Forgot your password?
Crime News

How the Lessons of Columbine Saved Lives At Arapahoe High School 894

Posted by timothy
from the factory-schooling dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Ray Sanchez reports at CNN that the handling of Friday's shooting at Arapahoe High School, just 10 miles from the scene of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, drew important lessons from the earlier bloodshed. At Arapahoe High School, where senior Claire Davis, 17, was critically injured before the shooter turned the gun on himself, law enforcement officers responded within minutes and immediately entered the school to confront the gunman rather than surrounding the building. As the sound of shots reverberated through the corridors, teachers immediately followed procedures put in place after Columbine, locking the doors and moving students to the rear of classrooms. "That's straight out of Columbine," says Kenneth Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services. "The goal is to proceed and neutralize the shooter. Columbine really revolutionized the way law enforcement responds to active shooters." Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson credits the quick police response time for the fact that student Karl Pierson, the gunman, stopped firing on others and turned his weapon on himself less than 1 minute, 20 seconds after entering the school. Authorities knew from research and contact with forensic psychologists that school shooters typically continue firing until confronted by law enforcement. "It's very unfortunate that we have to say that there's a textbook response on the way to respond to these," says Trump, "because that textbook was written based on all of the incidents that we've had and the lessons learned (PDF).""
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

How the Lessons of Columbine Saved Lives At Arapahoe High School

Comments Filter:
  • Rule #1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @09:34AM (#45694391)

    The first rule should be to not give easy access to firearms to the general public in the first place.

  • Sick kids (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15, 2013 @09:38AM (#45694411)

    We should be reading the text book on how to prevent this kind of tragedies. Treat cause and not sympthoms.

    I don't see saved lives but 2 lost lives.

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:1, Insightful)

    by BlacKSacrificE (1089327) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @09:39AM (#45694415)
    +1 insightful. The only thing to be proud of here is.. Nothing.
  • sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15, 2013 @09:41AM (#45694427)

    So sad the news is

    Columbine really revolutionized the way law enforcement responds to active shooters.

    instead of

    Columbine really revolutionized the way society identifies and treats those in need of psychological support in order to avoid them turning into active shooters.

  • by skovnymfe (1671822) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @09:41AM (#45694429)

    The way to deal with shooter situations is having a better emergency procedures? What about all the hidden surveillance and monitoring and CCTVs and metal detectors and RFID tags? What did they do to help?

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15, 2013 @09:47AM (#45694445)

    Very true.

    I'm from Germany, were gun laws are much, MUCH stricter and therefore we aren't seeing such tragedies on a yearly basis like it's come to be anticipated in the US.

    There's really not all that much you can do to prevent people and especially children from going psycho every once in a while. That doesn't mean you should stop trying, of course, but the main thing you'll first have to take care of is just this: If someone cracks, see to it that this person can't inflict that much damage on himself or his environment.

    I know, I know, guns are part of your culture, constitution, etc. and will be hard to get rid of these days, what with almost every household having one... but that just means it's a bigger problem, not an unsolveable one.

  • by Murdoch5 (1563847) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @09:49AM (#45694457)
    1) Ban guns or at least implement proper gun control.
  • by Carewolf (581105) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @09:56AM (#45694483) Homepage

    The way to deal with shooter situations is having a better emergency procedures? What about all the hidden surveillance and monitoring and CCTVs and metal detectors and RFID tags? What did they do to help?

    Ensure reelection of officials by pretending to do something?

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sigma 7 (266129) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @09:57AM (#45694489)

    People going on a shooting spree are as much a victim of society as the people they kill

    Except for the fact that some of those shooters are simple psychopaths.

    Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold - pretended to show promise after they attended the anger management classes, even writing a letter of apology to the van owner. At the same time, they wrote in their journal about their god-given right to break into a van in the middle of nowhere. Other bits of motive exist, with them generally claiming things persistent with narcissism.

    Granted, most of the problems could be avoided by people paying attention. Obviously, the person providing the firearms should have known that something was wrong with purchasing a semi-auto pistol and a shotgun for two minors who had a questionable history.

  • by TTL0 (546351) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @09:58AM (#45694497)

    "school shooters typically continue firing until confronted by law enforcement."

