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10 killed in Alabama shooting rampage

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What is that... only three rampages this week? Or is it just two?

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Ah, only in America do you get people arguing FOR guns after a tragedy like this...

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They should really do something drastic about the carrying of arms there, since the number of shooting rampages seems to be picking up in the recent years...maybe have potential arms license bearers go through stringent psycological tests or sth to make sure they are sane enough to know what a gun should or should not be used for...then again this guy might have bought a gun illegally too...damn

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blame the inanimate object and not the scumbag who killed 9 people in cold blood.

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Indeed murder rates do drop in a society where guns are illegal. Examples? 1930s Germany, Soviet era Russia, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam... Wonderful counties whose example we should follow, I suppose?

If they ban guns, can we use knives instead? They dont jam, or run out of bullets.

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VOR - you're kidding right?

The 'scumbag' was the one who chose to use the 'inanimate object' to slaughter people.

I'm guessing you are pro-gun, even after sorry disasters like this?

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There's no justification in this day and age for the average citizen to be walking around with a firearm. None.

Yes, this crime would have been far less tragic had the murderer used a knife, bat, or any of a dozen other common household implements that don't really have the same potential to kill instantaneously that a gun possesses.

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There's no justification in this day and age for the average citizen to be walking around with a firearm. None.

Self-protection isn't a good reason?

Yes, this crime would have been far less tragic had the murderer used a knife, bat, or any of a dozen other common household implements that don't really have the same potential to kill instantaneously that a gun possesses.

Agreed, he managed to kill ten.

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I'm guessing you are pro-gun, even after sorry disasters like this?

yup, you guessed it. and to further warm your cockles i have a conceal carry permit in Nevada which if push ever came to shove, allows me the ability to defend myself and others around me from people who have no regard for the law and no respect for human life.

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VOR: "blame the inanimate object and not the scumbag who killed 9 people in cold blood."

Sorry, bud, but if it were a microwave oven instead of a gun, he couldn't have done near the killing, if any. While the man committed the murders, he did the most he could through the tools people like you insist are necessary, and which give us threads like this at least once a week, sometimes on a daily basis.

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VOR: "...which if push ever came to shove, allows me the ability to defend myself and others around me from people who have no regard for the law and no respect for human life..."

Just remember, if you were to pull out your fire arm any one else is justified, according to your logic, to blow you away as they cannot actually tell what you are doing and may perceive it to be a threat. Boom... the misunderstanding results in all sorts of carnage and death. Eliminate the guns, and you elimnate the murders.

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There's no justification in this day and age for the average citizen to be walking around with a firearm. None.

In this day and age there is plenty of justification for law abiding citizens to carry a sidearm. The police are incapable of preventing crime and a legal firearm in trained hands of a law abiding citizen serves as an equalizer against criminals who will have a gun and commit crimes no matter what laws are enacted.

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sailwind: "Self-protection isn't a good reason?"

Self-protection against whom? Ah, yes, that's right... other people with GUNS!

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VOR: "an equalizer against criminals who will have a gun and commit crimes no matter what laws are enacted."

So heaven forbid you make it a little harder for them to get the weapons instead of handing them to the criminals to shoot you with.

There is no logic when it comes to people defending possession of guns. None.

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Alabama is the future of BC.

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..which if push ever came to shove, allows me the ability to defend myself and others around me from people who have no regard for the law

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if you were to pull out your fire arm any one else is justified, according to your logic, to blow you away as they cannot actually tell what you are doing and may perceive it to be a threat.

I really would like to know how people like VOR see this. How would he protect himself from other law-abiding conceal-carry permit holders who see him waving his gun around, and how does he know the person he's aiming at isn't another conceal-carry permit holder who's just spotted a punk with a gun?

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In this day and age there is plenty of justification for law abiding citizens to carry a sidearm.

VOR: I am an American and a law-abiding citizen. So are my family and friends. Of them, only one owns a gun, and it is because he is a police officer. The fact is, most law-abiding citizens in the States don't want to carry a gun. Yes, the thought of encountering an armed person is scary, but the fact is that carrying a loaded weapon can be just as, if not scarier. No, arming everyone to the teeth is definitely NOT the answer.

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I think you all fail to see the bigger picture. Lets say guns are in fact ''evil'' and you remove them from the population. The military (read: arm of the government) would have guns, and I suppose you're going to tell me the goverment would use the military to protect you.

Of course they would protect you, like the militaries of 1930s Germany, Soviet Union, and Vietnam protect their gun-less citizens! Of course, nobody ever died by the millions in those countries as a result of corrupt governments! It cant happen in the west! Not in UK, Not in America! Not in Canada... it could NEVER happen! Right?

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I am an American and a law-abiding citizen. So are my family and friends. Of them, only one owns a gun, and it is because he is a police officer. The fact is, most law-abiding citizens in the States don't want to carry a gun. Yes, the thought of encountering an armed person is scary, but the fact is that carrying a loaded weapon can be just as, if not scarier. No, arming everyone to the teeth is definitely NOT the answer.

For the record, most of my friends in the states are gun owners. None of them have ever been the victim of violent crime, either.

I don't know how anyone can say most law abiding citizens in the US don't want to carry a gun. The ownership numbers quite clearly state otherwise.

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There is no logic when it comes to people defending possession of guns. None.

smith, don't you recognize the same can be said about your side of the argument. Perhaps its you who is illogical as you ignore the fact that Americans right to bear arms is constitutionally protected.

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I think you all fail to see the bigger picture. Lets say guns are in fact ''evil'' and you remove them from the population. The military (read: arm of the government) would have guns, and I suppose you're going to tell me the goverment would use the military to protect you.

Of course they would protect you, like the militaries of 1930s Germany, Soviet Union, and Vietnam protect their gun-less citizens! Of course, nobody ever died by the millions in those countries as a result of corrupt governments! It cant happen in the west! Not in UK, Not in America! Not in Canada... it could NEVER happen! Right?

Yep, if it came to that I'm sure ol' Billy Bob and all his cousins could band together to defeat the U.S. army's tanks and hi-tech gadgetry.

Moderator: Stay on topic please.

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No, arming everyone to the teeth is definitely NOT the answer.

show me where i said everybody should be armed to the teeth or even suggest everyone should carry.

Its a fact the police are incapable or preventing crime and protecting each individual citizen.

