Thursday, July 28, 2011

The man has absolutely no shame

A day or two ago, I noticed on my stats that this blog had received a couple of visits from Tucson in Arizona, which just happens to be the home of our beloved friend Mr Kevin Baker.  I didn't think anything much of it until I recalled that part of Baker's initial reaction to the Cumbrian massacre last year was "I wonder what James Kelly will have to say about all this", apparently thinking that such an incident ought somehow to have made me question my belief that easy legal access to guns is a bad thing, as opposed to...well, confirming that belief.  Was he really delusional enough to think the same thing as a result of dozens of murders in Norway carried out with legally-obtained firearms?  I have my suspicions.  After all, we learn on his blog that the problem in Norway was not Breivik's guns, or even his extreme right-wing ideology - no, it was simply that the victims "ran away". Baker quotes another blogger who said this -

"When (the shooter) began shooting, everyone ran.

That last factor alone is responsible for almost all of the dead. A tight group of young men taught to run at danger instead of away from it could have overpowered him almost at once."


And then he adds his own observation -

"Yes, had a group of young men charged the shooter, some of them would have been wounded or killed. But no one charged the shooter, and literally dozens are dead."

Jesus. Quite simply...Jesus.

Now, I'm not going to claim that the Kevin Baker Fan Club are ideologically fellow travellers of Breivik, because the Norwegian is a Christian fundamentalist and as I understand it Baker is an atheist. And of course one is a mass-murdering psychopath, and the other is a non-violent blogger. But, all the same, you wouldn't have to look far to spot the overlaps between the KBFC's own angry, paranoid rhetoric and Breivik's. Bearing that in mind, and also the fact that yet another legal gun owner has just done something that legal gun owners supposedly don't do, you might have thought that if we can't hear anything sensible from the direction of Tucson, Arizona, at the very least a period of dignified silence and reflection might have been in order.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was it also the victims' fault for looking at Breivik in the wrong way?

Kevin Baker said...

I see you're still outstandingly skilled at avoiding the point.

When rampage shootings occur (almost always in disarmed victim zones) they continue until one of two things happens: the shooter decides he's finished, or a good guy with a gun shows up and stops him. The only other way such shootings stop is when the shooter is overwhelmed by his potential victims.

Rampage shootings are rare to begin with. Rampage shootings ended by unarmed victims is much rarer still. In this case as in the recent Cumbria incident, the shooting went on for an extended period because A) no one confronted the shooter, and B) the shooter didn't decide he was finished.

So, "the strictest gun laws in the world" didn't prevent Cumbria's massacre, and Norway's gun laws didn't prevent this massacre. By the evidence, he planned this for years.

Cumbria's massacre stopped when Bird decided he was finished and shot himself. Norway's stopped when Breivik was confronted by armed officers and he surrendered.

We bear the primary responsibility for our own safety. The State can help, but the State cannot wrap us in swaddling our entire lives. At its base, "running away" is a good idea, but, well, let Robert Heinlein say it:

"The instinct to survive is human nature itself, and every aspect of our personalities derives from it. Anything that conflicts with the survival instinct acts sooner or later to eliminate the individual and thereby fails to show up in future generations. This truth is mathematically demonstrable, everywhere verifiable; it is the single eternal imperative controlling everything we do.

"But the instinct to survive can be cultivated into motivations more subtle and much more complex than the blind, brute urge of the individual to stay alive. ...survival can have stronger imperatives than that of your own personal survival. Survival of your family, for example. Of your children, when you have them. Of your nation, if you struggle that high up the scale.

"The basis of all morality is duty, a concept with the same relation to group that self-interest has to individual."


If you accept that you have a duty to your society, to your fellow-man, then defending them against attack is morally right. But we teach people that they are not responsible for their own defense, it's the STATE's job. So we should not be surprised that everyone in both Cumbria and in Norway waited for the State to show up to protect them - and 68 people died. Had he been charged by a dozen young men hurling rocks, that number might very well have been much lower. Not zero, but not 68.

Breivik is at fault here, no doubt about it, but the death toll is as high as it is because we no longer teach people - average people - that it's important for all potential victims to be as dangerous as they can. No, we teach them to wait for the State to save them.

And you can see how well that works.

And no, I'm not ashamed of pointing that out.

THR said...

'"Yes, had a group of young men charged the shooter, some of them would have been wounded or killed. But no one charged the shooter, and literally dozens are dead."

Jesus. Quite simply...Jesus.'

The thought of a gun-toting wacko being prevented from killing as many people as he wishes, by his intended victims, causes you displeasure?

When you hear about a terrorist trying to blow up a plane, but getting subdued by the passengers instead, does it cause you to vomit?

James Kelly said...

