False flag rhetoric vomited across the ‘net by the usual buffoons

The public response to the shooting in San Bernardino, California yesterday immediately included the ridiculous, baseless and perfidious comments by clowns like Alex Jones of InfoWars.com and the bottom-of-the-barrel sludgy-bits websites NaturalNews.com and Beforeitsnews.com. As with every real life mass shooting, crushing cognitive bias requires the labeling of these events “false flags” in order to demonize the government instead of acknowledging the complicated problems in American society.

According to Vocativ.com Just 60 Seconds After Shooting, San Bernardino Truthers Wave The #FalseFlag.

News of a shooting in San Bernardino broke at 11:26 PST. Vocativ discovered that literally one minute later, at 11:27 PST, the first Truther posted a #FalseFlag tweet. For the uninitiated “sheep” out there, “false flag” is a conspiracy-theorist term used to describe a covert government attack against its own citizens.

In the first six hours following the massacre, 663 people tweeted about a false-flag attack in San Bernardino.

There are hundreds of reasons we could list for why the government is NOT attacking its own citizen in so-called “false flag” events. But it wouldn’t matter. The people who hold such claims are irrational so reason will do no good.

false flag

Yesterday, candidate Trump showed support for Jones:

Donald Trump is heaping praise on a radio host who has asserted that the U.S. government was involved in the Oklahoma City bombing and the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Source: Donald Trump praises Alex Jones’ ‘amazing’ reputation

Meanwhile, Republicans pray for the victims. How’s that action been working out? Well done, New York Daily News for calling this out:

kingprayer4n-7-web

They will even block INFORMATION about gun violence:

Republicans Say No to CDC Gun Violence Research

Why the CDC still isn’t researching gun violence, despite the ban being lifted two years ago

Let’s go Congress! Do your damn job. Get your cowardly conservative rears in gear and propose some progress for gun reform that addresses not just mass shooting but gun violence across the country.

TwoHandsWorkingvsPrayer

Side Note: InfoWars and NaturalNews were named #4 and #1, respectively on the Skeptoid list of top anti-science websites, for good reason.

For gun statistics, go to The Trace:

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 11.23.18 AM

Addition (4-Dec 2015): False flags, true believers and trolls: Understanding conspiracy theories after tragedies

  56 comments for “False flag rhetoric vomited across the ‘net by the usual buffoons

  1. busterggi (Bob Jase)
    December 3, 2015 at 2:49 PM

    Yeah, Michael Sausage was doing the same thing yesterday, yet another secret plan of Obama’s to confiscate the few remaining guns out there.

  2. BobM
    December 3, 2015 at 4:56 PM

    Trump seems to be Teflon at the moment. You’d think that in association with someone who thinks we are being ruled by lizard people might dent his credibility just a bit? (Just in case – I welcome our new lizard masters.)

  3. the14thListener
    December 3, 2015 at 5:31 PM

    I choose not to read Jones’ material aside from whatever preview text is in the posts by my conspiracy minded friends. Is he on the lizard people bandwagon? I would think David Icke wouldn’t appreciate the company.

  4. Dan
    December 3, 2015 at 6:02 PM

    Maybe my fellow skeptics should read the Volokh Conspiracy to see the other side of the gun debate. To liberals it’s a bleeding hearts, think of the victims thing, to progressive libertarian skeptics like myself, it’s a freedom issue. I am always skeptical of gun statistics from anti-gun sources, but I am also skeptical of those from pro-gun sites. I think the CDC should study gun violence without being censored by congress. But it should be bi-partisan and politically neutral.

    And no, I do not agree with the loons on the right, especially the InfoWars fans.

  5. Dale
    December 3, 2015 at 6:11 PM

    Maybe Republicans said no to CDC research because that is not the purpose of the CDC.

  6. December 3, 2015 at 6:29 PM

    Nice headline.

  7. December 3, 2015 at 7:13 PM

    Public health is not the purpose of the CDC? Then whose purpose is it? When more people in certain age groups die from guns than any other cause of death, that, sir, is a PUBLIC HEALTH issue.

  8. December 3, 2015 at 7:17 PM

    This argument of “freedom” is totally bogus when the innocent citizen doesn’t have the freedom to not worry about being gunned down or having their kids killed while in their own neighborhood. The CDC has not been allowed to study but the National Academies did produce a report. It was ignored. What would be the criteria for a “anti-gun” source? People who dislike being killed by a firearm on purpose or by accident?

