Because Stupid, That’s Why

According to this news story, the alleged Navy Yard shooter began the shooting with a shotgun purchased in Lorton, Virginia, “during the past week or so.” After beginning the shooting spree he seized two more weapons, a 9mm pistol and an AR-15 assault rifle, from victims.

According to the NRA, purchasing a shotgun in Virginia is way easy. No kind of permit or license is required.

No state permit is required to otherwise purchase or possess a rifle, shotgun or handgun. Virginia residents may purchase firearms from any licensed Federal Firearms Licensee, even if they are out of state. A criminal history record information check is required prior to purchasing any firearm, except for an antique or its replica. A fee of $2.00 will be collected for such a check. For non-residents it is $5.00.

I point this out because the usual cognitively challenged commenters are saying that DC has very restrictive guns laws already. So, obviously, gun control doesn’t work! When guns are criminal, only criminals have guns! Guns don’t kill people, people kill people! How many must die in gun-free zones before we learn?

Wait, what?

Yes, I’m learning from several right-wing sites that the Navy Yard was a gun-free zone, and everyone there was disarmed. Except, apparently, for whoever had the 9mm pistol and the AR-15 assault rifle.

I did some checking — military posts are not “gun-free zones.” Apparently there is a Clinton-era regulation saying that on military installations firearms can be carried on post only by “authorized” personnel, meaning security and law enforcement, but also anyone the base commander decides is authorized. So, apparently, some military installations are relatively lax about allowing non-security personnel to carry guns (see discussion at “The Firing Line”) and others are not. What the rules were at the Navy Yard I do not know. But the important point is that the regulations allow installation commanders considerable discretion regarding carrying of firearms. If some of them set pretty tight rules, they probably have good reason to do so. Like, experience dealing with a high concentration of testosterone-addled young men.

But in right-wing mythology, all military posts have been completely disarmed, and all the firearms are kept under lock and key and no one can use them, or something.

My other observation is that it ought to be obvious even to an imbecile that strict gun-control laws in DC will be compromised as long as any yahoo with money to burn can easily and legally purchase firearms in Virginia. Virginia is the chief supplier of firearms in New York City as well, I understand. But I’ve had this conversation with the, um, second amendment enthusiasts in the past, and they absolutely refuse to see this. There’s no point trying to reason with any of them about it.

20 thoughts on “Because Stupid, That’s Why

  1. Several military eyewitnesses yesterday told reporters that anyone with clearance to enter the Navy Yard can bring firearms in at will. So, once again, some righties are lying. Or don’t care to hear the facts.

  2. At this point, it’s completely pointless to try to talk to the gun-loons.
    Gun-loons don’t want to listen.
    They just want to keep saying the same thing, over and over again.
    They are Manichean absolutists.

    These mass shooting are now getting so common, that they’re soon about to lose their shock-value, and unless another Kindergarten class gets shot to shreds, it’ll be like, “Ho-hum. Another dozen or so adults. Oh well, nothing we can do about it. At least it wasn’t a classroom full of kids. What’s on TV tonight, honey?”

  3. I think the last two sentences sum up our unfortunate situation. As the old saying goes, “When you argue with a drunk, there are two fools present.” I am starting to feel that way about most of my “conservative” friends. They inhabit a very different world than the one I live in and there is no way to have a ration discussion with them. When you travel through the looking glass the rules of logic vanish.

    I am away right now and I am not sure what home will look like when I return.

  4. I read that the shooter got the AR-15 and the handgun from the “good guy with a gun” who was one of the first to die by his hand.

    Others having guns is not the answer; its no guarantee for safety.

  5. I think the “logic” that DC strict gun control fails goes something like:

    They got the gun in Virginia? Well if they didn’t get it in Virginia they’d get it in Tennessee. The truth is that having gun control doesn’t stop someone determined to have a gun.

    I’ve seen hoplophiles argue that black market guns are less expensive than legally purchased ones. The only way that works is if the black market gun is stolen property and the possessor wants it gone.

  6. The twilight zone is that place between shadow and light…and it’s the same place where a law abiding citizen becomes a criminal so that in the rightie mind only a criminals should be prevented from having unfettered access to a gun. What I’m trying to describe is that disconnect in reasoning that the gun nuts can’t or don’t care to comprehend.
    Maybe it’s their not wanting to acknowledge the instability of the human condition and focus on the means of these mass killings, but if they can’t look to the means side of the equation than we have a hopeless situation. That recent recall election in Colorado took place in Boulder.. the same place where a gunman shot up a movie theater. What does that tell you?…Where reasonable and common sense restrictions on guns are out and out rejected because some nutjobs feel their rights have been impinged upon.

