How will our society change after the Las Vegas shooting?

I’m not a TV-watcher so I’ve been shielded from a lot of the sadness around the recent Las Vegas shooting. This seems as though it will be a significant shock to our society. After we recover from the immediate grief, I wonder what readers think will change.

Due to our Constitution and a lack of consensus to restrict gun ownership, I am not expecting a substantial change in gun laws.

Despite the shooting occurring in the middle of a downtown area and therefore in an area served by roughly 5,000 police officers (Wikipedia: “Metro is the largest law enforcement agency in the state of Nevada, and one of the largest police agencies in the United States.”), it was more than one hour before the shooting stopped (the shooter killed himself). Will this lead to a change in police equipment or tactics? [Correction from Bill Swersey in the comments below: “the shooting lasted less than 15 minutes”]

After 9/11 there was a reduction in mass gatherings. We had a population of 282 million back in 2000 and now we’re up to 325 million so, absent social change, there should be more crowded events in 2017 than there were in 2001. Will the government be reluctant to issue permits for gatherings that could be easily attacked? Or will Americans shy away from being in crowds?

Separately, what do folks think about this CBS lawyer fired for expressing her lack of sympathy for any Republican gun owners killed? (Daily Mail) She had previously been an “outspoken critic of Republicans [who] also helped organize a block party for the Hillary Clinton last year.” I’m troubled by this, especially if it was a private (friends-only) Facebook thread. There are a lot of people suffering on Planet Earth and Americans demonstrate no sympathy for most of them (i.e., despite any fine words we might utter we don’t take any practical steps to assist the sufferers). This firing seems like a move in the direction of mandated hypocrisy. The lawyer can be unsympathetic and keep her job, but she can’t admit the thoughtcrime of lack of sympathy.

Note that I will actually be in Las Vegas next week for NBAA.

Readers: I hope that none of you were personally affected by this shooting. Feel free to share your thoughts via the comments. I’m kind of stunned at how destructive seemingly obscure humans can be. This one guy killed roughly the same number of people as Hurricane Maria. That’s sobering.

[I’m aware that, statistically, the U.S. actually experiences less gun violence than we did in the 1990s, despite a much larger population (Wikipedia). But I still think that the shooting in Las Vegas will have a big impact because Americans are driven by emotions more than numbers.]

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49 Comments

  1. Joe Shipman

    October 3, 2017 @ 12:35 pm

    1

    “From 1993 to 2015, the rate of violent crime declined from 79.8 to 18.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older,” says the Bureau of Justice Statistics in its most recent comprehensive report (published last October, using data through 2015). Over the same period, rates for crimes using guns dropped from 7.3 per 1,000 people to 1.1 per 1,000 people. The homicide rate is down from 7.4 to 4.9. These are not simply good things, they are great things. They are the essential backdrop of all discussions about gun crime and mass shootings, even as we grieve the people killed nonsensically in Vegas.

    — Nick Gillespie

    It is easy to cherry-pick statistics; the Las Vegas mass shooting was indeed the worst in American history. However, the statistic above is extremely comprehensive and based on more data than any other statistic about American crime.

    Gun crime is indeed a big problem. But everyone who says that it is “bigger than ever” or “at record levels” is an ignorant moron. Try asking your friends how much higher or lower they think gun crime is than 25 years ago.

  2. Dwight Looi

    October 3, 2017 @ 1:04 pm

    2

    “Due to our Constitution and a lack of consensus to restrict gun ownership, I am not expecting a substantial change in gun laws.”

    The Constitution as interpreted by the SCOTUS — which is what counts — leaves a lot of room for more useless gun laws. And, there has never been a consensus even when silly laws like the Assault Weapons Ban — which restricted certain looks and ergonomic features but which does absolutely nothing that affects lethality — were passed.

    There will be no significant change in the direction the left wants, but there may be substantial change in the direction gun owners want, because of two reasons and two reasons only. We now have an openly pro-gun president the first in many decades really. And, we have a congress and senate — as useless as they may be — of the same party as the President. So, we can expect that there may be some push to get national concealed carry and/or federal laws to allow suppressors to be more available. Perhaps not in the immediate aftermath of this shooting because the GOP establishment is always afraid of the media unlike the President, but at some point in the next few years.

