Newtown massacre reawakens question of gun control

The United States suffers more gun deaths and mass shootings than any other major industrialized country. It’s not even close. And of the dozen most deadly mass killings in U.S. history, half have occurred within the past five years. In other words, if you believe that these things are happening more and more often, the numbers validate that belief.

The question is why.

The NRA and its supporters say the problem is not easy access to guns. To the contrary, they often argue that the problem is a shortage of guns. If only we had more guns in circulation, fewer would die. The day before the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Michigan Legislature embraced that theory in passing a law allowing those with concealed carry permits to possess weapons in schools, churches and other formerly gun-free areas. Michigan’s governor has yet to say whether he intends to sign such a bill.

However, there is no evidence to support the NRA’s contention. Those countries with much lower death rates do not achieve those rates by allowing free and easy access to guns by almost everybody, regardless of training. Quite the contrary. Those few countries in which guns are even more ubiquitous than the United States — countries such as Iraq — have much higher death rates.

In addition, gun laws are more lax here in the South and guns themselves are more numerous. Under the NRA theory, that ought to produce a more civil, less violent society. The data say otherwise:

assault-deaths-us-ts-region-1

On the other hand, those who turn reflexively to gun control as an answer must acknowledge the inadequacies of that approach as well. Yesterday’s school shooting took place in Connecticut, a state with strong gun-control laws. The pistols that were used — a Sig Sauer and a Glock of undetermined model — had been legally obtained and were registered to Nancy Lanza, the late mother of the 20-year-old shooter. It has been widely reported that a Bushmaster .223 assault weapon — a version of the AR-15 — was found in the trunk of the vehicle driven by Adam Lanza to the school. However, Lt. Paul Vance of the Connecticut state patrol said at a press conference this morning that all recovered weapons were found in close proximity to Lanza’s body.

The high kill rate in the shootings — only one person was wounded and survived — suggests Lanza was experienced with firearms. But based on what we know now, it is hard to explain in concrete, direct fashion how any reasonable set of changes to our gun laws would have prevented Friday’s tragedy.

For example, I have not been able to find any more specific information about the types of pistols used in the attack, or whether those pistols or the Bushmaster were equipped with high-capacity magazines. As a practical matter, outlawing pistols would not be feasible given how many are already in circulation. It would also be impossible politically. Outlawing high-capacity magazines might be another matter, but again, as of yet we have no indication they played a role in this attack.

Guns are inanimate objects. Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. I accept all of that as fact. However, I would have no problem whatsoever with again outlawing military-style assault weapons. Neither would the U.S. Supreme Court, even based on its most recent pro-gun rulings.

As gun supporters point out, and accurately so, other semi-automatic weapons are capable of delivering the same high fire rate as those described as assault weapons. It is striking, however, that these “other” weapons do not typically show up in the hands of mass murderers such as Adam Lanza. The military-style design of assault weapons may be superficial, but it gives them a powerful mystique to weak-minded souls pursuing visions of vengeance and power.

Speaking in general, rather than in reaction to the Newtown strategy, it is reasonable to propose that the legal ability to purchase and possess deadly firearms be linked to training and testing on the responsible use of such weapons. That would be a regulation of people, not of guns. Such proposals would nonetheless be fought bitterly by the NRA because they would reduce gun sales, and the NRA is in many ways nothing more than a front for its gun-industry sponsors.

Such laws would in no way infringe on constitutional rights as outlined in the Second Amendment and Supreme Court opinions. The millions of law-abiding, responsible gun owners in this country would have nothing to fear from such a system. In fact, as the NRA often points out correctly, those gun owners who have gone through the steps required to obtain a concealed carry permit rarely use those guns in crime. That record suggests a possible path forward for those who recognize both the constitutional right to possess firearms and the necessity of mitigating the damage done when those guns fall into the wrong hands.

– Jay Bookman

1,704 comments Add your comment

Oscar

December 15th, 2012
11:27 am

Oscar

December 15th, 2012
11:28 am

Now I will read the piece.

TM

December 15th, 2012
11:39 am

Jay I suggest that your law would have have done absolutly nothing to prevent this since it appears the mother bought the guns. What needs to change is how we find those in our society who have the ability to do this and what we are going to do with them. I seem to remember a time when there was a big mental heath facility in Decatur and north of the Perimeter that treated our trouble youth but those have long since closed since society has seemed to think everything can be cured with a pill however no one seems to know what to do when they don;t take the pill.

barking frog

December 15th, 2012
11:40 am

This man was a law-abiding citizen with a schoolteacher mother.
The only thing that would have prevented this would have been
to protect the children with proper security.

Oscar

December 15th, 2012
11:42 am

Most of these shooters have shown signs of personality problems prior to the shooting. One answner is to focus more on treatment of people with mental problems.

Mental disorders shoudl be discussed more and shoudl be recognized as brain disorders – just as other diseases – and treated without shame.

Jay

December 15th, 2012
11:43 am

TM, I am prepared to accept that finding, should that be the way the evidence points. However, the presence if not use of the AR-15 suggests otherwise.

And again, the particular model of Glock and Sig Sauer, and the potential use of high-capacity magazines for those weapons, has yet to be determined. Let’s go where the evidence takes us.

Oscar

December 15th, 2012
11:44 am

Proper security would help. I saw an interview with one teacher who took her class of sixteen into the bathroom, locked the door and kept them quiet. They all came out safe and unhurt.

Oscar

December 15th, 2012
11:46 am

Holding the gun owners responsible for the use of their guns is another thing we should do. Responsible people that own guns should keep them locked up and out of the reach of other people, even their own family members.

josef

December 15th, 2012
11:47 am

I agree that this is a matter which should be discussed. I am not sure that today when emotions are so raw is the time. I am afraid it may into a similar category as the photo run with yesterday’s initial thread, capitalizing in the sensational. By that I don’t mean in the contemporary use of the term, but in its more basic meaning of appeal to the visual and auditory devoid of thought and reflection.

