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Open thread on US shootings

December 15th, 2012

I don’t have anything to say, other than to express my grief at the loss suffered by so many. Others may have more insights to offer

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  1. alfred venison
    December 16th, 2012 at 20:44 | #1

    the largest number of fatalities in a school massacre, in the usa, was by way of a car bomb, in michigan, in 1927. apparently the perpetrator’s farm was foreclosed, making him mad about taxes, which had been raised to build the new school: the first in the state to put all grades in the same building. don’t know if this affects anyone’s calculus.


    this recent massacre has occurred the day before the anniversary of the signing of the bill of rights on 15 december 1791. -a.v.

  2. John Quiggin
    December 16th, 2012 at 21:00 | #2


    Even for you, Terje, this is amazingly silly. The war in Somalia has claimed at least half a million lives over 20 years, and it’s safe to assume guns were involved in most of them. Somalia has a population of about 10 million, so that’s around 5 per cent of the population before we even look at “ordinary” homicides and suicides

    Gun deaths in the US (suicide and homicide) are around 30 000 a year. That’s terrible, but it’s only 0.01 per cent of the US population every year.

    Did you get Alan Jones to do your sums for you again?

  3. TerjeP
    December 17th, 2012 at 06:12 | #3

    I got the figure from here:-


    Which cites the following as a source: UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s International Homicide Statistics database.

    The figure is for 2008.

  4. TerjeP
    December 17th, 2012 at 06:18 | #4

    p.s. According to the table in the following article Somalia has less guns per capita than Australia.


  5. Julie Thomas
    December 17th, 2012 at 06:23 | #5

    Terje Welfare is not a negative. My continued state of being alive and the successful children I have raised while on welfare are proof of this contention. My children, not on welfare, are happy to pay taxes – one even at the highest rate – because they see that it is the only way we have at present of ensuring that some of us get a chance to participate in this dog eat dog society that neo-liberality has encouraged.

    You come up with a way of ensuring that life is a level playing field and we won’t need welfare.

  6. TerjeP
    December 17th, 2012 at 06:32 | #6

    We will always need welfare Julie. Perhaps you misunderstood what I wrote.

  7. Julie Thomas
    December 17th, 2012 at 07:07 | #7

    Terje, Quite probable that I misunderstood your meaning, I am aware of my ‘tendency to negatively react to libertarian ideas; it’s called motivated cognition and we all do it.

  8. TerjeP
    December 17th, 2012 at 07:31 | #8

    Yes we do. It’s a human foible.

  9. Sancho
    December 17th, 2012 at 08:54 | #9

    Somalia is the libertarian state libertarians don’t like to talk about: weak central government and free citizen access to firearms and drugs.

    For some strange reason it’s resulted in heavily armed, cocaine-fuelled fundamentalist militias waging constant war against the government and preventing any meaningful progress, but I’m sure the economic success and social freedom predicted by libertarians will emerge any day now.

  10. TerjeP
    December 17th, 2012 at 16:44 | #10

    Sancho – Can you name some libertarians that you have encountered who are unhappy talking about Somalia. Just a couple of names would be nice. I mean if you are going to generalise to libertarians in general then this should be an easy question for you to answer.

  11. John Quiggin
    December 17th, 2012 at 19:27 | #11

    To save Sancho the trouble, here’s the US Libertarian Party


    On the other hand, the lunar right (anti-democracy, pro-slavery) Mises group thinks Somalia is the bees’ knees.


  12. Sancho
    December 17th, 2012 at 20:08 | #12


    I’m not going to Google-trawl the Internet for examples. I’d pop over to Catallaxy to make one for you, but I’m banned because free speech and all that.

    But since Australian “libertarians” are mostly monarchist Catholics who only resent government for having more authority than the queen and pope, I’m happy to talk about Somalia here, where you could do the libertarian cause a service by having something to say about Somalia that isn’t “shut up statist mumble mumble Hong Kong!”.

  13. TerjeP
    December 17th, 2012 at 20:46 | #13

    They seem to be examples of libertarians happy to talk about Somalia.

  14. Sancho
    December 18th, 2012 at 08:34 | #14


    The Libertarian Party throws up the no-true-Scotsman fallacy and runs away, while the Mises mob finds Somalia to be a fine example of a libertarian state and, as a poster at the link comments, “that mass starvation shouldn’t be stopped because telecommunications companies are thriving”.

    Keep in mind that this isn’t argument for argument’s sake, Terje. If you believe that Somalia is a national model for western libertarians to aspire to, you can just say so and the case is closed.

    But if you want to claim that Somalia doesn’t meet the criteria set out by libertarians for a libertarian state, then you’ll have to make some compelling arguments to back that up or become the example you asked for above.

  15. December 18th, 2012 at 21:51 | #15

    Such a good blog post and certainly helped clear my mind a little

  16. Graeme Bird
    December 19th, 2012 at 15:43 | #16

    The libertarian pro-gun arguments are going nowhere unless they come clean with the reality that the US is a banana republic, and one that routinely carries out false flag operations.

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