  9. December 3, 2015 at 7:17 PM

    What a completely empty argument. We have more guns than ever. These people are delusional.

  10. December 3, 2015 at 7:18 PM

    I wanted to be as graphic as possible and still be factual.

    I’m pretty sure the responses I’ll get, even from people who claim to be rational, will make me sick as well.

  11. Logic Overlord
    December 3, 2015 at 7:30 PM

    Wait a second, you complain about conspiracy nuts hijacking a violent tragedy for their own crazy agenda, to push gun control? Isn’t that like the pot calling the kettle black?

    These were more Muslims extremists, who have and will use anything they can to kill people, including home made bombs, box cutters and civilian aircraft. So far our government has been powerless to prevent this, and you want to take the only tool that is a force equalizer against violent bullies for those who are physically weaker? That’s insane.

    Further, how does gun prohibition work? Like drug prohibition? In France, AK47 fully automatic machine guns are illegal, and it sure stopped those extremists from killing people there.

    If you want to be taken seriously, and maintain credibility as a skeptic against crazy ideologues, then maybe you need to check your own knee jerk reactions and resist hijacking someone else’s suffering to push your own biased agenda using nothing but fear.

  12. December 3, 2015 at 7:43 PM

    Muslim extremists? Like the guy that shot up the Planned Parenthood, or the kid that shot up the Charleston church?

    So it’s OK to hoard tons of weapons and ammo? That’s “freedom”?

    Just shut up, you are embarrassing yourself, kettle.

    Facts are: people are dead. TOO MANY people are dead because we have turds blocking reasonable action to collect data and make some reasonable changes.

  13. December 3, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    If people are extreme enough in their convictions they’ll do anything in their power to achieve want they want. But why is it that the US has SO MANY gun related crimes compared to other Western countries? We have crazy ideologues here in Europe too but we do not see anywhere near the same amount of gun violence and mass shootings as you do in America. This year, there has been on average almost one mass shooting PER DAY.

    In France there’s been a couple, namely the Charlie Hebdo shootings and the one a couple of weeks ago. In Sweden, one, committed by a far right anti-immigration lunatic. In Norway, we’ve had no mass shootings this year.

    Why is that, you think?

  14. Steve
    December 3, 2015 at 7:51 PM

    I believe the CDC had it’s origins as part of the US Public Health Service. Whether overall public health is still a part of its charter, I don’t know. Certainly a lot of innocent people are being killed that shouldn’t be.

    One thing I can’t figure out (among many) is that the the far right usually can’t stop talking about how government is incompetent at everything. But, then somehow the same government excels at conspiracies and has succeeded at fooling the vast majority of the American people. To me, these thoughts can’t both be correct.

  15. Steve
    December 3, 2015 at 8:05 PM

    My knee jerk reaction would be because of the US second amendment, but the more interesting question is why Switzerland doesn’t have the problem with gun violence that the United States does. The number of guns per capita in Switzerland is very high (fourth in the world, according to a Time article).

    I believe the answer is very complex, far more complex than the politics in the United States allows for now, I’m sad to say.

  16. one Eyed Jack
    December 3, 2015 at 8:14 PM

    Maybe because the CDC tracks deaths for every other cause except gun violence.

    Politicians said no because gun lobbyists told them to.

  17. One Eyed Jack
    December 3, 2015 at 8:27 PM

    Torkel,

    I agree that the US has more gun violence than other Western nations, but we do need to be clear what is being tracked. The definition of mass shooting being used by Trace is any incident with 4 or more injured by gun fire. The definition for gun violence is any criminal act where a gun is fired.

    Using those definitions, you will find far more instances of gun violence in Europe than you mention.

    I’m not trying to lesson the problem in the US. I’m just trying to keep us discussing fact, rather than rhetoric.

  18. One Eyed Jack
    December 3, 2015 at 8:28 PM

    Did you really just try to inject logic into the minds of Conspiracy Nuts? Aw, that’s cute!

