solution to this. America is at it's worst when she acts hastily. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the Patriot Act come to mind. Mass shootings of this kind are dramatic but they constitute a tiny minority of murders in the United States. Political acts rushed into in haste never turn out well. Red Flag laws are not only a stalking horse in the Left's continual war against the Second Amendment but they are an attack on the Fourth as well. Red flag tips will pour in to police departments. Jealous girlfriends and exes, people with grudges, people who just don't like guns and find out that somebody at work has some. Who's going to sort these out? This is a huge expansion of the surveilance state that kicked into high gear after 9/11/01. Who will determine who is mentally unstable as opposed to just weird? Everybody is weird to somebody. These laws turn the presumption of innocence and due process on their heads. Your guns are seized because you made an angry Facebook post and the bureaucracy has determined that you shouldn't have them. Now you have to prove that you're fit? This is American jurisprudence turned on it's head. I oppose these laws completely and I think that they are a terrible idea. I will be out and about today so I can't immediately respond to anything you post but I'll check in this evening.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, One of the problems with finding solutions to this is that the left is using this issue as a wedge to get gun control. So they don't want other solutions. So they lump them all together and then throw up their hands and say, "Gee, there isn't one reason they do this, so there's no pattern except that they used guns, so that's the only solution." But the truth is that there are patterns of behavior.

If we exclude the dipsh*ts who are trying to kill their ex-wives and shoot up an office building, these guys fall into a couple categories:

1. Guys who want to be famous. They are nobodies and they think they can become somebody by shooting people. They can be stopped by denying them fame... but the media loves to make them famous. These guys usually want to survive the shooting too, so things like castration are a real deterrent.

2. Guys who have a "cause." This seems to be connected to sexual dysfunction, but it manifests itself through politics. These are the guys with the manifestos. They are hoping to create a race war or terrorize some social group they see as gaining acceptance/power. Their goal is to spark the other people they think are out there to do the same. They usually intend to die in the process, so to stop these people, you need to catch them early (red flags) and never publish their manifestos. Also, make it clear their goals will backfire. Hence, take whatever they have and give it to the group they are opposing, support victim groups, etc.

As odd as it may sound, these people do give off strong danger signs, but our society isn't set up to stop them. Most European countries are. For example, these people will speak quite freely about their desires to kill people, they will stalk girls, they may bring a gun to class, etc. The Europeans put these people in therapy and watch them closely. We let them roam free.

Islamic terrorists actually fall into this group too, though they are being used a guided missiles by people seeking power.

3. Victim-wannabes. These are often the school shooters. These are kids who think they've been bullied and decide to get even with their bullies and all the other kids who they blame for not helping them... and the girls who wouldn't date them. Again, sexual dysfunction/
ostracization play a huge rule in this. This can only be stopped by catching these kids before they strike and changing their outlook on the world. The parents need to be brought into this because they often wash their hands of these kids and sometimes even buy them guns (kudos to the occasional grandmother who turns these kids in). This is also where video games and movies are a problem. Those things teach these kids that gun violence solves problems.

4. Genuine crazies. These people kill because they are nuts. These people need to be caught early in life and, frankly, put away.

AndrewPrice said...


Thanks for the comment. I'm glad you're happier posting here!

I both agree and disagree. The danger is obviously that the authorities get flooded with BS complaints and can't separate the meaningful ones from the nonsense ones or that the authorities get overzealous. I agree that those things are problems.

But here's the thing. This is mainly a line drawing problem at that point and I think that by and large people are pretty good at drawing lines. In this case, I think that the real dangerous people really do reveal themselves.

A guy who gets arrested for a drunken fight with his wife where they may have slapped each other is not this problem, but a guy who terrorizes an ex-wife or has a history of terrorizing ex-girlfriends or of stalking women is a problem. A student who brings a joint to school is an idiot, but is not a problem. A student who gets into a fight is not a problem. A student who makes threats to kill other students is, and needs to be watched. A student who brings a gun to school needs to be watched. Honestly, someone who posts plans on line about shooting other people needs to be watched. People who see counselors and talk about their desires to kill other people need to be watched. It should be the same result as people who talk about suicide.

These things are all actually crimes, we just don't treat them as such because we've become numb to them, and they are genuine red flags of people who are dangerous. Will they all become shooters? No. But these are people who need to be reined in one way or another, and I think taking any guns they may have is a necessary step. Indeed, I see no problem with putting red flags on these people and (1) watching them, (2) putting them into some sort of program depending on what they've done, and (3) denying them access to things like guns... just as they should/would be denied a security clearance or parole or release from a mental facility.

In Europe (particularly in the Scandinavian countries), what happens is the cops visit these people, take away any guns they have and start watching them. That calms most of them down. In Asia, they arrest them and hold them until they think the danger has passed.