    Right. Because Sister Mary Elephant yelling "young man, put that thing down" just wont work. So maybe it's time to have armed guards and metal detectors as part of a larger strategy to help stop these incidents.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15, 2013 @10:02AM (#45694517)

    how many to add to that 1.3 minutes the shooter could have been executing anyone they ran into ??

    Again no teachers are allowed the ability to defend their students (and themselves) with their own guns ??

    The tards who do this KNOW that nobody will oppose them for at least several minutes and even a manually cocked gun can kill dozens in that number of thime.

    Time for all gun grabbing advocates to have THEIR police disarmed and their towns simply declared 'gun free' to get to experience themseves what they force on others.

  • Re: Rule #1 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15, 2013 @10:08AM (#45694561)

    The answer is obvious to a lot of people in the US too. Don't publicly and legally declare huge buildings full of people as defenseless. Schools are the only place in the country that I know of where firearms are unequivocally banned yet there is no security otherwise. This is the most dumbfounding lot obvious thing in the world...and despite shooting after shooting after shooting we don't do a thing about it. The article even points out that the most important thing is to confront the shooter as soon possible. Better to have somebody on site that can respond in seconds or call the police so they can respond in minutes? I'll even give you that response time in this case was really impressive.

    There are over 290,000,000 guns in circulation in the US and about a 14,000 homocides per year. That is a 99.9999% responsible ownership rate. 99.99% is statistically perfect.

    This is going to hurt your brain but the gun people are right and all of the data backs them up.

  • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @10:22AM (#45694631) Homepage

    Schools are only gun free to the extent that there are no guns brought in from outside.

    Europe has roughly the same population as the US and the murder rate is actually identical - if you exclude firearms deaths. The number of Americans murdered with knives etc. is pretty much the same as the number of Europeans.

    The higher US murder rate is entirely due to the NRA and the politicians who are to weak in the spine to stand up to them.

    The UK gun murder rate is essentially zero because it is almost impossible for a criminal to get a gun.

    We need a war on guns. Make drugs legal and guns illegal. Shut down the manufacturers and the death merchants. It won't take every gun off the street but it will eliminate most of them within a few years.

    Its only a matter of time before this happens.

  • by alexgieg (948359) <> on Sunday December 15, 2013 @10:32AM (#45694713) Homepage

    Why do you only want to give criminals the right to carry guns?

  • by iserlohn (49556) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @10:42AM (#45694777) Homepage

    Actually Europe has a much higher population than the US. The population of the EU countries is now over 500 million. If Europe is more unified politically, it will be the single biggest geopolitical force in the world.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15, 2013 @10:42AM (#45694779)

    Schools today treat the kids like goats staked out for lions to kill and eat. If I want to cause mayhem and kill, where do I go? A "gun free zone"!

    Hey, everyone, come here and perpetrate your crimes, no guns here to worry about!

    Yeah, that's why schools all around the world are, basically, the biggest crime zones with huge death tolls...

    Oh, wait, nope, school shootings are mostly the proud US tradition, with shooting incidents from all over Eurasia for all time [] counting less than US shootings just in past decade [].

    "Solution to shootings? More guns for everyone!"

  • The lesson we keep ignoring is that the root of the overwhelming vast majority of these cases is the same: mental health. Our country continues to completely ignore the elephant in the room. Until we improve access to mental health care, and de-stigmatize the pursuit of mental health treatment, we will continue to have unstable individuals in our society who will do this to us. We don't necessarily need to lock them all up, many can be treated; but they all need access to help.

    Our current health care system fails miserably at this. The Health Insurance Industry Bailout Act of 2010 (aka "affordable care act", aka "Obamacare") does almost nothing for this problem.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15, 2013 @10:44AM (#45694799)

    What was the European murder rate in the 20th century vs US? Please count millions murdered by the various Gov'ts.

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @10:47AM (#45694815)

    The huge numbers of countries that have strong gun control are not suffering with school massacres being committed with bombs instead.

    Where do you get a lot of people setting off home made bombs? Places where there are also a lot of guns. Iraq in the last decade. Northern Ireland in the 70s/80s. etc.

    Bombs are not gun alternatives. Cutting guns does not increase bomb attacks.

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @10:53AM (#45694855)

    Rule #1 should be....keep armed law enforcement in schools at all times.

