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Week In The News: Newtown, Fiscal Cliff, Benghazi Report

The aftermath of an American massacre. Blame for Benghazi. Plans, A, B, and C for the fiscal cliff. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

A child lines up with firefighters outside the funeral for school shooting victim Daniel Gerard Barden,at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Newtown, Conn., Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. According to firefighters, Daniel wanted to be a firefighter when he grew up and they honored him at the service. Gunman Adam Lanza opened fire killing 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown before killing himself on Friday. (AP)

A child lines up with firefighters outside the funeral for school shooting victim Daniel Gerard Barden,at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Newtown, Conn., Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. According to firefighters, Daniel wanted to be a firefighter when he grew up and they honored him at the service. (AP)

It was a week of anguish. It was a week of no Plan B. In Newtown, Connecticut and across the country, stunned grief at the killings of so many – little children, teachers. A terrible national wake-up call. Maybe a call to action.

In Washington, the glimmer of a fiscal cliff deal, then nothing. House speaker John Boehner went another way, for his own Plan B. Was embarrassingly rebuffed when his own House Republicans said no way to a tax hike on millionaires. So now what? Robert Bork is gone. Daniel Inouye.

This hour, On Point: our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

-Tom Ashbrook


Molly Ball, political reporter for the Atlantic.

Rick Klein, senior Washington Editor for ABC News.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Foreign Policy “Amid the furor over the attack on our U.S. consulate and the death of four Americans serving in Libya, Secretary Hillary Clinton convened an internal State Department review — and that Accountability Review Board has just released its report. Clinton has cannily already said she will adopt all of the recommendations in the report. Unfortunately, even doing so will not solve the problems that occurred in Benghazi.”

Slate “In the 1990s, politicians backed by the NRA attacked researchers for publishing data on firearm research. For good measure, they also went after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for funding the research. According to the NRA, such science is not “legitimate.”To make sure federal agencies got the message, Rep. Jay Dickey (R-Ark.) sponsored an amendment that stripped $2.6 million from the CDC’s budget, the exact amount it had spent on firearms research the previous year.”

Hartford Courant “After a week of intensive investigation following the slaughter of 20 first graders and six women at an elementary school in Newtown, normally promising lines of inquiry have turned up little if anything to shed light on what motivated Adam Lanza, the reclusive, 20-year old gunman, to kill. A preliminary examination of his cellular telephone showed that he had made or received few, if any calls, investigators and others familiar with the matter said. No information has yet emerged from investigators on any possible text messages he may have sent or received.”

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  • PaulfromHydeParkMA

    If the NRA is strong-arming anyone who dares to take it on,
    by misusing political connections to exact revenge on people
    who disagree with it, we have further proof that all it should tke is someone standing up to it to make it Shut Up and fold its tent.
    There is nothing legitimate about intimidating your opposition. it
    not professional, subtle or proper. With info like that out here
    in a thinking universe, the NRA does not have a toe to stand
    on, nevermind a whole leg. The destructive reality of guns is constantly reinforced to all of us. The NRA and its buddies choose to ignore obvious contradictions between its pablum lines about
    “Guns don’t kill people…people kill people….” which is quintessential bullshit. You keep people from getting guns, if they want to kill someone, they have to use their bare hands which, need we wonder, is not going to work very often.

    • anamaria23

      Scary times.  Gun sales are skyrocketing (again).
      Wal Mart sold out. ” Don’t mess with my freedom” they  say.   And “they” are armed to a fare-thee- well semi assaults and all.
      And Wayne will protect them.

      • Acnestes

        Sigh.  Sometimes I entertain the thought that we as liberals really should buy guns.  Otherwise, only the Republicans will have them.

        • anamaria23

          It a dilemna, indeed.

        • Flytrap


        • Ray in VT

          The rates are lower, but many do.

          • Don_B1

            But I doubt many are of the AR-15 type.

          • Acnestes

            Oh, of course!  Plenty of liberal hunters and target shooters who aren’t gun nuts.

      • PaulfromHydeParkMA

        Who’s Wayne? Is he Johnny B’s stand-in for stubborness now that Johnny and the boys have taken another (un)deserved vacation? Heck, they haven’t worked for 4 years at $175K per each. Talk about a rip off…

        • anamaria23

          Let’s be glad that Wayne Lapierre is not an elected member.  Though it looks like they don’t need to throw their hat in the ring—he and Grover that is.  They got to  run the country anyway.

        • Don_B1

          Wayne LaPierre’s salary, minus benefits, is $970,300. See:

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Somehow I think that John Wayne (the screen version) would make a better NRA president. The Duke was more level headed than LaPierre.

          • Don_B1

            Unlike Charlton Heston, who was a spokesperson for absolute “gun rights.”

    • Flytrap

       “The latest Government figures show that the total number of firearm
      offences in England and Wales has increased from 5,209 in 1998/99 to
      9,865 last year  -  a rise of 89 per cent.”

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1223193/Culture-violence-Gun-crime-goes-89-decade.html#ixzz2FhAWz36V
      Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

      • PaulfromHydeParkMA

        Good Morning, Flytrap,

        I’m not sure what that has to do with the ridiculous compulsion to kill each other here in the U.S., but thanks for the factoid.
        Merry Christmas,
        Paul L f/HP

        When You Lose What You Are,
        You Find Out Who You Are

        • Flytrap

          This is the period after the UK passed their stricter gun control laws.  

          • Don_B1

            A lot of jerks that don’t know how to control themselves, so resist anyone that they think is trying to control them, bought the guns and went out and used them improperly.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Our politicians want to barter away social safety nets and play games with the future of a great nation while others work to create powerful technologies and bold visions for a more prosperous world !


    The British built SABRE rocket engine has been given the go ahead by the European Space Agency. This engine will allow the creation of a “Space” plane ( SKYLON ) that can also double as a Mach 5 aircraft allowing extremely fast commercial long distance flights. The vehicle using this engine could carry as many as 15 tonnes of cargo for a fraction of today’s launch cost. The engine developed by Reaction Engines of Oxfordshire U.K. ,will allow a proposed vehicle such as Skylon to take off and land as any conventional aircraft would, and of course will be reusable.



    Or at Wiki:


    I do wonder though, what will nations such as the UK spend all the trillions of dollars of wealth that they will be able to mine from space objects, such as the asteroids on ? It’s pretty obvious that they will have very few fiscal problems if they are even slightly successful !

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Hey, here is a thought; if the politicians were to focus on concepts such as those in the following article, our nation might be able to eliminate aging and disease and thereby the need for Medicare and Social Security. Maybe it’s time “they” had a “sit-down” with Aubrey De Grey and people like him and get to work !


    Other examples:
    Stem cell talk:


    Aubrey De Grey:


    Methuselah foundation:


  • JGC

    From the NRA website:

    “The Eddie Eagle GunSafe program teaches children in pre-K through third grade four important steps.

    If you see a gun – STOP!  Don’t touch.  Leave the area. Tell an  adult.”

    The Sandy Hook first graders couldn’t make it past step two. So, now what do we do, Eddie Eagle?

  • JGC

    Dang! The Mayan Apocalypse is upon us, and I forgot to order survival essentials from the NRA store.  Is it too late to get overnight delivery of the NRA Critical Food Supply (tasty pouches of food concealed in a plastic bucket with an “NRA exclusive false ‘paint’ label intended to divert attention away from your food supply”)  and the official NRA Lacerator Survival Machete? 

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Oooh, Oooh, I want one! Lacerator Survival Machete…That sounds like a Rambo knife on Steroids.

      • JGC

        (Psssstt…If you see a shelf full of buckets labelled “Becko Paint – 100% Latex” in the garage of your neighbor, it is actually full of “NRA Cheesy Lasagna and Crunchy Granola”. Made in the USA. Pass it on…)

        • DrewInGeorgia

           Mmmmmm, Cheesy Lasagna…

          • JGC

            I wonder if the fake “Becko” paint name is some weird homage to Glenn Beck…I do have to admit Cheesy Lasagna does sound pretty tasty, that is until I get an image in my head of Wayne LaPierre standing over a bit industrial vat of tomato sauce in the NRA kitchen, sprinkling in pinches of dried oregano and basil and then stirring it with his rifle butt…Bon appetit!

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Thanks for ruining my appetite!


    • Gregg Smith

      Silly, you won’t need food anymore. It will be too hot to eat. Today’s high is expected to reach 1,250F.

      • 1Brett1

        Typical, you get backed into a corner with no argument left and your comments get ridiculously silly. 

        Did JGC bring up anything about extreme temperatures over a thousand degrees? 

        • StilllHere

          Read up on the Mayan Apocalypse.

          • Ray in VT

            You mean the one that the Mayans didn’t think was coming today?  It’s amazing how things like this can take on lives of their own.

          • 1Brett1

            Actually, it sort of explains why and how StillHere develops the kinds of perspectives he/she develops.

          • Don_B1

            The Mayan Apocalypse is about as real as anything you have to say about Republican politics, economics or civility, or on climate change.

      • Gregg Smith

        Lighten up folks, it’s a joke.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Thursday, December 20, 2012 | 10:00 am
    Social Security And The Fiscal Cliff

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 | 10:00 am
    The Power Of The NRA

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 | 10:00 am
    Mental Health And Murder

    Monday, December 17, 2012 | 10:00 am
    Gun Control

    Friday, December 14, 2012 | 7:00 pm
    Special Report: Tragedy In Connecticut

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012 | 10:00 am
    Right To Work Laws

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012 | 10:00 am
    More Corruption On Wall Street

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 | 10:00 am
    Texans Talk Secession

    Do I even need to ask the question?

    • Gregg Smith

      “Do I even need to ask the question?”

      Please do.

      August 25,2011
      Conspiracy Theories and the Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks

      • Duras

        Dude, you shouldn’t have brought that up.   They may see it and drown us out again.  

        • Gregg Smith


      • DrewInGeorgia

        The question I had in mind was “What is wrong with this picture“. I gather you’re thinking it was more along the lines of “What is wrong with these people“. The only thing your reply does is further illustrate my point. We have topics that are crucial to our survival and well-being posed and they repeatedly receive far less discussion than the inflammatory ones. As always, I willingly accept my share of the blame. Many would say this forum is not representative of our general Society, I disagree.

        We wonder why we can’t solve the serious obstacles we face as a species, maybe we should try addressing them instead of constantly participating in fruitless mud-wrestling matches.

  • JGC

    OK, if I survive the Mayan Apocalypse, for sure I am ordering this from the NRA store, to tuck under the Christmas tree:  The NRA Concealed Carry Hooded Sweatshirt; sizes medium, large, and Big Gulp; colors black or navy; prices start at $59.95.  

    “Ideal for carrying your favorite compact to mid-size pistol…gives you an extra tactical edge, because of its unstructured, casual design, appears incapable of concealing a heavy firearm, but it does so with ease!” 

    Do NOT feel guilty about this impulse purchase: It’s made right here in the USA (hmmm…is that Union-made USA or Right-to-Work USA? I’ll get back to ya on that one.)  AND, they promise us that the proceeds from purchases at the NRA Shop go right back into promoting NRA activities and legislation.

    I can’t help but wonder: what IF Trayvon Martin had been wearing a fully equipped NRA Concealed Carry Hoodie, instead of the regular one he had on when shot by Community Watchman Zimmerman?

    And could we ask the NRA to start making the “Concealed Carry Hooded Sweatshirt” in size Extra-Extra-Small, to fit the average first grader?  

    • DrewInGeorgia


      Have you heard the one about the guy who instigates a confrontation, shoots a kid, leaves the scene, then claims he Had to Stand His Ground? I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.


      • JGC

        I hope the Chattahoochee River is wide enough to keep at least some of the nuttiest Florida nut cases out of Georgia.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          There’s no room for them them if they do come up, we’re already slap full.

          The guy said he “felt threatened”.
          Duh, he lives in
          The United States of A Phobia,
          Of course he felt threatened.

      • Ray in VT

        I heard about that one a couple of weeks back.  From the article, for everyone information:

        “His lawyer said Dunn thought he saw a gun and felt
        threatened during the incident, indicating that he may seek protection
        under the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground Law.”, and “No guns were found inside the teens’ car, authorities said.”

        That reminds me of something that my former boss at the gun factory at which I worked once said.  He said that back in the day you could go drinking at a bar, get in a scuffle with some guy, go outside and punch each other for a while, and then the two of you could go back inside and drink some more, but he said that things had changed over the years, and now you never knew if some guy was going to pull a gun on you over something stupid.

      • 1Brett1

        Yeah, I heard that…I guess he thought it was his God-given right to shoot somebody over loud music. 

        • JAIBEEZ

          Get it right…over RAP music. But that’s okay, because it’s not really music, anyway

  • Benburrito

    Assault Weapons, extended clips, flak jacket piercing rounds
    Wall Street Reform
    Legislating religious beliefs/ideology
    Cutting programs for the poor
    Tax cuts for the rich & super rick
    Agreeing to raise the debt ceiling to pay our current obligations
    Minimum wage
    Worker rights
    Collective bargaining
    Environmental law
    Outsourcing jobs
    Corporate “personhood”
    Providing healthcare
    Drug war
    Excessive military spending
    Suppressing science
    Voodoo Economics

    Doesn’t it feel more and more that it’s really one party in our country keeping anything from getting done, and is on the wrong side of almost any issue?

    • Gregg Smith

      Yes it does.

  • Ed75

    The Mayan end of time cycle marks the end of a very large cycle of time. But it does remind us of the message of Advent: God will come, so be prepared.

    • nj_v2

      I hope God likes canned beans. I have plenty in my underground survival room. He’s welcome to some if He stops by.

    • Acnestes

      Are you asserting that God is not omnipresent?

      • Ed75

        The understanding of God’s presence is a large subject, I can only add a few ideas.

        We know that in the end God ‘will be all in all’, meaning that his presence will fill everything and everyone, in ways we, of course, can’t understand at this point.

        We know that God is not in Hell, and that there is such a place. God is there only in that his will holds it in existence, and that his justice is seen there.

        We also know that God is fully present in the Eucharist of the Catholic Church, and in the Eucharist of the Orthodox Church. Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

        In between these two extremes, and in other places, God is present in different ways. God is certainly present in the soul and heart of every just man or woman.

        I think you asked because I said ‘God will come’ and that seems to mean that God ‘is not here’. But Jesus says both: ‘I am with you always, even until the end of the age.’ And ‘From now on the world will not see me, but you will see me.’ At the same time, he said ‘Be prepared, for you know not the day or the hour.’

        In Advent we meditate on three comings of God – in history, mystery, and majesty. He came in history in Bethlehem; he will come at the end of time to judge the world in majesty; he comes to us in the Word and in the sacraments and Mass, and to our hearts at each moment.

        So God is omnipresent, but it’s a large topic.

  • Gregg Smith

    An independent firm has analyzed the social media surrounding the Benghazi murders and there was nothing about the video prior. Many of us knew that all along. I’ve already posted the YouTube stats. You guys howled.


    I really did not think Hillary was to blame. I thought (when I could hear myself think over the helicopters) she was competent and had the paper trail to prove it. She was just playing good soldier for Obama’s reelection. I envisioned that by now (post election) she would absolve herself and Obama’s role would emerge. It turns out, if we are to believe the findings, it was gross negligence. There have been a few resignations but Hillary had the vapors, bumped her head and can’t testify. Go figure.


    • Gregg Smith

      Thinking back, I don’t know why I had any confidence in Hillary. She’s done nothing. Everything she is she got by hitching her wagon to Bill. She was his doormat and took it. What a horrible role model for young women. Her headache reminds me of the Rose Law Firm billing records. Remember her presser in pink? The crooked dealings with Whitewater were largely dismissed by the public but the details are atrocious for anyone who actually followed it. Poor Vince couldn’t take it anymore, it was bad. And Billy Dale! What a travesty, the woman has ice water running through her veins. 

      For some reason, now that a couple of decades have gone by, I had softened my view. She has finally gained the stature and prestige she paid so dearly for with humiliation. She seems comfortable in her skin and at peace. This report brings it home, she’s still the same heartless incompetent she’s always been.

      • nj_v2

        The Susan Rice smear campaign didn’t work out so well for Greggg, so now it’s on to Hillary.

        Go get ‘em Greggg!

        Don’t forget to install a good Interwebs hook up in your new bunker so we can stay updated on your disinformed rantings.

        • Gregg Smith

          Susan Rice was sent out to lie. She can always fall back on the excuse of being a stupid dupe. Hillary, not so much.

      • StilllHere

        It’ll be fun reliving all the trials and tribulations of the Clinton years.  Could be tough for Hillary, though she may fake another illness through the campaign season.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Loud and clear: There’s another vote for the endless “all shite, no pony” “scandals” of the Clinton admin.

  • Duras

    The government sold its remaining shares of GM stock.  I guess the slippery road to socialism hit a detour.  Or, we were never on the slippery road to socialism and perhaps conservatives can take their heads out of their rears now and not be so dogmatic. 

    …Not bloody likely…

    • Flytrap

       It was sold at a huge loss for the taxpayers, all it was was a taxpayer bailout for the UAW.  So we have the govt saving 2 corps on behalf of a union and you see no problem with that?  

      • Duras

        What is a company for if it is not for the people?  CEOs for GM are still rich … now the people who work for the bailed out auto companies have higher paying jobs.  What is wrong with that?   Do you want the majority of Americans to be poorer while a hand full of millionaires take an extra million or so on the backs of the laboring class?  Is that what Jesus intended?

        The only problem I see is ideologues who would rather punish the people to promote a plutocratic society.  

        • Don_B1


          Note that cost cutting HAS to inflict pain on the middle class by cutting their entitlement benefits.

          As an example, reducing Medicare costs cannot come by changing the way the healthcare industry is paid, e.g., bargaining about the drug costs with the pharmaceutical companies, or reducing incentives for doctors to perform more procedures, many of which are not efficacious.

          The reason? By inflicting pain and reducing the number of beneficiaries, the support of the program can be reduced and then the whole program can be eliminated.

  • Fredlinskip

    IMhumbleO, anyone who feels the need to own rocket grenade launchers, missile launchers, nuclear material, or guns capable of killing scores of people in a few seconds- likely has some  mental “issues” and should seek help- SOON!
    Terrorism?- “We has met the enemy and he is us”

  • arydberg

    Why is it that the authorities had no problem getting the E-mail of General Petraeus but have not even mentioned getting E-mail records of the Adam Lanza?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Just spitballing, but there may be the source to consider. If emails of Petraeus were under his government or  military account, that may well be different from how Lanza’s are to be treated under any old ISP.

      (For comparison, your workplace email account likely has no expectation of privacy from the people in your workplace’s IT Security or HR, or whatever they wish to do. But your other account on AOL or Yahoo is different.)

    • adks12020

      Just because it hasn’t been mentioned doesn’t mean it isn’t being done. The first thing they did was try to recover his hard drive.  My guess is grabbing his emails and any online presence is also being worked on.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I was away for a bit; are we talking about retrieving electronic data after something (the scandal breaks, the shootings) or beforehand?

        They are two different subjects, my post below was about beforehand.

    • Don_B1

      It is not known whether they have had a problem or not, though there was an item indicating that Lanza had not made many phone calls and that there were not many e-mils either.

      When they don’t exist in normal channels, it is hard to verify whether there might be some made secretly?