DebbieDoRight - A Do Right Woman

December 15th, 2012
11:47 am

Oscar cheated!! :)
=====================
Jay: The NRA and its supporters say the problem is not easy access to guns. To the contrary, they often argue that the problem is a shortage of guns. If only we had more guns in circulation, fewer would die.

You can get a gun sometimes faster than you can get a date. The lady who shot and killed that Tennessee QB and herself a couple of years ago, just asked a friend to get her one and she had one the next day. She didn’t go through the process of getting a license, etc.; she just went to someone she figured would know how to get her a gun.

Circulation isn’t the problem. The solution? Well, thats a bit harder to pinpoint.

Jay

December 15th, 2012
11:48 am

“This man was a law-abiding citizen with a schoolteacher mother.
The only thing that would have prevented this would have been
to protect the children with proper security.

The latest indications are that the mother was NOT a schoolteacher, at least not in the Newtown district. Evidence also indicates that Lanza was initially barred from entering the school by its security system, but that he shot out windows to gain access.

The idea that any feasible security system in an elementary school could keep out a heavily armed intruder with murderous intentions is probably wishful thinking. Look at the extensive security systems and numbers of armed personnel needed to keep places such as courthouses safe. Are you going to install that in every school?

And then in every movie house, as in Aurora, Colo., or in every mall, as in Clackamas Ore.?

TM

December 15th, 2012
11:50 am

Jay- now your regulating guns not the people who buy them. If you want to do both say so. I personally have no use for such high capacity magazines. I have a number of guns we use in my family to hunt and for protection. The problem is the NRA believes in a slippery slope and I am not sure they are wrong

DebbieDoRight - A Do Right Woman

December 15th, 2012
11:50 am

TM: I seem to remember a time when there was a big mental heath facility in Decatur and north of the Perimeter that treated our trouble youth but those have long since closed since society has seemed to think everything can be cured with a pill however no one seems to know what to do when they don;t take the pill.

That’s not the reason those facilities closed — cite your governor for not allocating FUNDS to keep those hospitals open.

As great as philanthropy and volunteering is, MONEY keeps the lights on and the water flowing.

Brosephus™

December 15th, 2012
11:50 am

The best possible solution to all of this is simply to live life to the fullest everyday, as if it was your last one.

There are no laws that can be applied in our country that will stop this kind of incident. There is no way to predict that someone who legally buys a gun today for home protection will not just go off the deep end 10 years later and commit violence on this level. There is no way you will be able to screen someone for a mental deficiency today if it doesn’t manifest itself years down the road.

The best thing one can do to not become a victim is to always be aware of your surroundings. If you carry concealed or own a gun, try to constantly train to the point that your reactions are automatic. When the airborn fecal matter hits the oscillating wind generator, if those actions are not automatic, you could end up giving the shooter another weapon to use. Be aware of exits in case you need to get out quick, and communicate these things with your family. Always have an escape plan.

josef

December 15th, 2012
11:51 am

FROG

“Most of these shooters have shown signs of personality problems prior to the shooting. One answner is to focus more on treatment of people with mental problems.”

Which, I would offer, is what we should be talking about today. Guns are the how. We know that. What we need to be looking at is the why, and that falls into the arena you bring up.

Jay

December 15th, 2012
11:51 am

Josef, I have some sympathy for that point of view. The alternative, however, is to let this tragedy pass on the theory that we’ll have this discussion later.

Which we won’t. As horrific as it seems today, it will soon fade from memory as the previous incidents have.

Eric Goodman

December 15th, 2012
11:52 am

The apparent insanity of the killing of these individual school children at random is mind-boggling. Anytime this happens to innocent children it is senseless. Even idiots whose society or beliefs support the killing of entire families of their enemies have some kind of sick excuse. Even the worst characters that are murdering people in the movies usually let the children go. What has happened in this elementary school and in similar events that have occurred in the past will continue to happen until we deal with this problem logically. Mentally impaired individuals are not going away. Things that can be used to kill children such as knives, clubs, guns, hands, chemicals, gasses, and automobiles are not going away. Large grouping or assemblies of children in places like schools are a given. Police response time can be fairly quick in some instances, but even the best times are not good enough. Huge Swat teams are great for a stand-off, but can’t react fast enough, even if they are just up the street of an incident. Let me describe the framework for a solution. All college, high school, junior/middle school campuses be required to have at least one armed guard such as a policeman on site. All elementary schools or preschools be required to have at least one individual staff member or worker on site licensed, trained, and armed using conceal and carry. If only the vice-principal wounded in the attack had been trained and armed. We have armed Air Marshalls on planes. We need to adapt.

barking frog

December 15th, 2012
11:52 am

Debbie Do
You can get a gun sometimes faster than you can get a date
………………………………………………………………………
i am so not believing that…especially with the boa…

Eleutherius

December 15th, 2012
11:53 am

Doggone/GA

December 15th, 2012
11:54 am

“Are you going to install that in every school?”

There is something that could be done to help make even little children contribute to their own safety. After 911 security experts agreed that one thing passengers on a plane or train could do when threatened is to to throw things, LOTS of things, at the gunmen…to make it much harder for them to focus and aim.

Children could be taught a “game” of “throw the toy” when their teacher tells them to. And then keep plenty of toys handy for them to use. And apart from any possible safety issues, it might be a good way to help use of some of the energy kids have!

TM

December 15th, 2012
11:56 am

How many remember these since 1999. How soon we seem to forget and this is just is our USA

December 11, 2012. On Tuesday, 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts killed 2 people and himself with a stolen rifle in Clackamas Town Center, Oregon. His motive is unknown.

