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Author Topic: Connecticut mass killings -- OF CHILDREN!
AI Wessex
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Some people will complain that gun control advocates will jump on what just happened in the school where young children were gunned down by a man with no warnings in his mental health medical history using weapons that were purchased legally. They will say that those people are extremists who will use this event as another so-called example of why we need more gun laws, better controls over who can and should own them, and more limits on how many guns are floating around in our society.

Some people believe in the sanctity of human life -- the life of a child -- so strongly that they believe abortions should be illegal for women to choose to have, even if they are impregnated by rape. Some of those people don't believe it's even possible for a women to become pregnant through rape.

It just so happens that virtually all of the people who think one or both of those assertions are true happen to be Republicans.

20 children just lost their lives. How do they reconcile their beliefs with that reality?

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KidTokyo
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Do not mistake what I'm about to say as a statement against gun control (which I favor), but it seems likely that these guns were purchased legally by the perp's mother. It is very difficult for me to see how the usual gun control remedies would have prevented this.

There is, in fact, a much stronger case to be made that this -- and many other of the recent mass shootings -- are a mental health issue, resulting from people looking askance of strong indicators and warning signs.

This itself is a cause for concern. I was disturbed yesterday by how the media was pushing a 9/11-terrorism connection. I am worried that mental illness will soon become a "security" issue, and that it will be increasingly dealt with, in a backlash, in the same way terrorism is.

It seems our culture has lost the ability to deal with problems dispassionately and pragmatically. We prolong inaction through endless ideological debates, until a problem festers and hurts us in a way so that we react in a state of paranoia. We live, eat, and breathe propaganda on a daily basis now so that we've lost the taste for anything else.

I do believe in gun control and I think both the 2008 and 2010 SCOTUS decisions on 2A were total bunk. However, these mass killings are probably not preventable through gun control laws. If they are less common in other first-world democracies (which they are) it's because those countries have more effective health care systems (and probably a lot less social isolation).

[ December 15, 2012, 01:46 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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KidTokyo
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I would also like to add that the 18/19th century militia was the most effective form of gun control we've ever had -- its strictures were far more extreme than what so-called 2nd Amendment advocates would accept today.

[ December 15, 2012, 01:46 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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AI Wessex
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It depends on what you mean by "gun control". I have said several times here that it's more of a "gun management" and licensing issue. It should be just as hard to get and keep a gun as it is to get and keep a license to drive a car or practice any kind of medicine, since cars, guns and medical procedures introduce risk to other people's safety. Even teachers need constant recertification as to their competence to stand up in front of a classroom and deliver lessons promulgated and approved by administrators.

But guns? Everybody should have guns, lots of guns. If the teachers were armed how many fewer students would have died? That's nothing but a strawman. How many times has anyone who wasn't an armed security guard or police officer ever pulled a gun and shot a would-be armed robber or spree killer?

As a society we're heading off in other directions where a pharmacist can effectively overrule a doctor because s/he doesn't accept the moral implications of dispensing a prescription. More recent rulings even allow nurses and doctors themselves to deny treatment that that have a personal objection to, even if it would save the patient's life. In Kansas they recently tried to pass a law that would allow a doctor to lie to a woman in order to persuade her not to have an abortion. The law would grant him/her legal immunity for doing so.
quote:
I would also like to add that the 18/19th century militia was the most effective form of gun control we've ever had -- its strictures were far more extreme than what so-called 2nd Amendment advocates would accept today.
Yet another contradiction, since many of the most ardent 2A enthusiasts also claim to be Originalists.

It's gotten to where I can't listen to someone talk passionately about their own personal freedoms. So often it masks or is followed by their objections to other people claiming their own rights and liberties.

On a related note I read somewhere last week an op-ed by a judge who has been sitting on the bench for about 15 years. When she started about 5-10% of the cases brought before her were assault or otherwise violence involving students while in school. Most of the time it was a fight or disruption in the hallways or the schoolyard. Around that time the community where she presides started assigning police to the school properties to reduce the number of incidents. Fast forward and now you can't even get into the school buildings without a pass, but about 80% of her cases are students, and most of those involve knife fights or guns in bathrooms, hallways and even classrooms.

Are we insane?

[ December 15, 2012, 04:37 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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djquag1
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Okay, so let's say the mother had to pass a test of whatever type once a year to keep her legally purchased and registered weapons. What difference would that have made? Her nutball son would have still stolen them and gone on a spree.
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KidTokyo
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quote:
Are we insane?
Yes. At least, if by "insane" you mean a systematic failure to process reality and respond to it rationally, yes we are, in the aggregate.

Like you, I see "gun control" as "gun management."