  19. December 3, 2015 at 8:37 PM

    I totally agree that the issue is complex. I will accede that without question. I don’t think there are easy answers but there is no excuse for shutting down every discussion on it in congress and to be jumped on every time I write about it here in terms of being worthy of skepticism (that is, let’s use facts). But I don’t see the gun-rights people making ANY suggestions about what to do. Am I wrong on that? Have I missed it? All I see is the NRA saying “more guns” is the answer, which is most certainly IS NOT. Why can we not have a discussion? Because they know they are fighting a uphill battle and they are wrong so they close down all avenues. After many years of thinking about this and observing gun advocates, even in my own family, this is the conclusion I’ve come to: Cognitive bias.

  20. Logic Overlord
    December 3, 2015 at 9:01 PM

    The US is middle of the pack for gun related violence if you remove suicides. Crazy and evil people have shown time and time again, that they will use their creativity to do crazy and evil things. Taking away something doesn’t fix that.

    Why doesn’t Norway have as much violent crime? If that’s true, it’s probably got a lot to do with the fact that you have a much more homogeneous ethnic population. That’s the one unfortunate downside of countries with more diverse mixes of people, tribalism is a bitch to overcome and creates a lot of conflict. We’ve got a lot of different groups, lots of different beliefs, so Norway isn’t likely a fair analogy. Also, your population size is tiny in comparison to the US, and it’s a lot colder in Norway most of the year, there’s probably a lot less of people doing a lot of things. Are these differences not obvious?

    You should read up about shark attack news induced phobia. People have a way of unrealistically inflating recent tragedies to seem more dire and prolific than they are.

    @idoubtit
    How does hoarding hurt anything? That’s you pushing fear again, not logic. Stockpiling might be a little weird, compulsive even, but the piling of things is not a violent act. Clearly these nut jobs put a fair amount of planning into their heinous crimes, and if they are willing to cross the line to commit insane killing, how much of a moral struggle would it be for them to buy black market bullets or guns? You’re not thinking this through. There’s no proven method for stopping other common illegal goods getting into the hands of criminals, how do you imagine gun control working to achieve this? It would have to be achieved thru law enforcement, which agency has the experience to handle that effectively?

    I never said I wanted to stop data collection of anything, you are being silly. I said you are doing the same thing that these anti-government nut jobs are doing, hijacking a tragedy to push an unrelated agenda. I said your idea was insane, so you go to the name calling as a response? Sad and pretty lightweight for a rebuttal.

    You want the CDC to collect data on violent crime? Why? That seems like a terrible misappropriation of their talents and time. There’s not a better agency for data collection of this type?

    You’re scared of stockpiles of guns or ammo or something, I’m scared of bad people using guns. More gun control will not cure any of our fears, it only provides the illusion of control. That’s a poor solution for any skeptic.

    I’d love to outlaw violence and tragedy, and stop horrible people from doing terrible heartbreaking things, but come on… there’s no realistic method to achieve that. You were totally right going after the other nut jobs exploiting this, unfortunately you didn’t resist the same urge to exploit human suffering for ideology.

  21. Joshua Phillips
    December 3, 2015 at 9:03 PM

    I agree with the article as far as Alex Jones and his ilk are idiots, morons, whatever you want to call them. Conspiracy theorists are just as bad as the mass media. They have no place in this world, always using fear-mongering tactics not even realizing they are just as bad as the people they whine and complain about. What I don’t agree with is more gun control is needed. Fact California banned assault weapons, is a “may issue” state for concealed carry, does not allow the open carry of a firearm, requires background checks for all sales at gun shows, requires background checks for all firearm purchases, and requires a 10 day waiting period for the purchase of a firearm, so how does more gun laws prevent mass shootings??? And then on top of that govt wants to send assault weapons to Syria but doesn’t want Americans to own assault weapons talk about hypocrisy. The real issue is one thing all these mass shootings have in common they were all on crazy pills. However that being said something that should be noted is what the govt is doing and I don’t think this is a conspiracy theory at all. Check out this site. wespenreproductionsblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/the-new-school-shooting-in-roseburg-oregon-oct-1-2015/

  22. Steve
    December 3, 2015 at 10:06 PM

    If the result of the discussion saves innocent lives, then it’s a worthy and noble fight.

    But I’ve had discussions with good friends who are gun rights advocates and I’m can’t get them to honest answer to the question “Why were guns invented”? I get some spiel about target shooting and so forth. I’m sure guns were invented along with bows and arrows, spears, swords, pikes, etc. To kill animals and humans, period. Guns might have some secondary sporting, competition, and uses as a stress reliever (it’s how my boss relaxes), but a gun’s primary purpose is to cripple or kill.