September 27, 2012. Five were shot to death by 36-year-old Andrew Engeldinger at Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis, MN. Three others were wounded. Engeldinger went on a rampage after losing his job, ultimately killing himself.

August 5, 2012. Six Sikh temple members were killed when 40-year-old US Army veteran Wade Michael Page opened fire in a gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Four others were injured, and Page killed himself.

July 20, 2012. During the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, CO, 24-year-old James Holmes killed 12 people and wounded 58. Holmes was arrested outside the theater.

May 29, 2012. Ian Stawicki opened fire on Cafe Racer Espresso in Seattle, WA, killing 5 and himself after a citywide manhunt.

April 6, 2012. Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, shot 5 black men in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in racially motivated shooting spree. Three died.

April 2, 2012. A former student, 43-year-old One L. Goh killed 7 people at Oikos University, a Korean Christian college in Oakland, CA. The shooting was the sixth-deadliest school massacre in the US and the deadliest attack on a school since the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.

October 14, 2011. Eight people died in a shooting at Salon Meritage hair salon in Seal Beach, CA. The gunman, 41-year-old Scott Evans Dekraai, killed six women and two men dead, while just one woman survived. It was Orange County’s deadliest mass killing.

September 6, 2011. Eduardo Sencion, 32, entered an IHOP restaurant in Carson City, NV and shot 12 people. Five died, including three National Guard members.

January 8, 2011. Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in the head when 22-year-old Jared Loughner opened fire on an event she was holding at a Safeway market in Tucson, AZ. Six people died, including Arizona District Court Chief Judge John Roll, one of Giffords’ staffers, and a 9-year-old girl. 19 total were shot. Loughner has been sentenced to seven life terms plus 140 years, without parole.

August 3, 2010. Omar S. Thornton, 34, gunned down Hartford Beer Distributor in Manchester, CT after getting caught stealing beer. Nine were killed, including Thornton, and two were injured.

November 5, 2009. Forty-three people were shot by Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan at the Fort Hood army base in Texas. Hasan reportedly yelled “Allahu Akbar!” before opening fire, killing 13 and wounding 29 others.

April 3, 2009. Jiverly Wong, 41, opened fire at an immigration center in Binghamton, New York before committing suicide. He killed 13 people and wounded 4.

March 29, 2009. Eight people died in a shooting at the Pinelake Health and Rehab nursing home in Carthage, NC. The gunman, 45-year-old Robert Stewart, was targeting his estranged wife who worked at the home and survived. Stewart was sentenced to life in prison.

February 14, 2008. Steven Kazmierczak, 27, opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University, killing 6 and wounding 21. The gunman shot and killed himself before police arrived. It was the fifth-deadliest university shooting in US history.

February 7, 2008. Six people died and two were injured in a shooting spree at the City Hall in Kirkwood, Missouri. The gunman, Charles Lee Thornton, opened fire during a public meeting after being denied construction contracts he believed he deserved. Thornton was killed by police.

December 5, 2007. A 19-year-old boy, Robert Hawkins, shot up a department store in the Westroads Mall in Omaha, NE. Hawkins killed 9 people and wounded 4 before killing himself. The semi-automatic rifle he used was stolen from his stepfather’s house.

April 16, 2007. Virginia Tech became the site of the deadliest school shooting in US history when a student, Seung-Hui Choi, gunned down 56 people. Thirty-two people died in the massacre.

February 12, 2007. In Salt Lake City’s Trolley Square Mall, 5 people were shot to death and 4 others were wounded by 18-year-old gunman Sulejman Talović. One of the victims was a 16-year-old boy.

October 2, 2006. An Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster, PA was gunned down by 32-year-old Charles Carl Roberts, Roberts separated the boys from the girls, binding and shooting the girls. 5 young girls died, while 6 were injured. Roberts committed suicide afterward.

March 25, 2006. Seven died and 2 were injured by 28-year-old Kyle Aaron Huff in a shooting spree through Capitol Hill in Seattle, WA. The massacre was the worst killing in Seattle since 1983.

March 21, 2005. Teenager Jeffrey Weise killed his grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend before opening fire on Red Lake Senior High School, killing 9 people on campus and injuring 5. Weise killed himself.

March 12, 2005. A Living Church of God meeting was gunned down by 44-year-old church member Terry Michael Ratzmann at a Sheraton hotel in Brookfield, WI. Ratzmann was thought to have had religious motivations, and killed himself after executing the pastor, the pastor’s 16-year-old son, and 7 others. Four were wounded.

July 8, 2003. Doug Williams, a Lockheed Martin employee, shot up his plant in Meridian, MI in a racially-motivated rampage. He shot 14 people, most of them African American, and killed 7.

September 15, 1999. Larry Gene Ashbrook opened fire on a Christian rock concert and teen prayer rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX. He killed 7 people and wounded 7 others, almost all teenagers. Ashbrook committed suicide.

July 29, 1999. Mark Orrin Barton, 44, murdered his wife and two children with a hammer before shooting up two Atlanta day trading firms. Barton, a day trader, was believed to be motivated by huge monetary losses. He killed 12 including his family and injured 13 before killing himself.

April 20, 1999. In the deadliest high school shooting in US history, teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Kiebold shot up Columbine High School in Littleton, CO. They killed 13 people and wounded 21 others. They killed themselves after the massacre.

barking frog

December 15th, 2012
11:56 am

josef
sympathetic to your viewpoint but this man’s mother was a teacher,
trained observer and educator and evidently she didn’t suspect.

josef

December 15th, 2012
11:58 am

JAY

And as much as I had rather not, I find myself agreeing with that. Today and events such as this is when I do not envy you in the least your job. And, I trust you understand that what I have said is not directed at you personally. You are simply doing your job.

