I’ll say this for mass murders:

They’re really great for the gun business.  From today’s Denver Post:

This weekend set a record for all single-day background check submittals in Colorado for potential gun purchases, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation officials.

The first day after news of one of the worst mass shootings in America, when a gunman killed 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., requests to buy guns in Colorado surged.

A total of 4,154 background checks were submitted on Saturday, said CBI spokeswoman Susan Medina. Those figures topped the previous greatest number of background checks on Black Friday this year, when 4,028 were processed.

.       .       .       .       .

Richard Taylor, manager of Firing Line — which bills itself as Colorado’s largest gun shop and has been active since the mid-1980s — said the store had never been as busy as it was over the weekend, and times for a background check to be processed proved it.

“It’s just been crazy,” he said. “I’m surprised the system didn’t crash, it’s been so busy.”

And what were all of Santa’s little helpers so eager to buy?

The rush began Friday afternoon after news of the Sandy Hook shootings broke, Taylor said. Customers coming to the store speculated on how laws could change in the aftermath while browsing the store’s selections, he said.

Assault-style rifles were the most popular gun over the weekend, Taylor said.

On Monday afternoon, multiple customers were examining rifles like the model police say was used in the shootings at an Aurora theater and on Friday in Connecticut.

Guns are always the solution in the United States, never the problem.  Frightened of your well-armed neighbors and classmates?  Buy a gun!  Concerned that Johnny Law might actually impose reasonable waiting periods, semi-automatic weapons, and armor-piercing hollow-point bullets?  Buy a gun!  Angry, lonely, and disaffected?  That’s no barrier!  Buy a gun.


13 thoughts on “I’ll say this for mass murders:

  1. These are some sad, angry people. They must really believe, despite any evidence to the contrary, that our society has devolved into a Hobbesian war of all against all. Never mind that violent crime is down, and has been going down for decades.

    But they must also disregard the kindness they experience in their interactions with their neighbors. They must not notice people holding the door open for them when they leave the store with an arm full of groceries and a kid in tow. They must not notice when their neighbor helps clear their sidewalk of snow. They might not notice when someone in line at the check out at the store lets them go first because they only need to buy one item and the other person has ten.

    Someone who rushes out to buy a gun at a time like this must really not trust their fellow citizens or their neighbors. They must not notice or receive any kindness in their everyday interactions with other people. That is really sad.


  2. Every society has its share of crazy and maladapted people. Since the percentage of such people is known. Allowing assault-style rifles constitutes an ad hoc plan to execute kids and teachers. The co-conspirator is congress. Or may be congress is to big to jail?


  3. Fear and capitalism. “Bowling for Columbine” had a good thread on this particular neurosis. Hey, some go shopping for clothes when they feel anxious, and others go for guns.

    A shooter turned up in the parking lot of our nearby high-end mall, Fashion Island, last Saturday. He shot fifty rounds in the parking lot in front of Macy’s. My son was working at a movie theater across the street and had to hustle into the theater people waiting in line to buy tickets. They went into “lockdown,” a word which seems to have become part of the lingo these days. Luckily this guy didn’t shoot at any person, instead firing into the air and the ground. The latest news is that he was an out-of-work security guard “letting off steam.”

    The metaphor of fashion island works only because guns have become as acceptable to buy as watches. Not far from the Macy’s there is a Dick’s sporting goods, which sells guns, although I saw on the news that they are suspending the sale of some rifles in the wake of Sandy Hook. There are some things people just can’t walk into a store and buy — bombs, bazookas, nuclear waste. So part of the problem is that our consumer culture has normalized the sale of items made to kill, including semiautomatic weapons and their cartridges.


  4. If the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing and expecting a different result”, then crowds of people buying guns in the wake of a mass shooting indicates a mental health problem of massive proportions.


