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Remembering The Newtown Tragedy, One Year Later

A year after the Sandy Hook school shooting we look at its impact on Newtown, Connecticut and the nation.

Family members representing fourteen of the twenty-six victims from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting address the media, Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, in Newtown, Conn. Newtown is not hosting formal events to mark the anniversary Saturday. (AP)

Family members representing fourteen of the twenty-six victims from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting address the media, Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, in Newtown, Conn. Newtown is not hosting formal events to mark the anniversary Saturday. (AP)

A year ago Saturday, the news from Newtown, Connecticut was almost too terrible to believe.  Shooting.  Mass shooting. In a school.  On an ordinary December day, when Christmas decorations fluttered in the breeze.  And then the death toll.  Twenty little children.  Six teachers.  A horrifying toll that justified the word massacre – in an elementary school.  The whole country was stunned.  The promise of gun reform was never louder.  Clearer.  Then week by week, it got more complicated.  Now it’s a year.  This hour On Point:  Newtown, Sandy Hook, and this country, one year on.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Rev. Josh Pawelek, minister of the Unitarian Universality Society East in Manchester, Connecticut. (@RevJoshPawelek)

Robert Spitzer, professor of political science at the State University of New York College at Cortland. Author of “The Politics of Gun Control” and “The Right To Bear Arms: Rights And Liberties Under The Law.”

Lisa Miller, contributing editor at New York Magazine. Religion columnist at The Washington Post. Author of “Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination With The Afterlife.” (@lisaxmiller)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York: Orders of Grief — “Children have not been to school at Sandy Hook Elementary since the morning of December 14. The community recently voted to raze the school and erect a new one in its place—the demolition has begun—but this past December, it was where everyone wanted to be, and an enormous shrine grew up in the grassy space by the road, spreading down the main street and into the central intersection of Sandy Hook, by the Subway shop and the hair-cutting place, a seemingly boundless jumble of flowers and cards and signs and votive candles and more stuffed animals and more Christmas trees and more ornaments and angels.”

Hartford Courant: In Newtown, Preserving World’s Reaction To Unspeakable Tragedy — “Many well-wishers can see their letters on the project’s website, embracingnewtown.com, which was launched Tuesday. A group of photojournalists were also recruited for the project to document the material, which was later digitally scanned to be part of the website.’We just spent time creating this space of love,’ Moreno said. ‘Because there was room for nothing else.’ People like Moreno, former reference librarian Andrea Zimmermann, town historian Daniel Cruson and a score of other volunteers were motivated by the rightness of this project, the undeniable value of preserving the world’s reaction to a nearly unspeakable tragedy.”

Mother Jones: At Least 194 Children Have Been Shot to Death Since Newtown –”A year after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Mother Jones has analyzed the subsequent deaths of 194 children ages 12 and under who were reported in news accounts to have died in gun accidents, homicides, and suicides. They are spread across 43 states, from inner cities to tiny rural towns. Following Sandy Hook, the National Rifle Association and its allies argued that arming more adults is the solution to protecting children, be it from deranged mass shooters or from home invaders.”

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  • Jon

    A simple yet impossible way to avoid tragedy as such is to de-divinize the founding fellows and rewrite their constitution.

    • brettearle

      Could you be more specific–so that we know what you mean?

      • Jon

        erase the 2nd amendment and make it illegal for civilians to own guns.

        • StilllHere

          Let’s get rid of a couple more while were at it.

          • brettearle

            Like which ones?

            Why leave a sweeping generalization, like that, on the table?

            Or were you, more likely, being sarcastic?

        • brettearle

          I support gun control.

          But there ARE specific situations where people should have the right to own and carry guns.

          That having been said, the gun ownership in this country is far, far out of control.

          • Jon

            what are the specifics? many other nations can live without guns. why not this nation because Americans are exceptional?

          • brettearle

            Some people do live under danger.

            Certain places in the country are very, very dangerous.

            Some people either hold down jobs, or have held down jobs, where their lives could be in jeopardy.

            Some people may be under proven threat of attack for reasons that are not Employment related.

            There is also something to be said–but I feel much less strongly about this–whereby a Man or a Woman has the right to protect his or her family.