  3. Anonymous

    October 3, 2017 @ 1:08 pm

    3

    This is incredible evil crime and my heart goes out to all who were victimized by it. I think it is not possible to prevent such crimes completely without making society not worth living in. FIrst sensless mass murder was in 1927 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster and no firearms were involved. It was the largest single civic arthocrity before Las Vegas.
    Laws are for law-abiding people, not for suicidal evil criminals. Hacking any logical system is always possible, according to Gödel. it always will be up to individuals to prevent or minimize such occurances.

  4. superMike

    October 3, 2017 @ 1:13 pm

    4

    After the Bataclan theatre shootings in France, I started to wonder about safety of mass gatherings. The last couple events I’ve been to were either flat (Burning Man) or self contained festivals (enclosed grounds or facility).
    One obvious change: I imagine that, due to the fear of litigation, there will no longer be large gatherings held in places where there are unobstructed fields of fire from public buildings or areas. The deep pockets (The venue and the hotel) will almost certainly be getting sued.
    Personally, I’m probably going to be keeping a better eye out for exits and concrete barriers whenever I’m in crowded areas. (although trampling can kill you as surely as gunfire, so the exits might not be a smart move)
    Other than the physical denial of access, it will be interesting to hear what people think will be an effective deterrent against a resourceful, suicidal multi-millionaire.
    On a positive note, it looks like whatever we’re doing to keep Islamic radicals from doing this sort of thing is working; they seem pretty interested in this kind of violence, but haven’t made it happen in the U.S. (Presumably they are not impeded by our gun laws much)

  5. TomS

    October 3, 2017 @ 1:16 pm

    5

    Speaking as a life long gun owner, I am appalled that we cant seem to have a constructive conversation on this important issue.

    Each massacre like this seems to focus our attention but it then fades in just a couple of news cycles. And frankly the mass shootings are not the material problem. With over 100k Americans killed or wounded by firearms every year only a tiny fraction occur as part of a mass shooting. Much more concerning are the suicides, accidents involving children, domestic violence, etc.

    Sadly I find myself in agreement with former NY Rep Steve Israel that nothing at all will be done. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/02/opinion/gun-control-vegas-shooting.html

    Frankly as long as we are not willing to establish higher requirements and expectations for gun ownership this is the field we have sown. There are lots of practical changes that can be made regarding mandatory training, mental health checks, prohibiting sales to individuals on the terrorist watch list, etc. that could help mediate (but not cure) the problem, but we don’t even seem to have the stomach to consider even those.

    So once again we send useless “thoughts and prayers” as if that matters and move quietly on.

  6. presidentpicker

    October 3, 2017 @ 1:19 pm

    6

    In the future a swarm of gunfire seeking drones will have blinded the guy with lasers and delivered an F-1 type grenade into his room within a minute or two.

  7. Bill Swersey

    October 3, 2017 @ 1:33 pm

    7

    …it [was] more than one hour before the shooting stopped…

    I don’t believe this is accurate. According to news reports I’ve followed, police were actually on the scene very quickly and the shooting lasted less than 15 minutes.

    We’re still in the “fog of war” period when reports are subject to change, but the NYTimes has a good timeline: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/10/02/us/mandalay-bay-vegas-shooting.html

    The guy was on the 32nd floor, door likely barricaded. What do you think would be a reasonable response time for a properly trained/equipped SWAT team to get up there?

    There’s a report the shooter shot through the door, wounding a hotel employee, so understandable that they didn’t just burst in there. SWAT officers apparently used an explosive charge to breach the door and found the shooter dead inside.

    As for what else should change – I’m not anti-gun, but I am of the strong feeling that no civilian needs military-style weapons or unlimited magazines. Many states have tough laws on this, but sadly some don’t.

  8. Henry

    October 3, 2017 @ 2:04 pm

    8

    I think mass gatherings are a bad idea. I’ve never liked them, completely independent of potential crimes, it’s just uncomfortable and scary to be in a huge crowd.

    People die all the time just from being crushed in crowds, and nobody says boo about it. It’s just regarded one of those tragic things that happens sometimes, and the price for getting thousands of sweaty people squashed into a small place for no really good reason (e.g., watching a rock concert, or a preacher, or a sports game of all idiotic things).

