Streams

Guns in America: After the Stockton Shooting

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Paul Barrett, author of "Glock" (Jody Avirgan/WNYC)

Paul Barrett, assistant managing editor of Bloomberg Businessweek and author of, Glock:The Rise of America's Gun, kicks off this month's series on gun ownership, starting with how the Stockton school shooting of 1989 inspired legislation, and whether there are parallels between that moment and the discussions following the Newtown, CT shootings.

Help Build Our Guns Glossary: Got a term or word that's part of the gun debate you want clarified? Post your suggestion in the comments, and we'll build our glossary over the course of this series.

Guests:

Paul Barrett

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Comments [64]

Laura from Westchester from Westchester

Worth looking at when discussing the role of guns in self defense: McDowall, David, Loftin, Colin and Presser, Stanley. “Measuring Civilian Defensive Firearm Use: A Methodological Experiment.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology. (2000, March). 16:1. 1-19. Briefly, it is a study done to try and explain the difference in estimates of how often guns are used for defense (and those estimates are quite broad) determined that methodological problems existed with studies that found an infrequent use of guns for self defense and a frequent use. However, that same study concluded that the philosophy underlying the argument that “each armed defense produces social benefits that negate the costs of a serious crime” compares events that are not similar and therefore “cannot provide sound guidance for policy.” (this is a slightly revised paragraph from a paper written for a criminology course, but you get the drift)

Jan. 24 2013 11:06 AM
Len from Westchester County

I lived in Basel, Switzerland, for a year (1978-79).
Then, every male between the ages of 18 and 50 was OBLIGED to keep a rifle in his home by virtue of universal military service. Furthermore, they were required to take the weapon regularly to a shooting range to maintain their marksmanship. The hills were alive with the sound of gunfire when my wife and I hiked trails in the surrounding countryside on weekends. I think this is still the case. Clearly there is a cultural difference between our two 'civilized' nations.

LS

Jan. 24 2013 10:58 AM
shaun from NYC

Listeners may be interested in a two-part interview with Mr. Barrett recently published by the Los Angeles Review of Books. Subjects covered include gun regulation and the American culture of violence, as well as a discussion about his book, "Glock."

http://lareviewofbooks.org/article.php?id=1318

Jan. 17 2013 11:50 AM
Janet

Although it is comforting to many people to find a person or group to "blame" and hold responsible for tragedies and societal ills, it is inaccurate and simplistic to do so. As a mental health professional, it has been my observation and experience that people who are contemplating murder would not see a therapist, or if forced to do so, would be well guarded against revealing these feelings or plans. Mental health training does not lead to clairvoyance, and so it is not fair to expect that they would be uniquely qualified to detect and/or prevent murders or other crimes. Also, it has been my understanding (although I cannot cite the secific legal reference)that mental health professionals have a "duty to report" in cases where clients are indicating threats of harm to themselves or others. In addition, the new NY State law reveals a gross misconception of the therapeutic process, including its limitations.

Jan. 17 2013 10:26 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey said:

>How many movies, songs or video games have actually sent people to the morgue? None.

WRONG.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107889/trivia

"The original release of the film contained a scene where several ESU players lay on the yellow dividing line of a busy local road as a test of their courage.

*When two young men were killed, and several others injured, by imitating the stunt*

, Buena Vista excised the scene from the film. No post-theatrical versions of the movie feature the sequence, leading many to speculate that the studio destroyed the actual camera negatives of the scene."

The GREAT "Taxi Driver" inspired the mentally ill hinkley to shoot the president of the US to get the attention of Jodie Foster AKA "Iris". Both Reagan and badly wounded Brady survived.

A number of years ago some movies have resulted in the audience shooting each other while the movie was playing.

Ever see a FPS (First Person Shooter) video game???

>Learn to argue effectively.

Take your own words to heart.