  • nj_v2

    Republican jackassery of the week:

    Top Republican Publication: Shooting Occurred Because Women Ran The School

    [[ If there were fewer women and more “male aggression” in Sandy Hook Elementary School, the massacre there never would have taken place, according to a contribution to a leading conservative magazine.

    National Review, whose in-house editorial suggested Newtown was the price of the Second Amendment, published a piece on Wednesday from anti-feminist Charlotte Allen suggesting the reason the shooter was able to kill so many students was because Newtown was a “feminized setting:” ]]

    Senate Republicans aim to cut Sandy aid bill down to $24 billion

    Activist: Georgia’s ‘tin foil hat’ GOP caucus pushing for looser gun restrictions

    [[ Georgia Republican state legislator Rep. Charles Gregory (R-Kennesaw), has introduced four new bills for the 2012 legislative year, all of which loosen current restrictions on guns. The measures, according to the blog Georgia Progress, which come less than a week after the national tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, would put more guns into circulation and lower barriers currently blocking firearms sales. ]]

    House Republicans Cut Food Stamps, Obamacare, And Wall Street Oversight In Ill-Fated ‘Plan B’

    As The Hill reported, the bill closely mirrors a measure passed by House Republicans in May known as the “The Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012.” (Here is the underlying legislation, which will include these minor tweaks.)

    That bill voids both the military spending cuts and domestic spending cuts set to take place in 2013 and replaces them with a host of cuts to domestic spending, including:

    – Cuts to food stamps that could knock millions of low-income Americans out of the program;

    – Cuts to Meals on Wheels, a program that delivers meals to seniors or other individuals who are unable to prepare their own food;

    – Cuts funding to health exchanges that will be created under Obamacare and funding for Medicaid included in the same law;

    – Cuts to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that will yield no cost savings, but will makebailouts of big banks more likely;

    – Denying the Child Tax Credit to the parents of American children, if the parents are undocumented immigrants.

  • nj_v2

    Here’s part of what we’re up against. I imagine there are hundreds of shops like this around the country.


    (Apparently, this was posted before the Newtown shootings.)

  • Duras

    In a Florida newspaper this week, there was a report about our district attorneys dropping charges they normally wouldn’t drop when their departments were funded. 

    Rick Scott, the guy who was CEO and Chairman of HCA and led his company to 14 felonies and a $2 billion dollar law suit but won the election anyway because republicans will vote for Satan before they vote for a democrat (as I like to remind people) cut taxes all over and it has done nothing.  The only jobs created in Florida the last few years have been in health care and Charter schools which republicans are subsidizing. 

    Now, our university system is starting to look like South Carolina’s, our public schools are taking a back seat to these Charter schools of which anyone can start up, his budget projections are never correct and he ends up cutting even more to balance the sheet.  Not to mention voter suppression and wanting to drill for oil in the Everglades.  But oh yeah, there is one business that has been growing in Florida and it’s bring crime with it…casinos.  Apparently, this right wing moron thinks that Florida needs to do the same economic gimmick as Nevada because, you know, Florida is nothing but a wasteland filled with decades of atomic bomb testing.

    You want a slippery road to something, check out Kim Jong Rick.

  • Mike_Card

    I’m not sure how many “lame ducks” are in on this fiscal cliff nonsense (does anybody have a convenient roster?), but it seems like those who’re retiring, or got turned out, ought to recuse themselves from this circus act.

    • jimino

      I expect true nut jobs like Allen West are in the group.  Will the Republican leadership have the integrity to reveal just who on on which side of the issue?  Shouldn’t voters know?

  • nj_v2

    The Fox (So-called News) Effect:


    Mosque arsonist tells court: ‘I only know what I hear on Fox News’

    [[ An Indiana man convicted of setting fire to a mosque in Ohio told a judge on Wednesday that he committed the crimes because Fox News and conservative talk radio had convinced him that “most Muslims are terrorists.

    ”Randolph Linn, 52, accepted a plea deal in which he pled guilty to all charges in connection to setting a fire in the prayer room at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo on Sept. 30. Under the deal, Linn is expected to serve 20 years in prison instead of 40.

    Linn explained to the court that he had gotten “riled up” after watching Fox News.

    “And I was more sad when Judge [Jack] Zouhary asked him that, ‘Do you know any Muslims or do you know what Islam is?’” one mosque member who attended the hearing recalled to WNWO. “And he said, ‘No, I only know what I hear on Fox News and what I hear on radio.’”

    “Muslims are killing Americans and trying to blow stuff up,” Linn also reportedly told the judge. “Most Muslims are terrorists and don’t believe in Jesus Christ.” ]]


    • Ray in VT

      Further proof that some people really are the dopey rubes who fit the stereotype.

  • Flytrap

    What kills me is how everyone wants to control firearms but they are ok with a fully body armored paramilitary police force.  Look at the news footage from Newtown an see if you can spot the difference in a combat soldier in Afghanistan and the responding officers.  This crazy belief that policeman are somehow “more qualified” to own and operate assault weapons than most any citizen is ridiculous.  How many folks here think ‘roided out policeman, many of which are alcoholics, make better judgements?  I don’t trust them and can’t understand why the left seems to.

  • nj_v2

    Further evidence that there’s been “no warming since 1998″ (oft-repeated claim of global-warming denial crowd):


    Book It: 2012, The Hottest U.S. Year on Record

    • Flytrap

      [Matt Ridley's sane, measured response] …I have since
      gradually come to the view that the extra feedback necessary to make CO2
      warming dangerous is increasingly implausible, though still possible,
      and that the measures we are taking to cut carbon emissions are doing
      and will do more harm especially to poor people than warming itself. I
      may be wrong in this, but it’s not unreasonable to debate this
      possibility — and nor is it outside the scientific consensus, by the
      I bring to the subject the same technique that I bring to all the
      topics I cover as a journalist. (Only on climate (and religion) am I
      told that my credentials disallow me from even having a view.) I read
      both sides of the question, I challenge assumptions and I listen to
      arguments. In this case reputable climate scientists like Judith Curry
      and Richard Betts agree that Nic Lewis has made a good case and deserves
      to be considered and debated. Would that Dr Connolley would show the
      same open-mindedness.”


      • TomK_in_Boston

        LOL – you just think anything that agrees with your preconceptions is “sane and measured”.

        Nobody who is “openminded” could look at the current CO2 levels without deep concern. It takes a truly spectacular desire to spin away the obvious.

        • Flytrap

           LOL – you just think anything that agrees with your preconceptions is “sane and measured”.  Why do you want to believe that CO2 is going to cause the world to end?  Your reaction says more about you than anything I can say.  As Einstein proved, consensus isn’t science.  http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/19/why-doesnt-the-ar5-sods-climate-sensitivity-range-reflect-its-new-aerosol-estimates/

          I don’t say it isn’t possible, just that the evidence for proving it isn’t unassailable.  You think, corporations are evil, there was a period of time when the Earth was “in harmony,” the only reason people could possibly disagree with you is because they are stupid, greedy and want to destroy the Earth. 

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Geez. The current levels of CO2 have corresponded to a much hotter planet in the historical record. Your approach is to try to spin that away, but the logical response is to be very concerned. Your contribution here is mainly to repost from righty blogs. That’s an interesting an approach to science.

            Requiring that evidence is “unassailable” works nicely to let you deny whatever you want. FYI, science works with the best current guess as people struggle to understand complex phenomena.

            “earth in harmony”?? “world going to end”?? Get a grip.

          • Flytrap
          • Don_B1

            When drought and flood on top of reduced plant growth because of hotter temperatures wipe out enough agricultural production to cause the starvation of billions of people, there will be war and pestilence to make the Book of Revelations tremble.

            That will effectively limit civilized life in every part of the earth to levels similar to the inner depths of the Amazon forest.

            Absolutely consensus is not science; no climate scientist is claiming that. But climate scientists are saying that they are finding confirmation in empirical data that the emission of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion is a huge threat to life on this planet.

            Einstein discovered the Theories of Relativity, which other scientists initially were unconvinced about, but as the data from the 1919 Eclipse of the Sun and further evidence was discovered that showed the theories were accurate, accepted and a consensus developed that Einstein’s Theories did describe how the universe works, at least to the best that is achievable now. But the fact that it is known that Einstein’s Theories are not a complete description of all physics does not make them unusable. In fact that are incredibly useful.

            Similarly, Quantum Mechanics is accurate to NINE decimal places or more for many calculations, but it is known that QM is not a complete description of all of physics either.

            Climate Change science does not have to work perfectly for all issues to be useful and accurate for many problems, and just about all climate scientists agree (consensus) that CO2 emissions will cause a disaster of unimaginable proportions unless the use of fossil fuels is curtailed.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Right on, Don. In science the current model is periodically overthrown, based on compelling evidence. It’s an illogical leap to go from there  to a blank check to ignore the people who spend their lives studying a problem, but that’s the righty playbook on global warming.

            Furthermore, in scientific revolutions the old view is not “wrong”. Quantum and relativity were associated with new capabilities to observe very short distances, light masses, short times and high velocities, where the old models broke down. On the human scale they worked just fine, and do today. Apply quantum to a baseball, you get Newton.

            Also consider the $ scientists could get by sucking up to the oil cos. The fact that they don’t indicates that they are just following the data….not that I have to be convinced.

            Wanna make a model that “proves” no amount of CO2 can change the climate? We’ll need a full-time assistant to deal with the oil co reps wanting to fund us :)

      • nj_v2

        Oh, look, Flytrap has posted a wad of blather from Wattsuphisazz.


      • jimino

        Whats Up With That is my favorite recurring Saturday Night Live skits.  Haven’t seen the global warming one yet.

        • Ray in VT

          Poor Lindsey Buckingham.  The hijinks that he puts up with.  I wonder why he comes back.  My wife loves Sudekis’ dancing in those.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Is Jason Sudekis the one  rockin’ the track suit? That’s cool.

          • Ray in VT

            You know it, Chairman.

        • nj_v2

          “Oooooooo, oooweee!…”

      • PithHelmut

        There are greedy humans who want to persist in greed to remain as the single objective of the modern world and there are the non-greedy types who think we have to live sustainably.  Trouble is those non-greedy types are so wimpish that they are still waiting to convince the greedy types that we all will perish if we continue the dogma of greed. We should be treating Rationalism and resilience as the basis of our economy not profit and we should make a fuss about that. Allowing profit to dominate will sink us all and why do the proponents of it always seem to triumph? Why should those who are experts at exploitation control the earth’s resources? The entire economy is purely arbitrary. We all collude in its contrivance by clinging to the little stipends we are given as a trade for our life of toil. Maybe we too are addicted to our own conspicuous comforts and this is why a profit-driven economy persists. But it’s probably going to be soon, all that will explode into smithereens as the climate will upturn it all. Better we control it to the extent that we can in the window of time that could presently be at our disposal rather than to haphazardly try to control it when the crisis is upon us, as many are proposing with further delays going on and on. Anything less than mission-driven remediation is on a par to killing our own children. We just like to think of it as prudence of course and participate in the charade.

        • Flytrap

           Try telling the rich liberals in their enclaves all over the US (NYC, SF, BOS,etc.) that they need to give up their lifestyle, put their children in school with the darker “others” and then see who is greedy. 

          The problem with your logic is that it assumes greed isn’t the default setting for human nature.  Children don’t automatically share things, they have to be taught to and even then they won’t.  Overriding the human desire to better themselves and their family doesn’t work.  Just look at the failure of communism in the past 50 years.

      • Don_B1

        It would be easy to just laugh, but this is a serious issue and articles like that by Matt Ridley in the WSJ need to be not only laughed out of any discussion, but thoroughly shown to be wrong, as is done here:


        The bottom line from the Climate Progress critique of the Ridley propaganda piece is hinted by the following:

        “The Wall Street Journal, however, has published a piece, “Cooling Down the Fears of Climate Change,” that (falsely) asserts observations suggest global warming will be so low as to “be benificial.” This risible piece by Matt Ridley is so riddled with basic math and science errors it raises the question of how the Journal can possibly maintain its reputation as a credible source of news and financial analysis.

        “Ridley and the Journal apparently don’t know the difference between water vapor and clouds. They don’t understand the basic concept of climate sensitivity. And they can’t do simple math. Naturally, the climate deniers have embraced this nonsense and spread it across the internet.”

        Anyone who takes Ridley at face value without a conscientious review and research of respected climate scientists has an ideological bias that means he will accept the word of Satan over anything, or is just scientifically innumerate. For those who believe in Satan, Ridley’s opinion piece (as in previous pieces) could not do his work any more effectively.

        Thankfully, most people believe that Satan and his deeds will be rejected. The question is will that be done in time to preserve some form of the current civilization humans have achieved.

        But you, Flytrap, have had adequate opportunity to do the necessary research and discover the ways that the fossil fuel industry is trying to distract attention from and obfuscate the truth of what human emissions of CO2 will do to life on this planet.

        There have been numerous links to sources of real science* that are overwhelming in empirical evidence of the reality of climate change and how it is already making big impacts, as a result of only a small change compared to what will come without changing the sources of energy used by humans living on this planet.






        Of course, you won’t; of that I am confident.

      • Don_B1

        The article in the WSJ by Matt Ridley is basically not worth one sheet of the newsprint it appeared on! See:


        The kind of denier-trash that he writes and you disseminate will eventually be held against both of you and the denier organizations you support when the bill for the increased costs of finally reducing the CO2 emissions becomes apparent.

        Just as the cigarette manufacturers are beginning to be held responsible for their lies about the carcinogenic nature of cigarettes, the same path for denier groups will come as the clear evidence is becoming known.

    • PithHelmut

      Last January the NE had three or so 60 degree days. What if this year we have 70 degree days?  What will the following year bring – 80 degree days in January? And then the next year?  With 75% of the Arctic gone, the darkness that has created will absorb untold amounts of heating. There are no climate deniers anymore, only climate action spoilers; they are determined to get their money’s worth till the very last drop (of fossil fuel) and the rest of us let them.  We’re like mini Obama’s, trying to reason with the devil. 

  • Ray in VT

    I’m listening to the BBC Newshour, and they just did a piece on Greece’s far right, neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.  I don’t think that anything take comes out about a group like that should really surprise anyone (some of their members appear to have beaten up a liberal lawmaker), given their ideological foundations, but it should concern people that in a civilized nation that has been undergoing years of financial hardships, that such a party can rise out of nowhere and suddenly command something in the range of 10% popular support.  Hopefully they will fade away soon enough, but it is troubling to hear about.

    • nj_v2

      These elements are present everywhere, including here in the U.S. Some of them surfaced during the Tea Bagger protests.

      Powerful interests will always be able to prey on the fears and delusions of uniformed, easily manipulated people to create bogus divisions and distinctions (us and them) to the advantage of the Ruling Class.

    • Don_B1

      The change in Weimar Germany that allowed Hitler to come to power was the change to hard austerity economic policies to pay off the WWI debts by the Heinrich Brüning government under President Paul von Hindenburg.

      This is exactly what today’s Germany is forcing on Greece. The imposition of austerity economic policies which impose pain on the middle and working classes while letting the wealthy continue life as they choose will almost always lead to the increasing popularity of extremes on both ends of the political spectrum.

      Thankfully the United States is not near this level of radicalism, but the signs are present in much of the Tea Party members of the Republican Party. Its willingness to destroy the economic vitality of the United States to gain power should be a clarion call to true patriots to reject its actions.

      But people who are rightly angry at the shenanigans of the financial industry that caused the 2008 financial crisis have been hijacked to serve those very perpetrators of that crisis.

  • nj_v2

    Reagan looks like a raging liberal compared to some of the current gun nuts rights advocates…


    Why I’m for the Brady Bill

    [[ The Brady bill would require the handgun dealer to provide a copy of the prospective purchaser's sworn statement to local law enforcement authorities so that background checks could be made. Based upon the evidence in states that already have handgun purchase waiting periods, this bill -- on a nationwide scale -- can't help but stop thousands of illegal handgun purchases.…

    Every year, an average of 9,200 Americans are murdered by handguns, according to Department of Justice statistics. This does not include suicides or the tens of thousands of robberies, rapes and assaults committed with handguns.

    This level of violence must be stopped. Sarah and Jim Brady are working hard to do that, and I say more power to them. If the passage of the Brady bill were to result in a reduction of only 10 or 15 percent of those numbers (and it could be a good deal greater), it would be well worth making it the law of the land. ]]


  • TomK_in_Boston

    I’d like to know:

    1. Why are we talking about SS in the context of deficit hysteria, when it has nothing to do with the deficit?

    2. Why is Obama negotiating who gets to keep the Bush tax rates, when all he has to do is let them expire for everyone and immediately restore them for under $250K, to keep his campaign promise?

    What do you think?

    • PaulfromHydeParkMA

      Hi Tom,

      I like your idea, but I’m not sure the president believes he can guarantee reinstituting the cuts for people below $250K. It’s a sad statement that the no-minds on the Republican side have so totally stopped the government’s work on behalf of the nation.

      Best to You for the Holidays,
      Paul from Hyde Park, MA

      • PithHelmut

        Aren’t you tired of hearing that worn out excuse, it’s the Republicans?  Cause I sure am.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Hi Paul,
        After all the rates go up, the bill restoring the lower rates for under $250K is 100% tax cutting, and it would be very interesting to see the TeaOP vote against a holy tax cut :)

        Best to you too

        • PaulfromHydeParkMA

          Indeed…but they all checked their brains at the door, so they will do whatever they’re told…which is scary since they’re “leading” the country.
          I don’t remember a party so adept at dodging responsibility. I mean it was W who cut the spigot from the wealthiest to the Treasury. They’re desperate to blame BHO for the fiscal problems…It’s not going to stick. Any party that listens to Grover deserves what it gets.

    • Brandstad

      You are right, Going over the cliff is in the democrats best interest since they say they loved the Clinton years and all we have to do is go back to Clinton erra tax rates!

      Please ignore the fact that if we would have stuck with clinton level spending + inflation addjusted increases, we would have had a 200B surplus last year!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I! haven’t! seen! someone! end! every! thought! with! exclamation! points! since! I! stopped! reading! tiny! tot! comic! books! in! grade! school!

        What are you going to do when you’re really excited about something??????

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        What were we spending money on since Clinton left office? Oh yeah:
        - 2 wars on the credit card.
        - An economic disaster levied by the greedy.
        - $60.4B annual budget (in 2012) for the Dept of Homeland Security – 62% higher than the first full year of the department’s existence. How much of that was “new” vs “renamed” spending?

        Not to mention bringing in less money due to the tax cuts.

        I know you are an intelligent person so:
         Can you tell me what will happen to the economy if we cut government “services” and defense spending big time?

        I’m thinking it means a WHOLE lot more people in the unemployment line not paying income taxes.  Big ships do not turn quickly.

        • Michiganjf

          You forgot HUGE Republican giveaways to big Pharma, and that the majority of tax-cut dollars were given to the wealthiest one percent.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Because rich folks who don’t need SS are tired of paying for your vienna sausages.

    • PithHelmut

      I think Obama should let the Bush tax cuts expire for everyone. This will restore funding to the states and those under $250K will be the benefactors of that in an indirect way.  Obama does something when he should do nothing and does nothing when he should do something. It’s not flip-flopping but rather flim-flamming.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Makes sense to me.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      I agree with you on the S.S. cuts.