  9. Anonymous

    October 3, 2017 @ 2:07 pm

    9

    Bill Swersey,
    Do you think ban on plastic or metal box with spring (magazine) is going to stop a millionaire who somehow got fully automatic weapons that are not avialble for general population and hard to obtain for law enforcement? Or create a weapon from scratch, or use some other means… Semi-automatic rifles are used in small minority of offenses.

  10. Neal

    October 3, 2017 @ 2:20 pm

    10

    > I think it is not possible to prevent
    >such crimes completely without making
    >society not worth living in

    This is true and irrelevant.

  11. Dwight Looi

    October 3, 2017 @ 2:26 pm

    11

    Another important thing we need to understand if we are to have ANY meaningful discussion on guns in America is this…

    There are about 350 million guns in private circulation in the USA — there are more guns out there than there are people in the USA. It is not just that US law allows widespread civilian gun ownership, but the US constitution forbids “infringing” on the individual’s right to own and bear arms. While the left coast, the north eastern states and Hawaii might be anti-gun, two thirds of the states are not. In fact, from 1987 to 2017 the number of states which allows ALL non-criminal individuals to conceal carry a handgun without having to justify their need went from 10 to 42.

    Regardless of whether you are pro or anti-gun control, this is the reality we need to recognize. And, this reality means that any state level prohibitions — be it on ammunition, magazine capacity, firearm types or whatever — has no meaningful effect on denying access to anyone with illegal intent. California banning magazines with over 10 rounds and restricting ammunition purchase will not have any meaningful effect in denying availability to any terrorist, criminal or mass murderer wanna be. There won’t be any meaningful effect because we don’t have 60 foot walls, mine fields and rigorous custom inspections between states of out union. It also means that even if you are somehow successful in repealing the 2nd Amendment and initiating gun confiscation, you will not be successful. I think a 80% compliance rate is wishful thinking and even that will leave 70 million guns and billions of rounds of ammunition in the hands of Criminals. That is without even talking about smuggling and illegal manufacture going forward. Are you safer then?

    What I am saying is that whether you like it or not, the genie is out of the bottle as far as guns are concerned in the USA. Within this context, there are many sensible things we can and should do to lower gun crime and make life more secure. But, we must first recognize the reality we are in before any meaningful discussion can be had. The problem with the left is that they are ideologues who pay no heed to reality.

  12. Anonymous

    October 3, 2017 @ 2:27 pm

    12

    presidentpicker. said drones can be hacked / disabled. I would go with armed armored manned police helicopter or 2 on stand-buy + trained police sniper on rooftops of geogrphically critical buildings. Old hunting rifle in trained hands could have prevented most of casualties, defintely newer kind with auto-aiming devices. Not a big expenses on already 5000 strong force – 4 to 5 regular regiments, almost a division. Such force could have a dedicated company or two.

  13. DaleS

    October 3, 2017 @ 5:11 pm

    13

    Anonymous– It is highly unlikely the shooter was using automatic rifles. There are reports he was using a Slide Fire, or similar device that emulates automatic fire on a semi-automatic AR-15 pattern rifle. These can be purchased from Cabelas for $169.99.

    If any change comes from this shooting, it is that these devices, currently approved by the ATF, will be banned.

  14. Anonymous

    October 3, 2017 @ 5:43 pm

    14

    Do not know DaleS, audio was of sustained automatic fire, something to the tune of Hiram Maxim’s 600 rounds/per minute or maybe BMG. If this is really an add-on device and nothing else, which is highly improbable, it just highlights futility of laws in world of simple mechanics. We can not really go back to mid-19th century technologies. If someone figured how to push bolt back quick it can not be unlearned.

  15. Jackie

    October 3, 2017 @ 6:07 pm

    15

    Apparently the shooting stopped after 13 minutes but the police did not enter the room for another hour. Paddock shot a security guard who approached the room at 13 min (Paddock had mounted cameras in the hallway so he could see who was outside the door) so the police retreated until they could come up with a plan that did not involve cops getting shot. Presumably after the 13 min mark Paddock had his attention focused on the door and not the windows. He must have wondered why it took the cops so long to come back.

    Paddock also had a pilot’s license so he could have caused (possibly even more) damage in other ways.

    Any political response from either side is likely to be useless. Hillary tweeted a suggestion that we should ban silencers because if the shooter had a silencer the crowd would not have heard him and fled. If this is the best thinker that we have, we are in big, big trouble.

