If You Can’t Beat ’Em

September 17, 2013
Posted by Jay Livingston

(I already used the title “Game Over, Guns Win” in a post after Sandy Hook back in December. Otherwise I might have used it here.)
Aaron Alexis had been receiving VA help for paranoia and 'hearing voices.'
Alexis had also had run-ins with police over two shootings incidents -- one in Fort Worth and one in Seattle-- but was never charged. He had also been discharged as an active-duty Navy reservist for misconduct, perhaps related to the gun incidents . . . .
A federal law enforcement official told USA TODAY that Alexis was armed with an AR-15, which is a light-weight semi-automatic rifle, as well as a shotgun and a handgun . . . .           

The official said Monday that Alexis . . . legally purchased at least some of the weapons used in the assault very recently in Virginia.
(from USA Today)

I can hear it already – the whining from liberals wanting stricter gun laws. They’re going to be complaining that someone with a history of “shooting incidents,” whatever that means, and hearing voices shouldn’t be allowed to buy those guns.  What nonsense. The Second Amendment guarantees everyone the right to bear arms.  It doesn’t say anything about paranoid schizophrenia, and it doesn’t say anything about what kinds of arms. Handguns, assault rifles, shoulder-fired missiles – it’s all good.

Thank God we live in a country with freedom-loving states like Virginia – places where a guy like Aaron Alexis can go into a friendly gun shop or gun show, plunk down his money, and walk out with an AR-15, a shotgun, and a handgun.  That kind of weaponry is the best way to protect yourself and your family from evildoers, and it’s the best way to protect yourself from the government. And make no mistake, this Obama government and its liberal allies want to send their jackbooted thugs into your house and walk out with all your guns. So-called background checks are just the wedge, the ruse that allows them to put their jackbooted foot inside the door.

The truth is that the only thing that will to stop a paranoid schizophrenic with an AR-15 is a non-paranoid-schizophrenic with an AR-15 or some other suitable firearm. If everyone in the Navy Yard had been carrying a gun, maybe Alexis would have killed only a half dozen or so people (those AR-15s can fire off a lot of bullets in a few seconds) before someone picked him off. I hope the NRA comes out with another sensible and well-reasoned proposal like the one they had for schools. Every workplace – every factory, every office, every restaurant, etc. – will have a designated and well-armed shooter. 

This will be far more effective than statist gun-control laws. In the Navy Yard shootings, just like the Newtown school shootings and many others, the killers got their guns legally, which shows that gun laws don’t protect you or reduce mass shootings.

Besides, as the reaction to Newtown, Aurora, and other massacres shows, stricter gun laws ain’t gonna happen. So why don’t you liberals just stop your elitist sniveling and start arming yourselves with some serious firepower?  Remember, when guns are made criminal, only people will kill people, with their cold, dead hands.

UPDATE, September 18, 8 a.m.:
1.    Earlier reports that Alexis used an AR-15 may be incorrect.
2.    CBS reports that “Alexis tried to buy an AR-15 assault rifle at a Virginia gun store last week after test firing one, but the story wouldn't sell it to him. The reason for the refusal isn't clear.” That’s encouraging on the one hand. It also means that the decision whether to sell massacre-ready weapon to a paranoid schizophrenic is at the discretion of a gun-store clerk.
3.    A lawyer for the place where Alexis bought the shotgun says, “In accordance with Federal law, Mr. Alexis' name and other applicable information, including his state of residency, was provided to the Federal NICS system and he was approved by that system.”  That supports the NRA’s claim that background checks don’t work. Of course, the NRA has vigorously opposed legislation aimed at strengthening that system.
4.    Alexis used that shotgun on his first victim, a guard. He then took the guard’s semi-automatic handgun. So much for my NRA-inspired proposal to have an armed guard in every workplace. 


Bob S. said...

Wow, can't even wait until the details are known before you start in, eh.

We still don't know if an AR-15 was even used or not -- yet here you are hating on them.

Why don't you talk about the mental health system that puts people experiencing paranoia and 'hearing people' out on the streets.
Why not talk about the failure of the military to diagnose and catch troubled people like him?

Why not talk about how a person can pass two background checks can be working at a secure facility like the navy yard if he has such a troubling history?

Why not talk about the thug culture this shooter was apparently emulating -- the Seattle shooting because he was "disrespected" by construction workers staring at him.

Or the failure of the "Justice System" to respond to early indications of problems; two shooting incidences and not one day in prison, not a day on probation.

Other than a complete ban on civilian ownership of firearms; just what will stop or greatly reduce the likelihood of another mass shooting like this?

Jay Livingston said...

1. We don’t know that he used the AR-15, but the eyewitness description of the rapid “pop, pop” sound suggests that it wasn’t the shotgun and probably not the handgun.

2. There are lots of crazy people. I often see them on the street. And I agree that we could do a much better job of finding, diagnosing, and treating them. But as long as they can’t get guns, there is a limit to the carnage they can create.

3. And spare me any Fox News nonsense about video games. There are millions of people out there who like first-person shooter game. Even if a person is consumed with a game, playing 18 hours a day, as long as they don’t also have AR-15s and the like, they can’t commit massacres.

3. As for effective legislation, I repeat what I said before: it will never pass; game over, guns win. The gun industry and its minions control too many votes. We’ve got laws limiting the amount of over-the-counter cold medicine a person can buy. But in many states that person can buy as many guns as he wants. But I’m not going to pretend that our lax gun laws are without consequence. But I’m not going to pretend that the amount of gun death in this country – mass killings and ordinary shootings in street crimes and personal disputes, not to mention suicides and accidents – has nothing to do with the ease of getting guns.