      S.S. is a self funded program. It might need help in the long run but it has contributed ZERO dollars to the current deficit and debt.

      Saying we need to cut SS to curb government spending is ludicrous. Instead, unemployed rich people who pay a 13.6% tax rate should be paying S.S. tax to keep it solvent for a longer period of time. And instead of cutting MediCare, those same people should be paying MediCare tax instead of wanting to replace it with a Voucher system.

    • Don_B1

      Really good questions! A few thoughts toward answering them:

      1) Reducing the effectiveness of SS is a “Trophy Point” for Republican (radical?) conservatives, just as raising the Medicare Eligibility Age is. Conservatives think that by decreasing the effectiveness of SS and numbers eligible for Medicare that they can diminish the support that Democrats will get so they can get full control of the government and eventually eliminate the programs!

      2) There are things that Obama and Democrats in Congress want (and the electorate in general should also) that cannot be attained through letting the austerity bomb go off, or at least the fuse lit. These include extension of the 2% F.I.C.A. witholding reduction and spending on infrastructure to build a stronger recovery of the total economy. He has to weigh the costs and benefits of what “Trophies” he gives up against the gains from those if the Republicans will agree.

      But so far the House Tea/Republicans (rabid ferrets as Gail Collins has called them, but that is an insult to ferrets, even rabid ones) are intent on saving President Obama from having to make that calculation.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        That’s pretty much what I think, Don. 1. If the right can convince enough sheep that SS is part of the deficit, their deficit hysteria can do double duty and drag SS down too. No reason for the Dems to play that game, tho. BHO should NOT be talking about a cut (“chained”) here. 2. Also I agree that while BHO is in total control re tax rates, there are other parts of the “sequester” that will be difficult, and it might make sense to compromise on who keeps the bush rates to get something else.

        And yes, thank gawd, the TeaOP seems to be protecting BHO from his uncontrollable desire to fold winning hands.

  • Coastghost

    Word use can be telling: has this week’s release of Amb. Pickering’s ARB report been instrumental is ascertaining “blame for Benghazi” (the gift of alliteration) or in trying to assign “responsibility” (as “On Point’s” perennial sponsor, Liberty Mutual, always enjoins)? So far, Sec. Clinton has said that she accepts responsibility for what transpired in Benghazi: but does her specific responsibility for embassy/consulate security end with merely accepting the conclusions and recommendations of the Pickering panel? A resignation and three enforced leaves-of-absence in the State Dept. (not a weekly or a monthly or even an annual occurrence under other circumstances) suggest that State Dept. personnel other than the Sec. of State herself are subject to the accountability that comes with any declaration of “responsibility”. In point of fact, responsibility is still being ascertained, since Sec. Clinton will not be able to testify at least until January. –and it’s worth pointing out on any website operated under the auspices of NPR that the Pickering report definitively concluded that the attack on the Benghazi consulate DID NOT arise as the outgrowth of any “spontaneous demonstration”: no explicit conclusion that Amb. Rice or the Obama White House thus offered misleading characterizations of the attack back in September–simply the inference that whatever representations Amb. Rice made at the behest of the White House in September were not accurate in their totality. The report seems not to account for the discrepency, however, and thus far no one seems to’ve stepped forward to take responsibility for the misstatements.

  • nj_v2

    A fine show from Fresh Air yesterday with Tom Diaz discussing with how military-style weapons have come to saturated the civilian market. Definitely worth a listen when you have the time.


    Assault-Style Weapons In The Civilian Market

    On the Bushmaster rifle found at Sandy Hook Elementary

    “[It's] a variant of a type of gun called the AR-15 … which was designed and developed for military use roughly during the Vietnam War period. It is one of a variety of assault rifles that militaries of the world developed when they realized that most soldiers do not — when they’re engaged in combat — do not take accurate aim, do not fire at long distances, but rather just spray bullets in the general direction of the enemy at short to medium range. When the military accepted this as a fact — that soldiers are not marksmen, and they tend to just fire in bursts at ambiguous targets, and in fact most battlefield injuries are the result of just being where the bullet is and not someone actually aiming at you — the militaries of the world said, ‘OK, we need a type of gun to give our soldiers that will do just that.’ … This was the genesis of the assault rifle. The first one was developed by the Germans in 1944. It was called the StG-44. The Soviet army quickly … made a design similar to it, which is called the AK-47, probably the most widely used rifle in the world.”


  • Shag_Wevera

    A question for conservatives and NRA types alike:
    Is there any mass homicide, of any scope, of any class of people, that would move you to accept tougher gun regulations?!  If 20 little children and 6 adults is not enough, is there any number?  If 1000 5 yr olds were massacred with a .223 bushmaster, would you want any restrictions on them?  Honesty is appreciated.

    • Brandstad

      Please name a gun regulation that would have stopped the shooting other than total confiscation of all guns.  Didn’t the shooter break something like 60 laws in the process of his crime already?  Do you think making another law would have stopped him when he had no care for the laws curently on the books!

      • Shag_Wevera

        I think you answered my question with a question.  Not very effective at reaching resolution.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

         Same response as above. If there are no assault rifles, no high capacity magazines, there is no carnage in a short period of time.  The shooter didn’t build his own assault rifle, high capacity magazines and hundreds of rounds.

  • toc1234

    Tom, when you get to Benghazi, and then you start talking about the over-hype from the right, please note that The New York Times ran 47 front page stories on Abu Ghraib
    - including 32 days in a row on the front page. 

    • Shag_Wevera

      Hmmmmm.  47.  Interesting number.

      • toc1234

        I know, it is an interesting number.  that’s almost 13% of a year – to run one story!  about some dumb-ass low-level wardens and where no one was seriously injured.  obviously the NYT agenda, as usual, got in the way and blew the story out of proportion for political reasons. 

  • Michiganjf


       Boehner’s latest FAILURE proves the country was correct in handing Republicans a huge defeat in November, severely whittling away their power in the House, along with every other way they were defeated…

    … unfortunately, taking away a BUNCH of Republican House seats wasn’t enough… voters should have booted out ALL Republicans, OBVIOUSLY!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Obama should just go over the cliff – and then push to reinstate tax cuts for the middle class. And then let the Republicans argue why they want to maintain a tax hike on the middle class.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Amen, oldman.

    • StilllHere

      It’s the only way to address the crazy spending levels.

    • Don_B1

      If he could get an extension of the F.I.C.A. witholding reduction and either an end of the debt ceiling provision or its guaranteed raising to cover the debt incurred to pay for Congress-passed spending through at least 2016, and the proposed stimulus spending on infrastructure and education, etc., it might be worth giving some of the “compromises” offered by President Obama.

      But clearly that is quite unlikely with the team of Tea/Republicans in the House.

  • toc1234

    the president’s favorite words, “Me” and “I”…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      The House certainly sets the tone for that – they never talk about House democrats or the Senate – it’s all Obama, Obama, Obama

      • Brandstad

        The senate is not the leader of our country.  The president is and he should start leading!

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Your comment is tabled until 60% of the board votes to have a vote on it.

          Leading the WATB tantrum throwing Republicans is not as easy as you think.

    • Brandstad

      Except when it comes to actually doing something. 

      Don’t you think that if gun control was in his top 10 list of things to do, Obama would head the study group proposing the gun control fix, and not the joker, Biden?

  • PithHelmut

    Just take a look – men, men, everywhere, bossing the rest of us around when they have no right except that which we allow. Men must be disarmed immediately. Continuing the tradition of allowing men to rule the rest of society endangers everyone including themselves. Men cannot control their urges and have proven time and time again of their unfitness for leading roles as they are the overwhelming perpetrators of violence and indiscriminate killings even though women have just as much access to weapons as men do. Men cannot think “outside the box” as they have been programmed from birth to think within it.  They cannot see even the possibility of a world without war therefore they are incapable of the kind of thinking we need to lead us to building a healthy world, both psychologically and environmentally.  We delay this shift towards female ascendancy in the political sphere at our peril. 

  • AaronNM

    After Friday I seriously questioned my responsibility as a gun owner. The collusion between the NRA and firearms manufacturers to stymie all reasonable attempts to ban assault-style weapons and large capacity magazines, and the cowing of members from BOTH parties, has a bold dotted line to the mass shootings we’ve seen of late. As a result, I had my handgun destroyed and will not own another gun until reasonable people come to the table and bring forth sensible, meaningful controls. All responsible gun owners have to take a hard look at what their money has gone to support and should act according to their moral compass.

    • Brandstad

      Please explain what gun controls would have stopped the smart and very troubled shooter!?!?

      • AaronNM

        If you can’t see that these weapons not being banned years ago (as they should have been) isn’t connected to last Friday, you’ll never understand my position. No, this kid might still have gone forward with his plan, but not with a weapon specifically designed to kill dozens of people from a single magazine. We gun owners, through our selfishness, FAILED these kids.

        • Brandstad

          Didn’t that kid have two pistols and the high powered rifle?  I don’t think we currently know if the shooting was done with the rifle or the handguns.  Why should we act without full knowledge of what went on?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            The lack of “full knowledge” never kept Wayne LaPierre’s nutjob mouth shut. So why should you be any different?

      • Shag_Wevera

        You are right.  Let’s do nothing.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        He wouldn’t have had an assault rifle would he?
        No assault rifles, no large capacity magazines, no carnage in a very short time.

        Without the weapon he had, without the large capacity magazine, he would have never found anyone to shoot in the second classroom, they would have locked down. He might not have even made it to the first classroom as he would have had a harder time breaking in and would have had to reload earlier. More time to lock down.

        Without the firepower he brought, no one would have been shot 11 times, most likely many more that might have been shot could have survived a single bullet wound.

        Sure, there are some who are calling for no guns for anyone. But that is a SMALL number of people. A majority support owning hunting (animal, not human) weapons.

        A “well regulated militia” is not thousands of individuals carrying assault weapons and/or high capacity magazines.

        I still don’t know why the he11 his mother had an assault rifle.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          One caveat of framing: Nobody on the left, in terms of statistical meaningness or powerful position, is calling for a gun ban. But the usual suspects here are fixated on the “one anonymous guy on the internet” who wants it.

          Contrast that to how proud rightwing nutjobs are in trying to ban abortion, and how that sort always get a seat at the media’s table as “a moderate who reasonable pro-choicers should be able to compromise with”.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    Congress is unable to agree on the very serious issue of finances, leading us towards another recession. And we expect this same body to make reasonable, responsible gun laws? These folks would make a “pigs breakfast” out of a free lunch.

    • Brandstad

      The Senate hasn’t even passed a constitutionally required budget for at least three years!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

        Maybe the House should try sending them one that might pass.

        • Shag_Wevera


        • Brandstad

          All spending bills must start in the senate!
          Maybe you should take a US government course at your local community college so you know what you are talking about!

          • Ray in VT

            Article 1, Section 7 of the United States Constitution:

            “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.”

            Maybe you should take a US government course at your local community college so you know what you are talking about!

          • margbi

             Thanks for the correction. I thought everybody knew that but maybe the writer missed that day in civics class.

          • Mike_Card

            He and his buddy Stilllll won’t take civics till they’re sophomores; they should be given a pass on that.

          • Don_B1

            They missed a lot more than that part of the civics lesson and a whole lot of other things also.

          • Don_B1

            I would NEVER have accused you of being that ignorant!

            But then I would not have believed that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would filibuster his own bill.

            The Republicans and their supporters seem to be in a race to see who is the most ignorant and can advocate the most wildly destructive legislation (or non-legislation) possible.

      • Shag_Wevera

        If you don’t pass a new one, last years is used.  I’d think conservative would like that.  No increases, y’know!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      They did agree – they like to call it the fiscal cliff, but it’s really the result of several bipartisan agreements.

      • StilllHere

        Yeah for bipartisanship!

  • Shag_Wevera

    What’s the word for an individual who lost public office, yet hopes for another chance at office based on a vacated post?  Scott Brown needs to find a goddamned job.  They hate government employees, but are terrified at working in the private sector.  Maybe he could do more cheesecake photos…

  • Brandstad

    Another Fast And Furious gun shows up at another horrific shooting that left a Mexican Beauty queen dead.  Obama can’t get serious about guns until he releases all of the Fast and Furious documents and we have a fare and open investigation into the botched program!

    • Shag_Wevera

      It’s almost as good as a blue dress.  Should the president be impeached for this tired old story?

      • Brandstad

        no, he should stop impeding the investigation by claiming executive privilege even thought he claims to have no involvement in the gun running.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Holsom Wisconsin poster girl, Suzie Favor Hamilton has revealed that she spent time as a $600/hr call-girl.

    Desired assett, high profit margin, low-cost, self reliance and independence…

    IT’S THE AMERICAN DREAM!!!!!!  Isn’t it?

  • MarkVII88

    Tom, please ask your guests…Is it more important that John Boehner work to avoid the fiscal cliff or is it more important that John Boehner keep his seat as House Speaker?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Funny no one ever calls the the “fiscal cliff” what it is – austerity.

    • StilllHere


  • Brandstad

    Notice that all but one of the mass shootings since Obama came into office occured in gun free zones.

    Should we get rid of gun free zones since they draw coward shooters that know they will not be shot back at .

    • Shag_Wevera

      Maybe we could arm elementary aged children.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Anyone hear about the booming sales for children’s armored backpacks?

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Does the current caller Christian have an assault rifle?
    Does he see a NEED to own an assault rifle?
    If so, WHAT is that need? 

    • Steve__T

       Armored Deer

  • Brandstad

    Why does it matter if the gunman didn’t pause to reload for 5 seconds?  There wasn’t anyone else there with a gun to shoot him durring the pause anyway!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      2 adults died “lunging” at the shooter – would have been very different if the shooter was reloading.

      • Brandstad

        So lets look at that.  The two adults you talked about were in the office of the school that the gunman hit first.  If the gunman had two old revolvers, instead of new guns would it have changed the situation?  I doublt it.  He would have still had at least 12 shots ready.

        • AaronNM

          So twelve shots, some of which would have missed, in your mind, doesn’t mean anything in terms of lessening the devastation? Wow.

        • Ray in VT

          So, with those two hypothetical revolvers could the gunman have put 11 bullets into that one little boy and still had time to murder 25 other people?  The fact is that firearms with high capacities and rates of fire increases the ability of one shooter to do a huge amount of damage in a short period of time.

          • 1Brett1

            Seems like your comment is pretty easy to grasp…at least to you, me and anyone else with a fairly reasonable, cognitively-functioning brain. We aren’t going to stop all violence with guns but we can minimize the magnitude of such tragedies.

    • Acnestes

      Jared Loughner, who shot Gabby Giffords, was tackled when he paused to reload.

  • JennaJennaeight

    Why only 26 bell tolls in Newtown?  

    • Shag_Wevera

      Mom doesn’t get one.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

        And that is SO wrong. She is as much a victim as the other 26. People don’t think her family and friends aren’t grieving just as much as the families and friends of the people killed at the school?

  • nj_v2

    Well, damn, caller Christian says the Second Amendment guarantees gun ownership for “personal protection.”

    Learn something new every day!

  • 228929292AABBB

    I hope the panel will address President Obama’s failure to act on gun control in his first term, after campaigning partly on it.  Once again, the issue with the President comes down to words vs. actions, yet he seems always to get credit for the words.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Sen. Manchin’s audio clip about being a proud member of the NRA and then using the pronoun “we”: Can we hear more of it so as to determine which “we” he’s referring to?

    I’ve listened to that clip, but haven’t sussed it out yet.

  • Brandstad

    Mass shootings in the United States have at least one thing in common: they all happen in in gun free zones. Yesterday economist and author of More Guns Less Crime John Lott went on CNN with anchor Soledad O’Brien to discuss why mass shootings occur in gun free zones. O’Brien as usual, wasn’t interested in factual data Lott was presenting and continually cut him off as he was making his points.
    John Lott, the gun advocate who recently had a heated encounter with Piers Morgan, spoke to Soledad O’Brien on Monday morning — continuing to make his pro-gun argument. O’Brien had a hard time stomaching Lott’s perspective, telling him she simply does not understand it.The common feature across such attacks, Lott said, is that, with few exceptions, they’ve occurred where guns have been banned. “But there’s more than one thing in common, right?” O’Brien asked, adding that they’re armed, often with semi-automatic weapons.The point, Lott underlined, is that these “gun-free” pockets are the ones that are targeted. Specifically, he spoke about the gunman who chose the movie theater in Aurora, as opposed to other nearby theaters. O’Brien countered that Lott hasn’t spoken to him and has no way of knowing the gunman’s thought process. “How do you know that?” she asked. “You don’t know that.”

    • Shag_Wevera


      • BHA_in_Vermont

         Right! We should all be hauling around an AR-15 with at least 500 rounds in high capacity magazines at all times. And they should be highly visible, carried above shoulder height so everyone can see it.

  • Brandstad

    Germany had three of the five worst public shootings in the world. And Germany has extremely strict gun control laws. “Yet they’ve had a worse record,” Lott said.

    • AaronNM

      Lott is a proven liar and his credentials as an “economist” have been widely disputed. Like climate change deniers (and in classic think-tank tactics) he grossly cherry-picks data to support his position. There’s nothing scientific in his analysis at all. The USA, by a long way, outstrips the rest of the developed world in gun-related crimes, homicide, and suicide. In Norway it took ONE WEEK for gun ownership laws, which has as deep a traditional seating in that nation as in ours’, after a mass shooting which killed 77 people, including children. Our inaction is COSTING lives.

      • anamaria23

        After hearing an Anne Coulter interview   on the  radio (part of which had to be bleeped out her language against the  President so vile ),  in which she lauded Lott’s studies,  I Googled it  and, as you, learned  that studies at Stanford U.  largely  disclaimed his work. 

  • Markus6

    I think the Republican party has lost its’ way. And I say this as a  fiscal conservative who usually votes Republican. Defending people who buy automatic weapons and people making more than 1 million a year, it just sounds nutty. I understand that a lot of folks are nervous about the increasing power of the federal government. But “assault” weapons as one way to deal with this – it’s just wrong. And arming teachers is truly crazy. 

    I can’t believe that they’re taking these positions just when we most need fiscal restraint. They’re burning their own credibility. 

  • Brandstad

    First, the mental-health issue. A lengthy study by Mother Jones magazine found that at least 38 of the 61 mass shooters in the past three decades “displayed signs of mental health problems prior to the killings.” New York Times columnist David Brooks and Cornell Law School professor William Jacobson have both suggested that the ACLU-inspired laws that make it so difficult to intervene and identify potentially dangerous people should be loosened. “Will we address mental-health and educational-privacy laws, which instill fear of legal liability for reporting potentially violent mentally ill people to law enforcement?” asks Professor Jacobson. “I doubt it.”


    • brettearle

      My statement was read over the air, on this program, 2 days ago.

      I didn’t tell them to read it.  They CHOSE to read it.

      If we attempt to corral those who are mentally ill and who seem like they MIGHT (but obviously not definitely) become violent, then you will INEVITABLY be restraining, incarcerating, institutionalizing, and detaining men and women who would otherwise be harmless and innocent.

      If you would like to live in a society like that, I could name a few countries that would welcome your views.

      Unfortunately, this is the PRICE we pay for living in a free society.

      I don’t want to see children gunned down, anymore than you do.  That goes without saying.

