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I agree that people makes the impact, not the policy. However, the problem is we're "enabling" dangerous people with unstable mental states. When is it going to be enough evidence that we could have, should have would have prevented these events if we just limit the available resources?
How about a hand gun per household; not unlimited assault weapons like AK47, G16, M2, etc. with unlimited access to ammunition?
What's gonna happen if we consider mass weapons as part of out right to bear arms just because we fear someone might come and threaten? Seems like anyone with an ID can have weapons that can produce mass murders.
How can you guarantee that any parent or an adult do not have a derange child like that went undetected?
Did we become part of a country that we have to fear to send our children to a school, religious worshiping place, or even a movie theater? Countryman and neighbors killing each other like Civil War all over again. If we don't call this Armageddon or end of the world, I don't know what is.
I'm not proposing to eliminate the second amendment, I just want to reform it. Here's my proposal: each state should have authorization procedure with a Psychiatric Self Evaluation approval seal for anyone living in an household before they approve a gun permit? Just like the Social or Child Services would visit before they decide if a consenting adult has the right state of mind to adopt or harbor a child.
The problem is not the 2nd amendment, nor is the problem the legal ownership of firearms. The problem is the lack of "teeth" in the existing laws.
Where is the deterrent when a young person can illegally obtain a firearm, and commit a crime, only to be given a "slap on the wrist", and some community service?
How can we expect there to be responsible gun ownership, when we do not punish the parent who's child has unobstructed access to their firearms?
We do not need any more laws regarding what type of firearm is legal vs. which type of firearm is not. Nor do we need to place limitations on how many of what type of firearm an individual can own. What we need are laws that hold gun owners accountable. We need to deal relentlessly with those who commit crimes with guns, and we need to reduce the number of appeals and loopholes that exist in the current statutes.
It is natural that in the wake of such a horrific incident, such as what took place in Connecticut yesterday, to point a finger and place blame. What needs to happen through is taking a step back from the situation, remove our emotional response, and look at the overall problem. When that is done, it will become evident that the overall problem is not guns; it is those who use them for evil purpose. Look deeper and see that those who do use firearms to do evil, tend to receive a light sentence, and are not deterred from doing evil again. What we find is that irresponsibility is not punished appropriately.
Imagine if you would, a parent who allowed a 13 year old unrestricted access to an automobile, and that child took the vehicle for a drive and killed someone while driving recklessly. Would we demand that automobiles be outlawed, or that the ownership of automobiles be restricted? NO.... We would demand that the youth AND the parent be held accountable. That is what we need to do when it comes to firearms.
The best comparison I have for the removal or modification of the 2nd amendment is prohibition. When the 18th amendment was enacted in 1920, America saw an increase in criminal activity, a rise in organized crime, and increased murder rates. The 18th amendment also turned normal law abiding citizens in to criminals. Why? Because they wanted a drink now and then. When the 21st amendment repealed the 18th, crime almost instantaneously declined.
Additionally, we have had laws on the books that make the possession of cocaine, marijuana, opium, and amphetamines illegal for years. That has not stopped those intent on possessing or distributing the substances from doing so. And we do not have the money or the personnel to significantly slow the influx of these substances across our Northern and Southern borders, or from overseas. Why would we even think for a moment that somehow if we placed firearms in the same category, something would be different?
I agree something should be done, but removing personal rights and liberties is not the solution to this problem.
Let’s make the whole country a gun free zone. It works so well at Malls, Schools and Movie Theatres, what could go wrong?
Indeed, who is going to pay for your proposal to for a Psychological evaluation of every person wanting to buy a weapon? And of course we need to keep a record of all of those we screen so we know who is safe, and who owns a weapon, legally.
This is incredibly silly.
Let us punish those who abide by the law, and ignore those who break it.
The young man in Connecticut was disturbed and it is apparent that a lot of people knew he was disturbed. So why was nothing done.
The same thong applies in every one of the shootings that have occurred in last ten years, someone in a position of authority knew there was a problem and failed to act. Including those who would conduct you’re proposed "authorization procedure with a Psychiatric Self Evaluation approval seal."
This is a non starter.