Bob S. said...

1. Evidence is coming out that the AR-15 wasn't used, wasn't even part of the incident at all.

2. What a load of BUNK. The Oklahoma City bombing, the New York World Trade Center bombing 1 and 2 should show the idiocy of that view.

What do you have to say about the fact that the police apparently where confronted with a man hearing voices and did nothing?
Shouldn't that be a priority change before we start trying to limit firearms?

3. Who is talking about video games but you?
I'm talking about the thug culture predominate in so many areas - where being disrespected is cause for a violent response.

4 (your 2nd 3) -- Guns don't win, people win and are protecting their rights.

We have intrusive laws limiting over the counter medicines and has that stopped even slowed the production of illegal drugs?

NO ! So again you seem to support intrusive big government laws that strip the rights of people without effecting the problem.

How about finding some effective legislation that will actually work.

Yes, in most states people can buy as many guns as they want -- and guess what; few ever do anything illegal with them.

The percentages are incredibly small. How many college professors break the law; maybe have sexual relations with students for example?

Perhaps we should require all professors, instructors, Teaching Assistants, etc to get a license, a background check, a psych exam, be approved by the local law enforcement officer -- just so we can reduce the incidences of sexual assault on campus.

has nothing to do with the ease of getting guns.

Another load of BUNK. Chicago, in the middle of Illinois with some of the strictest gun control laws in the country has a homicide rate of 15.9 per 100,000.
Fort Worth, in Texas with some of the easiest laws, has a homicide rate less than half that 6.5 per 100,000.

How do you explain that?

Jay Livingston said...

1. I said that a crazy person with a gun is a lot more dangerous than a crazy person without a gun. I fail to see how terrorist bombings are relevant to that rather obvious fact. I also fail to see how that observation is “a load of BUNK.”

2. The conservative media – Fox News, Washington Times, etc. – are talking about video games.

3. As with crazy people, so with thugs and thuggish culture: they are far more dangerous when they have guns.

4. The fact that laws are not 100% effective does not mean that we shouldn’t have them. We have laws against fraud, rape, robbery, car theft, etc. When those crimes were increasing in the 1960s and 70s, should we have gotten rid of the laws because they weren't working? We still have those crimes today -- 700,000 cars stolen last year. Should we tear up our car theft laws?

Only if something is an unmitigated good should we not try to restrict it. Guns are not an unmitigated good. Pseudoephedrine can help dry up your cold symptoms, but it is not an unmitigated good, which is why laws restricting it stay on the books even if they are not totally effective.

5. Chicago has a high murder rate because of gangs. The gangbangers get their many of their guns from fairly close to home – not in Cook County, but just over the border in freedom-loving counties and states (e.g. Indiana) where there are plenty of guns to be stolen or bought. But now that Chicago has had to get rid of registration and has had to allow concealed carry, everybody will be safer, and the gangbangers will cease their violent ways.

Even under it’s old laws, Chicago illustrates, as you have pointed out, the futility of narrowly local gun laws where nearby laws are lax. A similar problem will probably occur in states with strong anti-marijuana laws that border legal-weed states, especially if there are large cities near the border. Should the state therefore get rid of its anti-marijuana laws just because the neighboring state has made that law less effective?

Bob S. said...


#1 is bunk because a crazy person with a gun has limited potential, kinetic, chemical energy available to him. Look up the energy potential in 30 rounds of .223 ammunition versus a 5 gallon jerry can of gas.

The Murrah Building in Oklahoma City was brought down with fertilizer and Diesel fuel. Pushing gun control, besides being futile, just means that murderers will resort to other means. It surely doesn't mean they suddenly become peaceful productive citizens because they can't get guns.

2. I'm not talking about them, so why are you mentioning them in a reply to me?

3. Again -- cite your evidence -- seems to me that more people are robbed, beaten, assaulted, etc by unarmed people then armed. Based on quantity it seems your argument is invalid.
And again -- making guns harder for thugs and crazy people to get means they are harder for the average law abiding citizen to get.

You seem to only focus on the negative -- how many lives are saved, rapes prevented, assaults stopped each day/year because firearms were available?

4. No we shouldn't get rid of all laws but we should get rid of laws that don't work and are intrusive into people's lives without sufficient national/social reward. Can you really say that the laws regarding OTC medicine have resulted in more good then bad?

By your logic, since speech isn't 'an unmitigated good' we should restrict it, right?

Are you willing to get a background check every time you post? Get Law enforcement approval before you start a blog? How about training classes, mandated by the state to last 10 hours and renewed every 5 years?

Just because something isn't an 'unmitigated good' doesn't mean there should be intrusive laws governing it. Laws describe the punishment for breaking, they don't stop the crime. We already have laws on the books for misuse of firearms -- just like speech.

5. You are proving my point - gangs are a problem in Chicago and in Fort Worth -- but they are less of a problem in FTW because people can fight back. There are cultural issues that need to be address before firearm related laws, don't you agree?

Bob S. said...


Tell me again who is more dangerous?

Thug without a gun or Thug with a gun -- doesn't seem like Navy Yard shooter killed as many.

Bob S. said...

The point I'm trying to make about crazy people is their motivation doesn't mean much to the victims.

Crazy political, crazy hearing voices, just political or just a thug; their reason doesn't matter -- does it?