A Few Thoughts On Gun Control After Florida

by William Skink

I’ve been wanting to write about the revived effort to enact some measure of gun control after the school shooting in Florida, but it’s clear that any criticism of the noble teenagers who were immediately thrust into the spotlight will not be tolerated by the people hoping to use the survivors to enact their agenda.

My first problem is the laser focus on the weapon used by the killer. In all the noise that’s occurred since the shooting I have heard virtually nothing from corporate media about antidepressants.

After the Las Vegas shooting, Business Insider did mention psychotropic drugs:

As reports are now emerging of the Las Vegas country music festival shooter Stephen Paddock being prescribed the mind-altering sedative-hypnotic, diazepam, the mental health industry watchdog Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR) said this should play a role in ongoing law enforcement investigations and government response to increasing acts of senseless violence in the country. Police have been baffled by the motive of 64-year-old Paddock, whose mass shooting on October 3, where he killed 59 and wounded more than 500, was the worst in U.S. history. But CCHR says that for the public’s protection governments need to ignore psychiatric-pharmaceutical interests and investigate the potential link between psychotropic drugs and both the Las Vegas shooting and similar acts of violence.

The potential side-effects of anti-depressants is unfortunately not a big part of the discussion after Florida. Instead, it’s “assault rifles” and whether or not assault rifles should available for purchase.

Another aspect of this story anyone should find extremely troubling is how many warnings authorities had that this kid was about to blow. There were direct warnings from people who knew the shooter. The FBI failed to follow up. There was explicit evidence the killer wanted to shoot up a school. He used his real name in a Youtube comment saying essentially I want to become a school shooter. But authorities failed.

And gun-control supporters want to give the authorities more authority to regulate guns?

One thing the kids in this tragedy are starting to learn is that tragedies are great opportunities for reducing rights. Most of the young people in the spotlight weren’t even alive in 2001 when America was attacked by Saudi Arabians. They probably have no idea why we take off our shoes at the airport.

But after Spring Break, when everyone at that school will be required to wear clear backpacks, they will start to understand. Even David Hogg is starting to understand, and he doesn’t like it:

“After we come back from Spring Break, they’re requiring us all to have clear backpacks…it’s unnecessary. It’s embarrassing for a lot of the students,” he said.

The way this was received on Twitter was essentially, “So, how does it feel to be have your rights limited by common sense?”

I agree with Hogg, clear backpacks aren’t the answer. But then again, I don’t think going after assault rifles is the answer, either.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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32 Responses to A Few Thoughts On Gun Control After Florida

  1. Turner says:

    Why isn’t going after assault rifles at least part of “the answer”? Why are you repeating NRA talking points?

  2. Turner says:

    William, If (not “when,” because it’s not inevitable) law and order break down, I’ll worry about protecting myself and my family. Until that happens, I’m not worried about our safety. If I were black, native or Hispanic, I’d be more worried. Maybe I’d be packing heat.

  3. petetalbot says:

    I can see why Skink is upset about the MSM not buying into his narrative. It’s obvious the anti-depressants have killed all those people. We are the only country in the world, after all, that uses anti-depressants, and there’s certainly no link between those other countries’ strict controls on purchasing military-grade weapons and the few incidents of mass shootings.

    You should share this post over at Tokarski’s site. It’s a perfect fit. Also, those kids just need to learn CPR and quit their whining about getting shot.

    • Big Swede says:

      Why do you bother commenting over here Pete when there’s all those Republican campaign brochures to check for misspellings?

    • I’m not the one using these kids as a shield against criticism of the gun control agenda. I guess, since my opinions are interpreted as NRA talking points, I will make a similar leap and ask why you are providing cover for the pharmaceutical industry, an industry that is killing significantly more Americans with opioids than the statistically rare mass-casualty shootings gun-control advocates exploit for political purposes.

      • petetalbot says:

        Yup, that’s me, providing cover for the pharmaceutical industry. Sheesh.