In in the US, the police used to do that. They knew who was a criminal and who wasn't and they periodically paid them visits to make sure they weren't up to something serious. Hence, the term "the usual suspects." We got away from that in the 1960s.

Can these things be abused, yes. But I think (1) the authorities are good at separating the real from the phony in terms of complaints, (2) I think people will stop making phony complaints once the publicity phase of the legal change passes, (3) we can define the red flags fairly narrowly to unacceptable conduct, not just unliked conduct, (4) we can always include judicial review to lessen the chance of bureaucratic abuse, and (5) you can avoid getting mixed up in this whole issue by not seeming to be violent. I also think this is a much superior solution than regulating guns and ensnaring everyone rather than just the people who draw attention to themselves for their conduct.

AndrewPrice said...

OT: This is hilarious! A socialist convention devolved into chaos because snowflakism and gender pronouns and the such. LOL!


Critch said...

I just don't trust any laws that Congress passes in the heat of the moment..These Red Flag Laws are not the answer. I suspect that most states, like mine, have measures for the police to take guns from a person who has been identified as dangerous...And what is to stop someone from Red Flagging an ex- or someone they don't like? If these laws pass it needs to be a felony to report someone for anything other than a bonafide reason. So much of this talk amounts to taking good drivers off the rode because of the drunk drivers. If I have to put up with 100% background checks etc..then I want to be able to carry concealed in all 50 states, no restrictions. The stupidity of the Left is amazing...this amount to dictatorship by inches..Too bad the police haven't gunned down every one of these shooters and showed their bloody corpses to everyone...too many of these twits just haven't thought out the consequences...How do they think they will "ban" high cap magazines etc? Registration?

tryanmax said...

I have several reactions to proposals of Red Flag laws.

Foremost, there will always be a push for gun control. It’s better for those who wish to preserve gun rights to propose and enact whatever controls there will be. The downside, however, is that gun grabbers will never be satisfied. There will never be a point that is enough, as the center is always shifting.

The term “red flag law” is, for practical purposes, an undefined term. This makes it a great piece of political rhetoric. There’s no defined goal line to cross. The opportunity for Republicans is to pass the narrowest red flag law they can reasonably get away with and declare victory.

What I see going on specifically is Trump suggesting he may tie any red flag legislation to border enforcement. The play looks to be to find out which Democrats favor more: open borders or gun control. Assuming Trump continues with this setup, he’s already established the win-win. If Dems pick guns, Trump advances his #1 issue further and Dems only get a watered-down version of what they’d do on their own. If Dems pick the border, Trump will find another avenue to pursue border control as he’s done before and Dems lose credibility on the gun issue.

AndrewPrice said...

Here's an interesting (off topic) bit of data. These two data points were in the same article, but no one connected them. The point to the article was that Chedder News (yeah, that's a thing -- it's aimed at Millennials) is popular:

1. Hulu has 17 million subscribers. Hulu carries Cheddar.

2. Hulu subscribers watched "more than 24 million viewer hours" of Cheddar news in the first quarter! Hurray! See, Cheddar is popular.

Uh, except that works out to roughly 1.4 hours each per quarter. Divide that by 90 days in a quarter and you're talking about 40 seconds a day.

This is a great example of the truth staring everyone in the face but no one seeing it because they uncritically bought the narrative.

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, In the drunk driving example, the analogy would actually be refusing to take away the licenses of people with DUIs or who have arrested for drunk and disorderly.

The left is nuts though. Check out that link. It's hilarious! Their whole convention breaks down because they are making too much noise and someone uses the wrong gender pronoun. LOLOLOL! Idiots

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree. I particularly think it always helps to be seen as being proactive about things the public doesn't like, even if what you are doing isn't that big. And it's definitely better that we make the laws than the make the laws. But implicit in that is that we do try to fix problems.

Critch said...

The Dayton shooting has already fallen off the scope...turns out the shooter was actually a Warren supporting Leftist who killed his transgender sister/brother (this stuff confuses me) first...If it doesn't follow their narrative it gets dropped..The El Paso shooter's mom called the police, but of course nothing happened....Rosanna Arquette is upset that she was born white...I mean who cares? Some of my oldest son's friends asked me who she was...

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, Putrid-leftist Yahoo never mentioned that fact despite claiming to be a news source, but "mysteriously" started calling him "attacker" instead of "shooter" when that came out. You want proof of dishonesty on the left, there it is.

As for Arquette, she could always fix the problem. She could give away her money, get a weave and a deep tan, and STFU. She could always get a real job too, like the rest of us. Of course, she wouldn't last a week.

Anonymous said...