I read in my daily intel gatherings ( TruthDig, Slate, NYT, etc) that many beleive us to be stupid for not implementing some sort of ban. Stupid, maybe, to think that a ban of nomenclature will do anything to stop someone bent on insane violence. It would take true, deliberate, rationcinated thought to truly drill through to the real answers - rather than simplistic knee-jerk reactions.
Thought one: we as a culture idolize violence through games, entertainment and symbolically through our own government's action ( they use $1,000,000 assault rifles called drones), but yet when someone goes over the edge of sanity, its only the gun in their hand that concerns us. AS if banning that would stop this sort of insanity, albiet half-premediated. While we quietly worship violence on the side, 24/7/365. ??????
If someone is bent on terror, also by definition insane, he or she could do 10X more harm with nothing resembling a gun in a school. So banning the nomenclature can possibly prevent only the most spontaneous and un-premediated acts.
Also, to golfer's point; sir, I can make one heckuva nasty killing device with no ID whatsoever, easily take out a classroom, times quantity of 10. So your premiss is misguided.
Therefore , it likely wouldnt have done a thing about what we've been witness to since President Obama's administration. Movie theaters, college campuses, and now the true innocents again, an elementary school. (* recall that an Amish school was targeted some years back).
And far be it for me to cry foul, but a government that is so supportive of kinetic actions, to the point of firing $1,000,000 missiles at single individuals has no right to tell the rest of us how to behave, as they cannot behave themselves. Truly! Am I the only one that sees this deep inauthenticity?
I'd like to know why we're so hell bent on sabotaging ourselves every step of the way. Even in solutions, where we prefer simple soundbyte solutions, i.e, SILVER BULLETS to the gooier, more complex, multidimensional real world solutions to these issues. Then there are the internal contradictions, e.g, the self-sabotage of say using drones to do your dirty work. Killing enemy while creating them at the same time. Perverse form of sustainability indeed.
But let there be no doubt that Diane Finestien, Prince Bloomberg, and the rest will use this as their Objective Rally Point to say "something must be done". Even though that something can never work as intended.
Which begs the question: can governments do anything to curb this fascination with violence we have? (Other than to stop killing on their own accord, i.e, lead by example?)
To sound quite deliberately crass, how many "madressa aged" school kids has Uncle Sam wounded or killed in the last year. 20? 30? 10? When are Bloomberg or Finestein going to tell him to cut it out, or take his guns away?
This isnt a Tea Party rant, its pure Whiggery. I truly don't mean to dis-honor the memory of the individuals who lost their lives. Yet someone has to call Uncle Sam out at his own game, and clearly illuminate the illogic of what is being bantered about here.
Point two: Why cant we call someone simply crazy anymore and stop trying to analyze these things. There is no benefit from analysis of the criminally insane in this context, so let's please call a spade a spade and not even try and "understand" these things. Enough making the gun manufacturers responsible. Enough of the press going into the "life and times of the insane coward" to try and explain why. These folks have feeble minds and need medical help BEFORE they have their "10 minutes of fame."
Society has indeed "enabled" the criminally insane by attaching a stigma to it, and, ironically, by making access to mental health care a "stain". Let us speak to that "stain" before we allow anyone else to permanently stain their soul using innocents as victims.
P.S. It has NOTHING to do with high capacity magazines.
BTW, the young insane coward who did this wasnt even from CT. In my world, he deserves NO press whatsoever. Personna non grata, which brings....
Point three: After the mall shooting ( which may have been stopped by someone carrying a concealed weapon - so the scuttlebutt goes), the thought hit me that there would be someone copycatting this. Its a likely event, and here, I actually do beleive that the press may be doing society a disservice.
Maybe we ought have an unwritten rule - a bit of press discipline, that the cowards that allow their egos to be driven to insane acts of violence, maybe ought be made personna non grata in the MSM. No names, no nothing, just an incident with "an unamed insane coward".
I'd like to know from forensic psych experts, if that simple, direct, and cheap policy tool would be more effective than any nomenclature ban. Neutralize the notoriety. Stop the press circus. Interdict the copycats. Effectatious?