            While there IS something fundamentally awry about our society and our culture–that predisposes us to more violence than many industrial nations–if our country could change–which is very unlikely–then maybe we could see the GOP fall apart on this issue.

          • Jon

            yes the American minds don’t reside in this reality, including the mind of those killers.

          • HonestDebate1

            It think you have it backwards, there are specific situations where people should not be allowed to have a gun.

        • HonestDebate1

          And watch the murder rate sky rocket.

        • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

          As much as I disagree with this sentiment, I applaud your honesty: most gun grabbers disingenuously talk out of both sides of their mouths.

          • Jon

            it’s not sentiment it’s cool logic

      • John_in_Amherst

        require strict background checks, including a waiting period for the purchase of all guns. Track the sale of ammunition. Limit ownership of military grade weaponry to those in the military.

        I grew up hunting. I support the ownership of guns. I also support taking firm steps to limit the ability of the deranged to acquire and use weapons designed not for sport but for the ability to kill as many people as quickly as possible. To hunt, or enjoy target practice NO ONE needs a semi-auto weapon with a high capacity magazine to bring down a deer. NO ONE needs a 50 cal sniper rifle. NO ONE needs banana clips and dumdum or armor-piercing bullets.

        If you are worried about a putsch resulting in the government confiscating all guns, take your fear and head to the polls, not a gun show.

        • brettearle

          I think you misunderstood my question and the thrust of my question.

          First, I am a strong supporter of gun control–with some limitations.

          Second, I was responding to the general question about rewriting the Constitution.

          Not necessarily as it only relates to Gun Control.

          All that having been said, I appreciate your comments.

          • John_in_Amherst

            a rewriting might be in order. I am getting tired of people like Scalia and Thomas and Roberts insisting that the founding fathers envisioned modern society in all its complexity, or that they can read the minds of people who died 200 years ago.

          • brettearle

            Oh, I agree.

            But I would not look to–and I assume you wouldn’t either–an entire overhaul.

            By the way, I’d kinda like to use tin cans for target practice as well…

            Can I purchase a BB Gun at, say, WalMarts?

            How much will a good one cost me?

            And do you know whether they’re legal in Massachusetts?

          • John_in_Amherst

            Here in MA, bb guns are legal and don’t require an FID. Many sporting goods stores carry them. Most go for under $100. If mock military “play” is more to your liking, try paint ball. It’s a bit creepy for my tastes, and I haven’t tried it, but know some otherwise competent individuals who think it is a real kick.
            And no, I don’t favor a full rewrite.

          • brettearle

            Thanks for the reply.

        • Jon

          now you can go hunting on an xbox or just go shooting a bb gun

          • John_in_Amherst

            ever try eating a TV screen? and I do own a bb gun, and regularly wreak havoc on cans before they are recycled.

          • Jon

            trophies and fame and glory, Americans love to compete and live to win. it’s the ancient psych from the Greeks – where are they now? you cannot change it because it’s in your blood. You have a great sense of humor let me suggest you run for public office again.

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

          We should require that gun owners carry liability insurance, and that gun makers are not immune to liability.

          If you are charged with a crime (like domestic violence) then you should lose your gun.

    • John Cedar

      For every complicated problem, there exists a simple solutions…

      and that simple solution is invariably wrong.

      • Jon

        under this kinda delusional theory live with the suffering … you get what you deserve

    • HonestDebate1

      Ammending the Constitution is neither simple nor prudent.

      • Jon

        why?

        • HonestDebate1

          Super majorities and Governors.

          • Jon

            majority minority are interchanging and governors are elected

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s a high hurdle to amend the Constitution, that’s all.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      Actually, by legislating from the bench, that is what the liberal courts in this country are already trying to do.

      • Jon

        then they not trying hard enough

  • John_in_Amherst

    It is a sad testament to the distorted nature of the American psyche and political system that 27 states have passed laws WEAKENING gun control laws since Newtown. Not even the majority of rank-and-file NRA members agree with the extreme views of the fanatical NRA leadership, yet their paranoid delusion about staving off the confiscation of guns by the federal government continues to set the agenda.