Andrew; Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed response. You make several good points but my problem is that the Left never acts in good faith. Their only concern is the endgame and their endgame is the win. Like Critch, I have a big problem with legislation passed in haste. I think Tryanmax may have come up with the best way to jujitsu this in our favor. I am very worried right now. I live in Ohio and Mike DeWine is a weak man. Within TWO DAYS(!) of the Dayton shooting he had come up with a seventeen point gun control proposal. It should take longer than two days to come up with a seventeen point proposal about anything except potholes. He apparently went to some gathering where the crowd chanted DO SOMETHING over and over again at him. He's too stupid to realize that the thing was staged and too weak to realize that he needs to think this through. He was already a RINO anyway. We'll see how it goes.

Unknown said...

You seem like a smart person, Drew - Assume you have through this through and see all the trap doors.

Let's look at the fundamentals of your Red Flag crime prevention program:

1. Information is collected.
2. Judgement is rendered
3. Weapons are seized

what information is to be collected?
- psychologists - just ruled Trump has personality disorder
- doctors? - open medical records
- school councilors - already snitches
- Neighbor/parent reports - "oh, we saw signs"
- ex girlfriends/wives? - they are always honest
- social media - your inner thoughts, as produced by 4chan
- twitter, Facebook, ans SPL monitors
- everything the govt can get their hands on - tech already track everything

Trump wants social media to detect mass shooters before they commit crimes

FBI Surveillance Proposal Sets Up Clash With Facebook
Agency solicits vendor proposals to collect data from Facebook, other social media to head off safety threats
> The FBI is soliciting proposals from outside vendors for a contract to pull vast quantities of public data from Facebook, Twitter and other social media “to proactively identify and reactively monitor threats to the United States and its interests.”

Who has access to your "dirt file"?
- FISA courts
- Feds
- Local law enforcement
- lawyers in civil suits
- "Reporters"
- Congress
- should be protected as least as much as Trump's tax returns

How is judgment rendered?
- secret FISA court - nobody knows
- long trail process
- no due process, just like Title IX rape and "no fly list".
- what beliefs predict violence? Voting for Trump means you are a white supremacist
- automated process - when algoroithm sees a "bad post", like recent Mitch McConell ban, just send the cops round to the house to search for guns. And to relatives house, because those are sources of guns as well.

How is property seized?
- cops send a letter
- cops show up at your house
- no knock before dawn raid, after all you are "armed and dangerous"
- Since they are "already in", how about we look for any other problems? take hard drive, look through video collection, stacks of cash, drugs...
- not likely to turn out like "the war on drugs"

I do believe Congress can thread the needle on this and prevent the handful of "mass shootings" we have. The cure will not be worse than the disease for now. As we say about Scotsman, no TRUE reasonable govt surveillance and control program would ever do anything unreasonable. Not even if Louis Learner, James Brennan, James Comey, and Peter Stroker ran 'em.

If you like your freedom you can keep your freedom!

*** I believe whatever program is applied to guns should be applied to voting and abortion. All rights should be limited by prediction because "we are all in this together".

Why should YOU worry if YOU are not doing anything wrong?

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

> you're quite happy to allow "red flag" use in other areas such as recidivist laws, DUI laws

I remember the time my Mom called the constable and said "seems like he drinks a lot to me" and they came right over and took my license.

But than again driving isn't an enumerated right, like abortion.

There are already restrictions on convicted criminals buying guns. Guess what? They aren't enforced AT ALL, google "chicago straw buyer" for the rates.

Red Flags isn't about "Previously convicted" and you know that in formulating the canard.

> I don't think you can come up with a reason that criminals or crazy people should be allowed guns.

Objection, leading the witness.

WHO decided whom is crazy, to paraphrase Marx. Based on what?

I think your utopian plans which ignore reality are crazy. No guns or voting for you, based on my predictor of "irrational action"?

The reason we don't take guns away from crazy people is we don't take rights away from people who haven't **done** anything. Hello Beto wrote about running over kids for sport, why can he have guns?

Or maybe you'd like to bring back Bill of Attainders?

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

> Critch, In the drunk driving example, the analogy would actually be refusing to take away the licenses of people with DUIs or who have arrested for drunk and disorderly.

No, the parallel analogy would be to take away the CAR of people never convicted of anything related based on "red flag" data which predicts "likely" drunk driving.

To prevent shootings, we can't revoke one's ability to LEGALLY purchase guns, we must take was ALL guns the shooter could access.

Likewise, to prevent drunk driving, we seize the driver's car and all cars he might access.

In both cases property is seized.

We already have repeat offender DUI laws, and we have mandated background checks.

You want to prevent the Vegas shooter, who was never convicted of anything.

You will never prevent normal crime with guns, because gun laws aren't enforced in crime ridden cities. The straw buyers are blacks, the cases hard to prove, and enforcement and courts overloaded. The schemes don't work.

But you do weaponize govt surveillance and accommodate centralized judgments with limited due process (otherwise they would not act quickly to prevent the crime).

Critch said...

I am of the Harry Callahan School of Gun Control; "If there's a gun in the room, I want to be controlling it."

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