    I'd honestly rather not make schools more like prisons than they already are.

    School shootings are rare, even if the media makes it seem like they occur often and are the cause of an untold number of deaths. Other than perhaps improving mental health care, I don't think much else should be done. Keeping armed law enforcement in schools would just be a waste of money, in my opinion.

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by flyingfsck (986395) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @10:58AM (#45694885)

    In Israel, Switzerland and even the crime ridden South Africa, everybody has firearms at home and they don't have school shootings. It is something peculiar to the USA.

    If the USAsians don't have guns, then they will gouge each other's eyes out with spoons...

  • Re: Rule #1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by glueball (232492) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @10:58AM (#45694889)

    Governments killed 20X the number of civilians as civilians killed civilians in the 20th century worldwide.

    I think I know who to be concerned of thank you very much.

  • by retroworks (652802) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:05AM (#45694937) Homepage Journal
    The "Stephen King" laws [] and other calls to focus less media attention on these shootings [] has apparently been ignored by Slashdot. The Lesson, or stuff that matters, is that these stories should be less newsworthy.

    "But it shouldn’t require another Sandy Hook to make us realize something has to change. The school shooters are committing a grandiose form of suicide. Media, traditionally, doesn’t cover suicides, and is very careful when it does. It’s a long-standing custom, borne out of numerous studies from groups like the Suicide Prevention Resource Center and the National Institute of Mental Health.

    “More than 50 research studies worldwide have found that certain types of news coverage can increase the likelihood of suicide in vulnerable individuals,” the NIMH concluded. “The magnitude of the increase is related to the amount, duration and prominence of coverage.”

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rubycodez (864176) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:14AM (#45694991)

    Mexico has much stricter laws than Germany, what a gun-violence-free paradise that is eh?

    and before someone repeats lie of certain BATF official, most guns in Mexico in fact don't originate in the USA.

  • by rubycodez (864176) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:18AM (#45695015)

    Wrong. You ignore the elephant in the room. Take away the crimes of two inner city subcultures from the statistics and then the murder and violent crime rates are the same as Europe. You are focusing on a minute sliver of the pie of gun crime, and ignoring the real problem. Based on your myopic view, you would take away guns from people who have the right and ability to own properly own and use them.

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:22AM (#45695029) Homepage Journal

    Oh, but you MUST be wrong! Hitler and Stalin, among others, made possession of potential murder weapons illegal! No one in Europe could have been murdered while they were in power! /sarcasm

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:31AM (#45695103) Homepage Journal

    "People going on a shooting spree are as much a victim of society as the people they kill."

    With that statement, you simply assume that all people are good, and that no people are evil. And, that idea is so terribly naive, so stupid, that we shouldn't have to discuss it.

    The FACT IS, evil little children grow into evil teens, who grow into evil young adults, who then mature into evil adults, and eventually evil old bastards.

    You may pretend that no child is evil. You and society in general may pretend that all children are equal in all respects.

    I'll go with Darwin, and survival of the fittest. Some kids are simply unfit to fit into society in any way, shape, or form.

    And, I suspect that every member of Slashdot who happens to be a mother, or hopes to be a mother, will hate me forever now.

  • Re: Rule #1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LF11 (18760) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:34AM (#45695137) Homepage

    All the dead of WWI or WWII pale in comparison to the vast Communist genocides of the 20th century, all of which were committed on disarmed populations.

    Get your facts straight. OP wasn't talking about war dead.

  • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:36AM (#45695153) Homepage

    Most countries that regulate guns also regulate sales of ammonium nitrate fertilizers which is by far the next most popular tool for mass murder.

    The US does not regulate ammonium nitrate particularly well which is why that factory in Texas was located next to two schools and the likely perpetrator could not even be prosecuted for the murders despite having made two pipe bombs.

    Very few firearms deaths are caused by career criminals. The vast majority are suicides and accidental shootings. Making guns illegal would practically eliminate those causes of death. Only criminals would have guns to leave round the house for the kids to use.

    The UK does not have idiotic mandatory sentences for low level drug possession or peddling. But carry a firearm during a crime and you get ten years almost automatically. Fire the gun and its fifteen. Anyone involved in the crime kills someone and its a whole life sentence.

