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Report of Active Shooter at YouTube HQ (twitter.com)
745 points by coloneltcb 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 514 comments

Remember the Breaking News Consumer's Handbook from WNYC's On The Media: https://www.wnyc.org/story/breaking-news-consumers-handbook-...

  1. In the immediate aftermath, news outlets will get it wrong.
  2. Don't trust anonymous sources.
  3. Don't trust stories that cite another news outlet as the source of the information.
  4. There's almost never a second shooter.
  5. Pay attention to the language the media uses.
    • “We are getting reports”… could mean anything.
    • “We are seeking confirmation”… means they don’t have it.
    • “[News outlet] has learned”… means it has a scoop or is going out on limb.
  6. Look for news outlets close to the incident.
  7. Compare multiple sources.
  8. Big news brings out the fakers. And photoshoppers.
  9. Beware reflexive retweeting. Some of this is on you.

This isn't limited to the immediate aftermath either. I recently learned that almost everything I thought I knew about the Columbine shooting was actually not true. The narrative of a shooting quickly takes on a life of its own.

Would you mind elaborating a little on the Columbine shooting and where to look for trustworthy reconstruction of the event?

Sure, let me first say though that there's so much misinformation surrounding that particular event that I'm not really willing to 100% trust anything at this point. I'm always ready to find out what I think I know about the event is actually wrong. That being said here were the major things I used to think were true that I don't anymore:

- The shooters were not in The Trenchcoat Mafia (TCM). TCM was a thing that some of their classmates used to refer to themselves. Dylan and Eric were never closely associated with it. The coats they wore during the shooting weren't even trenchcoats, they were dusters.

- They weren't outcasts, and the shooting was revenge against the popular kids. They weren't the most popular kids in school either but that had fairly normal social lives, went to parties on the weekend. If I recall correctly prom had been a few weeks before the shooting and both had gone, with dates.

- The infamous exchange in which they asked a classmate if she believed in god and then shot her when she responded "yes" never happened.

This source seems pretty good: https://www.policeone.com/school-violence/articles/1228405-T...

I first found out about it from this podcast: http://www.socialmatter.net/2017/05/12/myth-20th-century-epi...

We complain a lot about the quality of modern news reporting, but I think a large part of it is that we are just more aware now due to the prevalence of the internet and huge numbers of sources. Back in the old days, there was plenty of misinformation, but we just didn't get as worked up about it. Our standards now are higher and we tear apart even small inaccuracies.

Someone told me that some of the victims ended up being shot by the police. Based on your research is that true or it's another one of those rumors?

I've never seen anything mentioning that so it seems dubious to me. But it looks like there was a motion filed in court claiming this [0]. Not sure what ever came of it, but I assumed Google would turn up more if it had been confirmed.

[0]: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/family-columbine-student-killed...

Theres a book called Columbine by Dave Cullen that came out a few years ago. He also has some articles you can find online about the shooting, all very well researched as far as I can tell.

The narrative right after the shooting was that 2 loner goth kids did a horrible thing to get revenge on their bullies.

However they had a circle of friends, and were more focused on becoming infamous than killing anyone in particular. It wasn't an impulsive attack; they planned for a very long time and wanted to outdo Timothy McVeigh

This aligns with what I recall of the post-Columbine fallout - having grown up some of my childhood within a couple miles of Columbine. Thanks for the book reference, admittedly I’ve not followed up much on the event given the area impact, but it definitely seems like a worthwhile read all this time later.

The same is true for almost every subject intended to generate massive response, and less is more for news crews - less actual details allows them to push required/desired narrative to the listening crowd. Sometimes it's borderline disgusting (

It seems to me that your post is the only one that isn’t trying to capitalize on this for political points, or rampant speculation.

10. Dont reflexively call the shooter "nerd" or "geek" or "introverted genius" just because he/she is asshole and somehow related to something tech.

Possibly. It is pet peeve of mine, so I could not resist. The chance that someone get called either of those things goes up the moment he is caught hacking, stealing, shooting the school or otherwise acting like an asshole. It has no relation to his actual personality nor skills nor intelligence.

Wouldn't this be covered by #9 ?

not when its' Fox News screeching about it.

apologies. I don't watch the news and had no context.

The police have held a press conference. https://twitter.com/search?q=san%20bruno%20press%20conferenc...

It looks like shooter was a female who is now deceased with 4 or 5 others injured.

This is crazy and I hope everyone is OK. Its worth pointing out that Snapchat's heat map is pretty useful for getting insights in situations like these.

Which now has a web interface http://maps.snapchat.com

Wow this is a killer feature. I never knew snap had this. Maybe it can replace twitter.

Here I thought snapchat was on the out - this feature alone absolutely dominates Periscope for me. I just had no idea it existed.

That's one of the common complaints of snapchat. I'd bet most people that even use snapchat don't even know how to get to this feature in the app. It was released some time last year without much press (I think they did a self-snap story about it) and even took me a couple tries to figure out how to get there when I knew about it. There's literally no way of knowing that view exists without just knowing it or accidentally triggering it, and I didn't even know there was a web interface for it.

Probably a bad context to use the phrase "killer feature".

Improbably bad context, I would say.

Not to cast aspersions; I think many of us make use of dark humor to get through the worst times.

If the cacophony current information age may push for a interest in regaining precise language, both as a way imposing a sense of shared consciousness and communicative skill, as a way to regain a sense of meaning and order within. I sincerely hope some of the media embrace similar ideals as something other than an experiment or side project.

Indeed a great feature, and I just learned of it here - thx!

This is an excellent way to visualize and surface relevant/interesting network activity. Good work

Is it okay for everyone to be posting snapchat screenshots to twitter while the shooter is still active? Doesn't that put police officers in danger by pointing out their locations?

Per a SWAT officer - his team has not been activated, which means the situation is under control. Apparently an attempted murder/suicide. Female shooter. 10-20 shots fired and multiple people being treated for gunshot wounds. No news as to what happened to the shooter.

I'd suggest everyone reading exercise extreme caution with unverified information like this. There are already widespread conflicting reports of female vs. male, wearing body armor vs. not, etc. etc.

Don't doubt for a second that 4Chan and the like are eagerly spreading disinformation as we speak. You don't know the source of this information. Wait for official information before forwarding anything.

NBC reporting shooter is female and that she is "down".


What a bunch of disgusting comments in that thread.

Honestly, it's times like this that make me incredibly fucking sad for the future of humanity. It's bad enough that there are people dealing with a tragic and imminent situation, but to then immediately make this about yourself is absolutely loathsome.

Also, the comments on the live YouTube broadcast of 'they deserved it' or 'serves them right' or 'what now, NRA' are fucking repulsive. Seriously, I don't know how to fix this problem, but it makes me so incredibly angry to realize just how few people can empathize with the plight of others.

It makes you wonder if it is real people commenting, or bots/troll firms set up to stoke outrage

One day the humans will all leave the internet out of disgust, leaving the bots to fight their wars alone.

Little bit of both. But considering how fast the fake shooter images appeared Im leaning towards it being bots.

This is exhibit A of why I can't stand Twitter. It has negative value in so many circumstances.

People invoke such outrage as well.

what you actually learned is that a few people are assholes. try to keep perspective through that massive empathy you think you have

I'm not sad for the future. I'm sad for the present.


Are you implying that the community is not involved in the spread of disinformation, or..?

The suspected shooter is confirmed female: https://twitter.com/LesterHoltNBC/status/981283642373758976

Shooter w/ self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. Handgun pulled out of purse.

I think that under the circumstances links/citations are required. False rumours are rampant and it's too easy to contribute to their spread (even unwittingly).

