Hi gang. Rory Miller is one of my favorite authors/thinkers in the SD area.
I occasionally bump him with Q’s. Here’s is a recent “sharing” we had about guns and ammo.

Give this dialogue some attention.

Add some of your own….

Me: THE GUN LOBBY. The gun lobby is articulate, focused, passionate, and “loaded”. We will not be disarming…any time soon.

Rory: Nor should we, for a couple of reasons. Most importantly any restrictions on guns are not universal. They do not remove weapons from the world, just concentrate them in specific hands. Too many of my friends, including my wife, are refugees from countries where the government had guns and the people didn’t.

Me: The GL position, if extended as a universal concept, is that an armed citizenry is a peaceful citizenry.

Rory: Nope. That’s _one_ external interpretation. the more common stance, within the RTKBA community is that armed citizens are citizens, unarmed citizens are subjects.

Me: So the solution, the mantra, is … add more guns to the equation. That would include additional weapons in schools. I have an acquaintance who suggests arming high school students. The GL has its stats. So does the Wall Street Journal, to the contrary. I watch and listen.

Rory: The stats are solid. What I would look at is ‘delta’ or change. Look at crime and violence rates in countries where there were massive weapons confiscations. If it makes you feel more comfortable, take the totalitarian regimes out of it. Look at the violent crime rate changes in Britain, Australia and Canada after the recent weapons confiscations.

Me: Currently, there are US Jewish schools guarded by volunteer parents, who monitor quietly from the back of each classroom with an AR and handgun. It is only a matter of time before an innocent is accidentally killed. The resulting lawsuits will quickly clear out the dads and the security guards. It may work out on the Golan. It is way too messy for good old US of A.

Rory: Possibly. But remember that there has NEVER been a school shooting in a school that had this policy. And I believe only one spree shooting in the last decade or so happened in a place where weapons were allowed. The Colorado theater shooter specifically chose his theater. It wasn’t the closest, it wasn’t the biggest. It was the one that had a ‘no guns allowed’ sign posted.

Me: Ratcheting up security in the schools, colleges, or workplace is a short-sighted, feel good. As a long term strategy, it lacks depth and intelligence. It serves only to chase after the symptoms, not isolate the causes.

Rory: Real security is different than feel-good security. Real security has rarely been tried, except in the Jewish schools you mentioned, because people get their political panties in a twist.

Almost everything has been tried:
Gun bans. Highest concentration of violent crime in America is in the cities with the strictest laws. Crime has dropped in states that converted to will issue. The nations that have instituted such laws have experienced an increase in crime. That option is a proven failure, but people keep trying.

Background check. Working to an extent. The Newton shooter tried to buy weapons and was prevented by the instant background check. So he killed his mom and took hers. Should she have had them? Should they have been locked up? I don’t know that they weren’t.

Education. As I understand it, everywhere the “Eddie Eagle” program has been instituted, accidents go down, but because it is NRA, the NEA won’t allow it in public schools.

Arming teachers has the advantage that it hasn’t been tried so it hasn’t failed yet. But almost all the other solutions I’m hearing have clearly failed.

The underlying thing in all of this is that everything bad you can do with a gun is already against the rules. People who shoot other people are not the kind of people who follow rules. Making more rules, more regulation, more control will only affect potential victims and actually empowers people who don’t follow rules to begin with. That’s the element that I find most people, unless they have dealt with criminals extensively are in unbelievable denial about.


Appropriately, some of the public debate is focusing on the mental health issues, in particular the inability to predict violent behavior. I recently read a comment from a seasoned psychologist saying the only way to predict violent behavior is noting a history of previous violent behavior. Not exactly proactive……

Rory: And being proactive with preventing behavior is directly contrary to what ‘liberty’ means. It pretty much defines a totalitarian agenda. There’s no way to implement it with any regard for civil rights.

Me: The planet aches for research on the psych front. For starters, we need to delineate preventing vs identifying vs predicting violent behavior. The media, lobbyists, and the public stumble all over these labels, and for good reason.

Rory: Not just them. I recently read an article (research for something else) that laid out the APA (American Psychological Association)’s system for determining if a diagnosis really exists. That’s not, whether you have schizophrenia, that’s their step-by-step procedure to see if the concept of schizophrenia is even valid. Of the 208 recognized diagnoses in psychology, only 12 have been through this process. Add to the the impossibility of doing actual experimental research on anything touching on violence (an experiment that scares or hurts could no longer pass a university ethics committee) and you have an extremely agenda-driven, political pseudoscience.

Me: I recall hearing a lecturer compare the remarkable advances in cardiology to the relative lack in advances in the psych sciences. His example: a patient presents with swollen ankles, dizziness and pain in the left arm; No longer does the doctor treat/chase the symptoms. He knows these seemingly unrelated findings are uniquely connected.

Rory: See above. After things like the Milgram experiment, almost any useful human research has been discontinued. There’s a reason why I didn’t go into experimental psych (that’s what my Bachelor’s degree is in).

Me: The answers we want concerning violent behavior are there for the discovery. We need to do the work. Granted, the goal may be extremely elusive, but obtainable. Difficult science doesn’t mean impossible science. The “Obscure Brain” is rapidly becoming less so. The philosophical psychologist – needs more ammunition.
On another note, a friend gave me a copy of Strong On Defense. Good stuff. Something tells me you know him…..:)

Rory: Haven’t met him, but would love to. That was one of the clearest books ever.

On Dec 22, 2012, at 4:25 PM, Rory Miller wrote:

Rory: It’s human nature as well as political nature.
One of the things about Newton is that he bypassed almost every ‘solution.’ The shooter tried to buy guns and was prevented due to MH history, so he stole them. Not only steal them, but killed the person who owned them. People have recognized he killed his mother with the guns, but haven’t grasped they he killed his mother to get the guns. The whole ‘why have guns in a house with a mentally ill child’ question has some validity, but would he have killed a neighbor just as easily?

The school was a lockdown school where people needed to be buzzed in. They didn’t buzz him in, so he shattered the window and opened the door himself.

Options? Secure lockdown of any mentally ill person with violent indicators? That would put thousands in custody for every killing it prevented. Cost aside, we would never tolerate that intrusion on basic rights. I hope, anyway. Ban all guns? Is that even possible with the number out there and open borders to the north and south? And we know it doesn’t work. I haven’t seen numbers for Canada, but after the gun bans in the UK and Australia the violent crime rate went up, not down.

The thing that bugs me about our politicians is that they seem to believe that paperwork solves problems. the essence of a criminal, especially a violent criminal is that he doesn’t follow societal norms or expectations. He doesn’t obey laws. So writing more laws CANNOT affect the people who’s behavior we want to change. It can only affect the behavior of people who are being good anyway. And it makes the people passing the laws feel like they are doing something.

No simple answers for this one. people have been slaughtering people for a long time. There has been a trend away from it, but that makes the rare events more emotionally traumatic, even if the actual body counts have gone down.

Not sure this helps, but you got me thinking.

On Dec 22, 2012, at 12:56 PM, Richard Howell wrote:

Me: Been wondering where all this should go. I vacillate, but do worry about any trends toward endless arming of Americans as a solution to mass killings.

I picture my self one day, sitting chairside, treating somebody’s gums, armed and holstered, In amber mode.

But you live and teach this stuff. You have travelled to hotspots, not to mention hot cells. You know weapons and human nature. (Most folks are versed in one or the other, not both.)

What say ye?