    Its just a hobby, you folk don't have the right to cause 50,000 deaths a year for your hobby. Moreover I don't think the general public is impressed by the NRA attempting to save their hobby at all costs by attempting to persuade the politicians to ban video games instead.

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DexterIsADog (2954149) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:38AM (#45695171)

    Well, that depends on how you look at it. You're restricting people's freedoms to stop a few people who abuse a tool, and barring extraordinarily catastrophic situations, I just can't get behind that.

    So, around 10,000 homicides by gun EVERY YEAR, plus around 20,000 suicides by gun EVERY YEAR. Just under 3,000 deaths on 9/11 justified gutting the bill of rights, invading a country or two, but you don't think the 130,000 homicides by gun SINCE 9/11 is an "extraordinarily catastrophic situation"? How in the world do Americans become accustomed to such carnage? I guess it's true; we suck at putting things in perspective.

  • Re: sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quetwo (1203948) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:39AM (#45695187) Homepage

    I don't think it's that simple.

    It's easy to buy somebody a military-grade weapon to respond to a shooting. A few buck, one-time charge to a department that wants to spend it. Heck, just think of all the uses that one-time charge would provide!

    It's not easy to reform our health system (look at how they tried, then completely failed because of the political battles and lobbyists), where there would be an ongoing charge that people would be reminded of each and every year when they pay their taxes. Regardless if they get better services (like mental health services) for the same if not lower prices -- it became a perceived burden that is subject to the political whims each and every year there is a new congress that wants to push their current agenda.

    In my mind, the reason why the USA has all these problems with guns is not because of the guns. It's because of the people (guns don't kill people -- people kill people). All of the comparables that you can look at in Europe, Asia, etc. where firearms are available (or even in many places where it is not), if somebody has a mental illness there are actually resources available to help them. In the USA getting any help for mental illnesses is discouraged either due to lack of insurance, the incorrect insurance (service A is covered, but you need service B, which is not), or even the fear that they find something worse and you end up having to sell your house to get basic coverage. I have a few friends that are taking care of others who have severe mental issues -- and even though they have good jobs they have to live like paupers because of all the stuff that isn't covered by the insurance they can afford (and even them, the people they are helping get treatment are only getting the bare minimal treatment) . A fellow engineer who makes $100k/yr is living with his mother who has dementia barely has enough to pay for gas each week. Her medical bills alone after insurance is still $5k/month. If that doesn't discourage you to get treatment, I don't know what will.

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lisias (447563) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:41AM (#45695205) Homepage Journal

    I'm from Germany, were gun laws are much, MUCH stricter and therefore we aren't seeing such tragedies on a yearly basis like it's come to be anticipated in the US.

    In Swiss, every single person that once belonged to the army are not just allowed, but expected to have personal arms in home.

    The guns aren't the problem. People are.

    Guns are almost banned in Brazil, for example, and we have simply the worst ratio of firearm killed people in the world.

    Banning firearms does no good. What EUA (and, yet more urgently, Brazil) should start to do is banning bad firearms owners.

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by denzacar (181829) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:46AM (#45695257) Journal

    When out walking to and from the grocery store in the evening I would occasionally encounter a group of youths...I kept my eyes fixed on their eyes as I approached and walked past them...They usually stepped aside even when there was plenty of space between us to pass with them widening the berth. Apparently, a clean-cut guy wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and polished boots sent a message to them.

    Hmm... sounds to me more like they wanted to have nothing with a crazy-eyed man who walks around looking like he's trying to pick a fight, while wearing polished boots in Texas heat.
    There's probably some "veteran with untreated PTSD" vibe going on there.

    As for guns, it's the same as with cars.
    I have no problems with driving, owning or being in a car with a capable and conscientious driver if a car is in a working order.
    It's all those who are "simply better" drivers, "smarter" owners and those driving drunk that worry me.
    I could be walking through the park, just minding my own business, and still a drunk driver could run me over. Or someone "good enough" to drive with worn out breaks.
    Some people simply shouldn't be allowed to drive.

    Now, extend that same logic to guns, only take into account the range of guns, ease of use and carry, and number of projectiles a single person can "spread" across that same park I was taking a stroll through.

    To turn that old saying around, if guns are allowed not only outlaws will have guns - nutcases will have them too.