The other half of your brain.

December 15th, 2012
11:59 am

Jay

December 15th, 2012
11:43 am

And again, the particular model of Glock and Sig Sauer, and the potential use of high-capacity magazines for those weapons, has yet to be determined. Let’s go where the evidence takes us

What’s the difference if the magazine holds 5 rounds or 15, the killer will just carry more magazines and who would be there to stop him?

Why not make the laws so strict that people may think twice before carrying weapone,
for instance, if caught commiting a crime with a gun or knife, 25 years in prison with no parole.

If caught carrying an illegal weapon, 10 years in prison. Not the wimpy laws that we now have.
I can’t wait to see what the ACLU would do with that.

Doggone/GA

December 15th, 2012
12:01 pm

“sympathetic to your viewpoint but this man’s mother was a teacher,
trained observer and educator and evidently she didn’t suspect”

There is some doubt about that, but even if she was…she was ALSO a Mother…and Mothers have been shown over and over to not recognize problems in their children. Personally, I have no doubt that only too often they fight NOT to believe their children have problems because of a perception that it reflects on them as a Mother.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

December 15th, 2012
12:03 pm

Jay

I read a report earlier today that says a fourth gun was recovered at the scene.

The other half of your brain.

December 15th, 2012
12:03 pm

Bro,Your 11:50 post is right on. We may not agree with some things but we sure do on this.

Jay

December 15th, 2012
12:03 pm

“What’s the difference if the magazine holds 5 rounds or 15, the killer will just carry more magazines and who would be there to stop him?

Fine, then there will be no problem if we ban the 15-round mag, correct? You know, since they’re all the same and all? The people who buy the high-capacity magazines certainly believe there’s a difference, correct?

Furthermore, there is little evidence that long prison terms have any deterrent effect on crimes of violence. To the degree they are useful in crime control, it’s by keeping violent people off the streets for a long time.

RF

December 15th, 2012
12:04 pm

“and evidently she didn’t suspect.”

We don’t that for sure yet. There may have been any number of people who suspected something and may have even been a diagnosed disorder he was being treated for, but we don’t have that information yet. One problem is that even when there is a diagnosed disorder, there’s no legal precedent for how that is to be handled and what anyone is required to do to protect both the ill individual and those around him. You can call the police and report someone acting erratcially, and there isn’t much they can do unless there is clear evidence of intended harm. We need to analyze how we as a society deal with mental illness, and there needs to be a far greater level of acceptance of treatment. We tend to deny its existence or are embarrassed to talk about it. As a society, we know there are emotionally unstable people out there, but we tend to overlook them. We have a very nonchalant and/or negative view of mental health issues and the need for ongoing treatment.

Recon 0311 2533

December 15th, 2012
12:04 pm

When these tragic mass murders occur the NRA always gets pointed out as being culpable. These crime are perpetrated by those with severe mental issues and the NRA has advocated a national well maintained data base that includes not just convicted felons but also suspected terrorists and those who have a history of mental illness or have been suspected of mental illness. Such individuals should be unable to purchase firearms or possess them. There has been far too little cooperation from the federal government in building such a database or improving our mental health systems in providing diagnostics and treatment of those with mental disorders.

barking frog

December 15th, 2012
12:04 pm

Jay
Are you going to install that in every school?
………………………
Yes.

Not a schoolteacher. Don’t know where the Rifle was located..
So we don’t know anything due to misreporting by the MEDIA..
Typical and we can’t afford to protect the children like the courthouses
and all securitized public buildings and airports. Much better to legislate.
The man could have done this with a BLUNDERBUSS.

Doggone/GA

December 15th, 2012
12:05 pm

Enter your comments here”Why not make the laws so strict that people may think twice before carrying weapone, for instance, if caught commiting a crime with a gun or knife, 25 years in prison with no parole”

And how many murders have stricter laws prevented? According to an interview I heard yesterday the USA alone suffers 15,000 murder a YEAR. Doesn’t seem to me that stricter laws have much preventative value.

td

December 15th, 2012
12:05 pm

Jay

December 15th, 2012
11:43 am

TM, I am prepared to accept that finding, should that be the way the evidence points. However, the presence if not use of the AR-15 suggests otherwise.

I have been hunting and shooting guns for more then 30 years and I can tell you that in an environment such as the close quarters of a school that a 9mm or sig is a much more proficient weapon for hitting a greater number of targets at a faster rate then a bulky AR-15.

The size of the clip is not really a relevant point either because from the reports I have read this killer had to have had multiple clips and reloaded. From what I have heard there was more then 100 rounds fired and if the guns were equipped with the police version of the 15 round clip for both guns then the shooter would have had to reload at least 6 times. We really need to thank God that this young man was such a bad shot or there would have been more children killed. A 20 something % accuracy rate at close range is horrible shooting.

The AR -15 or military fully automatic version M-16 was designed for the battlefield and not for urban assault areas and yes I know to you non gun users it looks intimidating but this killers choices was a great deal more effective.

DebbieDoRight - A Do Right Woman

December 15th, 2012
12:06 pm

SoCoBro: The best thing one can do to not become a victim is to always be aware of your surroundings

Bro — you are turning into a DDR! Working with the “undesirables” in life has taught me to always be aware. Even the most innocuous situations can turn on ya on a dime.

josef — When IS the perfect time? stands posted this on the other blog downstairs that needs repeating, (don’t tell stands i read his stuff — he’ll get the big head):

Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s cry and pray and not actually do anything as a nation about access to weaponry until the next time a score of children are slaughtered, at which time we can cry and pray and not actually do anything as a nation about access to weaponry. Think that’ll work?