    It’s possible that some of his guns had been (illegally) modified to full automatic. It’s my understanding that getting a legal semi to do “select fire” (switch back and forth between manual trigger and machine gun mode) is somewhat difficult but the mod to lock the gun into full automatic mode only is fairly trivial.

    He also had a couple of “bump stocks” which accomplish more or less the same thing. The idea is that you have something that holds your finger motionless in front of the trigger while the gun bounces back and forth from recoil action. Every time the gun bounces forward it drives the trigger into your finger (in Russia, trigger pulls you!) , then the gun recoils back, bounces forward again into your finger, rinse and repeat. Apparently the rate of fire from this method approaches full automatic speed.

  16. Colin

    October 3, 2017 @ 7:43 pm

    16

    This is a good read: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/mass-shootings-are-a-bad-way-to-understand-gun-violence/

    The closing paragraph:

    “If we focus on mass shootings as a means of understanding how to reduce the number of people killed by guns in this country, we’re likely to implement laws that don’t do what we want them to do — and miss opportunities to make changes that really work. Gun violence isn’t one problem, it’s many. And it probably won’t have a single solution, either.”

  17. Henry

    October 3, 2017 @ 8:29 pm

    17

    If the country were actually serious about reducing gun homicides, they would acknowledge that the vast majority of them are gang related, concentrated in specific urban neighborhoods, and address the root causes: create employment and education opportunities in those neighborhoods, and cease the insane “war on drugs” which creates massive incentives for violence to control and settle lucrative illegal business deals. That would be vastly more effective.

    Restricting the rights of every citizen to prevent one in a million possible events like this is a triumph of hysteria over freedom. The same carnage could just as easily be caused by truck driven into a crowd, as we saw in France last summer. Bombs in stadiums there, and people gunned down by terrorists also have happened in the last year. And they have much more restrictive gun laws than we ever will.

  18. what's in name

    October 3, 2017 @ 9:10 pm

    18

    I don’t think our society would change for the better, at least not right away. The shock and the pain of the loss is too much to think rationally. An irrational attempt to change things is like a random walk: the direction is uncertain and so is the memory.

    The current political climate is another factor. Do you really think conservatives are ready to give up their guns right now when everyone is expecting the ongoing civil war to get hot by early next year? Everyone seems to be talking about getting ready to stand up and shoot anti-fa militants, and some are actively training in military tactics and close quarters combat. I know this is nuts, I hope I am mistaken, just don’t ask those people to give up their guns now: not going to happen.

  19. Jim

    October 3, 2017 @ 10:17 pm

    19

    I’m saddened that so many posters are already arguing against gun reform…one of the above even wants laxer gun concealment laws. Another is suggesting we don’t go to crowded events. It has indeed become a sad state of affairs for America and Americans when we can somehow attempt to justify such carnage as being beyond reform and amendment.

    I don’t have an answer. But I know that MORE guns is not an answer. It may take decades to accomplish, but we have to reverse this gun culture that so many Americans cling to like a security blanket.

    Don’t bother telling me how there are countless ways to kill masses of innocent people without guns. Of course that is true. Don’t tell me about your constitutional right to own guns. I’m sick of hearing it. The rest of us have a right to walk freely down a crowded street without the fear of stopping a bullet. We have a right to send our kids to school and not worry about them being gunned down in their classrooms.

    Our politicians can start the process by clipping the wings of the NRA. Make it illegal to accept political contributions from them. Silence their voice. They’ve been screaming long enough.

  20. the other Donald

    October 3, 2017 @ 10:45 pm

    20

    Probable changes: outlaw bump stocks and (maybe) large magazines. The “bump” autofire can also be done with a RUBBER BAND, but those will probably not be outlawed.

    As Dwight says above, with 350 million guns at large, we have a truly intractable problem, not least of which is half the population is fine with that.

    philg actually has the solution: stop watching television. One can get alarmed enough by events at first hand, without sifting through every video clip out there and broadcasting the worst of them. I would also have to get my Trump tweets from Twitter rather than have them curated and amplified by professionals.

  21. Mark

    October 3, 2017 @ 11:00 pm

    21

    Phil,

    Where in the USA has there been a reduction in mass gatherings since 9/11?
    I am not aware of anything substantial. We still have major sporting events with tens of thousands of people in attendance almost every other day now. Throw in concerts, theaters, etc, I don’t see any reduction in mass gatherings whatsoever.