Its a fact the crime occurs when criminals think they have the advantage.

The only way not to become a target...........

ah forget it, go on and think what you want. have a good evening people.

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you ignore the fact that Americans right to bear arms is constitutionally protected

Yes, in a well-regulated militia. This 'we have the right' argument always comes down to the pro-gun people basically saying that America is populated by knuckle-draggers who spend their lives looking for unarmed people to rob, rape and kill and who can only be stopped by a bullet in the brain. Sounds like a lovely place to live.

Good to hear from people like Hotbox who prove that there are some normal people there, too. (Actually I think the hotboxes of this world are in the majority. I hope so, at least.)

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For the record, most of my friends in the states are gun owners. None of them have ever been the victim of violent crime, either.

pawatan: So what you are saying is that having a gun prevented them from being a victim of a violent crime? That reasoning is ludicrous. None of my friends own a gun, and none of them have been a victim of a violent crime too. So your logic just doesn't stick. The purpose of a gun is to shoot a bullet. My friend, who is a police officer told me a couple stories, an one in particular really made me realize that accidents can happen. A child somehow got his hands (his father claimed he had it locked up securely) on his father's gun and while playing around with it, shot and killed his younger brother. Of course, things like this could have been prevented if the gun being kept in a house was kept securely locked and not loaded (but statistics show that many are kept loaded, possibly because in order for it to be used in an emergency "protection" situation, it should be ready to be used). In fact, as recently as the year 2000, approximately 100 children under the age of 14 were killed when a gun was accidentally discharged. Gun rights lobbyists will argue that that is a low number considering the population of the U.S., but that is only the number for those under the age of 14 and those that were killed, not just injured. Bottom line is that accidental shootings happen far too often. For more accurate statistics, check out this website:

http://www.ichv.org/Statistics.htm

In 2005 (the most recent year for which data is available), there were 30,694 gun deaths in the U.S:

12,352 homicides (40% of all U.S gun deaths), 17,002 suicides (55% of all U.S gun deaths), 789 unintentional shootings, 330 from legal intervention and 221 from undetermined intent (5% of all U.S gun deaths combined). -Numbers obtained from CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2008.

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Yes, in a well-regulated militia. This 'we have the right' argument always comes down to the pro-gun people basically saying that America is populated by knuckle-draggers who spend their lives looking for unarmed people to rob, rape and kill and who can only be stopped by a bullet in the brain.

Excellent point, cleo! I'm glad that most of the people in the world are like you and don't believe in the twisted logic that having more guns is the answer to a safer world.

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When will the cave men who feel the need to carry guns learn? Guns make killing people a lot easier. Get rid of the guns and at least you limit the degree of damage a single nut job can do in an afternoon spree.

As for all you cowboys out there imagining yourselves defending the peace with your trusty gun. Well... the reality is that your trusty gun has a very high probability of killing someone you love or being used against you. Or resulting in an accident.

Not to mention the fact that good sound judgement doesn't seem to go with the average gun nut, so I can just imagine you lot blowing each other away for perceived threats.

The intelligent and civilized solution is to ban guns. We don't need them, you don't need them and society would be better off without them.

Now before you get on to the whole right to bear arms argument. It was clearly intended for local militia to defend the country and not to arm every yahoo who can point a piece of metal at someone. Further, you need only look at places like Afghanistan to see what happenes when the local guys start forming militias and fighting people. Sooner or later, enemies dispatched (maybe), the move on to fighting themselves.

Guns are for macho guys who have watched far too many war movies and westerns. It is time to grow up people and put guns where they belong, out of the reach of the average gun lover and out of our society.

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Criminals no longer fear the judicial system, so ordinary law-abiding folks feel they need to carry. It's a rational choice in the face of suicidal "liberal" tolerance for crime.The bogus War on Poverty and the expanding Welfare State the Democrats brought us only add to the misery and the violence.Throw in Hollywood obsession with violence and even the current president's 'friendship' with performers like Ludacris, whose lyrics glorify the thug life, and then ask how you would protect yourself these days.

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rollonarte; What?!?! "Liberal tolerance for crime." Hey buddy it was your yahoo president Bush who drained money away from law enforcement so he could go off on his idiotic Iraq adventure. And it is the Republicans who have pulled by spending to resolve poverty issues and who have ignored the causes of crime in the US. So you want to point your fingers at someone find a mirror if you are Republican.

The gun culture in America shows just how juvenile our culture has become. Talk to some of the gun nuts in the US and tell me honestly that you are ready to have these otaku yahoos packing around your kids. Most of them can't pull themselves into the 21st century let alone away from their fantacies of "Red Dawn" and other shows where they get to run around defending the nation against incompetent invaders.

Guns kill people because people are clueless about guns. Loaded weapons take out how many children every year? At 11 years old I watched a neighbor kid die after he collapsed in the local corner store. He had shot himself with a gun belonging to another neighbor kid's dad. See that once and you will wake up to the reality of guns.

You know you kill more of your own family members by accident, thinking they are prowlers every year than you actually kill bad guys defending your families.

Now add to that the fact that a lot of your guns get stolen, thus providing the bad guys with readily available illegal weapons.

And this guy in the story. He was a regular legal gun owner until today when he became a gun toting psychopath. How many of you gun owners go off the edge and kill people every year? A lot my friend. Way to many.

We deserve a safe society. To get that you need the following.

Disarm the public. Pay for and support better law enforcement. Deal with the causes of crime with tangible long term solutions. Provide broad mental health care to help people deal with problems in more productive ways. Work harder to create a society that admires peace and cooperation instead of the "me first" attitude that people like the gun crowd advocate. How can you expect peace if you don't advocate and support it.

Call me liberal or left or whatever. But everyone who reads and pays attention to reality knows the Right wing has done more to increase crime and decrease our protection than any liberal ever could. GWB among the worst of them.

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I don't think that allowing citizens to carry weapons did a thing with stopping this guy. Don't get me wrong, I have a few that I own for hunting, but to argue that they are for self protection is kinda silly. Except in a few cases, gun owners with guns stop very few criminals.

I'm glad the cops got this guy before he killed any other people. < :-)

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Sailwind,

Self-protection from what, exactly? Other people with guns? That's the point. If it weren't for this pervasive gun-culture mentality that permeates virtually every layer of American society, the average citizen wouldn't need to worry about protecting him or herself from others with guns. Because others wouldn’t have them to threaten the peace in the first place.