Just bein' a Whig here, and trying to "see" root causes to guide a more effective solution, if one can even exist. so I've got:
1.) Dad cant tell me not to beat up on kids when he himself is beating up on folks all the time. Plus, I love all those movies and I kill for game points all the time. The more and bloodier I kill, the more points I get! ( culture of violence - thank you Hollywood and GameStop for feeding it oh so well! )
2.) There is no need to try to "understand" those that lose their minds entirely. Once they do that, they are no longer human, they have effectively committed suicide of the soul, and might be considered no longer deservant of any such repsect or careful thought - It must all be done a priori while they are still human! Screw the ex post facto analysis - as only INTERDICTION works. Lets get real about mental health.
3.) A potentially effective interdiction of the copycat syndrome is declaring the insane murderers personna non grata and putting a chilling effect on the dissemination of information in the press, maybe naming ONLY the victims. Is this contra the First Amendment? Can the press be expected to carry themselves that professionally?
4.) Technology can be rapidly and easily deployed to give school's better physical security. I would assume that inviting retired grandpa's and grandmas to be hall monitors with their legal concealed weapons permits ( yet armed with school issued tasers) might be viewed as too odd. Yet, I know a bunch that would volunteer, as would some Vets and current active duty types.
It doesnt seem all that odd to this Whig rebel, but I would defer to the common good.
Bans havent worked, so lets get together and carefully think this one out.
Since there doesn't seem to be any evidence that gun control laws have ever reduced the rate of violent death (homicide & suicide), there simply doesn't seem to be any point to them, except to make us think that the politicians are 'doing something'.
And if we paint a target on someplace, by declaring it a "gun free zone", why are we so surprised when someone takes aim at it?
Exactly, which is why we need to get "Whiggy" on this issue to make some headway, with the implicit understanding that the 2nd Amendment is NOT the culprit and potentially an abject lack of personal responsibility and sense of community, combined with an unhealthy bloodlust is.
I find it ironic that in this "age of connectivity", more find themselves so disconnected to society that the only way they can ultimately connect is through a violent insane act.
as I anticipated the follow on to last week's mall shooting, so do I anticipate the anti-gun advocates really jumping on this event as a issue event.
Let us not forget the logic of what it is, what works, and what doesn't work. I think my simple 4 pt proposal above isnt such a bad place to start, although it's not anywhere near passing Whig muster.
The problem to be solved is not the "how" (in this case, using a firearm rather than any other implement), but rather the'"why" a person committed such a heinous act. What caused this person, or any other person, to intentionally go out to create such mayhem and destruction? Was it some kind of personality disorder which was known but not treated? Was the person an avid gore-violence video gamer who sought a higher "rush" than the video games could provide? Was the person known to be suicidal and ignored?
What scares me most is that the majority of these persons, especially schoolhouse shooters, seem to be under 25 years of age and loners already thought to be "strange" in some manner. The human brain is not fully developed until about Age 24, so something in that developmental process either is involved, being ignored or exploited for profit. Is the problem the violence-is-fun industry which markets pre-teens and adolescents with 3-D blood-and-gore movies and video games, thus de-sensitizing them to the horror of such actions to where going the "next step" is neccesary to enhance the emotional experience? Is it poor parenting? Is it a fear of getting involved? Is it all of these?
It's easy to react to the "how" because folk want instant solutions. However, eliminating one type of "how" just means another type will be found to release whatever demon is responsible for the "why." In every western nation which has implemented dramatic gun control or outright prohibition, there has been no reduction in the homicide rate - just different means are used to do the deed - and in many areas the violent crime rate has actually risen. Australia and Great Britain are prime examples of gun control not decreasing the violent crime rate.
Getting our instant-gratification, it's-not-my-fault society to cowboy up to the challenge of true demon-identification is not going to be easy. Finding the "why's" never is easy. Why seek human responsibility when laying the blame on inanimate objects can be politically popular? That way voters/constituents never have to look in the mirror and see the real source of society's ills.
EAs far as the proliferation of military.style weaponry in today's USA, both of the major political parties, and to some extent a couple of the minor ones as well, share in the blame. The polarization of the citizenry has been fostered, encouraged and exploited for political gain. At the individual and small group level, real fear for personal/family security has developed due to that polarization, and the marketplace has responded accordingly with personal firearms to meet any perceived and fear-encouraged threat. The days immediately following the last couple presidential elections brought a significant spike in firearms and ammunition sales, and why did that happen other than a lack-of-security fear being implied for political purposes? The days after every terrorist action or scare sees a similar sales spike. If we really want to see a decrease in personal ownership of such weaponry, a true sense of personal/family security needs to exist again as it once did.
