Wednesday Open Thread

“All good is hard. All evil is easy.”

–Scott Alexander

37 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Pat Robertson was quoted that the Vegas shootings are a result of Americans disrespecting President Trump and the national anthem.

    Wonder how Andrew Carnegie feels about that? Andrew: you out there?

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      Andrew has left the building CB but he probably believes a white man with thousands of rounds of ammunition was motivated to shoot with automatic weapons into a crowd because some black athletes took a knee during our national song.

      I don't understand why people would even interview Robertson anymore or Franklin Graham.  Their opinions are like acid in the eyes.  Nobody wants to be near them.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      I guess Preying Pat thinks that a heavily-armed wacko shooting hundreds of rounds from 32 stories into an unsuspecting crowd is somehow a proper way of respecting the SodaFountaiOfJustice ???

  2. MichaelBowman says:

    There seems to be cracks in the marital bliss…

    Tillerson’s Fury at Trump Required an Intervention From Pence

    Just days earlier, Tillerson had openly disparaged the president, referring to him as a “moron,” after a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon with members of Trump’s national security team and Cabinet officials, according to three officials familiar with the incident.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      Based on this article, it's not clear whether Trump EVER became aware that Tillerson said he was a moron (I suspect most officials were smart enough to NOT dime him out)…so that means he may just be finding out today. This oughta be interesting.  

  3. Voyageur says:

    I admit I had not heard of a "bump stock" before the Vegas massacre.  Reading up on it now, I have mixed feelings about the urge to outlaw it.

    I was struck by the very high rate of wounded to dead: about nine to one.  Bump stocks may have the effect of prolonging and worsening the tendency of repeated fire to take a rifle off target.  Shooting 500 yards from a crowd of people from a 300 foot height, a high volume of fire will ensure a lot of dead people.  But 11 minutes of fire with a scope and careful aiming might have killed a lot more.

    I was expert with the m-14 and M 16 in the Army, meaning I usually hit man-size targets from 300 meters.  

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think psychos should have guns, any guns.  But until and unless we disarm them, it may be that the evasive tools like bump stocks actually reduce their evil.

    Three wounds for each death would be a ratio more in keeping with normal military combat.  The extreme range and the accuracy robbing bump stocks may actually have saved lives.

    I just hope as Congress discusses these issues we take care not to make an awful situation even worse.  It could well be that sickos with quasi automatic weapons aren't as deadly as sickos with semi-automatic weapons.  

    Just food for thought.

    • DaftPunk says:

      You're forgetting the fact that it puts more lead downrange per unit time.  That inflicts greater number of casualties even if they're less accurate.

      There is no self-defense, hunting, or sporting need for these, and banning them retains the right to bear arms. Bump stock plus high-cap mag=mass murder machine.  There is no rational argument against their banning. And no, contrary to the manufacturers' claim, this is not what Madison and Jefferson were thinking in the 18th century

      • Voyageur says:

        You are confusing casualties with deaths.  No doubt, throwing a lot of ammo at a crowd wounds a lot of people.  But all things considered, it didn't kill a lot.  Again, the ratio of nine wounds to each death is striking. 

        It's not a matter of a "need" for such a device.  I am just asking for a logical and analytic look at their actual impact.  You failed to do that with your knee-jerk response.   

        Without this device, he might have killed 100 and wounded 300 — the normal ratio of wound to death in world war II.  We'd have fewer casualties but a lot more dead.

        It's worth studying before we rush to make an awful situation even worse.



        • DaftPunk says:

          No, I'm not. You're confusing debate with personal attack.

          You are trying to apply metrics to your analysis while ignoring the amount of ordnance downrange. I might be a crappy surgeon who cures cancer only every tenth surgery I attempt, but if I operate on a million patients, I will cure more cancer than someone who gets it every time but only operates on a thousand. Volume over accuracy, especially when shooting at a large crowd is the pertinent measure

          Your experience as a trained marksman is not generally applicable to a lunatic with a big wallet, an elevated position, and machinery that allows him to spray hundred of rounds per minute.

          • Voyageur says:

            It is not a personal attack to do the math. And a ratio of nine wounded for every death suggests that bump stocks are not effective tools for mass murder. The pity is that nra suzerainty prevents the cdc from even studying such questions.
            Your example of the surgeon doing a thousand times as many operations hardly applies. Bump stocks might double the rate of fire, since you still have to change magazines and barrels overheat. But dropping the ratio of lethality from 1 in3 to 1 in 9 more than offsets that. Of course, wounds are a bad thing too.
            But on balance, I still think it is worth considering whether we really want to remove a tool from the psychopath’s arsenal that actually reduces the lethality of high powered rifles.

        • Old Time Dem says:

          There has been some improvement in trauma care since WWII.

          • Voyageur says:

            A great improvement, indeed.  Sadly, that means many of today's soldiers survive but live with awful injuries.

