TOM THE DANCING BUG: The Last Comic Strip About a Mass Shooting Tragedy You'll Ever Have to Read

I appreciate your honesty but I have two problems with this argument:

  1. I’m sure Adam Lanza’s mother believed the same thing prior to last December. Just because a dangerous weapon is legally owned by a non-psychotic person doesn’t mean it can’t be used by a psychotic person.
  2. My ownership of dynamite would have no direct bearing on the relatively small number of people who use dynamite to make bombs, but I still recognize the need to regulate the sale and use of high explosives. Because they’re fucking dangerous and can easily be used to kill a lot of people.

while we’re on the topics of stats, it’s worth looking at the numbers of gun killings, versus the number of legally-owned guns in a nation. When you compare these, America actually has the best gun safety record of any nation, with the average gun (1 in 60,000) being responsible for less deaths than the average car (1 in 25000)
(numbers are from memory, don’t haze me if they’re not entirely accurate, deliberately not taking the time to go recalculate them, just want to make my comment) )

Compare this to somewhere like Brazil, where each legally owned gun is responsible for over 300 murders - which of course they aren’t, but the nation is flooded with illegal weapons captured from various military conflicts.

America’s gun problem might be because we allow civilian sales, but in most nations with their own similarly high levels of gun violence, the major supplier of black market weapons is (inadvertently) the various militaries of the world and their tendency to leave equipment in places where it can be…acquired.

I’m originally from the UK, in particular an area of the UK that has had a chronic gun violence problem for decades - although the UK has has no civilian gun ownership for decades as well - but you’d be surprised how much stuff flows in from those East European conflicts over time. I know I’m beating the dead horse with “criminals will always get guns somehow” here, but American Exceptionalism about how your gun violence problem is somehow worse/more important than the gun violence problems in so many other places in the world does irk me a little. And violence definitely doesn’t require a gun.

Then you have to answer the same question asked by so many over the years.

…Where do your rights end, and mine begin. At what point can you claim the moral authority that my rights must be diminished in order to ensure your safety?

that is the gun debate.

If the statistic you care about most is “which nation has the fewest murders per legally-owned gun” then I suppose we’re doing great. But most people I know care more about “total gun deaths per capita,” in which case the U.S. is doing very badly compared to most developed countries.


Guns are bad.

Unless they come from 3D printers amirite!!!

I am BoingBoing: hear my schizophrenic roar.

Also, the whole “guns vs. explosives” argument is way off base, since explosives can only be used for blowing things up, but guns can be used for so many different things, like… uh… target shooting… and… teaching gun… safety… .and…


My general philosophy is “it should be hard for an ordinary person to kill a large number of people at once.” Obviously it will always be possible for bad people to do horrible things, but we don’t have to make it trivial.

I can earn the right to fly a jetliner, but only after I’ve been through countless hours of training and extensive background checks. Same goes for buying explosives or building a nuclear reactor or working as a chemist in a company that bottles medicines. In my mind, owning a weapon that can mow down dozens of people in one go is one of those “only under certain circumstances” sort of things.


This. It’s people seeking to ban superfluous classifications of things which mean nothing and which would have zero effect on the root problem.

And the emotional appeal comes out to “If you DON’T support this ‘common sense’ law, you must be PRO murdering people.” It ignores the people who freely and responsibly exercise a right. Not everyone commits DUI homicides, but we should ban liquor because some people drink and drive. "Don’t you want to SAVE LIVES?"

The argument @Brainspore never hears is the one that all the responsible gun owners make every time this debate begins anew. It sickens me to read about ANY violence against innocents. But this is all mushy, warm-milk legislation that’s going to accomplish nothing. They’d like to outlaw an inanimate object instead of seriously trying to tackle the issues behind the individuals who choose to start murdering people.

didn’t say I care about it most, just used it to illustrate that statistics can be a little more than 1-dimensional. But it does act as a good indicator that gun ownership isn’t necessarily the primary correlator behind gun deaths - ie. that stats demonstrate that Americans are actually the most responsible gun owners on the entire planet - if gun ownership was the primary driver, those ratios would be flat across all nations, they aren’t. One of the great things about processing numbers is they often demonstrate how widely skewed our perceptions of things can be from the reality of things. Hey, I work in a risk management field, this is the kind of stuff I obsess over.