Jan. 05 2013 07:15 PM

If I could write, this is what I'd like us to consider:

Sam Harris on "The Riddle of the Gun"

" . . . The problem, therefore, is that with respect to either factor that makes a gun suitable for mass murder—ease of concealment (a handgun) or range (a rifle)—the most common and least stigmatized weapons are among the most dangerous. Gun-control advocates seem perversely unaware of this. As a consequence, we routinely hear the terms “semi-automatic” and “assault rifle” intoned with misplaced outrage and awe. It is true that a semi-automatic pistol allows a person to shoot and reload slightly more efficiently than a revolver does. But a revolver can be reloaded surprisingly quickly with a device known as a speed loader. (These have been in use since the 1970s.)[4] It is no exaggeration to say that if we merely had 300 million vintage revolvers in this country, we would still have a terrible problem with gun violence, with no solution in sight. And any person entering a school with a revolver for the purpose of killing kids would most likely be able to keep killing them until he ran out of ammunition, or until good people arrived with guns of their own to stop him. . . . "

http://m.samharris.org/blog/item/the-riddle-of-the-gun/

Jan. 05 2013 01:56 AM

David from Fredericksburg, VA:

I'm not able to find a list of mass shootings that have occurred at gun shows.
I thought that given the number of times these events (i.e., gun shows) have been made to appear responsible for Newtown that it might be worthwhile to consider why these shootings do not seem to happen at gun shows. Similarly, I have been unable to find a mass shooting that involved a weapon obtained by way of the much touted "gun-show-loophole". (Much as that "bogey-man" is endlessly mentioned.)

Jan. 04 2013 07:30 PM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@geTaylor

So, please provide the list of all these gun show shootings. You must know of them as you keep bringing it up & up & up & ...

Jan. 04 2013 12:46 PM

d-boy:

At the risk of appearing to be argumentative:
"Why is it so hard to answer the question?"
It's possible that not reporting on the mass shootings at gun shows has a valid basis. I can't think of a satisfactory reason for such a failure, but admittedly maybe there is a reason I haven't thought of. If you can't think of a reason you need not reply. We can both hold our breath while waiting for others to reply.

Jan. 04 2013 07:44 AM
TwoWay from nyc

remember the week Obama lifted off shore drilling and then a few days later the Trans-ocean/BP Deep Water Horizon catastrophe happened and he reversed himself.

Our president hasn't been the great knight of hope and change.
In fact, he negotiated a bad deal with the Fiscal Cliff debacle too.
He's a terrible president to the Left and the Right just seems to be holding its ground well.

Jan. 03 2013 06:29 PM
Sven from Westchester County

It is interesting to hear Brian Lehrer admit that he does not know the first thing about guns. For years he, and others on Public Radio has shown a very biased opinon on the subject but without the facts.
A couple of hours of internet research would have given him all the answers but I guess that is too much to ask for from a " Journalist". The next time an issue is discussed, please keep in mind that Brian may not know a thing about the subject but he will have an opinion anyway. Very sad.

Jan. 03 2013 06:05 PM
Donald Sepanek from Bayonne, NJ

According to the Atlantic article "The Story Of a Gun" published in the 90's, a buyer could illegally convert a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic one by purchasing a kit. Gun stores were not allowed to sell both the gun and the kit, but got around these laws by having adjoining stores. This could also be done at gun shows. Has anything changed since then, or is this still going on?

Jan. 03 2013 05:08 PM

geTaylor ~

What the hell are you attempting to communicate??

No matter how many times you reiterate your inane "argument" is continues to be INANE.

Jan. 03 2013 12:24 PM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ geTaylor

"Well sure, Dave.
Say weren't you one of the guys who used to show up at the "Just Say No" shindigs proclaiming the health hazards of
"shooting" marihuana and smoking LSD?"

I see, advocating an action that might actually pass is so much less effective than trying to ban "assault" weapons and other pie-in-the-sky efforts that result ZERO results. Seems to me that we do what we can, when we can. THEN try for more.

"But seriously, why does WNYC avoid mentioning the mass shootings at gun shows?"

1. I don't know that there's been an epidemic of gun show shootings.
2. I have no editorial control over WNYC.

Jan. 03 2013 12:23 PM

@RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey
@hjs11211
@dboy

Why does WNYC avoid reporting or even discussing mass shootings at gun shows? It seems like a natural experiment for the proposition that "bad people with guns are only deterred by good people with guns."

Can anyone name the mass shooting incidents where the perpetrator's weapons were obtained by way of the "gun show loophole" bogey-man?

Jan. 03 2013 12:19 PM
Romulo from NYC

@ Jon from Bklyn

I think you hit the nail on the head ;-)

Jan. 03 2013 12:18 PM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

@Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

"Get back to us when you call for the elimination of movies that glamorize shooting people, rap/hip-hop "songs" that glamorize shooting people and denigrate women, FPS (first person shooter) video games that mainstream shooting characters."

Really? How many movies, songs or video games have actually sent people to the morgue? None. Why should I buy the 'This then That' argument to ban 'This' when I should just limit access to 'That'?