To actually prevent the kind of tragedy that happened yesterday, you would first of all have to pass a law prohibiting people who’ve been diagnosed with a particular class of personality disorders from ever owning a firearm -- just as such persons are prevented from joining the FBI, CIA, military, etc. Then, background checks for gun purchasers would have screen not just the individual purchaser, but their immediate family. If your kid, parent, spouse, sibling has such a disorder, you should have to prove that said person will not have access to your firearms before you can own them.

If passed by a state legislature, such a law would be entirely within the original intent of the Second Amendment. Militias did not allow unfit, disloyal, or uncooperative individuals to bear arms in their communities.

But, as with many first Amendment issues, we have been brainwashed by corporations, industries, and advertisers into believing that 1A and 2A are about protecting commerce.

As for the issue of violence at school, I wonder how much of that is the result of the drug trade infiltrating school grounds.

quote:
Yet another contradiction, since many of the most ardent 2A enthusiasts also claim to be Originalists.

It's gotten to where I can't listen to someone talk passionately about their own personal freedoms. So often it masks or is followed by their objections to other people claiming their own rights and liberties.

Yes, well, the general understanding of "originalists" and self-claimed conservatives on what American society was actually like 200 years ago, culturally and legally, is nothing more than a fabricated fantasy. This is something that corporations have been inculcating in us for most of the last century or so by influencing our laws, and through that, our culture. It's a two-fold approach, in which civic empowerment is undermined by a kind of false, Darwinian "individualism," while our communitarian impulses are directed towards abstract and manipulable notions of patriotism and national pride, and away from concrete and actionable self-governance.

[ December 15, 2012, 05:19 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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AI Wessex
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quote:
Okay, so let's say the mother had to pass a test of whatever type once a year to keep her legally purchased and registered weapons. What difference would that have made? Her nutball son would have still stolen them and gone on a spree.
If that's all that changed, probably. But what if there were (and maybe already are) laws in Massachusetts about how guns are stored and whether her son's supposed mental condition necessitated extra constraints? Hypothetically, why can't the state mandate that guns be locked up and only accessible to the person to whom they are registered?

Fundamentally, changing one thing and holding everything else constant won't do it. We have to think this out from first principles, where an assumption is that the 2A is a primary determinant of gun rights. Kid makes the excellent point that only this century has the *individual* right been paramount. Can we rethink that? If not, how do we protect ourselves from the risks implicit in such a vastly powerful right?

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Pete at Home
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Al, abuse of capital letters does not relieve you from the burden of proof for the proposition that gun control laws would have stymied this particular killer.

Furthermore your idea that a fundamental constitutional right can simply fall out of date because it's no longer convenient, even though half the population believes firmly that it's a fundamental constitutional right, you may not realize the degree to which you are undermining the 9thpopulation Amendment, and the reasoning behind Miranda, Roe v Wade, Constitutional right to birth control, rights of privacy, right against wiretapping ... need I go on?

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AI Wessex
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The slippery slope is the favorite reason why gun enthusiasts oppose any and all forms of gun control. You're doing it from a Constitutional perspective. By questioning the true intent of the 2A I'm throwing all of those other things into jeopardy?
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AI Wessex
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I misspoke above when I said Massachusetts. I meant Connecticut.
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KidTokyo
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quote:
Furthermore your idea that a fundamental constitutional right can simply fall out of date because it's no longer convenient, even though half the population believes firmly that it's a fundamental constitutional right, you may not realize the degree to which you are undermining the 9thpopulation Amendment, and the reasoning behind Miranda, Roe v Wade, Constitutional right to birth control, rights of privacy, right against wiretapping ... need I go on?
Pete, I think you're conflating the cultural trend with the constitutional issue.

If we as a society feel that we should embrace natural rights and individualism, then it is our responsibility to understand that we are re-inventing our Constitution in the process. I have no problem with that -- it might be a good thing, and acknowledging it for what it is would allow us to take control of the process, legally and philosophically, without the silly pretense that we are following the path laid down for us by our forefathers.

But currently left and right are applying Jeffersonian "inalienability" in a very piecemeal fashion to suit their divergent personal agendas, and both are claiming a constitutional foundation for it which does not exist.

The real irony is that, in doing so, we throw away the tools of self-governance, of which individual liberty is the beginning, not the end.

Many people here believe that owning guns is an individual right because they believe that is how American society traditionally worked, and they are afraid to change what has worked. If they know how it actually worked, they might be more open to compromise on the issue, and in the process broaden their conception of "liberty."