    It boggles the mind that we as a nation can be confronted on a regular basis with horrific examples of carnage, when a deranged individual with access to military-grade weaponry acts on an insane impulse, and not act. No amount of legislation will ever completely curb the ability of homicidal maniacs to wreak havoc, but why in heaven’s name do we enshrine the ownership of weapons designed to maximize their ability to take human life? Perhaps it is time for those who are convinced that our government is about to confiscate their guns and subject us all to some vague servitude to emigrate to a country where they can legally own weapons of war without restriction? Oh, except the US is more lax in this regard than any other country…..

  • John Cedar

    I own only one gun and I have not shot it or hunted with it in 20+ years. but after Sandy Hook, I sent money to the NRA and became a member (and immediately had to add them to my spam list).

    All of the mass shooters in the headlines are obvious nut-jobs. But we know we cannot trust the political powers to use proper discretion in using background checks to only deny nut-jobs the right to bear arms. To the contrary, we know that they would use such a law to deny as many people as possible their rights. We also know that these same nut-jobs would be dangerous without their guns. And that is how we as a society should deal with the issue, by constraining nut-jobs before they hurt somebody, regardless of it is with a gun.

    Last year in the wake of Sandy Hook, we had a guy who had murdered his grandmother with an ax, convince his neighbor to buy him an defense weapon and then proceed to use the defense weapon to assault and kill firefighters after setting a fire. If this man were dead or locked up for the rest of his life, as he should have been, then a lot of families would have had a better Christmas last year.

    • lobstahbisque

      Merry Christmas—- bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang… and one for Jesus— bang.

      • John Cedar

        Merry Christmas to you too.

  • HonestDebate1
    • brettearle

      Just what children, in the United States, need to see in their own school buildings, and in front of their own school buildings:

      Pictures of Guns with a huge warning word: NOTICE.

      Yep. That’s the kind of Iconography that we wish to stream through the minds of our children….

      • HonestDebate1

        It’s the kind of iconography we need to stream through the minds of the murderers.

  • Jeff

    Why are these conversations always diverted towards guns and gun control? In reality these people could use any sort of weapon (i.e. a bomb) so we should be talking about mental illness and the mental health community needs to stop worrying about being politically correct and start giving 24 hour care to people who are, could be or have been violent with a mental illness.

    • lobstahbisque

      Because being shot 4 times in the head can ruin your whole day.

      • HonestDebate1

        So can 4 shots with a ball peen hammer.

        • lobstahbisque

          Tell you what, we can perform both on you starting with the ball peen hammer, then the 4 bullets. After the experiment, you get to tell us which is deadlier.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s very sweet.

          • JamesG

            Dead is dead.

          • lobstahbisque

            “~ABNORMAL~ ‘Do NOT use this brain!”‘

          • HonestDebate1

            It thought her name was Abby Normal.

          • lobstahbisque

            Well, I-gor was under quite some duress and didn’t want Dr. Fronkenstien to get mad so he said the name was, “Abby something…. Abby Normal.”

      • Jeff

        Yep but if the violent people with mental illnesses are under 24 hour care I’m not sure how they get the gun in the first place.

        • 1Brett1

          That’s a thoughtful solution to addressing people with mental illness [sarcasm]. Why stop with those who have already displayed violent ideas/actions? Why not lock up those 24/7 whom we guess might become violent in future? [Continued sarcasm.] Let’s say, in Jeff’s bizarro world, that we do this as a solution…let’s start with gouging your tax bills to pay for it.

    • 1Brett1

      What constitutes “could be” violent with a mental illness? And, is that more of a danger than someone who “could be” violent withOUT a mental illness?

      Give examples of the “metal health community…worrying about being politically correct. I’d bet money you know nothing about the “mental health community.”

  • Coastghost

    Leave it to our media to tell us that the Newtown shootings were chiefly (or all) about gun ownership.
    In the past year I’ve heard NOT ONE report from any media source of what the Newtown shooting suggests about the scope and incidence of American divorce and the manifest deficiencies in contemporary American parenting. From what I heard, Adam Lanza spent the last weeks or months of his life communicating with his mother ONLY by e-mail or text messaging.
    Why has parental dependency on media babysitting services (TV, internet, computer gaming, et cetera) not become a dominant part of the ensuing discussion?