    This reminds me of the late great George Carlin quote: The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, “You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.”

  23. chriszell
    December 3, 2015 at 10:30 PM

    No one will honestly confront the implications of the San Bernadino narrative. Did a Muslim man, born in the US, with a good job, a promising future, a 6 month old baby, attend a baby shower and then slaughter his friendly co-workers after careful preparation and dropping off his child, together with his wife? This isn’t a half demented near ‘street person’ who shoots up Planned Parenthood. It sounds like part of a ‘Terminator’ movie.

    Is it preferable to believe in false flags over the thought that integration of a foreign culture may be hopeless – because of a nearly ‘magical’ transformative power of jihadist thinking? If someone said, “I know the CIA can program people to be mindless killers”, it would be dismissed without a second thought. Yet, that is most of what we ascribe to the ability of some religious groups now.

  24. mike
    December 3, 2015 at 10:39 PM

    Do you ever listen to coast to coast with george noory or george knapp?those two seem to believe anything these people say.i never hear them ask their guests where is their proof.

  25. David H
    December 4, 2015 at 1:13 AM

    Here are a few facts about the Swiss and guns you may not know.
    Sure the Swiss are armed. That is because all able-bodied men submit to mandatory military service. At the end of their service they are issued weapons which they store at home. They are not issued ammunition and may not own or store ammunition without a permit. They must pass a proficiency test and all guns (civilian and military) in the hands of Swiss citizens are registered with the government. They may not openly carry guns without special permits or on direction of the government.
    Switzerland also has the highest gun-related suicide rate in Europe.

  26. Lagaya1
    December 4, 2015 at 2:37 AM

    Torkel,

    Maybe for the same reason that pit bulls are so popular these days. People are afraid of them. Fear = respect.

  27. SmOakley
    December 4, 2015 at 8:24 AM

    If Norway is an inappropriate comparison, try Canada.
    Same continent, same entertainment, same mix of culture and diversity, no mass shootings…

  28. December 4, 2015 at 8:34 AM

    You supplied a ton of excuses to do nothing. That is not acceptable. I’ve yet to see those who disagree with proposed efforts make reasonable alternative suggestions. Instead they just counter with nothing. This problem will not solve itself.

    Hoarding newspaper, food, whatever, is NOT AT ALL THE SAME as collecting ammunition. This is an absurd line of reasoning you took. While their are several possible reasons people might build up large supplies of ammo and bomb-making equipment, the obvious reason this is a problem no matter what the backstory is that the STUFF IS DANGEROUS even just sitting there.

    Anyone walking around with a gun scares me, even a police officer (the “good guys”). I do not find it acceptable to live in a society where people feel the need to carry deadly force around on their hip. What is that bullshit that I’m pushing fear? Since when shouldn’t we fear weapons that can be used to kill people in seconds and who have basically no defense? Don’t characterize my argument as being scared of stockpiles – THAT is silly. I’m talking about all gun violence, the ease of obtaining guns and ammo and the attitude of people who seem to obsess over the need to have them. There is no excuse for the roll back of regulations on guns or the prevention of data collection and we need to make improvements in compliance with existing laws. (If you didn’t know, I write regulations and policy for a living.)

    Violence IS outlawed already, BTW.

    My car is registered, I pay a goddamn fee every year to register it, it has a identification tag, and a history via the VIN and title. I need a license to use it! Guns? Not so much… I say parity is needed there.

    I would propose a reasonable public discussion (which probably can’t happen, but we can try to moderate one), a comparison and consideration with other countries’ policies, and a good faith effort by both political parties to enact science-based policy changes without kowtowing to one extreme activist group (NRA).

    I have no desire to debate this issue because people more knowledgable should do it; it’s a waste of time for me to do it in the comments with one person. But I can tell a poor argument when I see one and I will do what I can with my lawmakers to make changes and to improve the quality of discussion about it in public. Skepticism means critical thinking and use of the best evidence. As with science, it can inform policy but does not dictate it. I propose using critical thinking for gun reforms. What a concept!

  29. MisterNeutron
    December 4, 2015 at 9:08 AM

    Glad to see you contrasting gun ownership with car ownership. I’d love to see guns regulated at least as strictly as cars.