So, we have gone full-circle an nowhere at the same time. We can take the political easy-way-out by blaming pieces of steel for human tragedies or we can blame humans for failing to be responsible as humans for their behavior, attitudes, parenting, profit-hunger and neighborliness. Which will the MWP take?
Gee, I don't know, I am beginning to wonder.
Maybe if we had sensible "assault weapons" laws, that poor misunderstood kid Timothy McVeigh would not have killed so many innocent people.
Oh, and 20 years in the Military and 8 years since I retired from the Army in Law Enforcement has left me woefully uneducated, what exactly is an assault weapon?
I see wisdom in things Gene and SteveZ are saying, and I agree. But let me quote Gene a moment: "I find it ironic that in this "age of connectivity", more find themselves so disconnected to society that the only way they can ultimately connect is through a violent insane act."
I don't see it as ironic. It makes sense. When you were growing up, your friends were real people you played with and saw face to face. There was a certain connectivity then. Now, people's "friends" are just as often mere words on a screen. Civility goes out the window, "flaming" becomes common. We are living increasingly in our own private insular worlds. Writing letters is now reduced to "ROFLMAO", "Ur my BFF", "STFU".
We saw it coming long ago, and laughed at people who sa it and tried to point it out. Remember Tipper Gore and her PMRC? Concerned by the disturbing "lyrical" content of some rap and metal bands, they asked NOT for censorship, but for mere warning stickers to be on the products, so parents might have a better idea what their children were getting into. And the civil libertarians lectured us about the First Ammendment and the dangers of "censorship"...while no censorship was even being advocated. TV got more banal, more garbage came out, the video games became increasingly bloody and realistic.
What is the real problem underneath all this? The people! And no politican, even an honest one, can say to the population that he wants to support him that they in fact are at least part of the problem. The free market is not immoral, but amoral. If you want good books, fine arts, and excellent music, the market will provide it. And if you want blood, gore, the complete de-valuing of life, the exploitation of children, stupid reality shows and utter banal crap like Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight, then the market will provide that too. The people want it.
Anyway, regarding the shooter, I personally think he was living a video game. He shot the children because each target you hit increases your score. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I am not even close. But it is the best I can come up with.
What to do about the real problem? I have no idea. Cultural rot is not something a Party can do much about, other than us as individuals trying to lead better lives and hope to set an example. SteveZ is spot on about the people wanting quick fixes which is why they make guns or the NRA the scapegoat.
I have more I want to say, but this is long enough, and a wise man once told me that every additional paragraph you post will cut your potential readership by a third!
Staurt, I dig that sage advice and will comply as much as I can muster...! agree....
"The gun and your founding father syndrome."
A simple observation and a potential causal link....
The perp in Newtown used his MOM's guns. If we then expand the issue of gun violence to its logical borders, the inner cities of America ( which ***), one may observe that the insane perp usesd his mom's guns, one wonders if the more rational street soliders also are "using their mommies" guns? Namely, is the lack of a good image of one's OWN founding father a component in violent gun crime - including the criminally insane ones?
Not being a metal health pro, its only an observation of causality. It's part of my part #2 solutions above - mental health and firearms. MWP's job is to reframe issues when required, and most of today's current isuses do require a re-framing of the discussions.
Our collective Founding Fathers found these implements called firearms critical to establishing and maintain their, and our, freedoms. Protecting your personal property, protecting your community and protecting society from overreaching and overbearing authority. To date, no other implements have been found to replace firearms. Therefore keeping personal firearms is part of the common ground we must all find the room to stand on.
The MWP 2nd Amendment stance explicitly recognizes this founding ideal.
Yet, to foster the level of responsibility neccessary to maintain this level of freedom requires a deep social contract with one another, which was originally guided by a simple founding ideal. Whigs might argue that today we do not share the depth of social contract amongst each other that is required to adequately maintain this level of freedom.
Which boils it down to, do we wish to redress our social contract with one another first, or entrust Uncle Sam to protect us from ourselves? Responsibility v freedoms? Which is it?