        • oh, I guess I misinterpreted your mocking dismissal that anti-depressants are a factor in the statistically rare mass-casualty shootings you keep trying to use to enact more gun control. my bad dude. I am willing to bet the pharmaceutical industry is happy they don’t get any scrutiny from agenda-driven people like you. I guess your agenda is more important than actually understanding why these shootings happen.

        • petetalbot says:

          I’ll try again and see if you can grasp the logic. This is the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry on mass shootings: “The United States has had more mass shootings than any other country. Between 1966 and 2012, 292 public mass shootings (defined as four or more victims and excluding gang killings or domestic violence) occurred across the world: 90 of these, or 31% of the total, took place in the United States.” Now, other countries use anti-depressants but don’t have the easy access to weapons, especially semi-automatics. Do you get the correlation, Skink?

        • I get that correlation is not causation, that would be a logical fallacy. I also don’t disagree that an important factor is easy access to weapons, I just don’t see how limiting access to certain types of weapons and accessories is going to address our deeper cultural issues, like our disintegrated social safety net and obscene military budget that keeps on increasing while you express selective outrage over domestic tragedies as US foreign policy stacks up body counts in the hundreds of thousands across the globe.

        • petetalbot says:

          We are not in disagreement about the failing social safety net and the obscene military budget. This is a separate issue, though; the easy access to military-grade weapons, high capacity magazines, bump stocks, etc. — the things that brought such carnage to Las Vegas and other venues. This should be an simple fix. The other of society’s ills might take a little longer.

  4. Eric says:

    Those 17 dead kids are being abused by the left, simply to promote their agenda.

    They want to disarm US citizens.

    If dead children were that important to them, you wouldn’t see the same bunch of lefties always crying about taking away money from Planned Parenthood, who kill 300,000 (yes THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND children) every year. And I’m on board with them right now, because facts are facts – if Planned Parenthood wasn’t keeping the minority population down, the voting demographics would be considerably different in America today. Margaret Sangers dream is going well.

    I have several ammo cans of 5.56/.223 M855 green tip ammo.

    I have an AR15 rifle, and a Ruger Ranch Rifle that both use the same cartridge.

    Back in 1994, the Clinton Regime put an assault rifle ban into place, banning 30 round magazines, and AR15’s.

    It never took a single AR15 off the shelf. All the manufacturer had to do was make it look less ‘evil’ by taking off the bayonet lug, or changing the stock.

    The law sunsetted after 10 years, but it didn’t take a single 30 round magazine out of anybody’s hands because there are so many of them that they were still being sold 10 years later, albeit at a higher price.

    Evil people are going to find a way to kill innocent people. And as long as their are gun-free zones, where these evil people can go kill in relative safety, that’s where they will go.

    You don’t see these attacks at our Airports, Courthouses, or Federal Buildings do you?

    It’s because they are ready.

    Our schools will not be safe until we secure them the same way.

  5. JC says:

    Pete, it’s not obvious that psychotropic drugs, including antidepressants are to some degree responsible for creating homicidal tendencies. But anecdotal evidence points to the need for a thorough investigation of the issue. And Nikolas Cruz had been medicated for ADHD, depression, autism, and other “emotional issues.” Here’s a good resource for this topic:

    Another Mass Shooting, Another Psychiatric Drug—27 Drug Warnings and 1,531 Cases of Drug-Induced Homicidal Ideation Back Need for Federal Investigation

    “Twenty-seven drug regulatory agency warnings cite psychiatric drug side effects of mania, psychosis, violence and homicidal ideation; 1,531 cases of psychiatric drug induced homicide/homicidal ideation have been reported to the US FDA; 65 high profile cases of mass shootings/murder have been committed by individuals under the influence of these drugs, yet there has never been a federal investigation into the link between seemingly senseless acts of violence and the use of mind-altering psychotropic drugs.”