Strongly agreed. Citation or it's just a rumor.

[deleted, not worth it]

> Do you expect the SWAT agent to stop and write a blog post so this person can cite it?!

The poster (most likely) did not talk directly to the SWAT agent. I was asking for a link to the poster's source containing the SWAT agent's account.

> Unless you have reason to suspect this three-year-old account is suddenly spreading harmful lies, this is as credible as anything else we're hearing.

I don't doubt the poster's good intent, but well-meaning people are just as effective a conduit for the spread of disinformation as the malicious (indeed, they can be even more effective).

This three-year-old account might believe this to be absolutely true, because they were told it by someone they trust. And that person was told it by someone they trust. And so on, through dozens of people if not more, and all it takes is one person in the chain to start exaggerating/fabricating information and everyone is forwarding false information.

> this is as credible as anything else we're hearing.

You're right there. And that's the point: nothing we are hearing is credible. Treat it as such.

It is much, much, much better to say nothing than to say something potentially incorrect in times of mass confusion.

To be clear, this is an extreme circumstance where people hunting for an explanation could easily gravitate toward misinformation is a uniquely destructive way. So, sure, I don't have a reason to suspect OP is a liar; I have a reason to suspect that all information right now is likely untrue unless confirmed otherwise.

How does it affect anyone's lives if this is a rumor or true? The situation will unfold exactly the same whether it is live updated on HN or not. I'm inclined to believe that OP at least is acting in good faith, because their username looks like a real name, they claim to be an engineer at Netflix, and have a long unrelated post history. Maybe they are honest, but got bad information, or maybe it is true information. But still, who cares? Getting information 1 hour earlier will only satisfy some gossip desire and not actually affect your lives.

Every comment ever posted on HN is an excuse for other users to argue about epistemology. Even your question is likely to become an argument about how we can be certain of the net harm caused by misinformation after shootings, with citations about that. HN culture is terrified of false beliefs even when it doesn't matter, so it's no surprise most of the comments are about the fear of false beliefs when it might matter.

San Bruno police just held a mini press briefing, indicated that their is one person dead with a gunshot wound that seems to be self-inflicted that would appear to be the shooter; but certainly was a lot less willing to commit to that as a fact than you (or some other news sources, even before the briefing) are.

A female shooter must be a relatively rare scenario?

Maybe she didn't like Tuesdays.

That's a bizarre question. Why are you asking?

Why is it bizarre? Stories of female shooters are relatively rare. It makes it noteworthy.

Sadly there are many stories of people who kill their lovers, whatever their gender. You can read about them in the tabloids, every day.

Reporting on the specific activities of police during a shooter event is generally considered bad form. Please don’t share information about where and/or how police are/aren’t deployed in realtime.

They allowed a surgeon (Andre Campbell [1]) to answer questions (as opposing to have a PR person to sanitize it): https://www.pscp.tv/w/1zqKVrbanRAKB

In this interview Andre Campbell:

1) Advertised his ("Zuckerberg") hospital capabilities (3 times).

2) Answered some tech/medical questions about the wounds/diagnostics.

3) Occasionally smiled [in response to reporters curiosity].

[1] https://surgery.ucsf.edu/faculty/general-surgery/andre-campb...

This is unbelievable. How can you advertise your hospital after such a tragedy?

That was a PR opportunity, so he used it.

If he toned it down then such advertisement would be not even noticeable.

That says "female shooter" but one of the other threads said "I looked right into his eyes" [1]

It is probably too soon to get reliable information.

[1] https://twitter.com/etharkamal/status/981264092899037185

Definitely. Nearly all lone shootings have reports of multiple gunmen because it is just so chaotic.


The Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Active Shooter Edition

>Definitely. Nearly all lone shootings have reports of multiple gunmen because it is just so chaotic.

For example at Columbine one of the shooters removed their trenchcoat, which when talking to victims briefly gave the impression of a 3rd shooter.

It is also safer to assume multiple. You cannot be sure.

Your referenced tweet no longer exists.

Too soon for info, too soon to say anything of substance. It might be better if this were not here at all until more is known. In a vacuum, online, things tend to devolve.

There's another report that it was a man in full body armor:


That's the exact same image as the one in the post you're replying to...

My bad, I had multiple tabs open and got them confused.

sounds like police

Screenshot? This tweet has been deleted

CBS just showed a body under yellow tarp, so at least one fatality on the scene. SFGH reporting casualties as well.

Good luck YouTube staff, hang in there.

Not surprised that somebody who would do this: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-peta-protests-milit... would someday become responsible for something violent towards a person or persons.

Edit: I definitely support animal welfare, in particular, the Humane Society. PETA is its own brand of crazy though.

Wow, gotta love the journalist asking him for an interview when he was still barricaded and hiding: https://twitter.com/NadineatABC/status/981261561057759232. That's not even bottom-feeding anymore, I don't think there's a word for whatever that is.

(Edit: screenshot for when it is inevitably deleted: https://imgur.com/a/GEtR4)

This isn't the first time she's done this: https://www.salon.com/2012/12/15/abc_producer_earns_internet...

Warning: That link was replaced with a "your machine might be infected, call us now!" type scam.

Wow, great to see how responsible Salon is being with their ad network, after they decided to inflict cryptocurrency-mining malware on their visitors who use ad-blockers. It's like the Forbes thing, but stupider.

salon.com should be considered a compromised site that is unsafe to visit.

I didn't get any message like that in IE11 and Chrome.

I'm seeing this also. It also completely locked up chrome on this machine.

Are those of you getting the problem on mobile devices?

I get those every single time on tvguide.com on a mobile user agent when using the time/date pulldowns.

They all do it though.

It's a pretty uncharitable read of the situation to say she wants an interview while he is hiding. She's leaving him a message to get back to her, presumably at a safer time.

And while it's pretty grim to see the process at work, journalists need to report news somehow. This is how we all end up with detailed news reports to read.

But the fact is, he is hiding and tweeted about it. Therefore Twitter is one of his possible information venues. And she spams it with a vulture-like request instead of leaving the line clear for assistance...

> But the fact is, he is hiding and tweeted about it. Therefore Twitter is one of his possible information venues.

Yes. And if you send out information via a venue like Twitter, you might expect responses that are a norm for Twitter.

> And she spams it

@'ing someone alone doth not spam make, particularly on a medium like Twitter where the default expectation is that you have a broad audience and some of them are going to talk back to you when you tweet.

Characterizing that as "spam" is no more accurate than calling a reply on HN spam.

> with a fucking vulture-like request

The gratuitous profanity and vivid imagery associated with the aspersion here do both add a certain punch, but they're even more empty than the charge of spam.

> instead of leaving the line clear for assistance...

Twitter @'s & DMs are solidly asynchronous. "Line clear" doesn't apply. And if you're going to argue "well, sifting & skipping input takes precious time & attention," feel free, I guess, because you're simply arguing that an open Twitter account is the wrong medium for reaching out to people in an emergency.

Plus it's basically inviting anyone else to call in with fake information, pretending to having been there. Bad journalistic standards...

Well how else do you expect them to get information about what's going on? At least journalists are professionally aware of how to filter such information.

You say this, but there's people recording video and posting on twitter/snapchat. It's not only the journalists. And I think the word you are looking for is morbidity.

Same thing happened at Parkland, IIRC.

> "I don't think there's a word for whatever that is"


A good account from a YouTube PM: https://twitter.com/tdd/status/981262640830754817

i liked the part where he called an uber to an active shooting scene

We are all taking ubers/lyfts back home from a different Google building in the area per police/company protocol.

Source: I'm a YT employee working out of 901 Cherry Ave.