  22. philg

    October 3, 2017 @ 11:07 pm

    22

    Henry: You raise a good point regarding day-to-day gun homicides. https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/latest-crime-statistics-released says that, for 2015, there were about 16,000 murders in the U.S. and guns were used in 71.5 percent of these. That’s nearly 11,500 per year or 31 per day. In other words, every two days there are as many fatal shootings as happened on Sunday night in Las Vegas. Yet there is insufficient interest in these crimes for newspapers to cover them in any depth and, apparently, few Americans are seriously interested in preventing these deaths.

    Mark: Good point. Certainly Burning Man has grown! I dimly remember people being fearful and staying home in the weeks and months after 9/11 (or at least articles on this subject). But presumably the effect was short-lived.

  23. Neal

    October 4, 2017 @ 12:43 am

    23

    There are some gun policies which enjoy majority support, are certainly constitutional, and which would most likely have modest positive effects on gun violence if pursued diligently. I don’t think even these policies are currently off the table because “few Americans are seriously interested in preventing these death”. I think it because (as sometimes happens in democracies) we are captive to a motivated minority which in this case also happens to be backed by commercial interests.

  24. lion

    October 4, 2017 @ 1:22 am

    24

    Nothing will change, just like the other 52 weekly crisises of the last year. The family unit isn’t coming back. We’re going to stay 400 million crazy confirmed bachelors with mental problems & no-one to report to or look after us.

    Democrats hate the police state until they love it. They’ll keep adding regulations on daily behavior without getting any results. While it’s technically possible for humans to adapt to the new reality of spending their lives alone, there are enough guys who can’t handle it that breakdowns are going to be a way of life.

  25. Just some guy

    October 4, 2017 @ 1:27 am

    25

    Gotta wonder how many of the above are bots or for who work for the NRA commenting on anything to do with guns and gun control.

    And so much hand-wringing. There are easy answers – do like Australia did in 1996…

    https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2015/06/australia-hasnt-had-a-mass-shooting-since-1996/

    My guess – the only way a substantive change will occur will be when someone does to Congress or the Supreme Court what happened in LV.

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/local/article/Josh-Abbott-Band-guitarist-says-crew-members-12246753.php

  26. paddy

    October 4, 2017 @ 3:14 am

    26

    @ TomS : given the life of the shooter, which one(s) of the tests you propose, would have caught him?

    He was wealthy, paid his taxes, appeared to be sane, didn’t appear radicalized, hadn’t traveled anywhere scary and had been law-abiding: even worked for both the Federal Govt (which conducts background checks of employees) and Lockheed (ditto).

  27. Tom

    October 4, 2017 @ 3:22 am

    27

    “On a positive note, it looks like whatever we’re doing to keep Islamic radicals from doing this sort of thing is working; they seem pretty interested in this kind of violence, but haven’t made it happen in the U.S.”

    Except Orlando (49 killed), San Bernardino (14 killed, 22 injured), Ft Hood (13 killed, 30 injured) and perhaps some others.

  28. Tom

    October 4, 2017 @ 3:24 am

    28

    “The rest of us have a right to walk freely down a crowded street without the fear of stopping a bullet. We have a right to send our kids to school and not worry about them being gunned down in their classrooms.”

    Well … don’t visit Europe.

  29. Tom

    October 4, 2017 @ 3:33 am

    29

    “Separately, what do folks think about this CBS lawyer fired for expressing her lack of sympathy for any Republican gun owners killed?”

    A thoroughly evil woman, perhaps immersed in a heartless, hysterical social setting. Since many Republicans have previously been fired for far less, I don’t at all mind her getting the boot either. Not a hill I’m willing to even speak in favor of, much less die on.

  30. deabea

    October 4, 2017 @ 9:30 am

    30

    What triggered this man’s hatred and suicidal/homicidal behavior. Why couldn’t he content himself with a lifetime of gambling, video games and shooting arcades? He did not lack for female companionship, a domicile or money.
    Neither ex-wife will talk. Did anything happen in family court to embitter him and take away his desire to live and to let others live?

  31. Anonymous

    October 4, 2017 @ 10:18 am

    31

    If a hypothetical gun law raised the threshold so high even this guy would have been deemed on paper to be ineligible for gun ownership, who *would* qualify?