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D.W.
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quote:
That's nothing but a strawman. How many times has anyone who wasn't an armed security guard or police officer ever pulled a gun and shot a would-be armed robber or spree killer? 
There are instances of citizens stopping “active shooters”. The question itself is a trap though. If someone shoots at one person and another citizen “stops them”, does this count? Was it a spree killer that was stopped or are you looking for an anecdotal story where 10+ people were wounded or killed by an assailant then a non-police / non-security gun owner stopped them? I don't haven't done the research to answer the question but realize that it is, by it's nature, a strawman as well.

The related part of this discussion requires us to look at where these killing sprees take place. With the exception of the mall they are predominantly in “weapon's free zones.” Without anyone drawing down on an “active shooter” can we count those as preventative example to your question? I know a lot of people are disgusted by the idea that more guns could have helped the situation but I honestly believe, to my core that if the teachers or administration were allowed to, and opted to be armed this would have been a slightly less tragic event.

When I read about this on the news sites I was moved to tears. I am thrilled that Michigan is currently considering enhanced versions of their concealed carry licenses which allow for people to be armed even in these “weapons free zones”. I desperately hope they pass. I'm not someone prone to prayer but I silently asked God for the will and courage to try and stop someone like this shooter if I was ever in a situation like this. Seems wrong to me to ask God to help you kill someone but there you have it. I guess it's not all that rare a concept considering things done in his name...

I didn't decide to carry because I enjoy hunting or I'm worried about my government trampling my rights. I decided to carry because I accept my safety and that of those who I care about is not guaranteed by the government or law makers. It's a decision based on logic for me and has nothing to do with expressing my rights or fear of tyranny from the state.

But per Al's question, I may be just another version of insane. My belief that the balance of power should be as heavily slanted towards the good and responsible. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I want more of those sick twisted and evil people out there to know they are not the most dangerous fish in the pond. I want them to KNOW, not think, that they will be ended swiftly if they prey upon the innocent.

Sorry if this had little to do with the direction of this tread. Had to get it off my chest.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
The slippery slope is the favorite reason why gun enthusiasts oppose any and all forms of gun control. You're doing it from a Constitutional perspective. By questioning the true intent of the 2A I'm throwing all of those other things into jeopardy?

No. That is not remotely what I said, Al. Please meet again more carefully this time.

The problem is not with you are considering, But what you're failing to consider. And your negligence is conduct unbecoming a liberal. Save the "pure intent of the founders" for those that read the constitution in that way. I am not a constitutional fundamentalist. I suggest that you read SCOTUS' more recent upholding of the Miranda decision, authoured by the sole surviving member of the court who had coated against it in the first place. A right, though not conceived as such by the founders, may become seeped in tradition and thus acquire validity by operation of the Ninth Amendment.

Your threat to the constitutional rights which I listed, does NOT (as some gun feiends would have us believe) your goal of reading us of Guns. The problem is the Constitutional logic buy what you get there. The day that are lawmakers and quarts make decisions about what's a constitutional right and what isn't by the logic that you offered, there will be precious few rights left. Fundamental constitutional rights do notthe rise and set by some Necromantic seance by which we discern the intent of the founders.

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KidTokyo
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Or, you could just have metal detectors at the door of every school building, so that you can't carry weapons into them.

Having armed faculty presents too many complications. How do you keep the guns away from curious kiddies? Leave it in the desk drawer? Lock it? You would have to lock it away, but somehow keep the key at hand (and not in lose it) so that you could draw it quickly when the need came up. Or, you could just teach armed, brandishing the pistol as you draw chemical equations and mollusk fossils on the blackboard.

No thank you. This is not even a remotely practical solution.

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Pete at Home
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Kid I tell what the help does Thomas Jefferson have to do with Constitution? He didn't write as much as half a clause, he was in France During the drafting, and it best was only dimly aware that it was being drafted. and as best I can tell he didn't follow it either. Using Jefferson as a key to understanding the Constitution is what gave us the Dred Scott decision. With all due respect to the great mind that gave us the Declaration of Independence, please keep Thomas Jefferson the **** away from any discussion of what the constitution means. Dred Scott and the resulting war is quite enough damage for one man.

[ December 15, 2012, 07:27 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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D.W.
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KidTokyo, I wear my pistol, concealed in my waistband every day to work. Have been for over a year now and to the best of my knowledge nobody I work with knows. If someone yanks my shirt tail out of my pants and grabs for it then I got a problem. That goes beyond a "curious kid".

Now in high schools where a teen or teens may actually try to overpower a teacher they know is armed you could have a point. Doesn't seem to be what you were talking about though.

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LoverOfJoy
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I'm curious what overlap, if any, there is between those who want to decriminalize pot, feeling it is a losing battle that can't be won by more restrictions or harsher punishments, and those who want to increase gun control laws. To me, it seems that these two ideas are contradictory in principle. The same might apply to those who want to give amnesty to illegal immigrants because it's simply a losing battle that will only harm more people by stricter enforcement.