I’m constantly reminded of the common refrain from gun lobbies, “If we outlaw guns, then only outlaws will have them.” It’s the most fascinating of chicken-or-egg conundrums: Because we like guns, gun manufacturers make them. Because gun manufacturers make them, criminals have greater access them. Because criminals have greater access them, we need more guns to protect ourselves from the criminals with guns. It’s a merry-go-round and body count with no foreseeable end. Something’s got to give, and when we’re taking about human lives, making guns MORE accessible or perpetuating the status quo just isn’t an option any longer.

For me, it also stands to reason that if guns weren’t manufactured, sold, and traded with the same degree of carelessness and amusement that we reserve for, say, comic books, then we might not be at this current impasse we find ourselves in. The 8-year old blowing his own head off with an Uzi at a gun show last year is just one example of this carefree attitude I’m talking about. The manufacture and sale of weapons in this country needs to be regulated with the same or greater scrutiny than we afford prescription drugs. If we treated guns with the same level of consideration and seriousness we do other serious facets of modern life, like driving a car, securing a home loan, or becoming a doctor, things that all require fairly comprehensive licensure or certification of some sort, then perhaps guns might not be so easy for criminals to procure.

It’s not lost on me that the genie has already left the bottle, so to speak. With well over 200 million guns currently in circulation in America, it wouldn’t be an easy task to reign them in, particularly with the asinine “We don’ want the guv’ment knowin’ how many guns we have, cuz’ then they’ll come for us in the night and take ‘em when the guv’ment dic‘tater ship overthrows the People and caah-munism takes over” garbage that crops up anytime someone even mentions the word “register.”

But like I said, the status quo simply can’t be allowed to continue. With every shooting like this comes the gradual realization among nuts with a grudge and a deathwish that mass murder is easy in America. You just need to know what pawn shop to visit to get the right tool for the job.

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pawatan -- "for the record", none of my relatives in the states own a firarm, and, none have been victims of violent crimes either. So what? And, none of mine ever want to own one either -- because too many accidents happen around firearms, and, statistics prove that domestic violence situations in homes with firearms end up in a homicide at a much higher rate than where they don't.

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LFRA,

Self-protection from what, exactly? Other people with guns? That's the point. If it weren't for this pervasive gun-culture mentality that permeates virtually every layer of American society, the average citizen wouldn't need to worry about protecting him or herself from others with guns. Because others wouldn’t have them to threaten the peace in the first place.

Something for you to think about that you left out of your argument and I would like your opinion on this.

A woman is married to an abusive husband, they get a divorce and he continues to stalk her. She get's a restraining order. He still continues to stalk her. He gets thrown in jail and starts to make subtle death threats agaisn't her. He hasn't crossed the line yet as to have the law lock him up legally yet.

This happens all the time, do you suggest she can't own a gun to protect herself?

The law sure isn't really at that point. The law would only really come into play after he has murdered her. Also keep in mind he has already abused her and is quite capable of violence.

I've known scenarios like I have just decribed. You know what the police recommended to the lady being stalked? Get a gun.

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Oh I should have added, he's thrown in jail for a short period of time then released.

In my above scenario.

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gun loving Americans, are there a stupider group of people on the planet? All the nonsense about "guns don't kill people, people do," when the rest of the planet finds it pretty easy to work out 1) Guns + 1)Crazy people = 2) Lots of innocent people dead. I find it very hard to muster any sympathy for the nation just as i wouldn't have any sympathy for a drunk driver who slammed into a wall and killed themselves. Ban Guns you morons!!

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rollonarte You are funny! I would say eas up the law on guns in america, everyone must have a gun to "protect" them selvesagainst the enemy of the states, may it be Communists,Terrorist, liberals, illegal immigrants and so on. it will be the survival of the caliber!

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Sailwind. Guns in the hands of people who are not experienced are more likely to end up in the stalker's hands than protecting the victim. In this case the police advice is unfortunately very wrong.

In the case you described the law is the problem. Stalking laws have been improved in some cities and must be universally improved to assure that people can receive protection before violent acts take place.

The law should protect us, not weapons. When we turn to a culture of weapons we may as well be Kabul or Bagdad. Murders go up from the presence of weapons, not from their abscence.

One other thought. Your stalker can just as easily kill with a knife or other weapon, and statistically they do. If the law is in place to allow complaints to be followed up when a citizen feels danger, then the problems will improve.

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More likely pawatan’s friends, who just happen to own guns, have never been victims of violent crime because most of us are rarely victims of violent crime anyway. Gun ownership will never prevent crime unless 1. you advertise the fact that you own a gun so as to deter criminals or 2. you have actually used your gun to successfully defend yourself from an attack. Other than that you are just someone who feels more secure owning a gun. And by the way, unless you show me credible numbers that indicate at least 51% of law abiding citizens in the US want to carry a gun, we’re just talking unsubstantiated personal points of view when you make a general claim that most Americans want to carry, let alone own, a gun.

Let’s make something clear: Gun ownership in America is a social/cultural mentality for some people and not a philosophical argument. There’s more violent crime in the big cities especially among non white populations and yet the gun owning culture exists mainly in the white populations of rural America where the gun culture is historically the strongest. It’s like arguing over whether or not you like NASCAR. As you can see from some of the posts here, a significant percentage of Americans have a particular way of viewing the world around them. Which is why gun control could never work in America. And since this is Japan Today, why can’t we rhetorically ask ourselves why so many gun culture activists, with their particular way of viewing the world, are interested in Japan?

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It's very much a herd mentality isn't it? People see other people owning guns-->people feel unsafe-->people go to arms shop to get guns-->gun manufacturers make more guns 'cuz there's a demand for them-->criminals and madmen get their hands on guns and go on shooting sprees-->people see them have guns-->people feel unsafe--> repeat. It's a vicious cycle that goes on, a cycle of fear...that's what i think of the gun-owning situation (and of course there are those who own guns for the fun of it too) ...tkoind2, i like the measures you suggested to put a stop to gun ownership because the solution isn't as simple as banning the guns ...

I know it sounds a bit jaded when i say this, but i think things probably aren't going to change in America with regards to gun ownership...the small arms market has gotten too big to be snuffed out, and there's probably politics involved as well. Hope there'll be a leader brave enough one day to take the step forward for a safer society!