    Probably not me, nor you, but Omar Mateen (nightclub shooter) who worked as a private security guard. And if security guards can’t have guns? Now we’re talking about a world where some weirdo who surprisingly didn’t return his gun to the gov’t can show up and takeover a bank, office building, or other unspeakable soft-targets, without any resistance from security.

  32. Neal

    October 4, 2017 @ 10:20 am

    32

    >given the life of the shooter,
    >which one(s) of the tests you
    >propose, would have caught him?

    Even if we limit ourselves to policies which currently enjoy majority support, it is not hard to imagine that some of them might have modestly increased the probability that his plans would have been detected and his actions prevented. It is also likely that some of those policies would have reduced the attack’s lethality even if they did not entirely prevent it. In any case, mass shootings are a difficult edge case representing a tiny fraction of US gun deaths. That isn’t generally the first use case you tackle; even policies which have zero effect on mass shootings could save a lot of lives.

  33. ZZAZZ

    October 4, 2017 @ 10:27 am

    33

    So long as the victims are common people, nothing will change. Why have we seen such changes in society after 9/11. It’s because there were a handful of *important* people who had offices in the world trade center. As soon as *important* people are at risk something will happen.

  34. Jackie

    October 4, 2017 @ 12:18 pm

    34

    “If the country were actually serious about reducing gun homicides, they would acknowledge that the vast majority of them are gang related, concentrated in specific urban neighborhoods, and address the root causes: create employment and education opportunities in those neighborhoods, and cease the insane “war on drugs” which creates massive incentives for violence to control and settle lucrative illegal business deals. That would be vastly more effective.”

    This is mostly nonsense. Gun homicides are concentrated in “specific urban neighborhoods” (in other words black ghettos) but they are not all or even mostly gang or drug related. People get into fights about all sorts of trivial things – parking spaces or bumping into each other in a club or speaking to someone’s girlfriend and these escalate into shootings. We have free (and very expensive to the taxpayers) education in these areas and decades of efforts to close the gap in academic achievement and employment have produced very little result. Probably the interventions required to do things that would actually work (break the cycle of single motherhood, ensure that children are raised in intact two parent families with parents who are not themselves dysfunctional, etc.) go far beyond what is feasible or even Constitutionally permissible in a democratic society, even putting aside the question of whether there is a subpopulation that is crippled with genetic handicaps (low IQ, high tendency toward violence, etc.) that will never be able to function in a modern society no matter what interventions are made. We are at a stage where you can’t even discuss the elephant in the room because you will be labeled a “racist” if you move one iota beyond the conventional wisdom (which has accomplished nothing in 50 years of trying) , so the chances of anything that would actually be effective getting done are nil. ” Having a conversation about race” means listening to a lecture.

  35. Neal

    October 4, 2017 @ 12:31 pm

    35

    >Gun homicides are concentrated
    >in “specific urban neighborhoods”
    >(in other words black ghettos)

    The rate of gun homicides among US whites is substantially lower than the rate among US blacks but is still substantially higher than the rate in many other countries with similar cultural backgrounds and level of economic development.

    >even putting aside the question
    >of whether there is a subpopulation
    >that is crippled with genetic handicaps

    Of course a history of brutal enslavement and violent racial suppression couldn’t possibly have anything to do with it.

    Also, black communities have a higher concentration of combat veterans who are at higher risk of PTSD and violent behavior.

  36. joecanuck

    October 4, 2017 @ 1:01 pm

    36

    Neal:

    Where did you get the idea that “A higher concentration of combat veterans” are black than white?

    “The fact is that blacks disproportionately serve in Army combat-service support units, not combat units. When Ricks wrote his piece, such units had become “majority minority,” with more black soldiers than white. By contrast, he observed, the infantry, which generally suffers the most casualties in wartime, had become “whiter than America.” African Americans constituted nine percent of the infantry, compared to 11.8 percent of the age eligible civilian population. In 1995, 79 percent of the new troopers were white, compared with 74.3 percent of civilians. There is little evidence to suggest that these figures have changed much over the last five years.”

    http://ashbrook.org/publications/oped-owens-02-combat/

  37. Neal

    October 4, 2017 @ 1:12 pm

    37

    >if you move one iota beyond the
    >conventional wisdom (which has
    >accomplished nothing in 50 years
    >of trying)

    According to ETS, the black/white achievement gap has been reduced about 40% in the last 50 years.

    https://www.ets.org/Media/Research/pdf/PICBWGAP.pdf

    @joecanuck: I suppose only infantry veterans are at risk of PTSD.