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

      How many shootings do not involve at least one gun?

      • Coastghost

        I’m sure I don’t know the statistics concerning use or abuse of longbows, crossbows, power bows, power slingshots, poison darts, et cetera. Not statistically significant, I have to guess, but then poorly driven cars kill more Americans annually than all well-aimed firearms.

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

          Right, and we have car insurance; so we need gun insurance, too.

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

          I am struck dumb by your cleverness …

    • 1Brett1

      So, you believe that Adam Lanza’s underlying problem was the divorce of his parents? Or, contemporary parenting itself? Or–even more simplistic an assessment of problems resulting from mental illness–his exposure to TV, the Internet, computer gaming, et cetera? Or, that in processing this event (or tragedies such as this), the dominant part of the discourse should pertain to leisure technology?

      While I wouldn’t agree with your facile assessment, I sort of think you have a point, marginally. Although, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; and, framing Adam Lanza’s overt problems (or, at least his problems that should have been obvious to anyone with whom he came into close contact) by any of those so-called causes you mention, reduces the ensuing discussion to a one-dimensional focus.

      That said, gun ownership, as well as all of the societal culprits you present, should be part of any discussion surrounding a tragedy such as the one in Newtown, though, I, for one, would be careful to call out any one of these possible aspects of the tragedy as the underlying problem.

      My view, by the way, of “gun control” is one of having certain restrictions regarding gun ownership, but I feel we should be careful in restricting people owning guns for reasons such as hunting, collecting, or protecting one’s self; we should, as a society, continue to have those rights in some form. However, often, in shootings such as this, someone along the line, that led to the shooter’s possession of firearms, showed poor judgement which led to the shooting.

      Adam’s mother was well aware of her son’s problems, and they were long-standing. His ability to function in/cope with day-to-day life seemed to be rapidly deteriorating. Yet, his mother took no measures to effectively remove guns from the house, nor did she adequately secure those guns within the house so he wouldn’t have the possibility to access those guns. She also encouraged his interest, if you will, in shooting. None of her actions and inactions showed good judgement. I’d like to think that a gun owner would be more responsible than Nancy Lanza ostensibly was, or at least have some sense of antecedent/proactive intervention.

      The trouble is, how do these sorts of issues regarding gun ownership get addressed/legislated? Even singling out an underlying reason as mental illness and all of the issues that surround it is a complex undertaking, even in discussion. How restrictive do we want be in our culture to label someone mentally ill and remove his/her rights? How restrictive do we want to be with technology being used for leisure purposes? How restrictive to we want to be toward gun ownership? How restrictive to we want to be toward telling someone how to parent their children?

      If there is a dominant part to any discussion surrounding these tragedies, it should be in demarcating what we as a society want to address in terms of restrictions to any one of these individual issues.

  • James

    White House announces 100 million dollar increase in mental health funding near anniversary of Sandy Hook.

    http://www.behavioral.net/article/sandy-hook-anniversary-nears-biden-announces-100-million-mental-health-resources

    Yeah because they had a wait a year for this…..

    Either A
    They believe that this will help the mental health community, and they delayed this announcement to coincide with Sandy Hook anniversary.

    or B
    They don’t believe that this action will have any great benefit to mental health in this country and they are looking to score cheap political points off of the Sandy hook tragedy.

    Either way, someone needs to burn in hell.for this.

  • lobstahbisque

    Someone needs to make less deadlier guns. You know, something less harmful, perhaps smaller and made of of plastic. I’m sure the manufacturer could make a killing.

    • jefe68

      You mean such as toy guns.
      Which is no guarantee of not being shot.

  • malkneil

    Are people still delusional enough to think that guns aren’t at least part of the problem. Scanning the posts people point to bombs and hammers being lethal too. Doesn’t the real threat of these weapons lie in the fact that you can take out so many people at once. Try doing that with a hammer or a knife. If the Aurora shooter had a stiletto I doubt that many people would have lost their lives in that theater. I’m in agreement that keeping closer tabs on the mental/emotional state of kids is also a good measure — but are we really saying that putting more restrictions on semi-auto weapons will do no good? If your kid was at Sandy Hook that ill-fated day can you honestly say you’d be as concerned if the assailant was wielding a knife as opposed to a Bushmaster?