We’ve been down this road before josef — now it seems like we go down it every 3 months. Each slaying is always “The Worst!!” until the next one.

Maybe this time, this slaying can be the catalyst for some sort of dialogue that leads to change.
================

frog: i am so not believing that…especially with the boa…

You.Are.So.Baaad! [But I like that about you!] :)

barking frog

December 15th, 2012
12:07 pm

Jay,
I have no problems with banning ALL guns. How about you?

josef

December 15th, 2012
12:07 pm

FROG

I understand what you are saying. But teachers have no greater insight into these things than any others in society. Our “training” is not to spot and identify potential murderers, but learning problems. We, too, are just as heir to the denial as the rest.

Given what our boys went through before we got them, we found ourselves constantly on the watch for how that was going to affect them. But, then as now, just what were we looking for? For all the “attention” we gave it, we didn’t know then and we don’t know now.

indigo

December 15th, 2012
12:08 pm

The NRA exists solely to protect the huge profits of the gun industry.

The gun industry is one of The Republican Party’s main corporate sponsors.

For one of them, profits are all that really matter. For the other, getting elected and re-elected is all that really matters.

For both of them, it’s painfully and shamefully clear human lives mean little or nothing.

Only in America.

The other half of your brain.

December 15th, 2012
12:08 pm

Jay

December 15th, 2012
12:03 pm

“What’s the difference if the magazine holds 5 rounds or 15, the killer will just carry more magazines and who would be there to stop him?

Fine, then there will be no problem if we ban the 15-round mag, correct? You know, since they’re all the same and all? The people who buy the high-capacity magazines certainly believe there’s a difference, correct?

” Jay, I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t own a handgun so I don’t worry about the amount of rounds in a magazine.”

Furthermore, there is little evidence that long prison terms have any deterrent effect on crimes of violence. To the degree they are useful in crime control, it’s by keeping violent people off the streets for a long time.

” Wrong, It keeps the repeat offenders off the streets. We have weak laws in our country and when anyone tries to make them tougher certain people cry a river.

RF

December 15th, 2012
12:08 pm

“As great as philanthropy and volunteering is, MONEY keeps the lights on and the water flowing.”

And until we make diagnosis and treatment more “normal”, and convince the money handlers that mental health is as important as gun rights, we’ll continue to see the decline of mental health services offered. We have to do better at publicity with mental health and what’s available as well as increasing the availability of mental health services. People need to know it’s okay to get help and recommend someone for help, and we need clearer processes for getting it.

Recon 0311 2533

December 15th, 2012
12:09 pm

Banning certain firearms, ammunition or accessories will accomplish nothing in preventing an act of mass murder. All it will do is create underground illegal trafficing of these items.

DebbieDoRight - A Do Right Woman

December 15th, 2012
12:09 pm

a 9mm or sig is a much more proficient weapon for hitting a greater number of targets at a faster rate then a bulky AR-15

The common man, using an AR-15, especially if they’re using it for a genocide, is not concerned about proficiency.

They mostly want to injure/hurt/maim/kill as many as they can in as short of a time frame as they can.

The other half of your brain.

December 15th, 2012
12:10 pm

barking frog

December 15th, 2012
12:07 pm

Jay,
I have no problems with banning ALL guns. How about you?

Yep, and as soon as you do that, guess who will keep theirs, DUH!

barking frog

December 15th, 2012
12:10 pm

josef 12:07
my point, exactly.

td

December 15th, 2012
12:11 pm

Oscar

December 15th, 2012
11:46 am

Holding the gun owners responsible for the use of their guns is another thing we should do. Responsible people that own guns should keep them locked up and out of the reach of other people, even their own family members.

Then you are totally ignoring the intent of the 2nd Amendment. “Keep and BEAR arms”.

josef

December 15th, 2012
12:11 pm

DDR

And I will say to you what I said to Jay…I had rather not, but I have to agree…

Jay

December 15th, 2012
12:11 pm

td, the “hundred shots” estimate came from a witness who heard the shooting, so I don’t put much weight into it. We’ll have to wait for a cartridge count to get an accurate number.

As to the fact that assault weapons “look intimidating,” that’s exactly the point I was trying to make. That intimidating look is precisely why these nuts find them so appealing. It plays to the fantasy they lay out in their addled minds, and I see no reason why we need to accomodate them.

Doggone/GA

December 15th, 2012
12:11 pm

“I have no problems with banning ALL guns. How about you?”

I can’t speak for Jay, but for myself? All that would do is give people a false sense of security…right up to the moment another such atrocity occurs.

RF

December 15th, 2012
12:12 pm

“Given what our boys went through before we got them, we found ourselves constantly on the watch for how that was going to affect them. But, then as now, just what were we looking for? For all the “attention” we gave it, we didn’t know then and we don’t know now.”

josef: I too, have been in and am still in that position. Sadly, as much as I’ve studied, I still don’t know what signs to look for in my boys. I’m not sure there ever will be any clearly definable standards for saying what might constitute an emotional or mental problem that warrants professional attention.

barking frog

December 15th, 2012
12:12 pm

the other half of your brain
Yep, and as soon as you do that, guess who will keep theirs, DUH!
………………………………………………………………
the police and the military…

JamVet

December 15th, 2012
12:13 pm

We live in arguably the freest society in history. The enormous upside AND down are part of that bargain. We all know it and will carry on and try to live and love as best we can.

As I walk through this wicked world
Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity.
I ask myself is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred and misery?

And each time i feel like this inside,
There’s one thing i wanna know:
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?

And as I walked on through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony.

Because each time i feel it slippin’ away, just makes me wanna cry.
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1RBu04p7FI

RF

December 15th, 2012
12:14 pm

“That intimidating look is precisely why these nuts find them so appealing. It plays to the fantasy they lay out in their addled minds, and I see no reason why we need to accomodate them.”

