The Wrong Fight At The Wrong Time

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

ImageThe horrific events in Newtown, Connecticut have left us all with a sense of shock and helplessness. Twenty elementary school children dead, six educators slaughtered, and a place we all like to think of as a safe haven from the misery of the world polluted by horrific violence wrought  by weapons more properly used on a battlefield.  Politicians from President Obama to New York Mayor Bloomberg have called for “meaningful action” to combat gun violence which is endemic to America.

But does this mass murder of innocents present the right case to support effective gun control? From what we know now the answer is “no.”  The shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, was a troubled teen who suffered from either Asperger’s syndrome or a personality disorder according to the New York Daily News. One family friend described the young man, saying, “This was a deeply disturbed kid. He certainly had major issues. He was subject to outbursts from what I recall.”

Lanza also had strange permutation of the syndrome in that he was impervious to normal stimuli. Another “longtime” family friend said Lanza had a condition “where he couldn’t feel pain. A few years ago when he was on the baseball team, everyone had to be careful that he didn’t fall because he could get hurt and not feel it.”

Asperger’s syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)  which allows the sufferer to maintain high academic and cognitive functioning but handicaps social interaction. It is the classic high school brainiac who is unable to ask a member of the opposite sex out on a date. The cause is unknown but certain genetic markers may be present to suggest that is its origin. Thus, Lanza may have acted from a motivation he had little control over and which no amount of gun control or mental health legislation could control.

Additionally, the guns used in the slayings were purchased legally by Lanza’s apparent  first victim, his mother, Nancy. Lanza stole the weapons — a .223 Bushmaster assault weapon*,  and two semi-automatic handguns, a 9 mm Sig Sauer, and a 9 mm Glock — after murdering his mother and thus began his rampage. The simple fact is that no gun control measures either on the books or reasonably under consideration could have stopped such a disturbed person from acquiring these weapons if he was willing to kill to get them.

As much as many of us would like to see guns regulated at least as much as cars or liquor, the facts here do not present the best case to achieve this goal. The American love affair with guns is seemingly getting stronger with sales of firearms setting new records. Gun manufacturers and their minions at the NRA have succeeded in scaring many Americans into believing that Obama and the Democratic Party have a secret agenda to disarm the public.

In fact, the public’s support for gun control has been on a steady decline according to polling conducted by Pew Research. Even the school mass murder at Columbine registered only a bump of support which quickly vanished. The chart below (from the Huffington Post) graphically demonstrates the public’s attitude about guns in an era of distrust with government and the political process.

Image

It would take a paradigm shift in the culture to create the political will to take on the Second Amendment.  It is a telling — and perhaps damning  — fact that even the death of 20 children under age 10 is simply not enough.

Source: CNN; New York DailyNews; Huffington Post

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

PSs:

Our good friend, slartibartfast, has provided a link on the effectiveness of the federal ban on assault weapons. It’s good reading. Here it is: Did the federal ban on assault weapons matter?

*Also commenter, Roman Berry, (9:19 am) has provided some context for the term “assault weapon.”

Thanks, guys.

547 thoughts on “The Wrong Fight At The Wrong Time

  1. If you want to hurt yourself that’s yours business…. If you want to hurt others…. This is not the way….. It’s such a sad loss for everyone involved…. My condolences for all whom suffer…..

  2. Unspeakable tragedy for the nation, state, town, and innocent people involved.

    But we need to collect the facts carefully and methodically.

    Something the media are not trained to do.

    I am perusing the findings of a book “Columbine” which says the media got all the facts wrong in a confused mess.

    Most people remember those wrong facts, never to revisit the story to get it right:

    My big surprise was that most of what we “know” about Columbine was wrong. It wasn’t about the jocks, goths or the Trenchcoat Mafia. The killers didn’t even see themselves as school shooters: their primary focus was the bombs.

    (Columbine Website). I suggest mourning and consolation for a week or so before analyzing in terms of solutions.

  3. “It would take a paradigm shift in the culture to create the political will to take on the Second Amendment.” I agree with that assessment – and apparently it was the culture of obession with guns that lead to a kindergarten teacher to purchase a .223 Bushmaster assault weapon, and two semi-automatic handguns, a 9 mm Sig Sauer, and a 9 mm Glock. And she purchased them and had them in the house while living with a person that had a mental disorder. Why? Why was it necessary for her (or any citizen) to have these weapons? So I disagree with you that this incident is not the one to use to make a case for control. No citizen should be allowed to own such weapons – we do need to further define the 2nd amendment once and for all.

  4. The above graph is fiction created by Gallup using their non-scientific polling design. I suspect that Gallup collected this under contract from the NRA. In contrast, the General Social Survey shows only a slight dip in support for gun control—and support has never been less than 70% over forty years of GSS data. It is instructive that the non-scientific Gallup poll also claims that nearly half of Americans own guns, while the GSS data (which have a 71% response rate—in contrast to Gallup, which only obtains interviews with less than 9% of targeted respondents) show that only 30% of Americans own guns. Support for gun control is strong, only a small minority of Americans own guns, and the time is NOW to make gun control a reality.

  5. There is a simple legal solution to this problem. Do not let the mother of a person with aspergers syndrome buy a weapon of any sort. Make it a law. Make the purchaser of any gun bring the kids in to a shrink, a gynecologist, a knee specialist, a fall down syndrome specialist and have them pass the physical and mental exams. Add a clause in the law that no mom who named a kid Jason, justin or jimbo can buy a gun or own one. This requires no debate and no research. Give weapons to dogs and call them guard dogs.

  6. Mark, appreciate the thoughtful post on such an emotional situation. One quibble however…

    The Bushmaster .223 is not an assault weapon. It’s a semi-automatic centerfire rifle that cosmetically looks like an assault weapon. The Bushmaster works just like every other semi-automatic centerfire rifle in that each squeeze of the trigger fires a single round. Assault weapons have select fire which enables full auto or (as is the case of the AR-15 which the Bushmaster is styled after) “burst fire” that produces a three round burst for each pull of the trigger. The Bushmaster does not have this capability. Functionally the Bushmaster is indistinguishable from a Remingtom 7400 series deer rifle.

    Put it this way: You may have seen cars on the road that have mag wheels and racing stripes. That doesn’t make them race cars. It’s just cosmetics.

  7. Your simplistic account of Asperger’s is shockingly off. It is not the shy child that may be intimidated by the opposite sex, it is someone that does not accurately read social cues which allows for social interactions on what would be considered a normal basis. People with Asperger’s do not read facial expression or understand why a situation is awkward or uncomfortable and thus often act inappropriately. Asperger’s also does not mean that you have a high IQ, there are many along the spectrum of severity of Asperger’s and their IQs are equally diverse.

  8. lib:

    Thanks for your clarification of Aspergers. In fact, Lanza was a brilliant student completing high school in just two years. The example used was merely to illustrate the condition for those not familiar with the affliction not comprehensively cover the topic and each of its presentations in various patients. If that seemed implied, it was my error.

  9. There is no constitutional right to be individually armed with any weapon. Read the Second Amendment. Too bad all those lovers of guns and the Constituion won’t do it. It is also too bad our leaders won’t stand up to the gun lobby.

    Will gun control stop all violence? Of course not but that has never been anyone’s position. That is a straw man put up to protect the real issues in this debate.

    Gun control now!

  10. Oddly, what’s not being discussed is why a woman that has a a son with psychological issues would have so many guns so readily available.

  11. No one seems to want to comment on the fact that these shootings occur in “victim disarmament zones”. Had even some of the adults in the school been armed this tragedy may have been prevented.

    I know of few mass shootings in police stations or gun stores for that matter.

  12. I agree completely with JT.

    Moreover, how can the fact that the guns used in the Connecticut school attack were purchased legally be considered a reason not to raise an argument for stricter control of guns. If there is any logic to Mr. Esposito’s argument in this regard, when the purchase of machine guns becomes legal (there is apparently ALEC drafted statutes to accomplish that result) we’ll all have to sit silently back when the first legally-purchased machine gun massacre takes place.

    The apparent number of shots fired, and the horrific number of victims makes it clear there is absolutely no sense to allowing civilian purchase of the weapons/reload clips of the type probably used in Newtown. If sales of such mass casualty makers were banned, even Mr. Esposito’s “high school brainiac” (such a callous phrase) might have trouble finding one at home, or at a neighbor’s, or at a gun show, or online.

  13. “Here’s some data-based analysis (from Sam Wang at the Princeton Electoral Consortium) regarding mass shootings:

    Did the federal ban on assault weapons matter?”

    That’s an incredibly shallow analysis by Mr. Wang that I’d be embarrassed to put my name as an academic.

  14. @lib in texas: Agreed, I was also struck by that characterization. Asperger’s is not shyness, which is a simple fear-based reaction. The “brainiacs” (I was one) suffer from it more because of over-rationalization, I believe it is a form of analysis-paralysis.

    Aspergers, like autistics, have what appears to be a medical condition or neural development abnormality that impairs their ability to interact socially, without impairing their rational abilities (which are on the spectrum from weak to strong).

    Many Aspergers adults may seem like brainiacs simply due to the 10,000 hour rule made famous by Malcolm Gladwell; by being denied the pleasures of social interaction by their disability, they spend very large amounts of time practicing other pursuits; largely rational ones in the sciences or with computers. Aspergers did not make them smarter than their classmates, spending an extra forty hours a week teaching themselves some topic for 12 years makes them domain experts.

  15. “There’s no disputing that the Democratic Party has regressed dramatically on the issue of gun violence over the past two decades. When a shooting rampage on the Long Island Railroad killed six people and injured 19 others in December 1993, Bill Clinton responded immediately by calling for specific legislative action to prevent future tragedies. Contrast that with the response of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday to a question about whether the carnage in Connecticut might prompt President Obama to pursue gun control measures. “I’m sure there will be another day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates,” Carney said, “but I don’t think today is that day.”

    It can be hard to remember now, but well into the 1990s, national Democrats proudly associated themselves with gun control, championing laws that restricted access to deadly weapons. Under Clinton, the Brady Bill, which mandated a five-day waiting period for the purchase of handgun, was passed, and so was a ban on assault weapons. The 1996 Democratic Convention that nominated Clinton for a second term featured Jim and Sarah Brady as primetime speakers.

    The years since then, however, have been marked by a steady and thus far enduring Democratic retreat on the issue, with the Second Amendment crowd now largely dictating the terms of public discussion and Democrats mainly trying to avoid their wrath. Consider Obama’s record on guns, which includes one achievement: a law making it easier to carry concealed weapons in national parks.”

  16. “There is no constitutional right to be individually armed with any weapon. Read the Second Amendment.”

    I realize you are probably speaking from a normative viewpoint of what you think the correct interpretation of the Second Amendment should be. However, under our system where the Supreme Court has the final and authoritative say on what the constitution means, your statement is factually incorrect. Any gun control legislation needs to pass constitutional muster and/or the constitution needs to be changed/reinterpreted.

  17. The simple fact is that no gun control measures either on the books or reasonably under consideration could have stopped such a disturbed person from acquiring these weapons if he was willing to kill to get them.

    That’s the issue.
    The problem isn’t one of attempting to control what sort of person can legally buy what sort of weapon.
    The problem is one of such weapons being out in the community.
    A family member, a visitor or an intruder can get their hands on whatever weapons.
    The weapons are locked in a secure box under the stairs? “Gimme the key or I’ll kill you.” “Ok, here’s the key/combination.”

    Why do people actually need guns?
    What about countries where guns are not allowed to the general population? How many of their residents are killed or injured solely because they did not have a gun with which to try and prevent the death or injury?

    Why would someone need a gun with major firepower?

    How many American civilians are alive today solely because they were able to pull out a gun?
    How many American civilians are dead because another American civilian got their hands on a gun?
    .

    Say I was interested in Anthrax.
    I could have a stock of containers on the wall. Everyone needs a hobby.
    Noooo don’t be silly. I would have no intention of opening containers in cinemas or schools. It would all be perfecly safe. It would be just a hobby.
    How about highly radioactive materials? That would be ok if I kept them in a lead-lined vault, wouldn’t it?

  18. “Guns don’t mean diddly squat.
    China stabbing spree hurts 22 schoolchildren”

    Gun = 27 dead
    Knife = 22 injured

    Do I need to spell out the difference or can you figure it out yourself?

  19. “On gun control, Democrats remain paralyzed by the fear of losing voters whom they have already lost.

    After the Aurora, Colo., massacre last week, President Obama waited until this Wednesday to raise the issue at all—and even then stopped short of reaffirming his previous support for restoring the assault-weapons ban passed under Bill Clinton. And this week, when several Democratic legislators from coastal states urged “commonsense gun-safety reforms,” the party’s congressional leadership was conspicuously silent.

    All of that reflects the hardened conventional wisdom among Democrats that gun control is a losing issue, a credo that dates back to Al Gore’s defeat in 2000. Unquestionably, gun control is a difficult political issue that splits the country almost in half. And polls leave no doubt that public support for gun control has waned since Clinton’s time.

    But it’s a myth that there is no longer any audience for gun control. It is, in fact, almost exactly the same audience that President Obama is pursuing with virtually everything else he does. Gun control is deeply unpopular with the portions of the white electorate most hostile to Obama anyway: blue-collar whites and college-educated white men. But among the voters who might actually vote for Obama (particularly minorities and college-educated white women), restrictions on gun ownership still attract solid majority support.” Ron Brownstein

  20. > Lanza may have acted from a motivation he had little control over and which no amount of gun control or mental health legislation could control.

    I have to disagree with this.99.999999 percent of people with Asperger’s do not slaughter people
    .
    We lived in Utah recently. Most everyone there has multiple guns, knows how to use them, yet the level of violence is microscopic. So, it’s not just about guns. It’s about cultures that are cohesive, community, and leaders who are respected. All of that is vanishing in the US.

    I think our violence problem is far worse than just easy access to guns. Ours is a culture that is coming apart.

  21. JT is right on this one. The problem with these mass killings is the ubiquity of guns in our society and this tragedy illustrates the point well. Tinkering around the edges of gun control is not going to solve anything.

  22. “No one seems to want to comment on the fact that these shootings occur in “victim disarmament zones”. Had even some of the adults in the school been armed this tragedy may have been prevented.”

    *****

    Just what we need in our schools–teachers, principals, and other members of their staffs with loaded guns. Good grief!

    Just imagine–if Lanza’s mother hadn’t had those guns or had had them locked up where her disturbed son couldn’t get at them, none of those children and adults would be dead now!

  23. “The horrific events in Newtown, Connecticut have left us all with a sense of shock and helplessness.”

    At the risk of seeming callous, why are we not similarly shocked by the death of women and childred killed by our Hellfire missiles in Pakistan or Yemen? Why do those deaths not “shock the national conscience” and fill the media for days?

    We seem to be pretty indifferent to the death and destruction which we rain down on others almost every day, but we come unglued when it happens on our own soil. We are an interesting people.

  24. I also disagree with the idea that immediately after a tragedy is the wrong time to be talking about how do prevent future tragedies.

    This is the time of maximum motivation, while the shortcomings of current policy are staring us in the face.

    If this happened to us every day, somewhere in America, would that imply it is NEVER time to talk about putting an end to it? When we were attacked on 9/11, was anybody in the country saying, “This is not the time to talk about preventing terrorism on American soil?”

    Wouldn’t regulations that just reduced the number of dead have been better?

    There are about 130,000 public schools in the USA, with a budget of $972B, or on average $7.5M each. A few trained and armed security guards with a metal detector, like we have in the courthouses, to prevent weapons from entering the school would be fine by me; and would cost the schools about $75K per year; a 1% increase in their budget in order to protect children. Politicians seem willing to go to great lengths to protect themselves from this sort of rage while leaving children and teachers exposed, saying, “It is so sad, a day of mourning, but now is not the time to be talking about gun control.”

    Yes it is.

  25. I appreciate the articles SMM, but I’m very skeptical that gun control is a political winner or even neutral for Democrats to push. It killed Democrats in 1994 and 2000, and public support for gun control has only waned since then. To me it’s politically foolish to push the issue, especially for such non-effective legislative changes such as the assault rifle ban. Effective gun control is going to have to make guns scarce.

  26. I agree with Mark that now is not the time. to debate

    Now is a time of mourning, a time to feel what 20 terrified children felt as they were murdered execution style, what they suffered as bullets rent their little bodies, and what terror filled the parents of all of the students,the incomprehensible feeling of rejoicing that yours was found safe while seeing another discover that hers was still in the building. It is to empathize with the victims of this horror. It is time to be the best that we humanly can be.

    But while it is not time to debate, it is time to acknowledge and articulate those questions which naturally spring from such pain and loss. How did this happen? How can we help? What can be done to prevent it?

    The tragedy has already been described as evil. Isn’t tragedy enough? Evils is using the incident for political gain, gain achieve by misrepresenting the facts and demonizing others — distorting reality. That’s evil.

    Fools rush in where the wise fear to tread.Now is not the time to debate, but it is time to prepare for a reasoned discourse on the subject in the calm of another day, in the cool light of reality and not polemical constructs. It is time to be wise.

    These children and their families deserve no less.

  27. “There are about 130,000 public schools in the USA, with a budget of $972B, or on average $7.5M each. A few trained and armed security guards with a metal detector, like we have in the courthouses, to prevent weapons from entering the school would be fine by me; and would cost the schools about $75K per year; a 1% increase in their budget in order to protect children.”

    Couldn’t disagree more. The last thing we need to do is to turn all our schools into armed fortresses. We overreacted as a nation to 9/11 and took a turn for the worse toward giving up our liberties and becoming a security state. Let’s not do the same when it comes to this tragedy.

  28. Had even some of the adults in the school been armed this tragedy may have been prevented.”

    Yes indeed.
    Shooting is heard.
    Adults get out the guns and look for the shooter(s). They see people aiming or firing guns, so they fire at those people – who fire back at them.

    But it’s ok. The gun-wielding adults don’t get shot much. Only people near them get shot.
    This is because everybody is missing their targets.

    Say what???

    Trained NYPD cops move towards a suspect.
    The suspect never gets off a shot – but nine bystandars get injured – by police gunfire.
    Supposedly trained officers injure nine bystanders!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/25/empire-state-building-shooting-nypd-bullets-shot-all-nine_n_1830007.html

    So take that reality to a school or cinema in which mass confusion reigns. Give some of the civilians guns and let them do the cop thing.
    Massacre? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

  29. I think it is way too early to draw conclusions about these particular killings,.or the young man who did them. We are horrified at the fact that young children were murdered for little reason and it sparks the humanity within us to try to see some meaning to it while assessing blame. Those of us who are parents no doubt shuddered with horror all through the day. One of my grandchildren attends school in Connecticut and my first thought was to check the locale of the shootings with fear rampant and my feeling was relief that they occurred nowhere near my kid. This broad spectrum, horrific feeling is to be expected of us humans as we project ourselves into an unspeakable tragedy, trying to gain understanding This is why immediate assessments and calls to arms, prior to the facts being fully exposed, become futile exercises. It is also why those who call for gun control gain little traction when after these horrors they immediately clamor for remedies. Our human need is such that in the aftermath of these horrors, we begin to push away the details from consciousness all too quickly and therefore their initial gut-wrenching impact is sublimated.

    My sense of life is that death always lurks in random chance, social situation, genetic time-bombs, personal inattention, age, stupidity and malice aforethought. Death is the ultimate mystery and greatest fear for humanity. A fear that most of us keep at bay by pushing it to the bottom of our consciousness. We yet know little about this young man, or his mother whose chose to have a cache of weaponry handy. We only know the shocked responses from family, friends bystanders, police and their opinions given in the wake of tragedy. I have to admit the horror of this has made me begin to re-examine my own thoughts on gun control, but truly I need to know more and so does everyone else who would opine on this.

    An example of the quick over-reactive response to this has been the mewling of Mike Huckabee and other gun freedom activists. Huckabee blames it on removing religion from schools and should be damned eternally for his opportunism and stupidity. Gun freedom activists have made the ridiculous, nay insane, idea that this could be prevented by armed teachers. On the other side I’ve been bombarded by E Mails to sign petitions to “stop gun violence”, which I’ve deleted as fast as they’ve arrived. I condemn also those who were so quick to react to this tragedy that had only occurred hours before their response with ill thought proposals.

    If this mass violence is something that can be dealt with legally, it can only happen with deliberation. For instance I got E Mails saying we should ban assault weapons, which weren’t involved in these murders. People want to ban “modern weaponry” forgetting the horrific Kansas City Bombing, which also took many young lives was accomplished using fertilizer. Does something need to be done to curb the violent state that America is in? I would think so, but wonder if there are possible remedies. All I’m saying is let us absorb this tragedy emotionally, let us ponder both its meaning and the methods that can ameliorate the possibility of future tragedies such as this and finally let us have a chance to mull over its implications.

  30. “We seem to be pretty indifferent to the death and destruction which we rain down on others almost every day, but we come unglued when it happens on our own soil. We are an interesting people.”

    Bill H.,

    If you mean human emotive reaction is interesting than you are correct. All humans beings react most strongly to that which touches us most closely. While I agree with your sentiments regarding America’s tendency to attack foreign lands, your use of it in this context is frankly inane. You are blaming humans for reacting as humans do, in order to make a political point ad in doing so relieving your own consciousness from feeling the horror of this incident. Oh well, whatever gets you through the night.

  31. Mike S, I think those of us who are for gun control have been biting our tongues for too long and allowing ourselves to be pushed around by the NRA and others. Now we need to get active. I am making a contribution today. Agree with what Blouise said on the other thread.

  32. I believe this is exactly the right time to have this conversation….and not, once again, to sweep the ashes of the dead under the rug along with any possible effect on the environment that spurred this action in the first place.

    That said, I do not believe that gun control is the most pressing conversation but the root cause of the frightening increase in mass killings is. To proceed as if gun control is the primary need is simply another diversion around the general climate of fear created by the incredible imbalance in living conditions, financial burdens, lack of social services, terrorist language employed by news media and politicians….the knowledge that there are those who can behave with impunity but the so called ‘lower’ economic classes are greatly used and abandoned by the service industries and that that trend is deepening not abating…..guns …the least of the problem.

    Why does anyone think that being bombarded by the current level of societal fear and discourse combined with the denial and withdrawals of more and more social infrastructure at the same time that we are fighting Global wars and infractions and subject to the toxic political strong arming by stubborn idiocy would create anything else? oh yeah…and austerity….don’t forget having that to look forward to…..

  33. “It’s about cultures that are cohesive, community, and leaders who are respected. All of that is vanishing in the US.”

    Bob Morris begins with an excellent point about people with Aspergers in that it is not something that innately creates violent people. However, he then ruins his comment by committing what is a common mistake that is endemic to all of us.
    He envisions an America that historically never existed. Our history as a nation shows we never had the cohesiveness, sobriety and respect for leadership that he seemingly mourns. The reason is because we are human and human existence has always been messy at best. Today we do not live in “the best of all possible worlds” yet it is’t the “worst of all possible worlds” either.

  34. What Bill H. said. I almost puked watching Obama crying for these American kids while he authorizes the drone slaughter of kids abroad. That freakin’ disgusting double standard illustrates the psychosis in the soul of America that generates these senseless acts of violence in the first place.

  35. The argument that we are in danger of abrogating the 2nd amendment by an emotional overreaction to yesterday’s massacre of schoolchildren is not convincing to me. I just don’t think it’s anywhere near realistic given the extreme power of the gun lobby; given that our president has vowed fealty to legitimate gun rights, certainly to protect the rights of hunters to possess weapons. He has not come out strongly on the assault rifle issue, though this might be a good time to address that one.

    I don’t understand the fear of losing the right to possess weapons — reasonably geared to the legitimate societal ‘uses’ of guns. It’s seems like another one of those issues where virtually all other western democracies exhibit a sensible approach to firearms, but the US hews and exceptionalist interpretation of firearm ownership. The absence of reasonable regulation has left open the door to availability and possession of unreasonable weapons, though some no doubt consider that and oxymoron. I’m not so concerned about the linguistic cliches as in the effect. No doubt any weapon can kill, but the failure to address reasonable control seems like a cover for getting to the whole nexus of issues, including appropriate mental health screening and registration, addressed. The whole debate is poisoned and quickly escalate to fearmongering about the second amendment, leaving the debate in the hand of the crazies. (note: I a NOT attacking anyone here with an intention of flaming — I’m tired of the debate and am just stating a pov)

    The ‘occasional’ frequency of massacres is not an argument for banning assault weapons. But the disconnect between such mass killings and any particular weapon or method of killing is not an argument for avoiding reasonable gun control either. IMO

  36. Woosty remains feline,

    I agree that gun control doesn’t address the root problem (besides, guns aren’t the only way to commit mass murder), but I do believe it would have a mitigating effect on these sorts of events, which is something worth doing, in my opinion.

    Sling Trebuchet,

    I think you’re absolutely right about what would have happened if all of the teachers were armed and decided to try to intervene.

  37. I know Newtown well. I grew up ~20 miles from there. I played football against Newtown HS. It’s your classic western Ct. small town. There are blue collar folk to very wealthy. Many actors, authors, etc. also live in the area. Paul Newman lived nearby and was very generous w/ this community. Sage advice is to never make a major decision while grieving. I had to remind my usually very commonsensical mother of this when my father died. We need to breathe, pray for the families and friends and the town. This is the kind of town where EVERYONE knows someone who was killed. There is evil in this world. I have seen much more than my share. But good is much more powerful than evil. Love, much more powerful than hate. Not always in the short run. But, life is a marathon, not a sprint.

  38. “We seem to be pretty indifferent to the death and destruction which we rain down on others almost every day, but we come unglued when it happens on our own soil. We are an interesting people.”~Bill H.
    ———————————
    No. Rather, the majority of people are horrified by the level of violence and destruction our government has employed against civilians and children overseas AND the dishonest argument that got us into the situations in the first place…hence the need for such secrecy and abrogation of freedoms at home…..I, personally, think it may be a contributory to the increase in violence at home. The hypocrisy is deafening but the path to correction is a little more subtle, hopefully a little less violent and Occupy is one of the voices that speaks vociferously to this phenom.

    Slarti I agree, the comparison of injuries to deaths in the 2 recent incidents illustrates that perfectly. But as to the conversation? it needs to happen now, it needs to be broader than just gun control and the facts have to be carefully collected before disseminating and blaming….

  39. I agree with JT, now is the time to put on the table the meaning of the 2nd amendment, in a civilized society, in the 21st century.

    Left to the whims of politics and the aberrations of the NRA, the “right” time to tackle the issue will never occur. Certainly not if we wait for a hiatus — felt by sentient beings — in the grieving related to all the senseless gun violence continually occuring. Seems like the folks who’d rather bow to the forcefulness of the gun lobby, need a big massacre now and then to rouse them from their torpor.

  40. Wow. We have had over 30 school shootings since Columbine(1999) and we can’t start the debate over sensible restrictions of guns? Exactly when is the statute of limitations for discussing how to solve a problem? 20 years after the last shooting or twenty years from Columbine? This is the time and this is the right time to calmly discuss how to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and disturbed and to restrict high capacity magazines and semi-automatic weapons.
    As to the guns owned by the mother…I will be a Milky Way that the son purchased them online under the mother’s name. Just a guess there, but I can’t see this teacher buying an assault rifle along with the glock and the sig sauer.

  41. Don S, It is the right time to have this discussion. The NRA is hoping that if enough time passes the citizenry will be lulled back into denial. I hope this is the tipping point but I am certainly not counting on it. rafflaw, I was thinking the same thing but now it turns out that the mother is not a teacher.

  42. Like I said earlier…

    Scalia: “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”

    And now, with a tragic shooting fresh within our minds we’ll see “moral feelings” and its attendant appeals to emotion dictating the dialogue on gun control.

    Feelings have nothing to do with it.

    Kant: ” For the pure conception of duty, unmixed with any foreign addition of empirical attractions, and, in a word, the conception of the moral law, exercises on the human heart, by way of reason alone (which first becomes aware with this that it can of itself be practical), an influence so much more powerful than all other springs* which may be derived from the field of experience, that, in the consciousness of its worth, it despises the latter, and can by degrees become their master; whereas a mixed ethics, compounded partly of motives drawn from feelings and inclinations, and partly also of conceptions of reason, must make the mind waver between motives which cannot be brought under any principle, which lead to good only by mere accident and very often also to evil.”

    Mespo: “The simple fact is that no gun control measures either on the books or reasonably under consideration could have stopped such a disturbed person from acquiring these weapons if he was willing to kill to get them.”

    How Kantian of you Mark.

    Kudos!

  43. i am curious whether or not this young man was taking paxil or another of the mind altering/controlling drugs our children are taking like candy.

    in the 50’s high school students used to ride the subways and buses carrying military weapons for after school marksmanship programs. we did not drug our children in the 50’s.

    here is what one MD, PhD has to say and I think he is right on the money:

    “We only need to ask one simple question to determine “what could have set the teenage gunman off.” That question is: What psychiatric drug was he taking or withdrawing from? Sometimes simple questions are the hardest to ask. That question would be hard for the media to ask, because after reporting the event, taking station breaks for advertisements for antidepressants and sedatives might give big media editors and producers indigestion, since their very existence depends on Big Pharma sponsorship. That question would be hard for some politicians to ask because it might jeopardize Big Pharma campaign contributions (footnote 2). And that question might be hard for many Americans to ask because they are consuming psychiatric medications like candy.

    School Violence
    The following are reports of teens committing acts of school violence during an 18 year period from 1988-2006 (footnote 3), beginning only one year after the first SSRI antidepressant was approved for the U.S. market for adult use only. More than half of the teens committing these acts were taking SSRI antidepressants.

    1988
    1. September 26, 1988, South Carolina: James Wilson, 19, went on a shooting spree in an elementary schoolyard in Greenwood, killing two 8 year olds, and wounding 7 other children and 2 teachers. He was taking Xanax and for the eight months prior to the shooting had been taking several psychiatric drugs.

    1997
    2. October 1, 1997, Pearl, Mississippi: Luke Woodham, 16, shot two students to death and wounded seven others after beating and stabbing his mother to death. Public reports say the boy was taking Prozac.
    3. December 1, 1997, West Paducah, Kentucky: 14-year-old Michael Carneal
    was on Ritalin, when he started firing a gun during a prayer meeting at a high school, killing three teens aged 14 to 17, and wounding five other students, including one who is paralyzed.

    1998
    4. March 1998, Arkansas: Andrew Golden, 11, and cousin Mitchell Johnson, 13, went on a shooting spree at Westside Middle School in Arkansas, killing four students and one teacher. Nine students and a teacher were also wounded. In a review of the book Teenage Rampage: The Worldwide Youth Phenomenon, both boys were reported to be taking Ritalin.
    5. May 21, 1998, Oregon: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and then
    proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two
    and wounding 22. Kinkel had been taking Prozac and an amphetamine.
    6. Pocatello, Idaho: An unnamed 14 year old held 5 classmates hostage with a gun. He surrendered to the police and fortunately no one was hurt. He was taking Zoloft.

    1999
    7. April 16, 1999, Idaho: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school, narrowly missing students. He was taking a prescribed SSRI antidepressant and Ritalin.
    8. April 29, 1999, Taber, Alberta: An unnamed 14-year-old student from W.R. Myers High School shot two students, killing one. He began taking prescribed Dexedrine immediately prior to the shooting.
    9. April 20, 1999, Colorado: 18-year-old Eric Harris, the ringleader in the Columbine massacre was taking Luvox that the coroner confirmed was in his system through toxicology reports. He and his co-shooter, Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 23 others before killing themselves.
    10. May 20, 1999, Georgia: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with
    Ritalin when he opened fire on and wounded six of his classmates.
    11. December 6, 1999, Fort Gibson, Oklahoma: 13-year-old Seth Trickey fired
    at least 15 shots at Fort Gibson Middle School wounding four classmates. He was
    undergoing psychological counseling and was probably being medicated, although those records are sealed.

    2000
    12. March 7, 2000, Williamsport, Pennsylvania: Elizabeth Bush, 14, was taking
    Prozac when she shot at fellow students, wounding one.

    2001
    13. January 10, 2001, Oxnard, California: A 17-year-old gunman fired shots at
    Hueneme High School before taking a female student hostage. He was later shot and killed by police. Prior to the shooting he had been treated for mental illness and was probably taking psychiatric drugs.
    14. March 22, 2001, California: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman opened fire on his
    classmates, wounding three students and two teachers at Granite Hills High School. He had been prescribed the antidepressants Celexa and Effexor.
    15. April 2001, Washington State: 16-year-old Cory Baadsgaard took a rifle to
    his high school and took 23 classmates and a teacher hostage. According to another student, “Cory was yelling and then he just stopped, looked down at the gun in his hand and woke up.” Fortunately, no one was hurt. Cory had been taking Effexor and had no memory of the incident.

    2003
    16. January 2003, Elliot City, Maryland: Ryan T. Furlough, 19, killed a Centennial High School classmate by spiking his soda with cyanide. He was being treated with Effexor.

    2004
    17. February 2004, Greenbush, New York: 16-year-old, Jon Romano strolled into Columbia high school in east Greenbush and opened fire with a shotgun. Special education teacher Michael Bennett was hit in the leg. The boy was treated with medication for depression.

    2005
    18. March, 2005, Minnesota: Jeff Weise, 16, shot dead his grandparents, then went to his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation where he shot dead 8 students and a teacher, and wounded 7 before killing himself. He was taking Prozac.
    19. November 8, 2005, Jacksboro, Tennessee: Kenneth Bartley, a student in
    high school shot and killed an assistant principal. The principal and another assistant principal were wounded. He had previously spent about a year and a half in a residential juvenile treatment program, where he was likely prescribed psychiatric drugs.

    2006
    20. August 30, 2006, Hillsborough, North Carolina: Alvaro Castillo, 19, killed
    his father, then opened fire at Orange High School, wounding two students before
    surrendering to police. He had been involuntarily treated in a state psychiatric hospital, and such commitment nearly always involves drugs.
    21. October 10, 2006, Charleston, South Carolina: Tyrell Glover, 19, took an air rifle to Burke High School where he planned to hold students hostage and be gunned down by police. He had been taking an antidepressant for several years but his mother took him off the drug when she saw the listed side effects in ads. However, Tyrell began taking Prozac again for approximately six months. Whether he was taking a psychiatric drug or withdrawing from it at the time of this hostage/suicide plan is yet to be confirmed.

    The number of drug-related school shootings are dwarfed by the number of non-school-related violent events associated with psychiatric medication use. Many school shooting cases have had their court documents sealed, especially if minors are involved, and the extent of the chemical use is often never revealed. The psychiatric drug-related violence noted in the cases above was discovered mostly by reporters who dug up the data, usually reporting it as an “incidental” finding!

    Thomas Lane did not go to Chardon High, instead attending nearby Lake Academy, which is for students with academic or behavioral problems, making it extremely unlikely that he was not being medicated with psychiatric drugs. But we may never know if his records are sealed too, which I suspect often happens due to pressure from Big Pharma or from those politically positioned to benefit from the pharmaceutical companies money.

    Socrates said, “There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.” Yes, Lane’s acts of violence, as well as all the others listed above, is evil. However, I believe that a more fundamental evil is behind these school shootings – the pervasive ignorance about the power of psychiatric medication to worsen the very behaviors they are marketed to relieve, violence against oneself (suicide) and against others.