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hmm one other thought: what if everyone owned tasers instead?

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Gun culture is an American social mythology. We have this myth of weapons as empowering tools. We look to the revolutionary forefathers and their use of weapons to secure freedom. We look at the cowboys of the old west who pioneered American prosperity at the point of a gun. That rugged and self reliant mythic character is powerful.

Now add to that the southern legacy of the confederate rebel gun in hand defending his way of life. And wrap it all up with the history of two world wars won due to US contributions to protect freedom.

Americans love to think that our defiant and forceful character is what makes us great. We admire the lone gunman defending the weak. We love the figher defending the right values. And a lot of that goes hand in hand with gun ownership and the culture of self defense and weapons.

But the reality of a culture of self defense is very different. Our guns kill more innocents than dangerous people. And they enable crimes to easily escalate into large scale tragic stories like today's.

Whether cultural passion, nostalgia or what ever, guns cause us more heart ache than good. And they should go. It is time we grew up and put these myths behind us and face the very real and easily measured reality of what weapons do to our society. Shame on us for not dealing with this earlier in our history.

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Glaspar. Then you would have a lot of people dead from taser misuse every year.

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Sailwind: The advice is get a gun? Sounds like a quote from the 1970s.

My advice would be: move. Don't tell the guy where you moved to.

Or, move in with your parents.

Or, get a boyfriend.

Or, take up jogging, get fit, and always wear sensible shoes.

Or, get a big protective dog. Sure, it won't fit in your purse, but its illegal to carry a loaded gun about in your purse anyway.

Or, buy mace.

I also recommend explaining the situation to one of the guy's friends or acquaintances or heck, anybody. Someone who with a brain who can be trusted. Someone who will tell the guy he needs to stop harassing women because men do not do that.

So many of these can be applied to just about any situation where some people instinctively and short-sightedly reach for the gun. There are smarter, safer, more civilized ways to protect oneself. A gun is like a sledgehammer. Only useful in uncommon situations. Overuse of it results in a lot of breakage that could have been avoided by choosing a more sensible tool. And all that breakage does not begin to justify the precious few times you actually need it.

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One other thought. Your stalker can just as easily kill with a knife or other weapon, and statistically they do.

Mainly because they know their intended victim is un-armed.

For the record I support hand Gun control. I think all concealed weapons should be outlawed in the hands of ordinary citizens, but that is my personal opinion and I have no right to take away from a person who feels differently, and the point is mute anyway, the Supreme court has ruled that owning a gun is a constitutional right after all.

However, just like the scenario I described above in my civilian life I have never felt the need to own a gun for my self-protection. That does not mean that situation would never change.

I might very well find myself or my family in a situation that I may feel need for that protection and I'm glad the Supreme Court has re-affirmed that option for me in such a case that I should ever have to exercise it.

I hope no posters here ever have to face a situation were they feel compelled to protect themselves or loved ones from a real threat because law enforcement couldn't be there 24/7 for them and owning a gun is not an option to consider in making the decision how best to carry that out.

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Yep, there they all are: the "Gun Control", "Ban All Guns in the USA" crowd on the left who take advantage of such a tragedy to blame the gun, and call for the USA to abrogate the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Where were all of these people when the knife-weilding fanatic went crazy and killed so many in Akihabara last Summer? Why weren't they calling for the banning of knives, and the regulation of edged tools and weaponry and rented trucks (after all, the inasne-o did hit acouple of peiople with his rented truck)? To be sure, this was a tragedy. To blame the gun, or gun ownership, is the height of ignorance.

Moderator: Readers, the Akihabara stabbing rampage is not relevant to this discussion.

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Sailwind, I had a dangerous stalker in Japan for an entire year. The law here did not allow the police to do anything about her unless she did something illegal. Which she finally did and was arrested.

A gun would not have helped. And you may be surprised to know I grew up with guns and have had proper training. So I am competent with them. But I know that they do not make me safe. And in Japan it was not an option.

What was an option, was to notify friends and family of the problem and to take great caution and care in my activities. I also notfied the authorities and worked with them to assure something was eventually done.

In the US I have been the victim of crime and assault. But guns were not there to help. And I do not regret that guns were not present, because it would have endangered lives unnecessarily as all the situations were resolved in the end with no fatalities.

Guns are too absolute and risky. Feeling you are protected by a gun is selfdeception. Guns do not protect us, they endanger us.

I protect my family and myself by avoiding unnecessary conflict, by exercising common sense and caution, by depending upon the law and authorities to address dangers and by using my mind and voice to resolve problems. When faced with violence I do my best to defend myself but I do not need a gun to do this. My best self defence is common sense.

So maybe some day a threat will come that I cannot reason with or defend against. Maybe there is a very remote chance that a gun would help, but I would rather run the remote risk of finding myself in an extremely rare situation where a gun would help and not having one, than to expose myself and my family to years of endangerment by having a weapon present in our lives. Statistics are on my side. My risk of simply having a gun are far higher than my risk of needing one for self defense. It is a risk I do not need or want.

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Guns have useful purposes, too: sport shooting and hunting.

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take advantage of such a tragedy to blame the gun,

Yeah. Trouble is, you don't seem to realize what we are blaming the gun for. You seem to either think the accusation is that it whispered into the nut's ear or that it guided his hand or that it did this evil work all by itself. I will give a tip: none of those are the accusation being laid.

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Guns have useful purposes, too: sport shooting and hunting

For sports shooting, you can leave the gun safely under lock and key at the shooting range; no need to have the gun at home, no need for a conceal-carry permit. Hunting - no comment, it would be off topic.

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As for guns being useful. Then regulate them severely and only let people who pass annual tests get guns for short term use such as sanctioned sports hunting or license for use only at official shooting ranges under observation. Then you and keep your useful points and we get guns out of the public.

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I recommend the book "More Guns Less Crime." If you get rid of your automatic emotional resposne, actual facts can be interesting.

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tkoind, I thought your 4.06 post was one of the best posts I have read on JT all year.

Good stuff. :-)

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tko,

My risk of simply having a gun are far higher than my risk of needing one for self defense. It is a risk I do not need or want.