It seems a larger question comes down to what you believe the government can and should be able to pull off. If you believe that with enough regulations, government can prevent significantly more crime/problems/etc. then it may make sense to support more regulations. If you believe that we've maxed out on the amount government can limit problem X, then more regulations are only likely to harm law-abiding citizens at best (and possibly create more problems).

So will more [gun control] regulations have a significant decrease on crime or will people still find ways to get guns (or abortions, or drugs, or jobs for illegal immigrants, or...) but through more dangerous/less savory means?

I don't know where to draw the line exactly but I do tend to feel it's somewhere above "no regulations whatsoever" and cops standing over you ever second to prevent law-breaking.

I can imagine that background checks involving mental health of individuals and family members could just decrease the amount of people willing to see a mental health professional or let their family member see a mental health professional. Or it could create a greater stigma against mental illness. "What? You have a brother with mental illness? Sorry, I don't think we could ever marry." "Mental illness? Sorry, we can't adopt/do foster care."

I can imagine that requirements to own a gun safe may just end up with a lot of unlocked gun safes...or guns purchased from across the border...or something else.

I can imagine that some more regulations may decrease gun killings but I can also imagine that we've, in a sense, maxed out on the amount we can reduce via government.

After a car fatality or two on a particular road, it may be wise to reassess the speed limit on that road. After noting a dozen grisly fatalities across the country it MAY not be as wise to lower the speed limit on highways all across the country. So those who favor greater restrictions on X, how do you assess how much is too much?

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KidTokyo
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Pete,

quote:
Kid I tell what the help does Thomas Jefferson have to do with Constitution? He didn't write as much as half a clause, he was in France During the drafting, and it best was only dimly aware that it was being drafted. and as best I can tell he didn't follow it either.
But this is my point exactly.

The declaration is at the outset a more libertarian "natural rights" document about and the Constitution is a more statist/communitarian one.

The "personal liberties" we have found under the Constitution began at the end of the 19th century when a handful of academics and corporate lawyers began advancing the notion that the Declaration was constitutional canon. That is how "laissez-faire" and "liberty of contract" was born, heavily aided by 14A. It was a Constitutional game changer. Natural rights began to eclipse social contract. As a result, we now, as a society, look through the Constitution with a Declaration lens. Only we don't know we're doing it, which is why we are so confused about what the Constitution actually means, and how to make it work for us.

The great irony of the Declaration-as-canon movement was that it largely benefitted state-created corporations, freeing them from regulation by the state (or "the people"). Even though liberty of contract ended as a doctrine, the essential natural rights notions have resurfaced (as you say) on the civil liberties front from the left and the bear-arms front on the right.

There is no doubt that our instincts as a society have demanded it, but the dialogue has been heavily swayed and controlled by business interests. As a result, we now think we are "free" when we are unable to pass laws as a community to protect and define the community.

[ December 15, 2012, 08:08 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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D.W.
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Pro pot decriminalization (Don't expect it to be as disruptive/dangerous/expensive to our country as criminalization has been)
Anti Amnesty (Fix laws don't ignore them)
Pro stricter gun purchase / license to carry measures (to keep more guns in the hands of the "good-guys" than the "bad" or unstable)
Anti “weapons free zones” (to remove low risk spree killing target areas)
Pro aggressive economic policies to reduce poverty (as a means of crime reduction)
Pro aggressive health care / education reform to promote better mental health (as a means of crime reduction)

For what it's worth LoverOfJoy

[ December 15, 2012, 08:22 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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AI Wessex
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DW, I appreciate what you said, but I can't help but say I felt every sentence was jarring. Like you I cried when I heard about the shootings. For me the irony is amplified 1000 fold because I had cried earlier in the day when my daughter called to tell me that she and her long-time boyfriend (whom I love as a son already) had decided to get married. Tears of joy mixed with tears of...yes, rage.

I desperately hope the Michigan initiative will fail, which Snyder hinted today will be the case. We can't solve the problem of guns with more guns. There just aren't enough guns in the universe to stop horrors caused by other guns. We *have* to find a way to solve the problem of gun violence that doesn't include adding yet more guns into the mix.

Hey, Pete, I know you were serioius, but I gotta say I enjoyed the mystipos of your post excretiously! [Smile]
quote:
I can imagine that requirements to own a gun safe may just end up with a lot of unlocked gun safes...or guns purchased from across the border...or something else.
LoJ, you raise the "Frog and Toad" conundrum that every problem has a solution and every solution has a problem. Luckily for our heroes they didn't decide that they should therefore do nothing, but thought harder and came up with a completely novel solution.
quote:
Natural rights began to eclipse social contract.
This is for me the money quote in this discussion so far. Which is more important when it comes specifically to the issue of guns and mass murder?
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D.W.
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I expected the initiative to fail as well Al. Hoped it wouldn't but expected it would. It was one aspect of an overall odd piece of legislation.