    Beyond registration, and the requirement that you pass both a written and road test to get a license, you also have to carry liability insurance. If you sell the car, the new owner has to file paperwork with the state. In most states, you have to bring the car in once very year or two for inspection, to make sure that everything is in working order, and to make sure you haven’t tinkered with the safety and emissions equipment. On top of all that, the Government imposes minimum standards for safety on the car manufacturers. Why not do all of these things for guns?

    Cars are a vital part of our economy, and necessary for living a normal life in most places. If you don’t have a car, and you don’t live in Manhattan, you’re in a tough spot. Cars can, indeed, be deadly, but that’s not their reason for existing.

    Guns, by contrast, have only one function – to kill people or animals. Most of us get through our entire lives without ever owning one, and are better off for that (having a gun in your home has been clearly shown to increase the danger to you and your family).

  30. Logic Overlord
    December 4, 2015 at 11:36 AM

    @SmOakley
    Incorrect. Canada is about 89% white (those of European ancestry). The United States is about 63% white, the percentage of African Americans alone in the US at 12%, which alone is greater than the total percentage of all non-European ancestry in Canada at 11%. Canada only has a 3% African American population for example. There’s a sizable population size and density difference too, US 324 million vs Canada 34 million. California on its own has more people than all of Canada, 38 vs 34 million. It’s also a lot warmer, yesterday it was 75 degrees in San Bernadino, while Toronto was about 6 degrees. More people, bigger mix, greater population density, and warmer climate are all contributing factors to crime prevalence.

    @idoibtit
    Stockpiling of ammunition is a silly thing to worry about, someone can only fire what they can carry. If they fill their house with bullets, thats a lot of physical labor just to move it, and in quantity bullets are not light. Even if they fill their car there’s a practical limit to carrying that. That’s science and critical thinking, an essential component you are repeatedly missing on your ‘guns are bad m’kay’ rant.

    There are about 190 million firearms in the US, how many were used in the last year for mass shootings? 10-15? put on your science hat now, that’s a statistically insignificant anomaly at 0.00000007%. How about gun related deaths (non-suicide) annually? About 3900. Auto fatalities are about 30800 annually for comparison.

    There’s this problem with reality that several of you are failing to pars: laws and regulations don’t impede criminals, by definition these people break laws. Murder being one of the most egregious of crimes, it stands to reason that criminalizing or regulating stockpiling won’t matter to people intent on mass murder. Even in the absence of guns, bad people will find ways to kill each other. Worse weaker people, old/young, physically smaller have no recourse against a stronger person trying to bludgeon, stab, or choke them. Yes guns can be dangerous, but as the statistics clearly indicate the usage of them is overwhelmingly benign.
    More bullets are fired at target ranges in the San Franciso area in a week for sport, that all of those fired in anger in one year.

    Claiming that guns have no purpose beyond killing is the same as claiming that baseball bats have no purpose other than clubbing because a tiny percentage of people used them to beat someone else to death. I don’t know what the NRA says about all this, but they probably don’t have to work very hard. Five minutes with Google search eviscerates any of your “guns are bad m’kay” sentiments here. Several of you here are severely misinformed, and considering I visit for the ‘skeptic’ focus, it’s intellectually disappointing to see the site operator worked into such a tizzy over nothing but fear and emotion. That’s how people see Bigfoot and aliens instead of reason.

    Here in California, we have lots of gun control. There’s a mandatory ten day waiting period before you can purchase one, for the State to do background checks. This applies to both retailers and gun shows. You can’t just walk in and buy a gun anywhere legally without substantial government oversight. It’s also illegal to carry a concealed weapon. We have some of the tightest gun control laws in the country, the exact same that all the anti-gun lobbyists are trying to enact nationally. Guess what? It doesn’t stop evil people from doing evil shit, because evil people break laws. Guess what? That’s because the government controls target gun ownership which is not the problem (again statistics), the problem are murdering maniacs.

  31. karl
    December 4, 2015 at 12:12 PM

    Anyone who thinks governments need to slaughter their own citizens as a pretext for war have never really studied the actual pretexts nations have used to enter wars. Bush only needed one US serviceman and his wife to get roughed up to invade Panama.