My thoughts exactly. I believe, even though there isn’t any research I’ve read to back me up, that to some extent those bent on this kind of atrocity are emboldened by the fact that they have that firepower in their hands. No reasonable citizen needs automatic weapons in their home or for hunting or sport. Those weapons designed for military use need to be kept solely in the hands of those trained to use them in combat.

The other half of your brain.

December 15th, 2012
12:14 pm

This subject will be discussed till Hell freezes over and another nut will do something horrendous again.

I don’t think anyone on this planet has an answer.

josef

December 15th, 2012
12:15 pm

RF

If we had any advice to offer from our own experience, it would be what Unmentionable said when we got them, “our job and blessing is to give them the most stable and most loving environment we can manage. That’s all we can do. That, and pray an awful lot.”

Recon 0311 2533

December 15th, 2012
12:17 pm

the police and the military…along with the drug cartels, other criminals and those who obtain them illegally including sociopaths.

Jay

December 15th, 2012
12:17 pm

““I have no problems with banning ALL guns. How about you?”

I have all kinds of problems with that, beginning with the fact that we already have tens of millions of such weapons in private hands.

The other half of your brain.

December 15th, 2012
12:17 pm

barking frog

December 15th, 2012
12:12 pm

the other half of your brain
Yep, and as soon as you do that, guess who will keep theirs, DUH!
………………………………………………………………
the police and the military… and the killers. crooks and nut jobs.

Damn I love fixing typos.

barking frog

December 15th, 2012
12:18 pm

Doggone/Ga
I have no problems with banning ALL guns. How about you?”

I can’t speak for Jay, but for myself? All that would do is give people a false sense of security…right up to the moment another such atrocity occurs.
……………………………………….
exactly.
one stick of dynamite equals 100 automatic rifles…

Sagegirl

December 15th, 2012
12:18 pm

Guns are ingrained in our DNA. They are who we are. Since the US began, a gun was at our side. From the destruction of the American Indian, the Spanish-American War, Daniel Boone, The Civil War, the two cowboys dueling in the street, so on and so forth, from then till now. A gun was always involved. And guns have evolved from muskets to semi-automatics. They’ve gotten faster and the holes they leave wider. They’re there when situations happen. A drive-by, an unhappy divorce, road rage, a shopping mall, a theatre, and always at a school. The saying “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is only partially true. People could not kill people without easy access to guns. I only hope someone doesn’t dress up in black and continue with what this troubled, young man has started. I’m so heart broken over this. Something has got to stop it.

Brosephus™

December 15th, 2012
12:18 pm

the other half

Consider it as lessons learned from living life. I’ve found myself caught in the crossfire of jackasses with guns before. There’s nothing worse than hearing the sound of a shotgun blast and then feeling shot raining down on you with nowhere to go. After going through training at the academy and then going through active shooter training, I’ve come to realize that the best defense against these kinds of things is knowing how to get out of the situation as fast as possible. In most cases, these incidents are only minutes long in duration. The actions you take in the first seconds can determine whether you make it out alive or not.

————————-

DDR

Life teaches these lessons over and over. At some point, you have to take out the notepad and pay attention.

Jess

December 15th, 2012
12:19 pm

A rare, and fairly balanced article by Jay. I do feel, however, to blame the higher rate of deaths by gun in the south on the region or lack of gun control laws is misleading. Demographics play a large role in these statistics.

josef

December 15th, 2012
12:19 pm

DDR, JAY

In reference to what we were saying about when to discuss this…Unmentionable said, and I agree, that this probably IS the time. But while we’re doing it, we need to be asking ourselves WHY we don’t discuss it when it has not hit us in the face and we’re naturally in knee-jerk mode?

td

December 15th, 2012
12:19 pm

ay

December 15th, 2012
12:11 pm

” That intimidating look is precisely why these nuts find them so appealing. It plays to the fantasy they lay out in their addled minds, and I see no reason why we need to accomodate them.”

Please tell me I am wrong in making the assumption that you believe if we take away the appeal factor then these crimes will stop and that is your reasoning to ban assult looking guns?

Doggone/GA

December 15th, 2012
12:20 pm

“one stick of dynamite equals 100 automatic rifles…”

And then there are chemicals. Thinking Japanese tunnel attack here.

RF

December 15th, 2012
12:20 pm

“our job and blessing is to give them the most stable and most loving environment we can manage. That’s all we can do. That, and pray an awful lot.”

which is all any of us can do. If there is a disease in our society right now, it’s in the number of “families” that simply don’t even try to understand that very basic principle. And any parent or guardian can do that, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or number of parents in the home.

barking frog

December 15th, 2012
12:21 pm

the other half of your brain
December 15th, 2012
12:12 pm

the other half of your brain
Yep, and as soon as you do that, guess who will keep theirs, DUH!
………………………………………………………………
the police and the military… and the killers. crooks and nut jobs.

Damn I love fixing typos.
……………………………….
and your distrust of the police will not stop them from working
overtime to confiscate the guns under a ban….

RF

December 15th, 2012
12:23 pm

“Please tell me I am wrong in making the assumption that you believe if we take away the appeal factor then these crimes will stop and that is your reasoning to ban assult looking guns?”

Quit trying to incite yet another useless argument, get your head out of your backside, and think for a minute. Nothing will stop these kinds of crimes, but it is reasonable to think that maybe we could cut down on some of the encouragement. There’s no way to know for sure, but it is at least worth considering. And answer this: why does any normal citizen truly NEED to have automatic weapons in their home?

Jay

December 15th, 2012
12:23 pm

“The common man, using an AR-15, especially if they’re using it for a genocide, is not concerned about proficiency.

They mostly want to injure/hurt/maim/kill as many as they can in as short of a time frame as they can.