I agree with the solving problems without more guns. I just don't think we have the will to do so as a people. It's the cynic in me that makes me opt for the immediate and less ideal option.

You want to help solve gun violence? Help solve violence and ignore the guns.

We need to focus media attention on the victims and their stories. Downplay and all but censor the information on the perpetrator. Give them zero audience for their cause or personal desire for attention seeking. Make all coverage about the tragedy and the victims / survivors. Make us empathize with the victims. Do not feed into even the possibility of anti-hero worship of these individuals or their causes if any.

Make the economy and standard of living of every citizen a priority. Give people a life they can be proud of and be happy living.

Make mental health education a part of public school. Not evaluation but education. Give kids the tools to understand themselves and their peers better.

Make sure everyone has access to good healthcare including mental healthcare. Encourage (cover with insurance) psychiatric consultation. Maybe have a primary mental health provider as well as a physical healthcare provider. Destigmatize seeking out or receiving mental healthcare.

The least part of the solution is restricting guns IMO. Those who have decided to murder will have no problem breaking gun laws. Even if you could wave a magic wand and remove every gun from our country and cast a spell preventing anyone from making a new gun or bringing one into the country you wouldn't solve the real problem. Those who are determined to kill as many people as possible and do not care if they live or die are just damn hard to stop.

The only chance you have to stop them is to be able to identify their intent to cause harm (very difficult) and maximize your chances of stopping them from carrying out their full intent as quickly as possible. I would prefer if we put one or more police officers or security guards in all of our schools to protect our children. Failing that I want someone there who is prepared to protect our most vulnerable innocent bystanders with the most effective means necessary. That doesn't have to be a gun. If there are superior measures I'm happy to go with those.

I hope it was the content, not my sometimes awful (from a composition stand point) writing that was jarring Al...

[ December 15, 2012, 09:36 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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DonaldD
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
To actually prevent the kind of tragedy that happened yesterday, you would first of all have to pass a law prohibiting people who’ve been diagnosed with a particular class of personality disorders from ever owning a firearm

I would argue that first of all, you need to begin to combat the deification of firearms in your state religion.
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D.W.
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That a quote from somewhere DonaldD? That phrase has quite a ring to it. And is an excellent point on top of that.
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drewmie
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I'm very sad for everyone connected to these killings: the victims, their schoolmates, their families, the community, the shooter, his family, etc. It's all just sad. I honestly couldn't care less right now about gun rights or gun control. It's absurd to think that such things would have any effect on such a rare tragedy that has occurred at the same rare levels for decades. Heaven forbid we should just feel sad, be grateful it's less likely than being struck by lightning, and leave it at that.

The thing I find most distasteful is the hateful and retributive reactions from people on Facebook whom I know consider themselves Christians. Apparently the Lord and Savior of all mankind didn't really mean it when he commanded us to forgive all men. And that whole "greater sin" thing was just meant symbolically or something, right? Ugh. I've hidden more Facebook comments lately than I ever have before. Disgusting.

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seagull
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Armed school personnel is a viable solution and has been in Practice in Israel for many years.

There are tradeoffs however.
KidTokyo is right that it makes little sense for the teacher to be carrying a gun in class at all times. Usually, there is an armed security guard at every gate and part of their job is to make sure their guns do not get stolen by kids (or terrorists).

Field trips in Israel are usually escorted by (army trained) parent volunteers who carry guns. I do not own a gun myself, so the last time I escorted a field trip, I checked one out from a local police station. I figure It's safer that way. I do not have to lock up the gun and maintain it.

There are too many accidents that happen when kids find an unlocked gun and play with it. Keeping a gun is a responsibility and carries it's own risk even when you are trained and drilled in gun safety. Ariel Sharon, was certainly trained and proficient with guns, but that did not stop his son's tragic death. Gur Sharon was accidentally killed by a friend while playing with his father's loaded antique shotgun.

There is a delicate balance between the benefits and risks of owning a gun and/or carrying a gun in public. People who own guns should be trained, licensed and pass periodic re-certification exams. Part of those exams should serve as a reminder and an incentive for people like Nancy Lanza to be more responsible in how they store their weapons.

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AI Wessex
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"...such a rare tragedy that has occurred at the same rare levels for decades."