  7. wmd…I like that word holophiles..I never heard it before, but now we can add it to the list of Wingnut descriptors.. Homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic holophiles.. It sounds like the full complement of qualifications necessary to run for Congress on a GOP ticket.

  8. I don’t know how strict DC’s gun laws are, but I doubt they’re searching every vehicle and pedestrian that crosses the city limits.

    Although I did see somewhere that the Mexicans are starting to try to stop the flow of American guns into their country. Tighter security at the border, basically. One of my own favorite symptoms of terminal hoplophilia (good word!) is this idea in the whole Fast & Furious nonsense that the ATF would have to go out of its way to get guns into Mexico. Anyone who’s ever crossed the border has seen that the lines heading north are much much longer than the lines going south. And anyone who isn’t Wayne LaPierre can draw the obvious conclusion.

    At any rate, it is pretty weird how the armamaniacs seem to think gun laws enforce themselves. It’s like they think DC has put up this invisible force shield that makes it impossible for firearms to cross the Potomac. At any rate, yes, if there are guns in DC, then obviously they must be coming from Russia, or maybe China or Uzbekistan, but there’s no way they’re coming from Virginia.

  9. “At any rate, yes, if there are guns in DC, then obviously they must be coming from Russia, or maybe China or Uzbekistan, but there’s no way they’re coming from Virginia.”

    The thinking is, as long as guns can come from somewhere else, any attempt at regulating them is doomed to failure.

    Just like since teenagers are going to have sex anyway, or do drugs anyway, any attempt at trying to keep them from having sex or drugs is doomed…

    …oh, wait.

    Logic is foreign to them; only guns are important in any decision.

    • The thinking is, as long as guns can come from somewhere else, any attempt at regulating them is doomed to failure.

      To an extent, yes. Organized crime will always find ways to get firearms. But these random mass shootings aren’t being committed by career criminals. The perp is nearly always one badly socialized man who often has a tenuous grasp of reality. It’s not so likely such a person would have access to a black market run by a criminal underground. Adam Lanza, for example, may have been too mentally disorganized even to purchase a firearm from a registered dealer, never mind find a black market.

  10. True, of course, but I was pointing out the flaws in their argument even accepting what they say on face value as true.

    You are relying on first debunking their core argument. That works for you and I, but not for someone who is so self-unaware they have no idea where their “thoughts” originate. Their arguments are not even internally consistent…

    Of course, my method does not work either, but to sapient beings it points out the vacuity of the ordinary rightie’s entire basic thought process, such as it is.

  11. Maha approves of the Mexican Mafia rounding up 70 people at gun point and beheading them and tossing their body parts on the freeway, cuz they’re “organized crime”, it’s cool, it’s not like they’re crazy people.

    What a jew.

    • Ary — WTF? You must have the reading comprehension/critical thinking skills of a turnip. Nay, I suspect a turnip would score higher on most standardized achievement tests. I hope you are not in job that requires following written instructions.

  12. But, but, how can that be? AR-15’s are magic, and allow any jerkweed to successfully defend his home and put down bad guys at whim, which is why we keep them legal and easily available. How could a person with an AR-15 not be able to defend himself? It’s Unpossible!!

  13. It’s interesting to me how the posts on guns invariably attract the random drive-by nut cases, like Ary.

    (Short for “Aryan,” apparently.)

  14. The problem with the rights “black-market” argument is that they fail to admit that “black-market” guns are not manufactured and initially sold by the black market. Black-market guns were manufactured and sold by legal gun makers and dealers. The fact is that if we had a detailed registry of all guns and made owners responsible for their whereabouts we’d have a much smaller “black-market” gun problem. Black-market guns come from mainly three sources, they are stolen from the legal owner, they are purchased from private sellers, they are bulk purchased by straw buyers at large gun shows. If we kept track of guns like we keep track of cars we could eliminate most.

  15. “What a jew,” is probably the mantra for Ary and his brother white supremacists while they circle-jerk one another at the faux Munich beer hall at their compound to slide shows of the Concentration Camps.

  16. The externalities and colateral damage of the 2nd amendment right are astonishing. I cant think of all of them but start with death and injury, then go to the extra security we have to have to give ourselves some protection from the gun owning zombies. There are other costs that society bears that I cant think of. Society pays for these ‘I can protect myself, independent crazies’ I say tax the beejees out of them somehow. No place says the common has to pay these costs.

  17. There is a study mentioned at ThinkProgress about the health costs of gun violence. One of the points made is as follows:

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has concluded that nonfatal gun injuries and gun-related deaths ultimately cost the U.S. $5.6 billion in medical spending every year. That number goes up to $64.6 billion when accounting for lost productivity due to the injuries.

    This can be found at:

    Also, there is another study on the costs to taxpayers at the following website:

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