Your post believe it or not I agree with almost entirely. I also feel the risk of having a gun for self defense is far to risky and I don't need or want one......However and I hope you can relate to this also, I think I can safely say we both have never been in these situations.

A small business owner of the locally owned gas station in the neighborhood that has been held up 7 times the past two years.

Live in a neighborhood that gang warfare is almost a daily occurrence and your house has been robbed two times so far.

Live near a maximun security prison.......That would be enough for me right there by the way to consider a firearm in the house.

Just a few examples of why some folks might feel a little differently than you and I, and I respect their decision. All gun owners that I've known are responsible citizens and not the 'NASCAR' hillbilly stereotypes that some people just can't seem let go of when discussing this issue.

It's one of the reasons I'm bringing up the points that I am in this debate. Unless I've really walked in that local gas station owners shoes, I'm pretty loathed to say he can't own a gun to protect himself.

People will disagree with me and that is fine, that is what healthy debate is all about, not stereotypes of gun owners as backward Republican morons and I believe the points that I am making do have serious merit and due consideration before they are just dismissed out of hand, when it comes to gun control.

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Wake up America...time to modify the right to bear arms to law enforcement and military only. All you hunters, time to break out the bow. Kind of interesting that in Japan, it's a big deal if one person gets shot in a year. Been here 20 years, and never witnessed a drive by.

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likeitis. Think realistically. If some maniac opens fire with a gun in any crowded part of Tokyo a lot of people will be killed or injured. You cannot outrun bullets and the density of groups on the street here would be easy targets for even a poorly trained shooter. The potential reality of such an attack in any crowded location in Japan is a deeply horrific thought.

Likewise police reaction would not be sped up by the simple nature of weapon selection. Instead the speed of lethal action with a gun outpaces a hand held weapon and would have resulted in more attacks before a response could have been mounted. Not to mention that the response would need to be more measured to assure it did not contribute to loss of life.

I don't see how you can reasonablity or intelligently discount the very obvious fact that a gun would have contributed to the horror of that attack on an exponential scale given the damage he managed to do with only a knife. Nor can you discount the similarities in motivation and archetypes that are present in both US and Japanese scenarios.

Rampages happen in Japan a lot in recent years. They have in common the snapped guy wanting to kill a lot of people. But they lack the lethal intensity that guns introduce into the US scenarios. Instead attackers here are limited in scope and lethal potential by the primative and very intimate nature of their weapons. Guns add a dimension of separation and scale that would escalate the number of victims in these attacks to levels unheard of in Japan.

We need to see the strong similarities between rampages in general. What distiguishes the scale of slaughter are the weapons used and not the intent or element of confusion or surprise. It is very arguable that the population density of Japan vs Alabama would almost certainly result in far greater loss of life in a gun rampage as we have seen in such events in more populated US attacks.

The gun is the problem that needs to be addressed. Thankful every day that we do not have them in Japan or we would be writing about similar mass slaughters here.

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it never ceases to amaze me that when something like this happens, it becomes a debate about gun ownership.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: If my father wasn't so anti gun he would have had a chance to protect himself when he got killed by a gun that was illegally obtained.

I will gladly give up carry gun(s) when I drive if you first get rid of the criminal element. At the moment, politicians are pushing for less strict sentencing. People are trying to stop executions and they are marching in the street when a person's sentence is considered too strict, but no one is going out and doing anything to try to reduce crime. You people have made it like that, you allowed it to become a political platform, and left the important stuff out.

Look around, countries where guns are illegal, like Mexico have a high rate of people being killed by who? not law abiding people, but by criminals. Japan too, who has guns here? Canada too. I am willing to bet all those countries where it is illegal to own a gun, I'd find a way to get one - I've even been approached on several occasions in two countries where there are harsh sentences and one of them has a major war in the streets going on.

Again, if you want to guns to be eliminated, I am not against you, but would you mind putting your energy in getting, in particular, gangs off the streets, have a much stricter method of watching parolees (instead of protesting the civil rights being violated), and make it a crime to drop out of school unless there is a valid reason. reduce costs of colleges allowing those of age to go to school to have a chance (college costs are going way up), make it more of a crime to be in a gang with criminal ties period. I mean this list can go on and on, but it needs to be addressed before you call one piece of the puzzle.

I don't know why you are comparing this to Akihabara, you should look at Mexico.

Lastly, let's be happy enough he had a gun to use on himself otherwise he would have been going away for only a few years.

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tkoind2:"When faced with violence I do my best to defend myself but I do not need a gun to do this. My best self defence is common sense."

Bang on, mate. The best defence IS common sense.And said defence is in rare supply in America these days!!!

I agree completely with sushisake3, your posting is the best on this topic.It must really hurt the NRA types here to know that us OUTSIDE of America can see it better than they can from their trailer parks ha ha ha.

"In the US I have been the victim of crime and assault. But guns were not there to help. And I do not regret that guns were not present, because it would have endangered lives unnecessarily as all the situations were resolved in the end with no fatalities."

Simply astounding! What happened? Did you use conflict resolution? You must have. Did you use aikido or ju-jitsu or other NON-VIOLENT forms of self-defence?

I wish more people favoured getting guns out of the public.

Well, anyways, I guess Alabama is just full of rightists and bush loyalists, hilariously of which there are only a few still remaining here,as we all know.

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Blue_Tiger: "...crowd on the left who take advantage of such a tragedy to blame the gun..."

I LOVE it!! I especially love the '...of such a tragedy...'! So you mean, "...crowd on the left who take advantage of such tragedies where guns are used to slaughter umpteen people..."

Of COURSE we use a situation in which guns are used to kill a whole lot of people to blame the ease of access to guns!

Classic! Thanks, tiger.

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tkoind2: Think realistically. If some maniac opens fire with a gun in any crowded part of Tokyo a lot of people will be killed or injured. You cannot outrun bullets and the density of groups on the street here would be easy targets for even a poorly trained shooter.

I am thinking realistically. We were talking about fatalities. I agree there would be more injuries, but not that many more. I agree there is more potential for fatalities and injuries, but most times, that will not be the case. But, just to check, I did a web search using the words gunman and crowd, and looked for instances of single individuals firing randomly into crowds. Not an easy search, but the death toll was about the same as Akihabara in the second worse case I found. That was an Israeli soldier who killed four on a bus and wounded twenty-two in a crowd before running out of bullets. Bear in mind, this was a trained soldier, and the people who died were all on the bus. Also, he had an automatic weapon. All other cases had either few deaths or none. Incidentally the worse case was the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre, but you cannot compare a crowd stuck in a cave gunned down by an automatic weapon with a crowded street and a semi-auto weapon. Even the second worst is not that great a comparison. All other and more comparable cases showed a lower death toll, some with no deaths, at least one with not even any injuries.