Kevin : I've responded in a new post.

THR : No, what causes me "displeasure" is the grotesque sight of your fellow travellers blaming the victims for their own demise, rather than Breivik, himself, his extreme right-wing ideology, and the legal access he enjoyed to firearms.

THR said...

So let's say in the near future there's another mass shooting event, in an enclosed or isolated area where escape is extremely difficult, where a number of the victims have opportunity to rush the shooter as a group and stop him...and you would advise them instead to run away so that the shooter can leisurely hunt each and every one of them down?

You would advise them to make it easier for spree shooters to kill every person he can? Because as far as I can see, your answer would be 'yes',

I know you hope that throwing accusations of 'blaming the victims' around (if that made any sense at all, you would have explained it) is going to distract people from the fact that you're in favour of the MAXIMUM, rather than the minimum, number of people getting killed in spree shootings.

Why else would you be so against the idea of people trying to stop spree shooters?

James Kelly said...

"So let's say in the near future there's another mass shooting event, in an enclosed or isolated area where escape is extremely difficult, where a number of the victims have opportunity to rush the shooter as a group and stop him...and you would advise them instead to run away so that the shooter can leisurely hunt each and every one of them down?

You would advise them to make it easier for spree shooters to kill every person he can? Because as far as I can see, your answer would be 'yes'"


What in God's name are you talking about, man? I wouldn't dream of saying any such thing, nor have I given you the slightest grounds for surmising that. I haven't expressed any view one way or the other on what people should do in that situation, although I have said that it's outrageous to blame them for whatever actions they instinctively take under a degree of stress that absolutely nothing can prepare you for.

"I know you hope that throwing accusations of 'blaming the victims' around (if that made any sense at all, you would have explained it)"

I don't need to "throw accusations around" - it's a matter of record that Kevin and the person he quoted have indeed blamed the victims. I'll quote the relevant words again, as you appear to have missed them -

"When (the shooter) began shooting, everyone ran.

That last factor alone is responsible [my emphasis] for almost all of the dead"

"But no one charged the shooter, and literally dozens are dead"

Now, my question to you would be - why this relentless focus on which desperate strategy people should follow if they find themselves in such an impossible situation? Could it be that you're trying to distract attention from something? Perish the thought.

Have you never heard the saying 'prevention is better than cure'? If there was an imminent danger of nuclear war, would the best focus for our emotional energy be a diplomatic effort to prevent the war from happening in the first place, or a 24/7 fret about which tree you want to shelter from the fallout under?

Kerry said...

"... you wouldn't have to look far to spot the overlaps.." I could find none, but them I am not you. Would you please cut and paste the words you spot but I cannot? Thank you.

Kerry said...

Oh, I meant to ask, "...Christian fundamentalist". 1700's Zurich Calvinist? Holy Roller? Full Gospel Redemptionist? Mt. Zion Church of the Flaming Sword? Pentecostalist's of the Revealed Word?...It is certain Brevik was 'mental', but there all similarities end.

James Kelly said...

"I could find none, but them I am not you."

With respect, Kerry, that isn't because "you are not me" - it's rather more likely to be because you haven't looked/would rather not see.

I'm referring to the paranoid rhetoric suggesting that gun-owners in the US have been subjected to a "decades-long hate-crime" (when of course the truth is that legal gun ownership is rife in your country) and that the US is being taken over by "socialism" (when the truth is that America is light-years to the right of anything the rest of the world would recognise as socialism). The parallels between that and Breivik's paranoid belief that his country is being taken over by "cultural Marxism" and Islam (when that faith remains a relatively tiny minority in Norway) are plain for all to see. There is also a recurring theme among the comments left on Kevin's blog that there may/will come a kind of breaking-point in this "hate-crime" when people will have to take up arms against the democratic state to impose their will and win by force a way of life that is more to their taste. Remind you of anything?

"Thank you."

You're very welcome.

"Oh, I meant to ask, "...Christian fundamentalist". 1700's Zurich Calvinist? Holy Roller? Full Gospel Redemptionist? Mt. Zion Church of the Flaming Sword? Pentecostalist's of the Revealed Word?...It is certain Brevik was 'mental', but there all similarities end."

Given that the words "Breivik Christian fundamentalist" turn up approximately 839,000 search results on Google, you're going to have your work cut out "correcting" all of them. Best of luck.

THR said...

“What in God's name are you talking about, man? I wouldn't dream of saying any such thing, nor have I given you the slightest grounds for surmising that. “

Again, ‘Jesus. Quite simply...Jesus. ‘ as a response to the assertion that Breivik’s victims would have stood a better chance had they tried to STOP HIM FROM SHOOTING THEM.