  32. One Eyed Jack
    December 4, 2015 at 12:12 PM

    In a free society there will always be a non-zero number of people embracing fringe positions. This has nothing to do with conspiracies, thought programming, or assimilation of immigrants.

  33. Karl
    December 4, 2015 at 12:17 PM

    “Why doesn’t Norway have as much violent crime? If that’s true, it’s probably got a lot to do with the fact that you have a much more homogeneous ethnic population.”

    Maybe. It takes a lot more to kill those in your tribe than outside your tribe. It wasn’t difficult to convince German soldiers to extinguish eastern European Jews. However, when they turned to German Jews, people who were very much like them, the Nazis required their most fervent executioners.

    My pop psychology take, however, is we all watch the same movies: solve x by picking up a gun and blowing someone away. However in Canada, Norway, etc. we go “ah, yes, that’s how Americans solve their problems. Not us.” In America, people learn “yeah that’s how you solve problems.”

  34. chriszell
    December 4, 2015 at 1:00 PM

    You’ve missed the point entirely. What sense does it make to deny ‘thought programming’ when the mainstream narrative already requires THAT in the form of jihadist thought? If you deny the existence of black swans, what sense does that make if you already own one that is dark grey?

    If a utility or ability exists in one field ( of religion), why can’t it exist elsewhere, perhaps improved upon? And as for pretexts, how about the burning of the Reichstag as a means of ending a nation’s freedom? How can a public that knows about the fraud of WMD’s in the Iraq war be sufficiently aroused to give up their remaining freedoms?
    Would it take an endless supply of mass murders, until they are exhausted?

  35. Steve
    December 4, 2015 at 2:00 PM

    There was a whole list of Casus belli that Noriega did (drug running, etc) George H.W. Bush listed to justify the invasion of Panama.

    The 1999 Moscow apartment building bombings have been suspected of being a false flag operation by the Russian government to justify the second war against Chechnya. A lot of Russians died in those bombings.

    Steve Rattner had some very interesting charts on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. The interesting graph had guns per 100 people with gun related deaths per 100,000 people (about 1:20 minutes in, link http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/rattners-charts–us-has-too-many-guns-579275843593?cid=eml_mmj_20151204). Of course correlation does not imply causation. The graph does have Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the US (sorry Norway) data points listed.

  36. December 4, 2015 at 5:48 PM

    What’s also disturbing to me is the number of students (community college freshmen) who strongly advocate gun ownership, concealed carry permits and arming school employees. Astoundingly, many of them have no problem with AR-15s, AK-47s (although they have trouble actually typing correctly…ar15, AR15 for example), assault weapons, semi-automatics, etc.

    Sometimes they have “statistics” to back them up and occasionally the statistics even come from apparently non-crazy sources. Sad to say, I’m not sure it’s even possible any more to have a statistics-based argument without turning it into a year-long seminar where every source is properly vetted.

  37. December 4, 2015 at 5:49 PM

    you are repeatedly missing on your ‘guns are bad m’kay’ rant

    Even if you had good points in your discussion, you just lost the battle, jackass, m’kay.

    It’s pathetic I have to say that, YES, guns are bad, they KILL PEOPLE. Everyday. On purpose and by accident. You’ve NOT been paying attention this whole time?!

  38. December 4, 2015 at 6:20 PM

    OK. I did. It’s awful; a bunch of drivel.

    This is not the site for you, sir. Please read the “About” page. link to doubtfulnews.com

  39. December 4, 2015 at 6:25 PM

    OMG, I can hardly believe I wasted 3 minutes checking the Wes Penre site myself!

  40. December 4, 2015 at 6:25 PM

    OMG, I can hardly believe I wasted 3 minutes checking the Wes Penre site myself! Beyond drivel

  41. Lagaya1
    December 4, 2015 at 6:48 PM

    I don’t think your tribalism explanation really holds up to scrutiny. People kill more of their own “tribe ” on average than those of other tribes. I live in Hawaii, one of the most ethnically diverse states in the US. There is very little gun violence here. We have stricter gun laws than most states, as well; something I’m happy about. The gun laws don’t make me feel less free, by the way.

  42. Lagaya1
    December 4, 2015 at 6:51 PM

    (Of course when I say “tribes” killing their own, I’m talking about your average person, not soldiers in wartime.)