      But increased gun control, and maybe (not definitely) increased security in targeted areas, will discourage, significantly, opportunity and means.

  • aardee1

    I cry silently every time I hear or read about the tragedy in Newtown. Especially when I read that they found 11 bullets in the body of a 7-8 year old and multiple bullets in other bodies.

    Personally I hate guns, gun ownership and gun culture, but I am not stupid to argue with anybody loves or owns a gun. But I will say this – If you want to own a gun to protect yourself, you don’t need those military grade guns to protect yourself.

    Gun control doesn’t mean you can’t own guns. Just introduce strict regulations and ban all assault weapons.

    I have to renew my driver’s license every 5 years, I have to test before getting a license, I have to have title and pay tax to buy a car – so should anybody who wants to own a gun.

    If we can’t this get done now, we will never will…

  • nj_v2

    Thank you Georgia caller Steven!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Patrick-Dwyer-Jr/100002088204784 James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    I was a member of the NRA for many many years. I quit after Sarah Palin was a keynote speaker at one of their conventions. I begin to realize  that they was totally aligned with the GOP. I am a Vietnam Vet and have owned guns all my life, but I am a liberal and not wanted by the NRA. That’s fine with me.

    • nj_v2

      Thank you, James!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      So, who now represents your interests in gun owning and gun use? What organization is out there that is competing with the NRA over your “mindspace” and money?

      I’m genuinely asking.

  • onpointmoose

    The majority of Americans support banning civilians having military weapons.  We have the power to overcome the timidity of politicians cowering at the NRA’s lobby $’s.  I’m making it my mission to write the President, my Senators and congressman daily – and fowarding my emails to everyone in my email address book, suggesting my friends do the same.  We need to teach our representatives who has the power to vote them out.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Has anyone seen a local TV report (any city) where a reporter interviewed a gun shop owner?

    I’ve seen two, and watching the shop owners, this week, still say “we have to worry about the government taking over” and “slippery slope”, makes me shudder a bit.

    PS I’m also wondering what passes for a skeptical, pressing attitude when a TV reporter interviews a gun enthusiast.

    • Ray in VT

      The BBC played a clip of someone talking about how this is all some socialist conspiracy to take away everyone’s guns.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        So, when I want solid TV interviews of Americans, I have to turn to the BBC?

        Damned liberal media!

  • Coastghost

    And as far as words go: let’s say we’re going to discuss the Benghazi episode . . . but let’s not actually discuss the Benghazi episode. More NPR backpedalling.

    • Ray in VT

      Except that they’re doing it now.

      • Coastghost

        And with not one mention of four momentous departures from the State Department (as if they occur with stunning regularity), and without mentioning the Pickering report’s explicit conclusion that NO “spontaneous demonstration” preceded the attack on the Benghazi consulate. NPR continues to treat this story (whether on “Morning Edition”, whether on “On Point”, whether on “All Things Considered”) with curious reticence, inexplicable circumspection, and an appalling lack of journalistic enterprise, as if to deflect consideration of the numerous issues raised.   

        • Ray in VT

          I can’t recall if I’ve heard the departures mentioned on NPR.  I’ve read it, I know, and I think that I’ve heard it as well.

          I think that it has been well established at this point that initial accounts of a spontaneous demonstration and the inclusion of that in CIA talking points have been disproven.  They also didn’t mention that the Fox News report that CIA operatives were told to stand down was also false.

          I think that there are issues here, but mostly I tend to hear calls about Obama coverups and the questioning of the intelligence or competence of Ambassador Rice.  Given that the Fiscal Cliff and Newtown dominated the show, I think the report is at least the 3rd biggest story of the week.

        • jimino

          Your hearing (or thinking) is obviously flawed as I heard this covered on NPR’s news shows.  As to your other typically colorful and vocabularically ridiculous comments, most people without your agenda have heard all they need to hear.

          • Coastghost

            Wednesday, the day these routine departures from State Dept. service were occurring, NPR regaled its national audiences not with news that the departures were occurring but with maple syrup thefts in Canada (noon Wed) and a UK report critical of the BBC (1 pm ET Wed). Later in the day, ATC was able to dutifully report with more of the noted reticence, but the breaking news was just too much for NPR producers and editors to notice amidst the acute public concern over maple syrup supplies and BBC cover-ups.

          • nj_v2

            Jimino is a better person than i. The less-nice, more-direct way to put it is that this is pretentious bunk.

            His embarrassing performance last week, insisting that OnPoint’s posting of the image of the semi-automatic weapon was some kind of serious breech of journalistic ethics is enough to expose this clown for what he is.

          • Coastghost

            Apparently, “On Point” was embarrassed enough to remove the offending image (“offending” because “premature” in the 7 pm Fri to 2 pm Sat context: the .223 was not directly linked to commission of the massacre until the CTME presser said so). And I gave OP credit Sat am for removing the offending image. And once the CTME announced its findings, posting the image anew would not have been perceived by yours truly as a violation of journalistic ethics. (As a former TV producer, I remain a bit sensitive to journalistic ethics, thank you.)

          • nj_v2

            Nice dodge. When they removed the image, they said it “wasn’t clear” what weapons were involved. You were insisting the semi-auto rifle wasn’t involved. You were wrong. Any honest person would admit it.

          • Coastghost

            And you misreport and misrepresent what I distinctly recall saying at the time: at the time I was not saying that the .223 was definitively NOT involved in commission of the massacre, I only pointed out that its purported use had NOT been officially confirmed. From early pm Friday, we were ALL being told only about the two handguns, with the reports STILL circulating that the .223 had been located in a car in the school parking lot, NOT in the school bldg. itself. ONLY the Sat pm CTME presser revealed, officially and for the first time, that the .223 had in fact been used in commission of the school murders. I’ll thank you not to lie about what I actually said.

        • Mike_Card

          Unless you’re just another screen name for the same troll, you’ve got to question your approach to these topics when the only support you get is from StillllllllllllllHere.

    • brettearle

      Benghazi is one of the most overpoliticized incidents that I have witnessed in some time.

      Anytime there is a violent barrage, somewhere, there will almost always be confusion about participants and culpability.

      While Security certainly could have been bolstered beforehand, I would be hardpressed to believe thta many other American compouinds throughout the world–in hotspots of unrest or otherwise–aren’t always subject to potential danger….unless US officials are working in citadels that are impervious to IEDs, rocket grenades, Molotov cocktails, and shoulder-launched missiles…..much less portable dirty bombs.

      • Coastghost

        Had Amb. Stevens died while circulating in public, your point would carry much more force. That he died of smoke inhalation in the consulate compound being successfully attacked (the consulate’s security perimeter was breached) puts rather a different complexion on the matter.

        • brettearle

           Wrong again.

          Your point is politically motivated.

          • Coastghost

            And your point is pristinely apolitical? Oh I see . . . .

          • brettearle

            Your question, to me, is actually somewhat irrelevant–whether you think so or not.

            OF COURSE, my own comment is not `pristinely apolitical’.

            But RATHER the issue is that there has been so much piling-on politicization of Benghazi that it  becomes harder and harder to search for legitimate responsibility.

            In the overall Security of `things’ around the world, it is far, far from being as big of a deal as Right Wing Washington and Right Wing Media have made it out to be.

            OF COURSE, `mistakes…..were……made.’

            But the EXAGGERATION of the errors and their importance–when you consider all the potential security breaches across the Globe and all the enemies of the West, out there, who can commit targeted sniper attacks–is just `A TAD’ overblown……and over-repeated to such a degree, THAT IT IS A BASIC OUTRAGE…. 



          • Coastghost

            Writing as one who is forever being misread in this forum, your prose becomes unreadable as it migrates from clc to ALL CAPS. Restrain thyself. And then come up with an argument: Stevens died in the consulate, a consulate whose security had been breached, a consulate under attack: he died of smoke inhalation in the consulate. Had he been killed outside of the consulate compound, in a shooting or from an explosion, the domestic tumult over US embassy security worldwide likely would not have arisen in the first place. The Pickering report suggests Stevens was given a bit too much leeway in calling his own shots, State Dept. deferred to his judgment but his judgment was not above reproach, at least in matters pertaining to consulate security. Frankly, I don’t know how much say US ambassadors are given concerning their own security, whether they routinely can evade or rebuff security concerns to suit themselves as they carry out their assignments. But the fact that the consulate itself was overrun–NOT by the overflow from Amb Rice’s and President Obama’s “spontaneous demonstration”–and now that we have learned (finally) that warnings went to the seventh floor of the State Dept. . . . well, I hope Hill’s bump on the head heals well enough not to impair her memory, an unimpaired memory would probably be an asset to her once she sits in front of Congressional committees in January.

    • jimino

      More people have taken responsibility and been held accountable for the 4 deaths in Benghazi than the hundreds of thousands killed on 9-11 and our ignorant and incompetent response to it.  Of course, the latter number is ZERO so it’s not hard to exceed it.

  • Rebechik


  • PMT-Survey Proc

    300,000,000 ‘registered’ guns in the USA?! That’s one per citizen and I dont even know a single gun owner. I know Texans who own up to 30 guns. Let them have their guns but one per family, a shotgun for hunting. Set up shooting ranges to “rent” guns to people to target shoot if that’s their pleasure. 2nd amendment remains intact.

  • toc1234

    kerry, stop the under-funding nonsense – its called prioritizing.  I can just imagine the crap State blows its budget on..

  • nj_v2

    Thank you, caller Frank (trained military service person trained in weapons use)!

    This echoes similar comments i’ve heard from similar, trained, military people in the past few days.

    The people arguing for arming school staff or excusing the availability of military-style weapons are insane.


    If the inconscienable (sp?) fact that the US is, by far, the most VIOLENT country in the developed world is NOT because of the massive arsenal among our citizens, then we must be the sickest, most selfish, hateful group of people. Given our pervasive religiosity and “wealth”, this is even more disturbing. Truly there are many difficult contributing factors to horrors such as Sandy Hook, but our love affair with weapons and killing cannot be ignored. Thankful for the wonderful comments on the radio from gun owners, hunters, etc, who have brains and souls.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Semi-automatic guns should be outlawed.
    Magazines should be limited to 6 bullets – all magazines and guns that can use those larger magazines should be outlawed.
    All guns should be insured for $1M for anybody other than the owner getting hurt or killed – even if the gun is stolen.
    All guns should be licensed, and all family/household members need to have background checks.
    There should be a 3-7 day waiting period.

    The Second Amendment needs to be changed.


  • Roy-in-Boise

    1) High capicity magazines can be classiffied as “Destructive Devices” under current law and dealt with accordingly.
    2) The second amendment was never about hunting. The point of it is to be armed against and to have the ability to resist tyrany.

    • Brandstad

      OK, That is a feel good and sound nice thing to do but it still wouldn’t have stopped any of the mas shootings that have occurred in the last 4 years!

      • Ray in VT

        So, if by limiting the number of rounds that a shooter can potentially put into the air during a given time doesn’t totally prevent a shooting, then we shouldn’t do it?

      • Mike_Card

        Just because you can go online and write things doesn’t mean you should.

        • StilllHere

          Live by your own words.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steven.valleau Steven Valleau

    Frank the sniper said it all. Military weapons have no business in a country at peace.

    • AaronNM

      He explained it in a way that all but the most stubborn partisans should heed. On all levels the argument for no regulation of high-capacity magazines and civilian variants of military weapons collapses under the weight of their own absurdity. Back in the Revolutionary War there was parity in armament, it’s just that one side had more than the other (it took the arrival of the French to turn the tide for us). But in modern times, no civilian militia, no matter how many guns they have, could defeat a government with predator drones, Apache helicopters, Abrams tanks, smart bombs, and nuclear weapons. And from a self-defense standpoint, the professed “need” for an assault-style weapon to defend one’s home is patently ridiculous. A revolver is just as likely to deter an attacker or even group of attackers as a an AR-15 rifle, and tactically, in close quarters, a handgun makes a lot more sense than a long gun.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    Noone better than John Kerry exposes the charade that is the two party system in the USA.  One merely has to listen to this rich guy’s generic blather. 
    And if party affiliation was so genuine, why would a democrat president risk a critical senate seat, upset the balance of democrat power, just so they could have this stiff whose only attribute is healthy hair and even healthier offshore bank accounts, blah blah and party his way around the world with no effect ??

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Where is the thinking in taking a solid Democrat out of the Senate and risk Brown getting re-elected to replace him? Would Martha Coakley run against him again and could she win unlike 2010?

    Seems like the President is taking chances with the very small majority he has in the Senate.

    • brettearle

       I think Congressman Markey will run and will win.

      • anamaria23

        I hope so.  I see him as incorruptable and a man of the people.

    • hennorama

      BHA – given the larger, safer Senate majority for Democrats/Independents, and the fact this majority is not filibuster-proof, Sen. John Kerry becoming to Sec. John Kerry is not a huge risk.

      There are also 13 Republican Senators up for re-election in 2014:

      Lamar Alexander (Tennessee)
      Saxby Chambliss (Georgia)
      Thad Cochran (Mississippi)
      Susan Collins (Maine)
      John Cornyn (Texas)
      Mike Enzi (Wyoming)
      Lindsey Graham (South Carolina)
      James Inhofe (Oklahoma)
      Mike Johanns (Nebraska)
      Mitch McConnell (Kentucky)
      Jim Risch (Idaho)
      Pat Roberts (Kansas)
      Jeff Sessions (Alabama)

      Might get a handful of retirements (maybe Cochran, Collins, and Alexander) and maybe a TEA Partyer primary challenge or three, especially of any Republican Senator who votes for any tax increases.  Likely candidates to do that – Chambliss and Johanns, who are in the “Gang of Eight” and Alexander, Collins and Graham, who have all expressed support of past bipartisan deals.

      Regardless, Kerry’s probably the best candidate, and Pres. Obama should get the best possible people for the major vacancies in his administration.  2014 elections are still almost 2 years away.  Lots of important stuff to do before then.

  • anamaria23

    What finer American than Chuck Hagel  for Defense Secretary.
    I am  for supporting Israel, but any attempt to obstruct an American Cabinet post for their own ends  is dispicable.

    Where will this end?  Let’s just do away with the Presidency and let the special interests run the county. 
    The Neo cons and John McCain (again)  don’t approve.  What a pity.

    • Mike_Card

      McCain demonstrated his diminished mental capacity when he chose Palin.  That he keeps getting re-elected to the Senate speaks volumes about Arizonans–what ever became of capable public servants like Sandra Day or Barry Goldwater?  Arizona now poops out creeps like McCain and Jan Brewer and John Kyle and the self-styled toughest [crookedest] sheriff in America.

      • Gregg Smith

        I love Sarah Palin.

        • margbi

           She’s already married.

        • Mike_Card

          A few million do, apparently.  Didn’t help make McCain’s case that Susan Rice “isn’t very bright,” however.

          • Gregg Smith

            Rice made the case for herself.

        • nj_v2

          That comes as no surprise.

      • StilllHere

        You are one sad, pathetic monkey.

        • Mike_Card

          Thank you ever so much for your unique talent in forwarding the discussion.

          • StilllHere

            You’re welcome, you set the bar pretty low.

  • onpointmoose

    Do you have a stock portfolio?  Call your broker and ask if he offers Death Merchant stock.  If he sells stock in the companies that manufacture these military style weapons and sell them to civilians, tell the broker he’s fired.   You’ll take your business elsewhere.  Otherwise, you are part of the problem, your money will be part of the NRA assault on our freedom to live.

    • StilllHere

      I come here for the investment advice, thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000753377770 Joachim Kriegel

    We have changed Independence from Britain to Dependence on the Jewish State and the Jewish Lobby.

    • brettearle

      I can’t think of a more profound, nuanced statement than the one above.

      Especially today, with all the dangers that currently confront us.

      Do me a favor, sir: 

      Go crawl back to the rock under which they found you.

    • nj_v2

      ^ The scum also rises.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Duncan-Brown/100000783993065 Duncan Brown

    It is time to seriously invest in mental health treatment in this country. Guns or no guns, the citizens suffering from mental health illness[es] need help. Once the stress outweighs the available resources, citizens don’t know
    where to go for help and the wait for treatment can  months, while the
    stigma of mental illness weighs heavily on the citizens. When President Regan cut institutional mental health services and returned the responsibility of mental health treatment to residual services, we can clearly see, the supreme trickle down program of residual services is failing all of us. 

  • dnlep

    About guns and this horrible massacre:

    It is two very very different things: on one hand to possess or actually be holding an automatic weapon; and on the other to point, shoot, and kill a person or persons.

    The difference between these two is vast.  

    The question I ponder is what, in our culture, creates conditions where a person, a young person,  with a gun, actually does it, actually pulls the trigger and commits mass murder.

    Pulling back, and taking a wide view, I feel there is a base of violence at the root of American culture – arising from the over-riding and universally championed ethic of profit.

    There was a recent On Point topic discussing how one cannot tell the difference these days between “real” music and advertising.  Music is a deeply healing language for any culture.  Here we have a situation where the healing aspect of music,  it’s ability to create communion and magic and joy is subverted.

    Or – how about that our nation on one hand is in an endless debate over how and whether to offer universal health care – which is, by the way, not a discussion centered around health but around the concerns of insurance companies  - AND on the other hand pushes, through advertising, very expensive advertising, junk food on it’s population.  This is violent and cruel.  People are sold on, encouraged, manipulated to eat diabetes causing foods and dis-informed about what is good – and then denied affordable health care.  Where is health in this equation.

    and on and on.

    Young people especially are more permeable than adults and more sensitive.  In my imagination, with some unfathomable logic, the violence endemic in our culture, is unconsciously and deeply felt by this person who wields this automatic weapon – channels this violence and it is our nation that is to blame.  Perhaps it is not the shooter who is mentally ill – he is perhaps rather exceptionally sensitive  and it is our American system that is deranged and blind.

    Talking gun control is OK, but there is something absurd about on one hand inciting violence through our marriage to profit and on the other preventing this violence from being expressed, by imposing restrictions.  It is a pressure cooker.

    As I listen to the heart wrenching voices and stories of people who have suffered unimaginable loss – I feel sad and a bit hopeless that the real real real deep causes are impossible for America to ever look at.

    • Steve_in_Vermont

      It’s refreshing to listen to someone taking a slow and thoughtful look into a very complex problem. You provide us with a lot of “food for thought”. Unfortunately most of the “food for thought” people today consume is junk food. That is, easy simplistic answers to complex problems.  And as you indicated, this applies to issues of guns, health and finance. What is needed is real leadership, something missing at this time. Someone once said people get the type government they deserve. I suspect they were right.

  • Ray in VT

    I am surprised that I have not heard anyone here howling about how the 1934′s banning of automatic weapons and sawn off shotguns isn’t a flagrant violation of their Second Amendment rights.

  • joelpatterson

    The logic of the NRA’s approach to school safety implies this: if the armed guard is overwhelmed by an intruder– which is not completely beyond the realm of possibility– then each and every teacher should also be armed– and if they are similarly overcome, each student– each kindergartener– should have a weapon, and then to reduce the time needed to access these, every kid should walk around with guns drawn, cocked, and ready for anything.

    Something is quite obviously flawed, here? Or perhaps not obvious to everyone?

    • Coastghost

      Might be easier to abolish public education outright.