Learn to argue effectively.

Jan. 03 2013 12:10 PM

And still I wait, patiently, for an answer:

Why does WNYC avoid reporting or even discussing mass shootings at gun shows? It seems like a natural experiment for the proposition that "bad people with guns are only deterred by good people with guns."

Can anyone name the mass shooting incidents where the perpetrator's weapons were obtained by way of the "gun show loophole" bogey-man?

Jan. 03 2013 12:09 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey,

Get back to us when you call for the elimination of movies that glamorize shooting people, rap/hip-hop "songs" that glamorize shooting people and denigrate women, FPS (first person shooter) video games that mainstream shooting characters.

Jan. 03 2013 12:00 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Or that middle class women like Sandra Fluke doesn't have access to low cost contraception devices.

Jan. 03 2013 11:56 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

@Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

"The anti-gun knuckledraggers..."

Hey, pal, it took three separate incidents of crazies to create those 3 deaths. One of those crazies with an AR-15 could have killed thirty...

There are too many guns in our country but there is no way to change that count without amending the Constitution.

Jan. 03 2013 11:55 AM
Jon from Brooklyn

It's also very tragic that most poor Americans, unless they are already in prison, don't have ready access to free psychological counseling.

Jan. 03 2013 11:46 AM
Jon from Brooklyn

People often resort to guns when they have no other options. If they had more options, like state-subsidized education and health-care, they would be less likely to resort to the use of firearms.

Jan. 03 2013 11:42 AM

David from Fredericksburg, VA:

Well sure, Dave.
Say weren't you one of the guys who used to show up at the "Just Say No" shindigs proclaiming the health hazards of
"shooting" marihuana and smoking LSD?

But seriously, why does WNYC avoid mentioning the mass shootings at gun shows?

Jan. 03 2013 11:41 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

The anti-gun knuckledraggers should call for the ban of subways due to the recent death of 3 people.

Jan. 03 2013 11:27 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@tp
"a natural right to defend themselves from violence" - i'm not seeing that in the constitution. which admendment?

The 10th amendment:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Clearly the founders believed in defending themselves, just read the declaration on independence.

Jan. 03 2013 11:23 AM
Jon from Brooklyn

The ubiquity of guns in the U.S. is only one component of our violence problem. I think that a major reason that we have more homicides and suicides here in the U.S., compared to a comparatively well-armed, industrialized country like Canada, is that we have no socialized medicine and our secondary education system is entirely too expensive. Essentially, we U.S. citizens are, more or less, on our own. Most of us know this.

The main affordable tool that we are entitled to have in our problem-solving toolbox is a firearm. When the only tool that you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail. When a person is sick, or unemployed, or financially destitute, or all of the above, and has no financial means to access education-based improvement or mental health care (or any health care, for that matter), but that person does have a gun and some bullets, it's pretty easy to see why we have so many gun-related homicides and suicides here in the U.S.

Jan. 03 2013 11:22 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ geTaylor

Getting into semantics is just silly. The point is that a drive to limit the capacity of magazines is rather unstoppable by the NRA.

Jan. 03 2013 11:18 AM

The smaller bullets of military assault weapons were not designed to kill.
They were designed to wound.
The theory was that wounding a man removes him and 2 stretcher bearers from the battlefield.
Killing him only removes 1 man.
Larger caliber higher power bullets are more likely to kill with hydrostatic shock and more devastating wounds.

Jan. 03 2013 11:16 AM

CaptainDrG~

You mean like the hillbilly in FL that got fed up with his fellow patron in line at the Little Caesar's??

"...the little whiner deserved the two rounds he got - HE WAS WHINING!"

"Randall White, 49, was in line waiting for his pizza on Sunday when he began complaining that he wasn’t being served fast enough. According to the Tampa Bay Times, 52-year-old Michael Jock was also in line and scolded White for whining.

The two began arguing and it eventually “became a shoving match,” police spokesperson Mike Puetz said.

After White allegedly raised his fist, Jock pulled out a .38 Taurus Ultralight Special Revolver and fired a shot into the man’s torso. A second shot also hit White in the torso. One round became lodged in the restaurant wall."

http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/man-shot-after-altercation-breaks-out-in-st-petersburg-pizza-store/1266442

Jan. 03 2013 11:15 AM
Romulo Ramos from NYC

Reloading a revolver requires the user to insert SIX bullets into the individual chambers, and even with quick reload devices it is far slower than popping in a 15 bullet (or more) preloaded magazine.