    Drastically altering the function of brain chemistry with chemicals that life has never before encountered over vast eons of time, can’t not have unpredictable results, especially in children and teens who have not matured completely and don’t possess normal adult checks and balances on impulsivity. I am astonished that this obvious, scientific fact is still denied by most people. You don’t have to be a recovering drug or alcohol addict to admit that people who consume these chemicals are “powerless” over the consequences.”

    http://cegant.com/commentary/school-shootings-and-psychiatric-drugs

  44. oh yea, Bron, this is a taboo subject. No one wants to admit these medications are dangerous even when used as prescribed in children. The kids would be better off taking a placebo.

  45. Well Swarthmore Mom I agree that this mass killing punctuates the long ignored need for discussion and action..

    Looking at the public’s declining interest in the subject, it is clearly important to recognize the moment, AND, I would add, related to public ambivalence (possibly due to disaffection with any govt action and RW scare mongering?) the time for Obama to use that bully pulpit.

    One concern of mine would be that gun control would be negotiated and watered down much as the negotiations on the so-called debt crisis, trading off good reforms for bad, and minimizing efficacy of important changes that result; sort of like insulating the very rich from hurting too much. E.g., maybe control assault weapons but not 30 round clips, or something. But, I guess some progress is better than none, unless it’s merely a palliative to stave off an effective level of regulation.

    After the Virgina Tech massacre, here, some “everyone should be armed” group set up in town to ply their snake oil. Essentially they were ignored and pretty much run out of town. Very very few resonated to their message. Emotional/logical reaction? Or emotional/logical clarity?

  46. “As to the guns owned by the mother…I will be a Milky Way that the son purchased them online under the mother’s name. Just a guess there, but I can’t see this teacher buying an assault rifle along with the glock and the sig sauer.”

    From what I’ve read and my understanding of gun law (admittedly fairly superficial), the killer was under no legal disability that would have prevented him from purchasing the guns in his own name. If that’s correct, then why would he purchase them under his mother’s name?

  47. I hate to think that there will now be an undercurrent of suspicion against person with Aspergers now.

    Also, I would make a bet that this murderer was taking some kind of psychiatric medication.

    My daughter has been involuntarily prescribed Geodon, against my wishes, but because her mother accomplished this w/o my knowledge, I can’t get her off of it without CPS charges being laid against me.

  48. rafflaw

    Everybody who wants tighter gin control should also be asking for tighter Alcohol laws. Alcohol causes many more deaths than guns. Yet, I haven’t heard one person talking about that.

  49. >> But does this mass murder of innocents present the right
    >> case to support effective gun control? From what we know
    >> now the answer is “no.”

    According to whom? The NRA? Smith and Wesson? When, pray tell, IS the right time to discuss it?

    Saying “now is the wrong time to talk about gun control” is as stupid as saying “now is the wrong time to talk about indefinite detention and extrajudicial killings with drones”.

    >> The shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, was a troubled teen
    >> who suffered from either Asperger’s syndrome or a
    >> personality disorder according to the New York Daily News.

    If he had a personality disorder, better screening and gun registration would have kept it out of Lanza’s hands. Is Esposito making the ridiculous argument that Lanza had a “right” to own a gun, despite possibly being dangerous? Or is he claiming Lanza would have gotten a gun regardless of licensing? If the latter, then there IS a need for gun control.

    It shows how screwed up the US is that it’s harder to get a driver’s license or register with a recreational baseball team than it is to buy a gun. And that there are scum who defend the situation.

  50. P Smith, we can never ever talk about this because some politician may be pressured by constituents to pass some sensible restrictions on guns.

    the NRA will go after them with big money and they will lose their seat of power.

  51. Jim, just FYI, we, or at least I, talked about alcohol, particularly related to adolescent abuse, on the thread on marijuana legislation just below. Personally I would be happy to see as strong regulation on firearms as there is on underage alcohol possession. Though the parallels are not exact — I think I take your point about control, possession, etc — there are strong laws/regulation on the abuse of alcohol, especially in public, driving, etc., which is a contributing factor to violence, gun and otherwise. If your referring to a return to prohibition, which didn’t work so well, as a parallel, the connection is not so definite, unless you consider being hit over the head or cutting someone with a liquor bottle. I don’t want to quibble with your logic, but there is a difference between direct and indirect causation. Not everyone who drinks kills others. Not everyone with a gun kills others. But those who are drunk, in an altered state AND with a gun just might . . .

  52. not feeling pain is a medical condition, not a psychological one. I was not sure from the article if it was being presented as a form of psych. ailment.or inability to feel psych/emotional pain/empathize
    http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/congenital-insensitivity-to-pain
    (I did not read all the comments so apologize if this already noted)
    Would he have done this if he did not have access to all those guns? As noted why did mother need all of them? Maybe only one gun to a house would be a good start in gun control legislation.

  53. http://prorev.com/idguns.htm

    I first wrote this op-ed in 99 or so, and have hauled it out and spread it around with each firearms massacre since.

    It was with this issue that I first learned the truth of the saying “You never have to worry about people stealing your ideas. If they’re any good, you’ll have to ram them down their throats.”

  54. I would really like to see more research in to the increasing culture of psychoactive medications prescribed as a panacea and the increase in mass violent crime. Correlation is not always causation, but . . .

  55. GARY GAGNON
    1, December 15, 2012 at 9:39 am
    No one seems to want to comment on the fact that these shootings occur in “victim disarmament zones”. Had even some of the adults in the school been armed this tragedy may have been prevented.

    I know of few mass shootings in police stations or gun stores for that matter.

    ——————————————————————-

    My god are YOU SERIOUS????
    sad thing is… I think you are…..

    ———————

    as a mother… this just breaks my heart…. I can’t stop crying…
    All I keep thinking is how these parents of the little babies have their Christmas trees up and Presents under the tree that they bought for their little children, excited that Christmas is only a few weeks a way….

    Now instead of a lovely Christmas with their cute little babies…. they will be mourning and crying for years to come….

    This just makes me so SAD…..

    at what point is ENOUGH…. actually ENOUGH?????

  56. DonS

    My point was that when we have a shooting of this nature like in Denver or at Columbine, all of the gun control advocates come out screaming. However, alcohol kills more people every year. I picture them saying: “You can control what guns I buy but don’t touch my alcohol.” In a free society there will always be those who make bad choices and limiting the types of guns sold will not alter that at all. Just like prohibition alcohol was still produced and sold on the black market so too will all gun types if some are banned. All of these political whacks just do not get it. They say what is popular at the time to play on emotion and never achieve the desired results.

  57. @ John, I admire your thinking outside the box, but your scheme is completely and hopelessly unworkable. You’d have to have a helluva enforcement mechanism to coerce gun owners to purchase super expensive gun insurance. Even then, no insurance company would ever be able to collect enough premiums to cover the claims, not even including their administrativ costs and turning a profit.

  58. justagurlinseattle

    I have been an educator for over 20 years. Teachers carrying guns would prevent a lot of what has happened in schools but by the same token there may be one “educator nut ball” that may use it for the wrong reason. So, do we take the chance of saving many at the cost of a few nuts? The answer is no because in America it is always the minority that win!

  59. “The children at Sandy Hook elementary School and all victims of gun violence deserve leaders who have the courage to participate in a meaningful discussion about our gun laws. This can no longer wait.”
    Mark Kelley

    Unfortunately the “leaders” are so much steeped in Corruptions and immoralities of their own…tis a given that their tongues are tied! For these same people do violence to disabled children and their parents everyday in America including providing the cover to solicit and conspiring to Murder them! These are the leaders on the nation’s HIGH COURT!
    Now these are “high functioning” people who took an oath to the United States Constitution, not persons suffering from Asperger’s syndrome! All deaths/murder (not even sanctioned under the Constitution, and definitely against God’s law is sin, and an obmination before God)!
    Unfortunately, these are the signs of the times, and the times will produce even greater lawlessness according to the books of Daniel, Ezekiel, Mathew (and definitely) Revelations…amongst others.
    We will have to seek God for his help through these trying times and immoral leaders!

  60. Jim, maybe you’re right, at least as far as a kind of argument. But juxtaposed to the current argument over gun regulation it came across to me more as a specifically nullifying the argument for gun control. Sorry if I mistook your intent.

    Actually, on alcohol, other country’s do impose stricter enforcement on DUI in a more uniform way than the US — and have lower casualty rates to show for it. (interestingly, it’s not that there is more drinking, especially amonge younger folks, just less carnage.

    http://www.chooseresponsibility.org/frequently_asked_questions/

    I think the statistics on gun violence in the US compared to other western countries, vis a vis regulation, tells a similar story — I’m not going to do that research just now. I see the gun control defenders relying most on anecdotal stuff — appeals to EMOTION and catch phrases (you know them) — and turning somewhat of a blind eye to cold statistics.

  61. “I would really like to see more research in to the increasing culture of psychoactive medications prescribed as a panacea and the increase in mass violent crime. Correlation is not always causation, but . . .”

    But yet…

    The concept was raised by someone earlier, and I held my peace.
    Now that I see a possibility/danger of traction ..

    My knee-jerk reaction to ‘somewhere above’ was — If there is a connection, were these people open do what they did because of their condition or because of the nature of the treatment of their condition?

    Surely Shirley the overall environment in which these things are triggered goes way beyond just the chemical.
    For any parents here, the society in which they grew up is alien to the one in which their children are growin up in.

    Are there so many parameters that a search for correlation in the absolute root causes is a minefield.

    I have a feeling that there is an element of suicide in these events.
    A hallmark of a suicidal person IMO is that hey have lost empathy even with their nearest and dearest.

    Add to that – this

    I believe that this is a very large part of the issue.
    Really!
    I think that this is why we should expect to see more incidents like this.
    We are writing major suicide notes.

  62. Everybody who wants tighter gin control should also be asking for tighter Alcohol laws. Alcohol causes many more deaths than guns. Yet, I haven’t heard one person talking about that.

    ————————————————–

    and when was the last MASS MURDER done with Alcohol that killed 27 people in less than a half hour??????

  63. Jim says ” Teachers carrying guns would prevent a lot of what has happened in schools”. Proof, or simply anecdotal and tendentious? I think I could quickly come up the overwhelmingly negative opinion of enhanced carry among law enforcement types. Too may countervailing reasons to effectively negate your surmise.

  64. ST,

    One cannot find causation without causal analysis and that is often a process of elimination. The idea that we could be seeing this as a result of “suicide by cop” or “big suicide notes” would also merit examination. Is that connected to the increased use of psychoactives? We’ll never know until more research is done. In the end though, the causation and finding it rests in the perpetrators. What turns a person into a spree killer and are there mitigations to be taken in a step towards prevention? The method of their madness isn’t as relevant as the madness itself. Or evil as the case may be.

  65. For any parents here, the society in which they grew up is alien to the one in which their children are growin up in.

    ———————–

    I read a lot of psychology books when I was younger…. so when I had my daughter at 31 years old, I understood that by 6 years old… their personalities are formed…. empathy etc….
    I made SURE my daughter understood how we treat people and what OTHERS feel when we hurt them…… and I don’t mean talking about it a few times here and there… I mean DRILLING it into her…. NOT in a mean forceful manner… BUT just in a manner in which I KNEW she got it…. and GOT it…. and GOT it again…..

    I have NO IDEA if that really helped…. I like to think it did… She is one of the NICEST most polite children you could meet…. and yet VERY STRONG willed and TOUGH as nails…. and PROTECTIVE of those who are weaker than herself……

  66. “From what I’ve read and my understanding of gun law (admittedly fairly superficial), the killer was under no legal disability that would have prevented him from purchasing the guns in his own name. If that’s correct, then why would he purchase them under his mother’s name?”

    Looks like I was wrong. I’ve since read that Connecticut requires one to be 21 to legally purchase guns and the killer was 20.

  67. I believe that this is a very large part of the issue.
    Really!
    I think that this is why we should expect to see more incidents like this.
    We are writing major suicide notes.

    ———————————

    I DO agree to some of this…..

    THOUGH…. In Germany.. it has NOT happened again…..
    Norway… NOT again…
    Finland tightened their gun control… and it did not happen again….
    Australia tightened gun control…. it did not happen again……

  68. “Over the past two decades, the NRA has not only been able to stop gun control laws, but even debate on the subject. The Centers for Disease Control funds research into the causes of death in the United States, including firearms — or at least it used to. In 1996, after various studies funded by the agency found that guns can be dangerous, the gun lobby mobilized to punish the agency. First, Republicans tried to eliminate entirely the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the bureau responsible for the research. When that failed, Rep. Jay Dickey, a Republican from Arkansas, successfully pushed through an amendment that stripped $2.6 million from the CDC’s budget (the amount it had spent on gun research in the previous year) and outlawed research on gun control with a provision that reads: “None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

    David Satcher, the then-director of the CDC, wrote an Op-Ed in the Washington Post in November of 1995 warning that the NRA’s “shotgun assault” on the CDC was dangerous both for public health and for our democracy:

    What ought to be of wider concern, is the second argument advanced by the NRA — that firearms research funded by the CDC is so biased against gun ownership that all such funding ought to cease. Here is a prescription for inaction on a major cause of death and disability. Here is a charge that not only casts doubt on the ability of scientists to conduct research involving controversial issues but also raises basic questions about the ability, fundamental to any democracy, to have honest, searching public discussions of such issues.”

    http://www.salon.com/2012/07/25/the_nras_war_on_gun_science/

  69. justagurlinseattle

    Have you ever heard of the temperance movement? There may not be mass killings with alcohol but I can tell you that when you add up what alcohol has done to our culture, it is costing all of us not to mention the innocent women and children directly impacted by a “drunk” husband.

  70. I should hasten to add.
    A lack of empathy is not necessarily a failure of nurture.
    Some people have conditions that override nurture and that , from my observations of families with problem children, are due to ‘something else’.

  71. shano

    What evidence do you have that limiting certain types of rifles or handguns would actually prevent crime from taking place?

  72. Jim
    1, December 15, 2012 at 2:35 pm
    shano

    What evidence do you have that limiting certain types of rifles or handguns would actually prevent crime from taking place?

    ——————————————

    Let’s start with High Capacity Magazines….

    The last 3 years have seen a RISE in use of these magazines in these mass shootings…..

  73. Gun control laws would not abrogate the Second Amendment because the second amendment does not grant an individual the right to bear arms for personal use. It is time that people start reading the Second Amendment. Do the words “well regulated” militia mean anything to you?
    As to not over reacting to the tragedy in CT, that comment is just bunk. When will we stop allowing the right wing and the NRA to tell us when and how we can talk about guns? We have needed gun control for years. Things have only gotten worse.

  74. Jim
    1, December 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm
    justagurlinseattle

    Have you ever heard of the temperance movement? There may not be mass killings with alcohol but I can tell you that when you add up what alcohol has done to our culture, it is costing all of us not to mention the innocent women and children directly impacted by a “drunk” husband.

    ——————————-

    that happens over time and a wife can LEAVE…… and leave with the children…… NO such luck for those children yesterday…..

  75. funny you mention that Jim….

    Back in the 50’s 60’s and 70’s Spouse abuse was something we did NOT talk about……
    NOW people are talking about it.. and it is on the decrease…..
    we did something about it…. and still are…..

    Same with Drunk Driving…. FAR FEWER Drunk driving deaths now that Gun shot deaths….. we are trying and it is working……

    as for as these mass shooting…. We have done Jacksh*T about it…. and it makes me SICK!!!!
    We are so scared of the NRA that we ALLOW them to brainwash our citizens…. and other countries citizens…

    The NRA in MY EYES is the BIGGEST Terrorist Organization in the WORLD!!!!!!

  76. Justice Holmes,

    “Gun control laws would not abrogate the Second Amendment because the second amendment does not grant an individual the right to bear arms for personal use.”

    This is incorrect.

    You need to read the following:

    District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) – holding that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home, in federal enclaves.

    McDonald v. Chicago, 561 US 3025 (2010) – holding that the right of an individual to “keep and bear arms” protected by the Second Amendment is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the states.

    Reasonable restrictions are one thing and if that is what you mean by gun control laws, then fine, but citizens do have a right to bear arms for traditionally lawful purposes. Any solution in the form of reasonable restrictions cannot cross that line absent amendment or repeal of the 2nd.

  77. I wish someone would show me any material in which anyone who supports gun control has claimed that gun control would “end violence” or end “crime”. These absolutes are such weak attempts to reframe a serious issue so that it is impossible to get down to brass tacks. Man seems to be violent and will always find a way to be so; however guns particularly automatic weapons and the more military style weapons now available and the mega magazines make it possible to kill more people faster than ever before and are easy to obtain. Before you start screaming but I have a constitutional right to arm myself, let me tell you, even if you are right which I don’t believe you are, there is no such thing as an absolute Constitutional right. A former Supreme Court Justice said that ” The Constitution is not a suicide pact.” Unfortunately the Second Amendment has been wrongly interpreted, misapplied and deified with the result that the Second Amendment is a suicide pact, a homicide pact and a mass murder pact.

  78. Jim , we only have a graph that shows during the Clinton assault ban that these shootings were less deadly.

    The NRA has effectively blocked any research into this problem, because ‘freedom’ or some such bullsht.

    You and messpo echo this sentiment- no, we cant talk about it now. We can never talk about it or research it in ways that might improve the situation.

    No we cannot talk about restricting gun sales the way we do Sudafed for gods sake. it just cannot be tolerated.

  79. Alabama Hospital Shooting: St. Vincent’s Gunman Wounds 3 Before Being Killed By Police
    12/15/12
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/15/alabama-hospital-shooting-wounded-gunman-killed_n_2307505.html?ref=topbar

    Excerpt:
    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A man opened fire early Saturday at a hospital in Alabama, wounding a police officer and two employees before being shot and killed by another officer, authorities said.

    Police were sent to St. Vincent’s Hospital around 4 a.m. to check on a report of an armed man inside the facility. Two officers who arrived separately converged on the suspect on the hospital’s fifth floor.

    “When the officer encountered the suspect, there was immediate gunfire from the suspect,” Birmingham Police Sgt. Johnny Williams said. One police officer and two hospital employees who happened to be in the area were wounded.

    A second officer shot back, mortally wounding the suspect.

  80. Justice Holmes, so, because we cannot stop all crime, we should just assign a semi automatic to every person who comes of age.

    Actually, this might be a good idea, they do this in Switzerland- along with the required gun TRAINING. And continual training, tracking of guns, etc. Very little gun violence there.

    Maybe if the NRA spent more money TRAINING gun owners and evaluating gun owners than they do on silencing any dissent or complaints about gun violence, we might get some where.

  81. shano, it says”

    “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

    The antecedent is an explanation, not a limitation. As for the word “regulated,” in the parlance of the day, it meant ‘in good working order.’ Recall, if you will, a famous clock company used the name “Regulator” to describe their product. Regulator clocks were famous for their accuracy and reliability. What is meant by that amendment was that the militia was everybody. And the government hoped and expected the citizens would keep their arms in good working order, practice with them, and keep them ready for use.

    There is an interesting history associated with the passage of the 2nd Amendment, which is explained by Professor David E. Vandercoy:

    http://www.guncite.com/journals/vandhist.html

  82. Bryan Fischer: God Did Not Protect Connecticut Shooting Victims Because Prayer Banned In Schools (VIDEO)
    The Huffington Post
    By Meredith Bennett-Smith
    Posted: 12/15/2012
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/15/bryan-fischer-god-did-not-protect-connecticut-shooting-victims-prayer-banned_n_2303903.html

    Excerpt:
    As the nation reeled from reports of the horrifying mass shooting at at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., most Americans responded with an outpouring of sympathy.

    However, Bryan Fischer made some notably controversial comments in the wake of the tragedy.

    The conservative Christian who has continuously drawn the ire of groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and GLAAD for his anti-gay rhetoric and vitriolic tirades on behalf of the American Family Association, said on his radio show that God did not protect the victims of the Connecticut shooting because prayer has been prohibited from the public school system:

    The question is going to come up, where was God? I though God cared about the little children. God protects the little children. Where was God when all this went down. Here’s the bottom line, God is not going to go where he is not wanted.

    Now we have spent since 1962– we’re 50 years into this now–we have spent 50 years telling God to get lost, telling God we do not want you in our schools, we don’t want to pray to you in our schools, we do not want to pray to your before football games, we don’t want to pray to you at graduations, we don’t want anybody talking about you in a graduation speech…

    In 1962 we kicked prayer out of the schools. In 1963 we kicked God’s word out of ours schools. In 1980 we kicked the Ten Commandments out of our schools. We’ve kicked God out of our public school system. And I think God would say to us, ‘Hey, I’ll be glad to protect your children, but you’ve got to invite me back into your world first. I’m not going to go where I’m not wanted. I am a gentlemen.

  83. Shano…. Switzerland also makes the people who own guns keep their ammo away from the gun… out of the house in most cases….
    Their MILLIONS of guns are tightly controlled as well as their ammo….

    That gun they have is to PROTECT THE COUNTRY…. NOT for SELF Protection…..

    and because the RIGH and POOR are also conscripted they feel MORE sense of community, TOGETHERNESS, you know SOCIALISM…. the USA is more us against them mentality…..

  84. CUT & PASTE “We have been through this too many times,” said the famously composed President Obama, this time moved to tears. “We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.

    CUT & PASTE
    CIA Drone Strikes in Pakistan 2004–2012
    Total US strikes: 354
    Obama strikes: 302
    Total reported killed: 2,597-3,398
    Civilians reported killed: 473-889
    *****Children reported killed: 176*****
    Total reported injured: 1,256-1,414

    I agree..we need to stop killing children WHEREVER they are!!!!
    You hypocritical &*%$#*.
    http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/category/projects/drones/

  85. Whatever was wrong with this mass murderer, or the last one, or the next one. is not relevant. The guy could have had horns, a barbed tail and smelled of brimstone and spending time and words analyzing him would still have been little more than a sop for the gun lovers.

    The issue is that it is too damn easy for Americans to get guns and walk into a building and start shooting people. Yes, those people may be unwell. That is a separate and distinct issue. Yes, someone intent on murder might use a knife or a baseball bat if guns were not so readily obtained.

    So what? We are suffering through mass *gun* murders every few months, not mass clubbings or knifings.

    We can’t wait until we magically eliminate broken people before tackling this problem.

    We have a gun problem. We do not have a broken people problem. The only debate we need to have is how to keep more firearms out of the hands of more people.

    I’ve no more patience with gun lovers pointing to the 2nd Amendment and accusing me of treason if I say I don’t like it. Their veneration of the Constitution is based solely on their veneration of the gun. We’ve no reason to support the 2nd Amendment. We’ve should we don’t deserve it.

  86. Truman killed over 50,000 Japanese kids in just 2 days of bombings. LBJ probably killed a million Vietnamese kids. Clinton killed about 1/2 a million Iraqi kids with his sanctions and thousands more Serbians & Sudanese kids with his bombings. Obama routinely slaughters kids with drones and then, like a true psycopath, sheds tears over the CT slaughter — yet millions of progressives are still proud to vote for Democrats.

  87. Shano stated: “Justice Holmes, so, because we cannot stop all crime, we should just assign a semi automatic to every person who comes of age.

    Actually, this might be a good idea, they do this in Switzerland- along with the required gun TRAINING. And continual training, tracking of guns, etc. Very little gun violence there.”

    That does not seem to be the case, according to this post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/14/mythbusting-israel-and-switzerland-are-not-gun-toting-utopias/:

    “Switzerland has also been moving away from having widespread guns. The laws are done canton by canton, which is like a province. Everyone in Switzerland serves in the army, and the cantons used to let you have the guns at home. They’ve been moving to keeping the guns in depots. That means they’re not in the household, which makes sense because the literature shows us that if the gun is in the household, the risk goes up for everyone in the household.”

  88. jonc, yes, I agree. If guns were sensibly REGULATED, if people who want to own guns were TRAINED in gun safety, gun storage, handling as well as shooting- then we might be able to keep the mentally ill from getting a gun.

    Imagine if Jared Loughner, as delusional as he was, had to find and contact the underground gun sellers, plan and scheme to find a gun. He would have lost interest. He would have had to be lucky to find what he was looking for.
    As it was, even when the college he attended demanded mental health screening before allowing him back in class- he could go buy a gun with no problems, no planning, – easy peasy, no problems.

    If the NRA would just come down on this side- we want gun owners educated and evaluated- they might not be so hated by millions of Americans. they are the most irresponsible organization in America.

  89. I should also add that I recall seeing stats that Switzerland’s murder rate is about double that in Germany and multiple times more than the UK, although still much lower than in the US.

  90. @Waldo: The last thing we need to do is to turn all our schools into armed fortresses.

    No, it is the first thing we need to do. Having police or guards protect children from harm is not some crazy idea. Would you say the same thing about the White House or the Pentagon or even the local Court House? “Well, the last thing we need to do is turn our state houses into armed fortresses!”

    Fortresses protect people. Children deserve protection. Twenty school shootings kind of proves they NEED protection, and deploying public employees (police) to do that job is not an insane response.

    I am not saying nobody can get in, I am saying nobody can get in with a weapon. Further, that move would not require any laws being passed or gun controls being issued. If police are not the answer to protection for children turned over to public care, I don’t know what is. What possible value can there be in allowing weapons of any kind into a public school?

    Put cops at the door.

  91. OS, so do you think everything to do with guns is in “good working order” here in America?

    One would have to be insane to think so when we have had mass shootings of innocent people escalating each decade..

  92. Tony C., good point. maybe we can take half the employees from the TSA and put them next to a metal detector at school entrances. win/ win I say.

  93. I often agree with you but this time you’re way off base. There is not a case of a mass shooting that does not involve a “disturbed individual.” By your logic we can’t do anything to prevent the next one.

    I support the right to bear arms but it’s undeniable that the framers of the constitution could not have envisioned ready access to handguns, let alone assault weapons (which I do not argue were used in THIS case but they have been in others) by anyone with the money to buy one. They counted African-Americans as 3/4 of a person. Many of them expected that the landed gentry would continue to lead the unwashed masses. Freedom of religion was a contentious point even then. The right to bear arms is the law of the land, but supposed statistics on popular opinion hardly justify the perpetration of a corruption of the intent of the law. Fifty years ago a majority of the country would have considered a black man (or woman) in the White House horrifying and morally wrong.

    A shotgun or rifle is sufficient for protection. Handguns and assault weapons have no purpose other than hunting humans. Even so, no one sensible is arguing that we get rid of handguns. They are out there and nothing will call them back. But they must be harder to come by. To assert they were “legally purchased” sidesteps the issue that they can be legally purchased by anyone with sufficient incentive. I could buy one tomorrow.

    I am a “disturbed individual.” I have suffered from mental illness my entire life. I work, I have raised a family, and am a productive member of society. I’ve spent immeasurable amounts of money and time on my medical care. I don’t own a gun, never would, and would not be around those who do so irresponsibly. Still, I could get my hands on a weapon without much difficulty. Background checks are anemic; some disreputable vendors don’t do them at all. Would mental illness even show up on a background check if it weren’t a matter of public record (i.e. ordered by a court)? Who is going to know?

    One comment suggested that it should be illegal for anyone with a mentally ill person in the family to purchase a handgun. Mental illness is so poorly diagnosed and treated that would be a near impossibility to enforce. Plus it violates the right of the individual to own a gun.

    You present reasons why nothing can be done. You say “Thus, Lanza may have acted from a motivation he had little control over and which no amount of gun control or mental health legislation could control.” You say that the public does not support gun control, as if a person’s opinion can’t ever change. You don’t believe anyone’s opinion has changed in the past 24 hours? We make teenagers watch horrific films about death on the highway before we allow them to drive. You don’t advocate for better education and training in order to own a firearm. You don’t advocate for better background checks. You seem to think that better access to mental health care or stricter enforcement of the regulations we have are pointless. We could use a little less oral argument and a little more compassion and will to make a difference in the world.

    I have included the link to the petition at whitehouse.gov asking for introduction of legislation to strengthen gun control. Please sign it if you agree.

  94. this:

    “You don’t believe anyone’s opinion has changed in the past 24 hours? We make teenagers watch horrific films about death on the highway before we allow them to drive. You don’t advocate for better education and training in order to own a firearm. You don’t advocate for better background checks. You seem to think that better access to mental health care or stricter enforcement of the regulations we have are pointless. We could use a little less oral argument and a little more compassion and will to make a difference in the world.”

    Well said BH

  95. shano,
    My comment had to do with your misreading of the prefatory phrase of the Second Amendment. The link I attached gave a fuller explanation of the reasoning of the framers. It has to do with the fact this is one of the ten parts of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution. Anyone who does not like it can petition to change it.

    Please proceed, Governor…..

  96. It sounds like Bible interpretation, OS. yea, anyone can parse those words any way they wish.

    From the Onion:

    WASHINGTON—In the wake of yesterday’s gruesome mass shooting that claimed the lives of 27 people, including 20 schoolchildren, the United States ratified a new constitutional amendment this afternoon guaranteeing American citizens the right to live life in a perpetual state of abject horror.

    “The provisions of the 28th Amendment will fully protect the right of all individuals to spend every waking moment utterly terrified at the thought of a deranged stranger with a semiautomatic combat rifle gunning them down,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), explaining that the measure also permits Americans to suffer panic attacks anytime their loved ones go to work, school, malls, or virtually any other public location.

    “In addition, the new amendment prevents the government from ever infringing on a citizen’s inalienable right to lie awake at night visualizing the images of crying children being ushered out of a school and wondering where it could happen next.”

    The new amendment comes on the heels of numerous other proposed changes to U.S. law, including a highly contested bill that would protect the right of Americans to ignore a widespread, deadly problem until it is far too late.”

  97. Jim said:

    I have been an educator for over 20 years. Teachers carrying guns would prevent a lot of what has happened in schools but by the same token there may be one “educator nut ball” that may use it for the wrong reason. So, do we take the chance of saving many at the cost of a few nuts? The answer is no because in America it is always the minority that win!

    And where will the teachers keep those guns so that a student can’t get to it and kill others by accident or purposeful intention?

  98. They may have removed God from schools but there’s still plenty of God at West Point which is where this violence problem in society ultimately originates.

    Stanley Kubrick depicted it thusly:

  99. Noone removed God from the public schools. Public schools are supposed to be free from religious activity, but God is still present in every soul at every school. One only has to use their mind to think of God so what is Huckleberry talking about? What we need is a concerted war on Guns. If we as a society can’t take measures to protect our children in a school, then we are beyond help from any God.

  100. Karl Friedrich
    1, December 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm
    Truman killed over 50,000 Japanese kids in just 2 days of bombings. LBJ probably killed a million Vietnamese kids. Clinton killed about 1/2 a million Iraqi kids with his sanctions and thousands more Serbians & Sudanese kids with his bombings. Obama routinely slaughters kids with drones and then, like a true psycopath, sheds tears over the CT slaughter — yet millions of progressives are still proud to vote for Democrats.

    ——————————————————————————

    and how many Children did BUSH 1 and 2 kill?????

    YOU act as if a Republican President would be doing things DIFFERENTLY…….

    Do you REALLY think that if a Republican suddenly came into office that the Drones would NO LONGER be in use????

  101. Huckabee and his ilk would not know G-d if they were standing toe-to-toe
    As a teacher friend of mine has said G-d has not been taken out of the schools, just go into any classroom where the kids are getting ready to take a test (:

  102. Karl F. Venerate the culture of violence, is that what you’re saying in part? Well I would never accuse those here of that. Although I did have a “say wha” moment regarding Jim’s question and assertion “What evidence do you have that limiting certain types of rifles or handguns would actually prevent crime from taking place? [snip] In America not from a foreign country. Americans are different!” . Regardless of the merit or ot of the question, I got that ‘ol “exceptionalism” vibe that usually doesn’t play well among the regular posters here..

    Anyway, I do think the straight up defenders of the “don’t mess with the 2nd amendment” here are earnest and sincere in there vision, which I suppose is related to libertarianism. We have a serious divergence of emphasis. The more I think about it the more I feel that the mental health angle is a distraction from from the gun regulation piece (although I do think that appropriately constituted MH screening and court determination of fitness is essential). Interesting, though, that really hard core NRA types would probably object to restricting gun possession from anyone, even identified violent threats. From the NYT, without comment:

    ” Across the country, states are increasingly allowing people like Mr. French, who lost their firearm rights because of mental illness, to petition to have them restored.

    “A handful of states have had such restoration laws on their books for some time, but with little notice, more than 20 states have passed similar measures since 2008. This surge can be traced to a law passed by Congress after the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech that was actually meant to make it harder for people with mental illness to get guns.

    “As a condition of its support for the measure, the National Rifle Association extracted a concession: the inclusion of a mechanism for restoring firearms rights to those who lost them for mental health reasons. ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/us/03guns.html?_r=0

    Mainly, thanks for the “Full Metal Jacket” clip. I saw that flick maybe 25 years ago; actually I think my residential clients voted to see it for their “recreation” time. I knew nothing, but I must say I still consider it one of the starkest films I’ve ever seen of it’s type. nb – “I’ve never been able to bring myself to view “The Deer Hunter” or “Apocalypse Now”

  103. Secondly… If Obama was not using the Drones to strike Terrorist camps and for fighting the war on Terror, REPUBLICANS would be screaming a storm about how Obama was a Terrorist Sympathizer and that he was weak on Terror and helping his buddies in the Middle East and North Africa…….

    I HATE that Obama is using Drones in this way, and that women and children are being killed…. I wish there was a WAY to eradicate Terrorism…. and I for one think that the drones will hurt us MORE in the end, just as these wars have….

    fact is…. there is only 2 kinds of Presidents that would not be using these drones in this fashion…..
    first being a Right wing… America ONLY isolationist type who wants to wall the USA off from the Rest of the world…..
    OR…
    a FAR FAR Lefty who does NOT believe in war and killing……
    there is NO WAY that either would win an election….

    Do NOT delude yourself into thinking that these drones are going to end anytime soon no matter who is in office…..

    American Mind set will NOT allow it….. WE LOVE trying to change minds using FORCE rather than Diplomacy…..

    It is NO WONDER that younger people are using guns to get their point across when our Government acts in OUR name doing the same thing….

    We did not go into Afghanistan or Iraq for SELF DEFENSE……

  104. justagurlinseattle

    I don’t know what country you are in. If a coach tries to pray before a game someone files a lawsuit. If a nativity were put up at a school a lawsuit will be filed. We used to stand and have a prayer every morning before class began but can’t do it now–we call it a moment of silence. We can’t post the 10 commandments in school because a lawsuit will be filed. You must live in la la land to think God hasn’t been kicked out of school. I do not care about what Muslims or atheists think. This country wasn’t created for them. That is the problem with this country now. We are too sensitive to what all people’s think instead of what God himself thinks.

  105. justagurlinseattle

    WE LOVE trying to change minds using FORCE rather than Diplomacy…..

    That is what you are advocating by passing gun laws. Force people to not have a certain type of weapon. If you really wanted to stop the killing then you would advocate for a change in culture—video games that have killing, strict penalties for drug use, strict penalties for people who beat up their spouses, abuse their children, have children out of wedlock, penalties for gays and lesbians, or abandon their families. We have a major culture problem. Before you say anything about any of the above keep this is mind. God created man and woman and then said be fruitful and multiply. That was a covenant and this business of gays and lesbians is a direct violation against that covenant for they can’t be fruitful and multiply. Anyone who disagrees take it up with God for it was he who created this world.

  106. Justagurl siad: “I do not care about what Muslims or atheists think. This country wasn’t created for them.”
    And for whom was it created? Christians only, Jews, Taoists, anyone other then native Americans?

    She adds: “That is the problem with this country now. We are too sensitive to what all people’s think instead of what God himself thinks.”
    Ah you know what G-d thinks? Does Huckabee? Does anyone other then G-d?
    Hubris to think you or anyone else knows what G-d thinks
    1 Corinthians 2:11 ►

    New International Version (©1984)
    For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

    Your meanness of spirit ‘who cares what (they) think’ would not stand the ◄ John 13:34 ► ” As I have loved you, so you must love one another” test.