      • joelpatterson

         Or just lock ourselves all in bomb shelters?

      • Ray in VT

        Perhaps that might be doable and desirable in some quarters, but my state’s Constitution made public education a right way back in 1777, and I think that we are all the better for it.

        • Coastghost

          I’m sure I can’t say: nationwide, hundreds of public school employees are being dismissed annually just for sexual predation, and these are people HIRED by local school districts and local schools; so if the public education establishment is unable to properly monitor any foxes already dwelling in the henhouses of their construction, they likely will remain hard pressed to pose solutions to deny entry to any fox knocking on any henhouse door. Sounds to me as if the deck is already stacked against children.

          • Mike_Card

            That’s sick.

          • Coastghost

            Public school employee sexual predation upon public school students? Yes, I entirely agree.

          • Mike_Card

            I was thinking more about parochial schools.  But I’m sure you’d agree.

          • Coastghost

            Si oui ja da.

  • AJNorth

     With only about five percent of the world’s population, we Americans own approximately fifty percent of the world’s firearms. Our gun mania is literal insanity. To begin
    with, the ONLY firearms the Founders had ANY awareness of were hand-loaded,
    single-shot flintlocks; to even suggest that they would bestow an absolute “right” for ordinary
    citizens to own, much less carry in public, modern weapons — weapons of war in
    particular — is not only patently absurd but grotesque.


    Finally, irrespective of what five ideologues of the
    SCOTUS may have ruled — overturning the better part of a century of settled law — the
    controlling clause of the vaunted Second Amendment is the first four words: “A
    well regulated militia…”

  • nj_v2

    I’ve said it before, but after the “press conference” this morning, it bears repeating.

    The NRA can go f*** itself. At least the current leadership.

    Responsible members of the organization need to reclaim ownership of this organization and throw these extremists out.

    • Mike_Card

      The NRA is not “part” of the problem.  The NRA IS the problem.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HN77X5ERBG5D64O2YY47TQUR24 Mike B

    Make off duty police officers substitute teachers–they are already trained and screened to carry a concealed firearm.

    Their random placement in schools would deter and disrupt school shooters in their planning. 

    It could also build school community/police relations.

    The federal government could provide added incentive for police (who work flexible hours) and districts (always in need of funds) to implement the program.

    This could improve safety in schools.

    • hennorama

      Mike B – unfortunately, gun violence in the US is not limited to schools.

      Yesterday, another poster (DIYinSTL, on “The Power Of The NRA” thread), asked me “Can you name more than one instance of mass murder in this country in the past decade that did not occur in a ‘gun free zone’?”

      It took me less than a minute to find the answer:

      “Yes, I can.  Unfortunately, there are many instances of mass murder of families.  ALL of the following involved firearms:

      2011 Grapevine, TX   6 Dead2010 Appomatox, VA  8 Dead2009 Los Angeles, CA 6 Dead2008 Covina, CA 9 Dead 2 Injured2008 Memphis, TN 6 Dead 3 Injured2006 Kansas City, KS 6 Dead2004 Fresno, CA 9 Dead

      Focusing on schools misses the mark.  Not to mention the BILLIONS the NRA’s proposal, and yours, would cost.

      There are over 132,000 public and private K-12, special education, alternative, and other schools in the US.  I did a quick “back of the envelope” calculation, and came up with a minimum cost of $3.8 Billion to have a single armed security guard at 132,000 schools ($20/hr, 40 hrs/wk, 36 wks/year).  Police officers would cost significantly more.

      You would have to overcome the objections of those who don’t want the Federal government involved in schools, those who don’t want to have the Federal goverenment spend more, those who don’t want schools becoming police states, those who don’t want AND firearms in schools, etc.

      And even if you could do ALL that, you wouldn’t change the fact that about 2 of every 3 murders in the U.S. are by firearms.   In 2011 – the latest year for which detailed statistics are available – there were 12,664 murders in the US. Of those, 8,583 were caused by firearms.

      That’s 67.77%.  Firearms are by FAR the most common weapons used to commit homicide in the U.S.  Knives and other cutting instruments came in second, at about 13%.

      Source:http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jan/10/gun-crime-us-state  (This is a highly interactive site)

    • Mike_Card
  • hennorama

    For the visually-oriented, these two charts graphically show the “Gun-related murder rate in the developed world*” (*OECD, excluding Mexico), and the  “Number of guns per 100 people in developed countries” (OECD, including Mexico).

    The U.S. rate is shown in red, making it easy to see.

    The U.S. is indeed quite exceptional, as shown in these charts.  Our firearms culture, and our use of firearms to commit murder, is a unique combination.



    • Mike_Card

      Thanks.  At least Chile didn’t overtake the US in the per capita murders category.

      Let’s hear it for “American exceptionalism!”  We’re #1!  USA!

    • Coastghost

      It would be helpful to know the OECD murder rate figure for Mexico, since a low gun ownership rate relative to a high murder rate would yield its own set of conclusions. Furthermore, these data come with absolutely NO temporal criteria: we don’t know what year or what period they purport to apply to. Furthermore still: to critique US murder rates even on the basis of roughly contemporary reporting data alone (irrespective of US history, that is) is at least absurd. 

      • hennorama

        I invite you to do your own research, then report back. If you have any contrary data, please share, OK?

        • Coastghost

          Oh hennorama, you know me: I’m always sharing.

          • hennorama

            Coastghost – here are the source articles for the charts. The author cites the sources of the data, and explains his reasoning for excluding Mexico – you may have heard about this – they’re in the middle of a drug war, which MIGHT skew the data just a wee bit.



            Again, “Your mission, Coastghost, should you choose to accept it” is to find and share any contrary data that you discover. Unless no such data exists, of course. Good luck. This post will NOT self-destruct in five seconds.

            I predict you will duck this mission, but my predictions have been wrong before.

          • Coastghost

            The US is squarely engaged in a drug war of its own, if you listen closely to Federal authorities, so the US data must all be skewed, too. Why exempt Mexican murder rates (or: murder rates south of the border) from consideration when a connection with at least some (many?) of the murders committed in the US are a part of the identical conflict? I’ve not heard much talk this past week about any connection of US gun violence with Federal drug policy and Federal drug policy enforcement (you know, hennorama, apart from Fast and Furious).

          • hennorama

            Coastghost – if you wish to argue with the author about his choices, there are comment sections on his blog, as well as other contact info, including Twitter, facebook, etc.

            If you wish to argue with me about the author’s choices, I will merely state that I took the positive step of clearly pointing out whether data for Mexico was or was not included in each chart. I also will point out that I merely presented data, and suggested no conclusion other than “Our firearms culture, and our use of firearms to commit murder, is a unique combination.”

            Again, feel free to provide any other data that you may discover, including the per capita homicide rate in Mexico. Cite your sources, etc.

            Your “mission” still stands, as does my prediction.

          • Coastghost

            My argument is with you specificially for adducing deficient data: I don’t fault the source, I fault you for citing the source without requisite elaboration. (Don’t give me any marching orders, if you please, I am not under your command, and I’d hate for you to turn blue on my account.) Your prediction with respect to me therefore being of null value, I will not say your predictions are any more trustworthy than your ability to report contemporaneous data reliably.

          • hennorama

            Hilarious and unsurprising.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Dam, those video games are killing us.

    • Gregg Smith

      No need to reply but I wanted to make sure you saw what I posted this morning.


  • Fishermanidaho

    As a moderate, I agree with an armed guard at every school. Why is that so bad? We protect our banks better than we do our children.  Also get rid of semi-autos and we need more mental health and regulation on gun ownership

    • osullivan11

      Why not have armed guards at cinemas, playgrounds, hospitals, church, mosques, synagogues, football games, bowling alleys, guards just walking the streets and everywhere else. 

      Sounds like a mish-mash of Belfast, Mogadishu, Jerusalem and Kandahar.We have nothing to fear but fear itself, right?

      • Gregg Smith

        Wherever it is known that people may be armed crime is down. All the cowardly killer needs to divert him is the inability to rule it out in his mind. They’ll go for the gun-free zone every time. 

        • osullivan11

          Gregg. With respect. This is truly preposterous. Just think of Fort Hood. Guns everywhere. The element of surprise was the factor there and the fact that he could kill so effortlessly and rapidly. If guns are controlled…. this probability is reduced significantly.

          In Britain, they had a mass killing in Cumbria. It took the guy 4 hours to kill 13 people. Why? Because he had a shotgun… not an assault rifle which just mows people down in seconds.

          I know this is a cold analysis but it does demonstrate the scale of devastation that these weapons are capable of and the unlikelihood that intervention by guards is possible.

          There was a time and place when guns were everywhere in public…. and that was 100 years ago and in the Wild West and reasonable people came to reasonable consensus that this is no way to live.

          I wish you a nice Christmas. I’ll be thinking about this issue and I hope that we all and congress do too.

          • Gregg Smith

            Ft. Hood was a terrorist attack, an international event. Security was breeched. I put that on the same level as the Benghazi fiasco. I really think that’s a different animal. I am neutral on the automatic rifles and large magazines, I just don’t think it can be shown it would have impacted the tragedy so I don’t think the decision should be based on it. That simple position causes me more trouble than you’d believe.

            In 1929 (I think) 38 school kids were  massacred with dynamite, so there’s that.

            I don’t know about arming everybody but government shouldn’t prohibit the freedom to decide how best to protect ourselves.

            Merry Christmas.

    • anamaria23

      Sadly, we may come to armed guards.  Would the NRA be willing to convince the gun manufactuers to agree to pitch in for the cost?  A hefty tax on every gun and every bullet?  It seems a small price to pay for the profits they reap.

      • Gregg Smith

        Leave everything else aside, is there anything that would have given those kids a better chance than a good guy with a gun?

    • 1Brett1

      There were two armed guards at Columbine…I agree with your other points. I would also like to see mandatory, universal background checks.

    • hennorama

      Fishermanidaho – “…an armed guard at every school. Why is that so bad?”

      1.  “The shooter will have won.”

      2.  Doesn’t address overall problem of gun violence.

      3.  Police state mentality.

      4.  One armed security person (even a police officer) is hardly an insurmountable force against a determined attacker or attackers.

      5.  May simply “shift the target” to other “soft targets” – places of worship, to name just one example.

      6.  Changes the nature of childhood, teaching kids that they are never safe, anywhere.

      7.  Calls for further Federal involvement in schools

      8.  It’s a tone-deaf, odious, self-serving proposal from the head of the NRA.

      9.  Cost.  Over 132,000 schools in the U.S.  MINIMUM cost: $3.8 BILLION.  Probably would be 2 to 5 times that in actuality.

      I’m sure I could come up with more, but we’re approaching midnight somewhere.

      • notafeminista

        1.  The shooter won what precisely?

        2.  Human nature addresses violence gun or otherwise.  History tells us humans are a violent lot.

        3.  Banning something already guaranteed by the Constitution and fully supported by the founding fathers certain seems like a police state.

        4. This logic indicates no more security guards in banks either.

        5. Soft target = anything with a “gun free zone” sign. I don’t know why those things don’t work.

        6. Children are already taught that.  “Stranger danger”  DARE and gang resistance programs in schools.  Seat belted, knee padded and helmeted from birth to 21. 

        7. Schools are federally funded, lunches are USDA regulated and provided incentives by the federal government already.  Is more involvement even possible?

        8.Banning guns is a tone deaf odious self serving proposal  from the Left.

        9. Again, the phrase “newly minted” comes to mind.  I can’t imagine why. 

        10.  Just admit you want to limit freedom – it would be more honest.

        • Gregg Smith

          It’s bizarre how counter-productive knee-jerk emotional reactions are so easily fomented.

        • hennorama

          notafeminista – thank you for your reply.

          Do you think there is something wrong with a poster editing their remarks? As for me, editing mostly involves formatting issues between the software used in composing, and DISQUS – DISQUS seems to abhor spaces between lines, for example. I do also edit for typos. Occasionally, I add or remove content. As to this particular edit – I recall formatting issues, but I’m not sure if I edited the content, or added or removed anything after the original posting.

          Since you are a “freedom fighter,” you may want to look in the mirror, as you seem to want to limit my First Amendment rights. I will simply use your own words here – “Just admit you want to limit freedom – at least it would be honest.” If you are truly interested in those who “want to limit freedom,” you may also wish to comment to other posters, as there is at least one proposing limiting media broadcasts.

          As to my comment #8.- I note that you do not refute what I said. My opinion is that the proposal is tone-deaf and odious, and the proposal is factually from the head of the NRA. My conclusion is that it is self-serving (for the NRA mainly, but also for the head of the NRA), as it involves putting MORE firearms into circulation. This is unsurprising, as the NRA is demonstrably an advocacy/lobbying group for firearms manufacturers and sellers. One therefore expects the NRA to be only self-serving.

          In his prior press conference, the head of the NRA said “The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.” Thus far, they have offered only one unoriginal proposal. Still waiting for their “meaningful contributions.”

          Thank you again for your reply, but please stop trying to limit my freedom.

        • hennorama

          notafeminista – Out of curiousity – why did you edit your original reply? Also, since I have the original, would you like for it to be shared “in here” and/or my reply? (Note that I would need to share your post in order to reply; otherwise my reply would have no context.)

      • Gregg Smith

        1. The shooter unfortunately did win.
        2. It kills the bad guy while we naval gaze about society.
        3. We have to be molested to fly, we have roadside cavity searches.
        4. It improves the odds big time, those kids had nothing.
        5. They already do, it was a “gun-free zone”. The Aurora killer chose the only theater with a sign that prohibited concealed carry.
        6. Plain clothes, concealed carry.
        7. No it doesn’t, Texas packs in schools.
        8. It’s the only thing suggested so far that could have made a difference.
        9. We threw more than that down the solar rathole. GM cost us $25 billion and they still can’t survive on their own. 

        Connecticut has very tough gun laws including a ban on assault rifles. It didn’t even slow him down.

        • Gregg Smith

          26 reasons we should consider guns in schools. All the existing gun laws did was make the victims helpless.

          Charlotte Bacon, 6
          Daniel Barden, 7
          Rachel D’Avino, 29
          Olivia Engel, 6
          Josephine Gay, 7
          Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
          Dylan Hockley, 6
          Dawn Hochsprung, 47
          Madeleine Hsu, 6
          Catherine Hubbard, 6
          Chase Kowalski, 7
          Jesse Lewis, 6
          James Mattioli, 6
          Grace McDonnell, 7
          Anne Marie Murphy, 52
          Emilie Parker, 6
          Jack Pinto, 6
          Noah Pozner, 6
          Caroline Previdi, 6
          Jessica Rekos, 6
          Avielle Richman, 6
          Lauren Rousseau, 30
          Mary Sherlach, 56
          Victoria Soto, 27
          Benjamin Wheeler, 6
          Allison Wyatt, 6

          • JGC

            Did you overlook one more victim, Nancy Lanza?  

          • Gregg Smith

            Yes, and implicit in the omission is the fact that we can’t put armed guards everywhere. We don’t want to over react but I feel like we are on red alert right now. 

          • 1Brett1

            Were there laws prohibiting armed guards in schools in CT? It is reasonable to assume that there weren’t laws forcing schools to have armed personnel on the grounds…you propose more laws?

            You’ve said in other comments that Adam Lanza broke many laws in the commission of his crime so adding more gun laws wouldn’t have done anything to stop the tragedy. 

            In another comment you say we need gun laws to force there being armed personnel in schools, or are you suggesting voluntary action? If it is mandatory, it would have to be a law and it would have to be enforced. 

            Many schools already have armed personnel on campus. 

            In Columbine, one was stationed on campus, one was nearby; both fired at the killers and didn’t stop them. 

          • Gregg Smith

            It is my understanding the school was a gun free zone which meant there was a law prohibiting armed guards. I would do away with that law. Texas did not have to make new laws or challenge federal   law to let their teachers carry. Yes, at least 10 gun laws were broken, I don’t see how another restriction on guns would help. That is not to say all laws are bad (I can’t believe I have to remind you).

            “In another comment you say we need gun laws to force there being armed personnel in schools, or are you suggesting voluntary action?”

            I never ever ever said that. The only thing I suggested forcing was medication in extreme cases.I never suggested forcing schools to have armed guards. I don’t like the idea. I would rather the principal or possibly a teacher or two have the shackles of law removed (not a new law) to let them pack if they so desire.

        • 1Brett1

          If advertising “gun free zones” promotes violence with guns (essentially visibility of there not being security) then “plain clothes concealed carry would deter violence with guns?

          Also, can you provide some evidence that CT. had a ban on assault weapons? Was there a ban on the types of weapons Lanza’s mother had in her home?

  • Coastghost

    Our fragile democracy is in dire straits when we are COMPELLED to have to trust our media (in their journalistic and entertainment avatars) to conduct a public discussion on the pernicious effects of media saturation. Television itself is odious, but few are willing to even consider whether it has begun to perform as a public health hazard: why is “television viewing addiction” never a subject for TV talk shows, radio call-in shows, media survey shows, etc.? It is possible to enjoy the scant benefits that TV can possibly confer by limiting TV broadcasting and transmission and viewing to no more than sixteen hours out of every 24-hour cycle. The reduced power consumption that would ensue all by itself would begin to give us at least one handle on the consumption of electricity that’s being implicated all the time for global warming. Cut TV broadcasting and viewing by one-third, just like that: the savings would be immediate. The quiet might even be welcome.

  • nj_v2

    It’s coming on Christmas 
    They’re cutting down trees 
    They’re putting up reindeer 
    And singing songs of joy and peace 
    Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on…

  • Gregg Smith

    Wayne Lapierre made some great comments today. I’m not sure armed guards are the answer but I do think there is an immediate need to address the copycat issue. I prefer the message of, “you will die” over “we’ll make sure no one is armed”. In the end I would rather see a principal and perhaps a teacher of two packing but not standing guard in a militant fashion. It doesn’t have to be overt, just well known.

    • Gregg Smith

      I do have to admit I felt a little creepy when Lapierre stole verbatim the line I posted here hours before he said it about a “good guy with a gun” being the best chance the kids had.

      • 1Brett1

        …well, you know what they say about certain minds thinking alike…

        • Gregg Smith

          I dare say most anyone would agree a good guy with a gun was the best chance the kids could have ever realistically had. It’s not rocket science.

    • rmarius2000

      At this point, because the NRA and other pro gun lobbying groups have made sure that there are so many guns out there, it almost seems necessary and logical to make sure everyone else is armed. But here’s the thing. That principle or teacher will need more than a handgun. They will need to have a similar assault rifle with similar ammunition to deal with an assailant. Further, the principal or teacher will need to have body armor, since some of these assailants have body armor. But that won’t be enough. Some of these unbalanced people have armor piercing bullets. Basically, you’d have a situation in a school where both sides are spraying bullets from high capacity magazines that can pierce armor. That’s not a great visual.