Why don’t you answer the question? If I, or anyone else, found myself close enough to someone like Breivik for him to take aim at me, would you advise me to try to run from him, so that he could put a bullet in my back? Or would you agree that I have a better chance of survival (mine and others) through trying to stop him?

“I don't need to "throw accusations around" - it's a matter of record that Kevin and the person he quoted have indeed blamed the victims. I'll quote the relevant words again, as you appear to have missed them -

"When (the shooter) began shooting, everyone ran.

That last factor alone is responsible [my emphasis] for almost all of the dead"

That would be the person you’re quoting out of context. What he actually said was,

“That last factor alone is responsible for almost all of the dead. A tight group of young men taught to run at danger instead of away from it could have overpowered him almost at once.”

"But no one charged the shooter, and literally dozens are dead"

Just so you’re clear, pointing out that teaching people not to fight for their own lives has in cases like this, dire results for the victims, is NOT ‘blaming’ them, and you’ve got some work to do to explain your assertion that it IS blame, so let’s see if you can do better than simply quoting someone and asserting they are ‘laying blame’ without backing your accusation up (not holding my breath, though).

“Now, my question to you would be - why this relentless focus on which desperate strategy people should follow if they find themselves in such an impossible situation?”

Because it serves people a lot better to consider what they might have to do in the event of something like this (which you’re under the deluded impression you can completely prevent, as justification for interfering with people being able to keep themselves safe). The alternative (which you favour) is for people to go to pieces in an emergency, which hardly enables them to cope effectively with the threat, does it?

“Could it be that you're trying to distract attention from something? Perish the thought.”

Explain. What do you think I’m trying to ‘distract attention’ from?

“Have you never heard the saying 'prevention is better than cure'? If there was an imminent danger of nuclear war, would the best focus for our emotional energy be a diplomatic effort to prevent the war from happening in the first place, or a 24/7 fret about which tree you want to shelter from the fallout under?”

Have you never heard the phrase, ‘false sense of security’? Which is exactly what your ‘we don’t want people to be able to guard their own safety, we want it to be done collectively (and if that approach fails individuals, well too bad for them)’ approach does. Encourage people to believe they’ll never be in such danger, which fails people rather badly when danger actually occurs.

Oh and, your analogy with nuclear holocaust doesn’t work, since mass shootings are something that ordinary people can prevent, and have prevented.

Why this relentless focus on building a false sense of security and bashing people for pointing out that people may have a better chance by NOT allowing spree shooters to go about killing who, and as many, as they like?

Kerry said...

Would you please cut and paste the words you spot but I cannot?

James Kelly said...

Your disappointment that I was able to give such a full answer to your question is duly noted, Kerry. But you'll have to forgive me if I don't play along with your little game - I've got about five other comments (on this thread and others) to respond to in due course.

James Kelly said...

"Again, ‘Jesus. Quite simply...Jesus. ‘ as a response to the assertion that Breivik’s victims would have stood a better chance had they tried to STOP HIM FROM SHOOTING THEM."

No, THR, it was in response to the outrageous assertion that the victims were responsible for their own deaths because they "ran away". Quite plainly they did try to prevent him from shooting them - that's why they acted as they did, and you're the one who thinks it's appropriate to criticise them for doing so, not me.

"Why don’t you answer the question?"

I did answer that question - I said that I wasn't expressing a view one way or the other on what people should do in such an impossible situation, because apart from anything else it's a counsel of despair to focus on that side of the equation rather than on how we can prevent such incidents happening in the first place.

Now, I appreciate that answer is not to your liking, but please stop pretending I haven't given it.

"Just so you’re clear, pointing out that teaching people not to fight for their own lives has in cases like this, dire results for the victims, is NOT ‘blaming’ them"

No, I'm sorry - the phrase used was "responsible for almost all the dead", and no amount of hair-splitting is going to get you off that hook.

"The alternative (which you favour) is for people to go to pieces in an emergency, which hardly enables them to cope effectively with the threat, does it?"

The premise of that question is totally wrong (see above).

"Explain. What do you think I’m trying to ‘distract attention’ from?"

From the significance of the fact that Breivik (like so many mass-murderers before him) obtained his weapons legally, and from the extreme right-wing ideology that drove him.

"Have you never heard the phrase, ‘false sense of security’?"

I have indeed. It's what you get from convincing yourself that widespread private gun ownership for "defensive purposes" is making you safer, when in fact it is doing the polar opposite.

"Why this relentless focus on building a false sense of security and bashing people for pointing out that people may have a better chance by NOT allowing spree shooters to go about killing who, and as many, as they like?"

NOT allowing him to do so is precisely the point of gun control legislation.

THR said...