    This is the problem when people like yourself talk about religion in this country. They seem to come down on the side of this country and freedom of religion is only for me and those of my ilk, and the rest of you…fuggedaboutyou.

  107. Jim, the problem with concealed weapons is that often a reach for a handkerchief or some other item can be misconstrued as a reach for a gun and then the other guy shoots first (stand my ground, maybe) without waiting to see what the situation really is.

  108. Jim,

    I was a public school teacher for many years. I began teaching in 1968 and retired in 2004. We never prayed in the school system where I taught.

    I did grow up with prayer in school. I attended a parochial school.

  109. Don Thank you. I apologize Justagurl. My comment was related to what Jim wrote.

    As for what Jim says in that post at 6:43
    “this business of gays and lesbians is a direct violation against that covenant for they can’t be fruitful and multiply”.
    So maybe there should be a law against 2 people who are infertile marrying? And a law against lifelong bachelors/bachelorettes who never had children?
    “Anyone who disagrees take it up with God for it was he who created this world.”
    He also created bodies that are infertile, or become infertile, lifelong childless singles, and homosexuals.
    None of the above can, or did procreate. You should take that up with G-d.

  110. Elaine,
    When I was in high school, we had an English teacher who had taught in Chicago. She told us that in Chicago schools, every school had a police officer standing guard in it. We found that hard to believe at the time.

    Last night Raff asked how come civilians can buy body armor. I have been thinking, that body armor might be a good idea of everyday dress for school teachers and administrators. It now comes in comfortable and easily concealable forms. Most law enforcement officers would no sooner go without their vests than they would go without their sidearm. If a teacher or administrator had been wearing a bulletproof vest, it may have given them time to rush the shooter without too much fear of being shot first.

    There are even Day-Glo orange bulletproof vests for hunters. You can buy some vests for less than a hundred dollars, but you get what you pay for, and your life may depend on it. Somebody asked me about that the other day, and I asked them whether they would rather jump out of an airplane with a hundred dollar parachute, or one that cost eight hundred dollars.

    http://www.bulletblocker.com/buve.html

  111. It’s Easier For Americans To Access Guns Than Mental Health Services
    By Sy Mukherjee
    Dec 14, 2012
    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/12/14/1338021/its-easier-for-americans-to-access-guns-than-mental-health-services/

    Excerpt:
    Details about Friday’s horrific shooting spree at a Connecticut elementary school are still emerging, and it remains unknown whether the suspected shooter suffered from underlying mental health issues. But the fact remains: in America, it’s currently easier for a poor person to get a gun than it is for them to get treatment for mental health issues.

    Most murders committed in the United States involve a firearm — particularly handguns. A quick search shows that a typical handgun can be purchased for anywhere between $250 and $500. A .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle — which some reports indicate was the type of firearm used in today’s attack — costs between $700 and $2000. And contrary to the gun lobby’s most ardent hysteria about Barack Obama, gun ownership has actually been rising over the past four years, as has the use of guns in violent crimes.

    By comparison, access to mental health services remains spotty, its funding and beneficiary requirements subject to the whims of governments attempting to balance their bloated budgets. People often do not know when they are entitled to preventative care services for mental health, and the people who do often forgo care due to the stigma associated with receiving such care.

  112. What does that say about the country and schools if teachers have to wear bulletproof garments? That would just give the politicians more excuse to not take up the issue of gun control “Well the teachers are safe, they wear the vests so we dont have to do anything (other then continue to take the NRA money)
    (I asked a friend of mine yesterday if she would have gone into teaching now (she is retired after 25 years of teaching). Sadly she said no and she would never recommend it to young people as a potential profession)

  113. Elaine,
    Those vests are like parachutes in some ways. I would rather have one and not need it, than need one and not have it.

  114. More Guns, More Mass Shootings—Coincidence?
    America now has 300 million firearms, a barrage of NRA-backed gun laws—and record casualties from mass killers.
    —By Mark Follman
    Wed Sep. 26, 2012
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/mass-shootings-investigation

    Excerpt:
    In the fierce debate that always follows the latest mass shooting, it’s an argument you hear frequently from gun rights promoters: If only more people were armed, there would be a better chance of stopping these terrible events. This has plausibility problems—what are the odds that, say, a moviegoer with a pack of Twizzlers in one pocket and a Glock in the other would be mentally prepared, properly positioned, and skilled enough to take out a body-armored assailant in a smoke- and panic-filled theater? But whether you believe that would happen is ultimately a matter of theory and speculation. Instead, let’s look at some facts gathered in a two-month investigation by Mother Jones.

    In the wake of the slaughters this summer at a Colorado movie theater and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, we set out to track mass shootings in the United States over the last 30 years. We identified and analyzed 61 of them, and one striking pattern in the data is this: In not a single case was the killing stopped by a civilian using a gun. Moreover, we found that the rate of mass shootings has increased in recent years—at a time when America has been flooded with millions of additional firearms and a barrage of new laws has made it easier than ever to carry them in public. And in recent rampages in which armed civilians attempted to intervene, they not only failed to stop the shooter but also were gravely wounded or killed.

    America has long been heavily armed relative to other societies, and our arsenal keeps growing. A precise count isn’t possible because most guns in the United States aren’t registered and the government has scant ability to track them, thanks to a legislative landscape shaped by powerful pro-gun groups such as the National Rifle Association. But through a combination of national surveys and manufacturing and sales data, we know that the increase in firearms has far outpaced population growth. In 1995 there were an estimated 200 million guns in private hands. Today, there are around 300 million—about a 50 percent jump. The US population, now over 314 million, grew by about 20 percent in that period. At this rate, there will be a gun for every man, woman, and child before the decade ends.

  115. OS,
    While I asked about vests, it was not for the teachers, but to make the shooter take his chances without the armor. A lot of high schools have police in the building, not just in Chicago.

  116. Sixteen US Mass Shootings Happened in 2012, Leaving at Least 88 Dead
    George Zornick
    December 14, 2012
    http://www.thenation.com/blog/171774/fifteen-us-mass-shootings-happened-2012-84-dead

    Today’s nearly indescribable tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, where twenty-seven people, including eighteen children, were shot to death inside an elementary school, is at least the sixteenth mass shooting to take place in America this year. The death toll is now at eighty-four.

    Here is a list of every fatal mass shooting that’s taken place since January 1—defined as multi-victim shootings where those killed were chosen indiscriminately. The tragedies took place at perfectly random places—at churches, movie theatres, soccer tournaments, spas, courthouses and, now, an elementary school. But given the frequency of these awful events, perhaps in the long view their occurrence isn’t so random after all—it’s predictable.

    February 22, 2012—Five people were killed in at a Korean health spa in Norcross, Georgia, when a man got into an argument and opened fire inside the facility.

    February 26, 2012—Multiple gunmen began firing into a nightclub crown in Jackson, Tennessee, killing one person and injuring 20 others.

    February 27, 2012—Three students at Chardon High School in rural Ohio were killed when a classmate opened fire.

    March 8, 2012—Two people were killed and seven wounded at a psychiatric hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when a gunman entered the hospital with two semiautomatic handguns and began firing.

    March 31, 2012—A gunman opened fire on a crowd of mourners at a North Miami, Florida, funeral home, killing two people and injuring 12 others.

    April 2, 2012—A 43-year-old former student at Oikos University in Oakland, California, walked into his former school and killed seven people, “execution-style.” Three people were wounded.

    April 6, 2012—Two men went on a deadly shooting spree in Tulsa, Oklahoma, shooting black men at random in an apparently racially motivated attack. Three men died and two were wounded.

    May 29, 2012—A man in Seattle, Washington, opened fire in a coffee shop and killed five people and then himself.

    July 9, 2012—At a soccer tournament in Wilmington, Delaware, three people were killed, including a 16-year-old player and the event organizer, when multiple gunmen began firing shots, apparently targeting the organizer.

    July 20, 2012—James Holmes enters a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises and opens fire with a semi-automatic weapon; twelve people are killed and fifty-eight are wounded.

    August 5, 2012—A white supremacist and former Army veteran shot six people to death inside a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin, before killing himself.

    August 14, 2012—Three people were killed at Texas A&M University when a 35-year-old man went on a shooting rampage; one of the dead was a police officer.

    September 27, 2012—A 36-year-old man who had just been laid off from Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis, Minnesota, entered his former workplace and shot five people to death, and wounded three others before killing himself.

    October 21, 2012—45-year-old Radcliffe Frankin Haughton shot three women to death, including his wife, Zina Haughton, and injured four others at a spa in Brookfield, Wisconsin, before killing himself.

    December 11, 2012—A 22-year-old began shooting at random at a mall near Portland, Oregon, killing two people and then himself.

    December 14, 2012—One man, and possibly more, murders a reported twenty-six people at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, including twenty children, before killing himself.

  117. leejcaroll

    First, God didn’t create homosexuals for that would be contrary to his first covenant. Second, name one founding father who was a Muslim. Third,how many Muslims fought in the American Revolution? Fourth, Freedom of religion not from religion. Finally, Christmas is all about a gift-but the gift is of no value if not received. That gift is Christ and not anyone else. I do not care what any atheist or Muslim or any other person thinks if they believe in another savior. That is not being mean but rather bold to stay true to the only hope we have as a nation which Jesus Christ.

  118. Elaine,
    This is going to sound like snark, but it isn’t. I am beginning to rethink my position on body armor for kids. My daughter wears it sometimes, but that is for work. If she were still in school, I am not sure what I would tell her. Really.

    Of course, it does not protect from a head shot, but head shots are a really hard target, and are usually the result of luck rather than aim. All armor does is give the target at least a sporting chance of surviving. My thinking on teachers and administrators is that it might give them a fighting chance of rushing the shooter and taking him/her down.

  119. Elaine M.

    In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God..John 1:1
    Read the Bible and you know his thoughts.

  120. Otteray,

    “My thinking on teachers and administrators is that it might give them a fighting chance of rushing the shooter and taking him/her down.”

    I don’t think I’d ever rush a crazed shooter wielding an assault rifle.

  121. Elaine,
    I don’t think you know what you would do. If somebody was shooting your kids in the classroom, I have no doubt you would throw yourself in the line of fire to protect them. No hero anticipates being a hero.

  122. “I attended a parochial school.”

    What you needed was a parachutical school.
    ….but with largeer parachutes in order to compensate for the weight of the bulet-proof vest.

    FFS!!!

    “take his chances without the armor”
    The fecking NYPD trained professionals can’t even hit your vest area without spraying lead into a bunch of bystanders.
    Their chances of a head shot are in the region of MegaLottery.

    So everyone’s granny and local loser carry guns into a cinema and shoot in the general direction of someone who might possibly be someone who looks suspicious.

    It’s a right goddamit!!

  123. Elaine, re access to mental health services.

    At the time I retired from the community mental health agency I worked for (close to 2 yrs ago), services were becoming more scarce and rationed. True counseling services, which are actually preventative in the long term, as well as access to psychiatrists were harder to come by. Advice to someone trying/needing to get into services was, quite literally, have a crisis and get admitted through emergency services. Discharges from the state hospital had priority in gaining access to psychiatrists, but even admissions to the state hospitals were increasing rationed as hospital beds and whole units shut down (you know, the budgetary thing), and even very sick clients were divested to the community rather than appropriate hospitalization. More clients were handled by “case management services” which really just amounted to administrative oversight and helping client with community functioning and assuring they got to psychiatric appointments; no actual therapy (note:combination of appropriate medication and appropriate therapy, in studies, is the best combination for a good prognosis and outcome).

    And, the agency I worked in was one of the best in the state for still retaining actual outpatient therapy services, and for garnering per capita funding of the state funded portion of services. The push was always to get clients to pay more in actual fees which, while a good practice for buy in to therapy, was not ever and never will be a viable route for clients with limited income and no insurance. Even probation referrals diminished as a significant paying source.

  124. Jim,.I notice you ignored the issue of not being able to bear fruit and multiply. Hard to reconcile homosexuals not being able to ‘bear fruit”and homosexuality being against G-d’s law but infertility/barrenness is not.
    Should someone with a history of say Huntingtons Chorea, an horrendous terminal disorder, have kids even if they know they are a carrier and their kids will have it?

    I don’t know of what Faith the founding fathers were, some may have been not of Faith.
    I daresay no one knows what religion was believed/praticed by each and every soldier who fought in the revolutionary war.Just like Black men fought for the US when racism kept them segregated and downtrodden I am sure some who fought in the revolutionary war were not Christian and in fact remember one of the reasons we left Britain? To escape religious persecution.

    Freedom of religion – the state may not impose a specific religion, or any religion, on the populace.

    You want a theocracy. Then you must likje the leadership in Iraq, Iran, etc

  125. Thank you Lee J Caroll….. I am a STRICT Atheist…..

    THOUGH…. I believe in Spiritualism… Just not a GOD…..

    —————————————-

    here is what Jim says…. God created man and woman and then said be fruitful and multiply. That was a covenant and this business of gays and lesbians is a direct violation against that covenant for they can’t be fruitful and multiply.

    ——-
    REALLY Jim?????

    so I guess that women and men who are infertile should also be left out of this “COVENANT” ?????

    since they are UNABLE to be Fruitful and Multiply….

    It is rather ARROGANT to say you KNOW what a god is thinking….

  126. Jim,
    Thank you for sharing your views on such a wide range of topics. Your abiding love of firearms dovetails rather well into your world view. That teabilly dogma was significantly responsible for the success of the Republican party in the last election.
    The U.S.A. dodged another kind of bullet, last November 6. Thanks for the affirmation.

  127. God didn’t write the Bible. It’s not written in mathematical or physics equations. If a god exists, that is surely he/she/its language of choice as math and physics determine how the entire universe works. The Bible was written by a bunch of different people and complied and edited by a group of men with the purpose in mind of using it to control other men. If you knew about the history of the book, you’d know this to be true based upon the rather heated debates at the Council of Nicea about whether or not to include Revelations in it as it is almost completely contrary to the teachings of Jesus. The Bible? It’s no more the word of God than the instructions on a cake mix. It’s barely the teachings of Jesus. The Gnostic Gospels give a far better picture of that than the Bible. But the Gnostics didn’t believe in organized religion. They had no churches and no fleet of Bishops with which to intimidate the masses in kowtowing to their very human will. They emphasized a personal relationship with God that required none of those trappings – merely meditation, study and prayer. This is why they were completely useless to Constantine who saw in the dawning Pauline churches a way to control people by using hand picked pieces of the Christian gospels overlayed with Mithraism to cobble together the Bible and help establish the Catholic Church. If the Gnostics had won the day? I can tell you this. You probably wouldn’t see anyone ever kill someone in the name of God or Jesus and you’d never see a scandal where some charlatan ran off with a bunch of people’s money they had donated to the church. Jesus wasn’t big on money.

    The downfall of most proselytizers and Christian theocrats is that they usually don’t know squat about the history of their own religion. I’ve met quite a few who haven’t even read the Bible much less know where it came from. And the historical Jesus – if he was real – would be appalled by the shit they claim to do “in His name”.

    This is a secular country, it was founded that way on purpose and with forethought, and the proof is in the 1st Amendment and the writings of Madison and Jefferson. The 1st Amendment not only provides for freedom of religion but freedom from religion. Including yours Jim. Keep your God to yourself and off our government. It’s not just a good idea. It’s the law.

  128. Rafflaw but some people arenlt obviously mentally ill.
    and some people just go off, having had enough, one minute seeming to do pretty good and the next, the rod that broke the camel;s back,

  129. I’m sorry…. BUT, I am SO SICK of Christians and their BS about how they have all the answers and that the USA is for them… NOT us lowly Atheists….
    YOU Jim are NOT better than ME…. or anyone else here who is not a freaking Christian….. YOU are NOT MORE American than WE ARE….

    The USA was meant as an ESCAPE from Religious PERSECUTION be it Jewish people…. Buddhists…. or Atheists…..

    It was NOT meant to be a CHRISTIAN NATION… It was not founded on Christianity….. our Forefather were NOT Christians… they were Deists….

    They believed in a creator/ god… BUT, that is as far as it went…..

    Thomas Jefferson…..

    ***~“And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.” —Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

    ***~”History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose. ” — Thomas Jefferson to Baron von Humboldt, 1813

    ***~”Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites” –Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782.

  130. leejcaroll

    Bareness: Sarah was barren and God opened her womb when she was past 80 years old and her and Abraham bore Isaac. God is the healer of all. Now, Homosexuals can’t bear fruit and multiply. Period plain and simple.

  131. justagurlinseattle

    Thomas Jefferson didn’t write the Constitution. If you prefer to have a country of Gays and Lesbians then look up Sodom and Gomorrah and see if you would like and go back into history and live there.

  132. Jim,

    I think the “bareness” issue was a problem for Adam and Eve–not Sarah.

    “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”
    (Genesis 3;7)

  133. Ah Jim you like to hear yourself, well, write.
    You use the anecdote but ignore the question. Most ‘barren’ stay that way. We do not read many articles about those in their 50’s 60’s and beyond, even those in their 900’s like I believe some lived in the Biblebecoming pregnant. Most infertile cannot bear fruit, plain and simple.And you also ignore those who are infirm and cannot marry much less become pregnant and those, like myself, who are disabled and single, and childless. Your argument surmises all should become pregnant or impregnant or be outside of G-d’s law. Glad you don;t speak for Him despite your assertion that you do.

    I am reminded by your screeds of Edith Stein, born an orthodox Jew, converted to Christianity, became a nun who did wonderful works (and has been elevated to Saint) and was executed by the nazis because she was a jew.

    You know the work First they came for the Jews. by Neimuller? This is America, this is the world, Many religions, including areligious, atheist.
    Judge not lest ye be judged, that is what Jesus said so Jim, you are going against Jesus when you decide who is acceptable and what beliefs are acceptable,

  134. Leejcaroll
    1, December 15, 2012 at 8:38 pm
    Jim: You told Elaine” Read the Bible and you know his thoughts” Jim, which Bible and which translation?

    ————————————-

    RIGHT ON!!!! Good question… One I often ask Christians….

    THO… for reasons YOU and I know…. It is NOT common to get a REASONABLE answer……

    ————————————-
    Bob Kauten
    1, December 15, 2012 at 8:48 pm
    Jim,
    Thank you for sharing your views on such a wide range of topics. Your abiding love of firearms dovetails rather well into your world view. That teabilly dogma was significantly responsible for the success of the Republican party in the last election.
    The U.S.A. dodged another kind of bullet, last November 6. Thanks for the affirmation.

    ————————————–

    Bob… I could not agree MORE…. :-)

    —————————————-

    Gene…. ONCE again.. YOU are RIGHT on the money…..

    The Bible? It’s no more the word of God than the instructions on a cake mix. It’s barely the teachings of Jesus.

    ——————————————————

    and for those who think that Christians are better citizens and that they commit LESS crime than Atheists……

    Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies

    Religion–Social Benefits

    Source: Journal of Religion and Society
    Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies

    “Pressing questions include the reasons, whether theistic or non-theistic, that the exceptionally wealthy U.S. is so inefficient that it is experiencing a much higher degree of societal distress than are less religious, less wealthy prosperous democracies.

    Conversely, how do the latter achieve superior societal health while having little in the way of the religious values or institutions? There is evidence that within the U.S. strong disparities in religious belief versus acceptance of evolution are correlated with similarly varying rates of societal dysfunction, the strongly theistic, anti-evolution south and mid-west having markedly worse homicide, mortality, STD, youth pregnancy, marital and related problems than the northeast where societal conditions, secularization, and acceptance of evolution approach European norms….”

    http://web.docuticker.com/go/docubase/8335

  135. Jim
    1, December 15, 2012 at 9:05 pm
    justagurlinseattle

    Thomas Jefferson didn’t write the Constitution. If you prefer to have a country of Gays and Lesbians then look up Sodom and Gomorrah and see if you would like and go back into history and live there.

    ————————————————

    NOT ONCE did I say he wrote the Constitution….

    and using a FABLE to back your theory does not bode well for you….

    Countries that accepted homosexuality before the USA are QUITE Prosperous…. and have LESS Societal breakdown and disfunction than the USA…….

    YOU have also FAILED to answer many of us who asked about infertile people, since they are unable to be fruitful and multiply……

    what about people are are INTERSEXED?????

    many call them Hermaphrodites……

    YOUR issue is that YOU think sexuality is between your LEGS…. when the fact is… SEXUALITY is between YOUR EARS…..

  136. Speed Kills
    What’s the lesson of the Connecticut school massacre? The faster the weapon, the higher the body count.
    By William Saletan
    Posted Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/human_nature/2012/12/connecticut_school_shooting_semi_automatic_weapons_and_other_high_speed.html

    Excerpt:
    This morning, a madman attacked more than 20 children at an elementary school in China. As of this writing, there are no reported fatalities.

    A few hours later, a madman attacked an elementary school in Connecticut. As of this writing, 20 of those kids are dead.

    The difference? The weapon. The madman in China had a knife. The madman in Connecticut had three semi-automatic guns. *

    Look up the worst school massacres in history, and you’ll see the pattern. Madmen are everywhere. They strike without regard to gun laws, mental health care, or the national rate of churchgoing. They’ve slaughtered children in every country you’d think might have been spared: Scotland, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Finland, Japan. They’ve falsified every pet political theory about what kind of culture or medical system or firearms legislation prevents mass murder.

    But one pattern holds true: The faster the weapon, the higher the body count. It’s not politics. It’s logistics. If you stick a knife in your first victim, it takes time to move on to your second. You might need two stabs or more to finish off the first kid. By then, the other kids have begun to flee. Soon, the cops will be here. How much time do you have? At some point, it’s time to off yourself. And all you managed to kill were two lousy kids because the only weapon you had was a kitchen knife.

  137. First they came for the mentally ill, and I didn’t speak out.
    Then they came for the families of the mentally ill, and I didn’t speak out.
    Then they came for the friends of the mentally ill, and I didn’t speak out.
    Then they came for the neighbours of the mentally ill, and I didn’t speak out.
    Then they came for the burglars of the mentally ill, and I didn’t speak out.
    Then they came for the guns, and it’s lock and load baby.

    (Tech note: It’s actually load and lock, but who the f*K locks anyway? Ya need to be able to squeeze off 30 rounds like yesterday.)

  138. “The Age of Reason,” by Thomas Paine, is available free for your perusal, on the internet.
    https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=sqAOAAAAIAAJ&rdid=book-sqAOAAAAIAAJ&rdot=1
    Paine was a political theorist, revolutionary, and considered by many to be a Founding Father of the U.S.A.
    In “The Age of Reason,” Paine, a Deist (not a Christian), deconstructs the Old and New Testaments, book by book, and proves the entire bible to be internally inconsistent. He also points out that the Old Testament is completely immoral.

  139. Dear Dr. Laura,

    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s law.

    I have learned a great deal from you, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend homosexuality, for example, I will simply remind him or her that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

    I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other laws in Leviticus and Exodus and how to best follow them.

    ~1.) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Leviticus 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?

    ~2.) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as stated in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    ~3.) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Leviticus 15:19-24). The problem is, how can I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    ~4.) Leviticus 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

    ~5.)I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

    ~6.) A friend of mine says that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Leviticus 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

    ~7.) Leviticus 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    ~8.) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?

    ~9.) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    ~10.) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend).

    He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16)

    Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

    I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

    Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

    Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.

  140. Wait until the grief and horror subsides, then talk about it? No.

    One of the legitimate functions of government, that everyone agrees with, is protecting the citizens. It’s not happening.

    I don’t really care about the 2nd amendment. Just get this shit stopped.
    Clear and simple enough?

  141. Raff, we would keep the mentally ill away from anything that could harm themselves and others if we could. Note what DonS said above. His experience mirrors mine. This is a legal, moral and ethical minefield, not to mention the scientific problems. Did you know there is a percentage of seriously mentally ill people who make a normal non-pathological profile on the MMPI and MMPI-2?

    As I have said before, the mental health system in this country is not only broken, it is almost non-existent for those who need it most. But mental health care costs money, and as one person in power put it to me, he didn’t think the “soul doctoring” of people is worth a damn, and when they break the law, just put their asses in jail and throw away the key. That way, he said, it did not waste the taxpayers money on “soul doctoring.”

  142. As I have said before, the mental health system in this country is not only broken, it is almost non-existent for those who need it most. But mental health care costs money, and as one person in power put it to me, he didn’t think the “soul doctoring” of people is worth a damn, and when they break the law, just put their asses in jail and throw away the key. That way, he said, it did not waste the taxpayers money on “soul doctoring.”….

    ———————-

    YEP….. Gotta LOVE that Privatized Prison System and the Prison lobby….

    Why is it that people would RATHER pay $30,000 or MORE a year for EACH PRISONER, than to pay for the mental health or other things that create a more balanced HEALTHIER society?????

    If we put that SAME money into EDUCATING these people PROPERLY if they so chose to…. we would have a MUCH better America…. MUCH HEALTHIER…. and much more prosperous…..

    and here, we b*tch about helping Welfare recipients at the tune of around $10,000 a year…..
    Of course they do NOT have a VERY strong lobby……

  143. GiL,
    Yep, when one is on SSI, it is really hard to donate the limit to political campaigns. So those folks are invisible.

  144. 4 adults killed in Benghazi & rt wing politicizes it endlessly. 20 kids slaughtered in CT & rt wing tells us 2 shut up. tweeted by digby

  145. Insurance many times only allows for 10 Psychiatry appointments per year….
    people on Medicaid that drops to around 8 per year…..

    and NO insurance…. FORGET IT….. unless they try to kill themselves first…. They will NOT get proper treatment…. and even then, MANY fall through the cracks…..

    Then you have EVERY family doctor handing out Prozac and Paxil like it is candy, without proper monitoring……

    with as many antidepressants that they handout in the USA to AVERAGE patients… It is AMAZING that more does not go wrong…..

    Just ask any pain patient…. they will tell you… NO MATTER what disease you have that may cause you pain… they will TRY to push antidepressants on you…..
    then you have the people WHO NEED medication, who are unable to get it…. or the TREATMENT that they need along with the medications…..

    It is TRUELY a MESS……

  146. The tragedy isn’t one school shooting, it’s the unceasing toll across our country. More Americans die in gun homicides and suicides in six months than have died in the last 25 years in every terrorist attack and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

    So what can we do? A starting point would be to limit gun purchases to one a month, to curb gun traffickers. Likewise, we should restrict the sale of high-capacity magazines so that a shooter can’t kill as many people without reloading.

    We should impose a universal background check for gun buyers, even with private sales. Let’s make serial numbers more difficult to erase, and back California in its effort to require that new handguns imprint a microstamp on each shell so that it can be traced back to a particular gun.

    “We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years,” President Obama noted in a tearful statement on television. He’s right, but the solution isn’t just to mourn the victims — it’s to change our policies. Let’s see leadership on this issue, not just moving speeches. ‘ Nick Kristoff, NYT

  147. justagurlinseattle

    I don’t wish to speak to 2-10 “at this time” / “Now (TM)”

    On (1) there is a possibility of neighbours reporting terrorist activity related to attack via airborne dioxins ( no pun intended )
    On (1) there could be a global warming aspect, but this might not be as well received as the terrorist thing.

  148. I see that John of Orange is willing to cave on tax hikes for the rich, but demands a cut in entitlements in return. Translate that to SSI, SSD, SS, and Medicare/Medicaid. I want to know where the cuts to the military industrial and banking ‘entitlements’ are.

  149. “A starting point would be to limit gun purchases to one a month”

    I don’t even want to start even thinking about if this is per person/family/mental_hospital/other

    If pushed, ‘Village/hamlet’ might be what you mean. AMMIRITE?
    ;)

  150. Sling, those aren’t my words. They are Nick Kristoff’s. Just read that some of the children and teachers were shot as many as eleven times.

  151. this:

    “In the wake of the slaughters this summer at a Colorado movie theater and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, we set out to track mass shootings in the United States over the last 30 years.

    We identified and analyzed 61 of them, and one striking pattern in the data is this: In not a single case was the killing stopped by a civilian using a gun.

    Moreover, we found that the rate of mass shootings has increased in recent years—at a time when America has been flooded with millions of additional firearms and a barrage of new laws has made it easier than ever to carry them in public.

    And in recent rampages in which armed civilians attempted to intervene, they not only failed to stop the shooter but also were gravely wounded or killed.”

    Elaine link

  152. Boehner grasping is a very personal business.

    Oh. Wait. No. That’s Boner grasping that is a very personal business.

    I get the two confused because one acts a lot like the other.

    But he has got the best name for jokes in politics since Dick Armey. So he’s got that going for him. Which is nice.

  153. Oh… god… Shano… That photo is HEART wrenching…

    I think all of my tears are gone…. I just spent 2 hours crying on the phone to my mom….. This has just BROKEN my heart…..
    I’m NOT sure I can even get a Christmas tree now… :-\

    I keep picturing those poor little babies…. most of them 6 YEARS OLD…. the fear they must have felt…
    and their parents sitting in their homes looking at their Christmas tree, with gifts wrapped so nicely that they bought for their little babies… and the stockings hung up with their little names on them…..

    and how wrecked their families must feel….. just in SHOCK….

    Ooops…. I’m not out of tears…. :-‘(

  154. There is NO WAY that those poor little traumatized children should have to walk back into that school….. the TERROR that they would feel….
    They are just TOO YOUNG to process this kind of violence…..

    You know… they should just BULLDOZE that school…. and put up a park dedicated to the victims of the shooting….

    and just build a NEW school….

  155. Don’t talk about gun control!
    Gun rights advocates tout “political correctness” to shut down talk of gun restrictions. We can’t let them continue
    BY DAVID SIROTA
    12/14/12
    http://www.salon.com/2012/12/14/dont_talk_about_gun_control/

    How many right-wing media voices were citing the shooting in Portland, Ore., this morning to trumpet the sanctity of gun rights and say we shouldn’t even talk about gun control? How many of them were making this perverse argument at the very moment the Newtown, Conn., shooting was taking place? And how many of those voices are the same ones who, when it comes to other issues, decry “political correctness”?

    The answers to these questions should be obvious: almost certainly, a lot of them. And that is a sign that for all the conservative histrionics decrying liberal “political correctness,” the most powerful and most committed “p.c. police” in America are on the right — specifically, those on the right who claim that any critical discussion of the limits of the Second Amendment must be suppressed because they insult the political ideology of conservatives.

    This form of “political correctness” is so routinized that we barely recognize it as the censorship system that it truly is. And as mass shootings become a staple of American life, this system is now ubiquitous.

    We saw it after the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., when conservatives rolled out their hallowed Now Is Not the Time talking point to insist that it was inappropriate to even discuss limits to assault-style weapons and ammunition magazines. We saw it last week with the over-the-top reaction to Bob Costas daring to suggest that America have a tempered discussion about gun control in the wake of the Kansas City Chiefs murder-suicide. We see it once again here in Colorado, where Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is today facing withering criticism for merely floating the idea that his Legislature debate gun control in the upcoming session. And, no doubt, we will see it in the wake of the Newtown shooting, when the right will inevitably insist nobody has any right to criticize existing gun policies in America (except, of course, to criticize them as somehow too restrictive).

    The message here is simple: to even raise tempered questions about gun regulations is to risk not merely being exposed to a barrage of substantively misguided pro-gun rhetoric — but to almost guarantee that you will be told you have no inherent right to make the queries in the first place.

    Thanks to that sad reality, there’s been an Orwellian redefinition of the epithet “political correctness” itself. Whereas it used to mean having to temper or censor one’s language to comport to the political sensibilities of anyone, now it means having to temper or censor one’s language to comport specifically to the political sensibilities of the American right.

    According to this redefinition, conservatives should be free to, for example, use dehumanizing phrases like “illegal immigrant” or “anchor baby” without fear of any criticism whatsoever, and they somehow have credibility in deriding the critics of such language as the “p.c. police.” Meanwhile, if anyone tries to even start a discussion of gun control in the wake of gun violence, these very same conservative voices deploy their p.c. swat team to say that such a notion must be promptly removed from the public arena — that, in essence, any mere conversation about gun control, much less passage of new gun control legislation, is wholly unacceptable.

    What’s unacceptable, of course, is this censorship-via-intimidation scheme. After all, in a democratic society, nobody has a right to have their questions go unchallenged, but everybody has the right to ask questions, no matter whom those questions offend.

    Regardless of where you come down on the gun control question, that truism shouldn’t be debatable — that is, unless you are somehow so afraid of a mere conversation about gun regulations that you have joined the right’s p.c. police.

  156. After posting at 10:23 am EST (not my time zone), the wife and I spent the day with children and have just returned home

    We started by helping to prepare for and by attending a holiday party on an Indian reservation. The party was for tribal children in foster care, in kinship placements, or adopted by non-members. This afternoon was a party at a local orphanage. In the evening was a Posada led by children who dramatized the nativity story.

    I spent most the day with children who have lost their parents, but my heart spent most of the day with those parents who lost their children yesterday.

    The tribal party began with a welcome from the Chief and a prayer from tribe’s spiritual leader. He asked blessings for the families of Newtown and that the innocents who were lost at Sandy Creek never be forgotten. He meant to say Sandy Hook, but it is not surprising that he said that which he did.

    In 1864, over 100 Indian women and children were massacred at the Battle of Sand Creek. Tribes remember the massacre as if it had happened recently:

    http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/article/voices-echo-through-time-condemn-sand-creek-massacre-145952

    Woosty’s pegged it at 10:44 am. Underlying societal factors are the root cause of gun violence. If the underlying factors are not corrected, nothing else matters. And we may all be wishing that we are armed to the teeth. Just ask a Michigan democrat.

    BTW, this is a Posada:

  157. Jesus weeps to see the failure of people who clim to be his followers to protect actual real live children from brutal deaths. Christians should be for gun control. Even if the Second Amendment granted a right to bear arms which it DOES NOT! No Constitutional right is absolute.
    GUN CONTROL NOW!

  158. What irks me is that these tragic events are always hijacked by groups with agendas. Frankly I find this highly distasteful. The gun control lobby immediately jumps on board which elicits a response from the pro gun lobby wanting to arm teachers. Meanwhile groups like the church of scientology’s Citizens commission on hUman Rights jump up and blames the psychiatric profession and big pharma for peddling evil drugs. Right wing religious types claim it’s a sign from god that we need to allow god in to schools (can you actually prevent an omnipotent being from being anywhere?) And those who feel society in the grip of violent computer games point out that he was only acting ocan ucan t what violent games do every day.

    Can we learn anything from this event? Possibly but only through rational reflection and now is not the time. People should be allowed to mourn and recover.knee jerk radical groups with their ideological agendas do not have any answers.

  159. Marcos Gurrola Arrested After Firing 50 Shots In California Mall Parking Lot
    12/15/12 11:54 PM
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/marcos-gurrola-arrested-_n_2309425.html

    Excerpt:
    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — A man was arrested Saturday after firing about 50 shots in the parking lot of a Southern California shopping mall, prompting a lockdown of stores crowded with holiday shoppers.

    Marcos Gurrola, 42, of Garden Grove was taken into custody by bicycle police officers patrolling around the open-air Fashion Island mall around 4:30 p.m., police spokeswoman Cathy Lowe said. She said he fired into the air and onto the ground in the parking lot near a Macy’s department store.

    No one was injured, but the gunfire caused panic, coming a day after a gunman killed 26 children and adults at a Connecticut elementary school, and days after a deadly mall shooting in Oregon.