This goes back to my #1 point above, which is very "soft" and may be missed or disregarded by most... Our Founding Fathers had a ideal which required firearms to maintain.... yet they did not share the ideal that firearms ought be used to further our national goals on foreign soil or convert other nations to democracy...( dont tell the Mexicans this, they'll call us out for not listening 175 years ago! And they'd be right!).
Whether this plays on us at a cognitive level - I cannot say with certainty, but I cannot dismiss the irony of this in my little Whigged out mind :
The most heavily armed government in the history of the world is asking us to give up our self defense guns at a time when they're using "kinetics" more than ever before in their foreign policy to control or eliminate foreign regimes.
BTW, underlying premiss, Uncle Sam has gone logically beyond interdiction and punishment of our "enemies" for 9/11, well beyond what many of us SOLDIERS would consider proper in light of our Founding Principles.
To sum up, "Your founding father and the gun". Can dad's across America be asked to step up, educate their children on the role of firearms in our history, and most importantly, on the deep responsibilities we have towards each other in a free society? A responsibility we must do a better job of maintaining amongst ourselves ( Uncle Sam cannot help us here) to KEEP ourselves free?
And, is the public in any way looking to Uncle Sam and his LINO's, as replacement father figures, aka an authority figure? Because if John Q. is, I am afraid the wrong guidance is being offerred. Uncle Sam can be viewed as one of the most violent of all killers by many of the world's citizens.
Lead by example is NOT just a marketing slogan. It is how we run our cognitive affairs. Maybe we ought get REAl about it, and LIVE IT, in our governance.
(which **** ) from above post.....
Another observation..... 20 school kids die in a suburban envrionment, and within days the nation is gearing up for some "movement" on gun control... wonder if the nation noticed that 20 underage youth die DAILY across America in our most blighted inner cities (not fact checked and assume it's a conservative estimate of daily shootings of youths)....kids of color...many of whom can't see any hope...but off 20 white suburban kids and then.....
Not trying to be racist here, but offering a different persepctive that some of my fellow citizens truly see-- you can call me a nigger if you choose, but you sure can't call me wrong.
And it points to the REAL problem. Not the media event. The events of daily life.
Which is what POLICY should point to, if they begin to see as wide and broad as MWP guides us to.
Also why I thought, as an MWP officer, it would be utterly "gauche" to issue a press release outlining our 2nd Amendment stance on the back of the murder of those 20 kids. Oh, which 20 kids you ask? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.
Nevertheless, we encourage more discussion and careful thought. In the near future, we would like to possibly redress our 2nd Amendment position to hold out as our public commentary on gun violence overall, " for all the twenties" and these discussions amongst citizens are used to refine the "official" MWP policy stance.
MWP guides, yet does not decree. YOU are the critical component. Dig?
BTW, You will hear many comparisons to other countries, and how a ban on certain nomenclature ( type of firearms devices) effected a complete cessation of any of these "mass killngs".
I hate to be the devil's advocate here , pun fully intended, but I must hasten to highlight that we are in a much different context than Australia, Great Britian, and others in terms of our history and our currents. Therefore, I submit for your consideration, the comparisons we keep hearing may be spurious at best.
Also, and my last point before leaving it all up to YOU - is that I am also getting this "left wing bravado" reading through content analysis which is linking gay union, woman's reproductive rights, and gun control, but in the wrong way. They are linking these three in a traditionally left leaning liberal way, "we got the other two , now it's time for the third."
MWP does indeed link these issues in a Constitutional way, but not in a modern liberal way. The most radical amongst us agree that civil unions, a woman's body, and my precious sidearm, are ALL Constitutionally protected.
Dare I posit that today's "progressives" are stuck in an old paradigm and may need the MWP to illuminate the way to the future!?
Because they are, and we WILL!
In light of the Newtown incident it is important to keep things into perspective. Gun control did nothing to prevent this from happening. CT had a ban on assault rifles and that did nothing. Some say that areas with the most guns have the fewest gun related incidents. I live in Maine. There is very little gun control in Maine and it is a relatively safe place to live in terms of guns. The idea that more guns equals less gun crime is correlational. That's like saying the higher ice cream sales cause drownings. No, they just happen at the same time. The real reason Maine is safer than most states in terms of gun related deaths and crime is because of the culture and education put towards guns. People are taught the appropriate ways to use guns in Maine and they take it seriously. In my opinion there needs to be more education around guns in general and it won't be such a polarizing issue. Look at sex education. When I was growing up that was a huge issue. Now not so much. We need to start getting scientific about issues and use data and research to make decisions.