Some live updates: https://twitter.com/erinjeanc

I hope everyone is safe.

Please, America: sort it out. Politics aside, it hurts to see this stuff happening again and again so needlessly.

Any ideas? Banning handguns and jilted lovers or angry people is a whole different ballgame than banning automatic weapons or the sort.

Not to mention automatic weapons are essentially already banned.

There's no rational debate to be had, since they only really seem to happen with bodies fresh in our minds.

I don't have the right answer, or claim to, but i do know that making these types of decisions in a crisis, rarely works out.

The problem is that we are continually in crisis. This is happening multiple times a week. We really need to have a serious discussion and action around the future of guns in our country.

As I posted elsewhere, drunk-driving is a far bigger problem. I propose we tackle these things in priority order.

10,265 people died a year in alcohol-impaired driving crashes (2015) [0]

33,636 persons died a year from firearm injuries, ~11200 homicides, ~21190 suicides (2013) [1]

Given these numbers from the CDC, it seems like your statement is incorrect and firearms are a serious issue. Care to address this?

[0] - https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impa...

[1] - https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_02.pdf

Drug overdoses killed approximately 64,000 people in 2016[1], combined with the 21,000 suicides from firearms, I would argue that perhaps mental health issues are much more serious than firearm issues.

[1] - https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/o...

Whoa, my mistake. Thanks for the correction.

You might be thinking of smoking related deaths, which kill ~480k Americans/yr. Unfortunately even if every American stopped smoking today, the damage is already done and the rate would only bottom out over a period of ~20 years.

Also ignoring the legit defensive use of force in the form of firearms. I would direct link to the data but it's paywalled: https://www.dcstatesman.com/just-unearthed-tax-payer-funded-...

90 percent of your figure is victimless suicides..

21,190 suicides of 33,636 is 63%. And there is still a definite victim. Not to mention any affected loved ones they left behind.

Arguably, homicides and suicides highlight very different causes. Only the tool in use is common. These should be treated and studied separately.

To me, these are the 4 major pillars of America's gun situation:

1. Widespread availability of guns. The USA has about 330 million guns, or one gun per American. This is more than the number of dogs + cats in the USA. While many Americans own no guns, those Americans who do own guns, often own several.

2. Unhealthy attitudes toward mental health. Much of the country lives with deep insecurities, mental issues, unhealthy stress, and little access to counseling or psychiatry. Further, many live with memories of their loved ones being ripped from their homes, and would rather hide any mental issue in the fear of losing all agency. And our movies and TV shows and YouTube videos are all too quick to capitalize on these fears.

3. Unhealthy attitudes toward guns.

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks / You better run, better run, outrun my gun - Foster The People, Pumped Up Kicks

Instead of helping each other with our insecurities, we sell each other guns. We glorify guns in our stories - the ultimate god, or the ultimate devil, either way a symbol demanding ultimate respect in the narrative. All the world's a stage, right?

4. Culture of exclusivism and elitism that strokes some egos, while creating toxic situations for everyone else. These are much more subtle and hard to identify - ranging from someone cutting you off in traffic, to someone being unsympathetic online or in person, to the complex financial decisions that happen in the back of our heads when we contemplate a doctor visit. These are the impulse to troll a comment thread or dominate a dinner conversation. These are the very impulses that led to the Pickle Rick fiasco and the impending Trump Wall.

Why can't we tackle both at the same time?

> There's no rational debate to be had, since they only really seem to happen with bodies fresh in our minds.

That's because they are always fresh in our minds, it's always a crisis. Mass shootings are the norm in America.

The decisions are not made in a crisis. The crisis is the impetus needed to get people to change their mind, its not like this will result in a law change. It may result in a new proposed law, which will be debated and voted on in due course. It wont be a knee jerk reaction but hopefully someday soon enough people will see one of these events as the start of the end of future mass slayings.

I disagree. The media spotlight around the Stoneman Douglas high school students should be all you need to know. The fact that they have been elevated to a place they don't really belong (in the national spotlight) is to simply push a narrative. This is child abuse, and wrong.

They want to push legislation to restrict the right to own firearms, when it really hasn't been considered that guns themselves might not be the problem.

What makes a "mass shooter"? The gun just makes them a shooter. To fire indiscriminately clearly shows mental issues.

I think it's funny that people are so upset about some high school students voicing their opinions after experiencing a school shooting.

I do agree with the idea that the US needs to fix its mental (and general) healthcare system. It's odd that the majority of the time that argument is used by the same group that wants and has tried to gut any attempts at improving the system.

> I think it's funny that people are so upset about some high school students voicing their opinions after experiencing a school shooting.

Did i direct any anger towards any of the students?

I think you misread me. PAC's are circling them this way and that to push messaging on people. That is undeniable. That is child abuse. That is wrong. That is why i am upset. (i'll say that all night, i don't care about karma)

I guess a call to rationalism is down vote worthy?

Banning firearms in general worked for the UK and Australia, 2 places that have experienced this type of massacre while having a significant number of legally held firearms. Since the firearm bans there has been a huge reduction in these types of incidents. It is entirely possible to do the same in the USA, however it may take longer to remove all weapons simply because you have been so slow to respond to this problem.

Basically when things like this happen and people think that the government are going to take their guns, a certain type of person will buy more guns, just in case. If there is a gun amnesty or ban then these people will not turn in their guns, it will be these guns that are then sold illegally or stolen and will perpetuate the problem for longer.

Banning firearms in general won't work in America. There are already more guns than people in circulation, the right to own them is codified into the Constitution and requires an amendment to fix (and amendments are ridiculously hard to pass), and of course there's the huge section of the population that would probably rather die than let their right to own guns be infringed. Not to mention that we do have a giant border with Mexico to our south that would probably make any attempt to remove all guns from America pointless.

>Banning firearms in general won't work in America.

Obligatory "not with that attitude".

Many of those guns are smuggled out to Latin America (guns for drugs trade), while the rest are owned by an increasingly small segment of the population.

Mexico doesn’t mass produce enough guns to feed the American market in any significant way, and their gun laws are much more strict than ours. It’s the other way around: the bad guys in Mexico get most of our guns from us, the gun shops in the USA with the highest sales are near the border.

Then Mexico should build another wall like the one on it's southern border.

I'm serious, but the reason I have used from your comment is taking your assumptions as true. I'm all for the wall for a different reason; countries must control their borders or the people living there are not sovereign.

I have been to Mexico a few times (it's an awesome place!), right near the border, and much further south, but I did not feel it was a safe place. I know enough people with stories that I would rather not try to tell here. In Mexico, only the criminals and police are armed. Cross the border to the US, and volla, we all are equals. You can watch nearly endless TY* of cartel shootouts in Mexico (on residential streets), that stuff is practically impossible here, the elderly person down the street has weapons capable of hitting a body 200+ meters away. Mexico will be much safer when it's not just the criminals in the general population who can defend themselves.

It's going to be an interesting conversation when it's only US citizens that have DRM-free DMLS systems.

*I didn't check today, but I bet the memory hole is working on that...

>Banning firearms in general won't work in America.

This is the go to reason that people give, but it just means they haven't tried. No one said it would be cheap or easy but it could be done.

As for gun smuggling, the USA used to be the source of 80% of guns used in crimes in Canada and in Mexico it is 70%.




So actually a gun ban in the USA would help both Canada and Mexico with their gun problems. In Mexico many of these guns end up in the hands of the cartels who are much more willing to use them than your usual criminals, and whilst they would still probably be able to obtain weapons they would not be able to do so in the same sort of volume and they would also have trouble locating ammunition.