And its intimidating look instills confidence and swagger in those who are at heart cowards. Only the most feeble of cowards murders a classroom of kindergarteners.

jconservative

December 15th, 2012
12:24 pm

Couple of thoughts on the subject.

This from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources: “If you were born on or after January 1, 1961, you need to complete a hunter education course prior to purchasing a hunting license.”

This from the majority opinion of Justice Scalia in the Heller case. One might want to read this closely.

“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 castdoubt 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.”

barking frog

December 15th, 2012
12:24 pm

safe rooms in houses, gated communities, all protections not
afforded to schoolchildren…they are not worth the price….

RF

December 15th, 2012
12:25 pm

“we need to be asking ourselves WHY we don’t discuss it when it has not hit us in the face and we’re naturally in knee-jerk mode?”

history tends to show that in about a week, maybe two, we’ll have moved on and let it go yet again with nothing of any substance having been done.

DebbieDoRight - A Do Right Woman

December 15th, 2012
12:25 pm

scout: :Banning certain firearms, ammunition or accessories will accomplish nothing in preventing an act of mass murder.

You know, why don’t we become radical and try it for a few decades? Let’s put some data behind that statement to see what would or would not happen….

All it will do is create underground illegal trafficing of these items.

We already have those — AND we already have these killings. Let’s try Door #2 and do something different this time around………

indigo

December 15th, 2012
12:26 pm

Doggone/GA – 12:11

Only the Military and police are allowed to have guns in Japan.

How many times have you read, or saw on TV, about all the many mass shootings in Japan?

Or Canada.

Or Britan.

Or France.

Or Germany.

Or Spain

Or Portugal.

Doggone/GA

December 15th, 2012
12:26 pm

“And answer this: why does any normal citizen truly NEED to have automatic weapons in their home?”

And as along as they are law abiding their reasons are no ones business but their own.

Oscar

December 15th, 2012
12:26 pm

Then you are totally ignoring the intent of the 2nd Amendment. “Keep and BEAR arms”.

___

No, I’m not, I was just not clear in what I said. They should keep them locked and out of the hands of other people, unless they are bareing them themselves.
The point I was making was the owners should keep control of their own guns.

Road Scholar

December 15th, 2012
12:26 pm

The constitution was written when there was only single shot weapons available. Get rid of automatic weapons.

Maybe we should hang the body of those who do this from the highest tree so the birds can pick them apart. Burying them and the family saying they’re sorry just doesn’t do it for me. He killed defenseless children and teachers. We should also seek out our neighbors so we know what makes them tick. A parents love can be blinding.

josef

December 15th, 2012
12:27 pm

In addition to the fire drill and tornado drill, we have now added intruder alert and bomb threat to the list of what we prepare our children for at school, placing the latter two in the children’s minds into the category of accident and act of G-d. How long, oh, L-rd?

Oscar

December 15th, 2012
12:29 pm

WHY we don’t discuss it when it has not hit us in the face and we’re naturally in knee-jerk mode?

______

Because no one thinks about it until it hits us in the face.

barking frog

December 15th, 2012
12:29 pm

when a coward kills you, you are just as dead as when killed by a brave soldier.
oh, I know, point a gun at everyone and those that run can be executed for
cowardice or throw them in a pond with a rock tied around their neck and
if they float they are cowards and we can kill them then…

RF

December 15th, 2012
12:30 pm

frog: this school had locked doors and visitors had to be buzzed in. No gates or saferooms would have helped once he was in the building. Closing and locking classroom doors is one deterrent, and I’ve done just that since Columbine, even when told not to by administrators. How do you make schools, which by their very nature require multiple points of entry and exit, impervious to malicious entry? Gated communities are a farce that give us the perception of security when anyone who really wants to can find any number of entry points. Fences and gates might slow them down, but what can we do beyond making schools look like prisons with fences, guard towers, etc. Believe me, as a parent and teachers I’ve often thought that might be a very good idea, even if impractical.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

December 15th, 2012
12:31 pm

Worth re-posting from downstairs:

stands for decibels

December 15th, 2012
8:08 am

As for the 800# gorilla in the room?

Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s cry and pray and not actually do anything as a nation about access to weaponry until the next time a score of children are slaughtered, at which time we can cry and pray and not actually do anything as a nation about access to weaponry.

Think that’ll work?

Doggone/GA

December 15th, 2012
12:33 pm

“How many times have you read, or saw on TV, about all the many mass shootings in Japan?”

If it makes you fell safer…you always have the choice to move to any of those countries.

josef

December 15th, 2012
12:33 pm

OSCAR

“Because no one thinks about it until it hits us in the face.”

But that still begs the question, why?

Recon 0311 2533

December 15th, 2012
12:33 pm

Military shoulder fired assault weapons such as your antiquated M16’s,and your M4’s have a selector for both semi automatic and automatic fire. The AR15’s that are commonly sold by gun dealers are only capable of semi-automatic fire and are miscalled assault weapons. Fully automatic weapons can only be obtained by private citizens with special licensing permits. Ban semi-automatic and fully automatic firearms and a vast underground of weapons with both semi-auto and full auto capability will emerge that will become a compounding nightmare.

td

December 15th, 2012
12:34 pm

RF

December 15th, 2012
12:23 pm

Quit trying to incite yet another useless argument, get your head out of your backside, and think for a minute. Nothing will stop these kinds of crimes, but it is reasonable to think that maybe we could cut down on some of the encouragement. There’s no way to know for sure, but it is at least worth considering. And answer this: why does any normal citizen truly NEED to have automatic weapons in their home?