  43. L. Barth
    December 4, 2015 at 8:01 PM

    sometimes when weapons are stock piled in homes, this is what happens…link to cbs8.com

  44. SmOakley
    December 4, 2015 at 8:54 PM

    Not very accurate statistics but we agree on the contributing factors of voilence.
    There will be no perfectly comparable nation that I could provide you so perhaps you could provide me with a first world country that has more than one “mass shooting” per day?
    Also, what is the purpose of a gun if it is not to kill things? Bats are for baseball, hammers are for construction, cars for transportation. I could misuse these items to cause harm but why would I when there is a tool designed to shoot lead at high velocity into vital organs from a safe (cowardly) distance?

  45. One Eyed Jack
    December 4, 2015 at 10:19 PM

    “Thought programming” implies that is against the subject’s will. Swaying predisposed people to a fringe position isn’t programming, it’s just salesmanship.

  46. December 4, 2015 at 10:21 PM

    Calling it a false flag is ridiculous, i agree, but why doesn’t this article call it for what it is? – RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM?

    Do i smell political correctness? Or maybe it doesn’t fit the anti-gun narrative?

    48,000 incidents of gun “violence” in 2015? Why use the word “violence” and not a more specific word like “deaths” or “homicides”? Oh, wait, i see – “violence” is so general in nature it can be used to include everything from a death to a chipped fingernail. If you’re going to be anti-gun you need to pump up those numbers!! You go, girl!

    I’ll not get into the shady motives and methodology of The Gun Violence Archive. You’re smart enough to know the numbers are overinflated.

    Let’s get real.

    The number of homicides by firearm stands at approximately 11,208 per year (Deaths per 100,000 population: 3.5). (source: link to cdc.gov)

    As irony would have it, The Washington Post published a gun violence article on the same day you posted this anti-gun drivel (12/3/15), but they had a totally different message: “We’ve had a massive decline in gun violence in the United States. Here’s why.”

    Ouch.

    According to the Washington Post Article (link to tinyurl.com), “In 1993, there were seven homicides by firearm for every 100,000 Americans” … “By 2013, that figure had fallen by nearly half, to 3.6 — a total of 11,208 firearm homicides.” The went on to say, “The number of victims of crimes involving guns that did not result in death (such as robberies) declined even more precipitously, from 725 per 100,000 people in 1993 to 175 in 2013.”

    Double ouch.

    The right to bear arms is a constitutional right, just as a woman’s right to privacy (to abort a life). Even if your bogus number of 48,000 were true, a woman’s right to abortion takes that many lives (48,000) every 17 days (About 1M abortions a year) in this country. Where is the outcry to curb a woman’s right to have an abortion?

    Hypocrite much?

  47. Lagaya1
    December 4, 2015 at 10:32 PM

    Oh, boy could this get any worse? Equating abortion with homicide? That’s already been decided. It’s not even nearly the same thing. That’s just trolling.

    You also don’t address the numerous suicides and accidents. Aren’t you worried about all those children who pick up someone ‘s gun to play with and shoot their sibling or friend? Or the children at SandyHook elementary? Or are you only concerned about fetuses? Who’s the hypocrite here?

  48. Cathy
    December 5, 2015 at 2:48 AM

    Why don’t you take a look at what happened in Australia after the Port Arthur massacre (in one of the cooler regions of Australia to counter the heat argument)? Most Australians reacted by happily taking firearms in for the buyback. There was no huge outcry. Our Prime Minister said “This can’t happen again!” And Australia said “He’s right!” And we handed in our guns. It wasn’t our first mass shooting but I think it was the first one involving children.

  49. MisterNeutron
    December 5, 2015 at 9:10 AM

    And, very tellingly, it was the last mass shooting in Australia. Removing the guns from society actually does work. We don’t have to debate it – it’s been demonstrated, very clearly. And comparisons with most western European countries illustrates the point just as well.

    Does getting rid of the guns eliminate all mass killings? Of course not. But it cuts them down to a tiny fraction of what we experience in the U.S. If you resist gun control because it won’t get rid of all homicides, that’s like arguing that because outlawing drunk driving won’t stop all drunk driving, we shouldn’t even bother legislating about it.

  50. Tango-22
    December 5, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    What kills me is that both the pro-gun crowd and the anti-gun crowd are both missing the boat. The NRA would have you believe that gun bans increase the likelihood of crime, while the anti-gun adherents would have you believe that it reduces crime.