    The mall was crowded with holiday shoppers and the parking lot was full. Witnesses said they ran, screaming and ducking for cover.

    “It’s a miracle nobody got injured,” said Sven Maric, who said he was celebrating his wife’s birthday at a restaurant patio about 50 yards away. “The bullets had to land somewhere, and he shot so many.”

    Lowe says some stores voluntarily closed their doors and kept shoppers inside while police investigated.

  160. Whistling Past the Gun Lobby
    by Paul Krugman
    December 15, 2012
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/15/whistling-past-the-gun-lobby/?gwh=F13A90DB7DF6F201A920EE70D166BDD8

    Almost five years ago Thomas Schaller published an important book titled Whistling Past Dixie, which basically argued that it was time for Democrats to stop running scared of the views of Southern whites — they weren’t going to get those votes anyway, and demographic change had proceeded to the point where they could win national elections without the South. Indeed, so it has come to pass: while Obama did win Virginia, he did it by appealing to the new Virginia of the DC suburbs, not the rural whites, and otherwise he had a totally non-Dixie victory.

    So Nate Cohn argues that this same logic applies to gun control: the voters who care passionately about their semi-automatic weapons are rural whites who ain’t gonna vote Democratic in any case — and the new Democratic coalition doesn’t need them. David Atkins takes it further, saying the awful truth: the pro-gun fanatics are basically the kind of people who think that Obama is a Kenyan socialist atheistic Islamist, and the urban hordes are coming for their property any day now. People, in other words, who already vote 100 percent Republican — and lose elections.

    As Cohn says, it’s not clear whether Democrats realize how things have changed. But maybe yesterday’s horror will provoke some fresh thought, and they’ll realize that this does not have to go on.

  161. Police Arrest 18-Year-Old Planning School-Shooting Plot
    By Igor Volsky
    Dec 15, 2012
    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/12/15/1341761/police-arrest-18-year-old-planning-school-shooting-plot/

    On Friday, police in Bartlesville, Oklahoma arrested an 18-year-old high school student who was planning a school-shooting massacre plot. Sammie Eaglebear Chavez “tried to recruit other students to assist him with carrying out a plan to lure students into the school auditorium where he planned to begin shooting them after chaining the doors shut.”

    “He also told them that if the students assisting him did not do what they were supposed to do, he would not hesitate to kill them and/or himself.” Chavez was arrested on Friday; bail is set at $1 million.

  162. Mespo

    Thanks for the piece, but….

    “Lanza stole the weapons — a .223 Bushmaster assault weapon*, and two semi-automatic handguns, a 9 mm Sig Sauer, and a 9 mm Glock — after murdering his mother and thus began his rampage. The simple fact is that no gun control measures either on the books or reasonably under consideration could have stopped….

    Obviously, what’s required are laws that restrict access to guns in a far more robust manner than anything currently on the books or under consideration. If Ms. Lanza never owned the guns, her son couldn’t have stolen them, used them to kill her and others. If 50 or even 20 years ago we had been more concerned about future potential victims of such gun deaths than about the guns, we had at least a chance to prevent some of these senseless deaths. If we continue to allow people to own unlimited amounts and types of weapons, as the NRA demands, there will be no preventing these kinds of tragedies over the next 20-50 years. As the old saw goes, “If nothing chamges, nothing changes”. We either stand up to the bully that is the NRA or we will mourn and kvetch over more of these stories in the future.

  163. “According to this redefinition, conservatives should be free to, for example, use dehumanizing phrases like “illegal immigrant” or “anchor baby” without fear of any criticism whatsoever, and they somehow have credibility in deriding the critics of such language as the “p.c. police.” Meanwhile, if anyone tries to even start a discussion of gun control in the wake of gun violence, these very same conservative voices deploy their p.c. swat team to say that such a notion must be promptly removed from the public arena — that, in essence, any mere conversation about gun control, much less passage of new gun control legislation, is wholly unacceptable.”

    Elaine,

    Thank you for the Sirota link. A few weeks back, on another thread, I got into a discussion about the use of the term PC with Nick. Sirota sums up the argument far better than I as to why the use of PC by any but ultra Right Wing debaters does actually is supportive of the propaganda offensive that brought the term PC about. PC, the term, is never about free speech rights as purported, but about allowing bigotry to be spouted without objection under the right of free speech. The fact is that most of those who ascribe attacks on their political/social stances as being PC, are perfectly willing to lambaste those who they disagree with mercilously.

    I’ve always been a supporter of the Second Amendment at this blog, but this incident in tandem with the timeline of mass killings supplied above, is causing me to seriously reconsider my position. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” and I’m beginning to see that there needs to be an honest discussion of gun rights in this country. This is especially true if one has had the opportunity to read the NRA magazine. A greater documentation of Right Wing craziness bordering on fascist macho would be hard to find save for “Skinhead” publications. There is a blindness afoot among gun supporters when they begin to discuss teachers being armed and wearing bullet-proof vests as a solution. That blindness comes about because they are so committed to their positions that they are unable to entertain logically any alternative that would include restriction of gun use.

  164. “Don’t talk about gun control!
    Gun rights advocates tout “political correctness” to shut down talk of gun restrictions. We can’t let them continue
    BY DAVID SIROTA
    12/14/12
    http://www.salon.com/2012/12/14/dont_talk_about_gun_control/ ” (posted by Elaine)

    Lying, deception, narrow-minded hypocrisy, come particularly naturally to that bunch. They don’t protect and honor the 2nd amendment; they desecrate it with their ignorance and arrogance.

  165. “Last night it also emerged Nancy was a member of the Doomsday Preppers movement, which believes people should prepare for end of the world.
    Her former sister-in-law Marsha said she had turned her home ‘into a fortress’. She added: ‘Nancy had a survivalist philosophy which is why she was stockpiling guns. She had them for defense.
    ‘She was stockpiling food. She grew up on a farm in New Hampshire. She was skilled with guns. We talked about preppers and preparing for the economy collapsing.”

    From the link supplied by SwM above. Imagine if you will a shy, intelligent young man with difficulties in socializing with people. The “stable” adult in his life is someone who is paranoid about the outside world collapsing and is determined to fortify her home against outside invasion. The fears the young man had, the difficulty bridging the social gap and an increasingly pessimistic view of the world outside by his mother, would seem to be a destructive recipe. A flip side of fear of contacts with others is anger and rage. The tendency would be to blame the lack of contact on others and envision ones self as shunned.

    I know how much anger I felt with being socially out of step from Kindergarten all the way through 10th grade in High School. Fortunately I had the wherewithal to learn to make friends and maintain those friendships. My parents were idealists who viewed the world positively and I always had hope for an ever brighter future.
    Had I lived with a parent who mistrusted the outside world to the extent that they opted to heavily arm themselves and prepare for Armageddon, perhaps I too might have reacted in a violent manner. Possibly this is my projection and perhaps it is also dime store psychology based on little fact, but it does give me pause to wonder.

  166. Mike,

    As you’re aware that not all people that appear stable mentally are in fact so…. OS pointed that out…. I’m beginning to rethink some things….. Ya know…..

  167. 12/16/12
    Gun Violence in America
    By Stephen Lendman
    OpEdNews
    http://www.opednews.com/articles/Gun-Violence-in-America-by-Stephen-Lendman-121216-17.html

    Excerpt:
    US civilian gun ownership is the highest worldwide. Yemen ranks second. America doubles the Yemeni level.

    Gun related violence follows. In America it’s endemic. In Chicago alone, gun-related deaths exceed one a day. More Chicagoans are shot and killed than US forces in Afghanistan by any means.

    Gun ownership makes it simple as ready, aim, fire. It lowers the threshold between anger and homicide. Proliferation in society leaves everyone vulnerable.

    On Friday, 28 Sandy Hook Elementary School Newtown, CT children and teachers were murdered. A heavily armed 20-year old man used semiautomatic pistols and a semiautomatic rifle.

    It was the third deadliest gun-related massacre in US history.

    The second worst occurred on Blacksburg, VA Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s campus. On April 16, 2007, 33 students and teachers were shot and killed. Others were wounded.

    In January 1923, shootings and other violence killed 150 Rosewood, FL Blacks. No convictions followed.

    Governor lawton Chiles (1991 – 1998) later called what happened a “blind act of bigotry.” In 2004, Florida declared Rosewood a state Heritage Landmark. Survivors of dead victims are unforgiving.

    Numerous other gun-related lesser scale massacres pockmark US history. The right to own, conceal, and use assault and other deadly weapons is an ugly America tradition. It’s long past time it ended.

    On November 18, 2012, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence said “epidemic levels of gun violence (claim) over 30,000 lives annually.” US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data document it.

    Every gun-related death leaves two others wounded. Every year, about 100,000 Americans are gun violence victims. Countless others are irreparably harmed. Nothing whatever is done to curb or prevent what’s shocking and intolerable.

  168. Enough Dead Children From Gun Violence!
    By John Rosenthal
    Posted: 12/15/20
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-rosenthal/enough-dead-children-from_b_2307169.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

    Excerpt:
    Twenty innocent children and 27 dead at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

    It was a similar massacre that occurred at the Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, CA in 1989 (six children killed and 30 children wounded) that finally led to the 1994 Federal Ban on Assault Weapons, which Congress and President Bush let expire in 2004.

    Every day eight kids under 20-years-old die from gun violence in America. That’s 56 kids a week, 340 kids a month and over 3,000 kids every year. In fact you could fill Fenway Park three times over with the 110,000 children killed by guns in the U.S. over the past 30 years!

    When are we going to stop this calamity with innocent children being massacred every day? When are we going to protect our children who have no one to protect them by us? Children deserve much better and adults are to blame.

    We can’t continue to blame yet another horrific and all too common mass shooting of innocent children on mental illness, video games, violent films, evil in our society and every other excuse except the continued insane public policy of allowing unrestricted access to military style assault weapons with high capacity ammunition clips and easily concealed handguns.

    Gun violence in America is out of control. Every day 150 Americans are shot and 83 (including eight children) are killed by firearms. Every year an average of 30,000 Americans die from firearms. Since former Congresswomen Gabby Giffords and others were shot in Tucson, AZ (Jan. 2011) there have been over 65 mass shootings in America — three every month. Since 1970 over 1.4 million Americans have been killed with firearms — more than all U.S. service men and women killed in all foreign wars combined.

    Federal Gun Policy allows unrestricted access to all firearms including military style weapons, high capacity ammunition clips and easily concealed handguns without criminal background checks or detection in 33 states and at over 5,000 gun shows annually. The gun lobby and Congress have made law enforcement the enemy of gun rights. Police are restricted from regulating gun shows and all “private” gun dealers who legally sell 40-50 percent of guns each year without a background check, proof of ID or detection. Even federally licensed gun dealers who are the only gun dealers required to run background checks are legally allowed to “set up shop” anywhere including from their homes, car trunks and backpacks. Gun manufacturers are also uniquely protected by Congress and are exempt from any regulation including manufacturing, safety, and marketing standards. And they have been given absolute immunity from law suits. As a result gun manufactures legally sell plastic guns to evade metal detectors, guns “resistant to fingerprints” or “capable of penetrating 48 layers of soft-body armor” and even capable of “taking down an aircraft.” Further, Congress has said even people on suspected terrorist watch lists should be able to legally buy guns at gun stores and as long as people with mental illness haven’t been “legally committed” to a mental institution, they too are free to purchase assault weapons and concealed handguns.

    Is it any wonder there’s a gun violence epidemic in America?

  169. From the link supplied by SwM above. Imagine if you will a shy, intelligent young man with difficulties in socializing with people. The “stable” adult in his life is someone who is paranoid about the outside world collapsing and is determined to fortify her home against outside invasion. The fears the young man had, the difficulty bridging the social gap and an increasingly pessimistic view of the world outside by his mother, would seem to be a destructive recipe. A flip side of fear of contacts with others is anger and rage. The tendency would be to blame the lack of contact on others and envision ones self as shunned.

    —————————

    Mike… this mother, took a child of hers with a developmental disorder
    and turned him into a MONSTER……

    at FIRST I was feeling so sorry for the mother….
    NOW, I am feeling REALLY sorry for this poor boy, who was turned into
    a paranoid killing machine because his mother was a paranoid whack job…..

    when you have a child that has any kind of disorder such as this…
    the parent MUST be the epitome of NORMAL… AVERAGE….
    NOT a Paranoid Fringe Dooms day conspirator…..

    I have had some ROUGH times in the last 14 years that I have had my daughter…. and NO MATTER how bad I was feeling, I always tried to
    make HER WORLD as NORMAL as possible…..
    That is MY JOB as a parent….

    I am sorry, BUT, there is NO EXCUSE for an Average sound minded person to entertain conspiracy theories when their MAIN job is to prepare their developmentally challenged child for the REAL world for success….

    This just makes me so SICK….

  170. Elaine: Whoever wrote that excerpt above got the wrong decade because the Cleveland School shooting in Stockton was 1979. The perp was the 16 year old gal Spencer who said: “I don’t like Mondays.”

  171. Justa,

    Nero comes to mind….. I think a mother was responsible for the delusional being…. Then again, there is a lot of delusion in this world….. Like not keeping score at children’s games….

  172. Swarthmore mom…

    Thank you…..

    I am just SICK of children paying the price for this second amendment with NO LIMITS what so ever…..

    I guess if I move back to the USA I am going to see if I can own some Saron Gas… and Anthrax… hey.. those are ARMS too…. :-\
    If people can own takes.. and ANY kind of gun they want… I should be able to own Saron Gas and Anthrax…. Seems fair to me….

  173. Justagurl: to your earlier reply to my post about all the past presidents who were/are murderous war criminals: of course the Republicans did & do the same. That they’re murderous reactionary monsters (who hold all life as precious!) goes without saying.

    The fact is however that the Democrats prosecuted every major war* in the 20th century & thus initiated far more slaughter of innocent children (millions in fact) than Republicans ever dreamed of.

    *The invasions of Grenada, Panama & the 1st Gulf War don’t really qualify as wars since only one side was shooting.

  174. Anonymously Yours
    1, December 16, 2012 at 10:37 am
    Justa,

    Nero comes to mind….. I think a mother was responsible for the delusional being…. Then again, there is a lot of delusion in this world….. Like not keeping score at children’s games….

    ———————————————–

    This is so TRUE… :-\

    and I agree…. I understand why people wanted to do that…. It is just that NOW we have kids who do not know that there is disappointment in life and how to work for what they get…..

  175. Swarthmore mom
    1, December 16, 2012 at 10:59 am
    justagirl, You were out front on Raff’s blog. There are some interesting comments, though.

    ——————————

    Thank you again…. :-)

    It is getting TIRING reading all of the NRA whack job comments….

    I am NOT anti-guns…. in fact I also enjoy shooting…. BUT, I do recognize that we live in a different time now….
    and if we are losing 3,000 children PER YEAR… something needs to be done…..
    The SAFETY of ALL of the citizens should mean something to these people…. BUT, they don’t seem to care….
    They also do NOT seem to understand that the NRA is NO LONGER
    an advocacy for guns….
    the NRA is making MONEY off of the gun manufacturers and off the gun retailers…..
    They just NEED to sell as many as they can to make as much money as they can……
    It is NOT about the second amendment anymore…. It is simply about MONEY… and be damned if ONE child dies or THOUSANDS of Children die…..

  176. @Gene: I’ve met quite a few who haven’t even read the Bible much less know where it came from.

    There is an atheist club at my university; I like to attend the first meetings of semesters, when incoming students tend to join. As a tradition, new members are invited to share their story of how they decided they were atheists. About half of those stories go something like this: “I was raised a Christian, and at some point I thought that to be a good Christian, I should read the Bible so I would know for myself what the ‘Word of God’ actually was. So I did that. One summer I read the entire Bible, and when I put it down I was an Atheist.”

  177. It’s all interconnected.

    As Glenn Greenwald recently wrote:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/08/psy-lyrics-anti-us-anger

    “In the last four years alone, [the US] has used drones to end people’s lives in six predominantly Muslim country (probably more). Under its Nobel Peace Prize-winning leader, it has repeatedly wiped out entire families (including just this week), slaughtered dozens of children at a time, targeted and killed people rescuing and grieving its victims, and either deliberately or recklessly dropped bombs on teenagers (including its own citizens), then justified it with the most foul and morally deranged rationale.

    It embraces and props up the world’s most repressive tyrants. It isolates itself from the world and embraces blatant double standards in order to enable the worst behavior of its client states. It continues to maintain a global network of prisons where people are kept indefinitely in cages with no charges. It exempts itself and its leaders from the international institutions of justice while demanding that the leaders of other, less powerful states be punished there. And it is currently in the process of suffocating a nation of 75 million people with an increasingly sadistic sanctions regime, while proudly boasting about it and threatening more.

    It spent years imprisoning even Muslim journalists with no charges. And then there’s that little fact about how, less than a decade ago, it created a worldwide torture regime and then launched an aggressive war that destroyed a nation of 26 million people, one that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings.

    Those are all just facts. And while there is no shortage of Americans willing to step up and dutifully justify some or all of those acts, it’s so astonishing to watch people express surprise and bewilderment and anger when they discover that this behavior causes people in the world to intensely dislike the United States. “

  178. “New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg argued that President Obama should push for tougher gun control laws during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.

    “He’s the commander in chief as well as the consoler in chief,” Bloomberg said. “This should be his No. 1 agenda. He’s the president of the United States and if he does nothing during his second term something like 48,000 Americans will be killed with illegal guns –that is roughly the number of Americans killed in the whole Vietnam War.” TPM

  179. Karl,

    You’re wrong. The shooting at the Cleveland School in Stockton occurred on January 17, 1989.

    Deadliest U.S. school shootings
    December 14, 2012
    http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Deadliest-U-S-school-shootings-3454376.php

    Gunman Patrick Purdy, seen in this police photo, date unknown, opened fire with an AK 47 assault rifle on the playground of Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, Calif., on Jan. 17, 1989. Five school children were killed and 30 others injured before Purdy took his own life.

    *****

    You’ve got it confused with another school shooting that happened in San Diego in 1979:

    Timeline: San Diego’s school shootings
    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/dec/14/looking-back-at-san-diegos-school-shootings/

    Excerpt:
    SAN DIEGO — A number of deadly mass school shootings have been recorded in U.S. history through the decades, including a handful of incidents in San Diego County.

    The most recent local school shooting, at Kelly Elementary in Carlsbad in 2010, ended without fatalities, thanks to a group of quick-thinking and fast-acting construction workers, neighbors and playground monitors.

    Here is a look back at the county’s local school shootings:

    Jan. 29, 1979: Brenda Spencer, 16, took a rifle with a scope that her father had given her for Christmas and began firing on Grover Cleveland Elementary School across the street from her home in San Carlos, killing the principal and a janitor and wounding eight children. She is serving a prison sentence of 25 years to life. She is incarcerated at the California Institution for Women at Frontera.

  180. The ‘trickle down’ effect of the veneration of aggression. Some seeps into deceptively normal minds. Some into abnormal minds. The source is the same.

  181. I don’t like monday morning quarterbacking, but wouldn’t a gun safe have prevented this tragedy? It should be mandatory that firearms are kept behind lock and key and if not in a safe be confiscated.

  182. So Karl… YOU think that the USA should have stayed out of WW2????

    and how can you say that when Bush just got us into 2 NEEDLESS wars….
    YET, YOU want to blame Liberals in a misguided effort to make YOUR side look better…. NOT gonna work…..

  183. @justagurl: An excellent list. Might I recommend one more entry, from Numbers 15?

    ***************

    15:37 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
    15:38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:
    15:39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:
    15:40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.

    ***********

    I see so few of the supposedly faithful obeying this fashion commandment from the Lord himself; I mean this is not some interpretation, this is “The Lord Spake unto Moses.”

    Yet here we are, no fringes, no blue ribbons, nothing. What in the world is going to stop them from going a-whoring?

  184. Revealed: Connecticut school gunman’s ‘survivalist’ mother was obsessed with guns and was stockpiling supplies for economic collapse

    Nancy Lanza, 52, a ‘survivalist,’ was preparing for the end of the world economy by stockpiling food
    She was killed by her son, Adam Lanza, before the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut
    She had five guns registered to her name, two of which her son used for killings
    Adam’s father, Peter, is divorced from the mother and lives with new wife in Stamford, Connecticut

    By Daniel Bates In Newtown, Connecticut and Hayley Peterson
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2248983/Connecticut-school-shooting-Adam-Lanzas-survivalist-mother-obsessed-guns.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    Excerpt:
    The mother of Newtown school massacre gunman Adam Lanza was a survivalist who was stockpiling food because she thought the world economy was on the verge of collapse.

    Nancy Lanza began hoarding such items because she feared that the financial crisis was going to bring about the end of civilized society.

    She reportedly became ‘obsessed’ with guns and taught Adam how to shoot, but on Friday he turned on her and blasted the woman to death while she laid in her own bed.

    Law enforcement sources told the Hartford Courant that she had not gotten up – and could have even been asleep – when her son killed her.

    The killer’s aunt said Nanzy Lanza was ‘self-reliant.’

    Speaking from her home near Chicago, Marsha Lanza, 57, said: ‘She was stockpiling food. We talked about prepping a lot. She was getting ready for the economic collapse.

    ‘I think she had the guns for self-defense because she lived alone.’

  185. The killer’s aunt said Nanzy Lanza was ‘self-reliant.’

    —————————

    Bullsh*te….. she was getting $240,000 a year in alimony…..

    HARDLY self reliant…. and she FAILED with her son who CLEARLY needed a balanced adult around…..

  186. Just caught this story from Huff Post. Meet the Press contacted 31 pro-gun rights senators and all refused to appear on the show:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/david-gregory-pro-gun-rights-senators_n_2311559.html

    “One exception? Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) told Fox News Sunday that he believed more guns are the answer to violence in schools: “”I wish to god she had had an M4 in her office,” he said of Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed in the shooting.”

    This is the part of the disconnect that many pro-gun activists have. The Principal was shot when Lanza entered the school, so one might validly ask Rep. Gomer, should she have walked the halls of that Elementary School all the time carrying her M4 in her arms. This to is the problem that people who feel guns protect them in their homes. For that really to be true they would need to spend their time at home wearing a holster, with a gun with a bullet in the chamber. If their guns are locked in a gun safe/case they would have to quickly go to it, unlock it and pull it out to defend themselves. How many instances of break-ins by armed criminals do we see where the homeowner is prepared for the invasion?

    We then can also think of the man with the Glock coming upon the scene of the Gabby Gifford’s shooting, who restrained his reactions enough to realize that the man he saw holding a gun had wrested it from the shooter. I get that people are fearful and I really can understand their feeling they need a means of self-defense, but try as we might we humans can only be so vigilant. In fact being in a state of “Hyper-Vigilance” indicates some psychological pathology. Do I really want to sit in my living room with a Sig Sauer at my side, host a party with my shoulder holster on, or read in bed with my shotgun next to me. If I’m not willing to do that then I am still at risk and if I am willing to do that what quality of life do I have?

  187. Mike,

    I just found this one on ThinkProgress:

    GOP Rep Suggests Teachers Should Be Armed With Assault Rifles
    By Ben Armbruster on Dec 16, 2012
    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/12/16/1342281/gop-rep-suggests-teachers-should-be-armed-with-assault-rifles/

    A Republican Congressman suggested that had the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary been armed with assault rifles, they could have prevented Friday’s massacre and saved lives.

    Appearing on a special Fox News Sunday dedicated to the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said that an armed teacher or principal could have taken the killer’s “head off before he can kill those precious kids”:

    GOHMERT: Having been a judge and reviewed photographs of these horrific scenes and knowing that children have these defensive wounds, gun shots through their arms and hands as they try to protect themselves, and, hearing the heroic stories of the principal, lunging, trying to protect, Chris, I wish to God she had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and she didn’t have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands and takes him out and takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids. […]

    *****

    Gohmert was a judge? Good grief! He’s on my list of Top Ten Crazy Congressmen.

  188. Hope people are as seriously committed to this as we were to pushing back against the GOP’s war on women. The NRA is a very powerful foe, and the courts are mainly still controlled by their side. Posner issued a favorable ruling for them the other day.

  189. the majority of these mass killings are done by children and young adults under the influence of psychoactive drugs.

    no one seems to be interested in this.

    The problem is not guns, the problem is psychoactive drugs given to children like candy.

    but this is a political issue with an agenda so facts dont really matter.

    people with delusions to power fear the second amendment and rightly so, it puts a finite limit on their power.

    limit or eliminate the use of mind altering drugs on children and the problem of young people killing themselves and others will dramatically decrease.

    For what its worth, there were 7 theaters near the one in Colorado where the shooting happened this summer. The one in which the shooting occurred was the only one which prohibited concealed carry.

  190. My sister lives in Las Vegas… she lives in a pretty nice area of town, however, they have quite a few of those Home Invasion Robberies….

    My sister has a 6 year old daughter and wears a gun in her back waistband…. and a gun on her counter….

    Needless to say, I DO NOT go to her home when I visit the USA…..
    and YES…. I want to say something…. and she saw the look on my face when she told me all of this… BUT, she is the kind that does NOT take constructive criticism very well…

    I just HOPE to god that nothing happens to her daughter with that gun out in plain view…..

    I understand her fear…. HOWEVER….. she is NOT poor… she should just MOVE… NOT live in fear of her life……

    I do NOT own a gun… I like guns… and I love shooting…. I am just a careful person…. and if somebody came into my home….. I could protect myself…. I have a bit of street fighting under my belt…. :-\
    that was due to a few VERY bad boyfriends….
    fact is…. if somebody breaks into my home… EVERYTHING is insured….
    and they are NOT going to fear that I have a gun, therefore they are not going to be all jumpy and have a nervous trigger finger…..

    people also do NOT realize that all of these guns in the USA are why the cops shoot first…. they have to fear at ALL times that the other person is packing a weapon…..

    If there were less guns…. less cops would shoot people out of fear…..

  191. The problem is not guns, the problem is psychoactive drugs given to children like candy.

    but this is a political issue with an agenda so facts dont really matter.

    —————-

    Bron…. I pointed this out in the last gun debate and some people thought I was out of my mind….. :-\

    here was one of my comments……..

    justagurlinseattle
    1, November 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm
    Hey You all…. I’ve missed you lately…
    I’m still not well…
    anyway…

    I have to disagree with you here, who have said that gun restriction and prohibition does not work,,,,

    Here in Sweden, we have VERY FEW gun deaths…..
    and we do not have the children accidental gun deaths at all….

    Now, you may say that WE are much smaller…. well that is TRUE….
    HOWEVER…. if you take ALL Of Europe, we still don’t have HALF the gun deaths that the USA does…. a 1/4 of the gun deaths….

    Economic IN-Equality has a LOT to do with this….

    This is most likely why Canada and Switzerland do not have the same issue with gun death, even though they have quite a few gun owners….

    Now think of ONE other scary instance….

    11% of the adults in the US are on some sort of Psych Drug….

    and roughly 37% of the households own guns….

    say a male goes and gets his gun permit at 21….

    Psychosis many times does not show up til about the mid 20′s….

    So, we have people who, when they BUY their guns are perfectly legal to do so…..
    then 5 years later their mental state is quite different from what it was when they bought their guns…..

    and come on…. NOBODY here can tell me that those militia types are not a bit mentally screwed up in the head, delusional and paranoid…. they are just UNDIAGNOSED.. and many of those types already OWN GUNS….

    the 2 things that are making gun ownership in the USA most dangerous are:

    1.) the rise in mental disorders…. .

    2.) the rise in economic IN-equality….

    this makes the loose gun laws in the USA dangerous and negligent….

    here is an interesting web site I found some time ago….

    http://www.csgv.org/issues-and-campaigns/guns-democracy-and-freedom/insurrection-timeline

  192. and another reply from that blog post……

    If I may add…. Not only should they do as you suggest… BUT, I think a mental evaluation every 2 years for people who are registered gun owners as well…. That would have avoided a FEW of the mass shootings we have had….

    and as for your last paragraph….

    “Unfortunately as we seem to be doing in many things, the US is marching backward in time so that some people can hold the rest of us hostage to their dangerous ideas about guns and science, among other things. It is time for civilization to win one and it will be good for human beings too.”

    – unfortunately that is so true…
    The USA really needs to catch up to the rest of the western wealthy countries… as it stands between the “war against women” the war against science” YOu have a LARGE lobbying effort going on there… not for the betterment of the country…. but, rather for power…

    Changing the lobbying laws would go a long way to help this… as would
    regulating our Representatives and how much they make for working in Government…. and what kinds of investments they can have as public servants…..

    We need to vote in Representatives who care about the USA… People who are educated and want better for their fellow Americans….

    NOT who want to get rich and powerful while being in office, rather than doing their job of making the USA a better place to live….

    There is just far too much corruption in the US Governing System…

  193. For the Bron’s of this world, and others who want to deflect the gun issue entirely into a mental health, psychotropic med issue, I’ll repeat one more time, then stop banging my head against this very thick wall :

    It’s not either/or, guns or mental health issues

    It’s both/and

    2nd amendment Nazis are merely deflecting from their horrific record by casting everything in “anything but the guns” terms

    That is, when they’re not coercing, threatening everyone in sight with political retribution. Or questioning others’ patriotism, or some other refuge of the coward.

  194. It is kind of of a chicken and egg thing with medications. The kid is presenting symptoms so the doctor prescribes or over prescribes.The parent wants them calm enough to attend school. The Connecticut shooter was home schooled part of the time. There is no cure for Aspergers.

  195. Swarthmore mom. The medication issue has a number of dimensions. “One is the appropriateness of some/any psychotropic meds for children/adolescents (we are seeing more ‘off label’ use, including prescribing down the age range). Another is that just saying “psychotropic meds” is too broad a brush since, in addition to intended positive therapeutic effects, effects and side effects vary from lethargy, to lability, to agitation, to dissociation etc., (in addition to which many have anomalous or ‘paradoxical’ effects on only certain individuals). I would venture a general statement that meds for pre-adults are being over prescribed, but that says nothing about an individual case.

  196. Smom:

    It will be interesting to see what kinds of drugs, if any, he was taking.

    In this country there is a culture of drugging our children to control them. These drugs have nasty side effects. People, for whatever reason, are playing down the impact of pharmaceuticals in school shootings.

    I dont care how much attention deficit my child had, I would no more give them a drug than fly to the moon. I also think parents who do so are abdicating their parental responsibilities unless they have tried every available alternative.

    have a problem, pop a pill instead of learning how to deal with the problem.
    Have anxiety pop a pill, cant sleep pop a pill, cant eat pop a pill, feel depressed pop a pill.

    Sometimes people need a pill but all other avenues should be exhausted before mind altering medications are used to control behavior.

  197. Don S:

    considering the large majority of school shootings done by children under the age of 21 who were on some sort of psychoactive medication, I think we can safely say there is a correlation between these drugs and school shootings.

    so if you are pro second amendment, that makes you a nazi? I am pro all the amendments and the Constitution as a limitation on government power. I am pretty sure the nazis were the ones wanting no limitation on government power.

  198. As long as it seems there’s basic agreement about the misuse of pharmaceuticals, I raise the issues surrounding 1) whether parents are willing/able to devote the serious time required to work with an Asperger’s child including 2) whether a parent is aware and interested in the potential nutrition/dietary issues affecting behavior.

    We have a now 16 or 17 year old nephew with Aspergers of the very high functioning type whose parents divorced, with the kid living mostly with the mom who had him to a counselor forever (to zero effect it seems, but that’s another axe I could grind). The parents were older when they had the child, and the child went through childhood Leukemia and was doted on by the matriarchcal family of the mom. The kid has also been on a number of meds, which my brother in law is vaguely disapproving of but has taken little initiative to be involved in the treatment decisions (or has been shut out by the mom). There is little coordination/consistency in parenting, which is not surprising, but a crucial factor. The kid is skinny/emaciated and has been allowed to dictate his own favorite diet which is pizza, or pizza, or pizza . . . and Coke (not Pepsi). He is also a stone cold computer addict which habit has not been seriously addressed. Fortunately the kid does not exhibit a lot of distress at being a total social misfit, and has actually progressed from the most elite high school in NYC to freshman in a NYC college. I’d say I’m not fond of the kid, but he barely participates in enough social interaction to warrant reciprocal feelings.

    I mention this because, looking at this shooters picture, and a brief glimpse at his parent (bonding around the rifle range???) and his social history, there’s no question he should have been under some sort of professional care. Was he? Just his physical appearance alone seems to show someone quite out of balance (and it’s not just body type)

  199. Bron, thanks for the reply, I said I wasn’t going to bang my head into that wall anymore. Providing some folks with substantive interaction is like giving your gas credit card to an arsonist.

  200. ps – on the post above about my nephew’s diet I forgot to include that he also favors beef jerky, mainly a certain brand. I add this on because I’m pretty sure that product has a lot of additives, colorings and preservatives.

  201. http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/12/16/1342881/indiana-man-arrested-after-threatening-to-shoot-up-elementary-school/

    A man equipped with a 47 gun arsenal was arrested on Sunday after threatening to kill children at a local elementary school. The Cedar Lake, Indiana man had also threatened his wife:
    Cedar Lake police were called to the home of 60-year-old Von I. Meyer early Friday after he allegedly threatened to set his wife on fire. A police statement says Meyer also said he would enter Jane Ball Elementary School and “kill as many people as he could.” Authorities found 47 guns and ammunition worth over $100,000.
    This incident comes right on the heels of the arrest of an Oklahoma man planning a school shooting and the horrific murders in Newtown, Connecticut. Though America has suffered a spate of mass shootings and common sense gun regulations effectively reduce murder rates, several Republicans and gun advocates have responded to Friday’s tragedy by calling for relaxing restrictions on guns in schools.”

    So, just how paranoid does one have to be to invest $100,000 in ammo? Good news for the arms dealers!

  202. I am by NO means a Vegan or vegetarian, I smoke and drink… cuss like a truck driver… ;)
    my point is that I am not one to worry about foods on a neurotic level….

    anyway…. one thing we are forgetting about is that now days we have plastic poisoning in our systems due to all of the emissions our household
    products give off….
    then also heavy metals in our systems at higher concentrations than we did
    years before…. Food allergies like wheat….. more artificial additives in our foods…

    women’s breast milk contains HIGH LEVELS of environmental toxins that we once did not have to worry about….

    many of these things can be toxic to some kids and change their brain chemistry……

    I have read about parents who had kids they thought to be developmentally challenged only to find out later their children were allergic to wheat…

    There are high amounts of Nitrates in Beef Jerky…. VERY unhealthy for sure……

    if you think about it…. Autism is on the rise…
    same with ADD and ADHD… along with many other developmental issues…..

    It can not be a coincidence that these things are on the rise as are these toxins in our bodies….
    NOT to mention these shootings also being on the rise….

    These are things that when our second amendment was added to the Constitution, we not a danger in our society… NOR were there guns that could shoot 60 rounds in a minute….
    Our society is MUCH different than it was back then….

    I find it remarkable that the VERY same people who tout our Forefathers as being Geniuses for bringing us the Constitution…. YET, do NOT heed their warnings about large corporation, and Religion in politics… or that Jefferson felt that the Constitution should be FLUID,… EVER changing with society…… that it should be RE-WRITTEN every 20-30 years as society grew and changed…..

    They love the First and Second Amendments…. They just don’t care about these other things that they also had the foresight to warn us about…..

    If our Forefathers came alive today… they would be DISGUSTED by how we as a nation have TWISTED their original intentions into something that does NOT even look like a civilized society……
    they would HATE that we allow Religion to dictate via some of our laws and law makers….
    They would be HUGELY disappointed that we have allowed Corporations to become so big that they run much of our government…..
    and as far as guns are concerned…. I am pretty sure that they would find
    our lack of gun control OBSCENE when we are allowing 3,000 children a year to die for so many peoples LOVE and worship of guns…..