It worked get for alcohol prohibition. I'm sure it'll be about as easy for guns.

Do Americans love guns that much?? I mean, there are so many other toys to play with.

Does owning a gun cause a nice buzz? Is it a social lubricant that makes everybody at a party happier when you bring it out? Does it have an ancient history that spans across the globe? Does it result in a chemical addiction?

Haven't found a good replacement for alcohol that wasn't more illegal or harmful.

The guns are for the possibility of civil war/social upheaval/violent revolt. At the end of the day, the rule of law is a thin veneer over the force of people with guns. (It is, to a first approximation, just a way of deciding who tells the people with guns what to do.)

To head off the inevitable "but a bunch of rednecks with guns would never be able to stand up to the military!" That's first-world myopia. Look at what happened when, e.g., Bangladesh became independent from Pakistan. A bunch of farmers did not take on the undivided Pakistani army. Instead, after initial skirmishes, part of the Pakistani army broke off and fought for independence alongside the revolutionaries.

> The guns are for the possibility of civil war/social upheaval/violent revolt.

I will never understand Americans' desire to prepare for a tyrannical government, that may with some low probability happen in some unspecified future, but in such a way that it can still be defeated.

When they are simultaneously giving up lots and lots of lifes in violent murder sprees every single year. With absolute certainty and in the present.

Looks like an optimization gone wrong to me.

May shed some light:

"How the NRA Rewrote the Second Amendment: The Founders never intended to create an unregulated individual right to a gun. Today, millions believe they did. Here’s how it happened." https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/how-nra-rewrote-secon...

> "Do Americans love guns that much?? I mean, there are so many other toys to play with"

- For some of us, they aren't "toys"...your disrespectful tone does nothing to help us debate where the line should be drawn for firearm ownership.

> "Does owning a gun cause a nice buzz? Is it a social lubricant that makes everybody at a party happier when you bring it out? Does it have an ancient history that spans across the globe? Does it result in a chemical addiction?"

- I think your characterization of gun owners and their motivations is shallow and insulting...sure there are your "gun porn" fans that seem to only care about purchasing the latest "tactical" rifle to share pictures of on social media, but many of us who don't live in populated cities, use our rifles and handguns routinely, or at least wouldn't traverse our properties without them on our sides for protection. Turns out predators exist, and the best way to warn off a cougar, coyote, or bear is having protection. I've killed coyotes that would have killed the livestock that feed my family.

> Do Americans love guns that much??

Yes. There are many thousands of gun owners who would prefer to kill or be killed than to be disarmed.

Note that this is not a statement of my own stance; it's a statement of my impression of that community after a lifetime of immersion in it.

I have absolutely zero doubt that banning firearms in America would result in far more deaths than it would prevent even with the most optimistic expectation of its efficacy.

It's so difficult to articulate to -some- non-Americans. We are not property of our rulers. The cops aren't going to do it, they don't want just the criminals armed. Same thing for the military. They both joined to preserve our way of life. That's ignoring the fact that they physically cant, it's built into our system. Even replacing the police and military with bluehats would not remotely work. And then there's Gen Z.

The "ban guns" stuff is propaganda for people who are disconnected from the reality of what the United States is. It's weird to see OS advocates miss the connection. They don't realize what side they are on in the war on general purpose printing.

Guns and gun ownership are a deeply ingrained and arguably sacred part of culture for a lot of America. A law to outright ban firearms would not be enforceable. Not now, and probably not even in 100 years from now. Not without a secession or civil war, anyway. Too many people would be very vehemently opposed to it and would genuinely rather be shot and killed by law enforcement than allow their guns to be confiscated. Not even a semi-automatic ban or something like that could ever happen; at least not for many generations.

Not everyone feels this way, but more than enough people do to make a universal ban completely infeasible. The question right now is if there can even be any federal legislation passed to address issues like gun access to the mentally unstable and people on watchlists, let alone high-capacity magazines or gun modifications or a ban on certain classes of firearms.

Guns aren't toys.

They are an important tool in America's system of checks and balances: Guns are not for shooting deer; guns are for shooting politicians.

The 2nd Amendment is very clear; in fact, it's probably the clearest portion of the entire Constitution:

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

In order to protect the freedom of each state from the imposition of some tyranny, it must be possible to gather groups of patriots who are armed with the highest quality equipment; therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

America was born out of armed revolution against a tyrannical government, and Americans are taught that they must be wary of enemies both foreign and domestic. To Americans, the government is at best a dangerous servant, and at worst a tyrannical master.

The gun is known as "The Great Equalizer" for a reason. To restrict gun ownership is to transfer even more power from the weak (the individual) to the strong (the State); that is anathema to those who understand what it actually means to be an American.

When is it appropriate to shoot a politician?

When he's doing Stalinesque things.

More drinkers than gun owners.

Plus you are choosing one example were prohibition failed, what about when it works, particularly with regard to guns and reducing the incidence of mass shootigs? You choose to ignore the real world evidence that shows it works because it doesn't fit with your political stance.

I don't mind, but be honest with yourself that that is what you are doing.

Australian here. We didn't "ban firearms", we regulated them. I can get a license for a centrefire bolt-action rifle in about a month by filling in some paperwork and buying a safe, and unlicensed I'm allowed to shoot under the supervision of a license holder. There's a small-bore rifle range a 10 minute bike ride from my house and practically every farmer in the country owns a rifle or shotgun for pest control and a .22 for the kids.

It's important not to overstate what our actual laws are. We have provisions for agriculture, sport, hunting, security guards, etc. and these provisions are not very hard to navigate.

Fun fact: after Australia enacted gun control and gun buybacks in 1996, murder rates in Australia went down slower than in the U.S. over that same period.

Australia, a country of 20M people, had 354 homicides (not just firearm related) in 1996, down to 282 ten years later.

In 1997, it had a rate of 1.733:100,000, and by 2007, 1.2.

In 1997, the US had a rate of 6.678:100,000, and by 2007, 5.7.

We had a lot more room for improvement. And you're still nearly five times more likely to be murdered in the US than Australia.

But hey, it says a whole lot about the narrative you'd like to push when you want to focus on that delta. "America got safer faster! (Just ignore the fact it was very far worse and still far less safe!)".

I think you're likely to find the homicide rate asymptotically approaches zero, and as such it would be hard for Australia to improve at the same rate as the US. I'm not sure what correlation you can show to "firearm control doesn't work" from that.

Source: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/VC.IHR.PSRC.P5?end=2015...

You’ve got the burden of proof wrong. Before limiting citizens’ freedoms, you need evidence that gun control works. Pointing to places like Australia, which already had dramatically lower homicide rates, then saw rates drop more slowly than in the US over that time, doesn’t help prove that point. Gun control can’t be the reason homicides are so low in Australia compared to the US; it was already dramatically lower.

Your argument is "relative to Australia, the US actually got safer", where "safer" is an expression of velocity change, rather than any declaration. Given that we're not talking about firearm homicide rates, but generally, then this is at best disingenuous.

But hey, let's talk firearm homicides.

In the US, 1997, firearm homicides were 6.24:100,000, and in 20145, 3.5:100,000, a 44 per cent reduction.

In Australia, 1997, firearm homicides were 0.56:100,000, and in 2016, 0.18:100,000, a 67 per cent reduction.

So where were we again?

Sources: https://www.allcountries.org/gun_deaths_by_country.html and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-r...

Looking at gun homicides only puts cases where gun homicides are simply replaced by homicides with a different weapon in the "win" column. That makes no sense (unless you want to make gun control look artificially better).