    Both are false in their thinking and beliefs.

    And since idoubtit has a number of actual well-written articles that debunk hoax claims, spotty science and the like, I’m going to do the same here for her.

    Anti-gun crowds are prompt to bring up the UK and Australia for their gun bans. I’m going to look at those and throw in wild card Ireland as well for my rebuttal.

    The UK implemented a handgun ban in 1996. From 1990 to when the ban was enacted, homicide rates varied from 10.9 to 13 homicides per million. After the ban, homicide rates actually spiked UP to a peak of 18 homicide per million in 2003. Since then, the rate has fallen to 11.1 homicides per million in 2010 (incidentally, this is around the same time that the government added an additional 20,000 police officers to their ranks). 15 years of the ban in the UK have not reduced homicides at all.

    (link to 2.bp.blogspot.com)

    Australia instituted their ban in 1996 and their murder rate has been basically flat, minus a small spike when the ban was enacted, and then falling back to pre-ban numbers. Their rate has been gradually declining, but is still within acceptable norms.

    link to aic.gov.au

    Ireland banned all firearms in 1972. Going back to 1945, their murder rate was pretty consistent (.1 – .6 homicides per 100,000). After the ban went into effect, their rate spiked up to 1.6 homicides per 100,000 in 1975. It dropped down to .4 homicides per 100,000 for a brief bit, before starting to climb up around 1996. As of 2004, their homicide rate is at 1.4 per 100,000.

    link to crimeresearch.org

    Poverty has a greater correlation to violent crime than access to firearms. Education and poverty are directly linked. That means we have a cultural problem. Firearms are the Pandora’s Box of the United States. The box is open, it can’t be closed through legislation. If you want to change society, you have to actually change the whole of society. You can’t blame an inanimate object that’s availability has absolutely no correlation to murder and expect to end violence.

  51. Lagaya1
    December 5, 2015 at 11:29 AM

    One sure way to “radicalize” a population is to treat them as “less than”. In America, as soon as someone non-white commits a gross act, we treat the whole population as “less than”. That’s a losing strategy.

  52. Dolores
    December 5, 2015 at 11:30 AM

    Gun buyers have the fantasy that a powerful weapon will allow you to become a superhero, protecting the world against some thugs usually “alien” people. In reality these guns end up shooting the owners or their families, or people with whom they have an argument, or innocent bystanders.

  53. Dolores
    December 5, 2015 at 11:45 AM

    So are you planning to shoot doctors, nurses, receptionists and pregnant women, since according to your brainwashing they take many more lives than anyone else in the world?

  54. Headless Unicorn Guy
    December 5, 2015 at 12:40 PM

    Read somewhere that one reason Trump’s not only Teflon but The Second Coming is that he’s conducting his run in the style of a Pro Wrestling Angle, and the tropes of Pro Wrestling are in effect, not the tropes of standard politics.

  55. December 5, 2015 at 2:56 PM

    “overinflated”? I think that term can be used for your car’s tires, but numbers are either accurate or inflated (or perhaps the other way…underestimated…the term “deflated” doesn’t really apply in normal usage). “Overinflated” is redundant.

    “political correctness” — I’d be delighted if we all just removed this pointless bit of dog-whistle politics from our argumentative vocabulary. It’s just too easy to apply the term to any idea that a person thinks is overdone: not being able to call someone a “retard” …political correctness, or good old fashioned decency? Not calling someone a “homo”…oh, let’s dismiss that as “political correctness.” Making politicians responsible for fact-checking their statements about “thousands of Arabs cheering 9/11 in New Jersey”…oh now we have to be “politically correct” and check every little statement we blather on about!

    “violence” instead of “homicides” or “deaths”? — well, that’s sorta the point of a more general term, eh? One doesn’t want to be limited to a single kind of violence, which could include maiming, wounding, forcing someone to do something at gunpoint and perhaps other acts of violence that do not include getting a chipped fingernail.

    I think M.I.B. is smart enough to realize that a chipped fingernail isn’t included by anyone on this planet in any language as an example of the normal usage of the term “violence.”

  56. December 5, 2015 at 3:30 PM

    I hoped you would all behave. (Even me.) It didn’t work.

    The end. Move on.

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