Overall and in general, guns are more dangerous that knives though. That was truly a special case we were talking about. Only the injuries would have gone up with a gun I think, but deaths either less or the same, and other similar instances back me up.

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Can't we all agree that at least this guy, or any other muppet for that matter - shouldn't have access to semi-automatic weapons?

Let's be honest - they aren't intended for hunting, and it takes "self-defense" to another level.

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I recommend the book "More Guns Less Crime."

I wonder if the gunman had a copy.

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It'd be nice if it was just supporters of the NRA who got got by the lead and shot. Unfortunately people who abhor and never even see, use or want guns get shot too. What a stupid, stupid society.

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skipthesong: "Look around, countries where guns are illegal, like Mexico have a high rate of people being killed by who? not law abiding people, but by criminals. Japan too, who has guns here? Canada too."

Good idea, skip! While we're talking about gun rates in other countries, please do look up the stats of Japan and Canada with regards to gun related deaths, and tell us the differences with those of the US.

"it never ceases to amaze me that when something like this happens, it becomes a debate about gun ownership."

It never ceases to amaze me that people think the issue should not be brought up. Sorry about your dad, my friend, but as you can say 'if only he had a gun' I can just as easily say if only the man who shot him had less access -- he might not have had a gun at all!

No one is saying that guns should be regulated before crime, and quite frankly your calls for 'let's eliminate crime', while ideal, are a wee bit childish. There are people out there every day fighting crime, and trying to reduce it, but the idea that 'guns should be in the hands of all people until crime is reduced' is ridiculous, particularly since in many MANY cases where guns are involved in deaths/crime it is in the heat of passion, and not some gang-related shooting in 'the hood'. Drunk A hits drunk B who pulls a gun, they start shooting. End.

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There are people out there every day fighting crime, and trying to reduce it," true, but there are many out there who think the US sentencing proceedures are too strict, even for gun deaths. There are more people out there trying to reduce the death penalty than there are out there trying to reduce crime; from what I seen.

Look, I'll say it again. Get rid of them, but first let focus on ways to reduce the crimes overall We have had access to guns for years, in fact, gun laws were much more easy back in the 50's and 60's and we had less killings then than we do now. What happened? They put more gun laws in place since the 80's, and yet, violent killings by guns have gone up.

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http://edition.cnn.com/ Teen kills 10 in school shooting rampage

So, you still think I can't get a gun in a place that has a gun law?

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Hotbox08 at 01:55 PM JST - 11th March

“12,352 homicides (40% of all U.S gun deaths), 17,002 suicides (55% of all U.S gun deaths), 789 unintentional shootings, 330 from legal intervention and 221 from undetermined intent (5% of all U.S gun deaths combined). -Numbers obtained from CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2008.”

And this is the country that treats cigarette smokers like criminal lepers? If the US is so dangerous that people feel they need guns to protect themselves then maybe American troops should be patrolling American streets.

I am not an American so will need to work from what I have been told & read. Is it not correct to say that most illegal guns held in the US are held by people (mostly criminals) in the cities? If this is true then no amount of legislation is going to control guns because there must be an enormous number of guns in circulation already. The constitutional argument really is a none starter because the US is no more likely to turn into a dictatorship than any of the European countries are & they do not allow private gun ownership & for that matter they do not allow militias either, but they have still managed to avoid turning into countries where the populous needs to take up arms against it’s own government. To use Germany & Italy in the 1930s is to use history to argue in defence of a present day problem & nothing more than a smoke screen. The only way any country can really take back control of it’s streets from a gun culture is to ban guns while recognising what a gun really is, it is a tool for killing, be that killing animals or people & if there are no animals about to legitimately kill then possession of a gun can only be seen as a means of killing people & any prison sentence must reflect that. If a person were caught with a bomb of some kind they would go to prison for a long time because it would be obvious that they had intended blowing something up & very likely killing somebody, the gun is no different. Defence can never be allowed as an argument.

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My heart goes to the families of the dead. I just hope that one day America will wake up from the madness of murder by gun.

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Ahhh yes, those evil Americans and their guns. Japantoday just can't resist such a brazen headline as shooting rampage, or can they ?

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It's going to be interesting to compare the comments between the shooting in Germany and the shooting in the US. Usually when someone gets shot in another country people express sympathy for the victims. When people get shot in the US it turns into a gun control debate and sympathy is usually checked at the door.

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I am all for gun control. I am glad that only yaks and cops have guns in Japan. Neither groups, whatever you think of them, is known to run amok and randomly decimate total strangers. Even the gangs of Mexico kill people who are in their way and, therefore, fair game, to use a Scientological expression.

Could the outrage in Alabama been prevented through stricter gun control? Maybe. But strict gun control would probably more effective in preventing shootings in relation to crimes like robbery. It is not a comforting thought, but mass murders carried out by psychotics are more often than not predictable and not easy to forestall.

I am in a minority who believes that violent psychotic crime is helped along by violent romances on TV and in Hollywood movies. I am sure that Rambo, a glorified psychotic mass killer, has inspired any number of mass killings.

For anyone who thinks the US is soft on criminals ought to remember that that country has more of its people in prison, on probation and parole than any nation on Earth.

But as far Alabama goes, the police officer who said "We don't know what triggered this" summed it all up. Probably we'll never know. Too bad the guy killed himself. He should have been put in a laboratory for the rest of his life and studied.

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"I am all for gun control. I am glad that only yaks and cops have guns in Japan."

Nonsense ! Every farmer north of Tokyo has some kind of firearm to take care of "the bear problem" ! Toss in the thousands of "air guns", that can be modified, kids pack around and you got quite a bit of firepower out there on the streets.

"Unfortunately, when you give people guns mass murder can happen."

i feel your concern, but the same people interested in "mass murder" will undoubtedly find "bombs" more their weapon of choice. Pick yer poison I guess, those really interesested in killing will resort to bombs if guns are not available.