    • James

      If he had bombs he could absolutely do comparable damage, if not more.

      • malkneil

        How about we try to curb people getting in possession of *any* weapon that is expressly made to kill multitudes at once.

        • James

          How do you plan to do that, other than censor the Internet?

          Actually scratch that, I could self teach myself that knowledge at a local library. Or a chemistry course. Won’t take much.

          The two biggest terrorist attacks in our history Oklahoma City and 9/11 involved the use of exactly 0 guns and an internet in it’s infancy.

          I’m reminded of the Heath Legers Joker, “You have these laws and you think they’ll save you”

          • art525

            So then we should just throw up our hands and do nothing? Nice strategy.

          • James

            No police state can keep us safe from violence 100 percent of the time. Every time we go out into public we risk our lives. Statistically it’s a small risk, minuscule even, but it is a risk. Because of that risk on the aggregate tragedies will happen (and someone in the media will cover it). This is life deal with it.

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

            Who said anything about a police state? If we can never have enough police, then how can we ever have enough guns?

          • James

            So your position is to disarm the police as well as the civilians? Can we disband the military too? As absurd as that sounds, it makes more sense to me then traditional ideas of gun control.

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

            No, that is not what I said. You are the one who said that a massive – and armed police state could not stop all crime.

            By your own logic, a massively armed citizenry can not stop all crime, either.

            I am saying we need far fewer guns than we have. I don’t have any guns. I don’t need any guns, and I cannot see any way that guns can help me with anything in my life. Why do you need a gun?

            When you have a gun, I can get shot. You could decide to commit a crime. You could go insane and use the gun to kill people. You could accidentally kill someone you love, or yourself. You could get depressed and kill yourself. You could have a thief take your gun and use it to commit a crime.

            Why do you need a gun, and why don’t you want to have reasonable laws that try to limit the problems that guns can cause?

          • James

            Because police can’t teleport to my location if I need to call 911.

            Because people desire power and a gun provides both. Banning guns, or limiting guns isn’t going to change that basic fact of human and indeed animal nature.

            Because if the US collapse in 50, 100, 200 years from now and someone tries to do to me or my descendants what we’ve done in say Iraq, or someone decides to seize power internally I would like my progeny to have a chance. And we’re making it harder and harder to do that.

          • art525

            I find it incredibly distasteful that you can just shrug it off. It is not paranoid to be disgusted and offended by those who would continue on supporting this lunatic policy of letting everyone have guns in the face of such senseless tragedies. If you’d like to engage in psychoanalytic analysis I’d say that to continue to defend gun rights in the face of what happened, the slaughter of 20 little children, is sociopathic.

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

            Yeah, we have to invent a mind eraser to remove all knowledge of any lethal weapon from everyone … that’s it!

          • James

            Won’t you guys love to do that. See here’s the thing. NOBODY who is skeptical of gun control thinks that once you get your universal background checks and your carry limits, and your “dire needs approval” like New York has., that once you get all of that, and once the next tragedy happens, you people AREN’T going to be crying for yet another law.

            Get that through your head.

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

            You get sarcasm, right?

            All laws need to be updated and tweaked – this is the strongest thing about our Constitution.

            If you are not insane, and are not a criminal – then what are you afraid of?

        • John_in_Amherst

          devious deranged minds will can come up with lots of ways to kill a lot of people at once. That doesn’t mean we should hand them military grade weapons, too.

      • lobstahbisque

        Weaponized anthrax doesn’t kill people, people kill people.

        • James

          yep and that’s already illegal. Funny how some people will ignore the law to hurt others.

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

            So you are saying we need to make guns illegal?

          • James

            No I’m more along the lines of with every tragedy comes calls for new restrictions, so that we will eventually get to the point where guns are illegal or de facto illegal.

            and this is a bad thing.

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

            If bombs and anthrax are illegal, then why shouldn’t guns be illegal?