      So yes, schools need professional, well trained, armed security. Teachers and principals won’t be enough because of the firepower these assailants have been armed with. Why not get the security for schools but in the meantime stop putting these weapons out there? Stop allowing civilians to buy armor piecing bullets. Their only function is to pierce armor and kill. Even police are at a disadvantage. Does that make sense? Really? People, everyone who buys a gun should have to do a background check and get the weapon registered. Common sense. We register cars, motorcycles, boats etc. Why is it so hard a concept that a weapon should be registered. Republicans refused to pass a bill that would keep people on the terrorist watch list from buying a gun. I just don’t get it. These are common sense measures. Yes, there are tons of guns out there. Why put more out? SMH. It doesn’t make any sense unless you are a weapons manufacturer. By the way, I’ve shot an M-16, AK47, Uzi 9mm, and a shotgun. I also believe in buying a handgun for protection or a rifle for hunting, but armor piercing bullets and assault rifles for civilians is ridiculous. 

      • Gregg Smith

        That may be but a single bullet to the head from any gun would have done the trick. We don’t have to go all SWAT team on them.

  • tao101

    I think two of your topics tonight are flip sides of the same coin: Republican lawmakers manipulated by outside forces beyond all common sense.  On the fiscal cliff side, Grover Norquist and his cadre of anonymous millionaires and billionaires, and on the gun control side, obviously the NRA.

    Do labor unions rate Democrats on how liberal they are and skewer them at election time if they choose to exercise independent thought?  (If they do, it’s news to me, but it’s certainly not to the extent of what happens on the right.)

    I applaud the President for attempting to skewer the Republicans over their self-made mess.

    • Gregg Smith

      Yea, labor unions do that. Big time. All of it’s cool if it’s transparent. People are smart… I think.

  • hennorama

    Let’s do a little arithmetic.
    Approx. 300 million privately owned firearms in the U.S.  Cost for a single armed security guard at over 132,000 schools – $3.8 to maybe $20.0 BILLION.
    That’s … oh dear …$12.666 to $66.666/firearm/year.

    Anyone else not surprised by all those sixes?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    If the NRA is serious about their encouragement to have government
    “enforce the laws already on the books”, how about cops at every state
    line making sure people don’t carry guns illegally into “Statesota” (any
    state with tighter gun laws) from “Another State” (with less restrictve
    gun laws)?

    And I don’t mean just searching 20-year-old windowless vans, or rappers’ delights (new luxury cars with very dark window tint) or other “rolling probable cause” vehicles, I mean everybody.

    That’s that state’s right, to enforce the law, isn’t it? Isn’t that what the NRA keeps braying about needing more of?

  • Potter

    from the NYTimes “Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the firearm group, made clear the N.R.A. would not support the president’s call for gun control, recommending instead a “school shield” program of armed security guards at the nation’s schools as well as a national database that could track the mentally ill.”

    More guns, an armed and fortified public and public institutions and the proposal to keep a database on the mentally ill- subject to what, whose diagnosis and prognosis/warnings? This latter will surely make those who have mental illness and their families, stay in denial, feel shame and ostracism, in the closet. 

    I think the NRA is evil. Anyone belonging to the NRA after this moment should be on a national database and tracked.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      I had the urge to respond that your words (not your underlying sentiment) sounded a bit hyperbolic.

      But then I remembered every public utterance from LaPierre since the summer of 2008, and that urge went away.

      I don’t know how any anti-NRA language (whether the words themselves, or the vocal tone, or non-verbal communication cues) can possibly keep up with the NRA’s imagination of what their (political) enemies are thinking.

      • Potter

        Thanks. I am not usually hyperbolic but I was inspired. Also it’a a bit of humor for a situation that is not.

        I think you are also saying that their idea of what this country is all about is pretty distorted and we should firmly and loudly reject it. I do. And I use the word “evil” after much thought about evil.

  • JGC

    Wayne LaPierre exhibits symptoms of paranoia and narcissistic personality disorder, and probably should step up to be Patient #1 in his proposed new national database that would track the mentally ill.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    Put armed guards in schools? What about school busses? School sporting events? Malls? Movie theaters? Large day care facilities? And yet the idea of disarming everyone could lead to a “black market” in which only criminals would have guns. If there is an “answer” to this problem it’s probably somewhere in the middle, but certainly not at the end of either extreme.

  • Steve__T

  • jimino

    The NRA’s proposed solution is an armed police state staffed by “volunteers”.  They trying out that concept in places like Somalia and it doesn’t seem to be working out too well.

    I can only imagine the number of fools who would volunteer for such duty and the number of people “armed” with cell phones (I swear to God I thought it was a gun!!) who would be killed in their bizarre world.

  • Duras

    Alright, I’ll give it a go although I have given my views on the gun issue before.

    First, half the struggle for gun regulations is a struggle against an ideology that knowingly or unknowingly wants a society filled with cold war politics: if that man has a gun and I have a gun, no one will shoot (if he has a nuke and I have a nuke, there would be no fallout).  This fallacious logic finds its roots at the furthest ends of right wing ideology where there is a war between every citizen.  I think that accounts for the unthinking reactions of “give the teachers guns” remarks and the like.

    Second, I grew up with a “Dare” officer (a paid police officer) in every public school I attended.  The universities had their own police department.  And, yes, I am all for a police officer to be in every school.

    Third, curtailing gun rights, will curtail the times these things happen.  If the assault weapons ban was still law, these shooters would have had to use less powerful weapons that shoot less bullets, less bullets in the air means less bodies shot.  Say, if Al Gore had gotten his way and only shotguns were legal, Lanza’s only option would have been to use his mother’s shotgun , but he had more options and abstained the low capacity, low power arms.  This is a pretty well known argument: if some shooters had 6 bullets per clip, less lives would have been lost during the Gabby Giffords shooting for example. 

    I don’t see how adding more guns to a situation, adding more bullets in the air of, say, a dark movie theater, would curtail the loss of life … or even dissuaded people whom we have deemed “crazy,” “evil,” and “monsters” from going on a rampage. 

    I attended the University of Florida during the Virginia Tech shooting and a debate broke out on campus.  I published an argument against allowing students and faculty caring guns on campus.  I made two arguments: (1) police presence on campus was adequate to dissuade potential shooters and able to stop it quickly if it did happen; (2) say, that a shooter did open fire at Turlington Square (which is a highly populated area) then a dozen or so (probably C students) fire shots trying to stop the situation but they have just put more bullets in the air and the police don’t know who is who … in short, the law against hand guns on campus does what a good law is suppose to do, prevent chaos. 

    Now, outside of the university setting where police presence is not often seen, especially if the economic conditions cause desperate behavior, someone should be allowed a handgun with a low capacity magazine for protection.

    But armor piercing bullets, extended clips, assault weapons, etc. ought to be restricted to the confines of a gun club.  At a gun club you can shoot whatever you want but the guns cannot leave with anyone.  I would also tax bullets 200%, but inside a gun club you can purchase bullets at normal taxation rates but like the guns they must never leave the club. 

    That way, everybody can protect their property and still go to a club to blow up stuff.      

  • 1Brett1

    The NRA proposes armed guards in schools but in many schools that already exists. There were two armed guards at Columbine. 

    LaPierre spoke of the need for some national database on those seeking mental health services, but yet the NRA is against universal, mandatory background checks. LaPierre spoke of stopping a bad guy with a gun by having a good guy with a gun around; he also talked about gun-free zones promoting violence with guns. But, in order to “protect,” based on that thinking, there would have to be armed guards stationed all around shopping malls, movie theatres, etc., in all public places. 

    In the face of yet another tragedy, would there be a call for even more armed guards? If so, where does that end?

    LaPierre essentially proposed a new product: tax-subsidized, government resources devoted to armed officials in our school systems. The NRA said earlier in the week that their press conference would open a meaningful dialogue…which is a bit like Boehner bringing forth a “meaningful” fiscal “plan” that amounted to tax cuts for the wealthy, and cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc., for a vote, then benching it for lack of Republican support as members of the House walk away for Christmas, and in another breath accuses the President of “sitting on his hands,” “not offering any serious plan or compromises,” or otherwise doing nothing. Substantive proposals? Meaningful action?

    Yeah, guns aren’t the problem and Democrats interfere with a meaningful legislative process…sure

    • Gregg Smith

      I realize there is a rush of media to say Columbine had armed guards on site but I don’t recall that. I don’t think it’s true, maybe it is. If there was, I don’t see what relevance it has. 

      • 1Brett1

        Here are two excerpts from a Huffington Post article:

        “Deputy Neil Gardner was a 15-year veteran of the Jefferson County, Colo., Sheriff’s Office assigned as the uniformed officer at Columbine. According to an account compiled by the police department, Gardner fired on Harris but was unsuccessful at stopping him.” 


        “The second officer was Deputy Paul Smoker, a motorcycle patrolman who was near the school writing a speeding ticket. When he heard a dispatch of a woman injured at the high school, he responded. He, too, fired at harris but couldn’t stop him.”

        There are several others I noticed from various news sources.

        Here’s a link from CNN:


        To relevance: arming personnel at a facility such as a school didn’t help. You say it could have given students a chance last week, yet there isn’t any evidence to support your opinion; there is, however, evidence to support the idea that in that type of situation, armed personnel wouldn’t have helped.

        • Gregg Smith

          And here is what Mr. Gardner himself said: 


          As to rellevance, if you are trying to convince me that because the good guy missed that the chances were not improved for the kids then don’t waste your breath. I find that crazy. Do you know how many more would have died if they were not under pursuit? They were pinned, surrounded and cornered when they did themselves in, does that matter? Would it have been better to let their killing spree continue unabated? Your not making sense.

          • 1Brett1

            Risk analysis is what I’m referring to …again don’t make my opinions black and white and yours gray: not “honest debate.”

          • jefe68

            It’s pretty weird, the way some of the right wing posters here are trying to defend the abhorrent view point of LaPierre and the NRA.


          • 1Brett1

            As far as the link: Gardner (the guy who engaged ineffectively with the Columbine killers, not stopping them) is law enforcement employed as an armed guard at a school; it’s not surprising he would like the idea of armed guards at schools…did you read the part where he also thinks there should be a ban on assault weapons?

          • Gregg Smith

            Maybe there should be a ban, I never said otherwise. He was not there at the time of the shooting. I warned you about being careful what you read and believed.

          • 1Brett1

            “Do you know how many more would have died if they were not under pursuit?” -Gregg

            No, I don’t, but apparently you think you do.

            So, wow, you can actually go back into the past before the killings at Columbine and look through a crystal ball at all of the possible alternate universes and separate realities and provide irrevocable outcomes…that’s most impressive.

          • Gregg Smith

            You have jumped the shark. I have no idea what you are reading. If your argument is the guards at Columbine were no benefit then you are the one tacitly making a claim. I am saying odds of survival are improved by a good guy with a gun as opposed to helpless victims with nothing. Sorry, I don’t have proof.

      • nj_v2

        “I don’t recall”

        “I heard someone say” (previous post)

        “I don’t think”

        Greggg Vaporware

        * poof *

        • 1Brett1

          Yeah, and if anyone else does that he says they are just using a bunch of qualifiers, making things up, or lying. 

          As long as in his “honest debate” he can make up his own “rules,” and prohibit others from using those same “rules,” he’s quite a persuasive debater. 

          • Gregg Smith

            And what conclusions have I drawn to form false premises? I remember a controversy when we did this whole debate after Columbine. I’m not likely to find it on google after a decade but you made a claim I question. So what?

            You are saying there were armed guards at Columbine and implying they did no good so they would not help now. Am I wrong? It’s not a sound argument.

            Go ahead, put me in my place that’s the only “rule”. All I’ve ever done is say where I disagree and why. Sorry if that bothers you. Feel free to do the same but be careful what you read and believe.

          • 1Brett1

            What you are doing is continuing to drive your opinions over and over (that you think armed personnel could have helped last week) with nothing of substance, yet you wish to be taken seriously. You’ve not supported or substantiated that opinion in any way. And, your opinions in that regard are much more than disagreeing with other comments.

            It’s funny to have you question my statement about armed guards at Columbine, initially. (Before I googled it, I figured you thought I wouldn’t be able to find anything on that, thus making your dismissiveness more valid in your mind, I guess.) I did find some reports, one from CNN from a long time ago. See below (a comment made an hour before your comment above).

            I never said emphatically that another example I propose in another situation was ABSOLUTE proof of what will ABSOLUTELY work or not work; just as you are offering your opinions, so am I. I’ve provided some substantiation of why I formed my opinions; you have not. 

            I don’t really care what selectively or unselectively you remember or don’t remember from Columbine (13 years ago) I do care that you are quick to dismiss supporting information of others opinions as an effort to discount their opinions: that’s NOT honest debate. 


          • Gregg Smith

            Well I wish you would make up your mind. I can’t redo history with my parameters, no one can. I thought we agreed on that.

            You get way to wiggy trying to figure out my my thinking. I’m a simple man I just remember a debate about armed guards at columbine. I had already read the Huffpo piece as well as others saying there were guards. I figured you did too. I’m skeptical, that’s all.

          • 1Brett1

            So, we’re in agreement: your opinions are not at all supported by any facts. 

            You discount news reports of armed guards  being at Columbine (CNN, Huffpost, Slate, etc.). I don’t wish to offer my opinions about why you would discount that (although I have about three), as that just riles you…so have a nice day; chasing which argument you pursue at any fleeting moment might be more interesting to someone else.  

          • Gregg Smith

            So I give you Gardner himself in his own words but you treat as gospel what CNN and Huffpo say? What to make of that? Liberal brainwashing?

          • 1Brett1


          • 1Brett1

            yes, he’s an idiot

        • Gregg Smith

          Brett wrote: “There were two armed guards at Columbine.” Is that all you need?

      • Mike_Card

        Here’s an excerpt I originally included somewhere down the thread: 


        I think this is unusual for any school, but have a dim recollection of some sort of incident that caused the school district to have armed security services.

        To me, the really troubling part of LaPierre’s presentation is its complete disregard for the enormity of the event.  It is a bald attempt to turn this tragedy into a marketing opportunity for his puppet masters.  The NRA is an industry-owned lobbying organization.

        • Gregg Smith

          Evidently the deal was they had a police officer assigned to Columbine during school hours but he was not an armed guard. He was not there when it started. I don’t know how exactly that affected the dynamic but I am glad they did their best. 

          I can see how Lapierre’s presentation could be seen through the lens of politics, maybe so. Lobbying can be nasty, gotcha’. I don’t endorse the idea of turning our kindergartens into prisons but I can’t argue with the merits at this time. All I’m trying to say is, if someone, anyone, had a gun to plaster the SOB pronto then it would have been better. I can’t believe the resistance that notion evokes.

      • jefe68

        So you don’t think it’s relevant that Deputy Neil Gardner, a 15-year veteran of the Jefferson County, Colo., Sheriff’s Office assigned as the uniformed officer at Columbine and he failed in stopping Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. 

        You don’t see the relevance?

        • Gregg Smith

          On a factual basis what Brett said was wrong, there were not two armed guards at Columbine. My point all along has been a good guy with a gun would have been the best chance those kids had. I am flabbergasted at the lengths some will go to keep from admitting that no-brainer. That has been twisted to claims I want to arm everybody, I think murder laws are stupid and I want to force schools to have armed guards.

  • 1Brett1

    The data just don’t support the idea that more people own guns now than in the past; in fact, that appears to shrinking (I think it was something like 1 and 3 owned guns almost forty years ago, now it’s something like 1 and 5, a statistic I heard yesterday.) The data support the fact that of the shrinking number of gun owners, those are buying more and more guns. Essentially, fewer people have more guns. 

    Crime has been steadily declining over the last few decades, on that both sides of this issue agree. Those on the gun freedom side wish to say it’s because of loosening gun laws and increasing other gun laws (concealed carry laws, for example), and more people carrying/owning guns. I suggest that this can not be proven beyond coincidence; correlation can not be established – and, causation can certainly not be proven.

  • Gregg Smith

    The notion of government coming after our guns is a major reason for spikes in sales. I think it’s a scary thought and am not prone to entertain such things but there is a basis. It’s on the radar. This time it’s not cuckoo land. HEre’s the governor of NY:

    “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”


    • Steve_in_Vermont

      Gregg, this is also the reason people are joining the NRA in record numbers.
      Statements such as you mentioned are great recruiting tools for the NRA, hence
      the large increase in their membership. People may strongly disagree with the
      NRA on some of their stands but they have two reasons to join. First, it’s the only organization that’s
      supporting their right to possess guns and, second, there are prominent people
      indicating they want to confiscate all guns. Removing the fear of a total gun
      ban , and the establishment of “reasonable” gun laws, would go a long ways to calming the rhetoric.

  • 1Brett1

    The Tiahrt (House Republican from Kansas) Amendment of 2003 prohibits ATF from releasing information from its firearms trace database to anyone other than a law enforcement agency or prosecutor in connection with a criminal investigation. It suppresses information that could link certain types of weapons to violent crime.

    What’s interesting about this Amendment (well, a lot is interesting about it, actually) is that a commenter on this forum, peterlake, was readily using lack of ATF data showing a correlation between ownership of semi-automatic weapons (data that could support the idea of free ownership of semi-automatic weapons increasing the likelihood of more mass killings)…He proved himself to have his arguments down regarding gun control (which he did seem as though he’d honed those arguments he was using); however, he was omitting certain facts. Since he cited lack of evidence based on ATF data in more than a few comments, it’s reasonable to assume he knew about the 200 Amendment and chose to omit it.

  • JGC

    I read an opinion piece that said mainly, LaPierre saw this as a marketing opportunity, rather than as a serious attempt as being a party to a solution against community violence.  His NRA press conference essentially had two goals: to gin up the anxiety among gun supporters so they will rush out and purchase  more guns and bullets, and to create a new market for selling guns to school boards. 

    Win, win. 

    • nj_v2

      Correct except that it wasn’t a press conference. It was a (vile, ugly) speech.

      • 1Brett1

        As far as I know LaPierre didn’t answer anyone’s questions.

        • StilllHere

          How presidential of him, at least by the current example.

          • nj_v2

            ^ Troll

      • JGC

        That’s absolutely right. My wrong characterization. 

  • hennorama

    1Brett1 – “peterlake” was likely referring ONLY to “NFA-registed machine guns.”  This is intellectually lazy (or intentionally misleading), as this omits all the other weapons required to be registered under the NFA.  This is pretty common, as I’ve found by reading many “gun enthusiast” message boards and blogs.  They also restrict their comments to “NFA-registered,” omitting weapons that SHOULD be registered, but are not.  Home-made “silencers” for example.
    One can read some NFA firearms examples here:
    All NFA definitions can be found here, on pgs. 21 – 32:
    By the way, in all the reading I’ve done on this topic, I found only one actual citation of crimes involving machine guns:
    Now, as to the the Tiahrt Amendment(s) – included in Justice Department appropriations legislation since 2004 – these are one of the most hypocritical legislative items around.  Second Amendment “defenders” say they A) want freedom, B) want existing laws enforced, and C) don’t want “a bad guy with a gun.”
    Here’s what happpens under the Tiahrt Amendment(s) (TA):
    1.  It limits freedom of information.  ATF is restricted from publicly disclosing both firearms trace data (on firearms used in crimes), and analysis of patterns of sales of firearms used in crimes.  This readily available info identifies both the manufacturers and sellers of every “crime gun,” as well as the original purchaser.  The public has a right to information compiled by the government under The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  The TA limits freedom of information.
    2.  It makes existing laws more difficult to enforce.  TA requires that the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) destroy certain criminal background check records after only 24 hours.  Before Pres. Bush II, DOJ kept these records on approved sales for 90 days.  This helped make sure that background checks under the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) were functioning well, and that criminals didn’t get improper approval to buy firearms.
    According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, “Without retained NICS records, law enforcement has no opportunity to retrieve guns mistakenly sold to prohibited purchasers. The Justice Department Inspector General also found that the 24-hour destruction policy makes it easier for corrupt dealers “to falsify the NICS check to hide a knowing transfer of a gun to a prohibited person” (Department of Justice, 2004).”  TA makes existing laws more difficult to enforce.
    3.  It helps “a bad guy with a gun” get the gun.  TA prohibits ATF from requiring annual gun dealer inventories.  If a gun dealer is corrupt, they can claim that firearms are stolen or lost, then sell them “off the books,” making these firearms practically untraceable.  Criminals LOVE untraceable firearms, for obvious reasons.
    This is a major problem.  According the the Brady Campaign, “in 2007 more than 30,000 guns were “missing” from licensed gun dealers (Brady Center, 2008) … For example, former gun dealer and National Rifle Association (NRA) Board Member Sandy Abrams, who eventually lost his license after being cited for more than 900 violations of federal gun laws, had 422 guns missing in one inspection, more than one-quarter of his inventory, and his shop had over 483 firearms traced to crimes (Brady Center, 2006).
    “The Washington, D.C.-area snipers killed 10 people in their 2002 shooting spree using an assault rifle they obtained from Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply of Tacoma, Washington, which “lost” at least 238 guns, including the snipers’ assault rifle, over three years (Seattle Times, 2003).”
    TA makes it easier for “a bad guy with a gun.”