  6. petetalbot says:

    I’m surprised the the NRA hasn’t latched on to psychotropic drugs as an excuse to stymie sensible gun legislation. Guys, I’m not opposed to looking at psychotropics as having a connection to some of these mass shooting. There also seems to be underling mental health issues, too. But I’m not buying the NRA’s mental health excuse, either, for the carnage military-grade weapons inflict on America. Other countries have psychotropic drugs and mental health issues. What don’t they have? Easy availability AR-15s, 60-round magazines, bump stocks…

    • Big Swede says:

      “Assault” hammers and clubs kill more people yearly than military grade weapons, scratch that, kill more than ALL rifles civilian or military styled.


      • petetalbot says:

        Whoa, Swede, better look at that link again. You probably shouldn’t be posting this stuff if you haven’t looked past the headline (Hint: scroll down to the chart).

        • Big Swede says:

          rifles 323

          hammers 496

        • petetalbot says:

          Geez, Swede, don’t make me do this. According to your chart, in 2011: Total homicides-12,664; total all firearms-8,583 (that’s about two-thirds). Should I break it down more?
          Firearms, type not stated-1587
          Other guns-97

          Your Blunt objects (hammers, clubs, etc.)-496

          And in recent American history, when was the last massacre with hammers and clubs?

        • Big Swede says:

          Your quote Pete, “for the carnage military-grade weapons inflict on America” and “availability AR-15s”.

          Poltifact rated the Governor’s statement as true. Rifles less than hammers. AR-15’s are a subset of the rifle category making their numbers even less.

        • Big Swede says:

          And after gun control and knife control hammers with be the next weapon of choice.

          “For the first time in 200 years, the number of homicides in London has surpassed the number in New York City, year to date.
          With strict gun control in place, Londoners are simply being stabbed to death. The Times describes “a dramatic surge in knife crime.”-Hawkins

        • petetalbot says:

          Then there’s that pesky “Firearms, type not stated-1587,” number, but I’m not going to get in a pissing match with a statistically challenged guy who compares hammers and clubs to the weapons responsible for the deaths at Parkland, Las vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook…

          And it looks like those stricter New York City gun laws may be kicking in, although it’s still slightly ahead of London in homicides for the year.

        • Big Swede says:

          If you truly followed the numbers Pete you’d be clamoring for pistol control, 6620 dead. Major Hasan killed 13, wounded 32 with a pistol. Obviously, urban blacks and military members don’t rate as white suburban high schoolers in your book.

          I understand your unwillingness to debate, you and Don are all about censorship.

      • petetalbot says:

        Glad you brought up Hasan. I’ll bet you’re one of those “more guns will keep us safer” kind of guys — you know, in schools and other public places. Hasan opened fire at a military base, a rather well-armed location, killing 13 and wounding 30. Keep pimping those guns, Swede.

        As to my “unwillingness to debate,” what do you call the four comments I just posted?

        • Big Swede says:

          Actually the base was a “gun free” zone”.

          “Beginning in March 1993, under the Clinton administration, the army forbids military personnel from carrying their own personal firearms and mandates that “a credible and specific threat against [Department of the Army] personnel [exist] in that region” before military personnel “may be authorized to carry firearms for personal protection.”-Lott

          Keep pimping non-defensive victims Pete.

        • petetalbot says:

          Not entirely a gun free zone as there were military police who engaged Hasan within minutes (and a subsequent shooter five years later, named Ivan Lopez). What you are suggesting is that more guns be allowed on the base, I assume. I doubt that would reduce gun fatalities. But a more pressing question might be this:

          “The gun the authorities found in Specialist Lopez’s hands — a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic pistol — was bought March 1 at Guns Galore, where the authorities said Major Hasan bought the main weapon he used in the 2009 attack, a FN Five-seven semiautomatic handgun.

          It was the third time in nearly five years that reporters had descended on the shop. In 2011, an Army private, Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, was arrested and accused of trying to detonate an explosive device at a restaurant frequented by Fort Hood soldiers. Private Abdo allegedly went to the store to buy ingredients for the bomb.”


          Pretty easy to get one’s hands on various weapons, so it would seem.

          Swede, you and I have been debating this at many sites over many years — usually in the wake of a mass shooing somewhere or other. We’ll probably do it again when the next mass shooting occurs.

  7. Big Swede says:

    Epic 4 minute rant.

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