Bottom line, a semi-automatic handgun or rifle is not only able to fire more rounds before reloading, it is also A LOT FASTER to reload with A LOT MORE bullets.

Law enforcement personnel understands this to mean less chances to neutralize the shooter and increased risk to the officers.

Jan. 03 2013 11:14 AM
The Truth from Becky

Wanna read something creepy...just look at comment by Oscar from NY..you read the elation he feels just writing about it...., he is NOT thinking about kids getting slaughtered.

Jan. 03 2013 11:13 AM

Still waiting, patiently, for an answer:

Could the discussion touch on why mass shootings at gun shows go unreported? It seems like a natural experiment for the proposition that "bad people with guns are only deterred by good people with guns."

Can anyone name the mass shooting incidents where the perpetrator's weapons were obtained by way of the "gun show loophole" bogey-man?

Jan. 03 2013 11:10 AM
Truffled Ball Bag from Bushwick

Remember "In The Line Of Fire"? John Malkovich makes a wooden pistol to try to kill the POTUS. This was back in '93. Are there many non-metallic guns readily available these days?

Jan. 03 2013 11:08 AM
Olga Seham

Can your guest please explain the following terms in connection with guns: register, license, permit.

I am really confused about whether and how government (local, state, federal) keeps track or does not keep track of who owns a gun.

Thank you.

Jan. 03 2013 11:08 AM

WE HAVE A "WELL REGULATED MILITIA"!!!

...it's called the NATIONAL GUARD!!!

Jan. 03 2013 11:07 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Look at ads for recent movies.

Car chases, car crashes, guns blazing.

Hollywood, the video game industry and rap/hip-hop have a big share of the blame for gun violence in this country.

Jan. 03 2013 11:07 AM

John Lott set out to prove statistically that more guns in a society caused more crime.
But after his study he wrote a book entitled: More Guns, Less Crime. http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/

Jan. 03 2013 11:06 AM

Your "right" to play Army guy is interfering with my kindergartener's right to keep his brains in his head.

Jan. 03 2013 11:04 AM

Allowing licensed concealed handguns in all states could prevent 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes and more than 60,000 aggravated assaults each year.

Jan. 03 2013 11:04 AM
tp

"a natural right to defend themselves from violence" - i'm not seeing that in the constitution. which admendment?

Jan. 03 2013 11:04 AM
Jf from Ny

I have a great new idea for a product! Its a rape tool. You can kill people rob people or destroy your life or anyone elses. I think ill call it a gun. Dumbasses.

Jan. 03 2013 11:03 AM
tp

"A well regulated Militia" means trained and organized, so if you're not trained and part of an organization, you should not be allowed to have a gun. Just like getting a drivers license, tests both written and practiced should be required for a gun permit.

Jan. 03 2013 11:01 AM
Oscar from ny

I love guns, ..i learned from the military and other that ppl like the ar15 or m16 because its a sniper weapon, light weight, powerful, in the military than have theirs m16 tweaked, the gas operation is different and much powerful than any light weapon in earth, or in the store, , also had the NATO insignia with the world...anyways the rounds are calibrated 3burst so you won't waste ammunition and when the bullet hits it'll Pierce almost anything and its made to maim or kill.

Jan. 03 2013 10:59 AM
The Truth from Becky

This is completely asinine! Who cares about terminology?? The both kill!! People with guns kill people..... with guns! and so it will be forever more, we (humans) get more hostile and violent everyday.

Jan. 03 2013 10:59 AM

Wayne LaPierre has children's brains splattered on his crisp white dress shirt.

Jan. 03 2013 10:58 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

Can we regulate effectively without amending the Constitution? We used to be able to, the courts are not now on the side of public safety.

Can weapons designed for killing people be treated differently than other firearms? Not in my opinion.

We can reduce gun deaths tomorrow if we 1) insist on proof of gun safety course BEFORE we allow purchase and 2) charge gun owners as accomplices when their unsecurely stored weapons are used in a crime or suicide.

These are things we can do NOW to reduce the slaughter but the ultimate solution is to true up the Constitution to our will.