But access to the firearms is the civil right you were arguing about. It's futile. Either way, as a percentage, homicides in Australia went down after the gun buyback, more than in the US, either by firearm or not.

Literally the only thing that the US did better in is "more, absolute" reduction in homicide (firearm and other).

Your initial precedent, that gun control made things relatively -worse- in Australia is only borne out by the most contorted perspective on numbers, and not anything relative or comparable between the two.

> But access to the firearms is the civil right you were arguing about.

Right. So when a gun ban causes gang members to kill each other with knives instead, you've taken away everyone's civil rights without actually preventing any deaths. Which is why the only intellectually honest thing to do is to look at all homicides.

> Either way, as a percentage, homicides in Australia went down after the gun buyback, more than in the US, either by firearm or not.

The comparison is highly sensitive to the choice of begin/end date. For example, if you look at the 5-year impact of Australia's gun buyback (1997-2002), the U.S. rate went down about 18% while the Australia rate actually went up 10%.

People are a lot harder to kill with knives than with guns. Don't be disingenuous.

In percentage terms, didn't Australia's rate fall faster?

It seems weird to say U.S. dropped "more" with these numbers.

It did not. From 1997, the first full year the law was in force, to 2002 (five years later), Australia's homicide rate went up 10%. It went down 14% in the U.S. over that time. It wasn't until 2002 that there was a sustained period of decline in Australian homicide rates. But the mandatory gun buyback was complete by September 1997! And the long-term drop in homicides starting in 2002 coincided with a sustained increase in firearms imports: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/compareyears/10/firearm_im....

So what you're supposed to believe is that a gun confiscation that was over by 1997 was responsible for a long-term decline in homicides that did not start until 2002, which coincided with a sustained period of guns per capita returning toward pre-confiscation levels.


It went up, from 315, to 342.

A ten percent increase in homicides in the US is notable. The same in a population The size of the above falls within the realm of statistically significant.

You're really drawing conclusions the data doesn't support.

You’re the one trying to use this data to prove that the gun confiscation had an effect on homicides. If now you’re saying that there was no statistically significant change in homicide rates five years after the government destroyed over 600,000 guns, then you’re severely undermining your point.

The gun buyback isn’t something you’d expect to have a delayed impact on homicides. Certain weapons were banned, they were confiscated, and the program was over by 1997. Those guns could not be used to kill people. The number of guns started to go back up right after, as well.

It gets even worse when you limit it to firearm homicides (the initial numbers were all homicides), see my sibling comment.

Overall gun homicides aren't the only concern motivating gun regulation. What did the mass shooting rate do in Australia after the buybacks?

How common we're mass shootings in Australia before the ban?

If they are super rare, you'd never know if it was the ban or just chance.

Oh and guns weren't banned in Australia, just restricted. Plenty of guns still there.

London just passed New York in Homicide rate for the first time ever, doesn't seem to have worked too well.

That is based on severe cherry picking of data - just one month (February 2018) and small absolute numbers (11 vs 15). On longer sampling intervals the rate is still quite a bit higher in NY:


Yes, they’ve been cutting government services. Some parts of London are effectively lawless because there is not enough police to cover everywhere.

Mental health, social services, youth and gang intervention have been underfunded.

Sure would be nice to have a gun to protect yourself when the police aren't able to.

No parts of London are effectively lawless. That's fox news leaking out of you.

Any person who has a conviction for domestic assualt isn't allowed to own any type of gun

Any person with TBI isn't allowed to own any type of gun

Any person with drug or alcohol addiction isn't allowed to own any type of gun

Those three things would cut down the numbers of these types of murders, which tend to be impulsive.

What percentage of gun murders are committed by people with TBI, domestic assault, or state-known drug or alcohol problems?

Mass shooters have a super high correlation with domestic abuse.

So do cops.

Also being raised by single mothers.

Each of these things is a much better predictor of violent behaviour than mental illness, which is the thing normally blamed.

I don't have a issue with the logic of your statements, however the implementation of them could be rather scary.

Who is to say what a alcohol addiction entails? etc. etc.

A litre of 40% ABV spirits per day, or equivalent. It's not that hard.

Which then means you would have to register to buy alcohol. :S

Send help!

I'm truly sorry that people (I assume) got hurt/killed with this.

It may be worth keeping perspective that over 10,000 people in the U.S. died from drunk driving in 2016.

School/workplace shootings are scary, but if we really care about saving the most lives, we have much bigger fish to fry.

Numbers may agree, but the psychological factor also needs to be taken into account.

If you embed fear into peoples heart that their kids or family might get killed because of someone else when they are most vulnerable (schools, work place - places where we think we are safe) it is a different ball game.

If you see shootings in airports or malls, it ruins it for everyone.

Source: an immigrant from a country where bombings in city centres were part of daily life at some point.

It's textbook really. Gladio?

> It may be worth keeping perspective that over 10,000 people in the U.S. died from drunk driving in 2016.

> but if we really care about saving the most lives, we have much bigger fish to fry.

Given that "over 10,000 people" died from firearms (where that number is higher than the drunk driving number), I'm not sure how you figure this.

False dichotomy. How is that you can only work on only one front preventing unnecessary deaths?

You're falling for the media hysteria. Control for population and demographics and the US has lower gun homicide rates than many European countries. In fact the lowest gun homicide rates are in the midwest where gun ownership is highest.

Who's your source, Breitbart? The American Journal of Medicine says otherwise.

http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(15)01030-X/fulltext Check out Table 4

To me, it's fine enough if people want to own guns but it would be much better if advocates did it without peddling factual distortions like this.

You apparently ignored when I said control for demographics. Compare midwest gun stats to Europe

Those are per capita figures. What are you talking about?


Midwest states have lower gun homicide rates than the many European countries despite having the highest gun ownership rates in the US.

The mass shootings that get media attention are a drop in the bucket compared to daily inner city gang violence that jacks up US gun stats. And taking guns from law abiding citizens isn't going to stop gangs from shooting each other.

The mean average of the countries in Table 4 have a per capita gun homicide rate of 0.208

(0.2 + 0.2 + 0.3 + 0.5 + 0.1 + 0.2 + 0.3 + 0.2 + 0.1 + 0.1 + 0.4 + 0.3 + 0.0 + 0.2 + 0.2 + 0.0 + 0.5 + 0.0 + 0.5 + 0.2 + 0.1 + 0.2 + 0.0) / 23 = 0.208

There is not a single U.S. state midwestern or otherwise that has a lower per capita gun homicide rate than that average. The two lowest are Vermont (0.3) and New Hampshire (0.4), neither of which are in the midwest. The closest midwestern state is North Dakota at (0.6) The data also shows there are plenty of midwestern states with per capita gun homicide rates well above 1. Your claim is incorrect.

You should be comparing per-capita total homicide rate, not per-capita gun homicide rate. Having people die differently is not typically considered an improvement! Indeed, it would often be worse, since a shooting is less awful than many alternative ways to die.

Not all homicides are premeditated. So it's not always gun or something worse, sometimes it's gun or be alive. Also, that gun is the better death is again not a certainty.

New Hampshire and Vermont, concindentally, have demographics most similar to the highly touted safe European countries.

The midwest state with the lowest gun homicide rate (North Dakota with 0.6 gun homicides per 100,000 people) isn't even less than the European country with the highest rate of gun homicides (Portugal with 0.5 gun homicides per 100,000 people).

Meh... his thesis still holds. Gun control is obvious not the driver of a lower gun homocide rate.

Why don't you just say "black people are the problem" and stop beating around the bush?

Most likely he doesn't say this because he doesn't believe this. The obvious interpretation is that he believes that some US cities have a serious problem with violent gangs. Why would you want to assume that "inner city gang violence" is code for "black people"?