  • by swamp boy (151038) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @11:51AM (#45695295)

    "Its just a hobby, you folk don't have the right to cause 50,000 deaths a year for your hobby"

    Change 'hobby' to 'social drinking'. How about we take this logic and apply it to alcohol (as it relates to deaths due to drunk driving)? Any takers? If not, why not?

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ecuador (740021) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @12:08PM (#45695413) Homepage

    Yes, when I said "misread" I did not mean just a few people in the US. I meant a lot, including the majority (5-4) of the SCOTUS. Read the dissenting view of the same case. It says the exact opposite, which is basically the obvious if you are not trying to please the NRA. Allow us non-Americans to read your constitution as it was meant. It is not like you cherish it that much anyway, more and more parts of it are abolished (or "clarified" if you wish) in the name of "safety" or whatever other excuse.

  • by raymorris (2726007) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @12:24PM (#45695491)

    I can understand wanting to try SOMETHING. Banning guns has already been tried. The question iswhether disarming law-abiding citizens will increase victimization, or if violent criminals will turn in their weaponswhen they are outlawed. After the near total ban in UK, that debate can now be answered by looking at what the results actually were. Official crime rate information from the Home Office (2002, 2013) indicatesthat in the five years prior to the ban, 1.2 million violent crimes were reported. After the ban took affect, there were over 5 million violent crimes in the following five years. Home Office data shows that rape went from 27,000 to nearly 47,000 when potential attackers were assured there was no risk thatalaw-abiding woman might defend herself with a firearm. Other serious crimes show the same pattern. Total sex offenses increased from 158,000 to over 245,00.

    So sure you want to try SOMETHING. Is satisfying that urge worth doing something that will cause another 20,000 women to be raped? That's what does in fact happen when you ban guns.

  • by Arker (91948) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @12:28PM (#45695523) Homepage Journal

    "The vast majority are suicides and accidental shootings. Making guns illegal would practically eliminate those causes of death."

    This is naive and illogical. I suppose you think the first suicide came after the invention of the firearm? There are many ways to commit suicide, and many, many dangerous items with which one can kill oneself accidentally as well.

    Suicide is an act of hopelessness. If you want to prevent it, you should act to give hope to the hopeless, not to take what little they do have away from them. And accidental deaths are best addressed with safe handling training. People that handle firearms carefully and correctly are not the problem there.

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Arker (91948) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @12:56PM (#45695735) Homepage Journal

    "There's really not all that much you can do to prevent people and especially children from going psycho every once in a while. That doesn't mean you should stop trying, of course, but the main thing you'll first have to take care of is just this: If someone cracks, see to it that this person can't inflict that much damage on himself or his environment."


    Now, I believe you are implying that having fewer weapons around serves this purpose.

    That is not such a straightforward proposition however. Because the amount of damage someone can do is not simply a straightforward derivation from their opportunities to acquire a weapon. The ability of their intended victims to fight back plays a role as well as many other elements of circumstance.

    A young male (the type statistically most likely to cause a problem) is relatively advantaged by limitations on weapons, while females and the elderly (statistically less likely to cause problems) are relatively disadvantaged. This is not new or specific to firearms - before they were invented we had essentially the same issue with swords and knives. Where it was lawful to be openly armed, swords were worn, which give an older man with experience a chance to beat a younger man. Where it was not lawful, knives were carried as they could be concealed, and this gives the advantage to the younger, faster man instead.

    Violence is a serious social problem, and one that needs to be addressed as such. Demonizing tools does nothing to help and often winds up hurting, directly or indirectly.

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bodero (136806) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @01:00PM (#45695763)

    Fortunately, not only did the founding fathers author the Constitution, they also transcribed their struggles in each side fighting for what they believed belonged in the Constitution. These were called the Federalist Papers, and demonstrate how completely wrong you are.

    Not to mention the numerous state constitutions at the time that were worded more bluntly regarding the individual right to bear arms.

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Bing Tsher E (943915) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @01:08PM (#45695825) Journal

    The people carrying around handguns and killing each other in the US are minority-race urban drug dealers and gang members. Not average American citizens.

    So there's really no means of comparing the Swiss gun-owners to the gun carriers in the US who commit most of the gun crime.