Jan. 03 2013 10:58 AM

David from Fredericksburg, VA:

I think you may be confusing the term "clip" with the term "magazine".
(e.g., I have never seen a 30 round "clip" ;-) )

Jan. 03 2013 10:58 AM
Larry from Philadelphia

A big component of the facebook debates my friends back in Texas and I have has been whether assault weapons are more "lethal" than handguns. The Glock is most often a 9mm, assault weapons often fire smaller diameter rounds. But I believe that the smaller diameter round isn't inherently less lethal because it travels at a higher velocity. Is that correct? And the issue is compounded by the longer barrel length adding accuracy over a handgun.

Jan. 03 2013 10:57 AM
keith from queens

to the guest: do you believe that americans possess a natural right to defend themselves from violence?

Jan. 03 2013 10:57 AM

if you are more likely to be killed by someone you know just don't hang out with gun owners
duh!

Jan. 03 2013 10:56 AM

Much of our reduction in firearm homicide reflects an improvement in emergency medicine, rather than a victory for law enforcement. For example, according to the CDC, between 2001 and 2011 the number of non-fatal gunshot injuries went up from 63,012 to 73,505 (and increase of nearly 17%), but the number of firearm deaths decreased from 16,037 to 14,748 ( a drop of over 8%). So more people are being shot, but improvements in medicine are helping keep those victims alive.

Jan. 03 2013 10:56 AM
tp

people should be allowed to have any gun they want, but only for the purpose of...
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..."
If you're not trying to security the State, you should not be allowed to leave your house with a gun. Conceal and carry should be outlawed.

Jan. 03 2013 10:56 AM
scott

Thank you for pointing out that most people in this country still favor a person's right to protect themselves.

Jan. 03 2013 10:56 AM
Bill from StyTown

Brian,

PLease please help us all with some common sense truth instead of semiotics. Semi vs automatic is a split second rapid fire time interval without a difference.

Getting shot at 2.5 to 5 rounds per second or 10 rounds per second is still absurd and falls right into NRA argument.

Jan. 03 2013 10:55 AM
tp

if we all are require to have insurance for our cars, then we all should be required to carry insurance for our guns.

and the tax on a gun should be set at an equal percentage as the tax on a pack of cigarettes.

Jan. 03 2013 10:54 AM
Jim

The guest is confusing the issue. Semi-automatic means that some of the force of a fired round is used to load the next round. A revolver requires human energy to advance the next round.

Magazine size is an entirely different issue. True, there are no 30 round revolvers on the market, but it could be done. Then you would have a gun that is not semi-automatic and does not use a magazine.

Jan. 03 2013 10:53 AM

Patiently waiting for an answer.

Could the discussion touch on why mass shootings at gun shows go unreported? It seems like a natural experiment for the proposition that "bad people with guns are only deterred by good people with guns."

Can anyone name the mass shooting incidents where the perpetrator's weapons were obtained by way of the "gun show loophole" bogey-man?

Jan. 03 2013 10:53 AM
Nick from UWS

As usual, fetishistic nerd fetishistic conversation about guns and the details of guns trumps the overall issue of gun proliferation of guns in this country. As if whether the Bushmaster is or isn't an assault weapon makes the slightest difference to those children in Connecticut. This country is deeply, deeply perverted.

Jan. 03 2013 10:53 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

I agree with the guest for a slightly different set of reasons then I've heard him express.

1. Limiting clip sizes shouldn't run afoul of the 2nd amendment
2. Sticking to clip size & ONLY clip size will put the NRA in an untenable position. There is no good argument against limiting clip size (in my opinion).

Jan. 03 2013 10:53 AM
Nick from UWS

Who the hell cares whether domestic "assault style" firearms are exactly the same as military weapons? Who the hell cares whether the press gets the gun terminology exactly correct? Does any of this garbage make any difference to those children in Connecticut? Are you people insane, talking about this gun wank crapoloa as if it made the slightest difference to the safety of our people? Are you insane?

Jan. 03 2013 10:49 AM
alex from MePa

Please don't overstate the difference between the military version and civilian versions of the ar-15/m16. According to the army manual for operation of this weapon system the maximum rate of fire for semi-automatic is only half of that for burst fire (45 round per minute vs. 90)

Jan. 03 2013 10:49 AM
Jf from Ny

If we were sentient we would charge gun companies with accessory to every murder.

Jan. 03 2013 10:47 AM

Could the discussion touch on why mass shootings at gun shows go unreported. It seems like a natural experiment for the proposition that "bad people with guns are only deterred by good people with guns."

Can anyone name the mass shooting incidents where the perpetrator's weapons were obtained by way of the "gun show loophole" bogey-man?

Jan. 03 2013 10:44 AM

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