Because it is. We can kid ourselves all we like, but we all know this is where it is going. It takes just a brief detour to 4chan to know where people’s minds are at and where people’s theories are headed. It’s been a slippery slope toward explicit racism ever since Trump came on the scene and we can keep sliding down the slope or we can acknowledge it.

Care to tell where you're getting this info from? Checking https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-r... If I sort by homicides US is above all european countries, so is if I sort by 'total' (although montenegro is right behind it)

That includes suicides, so take off around 70% of the US gun deaths.

So the US has a lower rate when you conveniently exclude a segment? Is that because you think suicide doesn't count because it's self inflicted? Would it surprise you to know many people who attempt suicide and survive later regret it, and many suicides could have been averted if a firearm wasn't readily available. I know a lot of people think someone who wants to kill them self can do so no matter what, but that simply isn't the case.

Sort by homicide (which is what you were getting at in your original comment). US has 3.5 per 100.000 people. First European country is Montenegro which has 2.42 per 100.000, then Cyprus with 1.05. For example France is 0.21, Germany 0.07, Poland 0.04.

The World Bank has it quite a bit higher for the US: 4.9 in 2015: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/VC.IHR.PSRC.P5?location...

Seems like live video here: https://www.pscp.tv/w/1jMJgqYERyPKL

Stay safe people! You life matters, don't listen to those vile political trolls that couldn't contain themselves to inject their own agenda into this tragedy.

Does anyone have some good statistics on school-shootings vs workplace shootings? I have to imagine the latter is far more prevalent than the former

“Active shooter” is just the term used now? Does anyone know how that came to be?

It sounds like a too-calm euphemism that an interest group thought up.

There's a long Wikipedia article about it that's interesting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_shooter

But basically, it's a law enforcement term for someone looking to randomly kill as many people as possible, without a specific victim. So, no need for hysterics – it's just a police term.

Ah, cool. Thanks.

what hysterics?

That's a response to "It sounds like a too-calm euphemism that an interest group thought up."

More progressive campuses use "Active Harmer" because it may be a crazy person with a machete instead of a gun.


And in that case referred to in that story it was a crazy person with a machete.

Pretty descriptive IMO. Do you have a better alternative in mind?

No it doesn’t, it sounds like an accurate term to describe an ongoing event which removes ambiguity about the current state of affairs.

It's an old term, nothing new.

Can we get any more detail on this from people over in San Bruno? Be safe! Thoughts are with you.

tweets man, nearly live feed, its scary

> its scary

So is 'Saw'. Doesn't make it true.

Reports of “guy in full body armor”. Keep this in mind later to see if it’s true.

Usually it isn’t.

Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable and this sort of mistaken memory is to be expected. Wonder what that guy actually saw - just a bulky person or law enforcement or just repeating what someone else mistakenly thought they saw.

Pretty incredible to see people making jokes in response to the tweet literally in real time. Journalists trying to get him to call them and give updates. Our society is completely fucked.

While a lot of it is people trolling or just being antisocial, it's worth noting that a lot of people joke about tragedy as a way of coping with it. 'Gallows humor' and whatnot. So my default assumption is not that the person is a sociopath, but that they are attempting to cope, and don't necessarily have the EQ to know what the time and place for that response is.

I'd accept that from a nervous survivor who makes an off-color joke, but making fun of someone else's tragedy while it's happening to them is not a coping mechanism, it's being an asshole.

Even gallows humor requires some amount of time to pass before it's socially acceptable.

> Even gallows humor requires some amount of time to pass before it's socially acceptable.

No, that doesn't work for gallows humor. Gallows humor requires that you be on the (at least metaphorical) gallows. Making fun of someone else who is in a desperate or hopeless situation when you are safely on the sidelines isn't gallows humor.

While situations like this definitely magnify the bad in our society, I think there is also some bit of good (however small) that can be witnessed, such as the dedication of first responders, the outpouring of support and love from the community etc

> When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."

-- Fred Rogers

Made me sick, but on the flip side made for some very satisfying blocks.

Pretty incredible to see as first response “If you had a gun may not need to hide”. From an European point of view.

If you have a gun and shoot at the active shooter, you become the active shooter.

Definition of an active shooter: "an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) [sic] and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims."

Semantics wasn't the point. When police get reports of an active shooter on campus, you don't want to be the one seen holding a gun when they arrive.

A person who attempts to shoot an active shooter therefore satisfies the definition of an active shooter.

Is it not true? What did they do in response to an active shooter? They called the police and SWAT -- people with guns.

> Is it not true? What did they do in response to an active shooter? They called the police and SWAT -- people with guns

Qualified people with guns (ideally).

Maybe more importantly, uniformed people with guns. In an active shooter situation, people in plain clothes are all suspects and suspects holding guns get shot.

Myself and coworkers joke about our "armory" of weapons ready to combat a shooter. However, we're not stupid enough to actually do that. We know the police that would show up within seconds would see us as targets as well.

seconds? Nope. 5+ minutes (which is usually too late).

The office I work in has the city's emergency management building right at the foot of it.

Sounds like we agree that having a police officer on duty at schools that are "gun free" is a good idea.

The fact that it's common knowledge that you're armed means you'll likely never have to deal with that kind of situation.

And also, shoot everyone because guns just aren't accurate weapons unless you're in the calm situation of a range.

See all the innocent bystanders shot by police who miss the alleged offender.


America's obsession with credentials at its finest... these people are allowed to have guns because we say so, but no one else! (except those pesky criminals and shooters who don't abide by laws)

America has a pretty big obsession with thinking that they would be the hero in this situation if only they were there and had a gun.

The average gun owner (hell, the average police officer probably) is in no way prepared for an active shooting situation. It's a fantasy to think you'd be the one to stop it.

Bear in mind that after the recent Florida school shooting, the President of the United States declared that if he were there, he would have, despite being unarmed, physically overpowered the shooter and saved the day. If that is not worrying enough, half of the country believed him when he said that.

[citation needed]

This is a man who got out of his limo to confront a mugger in Manhattan. (old news articles cover it) I think that this is evidence enough to suggest that yes, he actually would do it.

Good for Trump that he said that. He has an imposing physique, and he might just have impressed the disturbed kid enough to put down his gun. (Ten years ago there was a school shooting in Germany where a teacher did stop a student that way.)

But we must respect the decision of the policeman in Florida who found himself outgunned not to confront the shooter, first responders are trained not to be heroes and to keep their life first priority.

> Good for Trump that he said that. He has an imposing physique

Okay, while attempting to be as neutral and objective as possible, Trump is an obese geriatric. He's decently tall, 6' or so. But that's about it.


Average gun owner != average CCW holder who would be carrying at that moment

CCW holder just means you took a class (in most states).

Oh, man. Having known a bunch of CCW holders who also carry their guns with them at all times, I would be far more scared of those guys in this situation, full stop.

They talk tough, but I have zero confidence in their ability to add the good kind of violence to a violent situation. Sooooooo overconfident, smh.

Heh heh, struck a nerve with some CCW holders ;)

It has nothing to do with being the hero. People who are a good law abiding citizens should not be denied the right to own firearms because some people misbehave.

This is just a result of America’s individualist society. If we were collectivists we would ban guns for the good of society. But we’re not, and we never will be. We’re rugged individualists, for better or worse, and some people actively vote for things that make their lives worse just to uphold that value. It’s what America was built on. I don’t see a problem with it. It’s just a different way of life.