"No, THR, it was in response to the outrageous assertion that the victims were responsible for their own deaths because they "ran away". Quite plainly they did try to prevent him from shooting them - that's why they acted as they did, and you're the one who thinks it's appropriate to criticise them for doing so, not me."

I asked you to BACK UP your assertions that the victims are being 'blamed' or 'criticised' (which they are not - and I've demonstrated that, unlike you), rather than it being pointed out that 'evil is not defeated by fleeing from it' (to quote Jeff Cooper). Why can't you BACK UP or PROVE your assertions?

I'll give you another chance to do so. HOW are the victims being BLAMED? Of course you'll probably dodge this question, just as you dodged the other one, and we'll know that your accusations are complete rubbish.

"I did answer that question - I said that I wasn't expressing a view one way or the other on what people should do in such an impossible situation, because apart from anything else it's a counsel of despair to focus on that side of the equation"

No, you didn't. An answer would have been a 'yes' or 'no' to the question, 'would you say I should fight or take flight, in a situation where flight is guaranteed to lead to my being shot dead?'

Yes, taking the gunman on MAY lead to my death, but running from him when he's close enough to take aim at me probably WILL. It's having a chance vs. no chance.

You probably don't understand that, though, or don't care.

"Just so you’re clear, pointing out that teaching people not to fight for their own lives has in cases like this, dire results for the victims, is NOT ‘blaming’ them"

"No, I'm sorry - the phrase used was "responsible for almost all the dead", and no amount of hair-splitting is going to get you off that hook."

You quoted someone out of context to make a straw-man point. I post the full quote...and you ignore it, because it destroys your straw-man argument. You really think willful ignorance and an inability to admit you were wrong proves you correct?

"The premise of that question is totally wrong (see above)."

Again, you show that the idea of people being able and prepared to defend their own lives is anathema to you. Using language like 'council of despair' to describe thinking about how to deal with emergencies. Do you think of, say, planning for natural disasters as being a 'council of despair'? Yes? No? Why?

"From the significance of the fact that Breivik (like so many mass-murderers before him) obtained his weapons legally, and from the extreme right-wing ideology that drove him."

He's a nutter, so his ideology is hardly relevant to this discussion. What is relevant is that guns being completely illegal would hardly have deterred him or prevented his plans completely, he'd have found another way to acquire weapons. How does your magnificent prohibitive approach deal with illegal guns, being used to kill people whom you want defenceless? Do tell.

THR said...

More:-

"Have you never heard the phrase, ‘false sense of security’?"

"I have indeed. It's what you get from convincing yourself that widespread private gun ownership for "defensive purposes" is making you safer, when in fact it is doing the polar opposite."

Now you're proving Kevin right, you are indeed 'skilled at dodging the point'. The point being that there's nothing that leads people into a false sense of security as much as trying to make them think that nothing bad will ever happen to them. Now why would you think the belief that 'nothing bad will ever happen to me' (which is exactly what gun prohibition is in the service of - not about saving lives) is healthy or desirable?

Gun ownership, OTOH, is about people's individual ability to guard their own safety. This is important because, despite your deluded beliefs to the contrary, the 'collective safety' approach of trying to prevent gun deaths through banning guns is decidedly ineffective, in several ways, such that it is irresponsible to interfere with people's ability to deal with the occurrences that your prohibition FAILS to prevent.

Not to mention all the other kinds of violence that you're leaving people open to with your mania that they not be able to defend themselves with guns. That's a major failing with your 'victim disarmament' approach, is it not.

You want the ILLUSION of safety, rather than actual safety, and you don't consider the negative aspects of what you want. At. All.

Which just goes to show what a truly selfish ideology gun control really is.

Larry said...

I guess it would be better to not think about what one should do in ANY "impossible" situation. That way, the risk of doing the most sensible thing would be minimized. And any suggestion that a better result (not necessarily a _good_ result, but at least a _better_ result) might have been obtained if _anybody_ had reacted in anything other than blind panic will be construed as "blaming the victim". Is that correct?

Good God, man, what are you THINKING? Or are you thinking at all? OF COURSE measures to prevent the unthinkable from happening are reasonable, but since there is NO SUCH THING as perfect safety or security (i.e., Titanic, Munich Olympics, Columbine, 9/11), only an idiot takes no thought of what to do when they find themselves in the so-called "impossible situation". A Monty Python-esque "Run away! Run away!" is often not the best response, and sometimes isn't even possible.