Depends on what rare means. This year there were 7 gun-based "spree" killings (4 or more victims), which is more than in any of the previous 30 years. The linked article looks at the 62 most recent mass murders using a variety of criteria and statistical breakdowns.

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seagull
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Al, looking at your link underscores the words that apparently were not said by Morgan Freeman (altough after his role in Unforgiven I can see why the author chose to hijack his name).

http://celebs.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474981818189

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KidTokyo
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Japan has super-strict gun control. And there is almost no gun violence there. Just sayin'.

quote:
In 2008, the U.S. had over 12 thousand firearm-related homicides. All of Japan experienced only 11, fewer than were killed at the Aurora shooting alone. And that was a big year: 2006 saw an astounding two, and when that number jumped to 22 in 2007, it became a national scandal. By comparison, also in 2008, 587 Americans were killed just by guns that had discharged accidentally.

Almost no one in Japan owns a gun. Most kinds are illegal, with onerous restrictions on buying and maintaining the few that are allowed. Even the country's infamous, mafia-like Yakuza tend to forgo guns; the few exceptions tend to become big national news stories.

[...]Handguns are forbidden absolutely. Small-caliber rifles have been illegal to buy, sell, or transfer since 1971. Anyone who owned a rifle before then is allowed to keep it, but their heirs are required to turn it over to the police once the owner dies.

The only guns that Japanese citizens can legally buy and use are shotguns and air rifles, and it's not easy to do. [...]

To get a gun in Japan, first, you have to attend an all-day class and pass a written test, which are held only once per month. You also must take and pass a shooting range class. Then, head over to a hospital for a mental test and drug test (Japan is unusual in that potential gun owners must affirmatively prove their mental fitness), which you'll file with the police. Finally, pass a rigorous background check for any criminal record or association with criminal or extremist groups, and you will be the proud new owner of your shotgun or air rifle. Just don't forget to provide police with documentation on the specific location of the gun in your home, as well as the ammo, both of which must be locked and stored separately. And remember to have the police inspect the gun once per year and to re-take the class and exam every three years.

source

Safest place I've ever been too. The cops there can be a-holes though.

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edgmatt
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Just as a counter-point, Kid, Switzerland also has an extremely low homicide rate (0.6 per 100,000, compared to Japan's 0.3 per 100,000.) Link1
But has one of the highest militia gun ownership in the world. Link2

quote:
The vast majority of men between the ages of 20 and 30 are conscripted into the militia and undergo military training, including weapons training. The personal weapons of the militia are kept at home as part of the military obligations; Switzerland thus has one of the highest militia gun ownership rates in the world.
(The bold is mine.) It seems to me to be at least an indicator that guns aren't the problem directly, but rather irresponsibility is. As with anything else on the planet, misuse and irresponsible behavior often leads to injury and or death.

Pure speculation on my part: Japan is an island, so very tight gun restrictions on the population as a whole would seem to be easier to enforce than it would a country with borders that are easy to cross (like the U.S./Mexico border). I imagine it's significantly harder to smuggle illegal guns into Japan than most other countries.

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KidTokyo
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edgematt,

quote:
Just as a counter-point, Kid, Switzerland also has an extremely low homicide rate (0.6 per 100,000, compared to Japan's 0.3 per 100,000.) Link1
But has one of the highest militia gun ownership in the world.

Indeed, which is why I earlier mentioned that militia duty should be considered a (very effective) form of gun-control. There's more than one way to arrive at the same result. In a gun-culture, the militia route may be the best. But make no mistake, the 18th and 19th century American militia was, like the modern Swiss equivalent, a well-managed civic system and not an individualistic conceit.

quote:
Pure speculation on my part: Japan is an island, so very tight gun restrictions on the population as a whole would seem to be easier to enforce than it would a country with borders that are easy to cross (like the U.S./Mexico border). I imagine it's significantly harder to smuggle illegal guns into Japan than most other countries.
It is. The US could never be like Japan. But I felt it worth mentioning, because it shows that, in the right circumstances, gun control actually does work, and that it doesn't mean the end of freedom and democracy (all of which Japan has to essentially the same degree as the United Stated, and they don't even pay higher taxes!).
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AI Wessex
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Both of your points underscore that it is a societal and cultural problem, but you can't separate the gun from the problems it causes by saying that people kill people.
quote:
(The bold is mine.) It seems to me to be at least an indicator that guns aren't the problem directly, but rather irresponsibility is. As with anything else on the planet, misuse and irresponsible behavior often leads to injury and or death.
Would you think that the number of guns or the number of people who have guns is not a critical aspect here? There are approximately as many guns as people already. If we made sure that every adult had at least one with them at all times would that help or hurt to prevent these kinds of sudden disasters?
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
Pete,

quote:
Kid I tell what the help does Thomas Jefferson have to do with Constitution? He didn't write as much as half a clause, he was in France During the drafting, and it best was only dimly aware that it was being drafted. and as best I can tell he didn't follow it either.
But this is my point exactly.