  203. Heed the words of Jefferson? Don’t mind if I do. I’ll have some Madison, Hamilton, Mason and Adams while I’m at it. From an out of camera e-mail exchange where the topic of the intent of the Founders came up (in the context of an individual right versus a collective right to bear arms). I provided the quotes:

    “The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that… it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824.

    “One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.” –Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1796. ME 9:341

    “A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the Body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind . . . Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.” –Thomas Jefferson, Letter to his nephew Peter Carr, August 19, 1785.

    “No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms (within his own lands or tenements).” –Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution with (his note added), 1776. Papers, 1:353

    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” –Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria in On Crimes and Punishment (1764).

    “…to disarm the people – that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380.

    “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” – James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244.

    “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” – James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper No. 46.

    “…but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights…” – Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist 29.

    “The Constitution shall never be construed….to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms” – Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87.

    It appears the Founders saw more value in the 2nd Amendment than many of you and they included it for more reasons than just a militia.

    As much as I am against crazy people shooting children? As much as I am against the polar extremes of argument on this topic of “You should be able own anything!” and “You shouldn’t have guns period!”?

    I am equally against emotion overriding reason in decision making and legal analysis.

    That’s the kind of thinking that brought you the Patriot Act.

    Good decisions don’t come from extremism or emotional fraught states of mind.

    Just something to think about.

  204. OMFG…. Shano… That is a SCARY article….
    They have arrested 2 different people with plots to kill school children in the last 2 days….

    The Gun Culture has to STOP…..

    people should NOT be allowed 47 GUNS…..

    I am sorry…. That is NOT collecting for a hobby… they is STOCKPILING weapons….. and it is NEEDLESS…..
    The Government is not going to suddenly go all Tyranny on us……

    If you believe in the Constitution as protection, then you understand that the Constitution also prevents our Government from becoming Tyrannical….

    and even if suddenly the government wanted to do harm to the citizens…..
    Does this guy REALLY think he could have fought off the Federal Government with drones and MORE dangerous weapons than HE is capable of owning…..

    and lastly… I am VERY curious, how does a man collect over a $100,000 in weapons????
    what kind of a job did he have?????

    maybe he should have used that money for an EDUCATION to feed his mind…. instead of feeding his paranoid fantasies while clutching his guns and bible……

  205. justagirl:

    you are right on religion and big corporations and right on environmental toxins. But environmental toxins have been around for a long time, before the rise in school shootings even.

    our founding is based on the enlightenment and individual rights. Jefferson would not have said to future generations give up your liberty.

    the second amendment was meant to protect citizens against government. at the time government could lay its hands on muskets and rifles. they did not limit the amendment to say citizens could only have 16th century matchlocks or were restricted to 10 led balls and 8 oz. of powder.

  206. Otteray Scribe 1, December 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    One of my acquaintances, who writes under the pen name “The Baculum King” (there is a back story there that I will not go into) wrote this interesting and insightful diary on Daily Kos this morning. I do not agree with everything TBK says, but enough of it that IMHO, it is worth sharing.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/16/1170660/-Something-Has-Changed-But-What?detail=hide
    ===============================================
    What has changed, if not the guns?

    In that equation you have people, and you have guns.

    If it is not the guns, that would leave “a change in culture“, in the people, as a prime suspect would it not?

  207. Bron, you know what hasn’t been around for a long time? GMO foods in everything. The preliminary introduction was through HFCS made from GMO corn and GMO soy and Canola oil. Now sugar beets. Then alfalfa.

    . It has expanded to contaminate everything. It started in the mid ’90’s and has escalated to the point where only a tiny fraction of American food does not contain GMO substances.

    Now they Now they want to introduce food crops that can withstand 2, 4-D and dicamba, chemical ingredients of Agent Orange.

    http://action.panna.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=11896&utm_source=alert&utm_medium=kicker&utm_content=corp&utm_campaign=GEpipeline

    If human brains are not getting the proper nutrition, what do we expect? these foods are dangerous.

  208. OK… so you can quote all of his gun crap…..

    BUT, why do many of the Pro Gun people NOT follow his logic on Religion…. or Adams on Corporations and banking….

    ________________________________________

    All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise not from defects in the Constitution or Confederation, not from a want of honor or virtue so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.”
    –John Adams, at the Constitutional Convention (1787)

    _______________________________________

    Abraham Lincoln~

    The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the Bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe.. corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money powers of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed.

    ________________________________________

    what about how they felt that slaves were NOT 100% Persons????

    Article I, Section. 2 [Slaves count as 3/5 persons]
    Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons [i.e., slaves].

    ———————————————————————————–

    Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of nineteen years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right. It may be said, that the succeeding generation exercising, in fact, the power of repeal, this leaves them as free as if the constitution or law had been expressly limited to nineteen years only. In the first place, this objection admits the right, in proposing an equivalent. But the power of repeal is not an equivalent. It might be, indeed, if every form of government were so perfectly contrived, that the will of the majority could always be obtained, fairly and without impediment. But this is true of no form. The people cannot assemble themselves; their representation is unequal and vicious. Various checks are opposed to every legislative proposition. Factions get possession of the public councils, bribery corrupts them, personal interests lead them astray from the general interests of their constituents; and other impediments arise, so as to prove to every practical man, that a law of limited duration is much more manageable than one which needs a repeal.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1789. ME 7:459, Papers 15:396

    —————————-

    That sure looks as if he felt that his ideas should not be forced on us 100 , 200, or 300 years later…..

    That as a society evolves… so should the laws of the land……

  209. You can own one gun and have a collection worth more than $200,000.

    Last I heard the going rate collectors were paying for a Thompson (which requires a special Federal license to own) is about $250,000.

  210. Actually I can quote almost all of his “crap”, JAG.

    Flexibility is not an excuse for abandoning legal principle or abandoning rights the Founders felt important enough to include in the text of the Constitution and for reasons that are as valid today as they were then.

    Be as pissed off as you like.

    It doesn’t improve your jurisprudential analysis or argument one bit.

  211. also… our founding Fathers did not see us having a standing Army… MUCH less 5 different branches of Military…..

    Back then men would fight men if the government turned on you….
    NOW… it would be men against Military… have NO DOUBT that if our government turned on us… they would pay of those Military Contractors to do their bidding for them….

    People with 100 guns would not last against bombs… chemical agents…. armed Drones….

    this is a WHOLE DIFFERENT world than our Forefathers envisioned…..

    I have NO IDEA what Jefferson would think of those same quotes today….
    BUT, he was a reasonable man… and an educated man….
    Something tells me that they would NOT be OK with AR-15 and AK-47’s in the hands of Citizens when we have a standing army……

    and same goes for you… YOU have NO IDEA what he would think of those quotes today…..

    We as people change… we evolve…. he would have been NO DIFFERENT…..

    and besides… why is it that you all follow the GUN quotes to a TEE…. and yet, fail to follow the Rewriting of the Constitution every 19 years????

  212. justagirl:

    I dont know about other people who are for gun ownership, but I like the Constitution and I am happy to abide by it. I wish our society gave it more than just lip service.

    I would love to see gold and silver coins in circulation and a good deal of other things that should be done and arent and the elimination of things that shouldnt be done and are.

  213. Gene,
    I have a friend I would like for you to meet next time I am down that way. Like you, he is a polymath. They could not keep him busy enough in medical school, so he went to law school–at the same time. Two months after he completed his residency in psychiatry, he took the bar exam and passed. In his spare time, he worked as a reserve deputy at the sheriff’s department and is a sworn and certified LEO.

    He owns three full auto weapons. He had to jump through all kinds of legal hoops for the Feds, and they gave him a more thorough background check than when he got his security clearances in the Army. He has two Thompsons, a 1921 “Chicago piano” and a 1927 straight magazine. The third is a Vietnam era M-16 “black rifle.” The tax stamps on those are horrendous.

  214. justagirl:

    yes, I do. he was for individual rights, he even said “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”

    The founders were educated, you should listen to what they are saying.

  215. Almost forgot, he bought his son, who is a cardiologist, a two hundred year old Katana–with the original sheath–for his birthday one year.

  216. And to think I was happy when my dad got me a motorcycle for my birthday one year, OS.

    Looks like I’m going to have to have a chat with the old man about what a slacker he was. :mrgreen:

  217. Gene,
    As you know, my son not only got a motorcycle, he got the poster girl as well. We forgot to show you the big Indian when you came over. Next time.

  218. JAG,

    And you apparently have no idea of how jurisprudence, precedent and statutory analysis works. What Jefferson would think now is irrelevant as to his intent then – to which his contemporaneous words testify. His intent then is material to interpreting what he and others meant to be by creating the 2nd. Your logic is faulty. It illustrates the Fallacy of Presentism and possibly an inverse application of the Historian’s Fallacy.

  219. Gene… I am NOT against guns…. I am against people having access to any and ALL types of guns and high capacity magazines….
    I am against people who have been diagnosed with mental disorders owning guns……

    Do you think that this is what our founding fathers would have envisioned for the USA????

    Do you think that they would have been accepting of the deaths of 3,000 Children a year????

    The ONLY thing that angers me about all of this… is that the PRO Gun people have NO interest in giving ONE MILLIMETER on this….

    that assault weapon ban also took care of high capacity magazines….
    WHY is it that the Pro Gun lobby did not at least suggest that that provision be put back in place, even if they would not agree with the assault weapon ban??????

    WHY is it that they just talk about how just enforcing the existing laws would help curb this, when fact is…. MANY MANY Gun owners are perfectly legal and law abiding…. and one day, they snap.. and they have an arsenal ready and waiting to use as their tool of destruction…..

    why will they NOT agree with people being tested on safety and mental stability??????

    WHY is it that they REFUSE to be at all reasonable about this and care about these children that are dying?????

    I am angry that NEVER does the NRA stand up and say… OK… enough is ENOUGH…. we NEED to do something….. ANYTHING is better than NOTHING at this point…….

  220. Gene, you repeat your warning, importantly, about not making decisions based on emotion. I haven’t seen anyone here on the “regulation” side of the argument talking about absolute prohibition or even a whole lot about specific levels of regulation — just the need to engage the process of greater regulation. So I wonder why and who you are cautioning? Surely not those among your colleagues of guest bloggers and regular posters who you in most ways show great respect for their opinion and logic. Why would you now assume they are operating out of emotion and not logic? Perhaps you are being prescriptive to some extent? For myself, the views I am working through and expressing are long held and simply trotted out once again due to circumstances. We don’t have an emotion-detector mechanism on this blog so I can only assure you, again for myself, that my logic, which perhaps is intensified, is consistently held.

  221. SWM: “Do you think that these kindergarteners were tyrants and their blood was spilled for a patriotic cause?”

    “TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 – 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 – 881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228 – 1,362 individuals,” according to the Stanford/NYU study.

    Based on interviews with witnesses, victims and experts, the report accuses the CIA of “double-striking” a target, moments after the initial hit, thereby killing first responders.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/25/world/asia/pakistan-us-drone-strikes/index.html

    Boo hoo; ya had me then ya lost me.

  222. Don S, My views are long held. How long are we going to get pushed around by the NRA and the second amendment absolutists?

  223. The founders were educated, you should listen to what they are saying.

    —————————————-

    NO!!!! because they even thought that we should NOT be listening to what they were saying THEN…..

    Jefferson was VERY clear that he did not feel that we should be bound by the laws of yesterday, today hundreds of years later…..

    people can have individual liberty without owning and AK-47….
    or 100’s of magazines that can hold 100 rounds…..

    what about the individual liberties of those Dead Children????

    That is just IT… it is INNOCENT Children who are paying the PRICE…
    NOT Tyrants……

    should MY INDIVIDUAL Liberty allow me to own Sarin Gas or Anthrax????

  224. “As regards civilian casualties, on August 11, 2011 a report of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism said, “The Guardian published some of the pictures, we have obtained…as many as 168 children have been killed in drone strikes in Pakistan during the past seven years.” While rejecting the CIA’s false claim, the report disclosed, “It is a bleak view: more people killed than previously thought.”

    Besides, a report of the New America Foundation revealed that President Obama has “authorised 193 drone strikes in Pakistan, more than four times the number of attacks that President Bush authorised during his two terms.”

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/killing-civilians-obamas-drone-war-in-pakistan/5315661

    Integrity? What’s that?

  225. It bears repeating…

    Scalia: “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”

    And now, with a tragic shooting fresh within our minds we’ll see “moral feelings” and its attendant appeals to emotion dictating the dialogue on gun control.

    Feelings have nothing to do with it.

    Kant: ” For the pure conception of duty, unmixed with any foreign addition of empirical attractions, and, in a word, the conception of the moral law, exercises on the human heart, by way of reason alone (which first becomes aware with this that it can of itself be practical), an influence so much more powerful than all other springs* which may be derived from the field of experience, that, in the consciousness of its worth, it despises the latter, and can by degrees become their master; whereas a mixed ethics, compounded partly of motives drawn from feelings and inclinations, and partly also of conceptions of reason, must make the mind waver between motives which cannot be brought under any principle, which lead to good only by mere accident and very often also to evil.”

  226. Bob,Esq. That may be true but are not we allowed to protest this because that is going on ? I think we can. CREDO is organizing a protest at the NRA in Washington tomorrow. One issue at time the coalition can move forward. We defeated Akin and Murdouch.

  227. DonS,

    The polar extremes are for illustrative purposes to show the outer boundaries of both sides of the issue. Your supposition of prescription is correct. If I had seen either one of the extremes on display here, my responses would have been quite direct.

    FWIW, I haven’t found your arguments to be emotional. However, while there is no “emotion detector”, emotionalism can be contextually inferred from both logic and illogic presented and upon what evidence is presented and how. It’s not perfect, certainly, but in the absence of cues like body language, tone of voice, facial expressions, etc. it is the best that can be done.

  228. SWM,

    You can throw a temper tantrum if you like; but don’t expect to be taken seriously since your ranting will be bereft of reason or principle.

  229. Bob, Esq. Obama has not done anything to restrict gun rights. We have to do this without him. He really has nothing to do it with yet and as far as I know he has offered tears but no proposals. Headed out to a holiday party.

  230. We don’t have an emotion-detector mechanism on this blog so I can only assure you, again for myself, that my logic, which perhaps is intensified, is consistently held.

    ———————————————————-

    BRAVO, DonS…

    myself as well….

    I am NOT anti guns…. I am just sick of people saying that their Liberty Trumps ALL….. That is a DANGEROUS place to go… and actually we are here…. 100 round magazines???

    Crazy people with stockpiles of weapons????

    what do the NRA advocates think is TOO MUCH????

  231. DonS,

    Sure, I got emotional when I listened to news reports about the killing of 20 small children and members of that school staff. I thought of the horror they all experienced during the last minutes of their lives. I thought about their parents and families…their classmates and colleagues. I cried. That said, I have held my views about gun control for a long time…like you and Swarthmore mom. This school massacre didn’t change my position.

    I’d add that it seems to me that many gun advocates are extremely emotional about their right to bear all manner of weapons and ammunition. Some freaked out because they were afraid that the tall black man in the big White House was going to take away their guns/gun rights.

    I’ll ask: Who appears to be more emotional on the subject–the gun control advocates or the gun rights advocates?

  232. SWM,

    Your arguments are bereft of integrity. You’re angry at a world that allows little (American) children to be killed.

    Temper tantrum is appropriate.

  233. justagurlinseattle,

    I like reason. I like rationality. I despise hysterics.

    The reason we hate Scalia for his “moral feelings” argument is because feelings have nothing to do with reason or law.

  234. NRA claims ‘massive Obama conspiracy’ not to ban guns
    Posted on 09.23.11
    By David Edwards
    http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/09/nra-claims-massive-obama-conspiracy-not-to-ban-guns/

    You just can’t please some people.

    In the eyes of National Rifle Association (NRA) executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, President Barack Obama’s decision not to pursue gun control legislation is a “massive conspiracy,” and just another reason not to give him a second term.

    “[The Obama campaign] will say gun owners — they’ll say they left them alone,” LaPierre told an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday. “In public, he’ll remind us that he’s put off calls from his party to renew the Clinton [assault weapons] ban, he hasn’t pushed for new gun control laws… The president will offer the Second Amendment lip service and hit the campaign trail saying he’s actually been good for the Second Amendment.”

    “But it’s a big fat stinking lie!” the NRA leader exclaimed. “It’s all part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and destroy the Second Amendment in our country.”

    “Obama himself is no fool. So when he got elected, they concocted a scheme to stay away from the gun issue, lull gun owners to sleep and play us for fools in 2012. Well, gun owners are not fools and we are not fooled,” La Pierre declared.

    “Sotomayor, Kagan, Fast & Furious, the United Nations, executive orders. Those are the facts we face today… President Obama and his cohorts, yeah, they’re going to deny their conspiracy to fool gun owners. Some in the liberal media, they are already probably blogging about it. But we don’t care because the lying, conniving Obama crowd can kiss our Constitution!”

  235. Bob,Esq.
    1, December 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm
    “As regards civilian casualties, on August 11, 2011 a report of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism said, “The Guardian published some of the pictures, we have obtained…as many as 168 children have been killed in drone strikes in Pakistan during the past seven years.” While rejecting the CIA’s false claim, the report disclosed, “It is a bleak view: more people killed than previously thought.”

    Besides, a report of the New America Foundation revealed that President Obama has “authorised 193 drone strikes in Pakistan, more than four times the number of attacks that President Bush authorised during his two terms.”

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/killing-civilians-obamas-drone-war-in-pakistan/5315661

    Integrity? What’s that?

    —————————————————————————

    I like reason. I like rationality. I despise hysterics.

    —————

    and HOW reasonable and rational is bringing up a WHOLE different subject in a debate??????

  236. I find it to be perfectly rational and reasonable when illustrating a hypocritical double standard vis a vis the value of the lives of children differentiated by being lives instigated at private albeit evil and/or insane hands versus lives taken by governmental action in a foreign land.

    If you hate this guy for killing kids? The actions in Pakistan should provide equal if not greater outrage but much of the public seems to be okay with letting that slide without a lot of public hand wringing.

    I guess out of sight really is out of mind.

    They weren’t our kids. Were they?

    Is it a hyperbolic argumentation technique? Sure. But a valid one.

  237. Oh, I don’t know. If the deaths of innocent children is sufficient reason to change law and policy, where is the outcry to do something about the deaths of those 170 plus children from drone strikes?

    And if we were truly rational in our approach to protecting innocent children, shouldn’t we first address the fact that the Executive branch is now actively killing (non-American) children?

    Or, shall we just be brutally honest and admit that Americans reserve their moral outrage for the killings of American children?

  238. I find it to be perfectly rational and reasonable when illustrating a hypocritical double standard vis a vis the value of the lives of children differentiated by being lives instigated at private albeit evil and/or insane hands versus lives taken by governmental action in a foreign land.

    ———————————–

    these are two TOTALLY different situations and call for totally different remedies…..

    If you want to bring up the children being killed by drones then submit a blog post….. let us discus this……

    and fact is… NOT ONE person here has said that they are NOT heart broken over the children being killed by drones…..
    BUT, NO matter what….
    what will help fix the school shootings will NOT even come CLOSE to addressing the Drone strikes…….

    they are just TWO different issues that have to be handled differently…..

  239. All in all this has been an excellent blog and its thread has been marked by good arguments on all sides. Having read the all, including my own, I find myself confused as to what is right. My own feelings support the right to near arms, even though I don’t have a gun and also believe that the people who run the NRA are insane and venal.

    Yet many arguments regarding a tighter control of weaponry are persuasive in light of the seeming increasing frequency of these attacks. Part of the problem is that supporters of the right to bear arms come in many flavors: from total loonies, to people who fear attack, to hunters, to target shooters, to Constitutional supporters, yo those who feel the people need to be armed in case things get so bad we need to revolt. On the other side there is a similar spread of thought between those who think we should restrict and/or ban firearms completely.

    I must ruefully admit that I personally can’t figure out a solution, which would accomodate the viable arguments on both sides of this divide. I think this is true because the problem is larger than the specific issue of gun control and some here have alluded to it, whether consciously or not. The problem really devolves to the myths that drive US society and the presence within it of very many psychologically damaged people. Between these two facts of American existence lies a country that is running amok with conflict and confrontation. We Americans ignore the reality of our governance and mainly play pretend politically since the time may have run out where the public has any effect on running things. Destructive myth accepted as reality and destructive people with power are making such tragedies as this commonplace occurrences and leaves us only tears of sadness and frustration at the wreckage around us. Don’t mind my moroseness, ……..carry on.

  240. JAG,

    Pointing out inconsistency in public outrage over an equivalence (the unjust death of children) is perfectly valid criticism.

  241. JAG,

    Your outrage is based on geography and nationality; not concern for children in general. Because if it was, CT would be taking a back seat to saving the next group of kids your Executive is targeting now. Thus the problem with legislating based on emotion.

  242. Smom:

    of course Jefferson was talking about nut jobs killing children. Yes by all means, exactly right. Jefferson thinks that we need crazies killing children so our liberties can be protected.

    You insult Jefferson.

  243. “Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others.”

  244. JAG,

    Pointing out inconsistency in public outrage over an equivalence (the unjust death of children) is perfectly valid criticism.

    —————————————

    Yes… if people here were actually defending the killing of OTHER children… as far as I have seen, NOBODY here thinks this though…… so arguing that we are not being consistent is not applicable….

  245. Bron:
    “the second amendment was meant to protect citizens against government.”
    No, it wasn’t. That’s a popular justification for gun-nuts.

    The Constitution of the United States was written to provide a federal government. The Constitution provides for peaceful change by representation through elected, and appointed, officials.

    Now, think about this…why would the Constitution provide an escape clause? “In case you don’t like the way your representatives vote, you can always violently overthrow the government. The very government established by this Constitution.”
    If an escape clause was included, we’d have a Confederacy of Slave States. We don’t. Violent overthrow of the government is treason. The second amendment is not a blueprint for treason.

    The Constitution did not provide for a standing army. “Well regulated militias” were provided for, to repel foreign invasion. Not to repel your own elected government. That’s a right-wing fantasy. A murderous one.

    I don’t want any more mass murders of school children as collateral damage in protecting right-wing gun fantasies.

    And no, the gun-nut problem in the U.S.A. has no connection to drone strikes. Bringing up drone strikes is an attempt to divert the discussion.

  246. Gene,

    “I find it to be perfectly rational and reasonable when illustrating a hypocritical double standard vis a vis the value of the lives of children differentiated by being lives instigated at private albeit evil and/or insane hands versus lives taken by governmental action in a foreign land.”

    You’re making an incorrect assumption that those of us who are in favor of gun control don’t give a damn about children who are killed by our government via drone strikes or by other means. I’m for gun control AND against drone strikes. I don’t think we should be killing the innocent in order to take out some evil terrorists. Do you believe that all of us gun control advocates are hypocrites?

  247. TURN OFF THE NEWS…….

    Morgan Freeman’s brilliant take on what happened yesterday :

    “You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.

    It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed
    people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

    CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

    You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”

  248. Meet The Gun Advocates Responding To The Connecticut Shooting By Calling For More Guns In Schools
    By Igor Volsky
    Dec 15, 2012
    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/12/15/1341341/meet-the-gun-advocates-who-are-responding-to-the-connecticut-shooting-by-calling-for-more-guns-in-schools/

    The National Rifle Association (NRA) has remained silent on Friday’s tragic massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, even as gun safety advocates are publicly calling for a national conversation about limiting access to dangerous firearms. While information is still emerging about Adam Lanza — the 20-year-old who killed 20 elementary school students, 6 adults, and his mother — preliminary reports indicate that he used at least three guns: two hand guns and a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle. The weapons appear to be legally registered to his mother.

    The nation’s most well known gun lobby is nowhere to be found, but other gun advocates are responding to the tragedy by demanding more guns, arguing that had school administrators or teachers been allowed to carry guns into Sandy Hook Elementary, the tragedy could have been prevented:

    – “Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands. Federal and state laws combined to insure that no teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered.” [Larry Pratt, Gun Owners Of America]

    – “Had Connecticut not had the no guns in school laws….Had the principal, the maintenance man, a teacher, been allowed to keep a gun in their office, maybe just maybe, this would have come out differently.” [Bob Irwin, The Gun Store]

    – “I only wish the kindergarten teacher and principal in Connecticut had been armed.” [Dr. Keith Ablow, Fox News]

    – “[S]o looking at this tragedy that happened with K-12, we might have to have an armed employee at the schools, that’s a measure, that’s a measure.” [Michele Fiore, Nevada Assemblywoman]

    – “Look at what has happened, all these attacks this year have occurred where guns are banned.” [John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime]

    – “Well, I believe those of us who are licensed to carry, are responsible people, shouldn’t be prohibited from carrying in schools or other places.” [Steve Dulan, Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners]

    Yet even as more Americans now own more guns than ever before and can easily and legally obtain powerful firearms in almost all of the states, mass shootings have continued unabated. 2012 now has the highest number of incidents, with six mass shootings.

    The numbers tell the story. In 1995, “there were an estimated 200 million guns in private hands. Today, there are around 300 million” — a 50 percent jump during a period when the population grew by just 20 percent, but gun laws were drastically loosened. In the past four years alone, “across 37 states, the NRA and its political allies have pushed through 99 laws making guns easier to own, easier to carry in public, and harder for the government to track.” Eight states now allow firearms in bars. Permit holders in Kansas “can carry concealed weapons inside K-12 schools, and Louisiana allows them in houses of worship.” Michigan may soon “make it easier for people to receive a gun permit and open up “gun free zones,” including schools.

    Since 1982, the nation has experienced at least 62 mass murders in 30 states and in at least 49 cases, “the gunmen obtained the weapons legally, and the majority of those weapons used were semi-automatic.”

  249. Bob Kauten:

    Well, I think you are wrong.

    It was put in place for a number of reasons, personal protection being one of them. Considering we were British subjects at the time and considering we used rifles and pistols to throw them out, I dont think you know what you are talking about.

    I also did not bring up drone strikes, although I agree with Bob Esq. that the Constitution is not a urinal puck.

    I think he was also making a statement about morality and hypocrisy. Is the death of children in CT. any more repugnant than the death of children in Pakistan?

    You say yes, it is less repugnant in Pakistan. Now I dont know about you but I am for following the Constitution and ending our foreign expeditions. I am also for keeping the second amendment.

  250. The NRA Surge: 99 Laws Rolling Back Gun Restrictions
    In the past four years a barrage of measures across 37 states have made it easier to own, carry, and conceal firearms.
    —By Mark Follman, Tasneem Raja, and Ben Breedlove
    Wed Sep. 26, 2012
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/map-gun-laws-2009-2012

    Excerpt:
    Since 2009, the NRA and its allies in state capitols have pushed through 99 laws making guns easier to own, easier to carry in public—eight states now even allow them in bars—and harder for the government to track. More than two-thirds of the laws were passed by Republican-controlled legislatures, though often with bipartisan support.

    Some particularly noteworthy laws:

    – Bullets and booze: In Missouri, law-abiding citizens can carry a gun while intoxicated and even fire it if “acting in self-defense.”

    – Child-safety lock off: In Kansas, permit holders can carry concealed weapons inside K-12 schools and at school-sponsored activities.

    – Short arm of the law: In Utah, a person under felony indictment can buy a gun, and a person charged with a violent crime may be able to retain a concealed weapon permit. Nebraskans who’ve pled guilty to a violent crime can get a permit to carry a gun.

    – Sweet Jesus! In Louisiana, permit holders can carry concealed weapons inside houses of worship.

    – Without a trace: Virginia not only repealed a law requiring handgun vendors to submit sales records, but the state also ordered the destruction of all such previous records.

  251. Elaine,

    “Do you believe that all of us gun control advocates are hypocrites?”

    No, but conversely I don’t believe all gun advocates are the devil either yet many gun control proponents have no problem painting them as such.

    *****************

    JAG,

    Inconsistent is inconsistent. Find some examples where the drone killings have generated anything near the outrage this situation has and then we can talk about how applicable or invalid pointing out such inconsistency is as a criticism. Just because no one has made the argument doesn’t invalidate pointing out the disparity in reaction as an indication of disjunct thought.

    *******************

    pete,

    Hell yeah. Because Morgan Freeman understands the underlying causation is the culture of violence, not the culture of guns. I’ve long been a proponent of the idea that the news shouldn’t make poster boys of these kinds of killers. You can report the facts with all the sensationalism. You’ll notice that I purposefully go out of my way not to even use their names. It’s a reflection of the degeneration of the Fourth Estate from news in to info-tianment. An anti-hero isn’t a hero. He’s just a protagonist bereft of the common noble elements found in an actual hero. But the media paints these psychos in such a way that many see them as an anti-hero and they are failing to understand that distinction. Some examples from fiction: Han Solo is an anti-hero but in the part of a secretly noble rogue. A heroic anti-hero i.e. a hero. A lion in wolf’s clothing. Dexter Morgan is an anti-hero in the extreme. His cause seems rational and just with Harry’s Code, but in the end he’s a serial killer and just about as inhuman as you can get without shapeshifting. A reptile that walks like a man.

    We need less sensational reporting of these events.

    Great catch.

  252. Bob K.,

    “‘the second amendment was meant to protect citizens against government.’
    No, it wasn’t. That’s a popular justification for gun-nuts.”

    Damn it. Now you’ve made me have to agree with Bron.

    Go back and read some of the quotes of our Founders I provided above.

    Protecting ourselves from the potential abuses of government was indeed one of the reasons they adopted the 2nd.

  253. pete:

    I have to say Morgan Freeman’s take makes as much sense as anyone’s. Making these guys celebrities certainly contributes to the problem. Take away the “blaze of glory,” and maybe you take away the “going out” part, too.

    everyone:

    Like Mike S, I’ve truly enjoyed the depth of commentary on this topic. It’s interesting and like Mike I find myself going back and forth on the solution. Passion, reason, and everything in between. It’s what I like about this blog.

    Bravo, brava, and bravissimo.

  254. Gene,

    “Inconsistent is inconsistent. Find some examples where the drone killings have generated anything near the outrage this situation has and then we can talk about how applicable or invalid pointing out such inconsistency is as a criticism. Just because no one has made the argument doesn’t invalidate pointing out the disparity in reaction as an indication of disjunct thought.”

    *****

    Just because those of us who advocate for gun control in this country didn’t bring up the drone killings of innocent children/people in foreign lands on this thread doesn’t prove that we don’t think it’s immoral. That’s quite an extrapolation. There have been a number of people and organizations that have spoken out on the subject. Unfortunately, those who have spoken out against our government’s use of drone strikes in other countries, don’t get much press/media coverage.

  255. Gene,

    “Hell yeah. Because Morgan Freeman understands the underlying causation is the culture of violence, not the culture of guns.”

    I happen to think that the culture of guns IS a part of the culture of violence in this country. That doesn’t mean that I believe that all people who own guns are violent by their nature.

  256. Gene,
    It isn’t the media over-hyping these events and the comments by many, it is the murder of 20 little kids and teachers and staff. The drone killing angle is a red herring. The 30 plus school shootings since Columbine is far beyond what a sane society should accept withou making reasoned changes. Should the drone killings stop, of course, but we can stop both if society takes a stand.

  257. Elaine,

    You may miss the point. The difference in the quantity and quality of the public outrage is the distinction in Bob’s argument – not that it wasn’t brought up on this specific thread. Oops! You had the point all along – “Unfortunately, those who have spoken out against our government’s use of drone strikes in other countries, don’t get much press/media coverage.” – so never mind.

    One of the reasons this incident produces such comparatively rawer reactions is showing disjunct thought in not just the media but the public as well over what should reasonably illicit the same if not more outrage over the deaths of children. Another is that guns in our society are an inherently polarizing and emotional subject to most when as a fundamental right protected by the Constitution they should be a matter of cool, calm reasoned reflection.

  258. raff,

    I think there is a difference between a red herring and an ancillary point. I will stipulate Bob’s observation is an ancillary point. He may not think so, but I do.

  259. “I happen to think that the culture of guns IS a part of the culture of violence in this country. That doesn’t mean that I believe that all people who own guns are violent by their nature.”

    That works on a Venn diagram, Elaine, but it doesn’t change that a culture of violence is the underlying problem. The culture of violence is a larger circle than the culture of guns. If we had a peaceful culture, gun ownership for other than legal and sporting purposes and guns themselves would be a moot point.

  260. Gene,

    Are you implying that those of us who advocate for gun control haven’t used reason and reflected on the issue? Speaking for myself, I have done it many times. What is the “disjunct” thinking of those of us who believe that we need to look at the problem of gun violence in this country and consider some measures that might lead to restrictions on certain types of weapons?

  261. Elaine,

    Again, you are using the big brush. Some of you – including you – use reason. Some of you don’t. The same can be said of the pro-gun faction as well. The disjunction is in the severity of the reactions to equivalent events – the death of children.

    You also seem to be under the misconception that because I’m pro-2nd means I’m anti-control. I’ve said all along there is room for reasonable restriction.

    My first duty is to the Constitution. Which if you recall is why I’m the guy who didn’t vote for any of the last batch of Presidential contenders. I won’t see the Constitution shredded no matter what the underlying rationale might be, noble intentions or not.

  262. Gene,
    Ancillary or red herring, the drone issue is meant to distract the public to the continuing flood of red blood. Caused by people with guns who shouldn’t have them. And the types of guns and ammo that should only be in the hands of the military.
    Even Scalia agreed that reasonable restrictions on guns would be acceptable under his skewed logic. BTW, it is hard to type in these responses on my iPhone. My fingers are too fat. :)

  263. How civilized countries (even those with conservative political leaders) respond to mass shootings

    The case of Australia:

    Our 1996 reforms were precipitated by the Port Arthur massacre, the 13th mass shooting in 15 years in which five or more victims died in places like Hoddle and Queen Streets in Melbourne and Strathfield Plaza.

    The central provisions of the reforms were the ban on semi-automatic rifles and pump action shotguns, accompanied by gun amnesties and two national buybacks, which together saw some 820,000 guns destroyed. Because of their rapid firepower, semi-automatics are the guns of choice for those intent on killing many people quickly. John Howard introduced the reforms to prevent US-style mass killings….

    In the 12 years since the law reforms, there have been no mass shootings.

  264. Gene,

    “I’ve said all along there is room for reasonable restriction.”

    Then…maybe we are in agreement. What do you have in mind when you say that you are in favor of “reasonable restriction?”

  265. Gene,

    It’s a crucial ancillary point; bringing the murky problem of argument from hysteria into specific relief.

    I’m still waiting to hear what law, rationally related to a legitimate purpose, would have prevented this tragedy.

    I agree with Mespo’s initial assessment:

    “The simple fact is that no gun control measures either on the books or reasonably under consideration could have stopped such a disturbed person from acquiring these weapons if he was willing to kill to get them.”

    Just because you feel morally outraged by a certain event, it does not follow that there exists a change in law that will address the problem.

    Moral outrage and “moral feelings” (like Scalia’s) are no substitute for reason.

    Kant: …”whereas a mixed ethics, compounded partly of motives drawn from feelings and inclinations, and partly also of conceptions of reason, must make the mind waver between motives which cannot be brought under any principle, which lead to good only by mere accident and very often also to evil.”

  266. Bron,
    The citizens of the former British colonies were not British citizens when the Constitution was written. The Constitution was written long after the Declaration of Independence, and the conclusion of the Revolutionary War.