  • by Barsteward (969998) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @01:27PM (#45696043)
    "You are just ignoring that drugs are, easy, the biggest motivator for crime at these same time you completely ignores that guns, on the right hands, also saves lives." if you legalised drugs, you'd take away the biggest motivator for crime.
  • by blackraven14250 (902843) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @01:27PM (#45696047)
    Yeah, because Connecticut is the heart of gun nut country, and totally not endless suburbs with a couple cities tossed in. Someone needs a refresher on geography.
  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blackraven14250 (902843) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @01:29PM (#45696067)
    I think the problem with guns relative to the other weapons you mention is in their ability to be used impulsively. Someone who's using a bomb has a relatively long time to put together their plot, while someone with a gun just needs to load it and show up at their target location.
  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Barsteward (969998) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @01:34PM (#45696111)
    yes, its the mentality and the NRA mentality in the US regarding guns is childish, penis substitution mentality. The Swiss are a bit more grown up
  • by cyber-vandal (148830) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @01:36PM (#45696135) Homepage

    Until you take away the crimes of the inner city subcultures from Europe then they go up again. You think Europe doesn't have ultra-violent ghettoes and a drugs problem? You need to get out more.

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dereck1701 (1922824) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @01:48PM (#45696255)

    10,000 firearm related homicides, and a total yearly mortality rate of over 2 MILLION! Thats less than 0.5% of all annual deaths in the US. Most of those are probably due to gang warfare, which isn't going to stop even if you could magically remove all civilian firearms in the US. Speaking more directly to firearms. Most estimates say that there are at least 270 Million civilian firearms in the US, that means that only 0.0037% of firearms are misused each year. You want to penalize probably in the neighborhood of 100 Million people for the actions of less than 10,000. If you're really looking to save lives we need to fix hospitals, medical malpractice is estimated to kill almost 200,000 a year.

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tibit (1762298) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @02:22PM (#45696567)

    will be hard to get rid of these days

    You've nailed it: these days are the key words here. Guns were widely available in North America since before the U.S.A. was even a country. Yet those mass school shootings seem to be the thing of the last decade. There's the answer everyone is looking for: stuff has changed over time, and enough change in whatever is the underlying parameter (or parameters) has accumulated that in the last 10 years we've got more kids killed by gun in schools than there have been, apparently, in the previous 100 years (or so it'd seem?). I doubt that removal of guns will change much, because the underlying problem will still be there. We'll have mass knifings, mass strangulations (an 18 inch zip tie is all it takes!), etc. instead.

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @02:44PM (#45696725) Journal

    Did you know that with some kind of explosive (preferably one that you can remotely detonate) and some coins (easily available) you probably can kill or severely injure a lot more people than you can with a firearm? The ensuring explosion is like a frag grenade, except you can make it a lot bigger and lethal. Bonus points for triggering it in a cafeteria o some other kind of eating place with lots of people.

    As another poster said, this requires a lot more premeditation. A nail bomb is pretty easy to assemble with ingredients that are readily available in most industrialised nations, but doing so requires (at the very least) a few hours of work. If you want timed detonation, that's more thought and planning, and you need to be quite calm while building the bomb or you're likely to just blow your hands off. Most people, by the time they've even got as far as thinking through how they'd go about blowing up their school will have calmed down enough to realise that it's a bad idea.

    In contrast, if a gun is readily available then you just need to pick it up and, while still angry, got back to the school and start shooting. You don't need to think hard about what you're doing. That's one of the rationales behind laws that require a 24 hour or 7 day period between ordering a gun and getting it - if you want to kill someone in cold blood, you'll find a way of doing it with or without a gun, but if you're thinking of doing it because you're stressed or angry, then there's a good chance you'll have changed your mind by the end of the cooling off period. Of course, if you go ahead and buy the gun, there's nothing to stop you the next time you get stressed...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15, 2013 @03:41PM (#45697185)

    Poverty has to do with race, because the US has a highly racially-stratified class structure that condemns large portions of the populace to live their lives under a prior assumption that they are lazy and criminal on account of skin color. Gun violence "has to do" with race (by way of poverty and denial of opportunity), but not with race as a causal factor the way right-wing racist bigots would have you believe. There's little deterrent to crime if you're going to be ground into poverty and processed through the prison pipeline regardless of actual personal behavior, ethics, and ideals (but on account of skin color and location).