The declaration is at the outset a more libertarian "natural rights" document about and the Constitution is a more statist/communitarian one.

The "personal liberties" we have found under the Constitution began at the end of the 19th century when a handful of academics and corporate lawyers began advancing the notion that the Declaration was constitutional canon. That is how "laissez-faire" and "liberty of contract" was born, heavily aided by 14A. It was a Constitutional game changer. Natural rights began to eclipse social contract. As a result, we now, as a society, look through the Constitution with a Declaration lens. Only we don't know we're doing it, which is why we are so confused about what the Constitution actually means, and how to make it work for us.

The great irony of the Declaration-as-canon movement was that it largely benefitted state-created corporations, freeing them from regulation by the state (or "the people"). Even though liberty of contract ended as a doctrine, the essential natural rights notions have resurfaced (as you say) on the civil liberties front from the left and the bear-arms front on the right.

There is no doubt that our instincts as a society have demanded it, but the dialogue has been heavily swayed and controlled by business interests. As a result, we now think we are "free" when we are unable to pass laws as a community to protect and define the community.

Kid, what do you think the ninth Amendment meant in the light of that analysis?

Yes, the 14thlight amendment did turn an unprecedented defree of emphasis to individual and natural rights, but the 9th amendment had been there since inception.

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Pete at Home
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Kid Japan is absolutely irrelevant to this discussion Unless you can show that it had substantially more gun violence before it enacted its check gun control laws.

If America could make its people as safe as Japan's are, I would not be so concerned about the government depriving its people from their soul means self defense.

To does that would respond, if you will only surrender your rights, we will protect you and make you safe, the US Constitution answers resoundingly; f*** you. Blind trust is not how America works.

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Pete at Home
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LoJ, I believe I am the most.vocal advocate of pot decriminalization on this board, and I also strongly support gun rights for sane noncriminal citizens. I also support licenses to carry a weapon. I think that US cities with high crime that deprive law abiding citizens of guns are violating their rights. I think that the ACLU Argument re the first half of the second Amendment is a crime against the human mind. And even if I pretended the ACLU was right about the second Amendment, gun rights would remain a fundamental constitutional right by operation of the Ninth Amendment.
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LinuxFreakus
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I don't believe that gun control is really going to solve this problem any more than the war on drugs has solved the drug problem.

Therefore, I think it would be a huge waste of time and money to ban guns as many out there are calling for right now.

You can print an actual working firearm such as an AR-15 with a 3D printer (not as accurate as "real" guns yet but still deadly)... how are we supposed to stop people from having guns?

[ December 16, 2012, 07:40 PM: Message edited by: LinuxFreakus ]

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Pete at Home
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Gun control advocates in the United States use the gun suicide rate to argue for gun control. Out of curiosity what's the suicide rate in Japan compared to that in the United States?

If people are bent on suicide, I'm not persuaded that can control would prevent it. I'm curious if South Africa Add next Rick gun control laws, If it's off the charts gun murder rates would go down.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by LinuxFreakus:
I don't believe that gun control is really going to solve this problem any more than the war on drugs has solved the drug problem.

Therefore, I think it would be a huge waste of time and money to ban guns as many out there are calling for right now.

You can print an actual working firearm such as an AR-15 with a 3D printer (not as accurate as "real" guns yet but still deadly)... how are we supposed to stop people from having guns?

Perhaps we should consider bullet control. [Smile]
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edgmatt
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Kid - I'd be on board with one of the requirements to owning a gun being something along the lines of passing a gun safety class/course. I don't think guns should be effortless to get, but they should be able to be gotten by everyone who qualifies.*

I'd like to see firearm safety be taught as early as 3-4th grade, and make it a part of the curriculum in older grades, perhaps high school. Teach people to respect the weapon, and to understand it's deadliness.

The analogy of a swimming pool springs to mind. I don't want my kid to drown, so I teach her how to swim, how to know when it's dangerous to swim, etc. I don't ban her from swimming, and I don't make it difficult for her to get access to swimming. I teach her the skills necessary to swim safely.