    Regarding drone strikes “You say yes, it is less repugnant in Pakistan.”
    No, I did not say that. Don’t put words in my mouth. You said that.

    Gene H.,
    “Protecting ourselves from the potential abuses of government was indeed one of the reasons they adopted the 2nd.”

    Do any of your quotes involve whoever wrote that amendment, saying specifically that that was the meaning of the amendment? Where does “well regulated militia” fit into warfare against your own republican government?

  267. Bob, Esq.,
    Just because Congress has been afraid to tackle the Gorilla in the room, does not diminish the call to restrict mentally ill people from getting guns. I have called repeatedly for a ban on semi-automatic weapons of all kinds and the high capacity magazines and clips. This is not a new issue,but if society doesn’t push Congress and the President in the correct direction, who will? All movements in the past have started with the people pushing the government forward.

  268. Elaine,

    I have no issue with banning gun shows and requiring registry of private sales, banning extended magazines, banning certain types of ammunition, banning folding stocks and bayonet mounts and some large caliber semi-automatic rifles like .50 cal sniper rifles. I’m even for the idea of a mental health check and a “blind” database where mental health workers can list people they think are dangerous to themselves or others to restrict sales. Concurrently though I am for free quality public mental health care. There are actually quite a few areas I’m willing to talk restrictions and other mitigations.

    However, banning semi-automatic weapons of any sort is simply going too far. 1) It would shift the balance of power too far to the government in what is already a unfair fight should it break out, 2) banning would only result in a black market and the attendant crime that goes with black markets 3) a prohibition would be ineffective as guns of all sort are fairly easy to make from scratch as a fabrication issue, and 4) there are many legitimate self-defense and sporting reasons to prefer a semi-automatic over a revolver or manual loading design.

  269. “The simple fact is that no gun control measures either on the books or reasonably under consideration could have stopped such a disturbed person from acquiring these weapons if he was willing to kill to get them.”

    *****

    If Lanza’s mother hadn’t had guns readily available to her son–maybe no school massacre would have occurred in Newtown. Lanza was prevented from buying a gun at a sporting goods store in Connecticut earlier in the week:

    Reports: Lanza Attempted To Buy Rifle Days Before Shooting, Was Denied
    by Anjali Sareen
    December 15th, 2012
    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/reports-lanza-attempted-to-buy-rifle-days-before-shooting-was-denied/

    NBC’s Pete Williams reported this morning that, according to federal and state officials, there were four handguns found at the scene of the Connecticut school shooting, instead of two as previously thought. Adam Lanza also had an assault-style rifle that he reportedly left in his car. Williams also told the Today audience that on Tuesday of this week, December 11, Lanza attempted to purchase another rifle from a sporting goods store in Danbury, Connecticut, but was denied.

    According to Williams, Lanza was unable to buy the rifle for several reasons, one of which was Connecticut’s stricter gun laws which mandate a waiting period before purchase.

  270. Gene,
    I can’t keep up with you guys on my phone, but I will go even further. A constitutional amendment restricting these ultra lethal weapons and ammo. The balance of strength between the government and its firepower and citizens is almost as wide as the Grand Canyon of a gulf between the uber wealthy and the poor.

  271. Bob K.,

    “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” – James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper No. 46.

    “The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate size, upon such principles as will really fit it for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.” – Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 29.

    Madison was the primary drafter of the Constitution and Hamilton was a delegate to the Constitutional convention.

    *****************

    Bob, Esq.,

    “I’m still waiting to hear what law, rationally related to a legitimate purpose, would have prevented this tragedy.”

    As am I. And that’s the bottom legal line here. No law rationally related to legitimate purpose would have prevented this horror.

  272. Raff,

    I concur with what Gene said and would add the following.

    First, banning all semi-automatic guns is as much a pipe dream as banning all guns together. You’ll have to repeal the 2nd amendment to do it.

    Second, I agree with the principle behind the idea of mental health checks for handguns and assault rifles, but I’m keen to guess how you’d go about implementing that without seriously stamping on the rest of our civil rights. Seems to me that would open the door to a psychiatric state; where it’s far easier to keep changing the definition of “sane” to control the populous.

  273. Gene,

    Per the issue of being rationally related to a legitimate purpose, don’t forget the actuaries.

    Odds of kids being killed in school massacre compared to odds of kids being killed in more mundane disaster; like a car crash.

    Changing the law to prevent the statistically improbable isn’t quite rational.

  274. In the 12 years since the law reforms, there have been no mass shootings.

    —————————-

    Nal…. that is EXACTLY right……..

    ——————–

    Gene… The list you just suggested is EXACTLY what I suggested this WHOLE time… this thread and the last gun thread…..

    NOT ONCE did I even come CLOSE to advocating for total gun ban…..

    and fact is… the VERY people who cling to their guns, are the VERY ones who are always wanting to cut social services and not find ways of getting these parents the help they need……..
    That is what the LIBERALS are always fighting for…..

  275. Bob,
    Pipe dreams to you, but needed reality to others. I don’t have all the answers on how to get meaningful restrictions on the mentally ill, but the Japan model is a start. Besides, if we never start the discussion, you will never prevent more loss of life. I think banning semi-automatic rifles can be done within the borders of the expansive 2nd Amendment. The founders never imagined a semi automatic rifle so under Scalia’s originalist reasoning,it should be OK to limit the weapons allowed, iMHO.

  276. Maybe you shouldn’t shout so much, JAG. It’s often hard to hear what you mean beneath the hyperbole and TYPING IN ALL CAPS WHICH IS SHOUTING ON THE INTERNET.

  277. raff,

    ” I think banning semi-automatic rifles can be done within the borders of the expansive 2nd Amendment. ”

    I’m with Bob on that one. It would require amendment.

  278. raff, there are an estimated 230 million firearms in private hands in the US. Many of them are not registered anywhere, having been handed down for years in the family, or bought on the private market. I estimate about two thirds of those are semi-automatics. How do you propose to remove two million firearms from private citizens? Go door to door and tell people you have come for their guns? Good luck on that.

  279. Gene,
    I will go the amendment route, but I do not see an impediment to the ban. That doesn’t mean it will be easy or be done quickly. But we have to put society’s health first. It will take a sea change in society, but I do not see teeny six and seven year olds as an insignificant number of useless deaths. Since when do actuaries come into play on an issue like this, Bob? I think the mothers and fathers of those twenty angels think just one life was significant enough!

  280. How Our Nation Can Protect Children, Not Guns
    By Marian Wright Edelman.
    President, Children’s Defense Fund
    Posted: 03/30/2012
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marian-wright-edelman/how-our-nation-can-protec_b_1392551.html

    Excerpt:
    As a nation we need to protect children from guns, support common-sense gun safety measures, and pass stronger federal, state, and local laws that would save many lives. We could start by closing the gun show loophole. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act requires federally licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks on every gun sale, but a loophole in the law allows private dealers to sell guns without a license and avoid the required background checks. This loophole accounts for a large share of all gun sales. It’s estimated that over 40 percent of all guns in our country are sold by unlicensed private sellers to buyers who did not have to pass a background check. Congress must require criminal background checks on anyone who attempts to purchase a gun.

    Congress should reinstitute the ban on assault weapons. The federal Assault Weapons Ban, signed into law in 1994, prohibited the manufacture and sale of 19 types of semi-automatic military style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines that contained more than 10 rounds of ammunition, but it expired in 2004. Legislation pending in Congress would reinstitute the ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines that were used in the mass shootings in Tucson, Arizona and at Virginia Tech. Congress must restore the ban on both high-capacity clips and assault weapons. These deadly assault weapons that cause multiple deaths at a time have nothing to do with hunting animals. As James Alan Fox, professor of criminology at Northeastern University in Boston, said right after the Tucson murders: “Notwithstanding the worn-out slogan that ‘guns don’t kill, people do,’ guns do make it easier for people to commit murder. And semi-automatic guns, like the Tucson assailant’s out-of-the-box spanking-new Glock, make it easier to commit mass murder.”

  281. Gene H.
    1, November 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm
    You can’t legislate away the fact that Mitch McConnell making a good case for retroactive abortions is funny if you possess a sense of humor either.

    Argument by non-sequtur. You can legislate against crazy people doing harm but they are crazy so you can’t enforce it with anything approaching 100% efficacy. That isn’t the Nirvana fallacy, it’s simply recognizing the nature of the crazy beast inhibits predictive solutions. Creating such an enforcement regime would require a massive retooling of the mental healthcare systems in this country and a massive rewrite of our privacy protections under the 14th Amendment vis a vis healthcare, e.g. more erosion of civil rights in the name of “security”. Crazy people with always find ways to harm others and themselves even if you turned the whole nation into a pscyh ward.
    ———————————————————-

    That was YOUR comment on the other gun topic…..

    and here you said…..

    I’m even for the idea of a mental health check and a “blind” database where mental health workers can list people they think are dangerous to themselves or others to restrict sales. Concurrently though I am for free quality public mental health care. There are actually quite a few areas I’m willing to talk restrictions and other mitigations.

    However, banning semi-automatic weapons of any sort is simply going too far. 1) It would shift the balance of power too far to the government in what is already a unfair fight should it break out, 2) banning would only result in a black market and the attendant crime that goes with black markets 3) a prohibition would be ineffective as guns of all sort are fairly easy to make from scratch as a fabrication issue, and 4) there are many legitimate self-defense and sporting reasons to prefer a semi-automatic over a revolver or manual loading design.

    ——————

    and to address the last part of your argument….

    Then WHY is it that gun deaths DROPPED HEAVILY after gun restrictions in Australia… and in the UK.???

    I sure do not see many guns in my country here… of course many have LONG guns…. just NOT handguns….
    Hunting is quite popular here….. people do own handguns… they are just not easy to get…..

    we also do NOT have a BUNCH of innocents being shot like ducks in a
    barrel…

    Fact is… here in Sweden, it is the outlaws who have guns… and YET…
    we do not see HALF the victims that the USA does…..

    in fact…. per 100,000 people…..

    USA is about 2.4
    Sweden is about .41

    all of EU is about .60

    and if you take ALL of the EU…. it would be around .60 rounding HIGH….
    and that is with TWICE the amount of citizens…..
    the USA has about 350 million…..
    EU has around 700 million……

    NO MATTER how you cut it…. The outlaws are NOT running around leading the innocent to slaughter….

    NO major shootouts….. NO homemade guns….

  282. rafflaw,

    “I think the mothers and fathers of those twenty angels think just one life was significant enough!”

    Those dead children are just a blip on an actuary’s statistical graph. Nothing significant. Be rational, will you?!

  283. Justagurl,
    Gene’s comment about free and available mental health would be part of the solution. It may be easier to get a gun than to get mental health care.

  284. Raff: “But we have to put society’s health first.”

    This is where liberalism leaves reality and enters science fiction; e.g. everyone is one with the body of Landrew, etc.

    Raff: “It will take a sea change in society, but I do not see teeny six and seven year olds as an insignificant number of useless deaths. Since when do actuaries come into play on an issue like this, Bob? I think the mothers and fathers of those twenty angels think just one life was significant enough!”

    And there you go; arguing from emotion rather than principle.

    If you’re truly concerned about the fates of little angels, then why aren’t you more than outraged about the drone strikes?

    That’s not only 170 plus “little angels” dead by deliberate policy, but countless others being lined up right now, as a matter of certainty, to die in the near future.

    In the heat of the moment you seem to have lost your sense of perspective & capacity for reason; i.e. attending to “little angels” that may be killed in some improbable future rather than screaming to stop killing “little angels” that are destined to be killed in the near future deliberately.

    I sure hope your sense of morality isn’t based on nationality or geography. Little angels are little angels regardless of nationality; right Raff?

  285. This is what ran through my head during Obama’s speech tonight:

    “As regards civilian casualties, on August 11, 2011 a report of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism said, “The Guardian published some of the pictures, we have obtained…as many as 168 children have been killed in drone strikes in Pakistan during the past seven years.” While rejecting the CIA’s false claim, the report disclosed, “It is a bleak view: more people killed than previously thought.”

    Besides, a report of the New America Foundation revealed that President Obama has “authorised 193 drone strikes in Pakistan, more than four times the number of attacks that President Bush authorised during his two terms.”

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/killing-civilians-obamas-drone-war-in-pakistan/5315661

  286. Bob, first of all, I am outraged about the drone killings, but I can also be outraged about 30 school shootings since Columbine. At least I am arguing for preventing further loss of life, no matter where it occurs. The question is, why aren’t you Bob?

  287. Make not mistake Raff, I’m all for preventing the killing of children. I simply find more utility in pointing out and preventing imminent danger rather than doing the equivalent using appeal to emotion for laws about as rationally related to a legitimate purpose as leash laws for unicorns.

  288. raff, we do not travel in the same social circles due to geography. A buyback program would be met with peals of laughter at my house. If you walked down the main street of our town and asked people at random if they would be willing to turn in their firearms, one of several things would happen. You might be slugged. You would be greeted by side-splitting laughter, or possibly be arrested for trying to start a riot. Besides, do you really think any government agency is going to offer to buy back privately owned firearms at their true value? Have you priced a top quality semi-auto hunting rifle lately? Or handgun for that matter. My Browning Buckmark is definitely not for sale at any price.

  289. OS,
    The only way the gun owners will give them up is for realistic value. How did Australia get hundreds of thousands of guns? Besides, I have been laughed at before.
    Bob,
    Emotion is just a small part of my argument. The best way to prevent 30 more school shootings is for our society to realize that some of these weapons are not necessary to protect themselves and that the mentally ill need to be helped and kept from owning guns.
    I have to hit the hay now. Great article Mespo!

  290. OS,

    I’m actually looking into purchasing a Remington 1100 in 20 gauge and getting back into skeet shooting so all this talk about banning ‘all semi-automatic guns’ is particularly annoying.

  291. Bob, my former brother in law was a serious competitive skeet shooter. He shot so much over his lifetime that he is now hearing impaired. A couple of his shotguns are seriously expensive. I am not sure of the make, but I think it is Swedish and cost him close to twenty thousand dollars.

    English made Purdy shotguns run into six figures.

  292. JAG,

    Those countries don’t have the history or the jurisprudence we do if you want to talk about argument by non-sequitur. Our country is a rarity in the world: a democratic Presidential Constitutional representative republic born from the violent overthrow of a despotic oppressive monarchy. Our very reason for existing is the overthrow of tyranny. Tyranny that is coincidentally on the rise in this country and yet you wish to possibly critically undermine one of our rights that is a bulwark against tyranny because the right comes with a horrible cost: sometimes broken and evil people do really shitty things with guns. I feel for their victims, I really do, but their tragedy is not a good reason for usurping a protection against tyranny and especially in a political environment where tyranny is on the rise in the for form of attacks on the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and even the 9th and 10th amendments are already under various forms of attack.

    “IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

    The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”

    Our very system of government is based on freedom from tyranny, foreign and domestic. The Founders chose to protect the right of citizens to arm themselves to protect us from enemies foreign and domestic. There will be no semi-automatic weapons ban without Constitutional amendment which quite simply isn’t going to happen for more reasons than one.

    The EU is not America just like correlation is not causation.

  293. Gene,

    Your quotes do not deal with the Second … they deal with the natural right to bear arms … that goes to The English Bill of Rights back in the 1600’s. The right to bear arms was natural … like the right to breath and as such did not not need an amendment to help with ratification.

    The standing army and the militia and the states’ concerns about keeping their militias did require an amendment in order to help with ratification.

    You are hanging your hat on the wrong hook but that is not unusual as it was the same hook the gun lobby/NRA chose.

    I think this one of the problems Madison anticipated when he worried that listing a bill of rights would lead to certain rights being ignored or even lost.

  294. rafflaw
    1, December 16, 2012 at 9:07 pm
    Justagurl,
    Gene’s comment about free and available mental health would be part of the solution. It may be easier to get a gun than to get mental health care.

    ——————

    I absolutely agree…..

    I do find it IRONIC though… NOT in Genes case… BUT in GENERAL the Republicans are always wanting to cut SERVICES,…NEVER have they wanted to PROVIDE SERVICES…

    NOW, since this shooting… they are all talking as if they have wanted FREE Mental health care for ages and us liberals have been fighting them….
    It is looking RATHER ABSURD….

    ————————————————-

    Bob,Esq.
    1, December 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm
    Make not mistake Raff, I’m all for preventing the killing of children. I simply find more utility in pointing out and preventing imminent danger rather than doing the equivalent using appeal to emotion for laws about as rationally related to a legitimate purpose as leash laws for unicorns.

    ———————————-

    OK bob… what do YOU suggest we do????

    ———————————————

    See, I have been advocating for Mental health evaluations every 2 years… this way if somebody starts to go downhill after they have been cleared to purchase guns…. They will then have to PROVE that they are still FIT to own a gun…….

    THOUGH…. NOW we find out that the NRA has gotten a little deal…. and people who were deemed at too dangerous to own gun, are now going to court and getting their guns back…. even SERIOUS PTSD case where the man was deemed too dangerous by his DOCTOR and asked to NOT return to the VA……. he thinks he is still in active combat….. and the judge did not know this, and gave him back his guns…..
    The article is posted above by SMM…. or Elaine…. can’t remember…..

    as for ban on guns…..

    NOPE… it would NEVER work….. BUT…. assault weapons NEED to be banned or at least FAR MORE tightly controlled……

    and NO MORE than 10 rounds per magazine…..

    NO high capacity magazines…. that is what has been the trouble in the last
    few shootings…. they are getting off 30+ rounds before a slight break in the action where then people had some time to find safety or tackle the gun away from the shooter……..

    and REALLY….. NOBODY NEEDS 50 freaking guns…..

    and if you do collect them….fine…. do like they do in other countries….
    make them unable to shoot…..

    also…. if your gun is stolen…. YOU are fined $50,000 for NOT keeping it SAFELY hidden away from thieves……..

    and if their is a mentally challenged person in the home…..
    BE SMART for pitty sake…. DO NOT ALLOW the mentally challenged occupant NEAR the guns…..

    and if your child steals your gun and shoots somebody….. YOU LOOSE EVERYTHING….. You pay a huge FINE… and you pay the medical bills…. and you pay the funeral costs…..
    I bet parents would lock their guns up far more safely……

    and NOT allowing these mentally challenged people to get their gun rights back unless they can PROVE they are being treated and are SAFE…..

    If somebody on psych meds wants a gun…. they have to be checked EVERY 6 months….

  295. Justagurl, Both the Colorado shooter and the Connecticut shooter had access to mental health care. One was a student at a very good medical school, and the Connecticut boy was very wealthy and had received a diagnosis so not having access does not apply to these most recent cases. It often is a factor, though.

  296. Gene H.
    1, December 16, 2012 at 9:40 pm
    JAG,

    Those countries don’t have the history or the jurisprudence we do if you want to talk about argument by non-sequitur. Our country is a rarity in the world: a democratic Presidential Constitutional representative republic born from the violent overthrow of a despotic oppressive monarchy. Our very reason for existing is the overthrow of tyranny. Tyranny that is coincidentally on the rise in this country and yet you wish to possibly critically undermine one of our rights that is a bulwark against tyranny because the right comes with a horrible cost:

    ————————————————————–

    Gene…. that was THEN…. this is NOW….. we are all on pretty even footing at this point….. the USA is in NO danger of being taken over by any other country…..

    ————————————

    yet you wish to possibly critically undermine one of our rights that is a bulwark against tyranny because the right comes with a horrible cost:

    ———

    Maybe, YOU don’t mind that cost, since it is NOT YOUR child laying in a Funeral home right now…..

    In MY EYES…. that cost is WAY TOO HIGH!!!

    and if you want to change my MIND…. it is simple….. STOP saying NOTHING will work….. and just do what we are doing…. cuz fact is… it is NOT working…..
    Instead of arguing about drownings and total gun bans…..
    make some SUGGESTIONS….. don’t say things like…..

    “yet you wish to possibly critically undermine one of our rights that is a bulwark against tyranny because the right comes with a horrible cost:”

    Cuz that just makes you look REALLY bad…

    YOUR freedom, just cost 20 families their children and 8 families their wives…. mothers… sisters… cousins…. aunts…… grandmothers… daughters, and FRIENDS….

    that HIGH COST…. did not fall ON YOU……

  297. JaG,
    The biggest single problem with your suggestions regarding mental health issues. First of all, there is something called HIPAA. Google it. No doctor is going to risk a $50,000 dollar fine and a year in jail in order to comply with a proposal such as you make.

    Second, such legislation would have less chance of passing in this country than I have of becoming a circus acrobat.

  298. Outrage about drones killing children?

    You’ll find that outrage here anytime the subject is brought up I venture. It’s a damn red herring the way it’s been used in this thread I think.

    If you, anyone, wants to call hypocrisy because the equivalence hadn’t been specifically brought up I suggest taking your scolding to the media. Right? Give the media a free pass for not pointing out the complicity and bloodymindedness of the administration every damn day it occurs, but they’re all over the CT killings. How’s that for equivalence?

    A very poor example of honesty in discussion, as opposed to technical argumentation.

  299. ” Enough With The Legalese Smart Guy, What’s The Bottom Line?

    Like any public policy matter, it is important to get/be educated. An assault weapons ban? One that covers machine guns[13] would not even implicate the Second Amendment. One that included semi-automatic “assault” weapons would probably pass constitutional muster[14]. At least one federal court of appeals has upheld a ban on large capacity magazines[15] and others have upheld regulations on gun possession by a person convicted of domestic violence[16] and an outright ban on .22 caliber short-barreled rifles[17]. While it is important to note that case law differs among the federal circuits, the idea that the Second Amendment is inviolate and that sensible gun control laws cannot be passed is simply untrue. What it takes, like anything else in Washington, D.C., is political courage – something that has been in short supply in this area for a long time. “

  300. SwM,
    An assault rifle is one with a select fire switch. It can be changed from semi automatic to full auto with a flip of a small lever. Those are highly controlled and next to impossible for a civilian to own legally. That has been true since 1934, pursuant to Federal law.

    There is no real difference between the current so-called “assault rifles” and an ordinary hunting rifle, except for the cosmetic appearance. Just because a rifle is ugly, should not be the determining factor in whether it is legal.

    Rifles and shotguns have a minimum legal barrel length. Anything even a fraction of an inch shorter than the legal minimum is illegal under Federal law.

  301. Otteray Scribe
    1, December 16, 2012 at 10:16 pm
    JaG,
    The biggest single problem with your suggestions regarding mental health issues. First of all, there is something called HIPAA. Google it. No doctor is going to risk a $50,000 dollar fine and a year in jail in order to comply with a proposal such as you make.

    Second, such legislation would have less chance of passing in this country than I have of becoming a circus acrobat.

    —————————————–

    Of course I know about HIPPA…..

    and the patient can allow the doctor permission to write a clearance letter regarding their mental health status…. that would break NO LAWS….

  302. JaG,
    If the Feds do not know a patient is a patient, what would motivate them to give up privacy. I don’t think I would. The only way a psychiatric patient might come to the attention of the law is if they are adjudicated mentally ill and committed to a mental hospital involuntarily. And in most jurisdictions, even those commitment records are sealed by order of the court.

  303. Blouise,

    They thought it important enough to say – even though it was in the context of supporting militias – that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The 2nd is binary. One element – the preface – is to support militias; providing for the common defense. The second element is what is necessary to support militas and that is that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A right of the people. An individual right. A natural right they felt so important they protected it specifically.

    We can agree to disagree, but I’m going to stick with my training on how to interpret the Constitution, construction of laws and how to discern statutory intent as the guide in what informs my opinion.

    You are skirting outcome determinism with the notion of a collective right that impairs the individual right as the Founders intended and derived from the English Bill of Rights of 1689. The right to bear arms is an individual right as written in the Constitution and affirmed by case law. Disagree all you like. You’ll have to produce better evidence and argument to change my mind on this matter. I think that it can be reasonably restricted – few rights are absolute – but it cannot be removed without amendment or modified to the extent that it is effectively removed without Constitutional challenge. That’s at the heart of the finding that D.C.’s attempt to ban weapons was unconstitutional in District of Columbia v. Heller. The notion of it being an individual right protected by the Constitution was challenged and the individual right won.

    I still love you anyway. So there. :P

  304. Otteray Scribe
    1, December 16, 2012 at 10:47 pm
    JaG,
    If the Feds do not know a patient is a patient, what would motivate them to give up privacy. I don’t think I would. The only way a psychiatric patient might come to the attention of the law is if they are adjudicated mentally ill and committed to a mental hospital involuntarily. And in most jurisdictions, even those commitment records are sealed by order of the court.

    ———————————-

    I mean EVERYBODY gets a mental health check up….

    so, EVERYBODY would have a letter attached to their background check records……

    It is simple… you want a gun…. you go get screened….

    SOMETHING has to be done here…..

    DO you have any suggestions ?????

    Look at the MOTHER who bought her guns legally….
    she sounded paranoid to me…..

    This is where I see that……

    She was not just preparing for a POSSIBLE Economic meltdown…..
    NOPE…. she was preparing for THE Economic meltdown…..

    That is sliding into the gray area in my opinion…..

  305. “The simple fact is that no gun control measures either on the books or reasonably under consideration could have stopped such a disturbed person from acquiring these weapons if he was willing to kill to get them.”

    It depends on how disturbed a person happens to be whether or not they would be up to the task to find and buy a gun on the black market. Some really disturbed people would not be able to navigate or be organized enough.
    When they can just walk down to the local pawn shop & buy a gun as they can now, it is only a matter of holding themselves together for a short time during the interaction.

  306. SwM,
    Here is a short video that explains the confusion about semi-auto and full-auto rifles, the similarities and differences. The instructor is a police officer.

  307. Prove you are capable of exercising that right to bear arms without infringing on my right to send my kids to school safely.

    How to prove? Testing, education, evaluation and timely retesting. For all gun owners.

    States with a good gun culture like Vermont have very few problems with guns. the hunting culture there creates a secure environment for most people. that culture is based on education, practice, tradition and knowledge.

  308. Here is one of the best statements I have read on the subject of gun and how the gun culture has changed in America- from an anonymous post at TPM: “I was raised with guns. More to the point, my childhood was steeped in gun lore: I learned to hand-load ammunition when I was 10 and 11, and – by the time I was 14 – my dad was trusting me to prepare my own handloads. I could (and to some extent, still can) recite chapter and verse of firearms arcana, from muzzle velocities – a product of the type of gunpowder used in one’s handloads; of the weight (in grains) of a projectile; of the length of a gun’s barrel (the longer, the faster); of the temperature and elevation at which one is shooting – to impact energy (measured in footpounds), to trajectories (flatter for heavier bullets; some calibers have an innate advantage over others), and so on.
    I bring this up to establish my bona-fides.

    The gun culture that we have today in the U.S. is not the gun culture, so to speak, that I remember from my youth. It’s too simple to say that it’s “sick;” it’s more accurately an absurd fetishization. I suppose that the American Gunfighter, in all of his avatars, is inescapably fetishistic, but (to my point) somewhere along the way – maybe in, uh, 1994? – we crossed over into Something Else: let’s call it Gonzo Fetishization. The American Gunfighter as caricature.
    The guns that I grew up with (in the late-1970’s and 1980’s) were bolt-action rifles: non-automatic weapons, with organic fixtures – i.e., stocks – and limited magazine capacities. As a pre-adolescent, weaned on the A-Team and the nationalist inanity of the Reagan years, I still remember marveling at the gorgeous glossiness – at the beauty – of my dad’s Sako “Vixen” .222 Remington, with its hand-checkered French walnut stock.

    I was raised nominally to hunt, although we didn’t do much of that: once a year, at most. More frequently, we’d go to the range and shoot at targets. So I grew up practicing, and enjoying, what’s commonly called benchrest rifle shooting. I still do so (to a limited extent) today.

    Most of the men and children (of both sexes) I met were interested in hunting, too. Almost exclusively, they used traditional hunting rifles: bolt-actions, mostly, but also a smattering of pump-action, lever-action, and (thanks primarily to Browning) semi-automatic hunting rifles. They talked about gun ownership primarily as a function of hunting; the idea of “self-defense,” while always an operative concern, never seemed to be of paramount importance. It was a factor in gun ownership – and for some sizeable minority of gun owners, it was of outsized (or of decisive) importance – but it wasn’t the factor. The folks I interacted with as a pre-adolescent and – less so – as a teen owned guns because their fathers had owned guns before them; because they’d grown up hunting and shooting; and because – for most of them – it was an experience (and a connection) that they wanted to pass on to their sons and daughters.

    And that’s my point: I can’t remember seeing a semi-automatic weapon of any kind at a shooting range until the mid-1980’s. Even through the early-1990’s, I don’t remember the idea of “personal defense” being a decisive factor in gun ownership. The reverse is true today: I have college-educated friends – all of whom, interestingly, came to guns in their adult lives – for whom gun ownership is unquestionably (and irreducibly) an issue of personal defense. For whom the semi-automatic rifle or pistol – with its matte-black finish, laser site, flashlight mount, and other “tactical” accoutrements – effectively circumscribe what’s meant by the word “gun.” At least one of these friends has what some folks – e.g., my fiancee, along with most of my non-gun-owning friends – might regard as an obsessive fixation on guns; a kind of paraphilia that (in its appetite for all things tactical) seems not a little bit creepy. Not “creepy” in the sense that he’s a ticking time bomb; “creepy” in the sense of…alternate reality. Let’s call it “tactical reality.”

    The “tactical” turn is what I want to flag here. It has what I take to be a very specific use-case, but it’s used – liberally – by gun owners outside of the military, outside of law enforcement, outside (if you’ll indulge me) of any conceivable reality-based community: these folks talk in terms of “tactical” weapons, “tactical” scenarios, “tactical applications,” and so on. It’s the lingua franca of gun shops, gun ranges, gun forums, and gun-oriented Youtube videos. (My god, you should see what’s out there on You Tube!) Which begs my question: in precisely which “tactical” scenarios do all of these lunatics imagine that they’re going to use their matte-black, suppressor-fitted, flashlight-ready tactical weapons? They tend to speak of the “tactical” as if it were a fait accompli; as a kind of apodeictic fact: as something that everyone – their customers, interlocutors, fellow forum members, or YouTube viewers – experiences on a regular basis, in everyday life. They tend to speak of the tactical as reality.

    And I think there’s a sense in which they’ve constructured their own (batshit insane) reality.

    One in which we have to live.

  309. JAG,

    “Gene…. that was THEN…. this is NOW….”

    And you’re still engaging in the Historian’s fallacy and presentism. All the while you manage to remain ignorant as to how jurisprudence and precedent operate.

    “we are all on pretty even footing at this point….. the USA is in NO danger of being taken over by any other country…..”

    Yet you conveniently ignore the ever encroaching domestic tyranny of the unitary Executive and the expanding police state.

    “Maybe, YOU don’t mind that cost, since it is NOT YOUR child laying in a Funeral home right now…..

    In MY EYES…. that cost is WAY TOO HIGH!!!”

    As to the “YOU don’t mind that cost, since it is NOT YOUR child laying in a Funeral home right now”?

    That simply merits a “bite me”.

    Who the f@ck do you think you are to say something like that to me? Or anyone else for that matter?

    My primary concern is protecting the civil rights guaranteed by our Constitution. If you’re willing to throw them away? That’s your bad choice. That your rights mean so little to you? Says more about you than it does about me, you puppet to your emotions. You’ve already agreed that what I said were reasonable restrictions were indeed reasonable restrictions and that you don’t wish to do away with the 2nd. Most of your last scree was simply an attempt to what? Make me look bad? Hurt my feelings? Shame me into agreeing with you?

    You apparently haven’t read many of my comments or you’d realize the futility of that tactic. I don’t give a rat’s ass what you think about me. I don’t even care if you like me. I do care about the logical sufficiency of arguments and so far yours have been lacking. I’m interested in the rule of law and the maximization and retention of civil and human rights. Your agreement is not required.

    Now the next time you address me, I’d advise you to lay off the trying to make me in to a bad guy. Or you can try to demonize me again. See how that works out for you. It won’t be pretty, but it will be funny.

    “and if you want to change my MIND…. it is simple….. STOP saying NOTHING will work…”

    You assume my goal is to change your mind when it is to show your illogic. And thanks for the straw man. I never once said “NOTHING will work”. I stipulated quite clearly several steps that could be taken to mitigate risk. Your capacity for logical fallacies is becoming truly impressive. Almost as impressive as your constant shouting. I hope you don’t talk that way IRL. It’s really annoying.

  310. shano,

    “They talked about gun ownership primarily as a function of hunting; the idea of ‘self-defense,’ while always an operative concern, never seemed to be of paramount importance. It was a factor in gun ownership – and for some sizeable minority of gun owners, it was of outsized (or of decisive) importance – but it wasn’t the factor.”

    Your experience matches my own. That the attitude has changed is interesting, but ask yourself why that attitude has changed.

    Couldn’t be a manufactured culture of inducing fear into the populace, could it? Perhaps by a government trying to strip away as many of your rights as possible in the pursuit of a “War Against Terror” that is as likely to kill you as your own furniture, could it? It couldn’t be a result of the “it bleeds it ledes” corporate media, could it?

    Fear is a motivator, but it is a poor motivator. Fear breeds irrationality. Irrationality breeds all manner of unintended consequences.

  311. SwM,
    The Alabama football player who sent the tweet mentioned in the DKos story has already been thrown off the team and his Twitter account disabled. That was fast!

  312. OS,

    Wow. I just read that delightful exchange from Twitter over at DKos. Once again proving that you don’t have to be smart to play football. A little instant karma might do that imbecile some good. Or not.

    Ah, racists!

    You’ve almost got to hope they’re sterile.

  313. Goodnight to you too. I am tired and have had trouble staying awake today. Going to fold my tent for the evening too. Hope everyone has a good week coming up. Certainly better than the last one. Before I go, I want to share a pipe lament. The Bells of Dunblane was written by Pipe Major Robert Mathieson following the massacre at a primary school in Dunblane, Scotland in 1996. He wrote it while he was grieving for the murdered children.

  314. Gene,

    The only point with which I disagree is that that natural right is not found in the Second and no matter how you twist the logic, it won’t be found where it does not exist.

    However, we move on for there is much to be done.

  315. “Fear breeds irrationality. Irrationality breeds all manner of unintended consequences.” (Gene)

    Something Nancy Lanza could testify to if she were still alive.

  316. Back to the theme of America’s foreign policy being a logical extension of domestic policy (since after all the same people make both) and the inextricable interconnectedness of rampage shooting violence directed at American schoolchildren & office workers, just consider this George Carlin piece from 20 years ago:

  317. Gene… I do NOT mean change my mind about guns…. for the umpteenth time… I am NOT anti gun…. I actually like shooting…. and like guns….

    I mean change my mind from thinking that Pro gun advocates are just fanatic nut jobs…..

    It just seems that too many Pro NRA types just go a LITTLE overboard……
    It seems they do not want to entertain any restrictions…. even wanting 100 round mags…..

    I guess because I am NOT gun fanatic… and no anti gun either that I see that DIFFERENCE in the way guns are talked about now days vs 30 years ago…… it is like Christianity and Islam… 30 years ago… they were LESS fanatical….. NOW…. they have gone over the edge…… and that is what Pro Gun advocates are like now……

    at one point the NRA was OK with some gun restrictions… they were not about…. ALL guns for EVERYBODY……

    I love what Shano posted……..

    and this is just PRICELESS…….

    Which begs my question: in precisely which “tactical” scenarios do all of these lunatics imagine that they’re going to use their matte-black, suppressor-fitted, flashlight-ready tactical weapons? They tend to speak of the “tactical” as if it were a fait accompli; as a kind of apodeictic fact: as something that everyone – their customers, interlocutors, fellow forum members, or YouTube viewers – experiences on a regular basis, in everyday life. They tend to speak of the tactical as reality.