            War is a terrible thing.  Now, even music events put us at risk.


            • Duke Cox says:

              Sorry, V. While I get your point, I must suggest it was not the event, but the continued lock the NRA leadership and the Gun Owners of America have on our elected officials that puts us at risk. I attended countless shows in decades past and never worried that I might be cut down by a machine gun-wielding murderer.

              No…the event should not and does not put us at risk. It is every member of the NRA that turns their heads when they see the result of their policies, yet change nothing. They put us at risk. It is every "who me?" asshole that voted for the Racist-in-Chief and continues to deny the damage they have done to our nation.

              They, too.



    • JohnInDenver says:

      "What ifs" about the mass shooting are pretty arbitrary. I also read today that magazine limits were not necessarily useful, as a well-trained, experienced shooter can stack and switch magazines with hardly a pause. Others have pointed out that a variety of Las Vegas attractions have fully automatic, military grade weapons, and he could have rented/stolen one of those to become even more dangerous.

      On balance, reducing the rate of fire by minimizing "bump stock" conversions seems like a good idea. I also think that doing ANYTHING to demonstrate that the NRA is not politically all-powerful is a good idea, whether the measure in question is ultimately effective or not.

      • Voyageur says:

        So far, I think the NRA has been silent on this issue.   The real Sociopaths for Death, aka Gun Owners of America, is of course cheering the shooter on arguing that only a good guy with a tactical nuclear weapon can stop a bad guy.  The thing is GOA doesn't really want to stop the bad guys, they ARE the bad guys.

        You are right that weakening the gun lobby is a good thing in itself.


        Age and lack of practice have no doubt eroded the skills I had in my West Point days.  But I would have loved to face off against this coward at 300 meters, with him using his bump stock and me my M-1 Garand semi-automatic of World War Ii vintage.  The likely result is that he would have fired ten rounds to my one.  His ten would have missed and my one would have killed him.


    • Old Time Dem says:

      Do you know how many of the injuries were non-fatal bullet wounds and how many were from other causes, such as trampling or falls?

    • ParkHill says:

      Sorry Voyageur, , but the shooter was not a "psycho". He was cold, calculating, strategic, and angry, which are not characteristics of people who are "crazy". Angry White Male is a strong indictor for gun violence, but that isn't taken into account when people register to buy a gun.

      In the US we have 73,000 gun injuries, 33,000 gun deaths per year, of which 21,000 are suicides and 11,000 homicides. If we reduced the number of guns by 50%, we would save cut those numbers in half. This is statistically verified by the extremely strong correlation between gun injuries & deaths and gun ownership.*

      Unfortunately, the 1st amendment (gun fetishism is a religion) stands in the way. 

      * Obviously this simple mathematical truism will be denied by gun fetishists – Math has a liberal bias. Or maybe we should say innumeracy has a Conservative bias.

      • Voyageur says:

        The problem with your math is that you assume reducing the number of guns reduces their availability.  Not really.  We have about 300 million guns but most americans don't have a gun while a relatively small group has lots of them.  The Vegas shooter had, I believe, 43.  Cut that to 20 and he'll still have enough.

        I currently own 19, including several black powder and Civil War era replicas including an actual, but non-firing Civil War era Indian Trading Rifle.  Take away Ten, and I'll still be a menace to the squirrel population. 

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Go online and check out some of the videos bump-stock purveyors have on their sites. 

      Maybe check out the “first time shooters”

      Bump Stock + Assault Rifle + High Capacity Magazines = Unbelievable Carnage On Any Exposed Crowd Of People


      Just a suggestion, maybe we should all save our stories of relived military sniper exploits for Veterans Day next month??


  4. Moderatus says:

    Colorado Pols, you owe Sen. Chris Holbert an apology.

  5. MichaelBowman says:

    Ginsburg Slaps Gorsuch in Gerrymandering Case

    Gorsuch went on to give his colleagues a civics lecture about the text of the Constitution. “And where exactly do we get authority to revise state legislative lines? When the Constitution authorizes the federal government to step in on state legislative matters, it’s pretty clear—if you look at the Fifteenth Amendment, you look at the Nineteenth Amendment, the Twenty-sixth Amendment, and even the Fourteenth Amendment, Section 2.” In other words, Gorsuch was saying, why should the Court involve itself in the subject of redistricting at all—didn’t the Constitution fail to give the Court the authority to do so?

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is bent with age, can sometimes look disengaged or even sleepy during arguments, and she had that droopy look today as well. But, in this moment, she heard Gorsuch very clearly, and she didn’t even raise her head before offering a brisk and convincing dismissal. In her still Brooklyn-flecked drawl, she grumbled, “Where did ‘one person, one vote’ come from?” There might have been an audible woo that echoed through the courtroom. (Ginsburg’s comment seemed to silence Gorsuch for the rest of the arguments.)

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