Al - you are right that my points underscore a societal problem. What is the problem exactly, in your opinion? I think we ought to be clear where both of us are coming from before we start debating.

quote:
Would you think that the number of guns or the number of people who have guns is not a critical aspect here? There are approximately as many guns as people already. If we made sure that every adult had at least one with them at all times would that help or hurt to prevent these kinds of sudden disasters?
I don't think either of those are *the* critical aspect. The number of guns in the country, I think, is near irrelevant. Two extreme examples help illustrate this: If you had 6 billion people with perfect morals, and they all followed gun safety exactly perfectly, and they each owned 10 guns, there would be 0 deaths by guns. If you had 6 billion people with completely imperfect morals who never followed gun safety in any way, but there was only 1 gun, there would be at least 1 death by guns. It's not the guns or amount of guns, it's the people and their behavior.

And yes, I think that if everyone (who qualifies, I think you mean) had guns it would help prevent these kinds of sudden disasters.

However, I do not think that is a reasonable solution to preventing these kinds of things from happening. For one, we cannot *force* citizens to purchase and carry guns, that's unconstitutional. For two, IMO, everyone carrying a gun at all times WOULD almost certainly decrease instances of mass spree killings, but would also almost certainly increase the amount of deaths by guns in the country. It would just be more single killings instead of mass killings.

I'm for changing the mentality that guns are evil, that guns should be kept away from children of all ages, guns only kill, guns only cause harm, etc. Proper teaching of how to use and respect a gun will cut down on violence with guns and homicides by guns.

__________________
*In my town, in order to get a handgun (not rifle or shotgun) license, there is a bunch of paper work to fill out, but it's known that one really has to know the Chief of Police to get it through. I think that this secret, off the books requirement is bogus. I'll fill out paper work, I'll go to the classes, I'll be a good citizen. But don't make it up to who the police chief is buddy buddy with. That, IMO, is an infringement of my rights.

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KidTokyo
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quote:
Kid, what do you think the ninth Amendment meant in the light of that analysis?
The 9th Amendment was put there to clarify that the other enumerated rights were not exclusive rights, i.e., that other rights are not wiped from existence for lack of mention. That's what it means. It's pretty straightforward.

The Bill of Rights listed restrictions on federal power. States had their own laws regarding arms, freedom of speech, etc. They could pass laws more restrictive than any federal law allowed by the constitution. I don't think it has any effect on the outcome of gun legislation.

quote:
Kid Japan is absolutely irrelevant to this discussion Unless you can show that it had substantially more gun violence before it enacted its check gun control laws.

If America could make its people as safe as Japan's are, I would not be so concerned about the government depriving its people from their soul means self defense.

To does that would respond, if you will only surrender your rights, we will protect you and make you safe, the US Constitution answers resoundingly; f*** you. Blind trust is not how America works.

Blind trust is not how any democratic government works, and certainly not Japan's.

However, guns are not a "soul"/sole means of self-defense for anyone at an individual level.

If you refer however to a defense against "tyranny," I think you need more clarity on the issue. "Keeping and bearing arms" are for the security of a free state. In other words, the militia protects the state from:

The tyranny of the federal government.

The illegal impositions of other states.

Foreign incursions.

Attacks by "savages."

And...insurrection.

One thing not on this list is the protection of the state from the tyranny of the same state. In fact, people within a state taking up arms against a state they deemed tyrannical were generally speaking charged with...ahem...insurrection.

Now, there may be a natural rights argument bouncing around back then about an individual right to bear arms, but when you lived within a state as a citizen -- meaning you have taken an oath -- you adhered to that social contract. You did not get to carry your natural rights and liberties around with you everywhere you went. The ninth amendment had nothing to say on the matter.

quote:
Gun control advocates in the United States use the gun suicide rate to argue for gun control. Out of curiosity what's the suicide rate in Japan compared to that in the United States?

If people are bent on suicide, I'm not persuaded that can control would prevent it.

I'm not interested in stopping people from killing themselves. And that's not the discussion we're having. Short-lived straw man, there.
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KidTokyo
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quote:
Kid - I'd be on board with one of the requirements to owning a gun being something along the lines of passing a gun safety class/course. I don't think guns should be effortless to get, but they should be able to be gotten by everyone who qualifies.*

I'd like to see firearm safety be taught as early as 3-4th grade, and make it a part of the curriculum in older grades, perhaps high school. Teach people to respect the weapon, and to understand it's deadliness.

Hey that's fine. I grew up around rifles. My pseudo step-dad had a whole collection. He taught me to respect them.

quote:
However, I do not think that is a reasonable solution to preventing these kinds of things from happening. For one, we cannot *force* citizens to purchase and carry guns, that's unconstitutional.
What I'm trying to impart here is that it wasn't unconstitutional when the constitution was written. It was normal at the state level. Routine. It was even done federally -- starting with the Militia Act of 1792.

I say this not because it's a good idea, but to impart how much of our modern conception of liberty is, well, modern.

[ December 17, 2012, 12:49 AM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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