Suggesting that once the "impossible" situation started, that it might have had a better ending should not be beyond the bounds of discussion or thought. Your reaction, Mr. Kelly, reminds me of nothing so much as the dis-opprobrium that attached to me after the drowning death of my cousin and near-drowning of one of his friends (almost dragged down by my cousin during a hopelessly ineffective rescue attempt) because nobody in the group of 16-18 year olds had even the faintest introduction to basic lifesaving. I had the _nerve_ to ask (in honest mystification) before the funeral if any of the boys hadn't taken a Red Cross (or similar) swimming class. Immediately, the reaction from most everybody was that I was blaming the boys and their parents for my cousin's death. I was shocked and hurt by the intensity of the reaction then. I am no less mystified by your reaction now. "Impossible" situations happen, we're never going to be able to prevent all of them, and some reactions ARE better than others. It should not be considered a grave moral offense to suggest that, and consider better reactions. Plan all you want to prevent a bad situation from happening, but do give a tiny smidgen of thought to what to do when your prevention fails. It will. Bank on it.

James Kelly said...

THR, you're beginning to remind me of Mike W (and I note that we've yet to see the pair of you in the same room at the same time). I'm not going to carry on indulging your drivel-fest into infinity. I will note, however, that I answered your first question in crystal-clear fashion earlier in the thread, so if by any chance your desire is to discover the answer rather than to play games, all you need to do is look.

Larry : I don't want to get too deeply into your private family matters, although since you feel it's relevant, I'll just have to say frankly that, on the basis of the information you've given, I'm inclined to sympathise with the reaction of those who criticised you. If you said it before the funeral, it really doesn't strike me as an appropriate or constructive comment. Of course, once the dust is settled on an incident like that, there are lessons that can be learned going forward - but it's a hell of a lot more plausible to expect young people to learn basic life-saving techniques than it is for Norway to introduce a National Indoctrination Programme that demands that, in the event of being faced with a mass-murdering maniac, young men should effectively commit suicide to minimise the death toll.

I make absolutely no apology for saying that prevention should be our overwhelming priority with incidents like these. And given that the weapons used by Breivik were legally obtained, I've a rather good idea of where we could start in that endeavour.

Larry said...

Well, Mr. Kelly, I was a kid who naively asked a very relevant question. Based on the reaction I got, it was obvious what the answer was. Your reaction is no different. Attack the messenger, and COMPLETELY miss or avoid the point. The point being, no matter what your preventive measures, they will sometimes FAIL, and FAIL BADLY. Especially when PEOPLE are involved because people can think and they can think their way around any measures you throw up. You can make it harder, but you can't make it impossible. And when the "impossible" happens, is it better to know how best to react, or is it better to be an ostrich with your fucking head in the sand?

Larry said...

Actually, you've already made it quite obvious what you think is the better answer.

James Kelly said...

Larry, if you were literally just a kid, and you were cut up about the death of your cousin, of course that puts it in an entirely different perspective. From what you'd said, I had imagined you as a grown man arrogantly going off on one in front of young people who must have been absolutely devastated and numb with shock every bit as much as you were. I don't want to be insensitive about such an intensely personal subject, but you were making a direct comparison between that and how I reacted to Kevin's fatuous observations on the Norway massacre, and I therefore felt it was important that I gave my take on it.

I've already clearly indicated what I'm about to say, but I'll say it more directly this time because you seem to have totally (and probably willfully) failed to take it on board. The comparison you're making is not a valid one because it's blindingly obvious that basic life-saving techniques can help to save a life if our best preventative efforts fail. But if we're going to throw our hands in the air and say we're not going to bother focusing primarily on how we prevent atrocities like the Norwegian one from happening in the first place, then we might as well be an ostrich with our f****** heads in the sand for all the f****** difference it will make.

PS. It's becoming increasingly obvious that you've completely misunderstood (again, probably willfully) what I meant by the word "impossible". I meant an "impossible" situation to deal with, not "impossible" in the sense that it could never happen.

Larry said...

It's not an "impossible" situation to deal with, no matter that you refuse to acknowledge it. There are better and worse ways to deal with it. Being a sheep about it is about the worst thing you can do. And where the f*** did I say one f****** thing about not doing anything to prevent a bad situation? SHOW ME where I said that! I said that once prevention has failed -- and it will, eventually -- what if a military policeman goes berserk with ACTUAL assault weapons and maybe grenades? Not even you're daft enough to propose disarming the military, are you? Or are you?

And the whole point of my story, if you had any reading comprehension at all, was about the reaction of others to any suggestion that perhaps not all the deaths need have happened. Instead, you attack me for something I DIDN'T EVEN SAY!!!

Larry said...