Talk about pulling your head out of your backside. The AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16 and thus is SEMI-AUTOMATIC. It is already ILLEGAL for a “normal citizen” to have a fully automatic weapon in their home, The normal citizen with an AR-15 can only have a max 15 round clip. This is the same as a person with a 9mm, sig, 40 cal, 22 or any other semi auto pistols allowed. The only difference is that with a scope I can hit a target up to 600 yards away with a AR-15 where I can only hit a target at about 50 feet with the pistols.

RF

December 15th, 2012
12:34 pm

I’m with DDR- how about we actually renew the assault weapons ban and see what happens? How about we empower local authorities to confiscate them and offer incentives for surrendering them and see what happens? How about we just try something, anything besides making excuses for people having firearms designed for trained military use in their dadgum nightstand drawers? What would this kid have done in Conn. if his mom hadn’t had all those guns in her house?

Doggone/GA

December 15th, 2012
12:36 pm

“Fences and gates might slow them down, but what can we do beyond making schools look like prisons with fences, guard towers, etc. Believe me, as a parent and teachers I’ve often thought that might be a very good idea, even if impractical”

And always the problem with that is: the harder it is to get IN, the harder it is to get OUT. And that might be an important point in the case of fire or natural disaster

[...] school security debated after Connecticut shootingLos Angeles TimesThe Guardian (blog) -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Detroit Free Pressall 3,907 news articles » This entry was posted in [...]

RF

December 15th, 2012
12:36 pm

“The normal citizen with an AR-15 can only have a max 15 round clip. This is the same as a person with a 9mm, sig, 40 cal, 22 or any other semi auto pistols allowed. The only difference is that with a scope I can hit a target up to 600 yards away with a AR-15 where I can only hit a target at about 50 feet with the pistols,”

Answer my question. Why does any citizen in this country NEED that kind of firepower in their homes? You don’t need semiautomatic weapons for hunting, you don’t need them for protection, you don’t need them for showing off or compensating for some lack of masculine confidence. Why then?

Doggone/GA

December 15th, 2012
12:38 pm

“Why does any citizen in this country NEED that kind of firepower in their homes?”

If they are law abiding…it’s none of OUR business why they want one.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

December 15th, 2012
12:40 pm

If they are law abiding…it’s none of OUR business why they want one.

A point that I agree with. It’s a shame that you have to keep making it.

barking frog

December 15th, 2012
12:41 pm

RF 12:30
it’s only impractical because of money. Bulletproof glass would have stopped
this guy…one step not far enough.

Doggone/GA

December 15th, 2012
12:42 pm

“It’s a shame that you have to keep making it”

It is indeed.

josef

December 15th, 2012
12:42 pm

Okay, let’s get real for a moment. There are posters here who have shown how intimate they are with the weaponry and the relative destruction this, that or the other firearm can cause. Some of them are also those who periodically go through meltdown here. Do we report them?

Oscar

December 15th, 2012
12:42 pm

Because no one thinks about it until it hits us in the face.”

But that still begs the question, why?

_________

Someone needs to keep the matter in the public eye. After Reagan and Brady were shot, I believe it was Brady or his family that kept the issue alive until the Brady bill was passed.

There has to be someone to come forward and push the issue or nothing will get done.

Are you up for a new mission in life.? You could be the one.

the cat

December 15th, 2012
12:43 pm

Just ban all ammunition and ban its manufacture worldwide. keep your guns.

Does it scare the beejeebus out of anyone else the kooks on this blog that have guns? Looking at td, recon, indigo, etc.

Brosephus™

December 15th, 2012
12:45 pm

td: It is already ILLEGAL for a “normal citizen” to have a fully automatic weapon in their home

You made that statement last night. It was wrong then, and it is still wrong today. See Recon’s post @ 12:33 to understand why that’s wrong. A “normal citizen” can get a fully automatic weapon if they obtain the necessary permits and such. There’s a lot of available research on the internet to explain the how’s and such.

Doggone/GA

December 15th, 2012
12:45 pm

“Bulletproof glass would have stopped this guy…one step not far enough.”

I might have slowed him down, but “bullet proof glass” isn’t, not really. And such glass would also slow down any legitimate attempt to get in, such as that of first responders. And during possible other disasters. As I said earlier, beware unintended consequences.

drac natloz

December 15th, 2012
12:45 pm

Come on people.
This is the planet we live on – for better or worse.
We have been killing each other for centuries, in the name of religion, race, belief, or just plain madness.
Whether by hand, sword, gun, terrorism, starvation or disease, intentional or otherwise, it will always be so.
As unpalatable and shocking as this may sound, its part of the reality of so called human existence. As much as we like to think of ourselves as civilized and humane in this day and age, the truth shows otherwise.
I have worked in mental health for over thirty five years, and have only seen services cut, amidst endless bureaucratic talkfests spruiking what needs to be done to treat people with problems.
The human race is disfunctional, period.
Banning high capacity gun magazines would be as effective as pissing on a forest firestorm.

AU Liberal in ATL

December 15th, 2012
12:45 pm

Apparently this is who we are. We might as well get used to it, because it’s not going to change. I know of no political solution, no medical solution, no psychological solution and we undoubtedly don’t have the motivation, the guts or the good sense to find a practical solution. I don’t know that there is a practical solution. I do know this, as long as the alleged “right” to bear arms supercedes the right to be safe, this is how we will live….and die. Some of us will be lucky enough to personally escape the carnage, some will not. Good luck.

Corey

December 15th, 2012
12:45 pm

1) We require peole to prove they understand traffic rules and the proper way to operate an automobile before issuing a drivers license. Shouldn’t we require this for people licensed to possess and carry a firearm?

2) How about a mental health clinic in every neighborhood, especially inner city neighborhoods? The amount of neuroses I encounter daily in the inner city is epidemic. I’m sure it also pervades suburbia, but suburbia can afford window dressing.