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Geez, what a lot of hot air about guns. 

    It’s so simple: more guns = more murders.

    The executive summary is that shootings from drunk or sober anger, or accidents, kill friends and family far more frequently than any incidents of armed citizens protecting themselves. 

  • hennorama

    The head of the NRA said in his statement “Think about it. We care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards.”

    He went on to propose “we should put armed security in every school,” and/or “to put a police officer in every school,” and/or to have “an extraordinary corps of patriotic, trained qualified citizens to join with local school officials and police in devising a protection plan for every school. We can deploy them to protect our kids now.”

    He called this “a protection program proven to work – and by that I mean armed security” and “the only line of positive defense that’s tested and proven to work.”

    Putting aside the objectionable way he compared “protect(ing) our banks” to “protect(ing) our kids,” one still fails to see how any of his proposals are “proven to work.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but bank robbery hasn’t been eliminated by either armed security or Federal, state and local policing, has it?  Why would anyone expect this idea to work to prevent the rare occurence of mass murder in schools, if a much more massive effort has never eliminated the far more common crime of bank robbery?


    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      The comparison to robbery is worth examining, for what I consider a lot of holes.

      I haven’t worked in retail in many years, but doesn’t the modern employee manual of every place, from a bank full of money to a Walmart, say “Rule number 1: Give up the stuff so the robber doesn’t start shooting”?

      (And that may even go to robbers who only say “I’m carrying a knife”. Or making their thumb and forefinger into a “pistol” inside their coat pocket. Hell, that’s so old it’s played for a comic cliche wherein the would-be crook forgets he’s not holidng a real gun and pulls the “weapon” out of his pocket and everyone sees it’s just his hand.)

      When someone wants to shoot people to shoot people, or take hostages to take hostages (rather than for ransom), giving them stuff doesn’t seem like a dependable gambit. It might work once in a while, but is it a ploy that is worth one’s while to try every time? Does it rise to the “Senator X makes a speech recommending it” level of response?

      I mean, all I know is reading some crime fiction and watching police procedurals on TV, but it seems like guarding inanimate money at a bank, objets d’art at a museum, or five-figure pieces at a jewlers is a hell of a lot easier than protecting walking, talking people.

  • TomK_in_Boston
    • JGC

      Never thought I could say this:  Bravo, Rupert Murdoch!

      We’ll keep looking for that common ground, instead of “stand your ground”.

  • Outside_of_the_Box

    What is the fiscal cliff really about.
    If we put aside the politics and the mud slinging, it’s about a difficult decision the country now needs to make.
    Not higher taxes OR cut spending. Higher taxes AND cut spending.
    Have you looked at the size of the US debt recently?
    We’ll be hitting 17 trillion soon.
    How on earth are we supposed to reduce the debt in any meaningful way, without both measures and more?
    The politicians, media, academics, everyone makes it out to be a red/blue thing, a difference of fiscal approach
    It’s not.
    It’s a common sense thing.
    We have been running on borrowed time and borrowed money for far too long.
    If asked, whether in the last 50 years we’ve had periods of growth and prosperity in the US, I’m sure the answer would be of course.
    Think again.
    If I’m a teacher, and I get a raise every few years, but I have racked up a few million in debt, am I prospering?
    People think we’re now finally having the difficult discussion about the economy.
    We’re not.
    But we desperately need to.

    • OnPointComments

      Whether one agrees with the trillion dollar (more or less) spending that ensued in FY2009 after the crash, why did the trillion dollars stay in the budget for FY2010, FY2011, FY2012, and every budget projected in the future?  I thought it was a one time deal, but like all government spending, when it’s in the budget once, it’s in there forever; government spending never goes down.
      Having said that, I agree with you.  And frankly, I think if we had true statesmen in Washington DC instead of politicians worried about protecting THEIR jobs, and they came up with a plan for increased taxes and reduced spending that showed a good shot at achieving fiscal sanity, most Americans would go along with the plan.  But it’s hard to believe that we’ll see sanity in the capitol any time soon.

    • hennorama

      OPC (et al) – have you done any in-depth analysis of the Federal budget changes since 2007 (or 2008)?  What I mean is – what types of spending has changed, by how much, is it discretionary or non-discretionary, is it temporary (i.e. – related to the Great Recession or other one-time event), is it due to demographic changes, etc.?

      This sort of analysis would be of enormous help in this discussion, so my question is not a rhetorical one.  Personally, my time has been focused on other topics and circumstances, but I’d really like to see this comparative analysis.

      I’ve found this site to be useful in the past:

      It shows the following, in grossly rounded figures (to the nearest $0.1 Trillion)
      Category                 2007    2011  Change
      TOTAL SPENDING      $2.7    $3.6  + $0.9
      Pension                    $0.6    $0.8  + $0.2Health Care                0.6      0.9  +  0.3Education                   0.1      0.1  +  0.0Defense                     0.7      0.9  +  0.2Welfare                      0.3      0.5  +  0.2

      I haven’t “drilled down” inside these categories, but this site let’s one do so.  Care to take it on?

  • JGC

    Happy Christmas to all, and as Wayne LaPierre might say, “Peace on Earth”.   

  • Human898

    I think the head of the NRA summed up where we are, where we have been going and what kind of society he doesn’t seem to give a single thought about, the type that has been created.
    There have been a lot of troubles in the world in my lifetime, but people used to aim for and work for peace on earth, goodwill toward men (all).   Now?    The best the head of a large organization can come up with as a solution to violence is to arm more people with deadly weapons and a society where children need armed guards to keep them “safe” from their fellow human beings.   
    To me it’s less about weapons bans or gun control, but a general attitude that suggests the answer to our problems is in the barrels of inanimate objects specifically designed to be efficient wounding and killing tools.   People don’t die of people wounds, they die of wounds inflicted by the chosen weapon of choice.
    We can all agree to an acceptable “loss” of life each year in trade for our “sense of security”  (false/true or otherwise) and not say a word about how tragic any of it is because we have in essence paid for it and put our stamp of approval on it in that trade, but who in the world is going to be happy when it’s their loved ones that are amongst those in the number specified as “acceptable trade” for our thinking we feel “safe” by sleeping with a gun close at hand, “in case” of “attack” by a fellow citizen who was perfectly “law abiding” one second, a mass murderer in the next few seconds they repeatedly pulled a trigger taking the life of multiple people for whatever “solution” to a problem that felt they were having?   
    We keep milking these tragedies to death with sympathy and questions why, giving those who see fame in death in such acts a reason for their acts and we then all go sit on our hands till the next one comes around and we go through the same thing all over again.   Why bother with all the ceremony and motions if we don’t care enough to actually take action against what we shed tears over, it seems hollow, false and insincere.   What’s may be worse is to be so cold and unthinking as to suggest the solution to people killing one another is to arm more people and heighten the paranoia and fear.
    The Second Amendment has two parts to it.   If it were meant to simply suggest that the right to keep and bear arms was to not be infringed, there would be reason or need to include the first part and definer of that which is “necessary to the security of a free state”   That which is necessary is not guns, but a “well-regulated Militia”.   Anyone who has taken the time to look at the Militia Act of 1792, the year following the ratiication of the Constitution, sees that at the time, a “well-regulated Militia” was a long standing tradition through many centuries well before the United States was a twinkle in anyone’s eye and in 1792, it include all able bodied free white men between the ages of 18 and 45 who trained together throughout the year for the purposes of being called to arms for a common defense of any one of the United States, but also the nation.   There is no mention of a need for personal defense in relation to the Second Amendment.   All able bodied free white men between those ages were required to enroll in their local well-regulated Militia.   They were REQUIRED to supply their own weapons, packs, bayonets and a limited amount of powder and shot, both for training (how to fight a common enemy together in concert so they didn’t shot one another should they be combating a common enemy.)   The Constitution leaves the choosing of officers in well-regulated Militias and the authority to train the Militia according to that prescribed by Congress.  

    I defy anyone to find mention of personal (as opposed to a “common”) defense mentioned in the Constitution.

    The only sign I see of intelligence were those callers who were hunters and gun enthusiasts who called and expressed how political and out of control the NRA and the skewing of the meaning of the 2nd Amendment has become.  It’s less about owning guns than the attitude that owning a gun will make someone “safe” and the use of a tool specifically designed for efficient kiling at a distance is the way to solve one’s problems.    “Manning up” should not be about standing behind a gun to feel brave and powerful, but as heroes do standing against those that seem to believe their “strength” and “power” comes in the shape of a deadly weapon.     Don’t empower the insecure.   Christ didn’t call upon his followers to “arm themselves” against his crucifiers, he asked the Lord to forgive them, because they knew not, what they were doing.     Are we getting closer to following the teachings of Christ or further away? 
    Are the huge numbers of guns in households in this country making it safer or more dangerous?   In light of the continued carnage, is an armed citizenry really deterring violence or “legally” arming “law abiding” citizens who have sinister intentions, at the time they legally purchase or at some later time.

    Violence is more likely to stop with a change in general attitudes than with laws.  Teaching fear, paranoia, arming one’s self with deadly weapons to feel “safe” does not promote peace and love, but the opposite.

    Once again, if loss is an acceptable trade as a collateral “cost” to what appears to have become an obsession about what some define as the Second Amendment, sans the “well regulated Militia” necessity, people should think of their own loved ones as falling in that statistic.   It’s too easy to distance one’s self when something does not affect one directly and personally.  How many lives are we willing to pay in sacrifice, for our “right”?  

    Merry Christmas………..

  • notafeminista

    How to keep kids safe at school?  Homeschool them.  Freedom to choose is a beautiful thing.

    • Duras

      Your statements are always completely realistic.  I imagine that you are either a scientist or a journalist; someone steeped in the empirical world, well-traveled with an understanding of human nature that would rival Shakespeare.  

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I want the contract forthcoming from Florida (say) to provide an armed guard at every homeschool in the state.

        But I don’t think I’m good enough friends with that fraudster governor they have.

    • hennorama

      Unfortunately, there are many instances of mass murder of families.  ALL of the following involved firearms:

      2011 Grapevine, TX   6 Dead
      2010 Appomatox, VA  8 Dead
      2009 Los Angeles, CA 6 Dead
      2008 Covina, CA 9 Dead 2 Injured
      2008 Memphis, TN 6 Dead 3 Injured
      2006 Kansas City, KS 6 Dead
      2004 Fresno, CA 9 Dead


      • Gregg Smith

        I wonder haw many of those families were armed.

        • notafeminista

          I wonder what it takes to satisfy the Left. 

          Send your kids to school at the age of 5 away from their families and all they know.  When tragedy strikes, carry on about the end of innocence and no way to keep kids safe in school.  When suggested to educate kids at home, carry on about how dangerous it is at home.  BUT armed guards in school “changes the nature of childhood.”

          Talk about odious and self-serving.  Such malarkey. 

          • Gregg Smith

            They’ll never be satisfied, I just wish they’d make sense.

          • hennorama

            notafeminista – as you are quoting my prior posts, I presume your comment is directed toward me, and you were somehow prevented from making a direct reply.

            I have several comments and questions, and I invite your direct response.

            1.  You’ve made references to “the Left” (whatever this means to you) related not only to my posts, but also to neckties, shoes, “Guns, money, cigarettes, sat fats,liquor, big sugary drinks, video games,opinions,” and testicles.  Quite a list, just in the last 4 days.

            Perhaps you could define “the Left” so others can better understand your posts.  Just a suggestion.

            2.  Since you seem to include me as part of “the Left” I will simply reissue my blanket advice: making assumptions about either the nature or the longevity of another poster’s beliefs is inadvisable.  Unless the poster states them directly, naturally. Of course, if your definition of “the Left” includes “anyone who disagrees with me,” then I am definitely part of “the Left.”

            3.  Your prior comments imply that “the Left” wants to “limit freedom.”  Supreme Court Justice Scalia is the author of the Heller decision, which said “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…”

            Does that mean Judge Scalia is part of “the Left,” since he says the Second Amendment right is limited?  Just curious.

            4.  My use of data to skewer or support various arguments and proposals should not be interpreted as an opinion on my part.  Data is data, nothing more.  If the data is contrary to your position, I invite you to refute it, or provide other data supporting your position.

            5.  Please point out any instance where I said anything resembling there is “no way to keep kids safe in school” and how I “carry on about” that or anything else.

            Of course, if by “carry on about,” you mean “include as part of a list of arguments against ‘an armed guard at every school’ ” or “post data about mass familicides, Homicide Victims under age 18, and Homicide Victims killed by family members,” then I can see your point.

            Again, I invite your direct response.

          • notafeminista

            1)Read my posts more closely. Testicles were not included in the lists of  what the Left wants to limit, although it’s hilarious you think that’s what I meant.  Freudian slip and all.

            2)There is no need to assume anything about beliefs, thoughts, ideologies and so on.  You are more than clear in  your communication.

            3)Among the rights to life, liberty and pursuing happiness, which one do you feel is best we limit?  Where in the 2nd Amendment does it say The right of the people to keep and bear arms (except the following) shall not be infringed. 

            4)One skews data.  He does not skewer data unless he plans to serve data with kebabs.

          • hennorama

            notafeminista – thank you for your direct reply.

            1. Not to use your own words against you or anything, but “Read my posts more closely.”

            You may find my posts do not include what you characterize as “lists of what the Left wants to limit.” Rather, they include in MY words (again, you may wish to re-read them)

            “1. You’ve made REFERENCES [emphasis added] to ‘the Left’ (whatever this means to you) related not only to my posts, but also to …” all of your words that I reference (meaning “mention”).

            Perhaps your worldview allows for two completely different words, i.e. “reference” and “list,” to have the same meaning. If so, you would not be the only poster in this forum to have such a view. Please, again, I ask you to define your terms. Otherwise, please see http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/

            2. Thank you for the kudos as to my clarity. No doubt others would prefer brevity on my part, but still … TY. If you care to list the ” beliefs, thoughts, ideologies and so on” you’ve derived from my communication, please do so, as I am quite curious, and can always use a hearty laugh.

            3. Still waiting for your answer about Justice Scalia. Again, an old saw applies – “This is not ‘Jeopardy’ so your answer need not be in the form of a question.”

            As I presume YOUR first question to be rhetorical, no response is required.

            Regarding your second query – my initial response was “huh?” Your “question” is awkwardly constructed, but finally Aha! Wow. Had to read it three times to puzzle out your meaning. I will rephrase your question – “Please point out the part of the Second Amendment that contains any exception to the “right of the people to keep and bear arms.” As I am not a legal scholar, I will once again refer you to Justice Scalia and his opinion in Heller. If you have an argument, it’s with him. Good luck.

            4. Reading Comprehension appears to not be your strongest suit. Perhaps you should consider reading each post three or ten times before replying. Again, I invite you to point out the portion of my post that uses the words “skewer” and “data” in that sequence.

            For your benefit alone (apologies for wasting the time of others) I will translate the following portion of my post:

            “My use of data to skewer or support various arguments and proposals should not be interpreted as an opinion on my part. Data is data, nothing more.”

            Ready? All definitions courtesy of m-w.com.

            *I use data (definition: factual information {as measurements or statistics} used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation)

            *to skewer (definition: to criticize or ridicule sharply and effectively)

            *or to support (definition: to uphold or defend as valid or right: advocate; to argue or vote for)

            *many ideas, both the ideas of others and my own ideas.

            *Do not take this to mean the data that I use are my OPINIONS (definition: beliefs stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge).

            *Data can generally be confirmed and are objective and neutral. They stand on their own.

            5. Still waiting for your reply on my point “5. Please point out any instance where I said anything resembling …”

            I look forward to your direct and comprehensive reply.

          • Gregg Smith

            … biting my tongue…

          • Human898

            That’s right, promote an “everyman” (and child) for themselves and isolate them from social interaction with other children and human beings because “it’s dangerous”.   Does anyone ever think about the world outside their insular personal ones?   What defines greed and vanity?   What kind of world do we want?  One where people and their children live in fear of one another to the point we have to have armed guards in schools or keep children at home, missing yet one more aspect of human interaction and learning how to deal with one another and a need to get along?   Don’t we “learn” by getting out in the world, not isolating ourselves from anything and anyone that thinks differently than we do?   Parents are going to be gone someday and hopefully for most that will come long after their children have left the nest.  Isn’t part of teaching children, teaching them how to face the world instead of hiding from it or deluding themselves about it?

    • Human898

      Yes, the “freedom to choose is a wonderful thing”, as long as people choose the same things you would choose.  When they don’t, I would venture you and lots of others who claim how beautiful freedom is would like others to have a lot less of it. 

      • Gregg Smith

        Sure you can be free to make bad choices but there are consequences. When we don’t accept them we impose on society.

        • Human898

          That’s true, everyone wants the freedom to make choices and many, even you, think your choices are good ones, but at times they may not be good for anyone, but you, thus, they are bad choices in the eyes of others.   The same way you view the choices of others as “bad” choices that impact you negatively and you want to pass a law against it, taking away their “freedom” so yours takes preference.   At some period in all great civilizations, before greed, vanity and other characteristics of humans that have mostly been considered the opposite of human virtues settle in, there is a period when humanity shares common values, what are also called universal values.

          During those periods, such universal human values are applied and adhered to objectively rather than the subjective values we have increasingly seen applied in recent decades where from our own perspectives (“our” meaning us as individuals or whatever grouping we attach ourselves to whether it’s family, community, state, regional, national or other.) there is nothing we can do that is wrong, even if it is the same thing someone else is doing, but because it is someone else doing it and it affects us negatively it is wrong, when we do it, there is nothing wrong with it.  

          Our biggest challenge is to learn how to work together again and that perhaps is going to take a lot of attitude changes and a lot of people considering and respecting that there are other people in the world besides themselves and all need to come to some agreement on things and that means giving and taking, not just taking.   That also includes considering and adhering to universal values regardless on an objective basis, meaning, if it is wrong for John or Jane Doe to lie, it is wrong for us or our friends to lie.  