As concrete examples of what I'm talking about (which is not whatever you _imagine_ I'm talking about, Mr. Kelly), here are some ways to react in your "impossible" situation that limits the harm done:

Gunman in imerick tackled

Arizona gunman tackled before he can reload and resume shooting

Las Vegas gunman tackled before he can kill anybody

Sometimes there are bad consequences to a situation and there are much worse consequences possible, depending on how people. And people will react in the way they are trained or at least have some idea of what to do. I said nothing more than that. The Norway atrocity almost certainly could have turned out much better than it did. It could hardly be worse. But you go right on pretending that you can always prevent the Big Bad and that ordinary people need never worry their pretty little heads about what might happen when someone of reasonable intelligence and cunning finds or makes a way around your preventions. That'll work just swell.

James Kelly said...

"And the whole point of my story, if you had any reading comprehension at all, was about the reaction of others to any suggestion that perhaps not all the deaths need have happened"

If I'd missed that point, I'm not quite sure how I was able to say what I thought of that reaction. What you said at the time was understandable given that you were young and grief-stricken, but as a matter of principle, is it a good idea to tell a group of young people and their parents that they were effectively to blame for an accidental death, especially at a time when it's only just happened and they are in a state of shock?

No, it's not a good idea.

"Not even you're daft enough to propose disarming the military, are you?"

No, I'm not. In fact, you'll be delighted to hear that I'm inclined to agree that such a plan would be relatively daft - albeit not quite as daft as your own relaxed attitude to arming potential mass-murderers in the civilian population.

"Being a sheep about it is about the worst thing you can do."

As opposed to suicidally running towards the gunman and getting on his nerves by pelting rocks at him, as Kevin suggests? Oh sure, that sounds like a much more promising idea. At some point, you people are going to have acknowledge that if you're faced with a well-prepared psychopath armed to the teeth and with no compunction about killing dozens of people, you've got a bit of a problem on your hands whatever wizard wheeze you might come up with.

"And where the f*** did I say one f****** thing about not doing anything to prevent a bad situation?"

Then why the f*** are you and Kevin so totally preoccupied with talking about what people should do AFTER they get into a situation like this, rather than the more obvious priority of making sure the likes of Breivik don't have access to guns in the first place, and tackling the poison of his ideology?

"But you go right on pretending that you can always prevent the Big Bad and that ordinary people need never worry their pretty little heads about what might happen when someone of reasonable intelligence and cunning finds or makes a way around your preventions. That'll work just swell."

I'm sure you'll sleep more soundly for getting that little rant out of your system, but in the meantime I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Breivik did not have to "work his way round preventions". He obtained his weapons LEGALLY. Not much "cunning" required for mass-murderers when your philosophy holds sway, is there? My suggestion is that we should make it much tougher for them. You clearly disagree for some reason. Far be it from me to suggest that it's probably because you prize the pleasure of owning a luxury item above public safety - that's a matter for you and your conscience.

James Kelly said...

Some more thoughts relevant to the last few comments can be found here

THR said...

"Then why the f*** are you and Kevin so totally preoccupied with talking about what people should do AFTER they get into a situation like this"

Because (A) they recognize that your victim disarmament method won't ever prevent gun massacres from taking place, and (B) they recognize that it's better that people be able to respond and protect themselves when your method leaves them up s**t creek.

Are you still seriously decrying people thinking about what they should do in the event of disaster striking? To be consistent with that, though, why don't you do a blog post about how passengers on a plane shouldn't do anything if they see someone trying to ignite a bomb to blow the plane up. After all, it's a council of despair to think about what they might do to stop potential plane bombers. You could always say that if they try and fail to prevent the explosion, then they'll be 'morally blamed' for their failure! I'm sure that'll persuade quite a few people that it's OK to give into panic and let the terrorist go ahead with his plans.

And hey, after Hillsborough, it was probably also a 'council of despair' to take down all those fences between the fans and the pitch on football grounds around the country. They should have left the damn things up for more people to get crushed to death against, right Jimmy?

You were also asked what people were to do in the face of a gunman who got his weapons illegally (your 'preventative' method failing to prevent that, why didn't you answer? Then there's the fact that being disarmed leaves people open to all other kinds of violence, another way in which your victim disarmament fails people badly.

We can sum up your position as follows - you don't want people to have any chance or to even THINK they have any chance of saving lives in emergency situations, you just want them to panic (so much the better to get themselves killed). You're also fine with the thought of violence befalling whomever it may strike for the sake of you FEELING safe. For the sake of you being able to LIE to yourself about how safe you are. Your conscience (such as it is) is fine with that.

That's what you want for me and anyone else. You're no-one's friend.

P.S. Accusing me of being somebody else? You do seem to be losing your grip on sanity.

James Kelly said...

You're quite right, THR, you can't possibly be Mike. He was just as tedious and repetitive as you're being, right enough - but he was generally quite brief.

"You were also asked what people were to do in the face of a gunman who got his weapons illegally (your 'preventative' method failing to prevent that, why didn't you answer?"