I agree. Let’s have some MEANINGFUL gun legislation like all the countries which DON’T have high rates of gun violence.[quote=“laynesk, post:28, topic:10635”]
They’d like to outlaw an inanimate object instead of seriously trying to tackle the issues behind the individuals who choose to start murdering people.
A lot of us liberal moonbats tried getting the “let’s ensure mental health care for all” thing off the ground, but it turns out that any kind of government-backed healthcare is Socialism so that didn’t go over too well either.


I’d imagine the biggest factor is probably availability of guns. When a society makes it easy for law-abiding people to acquire high capacity assault-style weapons then that society also ensures that it will also be easy for non-law-abiding people to get those weapons.


To be fair, none of those things are mentioned as a guaranteed right to American citizens. If you want to excise any free activity, all you need to do is strangle it in enough red tape. Currently before you can take a gun home from a store, you DO have a full background check run. The Navy Yard shooter passed those hurdles quite easily in spite of having numerous troubling incidents and increased scrutiny for security clearance. Why no outcry about the dull-witted bureaucrats who ignored their duty to safeguard the public?

Furthermore, your “general philosophy” can just as easily be disproven by the kinds of guerilla bombings in Boston, Oklahoma and worldwide. The acquisition of a pistol or rifle is not much of an impediment to the violent or mentally unbalanced who would do harm to many. I’m not saying those acts are the norm, but people in Boston were banning pressure cookers under this same false reasoning.

So the real endgame for a total cessation of mass civilian casualties would be the Feds forcibly seizing all guns from the public AND banning anything that could conceivably be used as a high-explosive, which would include almost every petroleum-based fuel, compound or cleaning agent. Sounds like Utopia.

Not so. The Boston bombers killed far fewer people than they could have with a legally-purchased AR-15—or by driving a bus through a crowd, for that matter. The bombing in OKC required a non-trivial investment in time and resources to achieve its aims. It wasn’t something that a novice could have pulled off in a weekend.


semi automatic magazine fed rifles are used exceptionally rarely in crimes or murders. In places around the world where they are, those weapons are often acquired from abandoned (or stolen from) military supplies.

The “Shotguns and Pistols” that gun control folks assure us they have no interest in taking from us, are still the #1 choice for violent crime. Especially since the ammunition is cheap and plentiful, unlike rifle ammunition which has been skyrocketing in price the last decade thanks to the US Military, DHS and Police Forces buying up as much rifle ammunition as they can lay their hands on.

Rifles are not concealable, they are more complicated to operate, and far less useful in close quarters - all features that make them very poor choices for any criminal activities besides assassination killings and mass shooting, which, to beat the dead horse once more, are extremely rare events.

Know what’s even rarer? Cases in which a law-abiding person’s life was saved by a privately owned semi automatic magazine fed rifle.


I think TTDB missed a major talking point in the 2nd Amendment defensive grand strategy:

  • When a shooting occurs, use the event itself as a shield: always say “Now is not the time to discuss 2A policy” with a boilerplate “Nowisthetimetohealallourprayersarewiththefamilies”.

  • Of course, at those times when there has not been a well-publicized shooting in 6 to 9 months (rare though they are), if someone were to bring up 2A policy, the response would be, “Why even bring this up? This is not a pressing issue. Let’s talk about issues America cares about, like creating jobs and cutting federal bureaucracy.”

In fact, there is never a “good time” to talk about 2A reform.


really? because I sleep with mine under my pillow :stuck_out_tongue:

But you’re correct on this matter, and from my own experience, I don’t know too many folks that own an AR15 but not a pistol as well (and that pistol being far more likely to get picked up when they hear something go bump downstairs).

This gets back to the dubious “Assault Weapon” nomenclature however - there are plenty of functionally similar to the AR rifles out there that don’t look “Scary” and so most people are fine with “Let farmers and hunters have them”, so do we ban certain rifle brands in Cities but not rural areas? if so what does federal gun control have to do with the matter?

Not trying to split hairs so much as illuminating that one-size-fits-all, fits nothing.

mostly because it’s human nature not to change unless circumstances force us to, at which point we inevitably make poorly-thought out changes that usually address symptoms not cause.

(and I say that in the most neutral way I can, though I realize the insinuation present in the statement)

A steaming load of left wing drivel. We already have sane guns laws. We have thousands of sane gun laws. They aren’t obeyed. The “artist” is pushing the idea that ‘sane gun laws’ means ‘laws that allow us to punish tens of millions of innocent, law abiding people by depriving them of their rights and their property without due process.’ Pure bullshit of the most Stalinistic sort.

If we could just figure out how to make the gun manufacturers even more money not selling guns I am sure they would disappear very quickly. The same goes for the rest of the military industrial complex.

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