    • Jeff

      Ask Timothy McVeigh if a non-firearm can harm “so many people at once”.

      • lobstahbisque

        That does it! I’m going to stop sending my SSDI paycheck to NRA and start supporting the Bombs Don’t Kill People Association.

      • manganbr

        Yes, and bombs aren’t legal. We can’t stop people from breaking laws. But just because people will break them doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have them, right? Do you care about logic or just making yourself feel right?

        • jefe68

          Logic? We don’t need no stinkin logic, were Americans damn it…

          In all seriousness the die hard 2nd Amendment supporters will spend all day plus a month of Sunday’s filling forums with this kind of hyperbole. It’s meant to wear one down.

          • JamesG

            As opposed to the endless self-righteous, self-satisfying impractical arguments from anti-gun people?

          • manganbr

            The fact that you resort so quickly to name calling, rather than engaging in reasoned debate, demonstrates that the gun issue is primarily an emotional one for you.

          • jefe68

            Which brings up the question if this chap is the kind of person who should own a gun.

        • Jeff

          There is no constitutional right when it comes to bombs…of course they should be illegal. I’m asking for common sense solutions…I’d rather see violent people with mental illnesses be locked up instead of an attempt to repeal the 2nd Amendment.

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

            Bombs are “arms”, aren’t they? So are missiles, and tanks, and drones, too.

          • Jeff

            Yes but the key word is “bear”, you must be able to carry it. When you can lift a missile, a tank or even a weapon bearing drone then you can talk about that.

          • manganbr

            That’s what this boils down to, for you? Whether you can “bear” a bomb? Can’t one bear a surface to air missile launcher?
            The fact is, the current law has nothing to do with this totally weird parsing of the word “bear,” and its apparently immense importance in the wording of the second amendment.

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

            Shoulder fired missile, and grenade launchers are portable.

            Your logic is dizzying.

          • Jeff

            Sure but did any of those devices exist (in any sort of similar format, that could be carried by an individual) at the time of the founders? Context and history must both be applied to properly gain reference about a specific “arm”. In Heller, many justices referenced a “similar arm” known to the founders at the time of the 2nd Amendment as the reasoning behind allowing individuals to use that sort of “arm”.

          • 1Brett1

            Make up your mind; are you going to argue for a strict interpretation of what you think the founders meant, or are you going to argue for a new interpretation of a right to bear arms? If it’s the former, then why would you not wish to restrict anything but a musket (of course, they had canons back then; I suppose a strong man could prove he had a right to “bear” a canon)? If it’s the latter, then anything in modern technology would be in line with the 2nd Amendment if one is gong to look at the 2nd Amendment in a modern context.

          • Jeff

            Obviously you have to use logic to understand this…it’s not all pure black or pure white. A musket back then relates to a rifle today, they were/are used for the same purposes (hunting, war, self-defense) although at that time they didn’t have fully automatic weapons so that’s okay to make that illegal. At the same time nearly single firearm today is semi-automatic, to make those firearms illegal then you might as well make all guns illegal. There has to be a reasonable middle ground…BTW, no man could lift a big cannon from back in the day above his head…those things weighed tons!

            It’s pretty basic logic, you take a certain item from back in the day that was something the average person could “bear” and what its uses were (hunting, self defense, etc.) then you look at something similar we have today for those same purposes. That’s how you apply the logic.

          • 1Brett1

            Ah…well, at least you’re not easily duped by a canon/strong man joke.

            So, if no guns one can lift should be illegal, and no behaviors of how guns are stored/used by citizens not deemed mentally ill should be restricted, then pretty much anything goes (except for mentally ill people, of course, but only those who have had violent ideas/behaviors, because they would be locked up 24/7, right?)…interesting that you caution against black and white views, yet display such views. And here you present a call for logic…

            Should there be any restrictions on gun ownership?

          • Jeff

            Sure, there can be some based on previous behaviors or mental illness.

          • 1Brett1

            There already are…people are locked up 24/7 all the time for violence with an underlying cause of mental illness. So, how do we as a society beef that up and make it more effective? Jeff, what I am asking for is something more than a simplistic statement about mental health issues and how to deal with them.