          It seems amazing how much energy people put into excuses for why their bad deeds and decisions are justifiable, yet someone else’s are pure evil and how much energy is spend attending religious services while ignoring the teachings of those one claims to believe in.

          As world population grows there is an increased need for each one of us to consider and respect all the others in the world, yet what appears to be occurring is an increase in selfishness, greed and gluttony and a decrease in consideration for humanity, one’s fellow humans and how we all benefit from mutual respect, cooperation and compromise.   When we’re all doing great as a whole, we’re all doing great individually, thus it seems important to help make sure we’re all doing well as a whole.  I don’t mean everyone has to be a millionaire, but that more people should be living a better minimum standard of life.

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t know what laws you think I want but I generally favor less laws. I make bad choices all the time, sometimes knowingly. It does not affect my fellow man. The best thing I can do for society is to become a productive participant. If I can make a ton of money I can help even more. 

          • Human898

            Thank you Gregg for demonstrating the types of attitudes that need to change.   Because “money” is an easy form of currency, most people gain it in exchange for their labors, althoug some are grossly overcompensated for what they do in relation to what very hard workers and laborers do who get paid next to nothing so the people that have more than they can use (gluttony) can make more than they can use and in some cases lavish themselves with vain monuments to their narcissistic selves, while some others who make huge compensations give the vast majority of it away in many cases to those in need and as a means of improving the lot of humanity, not just themselves (greed).   

            Yes, we all make some bad decisions at times and many aware, considerate and thinking people, have the ability to think about how their bad decisions impact others, directly or indirectly, even if it is by choosing to eat in an unhealthy manner increasing the risk of obesity related health issues that place a burden on other people in their insurance pool who are conscious about their health.

            Unfortunately some people seem to have trouble thinking outside the sphere of themselves and think of the various ways their “freedoms” and choices impact others.  Many don’t seem to be able to connect a lot of dots.    I can gurantee you that the people who speak of more libertarianism, don’t take the time to think of all the things they want others to do and not do.   I agree that if all people were angels, respectful of one another and compromising, we’d all need a lot fewer laws, but reality says differently and simply wishin’ and a hopin’ people are going to respect one another’s “freedoms” when they are in direct conflict with one another, is delusional.    

            I do believe, we can improve, but it seems less about talking about more freedom and less laws for everyone, but talking about how to actually achieve that and what is needed in order to achieve it, which is more people being respectful of other people and other people’s freedoms besides their own and when “freedoms” come in direct conflict, like the kids who want to be free to blare music at 3:00 AM  right outside the windows of those trying to be free to sleep, that some sort of compromise is reached and agreed to, put down on paper and adhered to by all parties.   That’s called a system of laws, which is nothing new.   What has changed is too many people thinking their “freedoms” should take precedent over everyone else’s and they don’t need to compromise.

          • Gregg Smith

            I have stayed at 5 star resorts and I have lived in a phone booth. I have labored in the sun 60 hours a week for $3/hour and I have been payed $2500 to play my piano for an hour and a half. We are not chained to the station in life we were born into. We have power to make the most of out brief existence.

            Regarding currency, at out horse fan we have kids who pick stalls to trade for riding lessons. We have other who feed the barn a couple of days a week in trade for board. We traded an old golf cart for 300 bales oaf hay. We give away the use of our facility to provide hippo therapy for handicapped kids. We hold a few camp slot opened for troubled or less privileged kids. That’s not to say money cannot do great good for many.

          • Human898

            You’re not the only person in the world to have experienced the ups and downs of life.  Based on what you have said Gregg, you should understand and have more empathy than you appear to.   Not all people have the power.  Funny that in all your “experience” it would appear you don’t appear to have taken note of that.

          • Gregg Smith

            I should add, we could not provide help to the needy or handicapped if we were not turning a profit.

            It very tricky to gauge empathy.We disagree in that I strongly believe we all have the power to improve our lot in life.

          • Human898

            No Gregg, humans have helped other human beings for eons before “turning profits and eras of monarches and robber baraons who thought they were god’s gift to earth and to humankind.

          • Human898

            I’m replying here Gregg because to respond below your last post, it becomes too difficult to type.

            No Gregg, humans have helped other human beings for eons before “turning profits and eras of emperors, monarchs and robber barons who thought they were god’s gift to earth and to humankind because of “profit”.   If you believe all people have an equal power to change their lives, then I would guess you live an insular sheltered life or you have closed your mind to seeing the world and other people around you who have no capacity at all to do half the things many “normal” people do and not based on their own choices.   No one will argue there are people who do amazing things even in spite of terrible odds, but full examination of their circumstances shows they had a lot of help and support and much of what the vast majority of people do not have, in part because some seem to think it is solely up to each human being to help themselves.   That seems in many ways a vain manner of thinking, void of the observance that all people are not like one’s self or like one another.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’ll rephrase: All Americans have the power to change their lives. BTW, I did not say “equal”.

            You seem to think I don’t want to help people, you have no idea.

          • Human898

            Based on your responses Gregg, I either don’t know
            anything because what you express offers nothing to know about some other side
            of you or I know a lot more than you could imagine, based on your responses and
            having dealt with people from all manner of background and all manner of life
            situation.  You appear to be woefully out
            of touch with many Americans Gregg if you believe all Americans have the
            ability to change their lives,  Americans
            are still human beings and human beings around the world come in all shapes and
            sizes, all capacities and all variety of capabilities.   All also exist in different situations and
            life circumstances.  Something people who
            are observant of the world outside their own spheres are well aware of and do
            not hesitate to point out, yet you continue to offer up excuses and some sort
            of defense against recognizing and sharing one’s good fortune as opposed
            lavishing one’s self with all manner of hedonistic selfishness, living lives of
            greed and gluttony.

      • notafeminista

        Oh no.  “Making life better for humanity” always means 5 year plans and Siberia.  No thanks bub.

        • Human898

          So you’re not a human?

  • 1Brett1

    There was an armed officer (Gardner) assigned to Columbine when that incident took place. He was in his patrol car, in the parking lot, eating his lunch and watching the kids who were in the smoking section. He managed to get into the building after the shootings started; he even confronted Harris, one of the shooters, who fired several times at the police officer (missing). Gardner fired back at Harris, missing him. 

    There was also an armed officer next to the school issuing a traffic ticket, rushing to the school after the melee started. He, too, engaged fire with the killers but was unsuccessful in stopping them.

    How many armed guards does it take to stop a mass murderer? Three? Five? Seven? Where do they need to be when a shooting starts? Answer: where the shooter is. How will they know where the shooter is? The shooter should check in to the front office and notify the administration he/she has arrived, submitting a detailed diagram of his/her route through the school…

    • Gregg Smith

      From my research I have learned that it is very common for local police to be assigned to schools. It happens here in NC. It does not happen in gun free zones. This practice has prevented many tragedies.


      However, since the guy at Columbine missed, none of that matters. Obviously it’s a wasted practice and should be eliminated. Every kid for himself.

      • 1Brett1

        Yes, from Texas… and a guy who runs a school security business is quoted (who would have thought he would maintain the need for beefed up school security?…not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that in a general sense); however, that notwithstanding, the article does not specify averted tragedies were the result of armed guards at schools, and some of the specifics quoted had more to do with intelligence investigations which thwarted tragedies based on procuring evidence of threatening letters and following that trail in a law enforcement investigative way, something I have no problem with. 

        • Gregg Smith

          When the police intervene to stop a murderous rage, often it is at the point of a gun. While the article does not say which of the 120 cases fall into that category, I think it’s safe to assume one or two did. 

          I just think your premise is whacked. Maybe I’m misunderstanding you. You seem to be saying armed guards will not work because the assigned cop missed at Columbine. I don’t want to argue it with you. You’re entitled to your opinion. 

          Armed guards are not my choice (as if it mattered) but I do think a Columbine type model with local police is a good idea. That can’t happen in a gun free zone. When the bullets start flying there can be a good guy with a gun or not. It’s my opinion it gives the victims the best chance. There are many other viable options but only one best chance.

          • Human898

            “Stats” depending on who offers them are full of bright and shining skews to promote a particular bias and the suggestion that crime is thwarted by more people arming themselves when one looks into the general violent crime involving firearms there is no verification that more gun control or less gun control leads to less violent crime involving firearms.   That would tend to have people looking elsewhere for what causes the discrepancy between some discernable connection related to gun control.   Some nations, states or smaller areas with little or no gun control also have next to no gun violence, while some with lots of gun control still have lots of gun violence.   At the same time, there are examples where the opposite is true.   This seems so suggest there is something beyond legal control of firearms and more a general attitude of population about the need and use for firearms and where they fit into one’s daily lives and how.  Paranoia and fear and insecurity only seem to lead to an escalation, not just of gun ownership, but more crime and more death by guns, whereas trust and a lower rate of prejudice and bias seems to lead to lower rates of death by firearm.   We’ll never eliminate the violent deaths of humans by humans, but we can do a lot more to lower the rate significantly if we have the real will to do so and the promotion of fear, anger, parnoia, hatred and people arming themselves based on the above seems unlikely to solve any problems, but rather to escalate, perpetuate and propagate them.

          • Gregg Smith

            So a world with a free-for-all, armed to the teeth society and no guns at all are the two choices? I would just prefer a bit of freedom.

          • Human898

            Would said no guns at all?   If people were all wonderful people, respectful of one another and essentially perfect in everyway, tragedy would not be eliminated, the same with guns, but doing nothing about humans causing harm against one another, with or without guns or other weapons designed specifically for killing one another or other means of “defense” ordoing harm to one another by using objects designed primarily for other purposes, does nothing to improve the world or humanity.    Currently the discussion is about gun control and specifically banning assault weapons which are so named because of their designated purpose.  

            As already pointed out, we don’t hand out matches to children as a means of deterring or reducing fires started by children playing with matches.  

            Who doesn’t want more freedom?   Ironically, the more people there are in the world, the more we lose freedoms because the more people their are the more conflicts there are in what people want to be free to do and all of them want their freedoms to take precedence over others.   That includes people who want to be free to live in a gun free world.  The more people there are, the more compromise and cooperation is needed.  Instead, it eould appear more people have become more insular and selfish as the subconsciously sense increased competition for resources that don’t increase, but decrease when populations increase.

    • Human898

      Exactly and if someone who plans to “solve” the problems that trouble them by emptying a few large capacity clips into children knows to expect an armed guard, wouldn’t the arm guard be the first target?    It’s one thing to be expecting an attack or be in an expected combat situation, it is another to try to stand guard in a low risk chance that someone is going to reveal their intentions in front of the person in place to stop them.   Likely a shooter would seek out the guard, remove them from the equation and perpetrate the rest of their plan.   

      What we perhaps need is to remove the societal sickness which is an obsession with guns and the notion by some that they are the “solution” to problems, some cowardly demonstration of “power” and “strength” and some derranged path to fame, whether the shooter survives or not, based on the profit gained by milking such tragedies for all they are worth, only enshrining those who perpetrate such crimes, rather than relegating them to obscure infamy.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SETMESWD4TLZXXERA6XFJI5E7A Common Sense

    Pepper Spray for every teacher works well. The fact is Europe has had 265 school shooting deaths since 1980 and the US 242deaths is proof that gun control does nothing for the safety of our children. This is the appalling aspect of the  gun control witchhunt which similiar to the Salem Witchhunt uses children to surpress common sense.

    • nj_v2

      Even if your figures weren’t bullcrap erroneous, Europe has more than 2.5 times the population of the United States, which far and away leads the world in gun  violence by any meaningful metric.

      The NRA should screen their hacks better.

    • Human898

      The problem with referring to “stats” on guns is that they are nearly always skewed to the bias of those promoting one side or the other of the issues.  Why nothing will be done until, like McCarthyism, enough cold hearted people are personally affected.    I was heartened to hear the callers to the show who were long time gun owners and hunters speak up and speak out about any sort of need for assault weapons and the stance the NRA has taken.    Once again, Americans should read all the words of the 2nd Amendment then read the second part of the Amendment and ask themselves if the first part was needed if the real aim of the 2nd Amendment was intended to apply to personal self defense, not a common defense.  The idea was to have force of people who trained together and would know what to do in case of invasion of the United States or in case of a rebellion in any one of those states that became united under the Constitution in a “common defense”  (see Preamble of the Constitution) Militias were local defense forces made up of non-professional soldiers and laymen who were trained to fight in concert (so they wouldn’t shoot one another in the back combat while trying to hit an enemy).   The Militia Act of 1792 sets out the requirements of “well-regulated Militia”.  It includes all able bodied free white men between the ages of 18 and 45 being required  (that’s not to volunteer, but a requirement)  to enroll in a well-requlated Militia and to supply their own musket, pack and minimum amount of powder and shot and to train with all others in their Militia.   It fits the 2nd Amendment to a T, yet the insecure in this world who seem to believe a gun in their hand or at their side makes them brave or safe, as with the greedy and gluttonous in this world have come up with all manner of excuse to hold on to their security blankets rather than have a sane, humane discussion about which side of the issue truly costs more lives or makes people more safe.   

      I don’t know about you, but I don’t see a lot of logic in distributing matches to children as a solution to the death of human beings caused by a fire started by children playing with matches.    How more guns as a solution to the risk of crazed people with guns is logical is anyone’s guess.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Long/1071272091 Michael Long

      Sorry but where did you get your statistics?

  • hennorama

    Here is some data concerning A) Homicide Victims under age 18, B) relationships of Homicide Victims to Offenders, and C) Multiple victim/Single offender Homicide situations.

    A)  In 2010, per FBI data, for Homicide victims (this EXCLUDES “nonnegligent manslaughter” victims), where victim age was known:

    1,277 Homicide victims were under age 18.  This is 9.83% of all known homicides.  Firearms killed 49.5% of them – 632 out of 1,277.

    This is significantly lower than the overall rate of homicide by firearms for all age groups (67.5%) due to the fact than homicide of victims under 18 is much more personal – in other words, the victim is much more closely related to the offender.

    This becomes clear when examining the next most common “weapon” used to kill those under 18 – “Personal weapons” (hands, fists, feet, pushing, etc.).  253 victims under 18 were killed by “Personal weapons” – 19.81%, compared to the overall rate of 5.7%.


    B)  Being with one’s family might not be the safest idea, at least when it comes to Homicide.  One is much safer being a neighbor, employer or employee.

    Of the 7,272 homicides where the relationship of Victim to Offender is known, 1,802 victims were killed by family members.  That’s 24.8% of that group.  (see chart for more info)  Neighbors, employers and employees were 1.3%, 0.2% and 0.1% of this group, respectively.


    C)  FBI Homicide data for 2010 also shows that Multiple victim/Single offender situation is uncommon, accounting for 5.8% of victims.  The most common homicide Victim/Offender Situation by FAR is Single victim/Single offender, accounting for 48.4% of homicide victims.


  • davecm

    The simple solution to this problem.
    “Rid the evil from among you.”
    1. Have strict regulations on military style weapons.
    2. Anyone that is convicted of a premeditated homicide using    any form of weapon, death within 1 hour of (conclusive) conviction.
    Reasoning: How many people does it take before we conclude that a death sentence is the answer.
    We can justify the killing of 1 million unborn a year in one venue, yet! in another venue, someone can kill many and we will fight to the death to keep them alive in prison, strange???

  • Gregg Smith

    David Gregory unwittingly showed the folly of more gin laws as a solution. He waved around a 30 round magazine for an AR15. He broke the law in doing so. The show is taped in DC.

     No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of this subsection, the term large capacity ammunition feeding device means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The term large capacity ammunition feeding device shall not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

    That worked.

    • Human898

      Birth is defined as what, unborn is defined as what?  What is the problem with leaving life beginning at birth, where it started for thousands of years before science, for the sake of people that say the born are too expensive for the rich that have enough for hundreds to support, have a means of deflecting the attention on their own greed and gluttony to the idea that terminating an unwanted pregnancy is somehow equated with human beings shooting human beings that have been born to life.     Such is perhaps the type of attitude that promotes the skewed thinking and delusion that the answer to the world’s problems is for the citizens of the world to arm themselves and live in concrete bunkers to “defend” themselves against their fellow human beings.   Oh, what a wonderful world it would be? 

      • Gregg Smith

        Alrighty then.

  • Mike_Card

    Put armed guards in every school.  What a concept!

    Probably would need a lot more arms–no?.  Ruling members of the NRA named Smith, Wesson, Colt, Browning, Winchester, Remington,…might really be able to get behind that.

    Wait!  Maybe THEY are the ones behind the idea?  Oh, the horror!  Surely those target-shooters and hunters must be the real supporters, aren’t they?  All 4 million of them who seem to hold such sway?

    A fricking logic break is needed here–badly.

  • hennorama

    The NRA chief’s proposal is “to put a police officer in every school.” Let’s say this idea is adopted.  How would one measure its effectiveness?

    The desired outcome is “no one at school got shot or killed today,” and that is the current normal state of affairs at virtually every school in the country.  That will BE the normal state of affairs when classes resume post-holidays.  A continuation of the normal state would prove nothing about the efficacy of any change, or whether the continued normal state has anything whatsoever to do with any change.

    It’s very difficult to prove anything about prevention, regardless of the thing one is trying to prevent.  Take terrorism, for example.  How can anyone show that any particular policy change or combination of policy changes prevents terrorism?  Glen Woodbury, current Director of the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, wrote an exhaustive article on the topic in 2005.

    Mr. Woodbury’s introduction said, in part “How do we measure a negative? How do we continue to justify the diversion of public funds from other essential services if our only justification for success will be ‘nothing happened?’ If we could count how many attacks were stopped or deterred, measuring prevention would obviously be a simple task and this article would be superfluous.”

    Mr. Woodbury’s conclusion?  One needs to measure the PROCESS of prevention rather than the outcome, as there are no direct methods to enumerate “attacks [that] were stopped or deterred.”  There are only “many variations and available tools to measure objectives and outputs” and “other potentials for measurement.”

    The same would be true for the NRA honcho’s proposal – its effectiveness would be impossible to directly measure,if implemented.  As another poster has said “that’s a feature, not a bug.”


    • Gregg Smith

      In my view the thinking in that piece is backwards and flawed. It is flawed in that you can measure it when an armed guard stops a massacre at the point of a gun. Guns prevent millions of crimes a year and that’s just the private guns. There are studies and quantifiable numbers. Regarding terrorism, we can say that water boarding KSM prevented the annihilation of the Library Tower in LA, although I’m sure the google monsters will question that. Lord knows I followed that one to the bitter end many times before. Just take my word for it. 

      It is backwards because, who cares if it can be proved. There is a matter of pure logic unrelated to studies and numbers. There are many ways, with a little luck, these things can be prevented whether it be detective work, restricted access to guns or a good tackle. If you want to consider armed guards then ALL or ANY alternatives also fall under your umbrella when trying to measure prevention. Once started, the only way these things end is with a bullet. I don’t advocate armed guards stationed at entrances but the fact remains step one is give these poor kid a chance. If all else fails and someone tries to shoot up a school lets make sure there’s a good guy/woman with a gun to take the SOB out. When it’s over we can pontificate about how many kids got to go home that would not have but for the gun.

  • DrewInGeorgia


    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Sisyphus had his rock…

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