  38. joecanuck

    October 4, 2017 @ 1:25 pm

    38

    @Neal.

    No, not only infantry veterans. But the risk is disproportionate in the combat arms (which is disproportionately white). Again, where did you get the idea that “A higher concentration of combat veterans” are black?

  39. Anonymous

    October 4, 2017 @ 1:33 pm

    39

    I do not understand why a non-troll post would not get emotional about the victims but gets emotional about gun laws and wants to endanger millions of potential victims to rape, beatings, murder, gang attacks without ability to protect themselves and their freedom to pass a law agianst threat that will not be repeated exactly, and before all facts are known. Violence-wise our large diverse country does pretty good comparatively to other countries in the world from where many of us came from, and most countries of our origin have restrictive gun laws and either higher murder rates or mobile execution vans. Nobody cares about our basic law, constitution, which brought us so far in front of the pack and just living better. And nobody emotional law-wise and cynical lives-wise is willing to consider real crowd protection measures such as sufficently armed police presence. We already have large police force whose major task is to protect not individuals but protecting public order per SCOTUS decision. We have enough offciers to issue traffic tickets to daily commuters coing !0 miles over limit. Strangely, the only trolling posts here are very few sensless gun control posts. Guess the goal is just to curtail freedom and have permanently scared not willing and not free populance
    Unrelated: sustained machine gun fire is higher frequency that any bumper fire and gun should be heavy, not easily fouled and barrell should be heavy or cooled. Souned like that monster had some machine guns.

  40. Neal

    October 4, 2017 @ 1:44 pm

    40

    joecanuck: By “combat veterans” I meant to distinguish veterans who were at risk from combat related PTSD from those who weren’t. Also, by the figures in the article you linked to, combat arms/combat deaths were not really “disproportionately white”. They had/have a similar racial composition to the general composition to the general population. So if we accept your claim that PTSD risk is disproportionate in combat arms, the article you linked to suggests that while Black exposure to conditions with the highest risk of combat related PTSD is similar to that of Whites, Black exposure to conditions with more moderate risk of PTSD is 3-5 times higher than for Whites.

  41. Viking

    October 4, 2017 @ 1:52 pm

    41

    @Anonymous:
    “Violence-wise our large diverse country does pretty good comparatively to other countries in the world from where many of us came from”

    Given our multi cultural nature, the natural country to compare with would be Brazil and South Africa, and I believe we are doing well in comparison. Also, we could compare with Singapore and Malaysia, where significant restrictions on freedom are part of society.

    You are perfectly right, the trolls, and Neal, are refusing to address the data provided in first comment:

    ““From 1993 to 2015, the rate of violent crime declined from 79.8 to 18.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older,” says the Bureau of Justice Statistics in its most recent comprehensive report (published last October, using data through 2015). Over the same period, rates for crimes using guns dropped from 7.3 per 1,000 people to 1.1 per 1,000 people. The homicide rate is down from 7.4 to 4.9. ”

    In summary: Violent crime overall, better than -75%, homicide: better than -30%.

    Given the great improvement, why are we making up a crisis?

  42. Neal

    October 4, 2017 @ 2:07 pm

    42

    Viking: Violent crime and homicide rates declined worldwide over the period you reference in #46. Americans started the period with comparatively high rates and ended the period with rates which were lower than at the beginning of the period but still comparatively high worldwide. No, the US is not comparable to Brazil. Please quote back the comment where I suggested there is a “crisis”.

  43. Viking

    October 4, 2017 @ 2:16 pm

    43

    @Neal

    I apologize, I admit you are no “chicken little” in this thread, and your arguments are nuanced, you are pointing out that achievable gun control goals are likely to only have minor effects, although I would disagree about your hinting about there being a majority for more gun control, and NRA is a noisy minority getting things its way.

    My opinion is that the majority for more gun control could easily disappear with different wording in the survey. Lots of surveys are as biased as “expert witnesses” in court, and I don’t expect gun control policy surveys are an exception.

  44. joecanuck

    October 4, 2017 @ 2:30 pm

    44

    Neal.