  • by Arker (91948) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @04:03PM (#45697389) Homepage Journal

    It is a cultural sickness, a culture that glorifies violence, that disparages the peacemaker and worships the killer.

    The guns are just a tool. Without them we would have fewer gunshot wounds and more stabbings, more people with their heads caved in, etc.

    But as long as we can blame it on the guns, and on law-abiding gun owners who never hurt anyone, we can keep distracting ourselves from the national illness and keep pretending we are fine. It's just those nasty guns, and these silly hicks that dont want to give theirs up. No need to re-examine our values and way of life, no need to think hard questions. Just outlaw the guns. That'll do it.


  • by Jhon (241832) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @08:50PM (#45699693) Homepage Journal

    "Newtown took place in the heart of gun-nut country, not the inner cities."

    And that was 28 deaths, right? Add that total to all of Conn for 2012 and what do you have?

    What was Chicago? Over 500? That's a Newtown every two weeks, isn't it?

    You can pick an anomaly and base your reactions off it and the passions they invoke -- and not solve the problem. Or you can look at the over all stats and WHERE the problems are and have a simpler smaller target to address. Then MAYBE you can reduce those numbers dramatically.

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday December 15, 2013 @09:06PM (#45699785) Journal

    Legally carried handguns are very, very rarely used in crimes.

  • Re:Rule #1 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Srin Tuar (147269) <> on Sunday December 15, 2013 @10:15PM (#45700201)

    The "NRA mentality" is all that separates us from an authoritarian totalitarian regime.

    For all we rail against the NSA's overreaching surveillance, and the ridiculousness of the patent and copyright system, there
    are simply so many here on slashdot who cry and beg to give up fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the
    constitutional origins of the united states...

    The level of cognitive dissonance is astounding.

    Its not about your penis.

    Its not about whether or not more or fewer people are killed.

    Its about fundamental liberties, and the role of government in our lives.

    Its about being a citizen, and not a subject.

  • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Monday December 16, 2013 @01:19AM (#45701083)

    Its just a hobby, you folk don't have the right

    I think you will find that, legally speaking, we DO have the right.

    Having the ability and means to protect your household from others is a pretty fundamental thing, and its scary that so many people are prepared to trivialize it. As has been pointed out so many times, the premise that you can just cede all of your rights to the government and trust them to do the right thing has turned out to be wrong a million times over.

    What, do you suppose the second amendment was written to allow people to hunt as a hobby?

  • Re: Rule #1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hey! (33014) on Monday December 16, 2013 @01:29AM (#45701113) Homepage Journal

    I was hiking just the other day in the woods, and came across a pair of young men plinking with a handgun -- not legal in this park, by the way, but I'm not uptight about stuff like that. They were standing on on side of the path and shooting across the path at some soda cans they'd set up on a log. I excused myself as I crossed their improved shooting range, and they resumed firing.

    It was then I noticed that even though they were standing only eight feet from their target they couldn't hit it. And this was with all the time in the world to draw a bead on their target.

    Now in the hypothetical scenario where the good guy is called upon to draw his weapon to defend people from a shooter, the good guy is always a crack shot, but if it were one of these bozos shooting to save his life, the safest place to be when they were shooting is between them and whatever they were shooting at.

    I'm fairly relaxed about guns. They're not my thing, but I don't get vapors if someone else has one. But it's been my observation that gun owners are like drivers in their skill self-assessment. Nearly all of them think they're better than average and it's quite common for them to think they're pretty darn amazing.

    A school shooting that ends with only one critically injured student is a pretty good outcome. Expecting a *better* outcome with some randomly chosen gun enthusiast trying to shoot to save his life strikes me as unrealistically optimistic.

  • Re: Rule #1 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DutchUncle (826473) on Monday December 16, 2013 @10:57AM (#45703553)
    In 2012 in New York City there was an incident near the Empire State Building. One person killed another, premeditated, a dismissed employee taking revenge on the person he thought responsible. A crime, but comprehensible. Two police officers confronted the shooter, he pulled his gun, and they fired numerous times - hitting NINE bystanders in addition to the shooter. And these were supposedly trained, practiced officers. What would one expect from the average (or, 50% of the time, below-average) armed bystander?

Help me, I'm a prisoner in a Fortune cookie file!