Guns again

The NRA seems to have been struck dumb, at least for the moment, in response to the shooting in Louisana.  Let me help, because the event demands analysis, not to mention that it’s always correct to say that what we need is more guns.

The tragic events in the Lafayette movie theater could have been prevented if only Louisiana had not disarmed its citizens. If it had ‘shall-issue’ rules for concealed carry, and allowed anyone over, say, 16 open-carry permission, the theater would have been full of armed citizens who would surely have killed the shooter the minute he drew his own weapon…and, in the darkness and confusion, presumably several of each other, grateful for the chance to personally water the tree of liberty.  Instead, senseless tragedy ensued. Governor Jindal, when are you going to give your citizens their Second Amendment rights?

Another recent episode teaches us the importance of everyone, always, packing heat; in New York, this woman would never have suffered violence and robbery if she had only been carrying an appropriate weapon and had training to use it.

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.

13 thoughts on “Guns again”

  1. Like most other US states, Louisiana allows citizens to buy 50-calibre sniper rifles, such as the well-known Barrett M82. These are accurate to a mile, and the massive bullet goes through a house, let alone a deer. It's a small consolation that federal law bans the manufacture and sale of armour-piercing ammunition like the Norwegian military Raufoss round: this will penetrate half an inch of armour plate and set fire to anything inside, like helicopter fuel. But nothing stops you from buying incendiary ammunition in most states, and many gun fans are capable of tweaking their own ammo. The would-be terrorist has to shell out $12,000, which looks a good investment for a bad guy planning on .. better stop there. The Secret Service must have nightmares about Barretts.

    One of the unstated advantages of a contested Democratic primary is that it gives you a fallback if the worst happens to the leading candidate. Anybody want to bet that there isn”t enough hatred and paranoia around for this risk to be real?

    1. My understanding is that the Barrett resulted in a substantial redesign of how the Secret Service protects politicians. Remarkable and disturbing to think that they have to account at every event for any unobstructed view out to a mile or even farther.

  2. I will just say that there are way too many people out there who do not understand irony…you are in danger of being taken seriously.

    1. I worried about that before posting. But with the RBC readership, the incremental risk is infinitesimal. The wackos don't need tips from liberal blogs to figure this out. There is something very peculiar already about a civilian who spends $12,000 on a Barrett. What's it for?

      1. What's it for? You've already explained that, it's to shoot through armour plate from a mile away. Why would you want to do that? I don't know, but you've got to be READY, man.

      2. speaking as an 8th generation native of texas with friends and relatives who are on all parts of the gun culture spectrum i can give you a couple of other answers to the question of what it's for. for some it's for possessing a precision machine engineered to incredible tolerances which may hang in their gun safe and never get fired. for others it's the thrill of plinking at a half mile out. while still others want to test their ability to shoot accurately at range. i know at least one individual for each of those possibilities who would jump at the chance to own one if they had a spare $12000. these may not be the best reasons to own something like that but they don't require the psychopathy some of you imply.

        some of you may remember me from gun control discussions with the unique brett bellmore. if you do, you should recall that i favor increased gun regulation. dismissively snickering about someone buying an expensive firearm is not on point any more than dismissing al gore in the fight against global warming because of the size of his house.

  3. I'm not generally in favor of people carrying guns everywhere they go, but why should a movie theater have different rules from anyplace else?

  4. This post doesn't go far enough, alas. Until everyone in Louisiana is *required* to carry a gun at all times, they will not be truly free!

    (Everyone? Everyone. Not kids, you say? Why do you want kids to be defenseless victims?)

    1. You must be one of those wishy-washy liberals, thusblogged. Carrying a gun (cf. my second example) doesn't cut it: it's every citizen's duty to have a piece in hand, loaded and safety off, at all times. Left hand is OK if you've practiced. Yes, driving, eating, courting, at the movies, in class; all times. Liberty is a stern mistress: if you don't get the drop on the bad guy, you're part of the problem, and f you can't do whatever you're about with one hand, it's not worth doing.

      1. James Thurber's Walter Mitty:

        “Objection!” shouted Mitty’s attorney. “We have shown that the defendant could not have fired the shot. We have shown that he wore his right arm in a sling on the night of the fourteenth of July.” Walter Mitty raised his hand briefly and the bickering attorneys were stilled. “With any known make of gun,” he said evenly, “I could have killed Gregory Fitzhurst at three hundred feet with my left hand.”

Comments are closed.