            P.S.-I noticed you didn’t answer my question about gun control. While it would be interesting to have you answer, I’d like to hear an answer about dealing with people with mental illness, as well, as it appears this area is way out of your level of knowledge.

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

            Carry all the flintlocks and muzzle loaders you want!

          • 1Brett1

            Yeah, of course, that’s what founders were referring to…I think it was Madison who said, “if you can lift it, you can own it!”

          • Jeff

            Actually I’m referencing the logic used by a Supreme Court justice when debating the Heller case.

          • 1Brett1

            Well, then, suddenly your ridiculous argument becomes infinitely sound.

          • Jeff

            Why didn’t you answer my question about your specific gun control solutions?

          • 1Brett1

            I did in another reply to you…of course, I asked you the same question; why didn’t you answer?

          • manganbr

            Somehow people translate the language of the second amendment into “right to have guns.” But what is included in the OED definition of “arms,” from common usage of the word in the eighteenth century? It’s not all that different from the way we used “arms” throughout the 20th century, as in the “arms” race? Once you have to start drawing a line between certain types of arms (guns) and other types (nuclear weapons), then the question is only ever about where you draw that line. There can be no absolutist stances. There simply is no constitutional basis for distinguishing between guns and bombs, whatsoever.

            But the fact is certain people just like guns. No amount of ironclad logic is going to change how you feel about it, and I realize that.

          • 1Brett1

            As a society, the US spent the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries locking up people with mental illnesses; it didn’t stop mentally ill people from committing violence, and it promoted the abuse/institutional mistreatment of people with mental illness. Rather than solve a problem, it created problems.

            Interesting that you would frame any kind of restrictions on gun ownership as a “repeal” of the 2nd Amendment, as if there are only two choices when it comes to gun ownership/the 2nd Amendment.

          • Jeff

            Give me your common sense solution for gun control please…I tend to find that the big gun control people are clueless about firearms and how they work…go ahead and explain to me which laws you would plan to implement for gun control.

          • 1Brett1

            It would be a waste of discussion. Your bias/previous commentary negates any intelligent discussion. Also, you are making your paramount argument to be that you know more about guns than I do, so your opinions carry more weight, which is an example of a bigoted view, in the true sense of the word.

          • Jeff

            Good, I’m glad you are unable to clearly explain your viewpoint. Your opinions about this issue are based purely on prejudice…I’m very open to some ideas about gun control but I can’t even get those ideas out of you. That says a lot more about you that you sling insults when someone specifically asks for a clear, concise representation of your ideas. You have nothing to contribute to this conversation and you might as well be a child throwing mud.

          • 1Brett1

            Ah, condemn insults by insulting…okay.

            Universal background checks with no loopholes for private gun sales or gun shows? Would that be clear enough? Is that clear enough? If that alone were achieved, I’d be satisfied. Removing the NRA as a political powerhouse and putting them back in the realm of teaching gun safety might be a good second idea.

            It is disingenuous for you to say that you are merely seeking a clear explanation to find points of agreement…PLease.

            And just what has been your contribution? Locking up people who are mentally ill 24/7? Am I to take that seriously? Given that you don’t think my opinions are valid because you think you have more knowledge of guns than I do, let me just say that I have been a mental health counselor for over 35 years, and your “solution” to dealing with mentally ill people is obviously ignorant. You might as well be a child offering facile solutions to complex problems.

          • nj_v2

            Many cogent arguments have already been put forth. Among them…

            Constitutional convention to repeal/rewrite the Second Amendment to make recent SC rulings re. personal protection irrelevant.

            Require a registration process for guns no less strict than for motor vehicles.

            This would include universal background checks for all potential buyers, pre-purchase testing for competence, a system that provides for a traceable line of ownership, and insurance.

          • Jeff

            Sure, you could go for a constitutional convention to repeal the 2nd Amendment but I doubt it would be successful, even if it was there are 44 states that have the right to bear arms within their own state constitutions.

            Require registration? It’s not like a car…people can use guns on their own land…even a car isn’t required to be licensed if you only use it on your own land.