    Ok, so you still believe minorities are disproportionately likely to suffer combat related PTSD, in spite of their slight under-representation in military combat roles. What would convince you otherwise? Do you expect incidences of combat PTSD to correlate with combat deaths?

    This report doesn’t break down incidence of PTSD by race, but does so for military deaths:

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA498363

    Given that whites were 61% of american 25 year olds in 2009, but made up 74% of the military casualties, I’d say that white communities probably had “a higher concentration of combat veterans who are at higher risk of PTSD and violent behavior.” Where did you get this idea that this applies to black ghettos? Do you have any sources?

  45. Neal

    October 4, 2017 @ 2:33 pm

    45

    joecanuck: I don’t have any sources.

  46. Jackie

    October 5, 2017 @ 12:40 pm

    46

    “Of course a history of brutal enslavement and violent racial suppression couldn’t possibly have anything to do with it.”

    I don’t think so. I am Ashkenazi Jewish and my father was literally a slave (laborer in a Nazi concentration camp) and it did not seem to have hurt my family IQ or achievement. All of his descendants are doing quite well educationally and financially – the usual Jewish array of doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. Whereas slavery was abolished 7 generations ago in the US but somehow the effects linger on. Rather than violent racial suppression the last 50 years seems to have been devoted to giving out all sorts of affirmative action and other benefits to African-Americans.

  47. GermanL

    October 5, 2017 @ 5:54 pm

    47

    @Jackie, I often disagree with Neal’s take on things, but I don’t follow your argument about your father being a slave to the Nazis. I’m sure your father’s slavery didn’t last his entire life (Nazi concentration camps lasted only from 1933 to 1945) and I’m sure he was not a product of several generations of slaves who didn’t have access to education, healthcare, and whose culture was constantly stymied and under the control of slave owners for the very narrow purpose of manual labor. Some might argue that under those circumstances there might have been direct/indirect selective pressures for certain genotypes to be propagated under those circumstances, etc.

    Anyway, yes it is true that after 5-7 generations away from slavery the excuse becomes a bit weak, however discrimination and civil rights did not improve until the 1960s which is less than 60 years ago (one generation). Is the culture of the black community stunted and ill-fitted to the modern economy because of this history? Probably. In the end, it will take some time until all the cultural baggage is lost, and hopefully the excuses will be fewer and that energy can be channeled into being independent and productive.

  48. Jackie

    October 5, 2017 @ 8:17 pm

    48

    He was not a product of several generations of slaves who didn’t have access to education, healthcare, and whose culture was constantly stymied and under the control of slave owners for the very narrow purpose of manual labor.

    Except for the slave part (as you say that only lasted a few years – the Nazi plan was to work their slaves to death and he was about 95% of the way there when the war ended) this actually described his pre-war circumstances pretty well. His only education was enough “cheder” (Hebrew school) to be able to pray – he never learned to read the Roman alphabet. Healthcare – nil. Culture stymied – check – frequent pogroms. Manual labor – check – he was a fresh water fisherman (not a great job in Polish winter, which is half the year). This was also true of his father and countless generations before him. But all of this oppression only seems to have boosted Jewish IQ.

    Some might argue that under those circumstances there might have been direct/indirect selective pressures for certain genotypes to be propagated under those circumstances, etc.

    African IQ and propensity to violence is similar to African-American so it doesn’t seem like there was much change in the genotype due to slavery. It just wasn’t that good to begin with.

  49. GermanL

    October 6, 2017 @ 7:18 am

    49

    I dunno Jackie, sometimes it is not only a matter of IQ but a luck of several draws during history – have you read Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond? It will open up your mind to other interesting hypotheses about why things are they way they are for the broad humanity. At least it did for me.

    Regarding IQ test, from: https://www.edubloxtutor.com/history-iq-test/

    If an IQ test is supposed to measure a person’s intelligence, the question is: What is intelligence? Is it the ability to do well in school? Is it the ability to read well and spell correctly? Or are the following people intelligent?

    The physician who smokes three packets of cigarettes a day?
    The Nobel Prize winner whose marriage and personal life are in ruins?
    The corporate executive who has ingeniously worked his way to the top and also earned a heart attack for his efforts?
    The brilliant and successful music composer who handled his money so poorly that he was always running from his creditors (incidentally, his name was Mozart)?18

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