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gun loving Americans, are there a stupider group of people on the planet? All the nonsense about "guns don't kill people, people do," when the rest of the planet finds it pretty easy to work out 1) Guns + 1)Crazy people = 2) Lots of innocent people dead. I find it very hard to muster any sympathy for the nation just as i wouldn't have any sympathy for a drunk driver who slammed into a wall and killed themselves. Ban Guns you morons!!

Cool. When I post "gun loving Germans, are there a stupider group of people on the planet? You morons!" on the soon-to-be German shooting thread at least I'll know the MODs won't pull it. ;)

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skipthesong: "Look, I'll say it again. Get rid of them, but first let focus on ways to reduce the crimes overall We have had access to guns for years, in fact, gun laws were much more easy back in the 50's and 60's and we had less killings then than we do now."

There is no reason to work on crime FIRST. In fact the two things can be worked on at the same time, and you can rest assured that reducing the amount of guns and making gun laws stricter will reduce crime. As for the 'gun laws were much easier in the 50s', etc. Bull! In some states, perhaps, but not nation-wide, and the guns of the present are VERY much different than the guns of 60 years ago. No way a little boy would have been given an uzi to shoot himself in the head with.

throwinstones: "i feel your concern, but the same people interested in "mass murder" will undoubtedly find "bombs" more their weapon of choice. Pick yer poison I guess, those really interesested in killing will resort to bombs if guns are not available."

True, but you discount the thousands of cases in which accidents occur due to guns, and when heated arguments become homicides thanks to access to guns (ie. when they are not planning to kill, but that ends up happening thanks to the guns). Do you remember the shooting just before Christmas (and the day before the WalMart shooting, no less!) when a man and his wife were arguing, a good Samaritan stepped in, and the angry partner up and shot said Samaritan? Do you think that guy would have instead carried a bomb with him and blown up the Samaritan?

That's rhetorical. Yes, in some cases without access to guns, some person who intends to kill might use a bomb. Hell, they might try to fustigate someone with a cricket bat, but without the ease of access to guns you eliminate a HUGE number of deaths that are not premeditated.

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We need to get this under control, gun control needs to come to our nation. No, I do not mean NRA style of gun control (have everyone in America armed). We need to enforce strong laws against folks that have them for their own so called protection.

Guns do not kill people, angry relatives with guns kill people! Open your eyes, the only reason the NRA exist is to promote gun sales.

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Superlib,

"When people get shot in the US it turns into a gun control debate and sympathy is usually checked at the door."

I think regular decent people have sympathy for the victims. Not wanting to pick a fight ;) but I think the gun control debate crops up immediately in regards to a US incident becuase for one they're more frequent, and obviously arms are more readily available in the US.

I'm going to take a wild guess and say the parallel incident in Germany did not involve semi-automatic weapons for example...despite it being a tragedy of equal proportions.

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SuperLib at 11:05 PM JST - 11th March

“Usually when someone gets shot in another country people express sympathy for the victims. When people get shot in the US it turns into a gun control debate and sympathy is usually checked at the door.”

Rather than accuse people of something that upsets you it might be an idea if you asked your self something like this happens. I would reason that America has put it self in this position by it’s attitude to the rest of the world. You get back what you give out.

jeancolmar at 11:08 PM JST - 11th March

“For anyone who thinks the US is soft on criminals ought to remember that that country has more of its people in prison, on probation and parole than any nation on Earth.”

If this is true & they ARE all guilty then does it not say something about America that really needs to be seriously addressed by the US government?

Hotbox08 at 12:01 AM JST - 12th March

“So I guess according to that logic, we should be seeing a lot of bomb-related deaths happening in Japan ...”

So how about the school boy last week in (I think) Sapporo who built a bomb to take his entire class? I agree the bomb rather than the gun idea is a bit silly, but not so silly that it can’t sometimes happen.

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My sympathy to the families of the dead.

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A man is on the run with handcuffs on his left wrist after he got away from police who

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Our whole world is going crazy. I firmly believe that if guns were outlawed for the general population in the U.S., we'd just find something else to kill each other with. Children can make bombs out of drano. None of us are truly safe. What can we do about it? In the U.S., this guy in Alabama would've qualified for a gun permit - clean mental health record, no rap sheet at all. What can we do to stop these ppl from going nuts in public/at schools and killing our families?

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The people on this board arguing against gun ownership are showing the greatest sympathy for these murdered individuals possible. Why? Because we want to take measures now to prevent this kind of rampage as much as possible.

We don't need guns in America. We need to rid our streets of them. We need to address the root causes of the most common crimes and take measures to reduce crime. We need to build a relationship of trust between authorities and the public so that they better represent and protect us. And it all begins by recognizing that we can no longer tollerate the kinds of murderous rampages we read far too often about.

To those who love guns in my country I say Grow up and put away your toys, your macho illusions of self protection, your paranoid insecuties and work to improve our country via non-violent means. If you are afraid, do something to address the root cause of that fear. Get involved, volunteer, support political leaders who will make changes to reduce the causes of crime. Exercise common sense and restraint to stay out of conflicts and when in danger be prudent and cautious instead of hoping for movie like heroics.

Guns kill too many of our people every year. Most of it in accidents, suicides and murders within families. So your guns are a threat to you every day that you own one. The external criminal threats are there, but statistically you have more risk from your gun than from any criminal.

Give up guns. Ban them. Make illegal possession a harshly punished crime. Make use of a gun a life sentence offence. And any crime of murder with a gun a life sentence of solitary confinement sentence. Make criminals afraid of their guns. It will take time to clear our nation of guns, but it will work in the end.

You cannot prevent all crimes with weapons for all time. But you can dramatically reduce the number of people killed by guns every year by doing away with them.

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SiouxGirl: I firmly believe that if guns were outlawed for the general population in the U.S., we'd just find something else to kill each other with.

Fine by me. Killing with a gun is just too easy and convenient. Everything else has some sort drawback that gives a person a better chance to survive. Cars you can hear and see coming. With knives they have to be right up on you and swinging your arm takes more time than pulling a trigger. Bombs out of drano? So long as they are not for sale at Wal-mart, I don't think we would see too many of those.

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Superlib: When people get shot in the US it turns into a gun control debate and sympathy is usually checked at the door.