I'm going to open the hornet nest.
I don't think any meaningful discussion about gun control can be had until one has read US v Miller (1938), DC v Heller, and McDonald completely and all the implications (especially from Miller) are understood.
I also want to see a study that looks into any possible link between antidepressant prescriptions and random gun violence.
As always with me, I say there can be no liberty without personal responsibility. Our right to bear arms (in the broadest sense) hinges upon our requiring responsible ownership of those arms.
Brandon, Very well expressed,
you going to run for office when you ETS ?, if so you got my vote.
Gene I agree with all 4 points, but as a RSO, gunsmith, and publc servant, I would like to add a fifth.
5.)All citizens who are qualified to own a firearm should recieve formal training (18 hr min.)to begin and refresher courses (@ 2hrs)at TBD intervals. Certified locking storage containers (safes) should be required.
Most folks I know would not mind buying a "Stack-on" style safe for $125 to safeguard thier firearms and other valuables.
Another point is that in areas where concealled carry is widely permited, gun crimes are the lowest.
Yup, I suppose I "ASSUMED" that, as I have formally instructed my kids on proper gun handling, how to check and clear the various actions, etc.
Someone here , or elsewhere on these pages, submitted that an " Eddie Eagle" program ought be instituted for school age kids. Eddie Eagle is only a component of the sort of "course" I'd like to see. The program ought also instruct citizens on why some of their fellow citizens beleive that keeping one's OWN arms is so dreadfully important - ancient yet, modern.
To Jim's important point, I would add emphasis. It behooves all us legal firearms owners to maintain a high degree of responsiblity, for ourselves, and for EACH OTHER.
And since there a lot more auto accidents than firearms accidents, there will be mandatory number-of-hours (initial and recurring) government-determined training for everyone who receives a drivers license,
And since smoking related deaths and illness (first- and second-hand smoke) are such a major health issue, for everyone who smokes these will be mandatory number-of-hours (initial and recurring) government-determined training for everyone who smokes.
And the same for consumers of alcoholic beverages, and for everyone who buys an instrument with any kind of blade, and for everyone who buys any kind of controlled substance (with/without prescription) which could harm someone, etc., etc., etc..
Gun-control, drug-control, alcohol-control, tobacco-control, this-control, that-control - where does it begin? Where does it end? Why should it occur, if at all, at the national level?
We still keep expecting that people will be more responsible, more moral and more ethical if we pass a new law and set up another federal agency every time a crazy person - who won't obey any law - does something insane. Do we seek legislative bandages when crazy folk do insane things because legislation "works" or because it soothes our collective consciences to do something-anything even if the bandage neither protects nor heals?
NOW WE"RE GETTING SOMEWHERE!
Truth be known Steve, the exact opposite happens doesn't it? Not to sound like a right wing nut, but part of the solution is to be more responsible TO EACH OTHER. To wit, the more we legislate, the more the nursemaid/dependent child paradigm gets entrenched to the point of relinquishing all personal responsilibilty.
Part of the MWP solutions process is to look at the "social contract" end of any legislation, that is, how can the legislation be crafted to promote collective responsibility, as opposed to directed responsibility.
The underlying premiss is the undeniable causal link between freedoms and personal responsibility. That is the MWP postion, you must be conscious of that linkage when we engage our "homo politicus" selves and speak to issues of policy and governance for the common good.
BTW, firearms training, to me, means putting a minimum of 300 rounds ( my min) through a firearm before you consider yourself "fully briefed". Some kids who may not ever have touched a firearm may in fact enjoy the fun of target shooting! So if there is a training requirement - it ought include live fire under supervised range conditions. Having said that, can you imagine the scale and magnitude of such as requirement? Even if it was "100 rounds" as a minimum?
Other nations, whom I am very hesitant to compare to for various cultural and social reasons, oft require membership in a shooting club to be able to own long rifles. We may consider something along those lines for handgun and assault rifle ownership. "you should join your community militia".
Community militias anyone?