    And I think there’s a sense in which they’ve constructured their own (batshit insane) reality.

    One in which we have to live.

  318. Gene,

    BTW … you keep confusing me with those who want to remove stuff. I don’t want to remove the Second … I want to put it back where it belongs. I don’t want to pry a hunting rifle or shotgun from a hunter’s hands … though you know I think hunting with a gun is for sissies.

    I want strict regulation, licensing, banning gun shows and requiring registry of private sales, banning extended magazines, banning certain types of ammunition, banning folding stocks and bayonet mounts and some large caliber semi-automatic rifles like .50 cal sniper rifles.

    And of course you still love me … and I know, deep down in your heart, you love Pelosi.

    Oh, and I completely disagree with mespo’s chart and other points but it was useful enough to get the conversation moving.

  319. Gene…

    I am SORRY if I offended you…. that was NOT my intention…..

    Maybe it would be better put by adding that you wish to balance your protection of civil rights of gun ownership, with public safety….
    THOUGH it should be a given that people feel that way… it is just not looking like that these days…….

    that is what we hear the LEAST from Pro gun advocates….

    even here… NOT YOU of course,…. BUT many other Pro Gun people just came here and ripped any idea apart… NOT ONCE offering a possible solution or even an idea….. heck… we have politicians advocating that we arm TEACHERS NOW…. and that we need MORE guns….

    and fact is…. MANY times I have pointed out that 3,000 children a year die
    from gun shot wounds…

    You know what the reply is????

    “well, out freedoms have a cost..”

    and that is the AVERAGE answer to that number of deaths….. and I will admit… it is getting TIRING….

    So…. PLEASE forgive me for insulting you….

  320. By the way… Shano…. I LOVED that comment by the long time gun advocate…..

    and it is SO TRUE……

    The NRA used to support gun control
    By ADAM WINKLER

    It came as no surprise Thursday when the White House announced that President Barack Obama would not seek any new gun control in the wake of the Aurora movie theater massacre. Obama can’t afford to alienate gun enthusiasts, who’ve been taught by the National Rifle Association that gun laws infringe the Second Amendment. The truth, however, is that America has regulated guns since its earliest days. Gun control is as much a part of the story of guns in the United States as the Second Amendment and the six-shooter.

    The founding fathers who wrote the Second Amendment didn’t believe the right to keep and bear arms was a libertarian license for anyone to have any gun anywhere he wanted. While they believed that the right to have arms was an individual right and that government should never be able to completely disarm the people, they balanced gun rights with public safety.

    The founders barred large portions of the population from possessing guns, including slaves and free blacks, who might revolt if armed. The founders also restricted gun ownership by law-abiding white people, such as those who refused to swear allegiance to the Revolution. Those weren’t traitors fighting for the British. They were among the approximately 40 percent of the citizenry who, in exercise of their freedom of conscience, thought 13 disorganized colonies taking on the most powerful nation in the world was a bad idea.

    Of course, we shouldn’t mimic the founders and adopt gun laws that discriminate on the basis of race or political ideology. The point is that the founders limited access to guns when they thought it necessary to preserve the public welfare. Even though the threats to the public good we see today — such as criminals or mentally ill people with guns — are different, we should still be able to do what the founders did and find the appropriate balance.

    The founders also imposed onerous restrictions on gun owners through militia laws. Men over the age of 18 were expected to serve in the citizen militia, armed and ready to defend the nation. They would be forced to appear, with guns in hand, at public musters where they and their guns would be inspected. The founders had an early form of gun registration: States conducted door-to-door surveys to identify where the guns were in case the government had need of them.

    The founders even had their own version of an “individual mandate.” In 1792, Congress required all free men of age to outfit themselves with a military-style firearm.

    Gun control was commonplace in the Wild West, too — the very heart of America’s gun culture. We all know the image: a gunslinger walking down Main Street, a gun on each hip, a rifle in his arms, ammo strapped across his chest, a hidden Derringer pistol beneath his pant leg. He’s so loaded down with iron it’s remarkable he can mount his horse.

    There’s only one problem with this picture. It’s pure myth.
    Frontier towns in the west — places like Deadwood, S.D., and Tombstone, Ariz. — had the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. When residents of Dodge City, Kan., formed their municipal government, what was the very first law they passed? One prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons.

    When a visitor arrived in a frontier town, he was required to check his guns with the marshal. The gun owner would receive a token to reclaim the guns when he left town. It’s not much different from how New Yorkers check their coats at a restaurant in winter.

    Once Dodge City expanded its laws to bar the carrying of guns openly too, a sign posted on the main street warned, “The Carrying of Firearms Strictly Prohibited.”

    And these laws were enforced. The illegal carrying of a firearm was the second most common basis for arrests in the old west — right behind drunk and disorderly conduct. Gun violence was also rare, and gunfights extraordinary. Frontier towns averaged less than two homicides per year. Turns out there really wasn’t any need to get out of Dodge.

    The first major federal gun control laws were passed in the 1930s in response to the mob violence of the Prohibition Era. Invented for use in the trenches of World War I, the Tommy gun — the first easily portable machine gun — quickly became the weapon of choice for Al Capone’s gang and notorious desperadoes like Bonnie and Clyde.

    Appearing before Congress, Karl Frederick, the NRA’s president, was asked whether the Second Amendment imposed any limits on gun control. Remarkably, he answered that he had “not given it any study from that point of view.” Indeed, the NRA at that time supported restrictive gun control laws, even drafting and promoting in state after state laws curtailing the concealed carry of firearms.

    Today’s NRA files lawsuits and pushes legislatures to overturn these very same laws.

    The change in the organization came in the 1970s. Considerable credit for that, surprisingly, belongs to the Black Panther Party. In the late 1960s, civil rights radicals took up arms as part of the “by any means necessary” philosophy. In an often forgotten incident, 30 armed Panthers invaded the California state capital building to protest enactment of new gun laws. This, coupled with the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, spurred a wave of gun restrictions. Social order seemed to be breaking down.

    Ironically, these laws, which were designed in part to restrict access to guns by black, left-leading, urban radicals sparked a backlash among rural, white conservatives. As gun bans spread from D.C. to Chicago, conservative whites began to worry that the government was coming to take away their guns next. Gun control, they thought, was just another example of failed big government.

    Many of those people became single-issue voters. After Republicans won a majority in the House of Representatives in 1994 — for the first time in half a century — President Bill Clinton blamed it on the gun control laws he’d successfully pushed through Congress. His agenda on other issues was stymied. Ever since, Democrats have, by and large, stayed away from gun control.

    Today there are calls for reauthorization of the federal law barring assault weapons. But even though Obama says he supports the ban and, as governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney signed one, those calls are likely to go unheeded. The original assault weapons ban was one of the two laws that sparked the backlash against Clinton.

    Is it really any wonder that neither presidential candidate is going to push for it — or, for that matter, any gun control?

    http://www.newsday.com/opinion/oped/winkler-the-nra-used-to-support-gun-control-1.3865217

  321. Shano, “Both Lanza and Holmes fathers will testify in the LIBOR scandal trial. Two mass murderers.”

    Holmes was drugged. I don’t think he did it. I don’t know enough about Holmes yet.

    LIBOR is HUUUUGE. Would murdering a bunch of kids be going to far to protect the perpetrators? Could be extreme witness tampering.

    —————-
    Now what would happen if the populace were disarmed but also required to undergo a mental health exam on a regular basis?

    Nightmares tonight.

  322. I think that ONCE the NRA realized that they could make TONS of money from gun manufacturers and retailers…. they ditched their ways of the 70’s…. and then decided that arming as many people as possible would get them MORE money and MORE power…….

    Now, they will NEVER give up the power they have….

    Power Corrupts…. and it has done a doozy on the NRA……

  323. I want to share the obituary of really nice, gentle, generous man who did whatever he could to make change. Bob was a Quaker with a commitment to non-violence that was complete and extended to animals in that he was vegan. He was working on a biography of Gandhi, having made at least two trips to India for research. He was the Green Party candidate for Congress for Maryland’s 5th District several times, most recently in the 2012 election. I will being able to pick up the phone and talking with him. He will be greatly missed.

    http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Md-Green-Party-Activist-Killed-in-Hit-and-Run-183433791.html

  324. Blouise,

    I’ll tell you like I told someone else: Being pro 2nd isn’t the equivalent of being anti reasonable regulation. I’m pro-Constitution period. I would think that is abundantly clear by now.

    As to your reading of the 2nd? Agreement is not required. I think you’re wrong in your interpretation that the individual right is not protected and it’s not by “twisting logic” but rather by applying logic to the construction and history of the very article itself.

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” – a governmental interest that requires that – “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” – a natural individual right – “shall not be infringed.” – be protected by the Constitution.

    English! Yes. Have some. Logic too.

    It was derived from a document – the English Bill of Rights of 1689 – that restored an individual right wrongfully denied to Protestants.

    “I want to put it back where it belongs.”

    Then it is a natural individual right protected by the Constitution. To twist it into some kind of collective right would have meant the Founders would have had to include language about arming everyone by some kind of mandate. They left the choice to own arms to you. To otherwise would have run afoul of the 1st as some religions prohibit owning and/or using firearms. The individual right itself though is clearly protected. Heller laid that argument to rest.

    We agree there is room for reasonable regulation.

    What we don’t agree on is the nature of the right.

    Agreement is not required.

    Even though you’re simply wrong. :D

    Just like you’re wrong about me loving Pelosi. She earned my perpetual and everlasting hatred when she said “impeachment is off the table”. She betrayed her oath of office and her duty to the Constitution. She enabled war criminals and allowed them to escape justice. I’d say she’s swine but I do love pork chops.

    I may even love pork chops more than I love you. ;)

  325. Gene:

    We made the issue very clear in our (WA) state constitution.

    ARTICLE 1 SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

  326. Gene,

    Ahhh … up until the 1960’s all the Justices agreed with my interpretation. That’s about 200 years for me compared to a mere 50 for you.

    It is most disheartening to come in second to a pork chop.

    BTW … I find it extremely interesting that none of the 31 Senators who support gun rights would agree to come on Face the Nation and not one single NRA official could be reached for comment. Neither McConnell or Cantor … both big gun nuts, would comment. Cowards all …

    If you have ever seen Colbert then you know how he and Sweetness just love the Second Amendment

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/251794/november-25-2009/in–60-seconds—sweetness

  327. i think the solution is to get rid of high capacity external clips and limit semi-auto rifles to 5-10 rounds that must be fed, by hand, into an internal, fixed magazine. No stripper clips, etc.

    Semi-auto pistols could carry 5-7 rounds in an internal, fixed magazine which had to be hand fed.

    And put up a national data base of adults and children who are taking psychoactive drugs and prevent the sale of guns to them and immediate family.

  328. “To get guns under control, we start with laws. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Sen.-elect Chris Murphy acknowledged Sunday that “people want us to do something.” Correct. The Connecticut delegation should introduce a bill to go after the relatively obvious and reasonable steps: assault weapons ban, universal background checks, no high-capacity magazines. The National Rifle Association leaders will object. To hell with them. The right to public safety trumps the right to own an arsenal.” Hartford Courant.

  329. ….”who are taking psychoactive drugs and prevent the sale of guns to them and immediate family.”

    NRA already lined up to oppose measures at all.
    Now you would have Big Pharma lining up to supress any suggestion that their products don’t cure – or at least effectively manage – whatever it is they are meant to be curing/managing. It might also hurt sales if people resist themselves or family members being prescribed such drugs.
    That’s a big tsunami of paid lobbying/propaganda coming right at ya :)

    In addition, the inescapable logic of a ban on sales to such persons/families is that any existing guns in their posession should be surrendered.

    Anyone who genuinely believes that they need to be able to squeeze off 30 rounds in rapid sucession in the vague direction of the scary stuff on TV is very probably in need of professional medical treatment.
    This might suggest that anyone in posession of such weapons/accessories or anyone who attempts to buy them should have to undergo a proactive psychiatric/psychological screening – as opposed to a passive background check for previously known conditions.

  330. Smom:

    would you think your son would shoot you? She could have been asleep, who knows.

    we passed the patriot act after 9/11 and look how well that has turned out. now we need guns to protect us from an encroaching police state.

  331. Bron, Don’t worry. I don’t think we will pass anything. The house republicans are fully in the pocket of the NRA. Maybe we can get some bills introduced and begin a discussion. We have moved pretty fast on gay marriage so who knows? We need a culture change on guns.

  332. Blouise,

    “Ahhh … up until the 1960′s all the Justices agreed with my interpretation. That’s about 200 years for me compared to a mere 50 for you.”

    That’s about 50 years and the logical rational analysis of the language and jurisprudence leading to the Constitution for me. I believe in poker that’s called an ace high. In law, it’s called legislative intent.

    And you should have pork chops the way I make them before you decide on how disappointing that is. :mrgreen: To quote Chris Rock, “A pork chop is my friend.”

  333. ” The Republican Party relies as part of its so-called “base” on those who feel especially strongly about “gun rights” and who are, concomitantly, extremely suspicious of any proposals to curb those rights.

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who had supported gun control while governor of Massachusetts, sharply reversed his position in order to win the nomination. There is no one within the national leadership of the Republican Party who is at all open to the idea of extending the existing regime of federal regulations involving firearms. Indeed, the expression of such openness would guarantee a struggle over the renomination of any incumbent official in the next party primary.

    Given that the Republicans control the House of Representatives, it is almost unthinkable that any kind of regulatory legislation could even get through a House committee, let alone reach the floor of the House and gain majority support.

    Will President Barack Obama take a strong lead himself in this area? It is not likely, however sincere and moving he was in his tearful talk to the nation following the news of the massacre. During his presidential campaign of 2008, he emphasized his own respect for the Second Amendment. Like most (though not all) Democrats since the mid-1990s, Mr. Obama downplayed any talk of gun control, lest that needlessly antagonize the so-called “Reagan Democrat” swing voters he was trying to win back to his party, many of whom own guns (as do millions of other Americans).

    As a matter of raw political fact, Mr. Obama almost certainly benefited from the 2008 Supreme Court decision protecting the rights of gun owners, for it essentially removed the issue from the presidential debate that year. Had the court, by the same 5-4 vote, upheld the gun-banning legislation of the District of Columbia that was at issue in the case, then it would have figured prominently in the debates. Republican candidate John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin would undoubtedly have emphasized the degree to which they would make sure that future nominees to the Court would be far more protective of gun rights. There was a similar absence of any expressed concern about the role of guns in American culture during the 2012 campaign.

    As a second-term president who will never again have to face the electorate, Mr. Obama might be willing to throw a certain amount of caution to the wind, but advocacy of strong gun-control legislation would place all Democrats in Congress in a remarkably tough political position as they contemplate their own races for re-election in 2014.

    Political scientists have estimated, for example, that former president Bill Clinton’s insistence in 1994 on an assault-weapons ban as part of a comprehensive crime-control bill directly contributed to the stunning victory by Republicans in the elections later that year. That victory included the defeat of the incumbent Speaker of the House, Thomas Foley, a representative from western Washington State with many pro-gun constituents in his district.

    Since that election especially, the National Rifle Association has become one of the most feared groups in American politics. Gun-rights groups in general contributed over $3-million to candidates in the 2012 election cycle, with over $2.8-million of it going to Republican candidates. At least as important as the money, though, is the ability of the NRA to mobilize its members to vote for preferred candidates. Far more of the NRA’s 4.3 million members are “single-issue” voters than are members of gun-control groups.” Globe and mail

  334. I have a good friend who is now a college professor. She teaches advanced science. When she was young, her first husband was extremely abusive. I asked her how she handled it, and how she got away from him. She said she told him, “I grew up with guns, and if you lay a hand on me or our daughter again, just remember I can take you out with a head shot at one hundred yards.”

    He never hit her again, and shortly after that, he wanted a divorce.

  335. Bron, imagine the karma coming home to roost in an abuser, when he is going about his daily routine, wondering if the next moment his lights are going to go out. Makes one feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  336. OS:

    I imagine he divorced her because he could not endure that psychological stress.

    The period leading up to the divorce was probably pretty funny. I wonder how many times he thought someone was watching him and how many times he ducked behind a wall or a tree?

    I am laughing just thinking about his mental torment.

    She ought to send him a card with cross-hairs on a jacka$$.

  337. OS_

    My grandmother could light kitchen matches at 20′ off-hand with a .22LR. My daughter is every bit as good a shot as her great grandmother.

    Whenever a young man thought about dating my daughter, I would take them to the gun range; thereafter, my daughter was always treated with the upmost respect.

  338. Otteray,

    Here’s a more creative way to get back at an abusive husband. This is a true story told to my husband by an Oklahoma man that he once worked with. This man’s father was in the habit of drinking. When he got drunk, he’d often beat this man’s mother. The mother got fed up. One night after her husband passed out on the bed, she sewed him up in the bed sheets, got a broom, and sat by the bed until her husband awoke. Then she beat him with the broom. He couldn’t defend himself. He learned his lesson–never laid a hand on her again.

  339. LGM:

    So I’m a teacher. According to conservative orthodoxy, I’m a parasite on the public’s dime who is only interested in indoctrinating the precious children of America into communism or atheism or whatever. I can’t be trusted to have any control over the curriculum I teach. I can’t be trusted to fairly and impartially evaluate my students, let alone my colleagues. I can’t be trusted to have collective bargaining rights. I can’t be trusted to have an objective view of governmental policy when it comes to my own profession.

    But they’ll trust me to keep a gun in a room filled with children.

    Even the cynicism-producing neurons of my prefrontal cortex can’t wrap themselves around this kind of stupid bullshit.

  340. Oro Lee,
    Here is a photo of my baby at the Sheriff’s Department firing range. She wants me to frame one of her targets in a poster frame to hang on the wall. I think just having this picture–or one like it–in a frame on her wall ought to do the trick. (This was at twenty yards with a revolver she had never shot before)

  341. Gene,

    “That’s about 50 years and the logical rational analysis of the language and jurisprudence leading to the Constitution for me.”

    Nope, that’s 50 years of irrational analysis led by the gun manufacturers through the NRA that supplanted the 3 decisions from earlier courts who had the the Second properly placed.

    Your 50 years is perfectly encapsulated in Scalia’s quote in 2008, “It is not the role of this court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.” (typical emotional hyperbole)

    My slightly less than 200 years is the much stronger hand countering your bluff and the Justices on my side run circles around your boy, Scalia.

  342. Gene,

    Now, if we look at the situation from the standpoint I propose which does not involve the Second but, in all honesty gives the right of individual gun ownership a natural right definition and standing, we center the discussion not on the militia/military platform but on the broader, natural right platform. From that platform it is much easier to discus and legislate for on that platform we can consider the natural rights of all the citizens as individuals. Each individual citizen has a right to life that can be measured against the individual’s right to own a gun. From that platform legislation can be sanely debated and drawn.

  343. From Kos at the DailyKos this morning and to me quite persuasive, considering my past positions on the issue in favor of the 2nd Amendment.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/17/1170940/-Some-thoughts-on-the-coming-gun-debate

    I served three years in the U.S. Army. I’ve fired bigger guns than the gun fetishists would ever dream of firing—from a .45, to an M-16, to an M-60, to an M-203 grenade launcher, to a .50 caliber, to … one of these. Each time I fired one of those weapons, it was in a controlled environment, with multiple layers of safety wrapped in. During peacetime, that made sense. But things weren’t too much different during wartime. I didn’t deploy, but when pulling guard duty at high-value targets in Germany during the first Gulf War, we weren’t given ammunition. A sergeant kept that tightly controlled. Here we were, a potential terrorist target, the most highly trained military force in the world, and they didn’t trust us with live ammo. And for good reason. Down in Kuwait, those on guard duty were given live ammo, but even then safety barriers were erected to prevent accidental shootings, as former cavalry soldier John Cole recounts:

    [I]n the middle of one of the most dangerous regions in the world, even with clear Rules of Engagement, every time I went on gate duty, there was a piece of tape over my ammo clip on my M-16 and M1911 .45. Why? Because the most heavily armed military in the world did not want accidental shootings. If a situation arose, I would have to eject my ammo clip, remove the tape, and reinsert and work the action before I could fire. This was in a combat zone. Yet I have spent the last two f**king days dealing with armchair commandos telling me they need unlimited firepower to be safe in… Connecticut.

    And that’s the crux of it—a bunch of civilian gun fetishists who fashion themselves the front lines in the defense of freedom from tyranny of something or other. Black helicopters? The U.N.? Barney Frank? The “tactical” turn is what I want to flag here. It has what I take to be a very specific use-case, but it’s used – liberally – by gun owners outside of the military, outside of law enforcement, outside (if you’ll indulge me) of any conceivable reality-based community: these folks talk in terms of “tactical” weapons, “tactical” scenarios, “tactical applications,” and so on. It’s the lingua franca of gun shops, gun ranges, gun forums, and gun-oriented Youtube videos. (My god, you should see what’s out there on You Tube!) Which begs my question: in precisely which “tactical” scenarios do all of these lunatics imagine that they’re going to use their matte-black, suppressor-fitted, flashlight-ready tactical weapons?
    People don’t really buy assault rifles to hunt. If you can’t take down that deer with a single shot, then you have no business hunting. Learn how to f**king aim.

    Of course, we can sit here and lambaste this new “tactical” culture all we want, but what can be done about it?

    Both England and Australia enacted bans of varying levels after their own spate of gun massacres, and those efforts have paid off. People aren’t getting mass murdered in schools and malls anymore. But those two nations didn’t have anything akin the Second Amendment putting a break on controlling access to weaponry. We, on the other hand, have a culture that fetishizes guns, a gun lobby that has effectively neutered any effort at sensible gun laws, and a Supreme Court that has encroached on the right of cities and states to regulate gun access by ignoring the “well regulated” part of the Second Amendment.

    But all the past massacres had a fraction of the impact of Friday’s. There’s is something so viscerally sickening about young children being harmed in any way, that it can’t help but be different. There’s a coming debate, and it’s not going to be good for the gun absolutists. That doesn’t mean they’ll lose. The gun lobby is strong, and they’re about to mount the mother of all defenses. But it means that they’ll be put on the spot in a way that they haven’t been in … forever.

    Part of it is their own short-sighted greed. If they were an organization truly focused on self-defense and hunting, there’d be no need to fight tooth-and-nail for high-capacity magazines, or for armor-piercing bullets, or for assault rifle ownership. Let people own their hunting rifles and revolvers. People somehow made do with those for several centuries. But there’s no need for a weapon with a magazine.

    Adam Lanza used an assault rifle to shoot his way past a locked door. He then moved quickly to neutralize the administration office before doing his horrible deeds in two classrooms. He only stopped and turned a gun on himself when police arrived. Take away that rifle, and shooting his way past the front door would’ve required a reload. Attacking the administration would require a reload. Attacking the two classrooms would require multiple reloads. Those reloads would’ve been chances for people to try and take him down, or for people to escape. The time he would’ve spent reloading would’ve slowed him down, shortening the number of victims in the attack before first-responders arrived on scene.

    [Clarification: Lanza clearly had to reload during his attack. I meant the difference between swapping out a 20-30-round magazine, to reloading individual bullets into a revolver or cartridges in a rifle.]

    But no, his idiot “survivalist” mother (how’d that work out for her?) had to purchase her small arsenal, to protect herself against phantom threats on her “freedoms”—urged on by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and the gun manufacturers. And instead, she ensured her own untimely doom and that of too many innocents.

    So yeah, if I were the benevolent dictator of this country, I’d simply outlaw guns with magazines. That would leave plenty of guns for people to hunt with and defend their homes. As for government tyranny, good luck fighting off government drones with your assault rifle. It hasn’t gone so well for Al Qaida, I hear. Might as well stick to the ballot box. I’d also spend a crap-ton of cash on mental health services. But you’ll never get rid of dangerously crazy people. You can get rid of ways they can inflict the most harm.

    Of course, you have a conservative movement and its NRA friends who think that 20 dead kindergarteners is an acceptable price to pay for their “freedom” to own weapons better suited for highly trained security forces. You have have a conservative movement that would fight to its last breath for those 20 when they were fetuses, but can’t bring itself to get outraged once they were born. You have a conservative movement that will now scream about liberals “politicizing a tragedy” to take away their guns—validating every Obama conspiracy theory they’ve held since Day One of his presidency. As if we’d give a sh*t about their stupid guns if innocents weren’t regularly dying because of them.

    The gun lobby may yet win this battle, but I don’t think it’s as forgone a conclusion as in the past. There has been a palpable change in the public mood on the issue. And as the political world learned last year—Democrats can win without the gun-fetishists, while Republicans can’t afford to cede more ground in white suburbia—where pro-gun control sentiment runs strong. The NRA can’t wield the electoral card as strongly as it once did.

    And note, every person who comes out in favor of the status quo, who fights sensible regulation, will be fighting for a status quo that gave us the Sandy Hook massacre. There are gun laws that could’ve prevented or mitigated the damage done. Let them say that the deaths of those children—and the adults who died trying to save them—was an acceptable price to pay for their supposed “freedoms” to wield whatever arsenal they see fit. There are 20 sets of presents in a small Connecticut town that won’t be opened this Christmas. Let the NRA and their friends shrug that off.

    This time, it won’t be the popular—or politically expedient—position to hold.

  344. “West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin — who has an “A” rating from the NRA and is a lifetime member of the pro-gun rights group — said Monday that it was time to “move beyond rhetoric” on gun control.

    “I just came with my family from deer hunting,” Manchin said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I’ve never had more than three shells in a clip. Sometimes you don’t get more than one shot anyway at a deer. It’s common sense. It’s time to move beyond rhetoric. We need to sit down and have a common sense discussion and move in a reasonable way.” Daily Kos, Meanwhile the NRA is not commenting. Good post, nal. Blouise, I wonder where they think the teachers should store their gun or guns.

  345. Blouise,

    And that is your opinion.

    Gun ownership is a protected individual right. That is the state of Constitutional law. Feel free to try to change it if you like.

    Betty, I don’t appeal to emotion and I’m personally not afraid of jackshit (other than neurological disorders which scare the crap out of me and the prospect of anarchy which should frighten any sane being). Including friends who would run roughshod over a right just because they don’t like some of the attendant costs. I have news for you. I don’t like some of the attendant costs of some rights and not just the 2nd, but I do accept them for the value they provide. My stand is based on history, law and political science. All rights come with duties and costs as well as benefits. If you don’t value the bulwark against tyranny the 2nd provides? That is your choice to make. Valuation in a cost/benefit analysis of this type is individual. My decision to value that aspect of the 2nd is based in reason. We seemed to agree in principle that reasonable restriction was permissible, simply differing on the nature of the right. Apparently your real view is more extreme than that if you think Scalia was wrong in saying “It is not the role of this court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.” And you know how much I absolutely hate having to agree with that jackass, but he’s right as a matter of objective legal principle this time. “Failed” or not? My way is the Constitutional way and if that presents a problem for you? Your agreement is not required.

    If you want to try to repeal the 2nd? Be my guest. Because if you disagree with Scalia on this point, you are indeed for judicial nullification of a Constitutional right despite your protestations to the contrary. That’s not a false dilemma. That’s an actual binary choice. For once, Scalia is actually right about something: nullifying parts of the Constitution is not the job of SCOTUS. Interpreting and protecting is though even though he’s done a very spotty job of it himself (at best – seriously, I’m being generous to the old fascist). It’s not the job of anyone or anything other than the amendment process. My stand is an accurate reading of the history of tyranny and operational understanding of how modifying the Constitution is supposed to work when not being usurped by the Executive or the Judiciary. Being reasonably apprehensive and cautious in the face of overwhelming historical evidence that tyranny unchecked is called being prudent in the face of tyranny and oppression – something this country needed to have learned before rolling over for the Patriot Act and the kill list. Your desire for outcome determinism is showing. You are arguing from what you want the law to be, not what it actually is, to get a result you desire.

  346. right on Blouise.

    Darren, so what about Halliburton or Xe, can they operate in Washington state? It would seem to bar these corporate mercenaries.

  347. Repealing the 2nd or banning all guns is always the straw man that is pummeled to death whenever any conversation of gun control/rights comes up. We shouldn’t fall for this distraction.

  348. “My stand is an accurate reading of the history of tyranny and operational understanding of how modifying the Constitution is supposed to work when not being usurped by the Executive or the Judiciary. Being reasonably apprehensive and cautious in the face of overwhelming historical evidence that tyranny unchecked is tyranny invited is called being prudent in the face of tyranny and oppression – something this country needed to have learned before rolling over for the Patriot Act and the kill list.”

  349. “Gun ownership is a protected individual right. That is the state of Constitutional law.”

    It is my understanding that the Amendments to the Constitution are called Amendments because they are amendments.

  350. shano,

    What part of you can be pro-2nd and pro-regulation is escaping you and others here? Besides all of it?

    The Scalia quote Blouise brought up is a fact: it is not the job of the courts to nullify your rights including the 2nd. You can’t effectively repeal the 2nd by legislation any more than you can effectively repeal it through judicial or executive fiat. If you want to regulation arms out of existence, you are no better than Bush or Obama in pissing on the Constitution and Constitutional process. It’s not a straw man. If you want to go so far as to effectively ban guns? You will need to use the amendment process or be just as guilty of abusing the Constitution as our domestic war criminals and would be tyrants are.

    Both sides of this argument have lost their damn minds.

  351. ST,

    It is my knowledge that the only way to repeal an amendment is by amendment. You can’t do a legislative, executive or judicial end run around the proper process. That’s at the heart of the very legitimate criticism of the Patriot Act, the NDAA, the kill list, and Presidents Bush and Obama.

  352. Mike S., thanks for the link. Says a lot.

    An awful lot of gun talk of the fetishist sort, maybe, on this thread. Might be unseemly. Maybe the ban that is needed is on such talk ;-)

    Same issue of prescriptive attribution and accusation of wanting to abrogate the 2nd rather than sensibly curtail specific weaponry hawked to the public pursuant to an inflated sense of fear and potency.

    Same defense of the 2nd by deflection and distortion of actual and legitimate proposals — demonising sensible regulation at least as much as fetishists accuse those who criticize any weaponry of demonizing all weaponry, and the Constitution.

    I don’t know how anyone can joke about head shots, regardless of the target, in the same thread that reprises the slaughter in Newton.

  353. I share everyone’s feelings of sorrow and despair. However, I think focusing on gun control looks to a symptom, not the cause and is a very bad distraction. In this case, the guns were purchased legally, no amount of gun control under discussion would have changed this.

    I think a much better question is “Why is it even possible that someone could do this.” This is not just happening in America, it happens in Countries where gun control is very strong – Canada, Scotland and China (mass stabbing not shooting) are three places which have had similar events at schools. Much better to ask “How is it possible” — not how to we restrict the tools — because if they can’t find one tool they will find another.

    I very strongly believe that it is the constant exposure, from childhood, to horrific acts of violence in our TV, movies, and games that desensitize people to violence. We have a three year old. I am shocked by the level of violence in cartoons – Batman, Spiderman, Lego — you name it — they are deeply dark and filled with violence.

    Very different from the cartoons when I was growing up. Then you move into movies and TV — my wife and I, no longer watch any TV with the exception of sitcoms and the Oprah channel. Nearly everything else, everything that is on, contains the most horrific violence. I believe that is what is changing our society and making horrific events like this possible.

    When asked once about violence in our society today, my guru said “You people watch graphic horrific violence for your entertainment – from morning to night, from childhood to adulthood. How can you expect anything different?” That was several years ago and, it dramatically changed our media consumption.

    Interestingly, at first we “refrained” from watching this type of entertainment (much like a diet – you know you shouldn’t but you want to. You are restraining yourself.) Now, several years later, if we try to watch a contemporary adult action show for some reason (usually because we have heard it was great), we are quickly horrified and turn it off.

    This would not have bothered me before as I watched all of those shows and movies (Scarface, Godfather, Fargo — loved them all). However, after several years of avoiding this type of “entertainment” I have definitely become much more sensitive to seeing acts of violence, cruelty, and sadness. By deduction, I must have been more insensitive before and, I think media had a great deal to do with that. When you see people committing horrible acts on your TV every night, how can you not become less sensitive to it?

  354. Gene,

    Repealing the Second is not the answer and was never suggested as such. Removing the issue from the confines of the Second and placing it on the broader platform of natural rights where it can then be looked at from the prospective of all other individual rights is the better position for debate.

  355. Blouise,

    It is already on the the broader platform of natural rights. Just like free speech, free exercise/establishment, association, etc. It was such an important natural right that – like the others – the Founders protected it by specific inclusion for Constitutional protection. I’ll grant that the 2nd is clumsily worded, but it protects a valid governmental interest by protecting an individual natural right every bit as much as free exercise/establishment protects a valid governmental interest – secular operation – by protecting individual natural rights. Just because a right is protected does not change the essence of the right itself.

  356. Blouise, so interesting that anyone who tries to talk about gun restrictions that are not as severe as the one Wyatt Earp put in place in his town immediately goes to “all the guns gonna be taken away”.

  357. Blouise,

    Sorry! Did I call someone betty other than bettykath? If I did, I plead the hazards of multi-tasking. I was in the midst of sending out a last minute appeal for Blawg 100 votes. I do know some Bettys.

    Speaking of which:

    Get out the vote, blog peoples!

    Register here:http://www.abajournal.com/register

    The registration is minimal. Name, e-mail address, select a password.

    Vote here: http://www.abajournal.com/blawg100

    It may not bring peace in our time, but it will give us another natty award to post on the sidebar! Help beautify your favorite law blog! Vote today!

  358. Hmmmm.

    Pork chops. :mrgreen:

    And it is lunch time . . . perhaps a break from working the keyboard for some porcine delight is in order.

  359. My feeling is that the Second Amendment was simply a child of its time. It was drafted in a a world that would find the modern world to be alien.
    In that environment, it envisaged citizens being part of trained militias who could be on hand should the British decide to return.

    I sincerely doubt the the drafters envisaged the current state of affairs and what could be termed “fetishisism”.

    The problem seems to be that once a handful of modern-era judges have decided for themselves what precisely was intended by some people a few hundred years ago, everybody is stuck with this interpretation.

    On this sort of question, is rule by Executive really any different to rule by Judiciary?
    Well, of course it it.
    The Judiciary are totally independent of the Executive and politics. Political parties go to huge efforts to try to ensure that any appointed judges are completely independent of *the other* political party.

  360. OS,

    Ornate shotguns are nice to look at but not at the top of my wishlist. If I had that kind of money to blow on guns, I’d buy a few pre-64 Model 70’s in their original (unopened) boxes. And maybe an old Mauser or Springfield rifle still packed in cosmoline….

  361. Some more information for the discussion:

    Here’s another way of looking at the data Sam Wang presented which, in my opinion, shows what would be an effective response — namely a ban on oversized magazines*.

    Personally, I’m also in favor of much stronger penalties for any crime involving a gun (we can free up the prison space by commuting the sentences of all non-violent drug offenders to probation, community service and/or fines ;-) ). I believe this would have a chilling effect on gun violence in general, although it clearly wouldn’t have made a difference in this case (or any mass shooting in which the shooter accepts that he will be caught or killed or commits suicide).

    I have always wondered why gun control advocates didn’t take this position as it seems to be a hard one for the gun lobby (and the “tough on crime” part of the right) to oppose (and likely to be effective at discouraging gun crime and keeping criminals off of the streets as well).

    *preferably with a buyback program and penalties for possession of illegal clips and especially for their use in any other criminal act.