The same Americans were perfectly ok with draconian sentences for marijuana and other drugs. The same America is imprisoning most people among all countries oftentimes for surprisingly long time. You can get arrested for jaywalking or loitering, both of them being unimaginable to me. You have to keep your hands on wheel when cop stops you, lest cop can shoot you. Meanwhile, I can keep my hands where I want when cops stop me in a car.

I am not sure individualism and freedom are good enough explanations.

Very few Western countries actually ban guns. Sweden, for example, has 2M registered guns (21 for each 100 persons). Germany has 5.5M. In the Czech Republic you can get a PAR MK3 (local version of the AR15).

To the best of my knowledge in Germany it's mostly long guns for hunting, not handguns. To carry a handgun you'd need a permit and demonstrate your need to be armed.

But can you own an AR-15?

According to [0], it looks like you could even own the full auto military version (the M16).


The current laws in Sweden - the short version is that you need a justified reason (hunting or "shooting club"), you need to pass tests and not have a recent criminal record. Fully automatic weapons are much harder to get permits for than standard ones.


I agree with your observations about the US (as an inhabitant myself), a lot of people forget or deny these points.

I do disagree with your conclusions that it must stay this way, because I feel that on the gun issue, the resulting policies are leading to more guns in unqualified hands and more violence. I think there is space for rugged individualism and sane gun ownership requirements.

I think we're at a middle ground that is worse than either idealistic extreme (zero guns everywhere VS everyone trained and carrying).

Having gun-free zones exist alongside available firearms has repeatedly resulted in mass shooters picking the least armed location. The eventual Pulse shooter scoped out the Disney parks but was discouraged by the guards. The presence of a few qualified people carrying is a deterrent that we shouldn't rule out, and it's not worth staffing police on every block like a police state.

Perhaps a better combination might be legislation for sane gun ownership requirements combined with legislation limiting the proliferation of gun-free zones. That way vetted gun owners wouldn't be unarmed in the places in their community that they care about when they come up against a killer with no regard for rules.


This comment breaks the site guidelines noticeably worse than others in the thread. Please don't post ideological rants here and please edit out the name-calling.

You've done this a ton and we've given you a ton of warnings. Eventually this leads to getting banned, so would you please (re-)read https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and use this site as intended from now on?

There is zero name calling in this post. Only contra positions to glittering generalities that try to paint dementedness as handsomeness.

I've received three warnings in the years I've posted hundreds of times. That is not in any rational way a ton. You are the only person who has ever picked on any of my posts. None of the posts you've ever complained about have had more than -2 karma at the time of the complaint and this one was at 0.

Your position amounts to bullying: you are in a position of power, you cite vague guidelines and each time I've asked exactly which guideline and in what manner it's a violation you refused to answer. This is a might makes right tactic. I refuse to accept it as fair, or just, or right. And itself is inconsistent with those same guidelines.

There will only be more challenges to such an absurd coddling of discourse that necessarily arise from highly charged events. There will be more such events. They will be even more ideological. That's why they occur and why people want to talk about them.

When people post nonsense, I have always seen enough downvotes by the community to render such opinions moot by their invisibility. I see no purpose or logic in your claim.

I have never opened a throw away account. This is my only account. All your threat does is tell me that was the actual mistake.

"Nonsensical Ayn Rand crap" and "irrational fearful white bunny rabbit gun nut" count as name calling in the sense that the site guidelines use the term. As for previous warnings, here are some:








That's a rather shocking level of abuse of this site and ignoring of moderation requests. If you don't correct this and abide by the site rules from now on, we're going to ban you. I'm sorry if that feels like bullying; it's routine moderation, and we've already cut you a ton of slack, as the linked comments make clear.

You are just a sheep parroting NRA and not a rugged individual.

Citizens shooting back in a crisis only makes things worse, how do you know who is the real shooter now?

Have you ever been in a shooting situation? If you are not trained for it it is terrifying and it is unlikely you will make a positive difference.

You're wrong. The guy who shot up church in Texas last year was stopped by an armed civilian with a rifle.

Personal attacks are not ok here, regardless of how wrong someone else is. Please don't comment like this again.

Your comment would be fine without the first paragraph.


I could have worded it differently, but I think it is important to point out that the rugged individual label does not apply to most Americans who live in cities and follow the herd.

Also this was in a response to a building where I have many friends was attacked by an active shooter.

I own an AR15 and a shotgun. Law enforcement is the right call for rapid response versus someone like myself with limited range time.

I don't care about your credentials; if you have actual training, that's what matters. Your average civilian has almost no training, therefore law enforcement is the preferred response. Can you prove training without credentials? Certainly, but we're not all going to the range together to see who we are and aren't going to trust to respond to active shooters.

It's not just the training in a broad sense - if you're armed with your concealed carry, and you witness a shooting, are you duty-sworn to act?

Put it another way, in that it actually happened: If you're duty sworn to act, and don't, are you partly responsible for further deaths? See: The on-campus resource officer for a recent highschool shooting who did hide.

I for one support a clear division between who is responsible for general civilian safety. I draw the line at buckling my seatbelt and not drinking cleaning product - beyond that, I don't think I should be in charge of making sure I don't get shot, or smashed into by a drunk driver, or ensuring the train I get on doesn't derail. I want my government to take care of that and I'm happy to pay for it.

> Put it another way, in that it actually happened: If you're duty sworn to act, and don't, are you partly responsible for further deaths?

Legally, no. See Warren v DC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_v._District_of_Columbia

> the duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists

The country was founded on the notion that all you have is the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So I rather defend myself.

If you want to “happily pay for” your own protection, you should hire your own bodyguard. I don’t want my taxes to go to your protection just because you want the government to solve all your problems.

The community is better at self defense than the individual.

If your family member was murdered while you were out, do you have the expertise to find out who did it and meter justice?

Do you have the resources to guarantee mutually assured destruction with another community?

"The community is better at self defense than the individual." - Not sure what this means. My own experience comes from someone abusing someone at a bus. Nobody intervenes. Just a bunch of sheep until I have to say "Stop it". So while the community may be better defending, they don't, and it is up to the individual to secure his / her own protection.

If my family was murdered while I was out, then by definition I cannot defend them. The law system will take care of it presumably, but that is not "defense", it is post-fact "justice."

Unclear what your mutually destruction comment was.

In your first example - why aren't there more assaults on buses? Why wasn't there a gang member on the bus demanding a secondary fare or "protection fee"? Because your taxes pay for a local police department and a federal policing force. I'm not talking about "bystander effect" here, I'm talking about government resources designed to protect the population at whole. Isolated incidents will still happen. The Law, and Government, is about doing as much good as possible.

Your family is de-facto defended from murder because it is harder to commit murder and get away with it when the FBI exists, generating criminal investigation resources and distributing them among local police detectives. Your taxes pay for this and are protecting you right now. The very existence of a justice system is preventing crime. Not all crime, obviously, but a great deal. The remainder is more a socioeconomic failure of this country than a justice system failure (or, a justice system failure in that the war on drugs is policy failure enforced by the justice system).

Mutually assured destruction is more a macro-comment. Why aren't hordes of Russian barbarians coming over the hill? Because the US exerts its sovereignty within its borders. Why doesn't an organized community (government) challenge that? Because both communities would be vaporized.

Since we're on the subject, your taxes are a much cheaper way to get clean water, medicine that you are guaranteed actually contains the active ingredients you're looking for, food that won't poison you, and ensure that the city upriver doesn't dump toxic waste into the river. If you wanted to "take care of those problems yourself," you'd be running around like a headless chicken. Communitize, instead.

I'm actually replying to sibling comment regarding being duty-sworn to protect but don't see reply button there for some reason... Police are NOT duty-sworn to protect: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_v._District_of_Columbia

> Law enforcement is the right call for rapid response versus someone like myself with limited range time.