The same reason I didn't bother with the rest of your questions - you're being a prat, and I have better uses for my time. Gun control is just as useful at preventing crimes committed with illegal weapons - how else do you think it's possible that the OVERALL level of gun deaths in the UK is so much lower than the US? Hint - most illegal weapons in the world start off as legal, somewhere or the other.

Larry said...

is it a good idea to tell a group of young people and their parents that they were effectively to blame for an accidental death, especially at a time when it's only just happened and they are in a state of shock?
No, it's not a good idea.


Well, first off, I didn't tell them that. I asked was to me a simple question. They jumped to conclusions just as you are. Pure emotion, not a shred of logic.

In fact, you'll be delighted to hear that I'm inclined to agree that such a plan would be relatively daft - albeit not quite as daft as your own relaxed attitude to arming potential mass-murderers in the civilian population.

Again, Mr. Kelly, where the f*** have I said anything remotely like that??? SHOW ME, or at least kindly respond to what I say and not to the voices in your head. You seem to be imagining quite a large part of the conversation here.

As opposed to suicidally running towards the gunman and getting on his nerves by pelting rocks at him, as Kevin suggests? Oh sure, that sounds like a much more promising idea.

As you blithely ignore the three cases I found in about 60 seconds of googling where immediately rushing the gunman very probably prevented even more deaths. Well done, sir, well done! Not many people can so completely miss the point so quickly as you have done!

Regardless of what you seem to think, a firearm is not a magic talisman of death rendering its possessor invulnerable to all lesser magics.

Then why the f*** are you and Kevin so totally preoccupied with talking about what people should do AFTER they get into a situation like this

I don't know Kevin, but I would say because THAT was the situation those poor souls found themselves in!!! When all else fails, what will you do? Would we be finding your footprints on the backs of slower running women and children? Sauve qui peut! Sauve qui peut!

What if a Mumbai-type incident happened in the UK and you were caught in it? Would you whine about the weapons being illegal, and wondered how, oh how, could you've made murder even more illegal?

Also, you're still not paying any attention to what I've actually said. As the big-bosomed woman said, "My face is up here!" The reason I pitched in was because of the absolute hissy-fit you threw at the suggestion that there was a much better ending possible once the atrocity started.

You don't know a single damned thing about my position regarding firearms and gun control, yet off you go like a screaming rocket just because I don't think a man should die without putting up some sort of fight in the hope of minimizing the tragedy and saving innocents. And I posted some examples of where it actually worked against firearms, and I can find a lot more if I devote a few minutes to it.

I'm almost wondering if you react so strongly to the idea because you deep down really hate the idea of anybody even having the simple idea that they could fight back. Kind of like the pre-Contact days of the UN in Larry Niven's Known Space stories.

As I said more than once before, go ahead and work on preventing things like Norway happening. But keep in mind that no system is perfect and that only a fool believes that "it could never happen here", and that therefore taking even 10 minutes to think in advance about possible courses of action is WrongThink.

James Kelly said...

"I asked was to me a simple question."

I haven't the faintest idea what that sentence is supposed to mean. How about you?

"Kind of like the pre-Contact days of the UN in Larry Niven's Known Space stories."

What? You'll have to forgive me - not all of us speak sci-fi.

"As you blithely ignore the three cases I found in about 60 seconds of googling where immediately rushing the gunman very probably prevented even more deaths."

And how many seconds do you think it would take me to discover three cases where "rushing the gunman" didn't have quite such a happy ending?

"You don't know a single damned thing about my position regarding firearms and gun control"

Oh, come off it, Larry. You're referred here from Kevin Baker's gun blog, everything you say here is in total accord with Kevin Baker's views, and you're asking me to believe there's a possibility that you might be open to the idea of strict gun control?

Fine, then. Tell me your views on gun control - as the fact that you're avoiding the subject does lead to the fairly obvious suspicion that you're a pro-gunner pretending to have an ambiguous position as a debating tactic.

"As I said more than once before, go ahead and work on preventing things like Norway happening."

And is it OK with you if we do that by means of strict gun bans? Yes or no?

"What if a Mumbai-type incident happened in the UK and you were caught in it? Would you whine about the weapons being illegal, and wondered how, oh how, could you've made murder even more illegal?"

Oooh, spoken like a true believer in gun control. You have noticed, I take it, that gun control in the UK has helped to keep gun deaths from BOTH legal and illegal weapons at a much, much lower level than the US?

"the absolute hissy-fit"

Oh, I can see you're the expert on those, my friend. Breathe deeply, and keep taking those self-awareness tablets.

Larry said...