    Gene,

    I disagree with you regarding the need to amend the Constitution — even ignoring that the SCOTUS could choose Blouise’s interpretation at any time if it wanted to, it is clear that other parts of the Bill of Rights have eroded without being amended (either with or without the help of the SCOTUS) and I see no reason why something similar couldn’t happen to the Second Amendment. I’m not suggesting that this is a good thing or a course which should be pursued, but it is the context within which we find ourselves and must be acknowledged (if only to prevent it from happening again in this case). You might consider that Blouise’s position may be much more palatable to you than some of the possible alternatives. Which is not to imply that you haven’t supported the ideas which are plausible to implement and most likely to work in any case…

  362. Slarti,

    Those other times that the Bill of Rights have eroded without being amended? Are either permissible interpretation of statutes that minimally infringe on rights for the gain of substantive societal benefit – such as defamation being a tort or menacing a crime – or they have been prime facie end runs around proper process like the Patriot Act and the NDAA where a right has been effectively eliminated without amendment. To do so with the 2nd would be just as wrong as what both the Patriot Act and the NDAA did to the 4th. Violating the rule of law to get a desired effect is simply wrong no matter which branch of government is responsible for it or what their reason might be. Again, the Constitution is not a salad bar. When speaking of reasonable restriction, I have no problem with idea and in fact I’m for it, but to carry it to the point of neutering a right is bad law and unconstitutional. My primary disagreement with Blouise is over the nature of the right. It was at the time of the Constitutional convention an individual natural right that the Framers considered so important to a valid reasonable governmental interest in militias that that explicitly protected it in general by the way they worded the 2nd. It is recognized as an individual right in the subsequent jurisprudence. Blouise’s interpretation is wishful thinking legally speaking and it will remain unpalatable to me as such. And just because SCOTUS could change their mind is irrelevant for two reasons: 1) they haven’t and 2) SCOTUS is not perfect. Citizens United proved they are just as susceptible to bad logic and (yeah, I’m going there) ideological and general corruption over sound non-partisan objective rational legal principle. If you want to effectively remove the right to bear arms, the only right and Constitutional way to do it is by amendment. I won’t back any proposal that tries to do an end run around a right that rightfully requires amendment to eliminate. Blouise says she’s not for eliminating the 2nd and I accept her word on that, but the urge to overreact is just as strong on the left as it is on the right. A society where a citizen could become their own nuclear power or a society where arms are forbidden to all but the government are both bad ideas.

  363. Gene,

    The “prima facie end runs” were what I was referring to (although in the case of the 2nd a similar action would likely be by the left rather than by the right). I agree that this would not be any more justified, I’m just saying that it’s a possible result of the dynamics in play (when the Republicans repeatedly game the system to accomplish their policy goals I think many Democrats start to believe that they are justified in following suit [although I personally disagree]). I’m suggesting that you consider the possible overreaction of the left and how that might be prevented.

    Also, I wasn’t suggesting that the SCOTUS always does the right thing — just acknowledging what is clearly within their power should they choose to exercise it.

    As for what I think should happen in a ideal world, I would note that, in my opinion, the premise: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” is no longer true, and, if so, the Second Amendement should be amended to reflect its appropriate role in today’s society.

    In addition, given the overwhelming force that the US government has at its disposal (should it, for example, disregard posse comitatus), I don’t believe that any individual or group, unless supported by elements of the military, can stand against the federal government exercising the full extent of its power. If one of the purposes of being “well armed” (whatever that means) is to protect the people from tyranny by their own government, I would suggest that no US citizen is sufficiently armed. This aspect of the 2nd seems to stoutly bar the barn door while ignoring that all the animals have already left through a gaping hole in the wall…

    Just my $0.02.

  364. I don’t believe that any individual or group, unless supported by elements of the military, can stand against the federal government exercising the full extent of its power.

    In an age of warrantless wiretaps and wholescale trawling of Internet traffic, anyone trying to organise a significant force would be picked up by the military and detrained indefinitely without trial in a military facility. POTUS signed that into law.
    #LongerMovieTitles ‘We know what you did last Summer – and yesterday. We know who you communicate with and who they communicate with. We know what you talk about. We know what you buy. We know you better than you know yourself’.

    Such people should also listen out for a strange buzzing noise way overhead.
    Neighbours should reflect before going to the assistance of people in a house that had suddenly been demolished by a missile. There could be a double-tap.
    It might be unwise to attend funerals arising from such incidents. Just send flowers – but don’t order them over the Net and do use cash. Be advised that use of cash is one of the suspicious “See something, say something” signs. http://www.dhs.gov/if-you-see-something-say-something-campaign

    Remember that Movie “Falling Down”?
    Best line: “I’m the bad guy? ……. How did that happen?”

  365. Slarti,

    The bulwark against tyranny was not the only consideration of the Founders in formulation of the 2nd. That it’s a disproportionate battle today should it come about is a perfectly good reason for further eroding the right and skewing the odds in favor of a tyrannical government. That makes perfect sense. :roll:

    It is a generally protected natural right as worded in the Constitution and that is how the Founders saw it as evidenced by their own writing.

    Any other reading of the language is wishful thinking.

    You know I hate Scalia. I think he’s an ideologue and his logic is often impaired by that in addition to being just a bad guy in general, however, he’s not an idiot. That’s Thomas’ job on the Court. The logic of Heller is sound as is the logic of McDonald. You know that saying about broken clocks and time, well, this is one of those moments.

  366. @Gene: [Saying To Blouise] Your desire for outcome determinism is showing. You are arguing from what you want the law to be, not what it actually is, to get a result you desire.

    I would not see that as a pejorative; that is the point of all legal argument. As the North argued against slavery, they argued for what they wanted the law to be, not what it was. As women demonstrated for the right to vote, they argued for what they wanted the law to be, not what it was.

    As for “outcome determinism,” you may mean something different than that sounds; but to me we punish murder, theft and rape because we don’t want them to happen, we pass new laws (like workplace safety) because we want to force specific outcomes (or at least make them far more probable).

    I think we can agree on what the law IS without agreeing that is what the law should be.

  367. Slarti:

    Crime skyrockets in Washington, DC after Heller allows private handguns

    “The Brady Campaign warned us about this. It’s obvious that more handguns in the hands of ordinary citizens will lead to more murders and more violent crime.

    This TRUTH is so obvious it hardly needs real-world evidence. But the gun worshippers won’t accept obvious TRUTH; unfortunately for them, the data is in. It proves what we knew all along–more handguns = more crime.”

  368. “he’s not an idiot.”

    Gene,

    I seriously strongly disagree with you on this point alone. He is an idiot, if as I think your connotation of “idiot” in the context of your comment means he’s intelligent.
    To me intelligence is a combination of the ability to absorb information, in tandem with the ability to look at that information critically with a mind open to its meaning. Scalia is indeed able to absorb information, but his critical facility in digesting that information is rigidly closed to any but the information he deems valid. Ultimately to me that is the mark of a stupid man, an idiot if you will.

  369. @Gene, Blouise: A hypothetical question, here: Does the unlimited right to “keep and bear arms” automatically imply the unlimited right to buy arms?

    For example, I can own a gun I made myself or a gun passed down to me by my father. How much does the act of buying a gun have to be restricted before it impinges on the right to “keep and bear arms?”

    Can we prohibit the purchase of guns without a Constitutional Amendment?

  370. Mike,

    I think I stipulated exactly that by noting how his reasoning often is full of holes created by his ideology and his generally being a scumbag. However, he does possess the rudiments of logic despite frequently misusing that tool. He’s not an idiot. He is what I’d describe as just smart enough to be dangerous. Again I give you Heinlein’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don’t rule out malice.”

    The legal logic in the majority opinion of Heller is technically speaking sound logic and legal reasoning but it’s not a complicated argument either.

    The decision summary lays it out thusly:

    “(1) The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.

    (a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.

    (b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved. Pp. 22–28.

    (c) The Court’s interpretation is confirmed by analogous arms-bearing rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately followed the Second Amendment. Pp. 28–30.

    (d) The Second Amendment’s drafting history, while of dubious interpretive worth, reveals three state Second Amendment proposals that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms. Pp. 30–32.

    (e) Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courts and legislators, from immediately after its ratification through the late 19th century also supports the Court’s conclusion. Pp. 32–47.

    (f) None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpretation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542 , nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252 , refutes the individual-rights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174 , does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47–54.

    (2) Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56.

    (3) The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition – in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute – would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home. Pp. 56–64.”

    Even a freshman English student would have to admit the analysis of the wording of the 2nd itself is proper grammatically.

    The decision is also not grasping like the dissent written by Breyer (which relies heavily on the individual versus collective right argument). It’s one of the few times I think Breyer missed the ball completely. Stevens dissent was much better, but I ultimately found his reading of the 2nd both grammatically and as it related to the precedent of the English Bill of Rights of 1689 unpersuasive although much of it was well reasoned.

    You can read the whole case here: District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

    It is important to note that both the majority and the dissent all allow that the right is not absolute and reasonable regulation is permissible. The only people making the absolute right argument are the extremists. Absolute rights are a fairly rare commodity under the social compact.

    In a non-partisan, objective mode of legal analysis, I have to go with the majority on Heller as much as I’d like to give Scalia, Ailito, Roberts and Thomas the finger simply on general principle (I’m giving Kennedy a pass of finger – I feel magnanimous today). The Gang of Four gets a lot of things wrong for various reasons, but like my grandfather (and many other grandfathers) said, “It can’t rain every day.”

  371. Tony,

    “Can we prohibit the purchase of guns without a Constitutional Amendment?”

    Yes and we do that already by certain gun types. However, we cannot prohibit the sale of all guns without a Constitutional amendment.

  372. During the final episodes of this season’s Boardwalk Empire I found myself rooting for Al Capone.

    Now, I’d love to see the NRA come out swinging by shoving Obama’s face into that deep pile of steaming hypocrisy of his.

    So President Obama is concerned about children? Would that include the children he kills with those drone strikes of his or does his concern only extend to American children?

    And speaking of credibility, much less being sworn to defend the constitution; what can we say about the word of a man who supports the use of torture and extraordinary rendition; suspends habeas corpus without the existence of insurrection or rebellion; carries out a policy of warrantless wiretapping as if the 4th Amendment did not exist and issues executive orders authorizing the EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTION of American citizens…

    Let the political blood bath ensue!

  373. rafflaw 1, December 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm
    Noone removed God from the public schools. Public schools are supposed to be free from religious activity, but God is still present in every soul at every school. One only has to use their mind to think of God so what is Huckleberry talking about? What we need is a concerted war on Guns. If we as a society can’t take measures to protect our children in a school, then we are beyond help from any God.

    Dear rafflaw:

    This is an example of pure ignorance! Let’s say, I love my boyfriend sooo much, that I am willing to spend 1 day a month with him! Wow! You might say is that how much you love him?

    And you would be 100% right on saying that, why? Because if you love someone, you are sure to spend as much time (close to 100%) time with them, if possible!
    I am sure in my example my boyfriend would come to the conclusion that I do not really love him, thus my words are not in effect with some verb, some action word.
    How can we deny (begrudge) God (Our heavenly father) a little time of our day, claiming that “One only has to use their mind to think of God…” and expect God to be happy? Is that fair? Would my boyfriend not say, see you, bye bye!
    This is the kind of cheap nonsensical rhetoric that is a core of today’s liberal. They want their cake…and eat it too! But one day, God too, will emanate with wrath!
    All the war on guns will not cure the evil that envelopes us! It is an evil oozing from our very Courts. It is an evil that was here before we got here, and it is an evil that if we want to over come, then there is only ONE WAY!

    John 14:6
    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    PS: The most high of the hypocritical Courts begin their day, well “the Supreme Court opens its proceedings with a religious invocation.”

  374. @Gene: However, we cannot prohibit the sale of all guns without a Constitutional amendment.

    I do not see why not; most states prohibit the sale of all sex, but that does not outlaw sex. What gives the government the Constitutional right to outlaw the purchase of one type of arms, like an automatic weapon or explosive, that does not give them the right to outlaw the purchase of all types of arms?

    Could we outlaw the sale of handguns but permit muzzle-loaded cannons?

  375. “But to say that Scalia is an idiot is to deny his scienter.”

    Bob,

    We differ on this because I believe that psychologically Scalia believes, perhaps literally, that he is on the side of angels. My psychological take o him is that he believes he represents the side of good and all those that oppose him are evil. I fact in a sense I would prefer him to be a “Evil Genius” because sometimes they can be made to back off, in protection of their long term strategy. Those that have convinced themselves of their “purity” of thought are the most dangerous to us all because they will not back down.

    “During the final episodes of this season’s Boardwalk Empire I found myself rooting for Al Capone.”

    You mention my favorite character on my favorite show. Yeah Nucky is a great character, played by a great actor. Capone in that show, however, I’ve found him infectiously charismatic from the beginning and quite nuanced. My original favorite was Jimmy, but alas Nucky killed him. I liked the Irishman, but Nucky sent him on a fools quest. Jack Huston, a fabulous actor, may be gone seeing the turn of events in the last episode. Gretchen Mol is one of the sexiest women on TV, in a great role. I thought last season was the best one so far.

  376. “Rafflaw,
    This is an example of pure ignorance! Let’s say, I love my boyfriend sooo much, that I am willing to spend 1 day a month with him! Wow! You might say is that how much you love him?”

    Raff,

    Ms. Campbell is a hate filled uber-Christian, which I learned on another thread, Her mission here is to convert us all to her brand of Revelations-based Christianity, to save us from an eternal damnation that she sadistically condemns us to. She is actually getting her rocks off as she writes.

  377. Elizabeth Juanita Campbell

    How can we deny (begrudge) God (Our heavenly father) a little time of our day, claiming that “One only has to use their mind to think of God…” and expect God to be happy? Is that fair? Would my boyfriend not say, see you, bye bye!

    ——————————————————————-

    If YOU want to make time for your boyfriend that is fine…
    HOWEVER…. do NOT force me to make time for your boyfriend…..

    and the same goes for YOUR god…. he is NOT my god…..
    SO, I should NOT be forced to make time for YOUR god…..
    That is what the LOVELY little First Amendment is ALLL about…..

    *****************************
    Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    ****************************

    ~~Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion~~

    and so in a PUBLIC school…. If you force prayer… that would be GOVERNMENT establishing Christianity as the RELIGION people must follow and pray to while at a public School….

    This would cause a LOT of problems being that we have many people whom are Jewish… Buddhist…. Muslim… and Atheist…..

    In NO WAY should we make other people PRAY to YOUR god….

    —————————————

    ~~ or prohibiting the free exercise thereof~~

    and even though you are at school…. YOU are free to excuse yourself during lunch and Pray ALL YOU WANT…..

    YOU can come to the school EARLY and stand outside and PRAY TO YOURSELF all you want…..

    heck…. after school… YOU can go to any religious function you would like and talk about whatever you want…. god… or what ever……

    Just do not force me to pray to YOUR god….

    —————————————–

    just as your relationship with your boyfriend is PERSONAL>…
    so is YOUR relationship with god……

    I will keep my boyfriend to myself…. and I would appreciate that others do the same…… and same goes with your god…

  378. Juanite, who knows what the original wording of that is? your “No one comes into the Father but thru me?
    Problem is with your kind of thinking is it is the same as the adherents of other faiths that think theeirs is the be all and end all, you know like in Iraq, Iran etc.

    I have had problems with comp so missed a lot of the ocnversation but I have seen a little of it. I dont think anyone is saying lets get rid of all the guns. they are saying “well regulated” whether to militia or to owning guns.

  379. “the high visibility of these tragedies skews people’s perceptions about risks. I think the risk of this kind of tragedy is already so low that it’s 1) hard to lower the risk even more, and 2) hard to justify lowering this risk relative to many other risks we could be lowering.

    We should always strive to continue to reduce all risks of death, especially the preventable risks of other humans, wherever possible. But the risks will always exist. If your chance of dying in a mass shooting is 0.000003% and your chance of dying in a car accident is 0.9%, with a whole lot of other risks in between, I think it’s reasonable to ask if there aren’t a lot of easier and more effective ways to try to use the government’s limited resources to save lives than trying even harder to prevent the next shooting tragedy than we already are.”

    http://www.postlibertarian.com/2012/07/perspectives-in-gun-shootings-and-other-risks/

  380. @Bob: I disagree, at least with the part you posted. There is such a thing as priorities. The phrasing is misleading in that respect; it says if “your” chance of dying by route A is less than “your” chance of dying by route B…

    But I am exponentially less concerned about losing my own life in a car accident than I am about children being murdered in a blood bath. As an adult I accept the risk of death in a car every time I get in it, I do not accept the risk of death for a six year old excited to be learning to read about Jack and Jill.

    I don’t care about the differential in risks. Put armed cops with metal detectors at every door of every school, it doesn’t cost that damn much to protect children. It will increase the school budget by 1% or 2%. Call it a jobs program, it will help the economy.

  381. Think what you will, Harvard study studies link firearms with increased death relative to number of firearms.
    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/hicrc/firearms-research/guns-and-death/index.html

    How pathetic (for lack of a better word and I know there are many) that we think children, even at age 5, 6 need to go through a metal detector.
    At what point do we consider how to teach children to be trusting when we refuse to take action to keep them safe in ways that do not frighten the heck out of them (you know like maybe gun control)

  382. Leejcarroll:

    “How pathetic (for lack of a better word and I know there are many) that we think children, even at age 5, 6 need to go through a metal detector.”

    ***********************

    6-year-old brings gun to Houston school; 3 hurt
    Officials say the gun accidentally discharged when it fell out of child’s pocket

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42665638/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/-year-old-brings-gun-houston-school-hurt/#.UNIdneTBGE4

    About this much “pathetic.” Beaver and Wally are long gone. More examples available.

  383. Elizabeth Juanita Campbell,

    Would you suggest that girls bring their “boyfriends” to school/class with them all the time? Can’t they talk to their boyfriends in the morning before school, before/after class, after school, at night, on the weekends?

    YOUR boyfriend ISN’T everybody else’s boyfriend. Get a grip!

  384. From that ‘6-year-old brings gun to Houston school; 3 hurt’ story

    “The parents need to be more concerned about checking backpacks before their kids leave home. It’s the parents’ fault because the kids don’t know better,” said Moffett, a security officer at a medical building. “

    Eh…checking backpacks?? Hello!!
    … Just in case junior has picked up that loaded gun that they left lying around somewhere in the house?
    .

    There appears to be a culture/fetish in concealed-carry land about being ready for immediate shooting.
    It’s way too time-consuming to rack the gun ( it’s more than just ‘cocking’ ) in order to get a round from the magazine into the chamber for the first shot – when the opportunity might arise ofter years of just carrying it. Every microsecond is precious.

    They rack the gun, then add another round into the magazine. That way, if sometime way down the years they have to pull it out to shoot, they can fire instantly – and they have an extra round over and above what would normally be left in the magazine.
    Cheap (aka popular) guns have no safety catch.
    The only safety factor in one of those cheapo double-action guns is the additional pressure needed on the trigger to fire them. Double-action means ‘cock and fire’ in one trigger pull.
    That is the default way that real men – and real women who carry a Man Card – have their guns. Something catches that trigger and BANG!

    Seriously! 100’s of 1000’s of people who will hopefully shoot only themselves (in the thigh or somewhere more sensitive) as they clumsy/panic pull the gun out of the holster under their waistband and accidentally put enough pressure on the trigger.

  385. BTW

    That double-action extra trigger pressure is a major contributor to people not hitting what they think they are aiming at.
    So it was with those NYPD officers who shot 16 bystanders.

    Add that factor to the fact that the cc gun is maybe like George Zimmerman’s mega-selling cheapo Kel-Tek PF-9. 18 ounces, <6" overall and 0.8" thick – like the actual barrel is about 2".

    I saw a report linked with that NYPD incident. An analysis of NYPD shooting incidents apparently showed that they could only hit what they aimed at 34% of the time !! Wow!

  386. Sling,

    What is wrong with people like this child’s parents that they are so careless as to leave a loaded gun where a young child can get a hold of it? Some people don’t have the brains they were born with.

  387. Hey! The Second Amendment says nothing about having to be intelligent.

    The parents probably thought that it was all about ‘baring arms’ as opposed to ‘bearing arms’.

    Anyway, they need to have that loaded gun handy in order to defend themselves against intruders who would find that gun lying around and use it against them, or something.

  388. http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/massacre-20-children-newtown-doesn-bring-gun-control-article-1.1222396#ixzz2FXVvx1Nv

    “If massacre of 20 children in Newtown doesn’t bring gun control, what will?

    If the death of one child is a tragedy, the murder of 20 is a scandal of outrageous proportions.

    By Elie Wiesel / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
    Monday, December 17, 2012, 9:37 PM

    US author and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel is up in arms over gun issues.

    Disbelief, horror, revolt: This is what we all felt when the news arrived. By its magnitude and cruelty, it surpassed everything else. We were not ready for it. Earlier tragedies should have immunized us. But they didn’t. Not to this violence, to this bloodshed.

    A young man assassinates his mother with her own weapons. Then, he goes to an elementary school and murders 20 children, one after the other, firing more and more bullets into their small bodies.

    Why?

    The need, the desire to understand is as strong as the pain itself.

    Today, the Daily News is launching a petition to call for the ban of assault weapons. To participate, print and send in the form at the bottom of this page, or SIGN ONLINE HERE.

    Somehow, in spite of the lost lives that we read about in street fights, in poverty-stricken neighborhoods, in faraway war regions such as Syria and Afghanistan, we were unprepared to see this kind of evil in action.

    What does it say about the world, the culture we live in, the ideas we cherish and the education we receive?

    In the most passionate address of his life, President Obama spoke for all of us when he said that his heart was broken. So was ours. Other areas of our being were also affected. If the death of one child is a tragedy, the murder of 20 is a scandal of outrageous proportions.

    Beliefs and certainties are to be reexamined, habits and values reevaluated. In the face of so much pain and mourning, we must not ignore the question: Where did society go wrong? What made humanity so frail, so blind? Where did education fail? What does such an outburst of anger say about our generation’s hopes and ideals?

    In other words: Is there anything we can learn from this event? That all murder is evil but that of children is seven times seven more? That the ease of acquiring a weapon is no longer acceptable. If this tragedy does not produce universal gun control, what can and what will? What else do we need for preventing further horrors such as this?

    And what do we know about the perpetrator? We know he didn’t finish college and struggled socially. But what did he do in his spare time? What books did he read? What music did he listen to? What was he dreaming about? What made him laugh or weep?

    We must discover, to the extent possible, what his secret ambitions were. We must remember: He was not a stranger from another planet.

    He was one of us.”

  389. The “village” failed Adam Lanza, IMHO:

    “It Takes A Village To Raise A Child”

    By Hillary Rodham Clinton

    I write these words looking out through the windows in the White House at the city of Washington in all its beauty and squalor, promise and despair. In the shadow of great power, so many feel powerless. These contradictions color my feelings when I think about my own child and all our children. My worry for these children has increased, but remarkably, so has my hope for their future.

    REASONS FOR OPTIMISM

    We know much more now than we did even a few years ago about how the human brain develops and what children need from their environments to develop character, empathy, and intelligence. When we put this knowledge into practice, the results are astonishing. Also, because when I read, travel, and talk with people around the world, it is increasingly clear to me that nearly every problem children face today has been solved somewhere, by someone. And finally, because I sense a new willingness on the part of many parents and citizens to turn down the decibel level on our political conflicts and start paying attention to what works.

    There’s an old saying I love: You can’t roll up your sleeves and get to work if you’re still wringing your hands. So if you, like me, are worrying about our kids; if you, like me, have wondered how we can match our actions to our words, I’d like to share with you some of the convictions I’ve developed over a lifetime–not only as an advocate and a citizen but as a mother, daughter, sister, and wife–about what our children need from us and what we owe to them.

    “IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD”

    I chose that old African proverb to title my book because it offers a timeless reminder that children will thrive only if their families thrive and if the whole of society cares enough to provide for them. The sage who first offered that proverb would undoubtedly be bewildered by what constitutes the modern village. In earlier times and places–and until recently in our own culture–the “village” meant an actual geographic place where individuals and families lived and worked together.

    For most of us, though, the village doesn’t look like that anymore. In fact, it’s difficult to paint a picture of the modern village, so frantic and fragmented has much of our culture become. Extended families rarely live in the same town, let alone the same house. In many communities, crime and fear keep us behind locked doors. Where we used to chat with neighbors on stoops and porches, now we watch videos in our darkened living rooms. Instead of strolling down Main Street, we spend hours in automobiles and at anonymous shopping malls. We don’t join civic associations, churches, union, political parties, or even bowling leagues the way we used to.

    WE CAN’T TURN AWAY FROM THIS BRAVE NEW WORLD

    The horizons of the contemporary village extend well beyond the town line. From the moment we are born, we are exposed to vast numbers of other people and influences through the media. Technology connects us to the impersonal global village it has created.

    To many, this brave new world seems dehumanizing and inhospitable. It is not surprising, then,, that there is a yearning for the “good old days” as a refuge from the problems of the present. But by turning away, we blind ourselves to the continuing, evolving presence of the village in our lives, and its critical importance for how we live together. The village can no longer be defined as a place on a map, or as a list of people or organizations, but its essence remains the same: it is the network of values and relationships that support and affect our lives.

    NEW WAYS OF COMING TOGETHER

    One of the honors of being First Lady is the opportunity I have to go out into the world and to see what individuals and communities are doing to help themselves and their children. I have had the privilege of talking with mothers, fathers, grandparents, civic clubs, Scout troops, PTAs, and church groups. From these many conversations, I know Americans everywhere are searching for–and often finding–new ways to support one another.

    Even our technology offers us new ways of coming together, through radio talk shows, e-mail and the Internet. The networks of relationships we form and depend on are our modern-day villages, but they reach well beyond the city limits. Many of them necessarily involve the whole nation. They are the basis for our “civil society,” a term social scientists use to describe the way we work together for common purposes. Whether we harness their potential for the greater good or allow ourselves to drift into alienation and divisiveness depends on the choices we make now.

    CREATING CONSENSUS, RESISTING EXTREMIST RHETORIC

    We cannot move forward by looking to the past for easy solutions. Even if a golden age had existed, we could not simply graft it onto today’s busier, more impersonal and complicated world. Instead, our challenge is to arrive at a consensus of values and a common vision of what we can do, individually and collectively, to build strong families and communities. Creating that consensus in a democracy depends on seriously considering other points of view, resisting the lure of extremist rhetoric, and balancing individual rights and freedoms with personal responsibility and mutual obligations.

    THE TRUE TEST…

    of the consensus we build is how well we care for our children. For a child, the village must remain personal. Talking to a baby while changing a diaper, playing airplane to entice a toddler to accept a spoonful of food, tossing a ball back and forth with a teenager, are tasks that cannot be carried out in cyberspace. They require the presence of caring adults who are dedicated to children’s growth, nurturing, and well-being.

    What we do to participate in and support that network–from the way we care for our own children to the jobs we do, the causes we join, and the kinds of legislation we support–is mirrored every day in the experiences of America’s children. We can read our national character most plainly in the result.

    MORALITY, AND SELF-INTEREST, AT STAKE

    How we care for our own and other people’s children isn’t only a question of morality; our self-interest is at stake too. No family is immune to the influences of the larger society. No matter what my husband and I do to protect and prepare Chelsea, her future will be affected by how other children are being raised. I don’t want her to grow up in an America sharply divided by income, race, or religion. I’d like to minimize the odds of her suffering at the hands of someone who didn’t have enough love or discipline, opportunity or responsibility, as a child. I want her to believe, as her father and I did, that the American Dream is within reach of anyone willing to work hard and take responsibility. I want her to live in an America that is still strong and promising to its own citizens and lives up to its image throughout the world as a land of hope and opportunity.

    THIS, THEN, IS AN INVITATION TO A JOURNEY…

    we can take together, as parents and as citizens of this country, united in the belief that children are what matter–more than the size of our bank accounts or the kinds of cars we drive. As Jackie Kennedy Onassis said, “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” That goes for each of us, whether or not we are parents–and for all of us as a nation.

    http://www.happinessonline.org/LoveAndHelpChildren/p12.htm

  390. ap,

    Hopefully the CT state police are pulling all this together. They say they found two smashed computers in his home and are gleaning a good deal of info from there.

    Until further info is available, I’m looking directly at his mother. Violent video games, mental health issues … what about gun lovers who don’t secure their weapons?

  391. Elaine,
    That was not a child. He was 20 years old, which is old enough to get a hunting license, and vote.

    I made a couple of comments on DKos earlier today. Maybe they will be helpful. I am concerned about too many pundits and politicians offering “bumper sticker” slogans as solutions when this is a truly complex matter, much of which is deep seated in our culture. FWIW, I got a call from a friend who said he went past the local gun dealer, and the parking lot was not only full, cars were double parked all the way around the end of the block.

    http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1171944/48792990#c15

    http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1171866/48793813#c19

  392. Blouise,
    You have to be 21 to buy a handgun anywhere. However, there are no restrictions on persons under 21 shooting one that belongs to someone else. At least in most states where I know the law.

  393. Odds of dying by suicide: 1 in 122
    Odds of dying in an auto accident: 1 in 244
    Odds of dying in from falling: 1 in 270
    Odds of dying by accidental poisoning 1 in 292
    Odds of dying by homicide (firearm): 1 in 328
    Odds of dying from drowning: 1 in 1,008
    Odds of dying in a fire: 1 in 1,062
    Odds of dying in random public shooting: 1 in 384,000
    Odds of dying from falling vending machine: 1 in 450,000
    Odds of dying in school shooting: (roughly) 1 in 1,000,000
    Odds of dying in a terrorist attack: 1 in 9,300,000

  394. OS,

    Can’t do it in New York. Saw a man get kicked off the range for trying to teach his kid how to fire a hand gun.

  395. Until further info is available, I’m looking directly at his mother. Violent video games, mental health issues … what about gun lovers who don’t secure their weapons? -Blouise

    Blouise,

    I don’t disagree that she made some horrible decisions, but I still contend that “it takes a village” and there’s plenty of blame to go around, IMHO.

    Regarding his hard drive, the state police and FBI are working together, I believe. It’ll be interesting to see what turns up…

    =====

    Thanks for the “odds”, Bob, Esq. Good to keep it in perspective.

  396. Otteray,

    I was not talking about Adam Lanza. I was talking about the six-year old boy who brought a gun to school in Houston:

    6-year-old brings gun to Houston school; 3 hurt
    Officials say the gun accidentally discharged when it fell out of child’s pocket
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42665638/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/-year-old-brings-gun-houston-school-hurt/#.UNJyW4b4JfN

    Excerpt:
    A kindergartner who brought a loaded gun to his Houston elementary school Tuesday was among three students injured when the gun fired after falling from his pocket as he sat down for lunch, officials said.

    One bullet was fired about 10:35 a.m. in the Ross Elementary School cafeteria, spraying fragments at the students, said Houston Independent School District Assistant Police Chief Robert Mock.

    “It dropped on the floor, under the table. It was loud, it was so loud,” 6-year-old Kennedi Glapion said as she was being picked up from the school by her grandmother.

    Kennedi, one of 42 kindergartners having lunch in the cafeteria when the gun went off, said she was scared and started crying after it fired. She pointed to her right foot to indicate where she said she saw one child injured.

    Two 6-year-old boys were wounded, including the one who had the gun. The boy who brought the gun was injured in his foot and the other boy was grazed in his leg, said Sam Sarabia, the elementary chief school officer for the Houston school district. A 5-year-old girl was injured in her knee, he said.

  397. Elaine, there is no excuse or justification I can think of for letting an elementary school age kid have access to a firearm of any kind. That was gross negligence on the part of whoever left that loaded pistol out where the kid could get it.

  398. Bob,Esq:
    Odds of dying by suicide: 1 in 122
    Odds of dying in an auto accident: 1 in 244
    Odds of dying in from falling: 1 in 270
    Odds of dying by accidental poisoning 1 in 292
    Odds of dying by homicide (firearm): 1 in 328
    Odds of dying from drowning: 1 in 1,008
    Odds of dying in a fire: 1 in 1,062
    Odds of dying in random public shooting: 1 in 384,000
    Odds of dying from falling vending machine: 1 in 450,000
    Odds of dying in school shooting: (roughly) 1 in 1,000,000
    Odds of dying in a terrorist attack: 1 in 9,300,000

    ********************

    You left off one salient stat:

    Odds of a child dying at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012: 20 out of 626

    I wouldn’t take those odds with my kids.

  399. mespo,

    Somewhere, a math teacher is weeping.

    1:31.3 or ~ 1:32

    Reduction! It’s not just for sauces any more. However, just because something can happen doesn’t mean it will happen. That’s an appeal to probability. Changing the sample space also gives the illusion of increased probability but it isn’t really a valid probability. The chance of a student being shot become 1:1 if your sample space is students killed at Sandy Hook. Assuming Bob’s stats are correct (could we get a cite on that Bob?), the chance for dying by gun violence is still 1:328 in the America populace. Just because something did happen doesn’t mean it will or won’t happen again. Probabilities have a place in argumentation and in evidence, but I think both you (and Bob) are off base if you use them for anything other than risk analysis.

  400. mespo,

    Yeah, I read that. However, much that behavior isn’t that unusual for ASD patients. I have a good friend with a son with what used to be called Asperger’s and we’ve talked about the various levels of functionality with the disorder. It’s quite broad. Some kids are high functioning like her son, but at the other end are kids that are so isolated in their inability to communicate with others that they lash out at others and try to harm themselves. I really don’t think the ASD was a direct contributor here, but what I do think is that the frustration his autism engendered could have compounded a psychotic break when he found out his mother wanted to commit him. In a world where he had problems making relationships, the one relationship he had always counted on was going south on him. Could that make someone go homicidal? It has done so with “normal” people not battling the challenges of ASD so why not? Just like this is a problem with no simple cause and no simple solution, the causes of Lanza’s final eruption into violence I don’t think is going to be simple either, rather compound, if we are ever to discern his motivation proper at all.

  401. “but I think both you (and Bob) are off base if you use them for anything other than risk analysis.”

    What else did I use it for??

  402. I can’t recall where I read that you were twice as likely to be killed by a falling vending machine than in a terrorist attack; but I did read it a few times back when the 9/11 report was first published.

    Maybe in the Atlantic Monthly??

  403. Florida Man Invokes ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law After Shooting Fellow Pizza Customer
    By Scott Keyes on Dec 19, 2012
    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/12/19/1360511/michael-jock-shooter/

    Excerpt:
    A Florida man defended his decision to shoot an impatient pizza customer over the weekend, citing the state’s infamous “Stand Your Ground” law.

    Michael Jock, a 52-year-old resident of St. Petersburg, was standing in line behind 49-year-old Randall White at a local Little Caesars on Sunday when Jock grew angry over White’s complaints about the speed of service. The two began to shove one another, prompting Jock to pull out a .38 Taurus Ultralight Special Revolver that had been concealed on his person and fire twice, hitting White both times in the lower torso.

    The Tampa Bay Times has more:

    After the shooting, both men went outside and waited for police. Jock told officers the shooting was justified under “stand your ground,” [police spokesman Mike] Puetz said.

    “He felt he was in his rights,” Puetz said. “He brought it up specifically and cited it to the officer.”

    He told officers he feared for his life. He mentioned that he thought White had an object in his hand, then backed off that when officers pressed him. Florida’s “stand your ground law” says people are not required to retreat before using deadly force.

    Police, however, disagreed with Jock’s interpretation of the law and arrested him on charges of aggravated battery and firing a weapon within a building.