This may not be true if you're right there and SWAT is 5 minutes away.

Agree, but edge case. Maybe you're armed, maybe you have the training, and maybe you're not going to panic. Can't base sound policy at scale on the stars aligning.

> Agree, but edge case.

This is by no means an "edge-case" if you live in a rural area. "Sound policy" within a heavily urbanized area may be unworkable elsewhere.

> Can't base sound policy at scale on the stars aligning

"Failing to scale" here would be to allow urban population centers to dictate policy that would be untenable in other areas of the country.

What range training features people who are bent on killing _actively shooting back_ at you?

_You_ don't want to harm anyone else, you only want to protect yourself (and possibly others). They have no such compunction.

Being able to put a few downrange with a Glock is not an active shooter situation, and honestly, as a first responder, most people in such situations find themselves vomiting, urinating in terror (and reasonably so).

I tend to think that mass shootings would turn out better if everyone was armed. It is so much harder to kill a lot of people if someone is shooting back at you.

However, overall, it would be terrible policy because such a proliferation of arms in public would result in all kinds of extra mass shootings, suicides, homicides, accidents, etc. that would cause more deaths than any reduction in the lethality of a given mass shooting.

I grew up with gun culture. I was taught you don't pull a gun unless you are genuinely ready to kill someone. If you aren't prepared, both logistically and psychologically, to actually kill someone, this goes very bad places.

The idea that we just need to arm everyone pretty much guarantees that most people won't actually meet that standard. It goes all kinds of bad places.

The other thing is you don't find your way to a more peaceful civil climate by escalating the violence. That's so very much "Going to war to protect the peace is like fucking to preserve virginity."

We need to be fostering a more civil climate where Americans are better cared for. That's the real solution here. We need to be fixing healthcare and housing and the extremes of poverty in this country that are appalling for a first world country.

And I think that most of the discussions of gun violence overlook that larger reality and see it is as not relevant. But there are reasons people go postal here, and it isn't because a side effect of gun ownership is insanity.

> I tend to think that mass shootings would turn out better if everyone was armed. It is so much harder to kill a lot of people if someone is shooting back at you.

I don't think you've thought this through. You hear one, then two gun shots coming from two different people in a plaza with a bunch of people. Who's the real attacker?

Say you actually witnessed it, what about the 50 other people around you who now see you brandishing and firing a gun? Are you now the threat?

If everyone is shooting back at everyone else, the death toll will be WAY higher than just ducking and hiding with only one shooter. The real threat is clear in this scenario. The police know who to take down.

> I tend to think that mass shootings would turn out better if everyone was armed. It is so much harder to kill a lot of people if someone is shooting back at you.

It's probably much easier, if you count the deaths you cause and not just those from bullets you fire. When there is one person shooting, there are myriad reports from eyewitnesses with different numbers and descriptions of the shooters. When you've got multiple people shooting you are going to have multiple people perceiving who started the shooting differently.

How do you possibly plan for each of those people to know decisively who the "shooter" is? You're all shooters to each other, until proven otherwise.

Can you imagine the deaths of innocent people by crossfire?

Couldn’t be worse than the police


Nobody has ever successfully used a shooting situation with victims as an opportunity to convince other people to own and carry firearms when going to school, work, or church.

All it does is piss people off, make gun enthusiasts look bad, and start up flamewars online.

If you want to convince other people of the merits of gun ownership, the time and place to do that is offline, with friends, at your favorite range or other safe shooting area.

If only America were actually obsessed with credentials on this one...

But before playing into your hand further: It doesn't seem odd that most people are not mentally/physically capable of dealing properly with an active shooter/combat situation and therefor don't feel that they would/should be the person to deal with it. Gonna make the bold assumption that most people's job descriptions don't involve annual firearm training, and they would therefor feel more comfortable with police dealing with these sort of situations. Which is the point other sane humans are trying to make before you deride the conversation for douchery.

>>shooters who don’t abide by guns laws.

Get your facts straight. Hint: the large majority do abide by gun laws in their purchase.


Actually no, most shooters do not own their guns legally. Only 18% of guns used in crimes were legally owned. Although your claim may be the case for mass shooters, a tiny minority of all perpetrators of gun homicide. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/07/27/new-e...

Well, they may abide by gun laws in how they get the guns, but they sure aren't in how they use them...

(Though I suppose that's not "gun laws" that they're breaking, but rather laws against murder.)

Uhm, have you seen our cops?

Yeah, I don't see how support for BLM and gun control mesh. If cops are corrupt and biased, then why would you want to wait on one in an emergency?

It's hard to see minor details like that from high up in an ivory tower.

Lower income urban voters tend to be split on gun control depending on the type. There's little support there for anything that would make it more costly or time consuming for someone without a record of violent crime to buy a firearm.

You'd still need to hide if you happened to have a gun in the event that you don't, I don't know, want to get shot.

A gun is a weapon, not armor.

Also, having a gun out might make you a target for the police. They don't know that you're a good guy.

We had a shooter situation at my apartment complex not long ago and the police were on scene before I had time to unlock my pistol.

Consider, though, those living outside major population centers, where the police response time can be on the order of 10 to 30 (or more) minutes and there's an active shooter situation. There's very little that can be done to mitigate damage done by the shooter or prevent him from escaping in that span of time.

Professional people who are formally trained to use guns in situations involving other people who have guns.

It's both funny and sad that you think that being a SWAT member boils down to "here is a gun".

Well they not only have a gun. They have something far more important: body armor. Even a completely untrained SWAT member is going to be more successfull than a random citizen with a gun.

Even a SWAT member without body armor is way more effective than a random dude with a gun.

And if the assailant didn't have a gun, you also would not need to hide from an active shooter.

You'd need to hide no matter the weapon.

People who are specifically trained in the use of guns as a group in responding to active shooter situations.

Not just "people with guns".

I’m not SWAT. If I had a gun and there was an armed maniac going around shooting people, I would still hide.

> Is it not true? What did they do in response to an active shooter? They called the police and SWAT -- people with guns.

People with guns that will take down anyone else brandishing a gun in that area. Still think it's a good idea to have a gun in this situation?

The big edge the SWAT guys have is armor and shields, and sometimes armored vehicles, along with enough tactical training to use them. This lets them survive getting close enough to do something. Regular cops have guns too, but that's not enough. The Parkland shooting had an armed sheriff's deputy in the school, but he wasn't armored up to take on someone with an assault rifle.

It's an axiom of American political discourse that any argument to restrict guns is logically equivalent to an argument to proliferate guns.

"If it was common knowledge that there was a non-trivial number of armed people at the location in question this probably wouldn't be happening" would be more appropriate.

People committing violence choose soft targets over hard ones when they can.

So does every location in the country need to have armed people around? There can be no "soft targets" anywhere?

There is a better way, other countries have figured it out already.

Yes, nobody does ever kill anyone in other countries.

We have individual murders, but our last big mass shooting was in the 90s. USA has one every day. Your comment seems to deliberately misinterpret the situation.

Who is “we”? This was a few days ago: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcassonne_and_Trèbes_attac...

(Edit: nevermind, I guess you’re talking about Australia and not Europe)

I'm genuinely interested what message you were trying to send with that link?

I'm Australian.

The active shooter has a gun and isn’t hiding.

I'm sure the shooter is also wearing pants. And he/she isn't hiding. Ergo, if you had pants, you may not need to hide.

From any point of view. This is beyond fucked.

Nothing screams "free thinking" and "tolerant right wing" than an angry comment getting downvoted. Hacker News has become a Trumpbot playground.

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