You're a pathetic dishonest little hack. NOTHING I've said goes to gun control at all. I actually don't remember because I was surfing from site to site. Post a log or something and show me. Though you haven't shown me anything else I've asked, so I don't expect anything this time. YOU seem to have ended up at Kevin's site more than once, should we take that as indicative of anything?

Now, how about the glaringly obvious little fact that gun deaths have ALWAYS lower in Britain than in US, even before there was any gun control to speak of? And knife deaths, and blunt object deaths. Just plain murder in general. Britain is a more settled society, and America is highly mobile with many immigrants. There are well-known sociological reasons for it.

As for a Mumbai-type incident, what does gun control have to do with it AT ALL? Do you honestly think a whack-job terrorist gives flying fuck what the laws are? I mean, are you a so complete a moron as to think that the Mumbai terrorists were armed with legal weapons? Or that it made a rats ass worth of difference to their victims? Or that in your country it simply CAN'T happen, or that no policeman or soldier will raid the armory and go berserk? It just can't happen because you've decreed it won't happen? And that therefore, thinking about the best way to react to an impossible situation must be decried as "blaming the victim". Huh. Best not read any airliner crash report, you'll really get your panties in a bind.

Bombs are illegal in Britain, too, come to think of it. And of course that's stopped bombings. Well, duh. 7/7 didn't really happen. The IRA never did anything. And only a moron would consider what to do in such an emergency, right, Mr. Kelly?

Absolutely nothing I've said pertains to gun control. Not one blessed thing except in your fertile imagination. Only about what one might do if one is caught in the middle of an unspeakable atrocity.

But I'm guessing we WILL find your shoe prints on the backs of women and children you've trampled in your getaway should the unthinkable ever happen. Brave, brave Sir Robin. Because everyone knows it hurts less to get shot in the back than in the front, and that no gunman has ever in history has ever been brought down by unarmed people because they face all directions at once, are inerringly accurate and are impervious to being surprised. Silly rabbits, you should know better than to fight back against a killer. It can't be done! The Great Kelly Has Spoken!

And by the way, I don't give a shit what you do about gun control in your country. I just don't understand why you think the only way to respond to an armed madman is to run like hell, or to beg from one's knees for one's life. You sure as shit seem to have a problem with acting like a man.

James Kelly said...

"YOU seem to have ended up at Kevin's site more than once, should we take that as indicative of anything?"

Oh, absolutely - it's indicative of the fact that he sought me out here and requested my presence. He even offered me guest posting privileges on his blog, but I declined.

"Now, how about the glaringly obvious little fact that gun deaths have ALWAYS lower in Britain than in US, even before there was any gun control to speak of?"

Ah, it appears you are opposed to gun control after all. Well, blow me down with a feather. As to your specific question, we've been through this in detail on the other thread. The rate of gun death was lower in Britain before any legislation was introduced because the rate of gun ownership was dramatically lower than in the US even at that time. Gun control was introduced because it became needed - guns were beginning to spread, and if we hadn't done it we could well have had US-style carnage on our hands by now.

"As for a Mumbai-type incident, what does gun control have to do with it AT ALL?"

Because it makes such incidents MUCH LESS LIKELY HAPPEN. I'm struggling to see how I can make this much simpler for you.

"Do you honestly think a whack-job terrorist gives flying **** what the laws are?"

First of all, if you post again in future could you please moderate your language or use asterisks - I don't have many rules but that's one of them. I have no wish to delete posts, but I will if I have to. Secondly, yes I do believe whack-job terrorists care what the laws are. Why? Because Breivik tried to obtain his weapons illegally, and failed. He then obtained then legally.

I really do think that ought to tell you something quite profound.

"Bombs are illegal in Britain, too, come to think of it. And of course that's stopped bombings."

Er, yes, I think it probably has, actually. But I suppose by your logic we might as well legalise bombs. How about poison gas? Privately-owned samples of anthrax? After all we all know that if people can't get them legally, they'll just get them illegally.

Now, as for this recurring theme about shoe-prints on women's backs, getting panties in a bind, etc, etc - yes, Larry, we get the message, and we've heard it all before from your fellow members of the KB Fan Club. We all fully appreciate that you are BIG MACHO MEN because you have GUNS, and that I am a mere WUSSY, a SNIVELLING COWARD, and a GIRL. Well, that's just grand as far I'm concerned. If the philosophy of a girl is what keeps more people alive and safe, then a girl is exactly what I want to be.

Kiss kiss.

Larry said...

Oh, well now that that question has been answered to everyone's satisfaction, I'll be off to have pint with the lads. Don't wait up.

James Kelly said...

I'll be keeping it warm for you, darling.

Larry said...

I know you will, you nasty little thing, you. But I think I will flee the country first.

James Kelly said...

Don't repress your desires, Larry. I've seen this happen too often.