  5. I spend a lot of time feeling very alienated from my fellow Coloradoans: the SUVs and the pickup trucks used only for grocery store expeditions; the incredibly clueless white people; the guns. But I don’t think I would feel that much more at home in most other parts of the U.S. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am alienated in general from mainstream, middle-class American culture. I love Rad Readr’s analysis: the mall as temple.

    So here’s some good news, or at least evidence that even gun-crazy Colorado might be ready to have a serious conversation about guns, our mental health system, and controlling gun access for the mentally ill.


  6. I read an early article about the Fashion Island shooting, and some law enforcement bro’ said it was about a ex-security guard “letting off steam”.

    An ex-security guard. Living in his car. Maintaining an automatic weapon instead of selling it for rent. Hmmm….

    The explanation’s a bit more formal here, but I remember that casualness of phrase, as if that’s what most officers dream of doing after drinkin’ a couple o’ brewskis.

    This is the kicker: He’s a serial shooter, and no one gave a fuck until now.

    “The unemployed security guard was also charged with 10 felony counts of negligent discharge of a firearm for a similar shooting at Fashion Island last November.

    “Very similar location, Fashion Island mall, pulls up in his car, discharges a handgun 10 times out the window in the direction of the mall, but kind of in the air. No one was hit. Several people reported it to police,” said OC Senior Deputy District Attorney, Robert Mestman.

    In addition, Gurrola allegedly admitted to shootings in at least 11 other locations in Orange County, including near Disneyland, in the past nine months.

    In a court declaration, he said he would fire the handgun when he was angry and was careful not to shoot anyone.”

    Now, when gang-bangers shoot in the air during holidays or Super Bowl wins, they’re a menace to society and should be put down — but when an ex-security officer does it, he’s *understood*.


  7. Well, he was very much in fashion at the Fashion Island, then, wasn’t he? (I had no idea that was actually the name of the mall–I thought it was Rad’s clever, cultural studies take on American consumerism!)

    What a nightmare.


  8. Consider Ohio as another place to be alienated from, Historiann. While his counterpart up in Michigan at least had the consideration to veto the full metal jacket bill that ironically hit his desk the night before the attack in Connecticut, pending some probably cosmetic rewording, down in buckeyeland Gov. Kasich signed or will sign a bill allowing people to bring their guns and to park in the garage at the state capitol, so they don’t have to choose between applying for renewals of their ‘packing permits and remaining self-protected while they go to do so. Adam Liptak has an interesting piece in today’s NYT about the degrees to which the infamous SC decision upholding the second amendment “rights” of Americans won’t and to a lesser degree will interfere with various proposals that have been floated since last Friday to tighten up the regulatory world of gunwielding. My own somewhat more robust plan would surround every “owning” household with a federal tank, and a coupon for a mandatory free ride to another planet. But that would likely run afoul of a wide range of obstacles, both within and without the Scalia script.


  9. In other news, Robert Bork is dead.

    He didn’t get on the Supreme Court, and through deviousness, opacity and other right-wing shenanigans, we’ve been paying for it ever since.

    One must only speak good of the dead.
    So, he’s dead. Good.


  10. Historiann, I can’t make this stuff up. 🙂 It’s the culture, not cultural studies.

    Thanks to cgeye for the update on the fashion-conscious shooter. But as long as he’s not shooting at people, the behavior of shooting into the air or at inanimate targets in the distance is in keeping with places where guns are an accepted part of everyday life. I’ve been in places where people shoot guns at midnight on New Year’s Eve, and in some cultures people shoot guns at weddings. This “celebratory gunfire” takes place in other countries but also in the US. I saw a “white wedding” on the local news in the Midwest some years ago. Members of the KKK were getting married and they shot a gun in the air to celebrate.

    The latest figures are that there are between 250-300 million guns in the US and, as your blog post shows, people love their guns. We have half the Congress (I’m guessing) as card-carrying members of the NRA, which is being described as the most successful “grass-roots organization” in the country. So yes, it’s all the fashion.


  11. Pingback: Wrung out. | Historiann

Let me have it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.