Sympathy? All the victims and their families have my sympathy. So what? How much can we talk about that? To what end? Maybe if I jump on a plane and attend some funerals, my sympathy might have some sort of impact.

I think it is quite natural and wise for people to look at this event, which is past, over and done, and reflect on what went wrong and how to avoid it in the future. Our hearts bleeding for the victims is not going to do that.

But what makes your post ridiculous is that no one is making any unsympathetic comments, like jokes. That is what it means to check your sympathy at the door.

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With knives they have to be right up on you and swinging your arm takes more time than pulling a trigger.

Nonsense. Hammers can be quite heavy and one could argue that killing with a knife is just as easy as killing with a firearm as well as quieter and it doesn't leave that nasty gunshot residue, in all actuallity I suppose a knife would actually be the smarter choice. It eventually comes down to a question of intent. There are creatures in this world that simply enjoy killing, the tool to that end is irrelevant, in fact the most savage serial killers never so much as picked up a gun.

Historically human interaction involves conflict, and conflict typically leads to violence. Over the course of human history man has remained largely unchanged, only the tools at his disposal have been altered through the ages. That said the average firearm owner typically either keeps it locked in a safe under their bed waiting for 'that day' or uses it for hunting, although I personally prefer my Barnett in that respect, doesn't spook the deer.

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FrontandCenter, "preposterous"? Not at all.

John Lott's book *More Guns, Less Crime - Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws is as true as it was before and since he penned it.

http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/

Lott started off as gun-grabber but his own research at the University of Chicago - famous for its societal studies - turned him around."

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Killing with a gun is just too easy and convenient. Everything else has some sort drawback that gives a person a better chance to survive. Cars you can hear and see coming. With knives they have to be right up on you and swinging your arm takes more time than pulling a trigger. Bombs out of drano? So long as they are not for sale at Wal-mart, I don't think we would see too many of those.

Excellent point, likeitis. The gun is way too convenient a weapon for killing someone, and the fact that it is so easily obtainable in a country such as the U.S. makes it even more so the weapon of choice. I remember seeing a video taken in Thailand where a crazy man with a knife held a young girl hostage. As he put his knife up over his head, the young girl's father rushed the man and wrestled the knife out of his hand; thus the girl was saved. Now, let's substitute the knife with a gun and see what the success rate of that happening would be. Dodging a knife vs. dodging a gun .... Hmm ...

how about the school boy last week in (I think) Sapporo who built a bomb to take his entire class? I agree the bomb rather than the gun idea is a bit silly, but not so silly that it can’t sometimes happen.

Good example, grafton, but was the school boy successful in hurting anyone with the bomb? It would be interesting to know the success rate of guns vs. a bomb. You see, with a bomb, you need to do research on how to make a bomb first. In other words, making and using a bomb requires a bit of planning, and there is never a guarantee that it will go off when and where you want it to. With a gun, even a little kid would know how to point and shoot it and you can use it instantly, whenever and wherever you want with such a high success rate; especially when used in a large crowd. People like to compare this shooting rampage with the knife rampage that happened in Akihabara, but I can guarantee that if that person had a gun, there would have been far more deaths. In this Alabama case, these 10 people were killed in several locations. Imagine what would have happened if he went off in a crowded area like New York, or Tokyo?

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the average firearm owner typically either keeps it locked in a safe under their bed waiting for 'that day' or uses it for hunting

That's a bizarre way to distinguish between responsible and irresponsible use of firearms. First, how one stores a weapon and whether that weapon is used for hunting or not are two entirely different criteria that have no business together in your portrayal of "average" usage. How a gun is stored and what it's used for are completely independent factors, despite your attempt to lump the two things together as an overall representation of the safe and benevolent nature of private gun ownership.

As to your statement about average owners keeping their weapon(s) locked up, the research indicates otherwise. According to the National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms conducted by the National Institute of Justice in 1997, only a little more than half of all private gun owners actually locked up their weapons when not in use. Even more disturbing is that of those who don't store their weapons, about half of them had received some sort of formal training on how to safely store their weapons, yet still chose to ignore what they learned. Only those who had received gun safety training from an affiliate of the National Safety Council showed any appreciably better gun safety habits.

For those interested, take a look at this report for a far more accurate picture of gun ownership in America than what is offered by the “ . . . from my cold dead fingers” crowd. Pay particular attention to the findings regarding “defensive gun use” and how improbable its reported frequency actually is. It’s a rather enlightening report, if not outright depressing.

http://www.ncjrs.gov/txtfiles/165476.txt

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The people saying knives are very dangerous are not wrong. They are just a little misguided when they try to claim they are just as bad as guns. They are not examining nearly enough ins and outs in their comparison. In fact, most people on both sides are not. Its not the little points, its the overall comparison. Guns kill more where guns are prevalent, because killing with a gun is so darned quick and easy. Knives are deadly, particularly when in the right hands. Fortunately, those hands are not nearly as common as the fingers of any fool that can pull a trigger, including children.

Moderator: Readers, comparisons to knife rampages are not relevant.

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Another weak little man, who didn`t get enough hugs as a kiddie and had a grudge against everyone. Loser.

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That's a bizarre way to distinguish between responsible and irresponsible use of firearms. First, how one stores a weapon and whether that weapon is used for hunting or not are two entirely different criteria that have no business together in your portrayal of "average" usage. How a gun is stored and what it's used for are completely independent factors, despite your attempt to lump the two things together as an overall representation of the safe and benevolent nature of private gun ownership.

My my, you dissected that statement with a speed and efficiency that boarders on the compulsive, I can respect that. However I have never viewed firearms as anything other than another product and saying that I attempted to portray their ownership as benevolent is simply false. I don't see anything wrong with gun ownership nor do I see anything right about it. In terms of price and usefulness it’s about on par with a band saw; both quite expensive, both useful, and both have a habit of injury or maiming people when used by the incompetent.

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Sad, sad day for both Germany and the United State.

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For sports shooting, you can leave the gun safely under lock and key at the shooting range; no need to have the gun at home, no need for a conceal-carry permit. Hunting - no comment, it would be off topic. -Cleo

Hmmmm... So each and every sports person leaves their sporting equipment at the gym, training facility under lock and key? I think not....

Further, cleo, in states and cities where conceal-and-carry laws are ineffect, the crime rates of those states and cities happen to drop dramatically. I wonder why? Care to explain?

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