            We already have universal background checks when any federally licensed firearm dealer sells a firearm to anyone (yes even at gun shows!). The occasional hand-me-down gun from grandfather to grandson doesn’t go through the background check…are you suggesting it should?

    • John_in_Amherst

      in a sad coincidence, at about the same time as Newtown, a knife wielding nut in China went on a rampage in a school there. He succeeded in wounding a couple dozen kids, none of whom died.

      • James

        Fair, but at about the same time, China is a one party fascist state, that does things like limit how many children you have. The only reason the Chinese have any freedoms is because it’s better for the health of the state for people to choose their own career path, then to have the state choose for them.

        • art525

          Wow you address everything but the issue at hand. You turn it into a polemic on Chinese politics when the point discussed is the fact that a guy with a knife attacked a schoolroom on the same day that a gunman attacked Sandy Hook Elementary. The guy with the knife didn’t kill anyone. The guy with the gun killed 26. You talk about everything but that issue, that point.

  • creaker

    The tragedy on a personal level is horrible. As a culture, though, I think we hyperfocus on single tragedies primarily to allow us to ignore the endless sea of tragedies that go on every day.

    • James

      Not all tragedies are created equal, suicides are tragic, they are ultimately a choice (yeah I know) Gang violence is a tragedy, but if we allowed people to settle their drug disputes in court, it would go away.

    • art525

      A single tragedy that results in the senseless brutal deaths of 20 6 year old kids is something that is going to resonate deeply. And it should or we are no longer human.

      • JamesG

        Of course it is also human to over-react too.

        • art525

          Sorry but I don’t think it’s possible to over-react to the horror of a guy with a gun slaughtering 20 children.

      • creaker

        Agreed. But it’s not the only tragic thing that has happened to children over the past year. Not by a long shot. But many of those came and went without even making a splash.

  • damnspot

    When will the media learn that the reason we don’t have stricter gun control is because The People don’t WANT stronger gun control?

    Jack Beatty, on this show, keeps citing the imaginary 90% that want stronger gun control, but it’s an illusion.

    Do we really trust the government that much that we want to give up guns?…….

    (crickets……)

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

      Are you a member of a “well regulated militia”?

      • ctwilly

        please do some research – the supreme court has held it is an individual right.

        • J__o__h__n

          just recently by the radically conservative Roberts’ Court, contrary to decades of interpretation otherwise.

        • art525

          This Supreme Court is a right wing activist court. The right complains about acitivist judges unless they are activisst on right wing causes. They were wrong on this decision and they were wrong on corporations being people and they were wrong on their recent civil rights ruling. The right is wrong.

    • JamesG

      Remember, liberals can not even conceive of their friend The Government being a threat to them.

  • NewtonWhale

    Guns don’t shoot children: Friends and families shoot children. And the NRA wants to make sure they have the firepower to keep doing it.

    At Least 194 Children Have Been Shot to Death Since Newtown

    The NRA says arming more adults will protect kids—but most are killed at home, our investigation shows, often with unsecured guns.

    A year after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Mother Jones has analyzed the subsequent deaths of 194 children ages 12 and under who were reported in news accounts to have died in gun accidents, homicides, and suicides. They are spread across 43 states, from inner cities to tiny rural towns.

    Following Sandy Hook, the National Rifle Association and its allies argued that arming more adults is the solution to protecting children, be it from deranged mass shooters or from home invaders. But the data we collected stands as a stark rejoinder to that view:

    127 of the children died from gunshots in their own homes, while dozens more died in the homes of friends, neighbors, and relatives.

    72 of the young victims either pulled the trigger themselves or were shot dead by another kid.

    In those 72 cases, only 4 adults have been held criminally liable.

    At least 52 deaths involved a child handling a gun left unsecured.

    Additional findings include:

    60 children died at the hands of their own parents, 50 of them in homicides.

    The average age of the victims was 6 years old.

    More than two-thirds of the victims were boys, as were more than three-quarters of the kids who pulled the trigger.

    The problem was worst over the past year in the South, which saw at least 92 child gun deaths, followed by the Midwest (44), the West (38), and the East (20).

    According to the New England Journal of Medicine, research has shown that when doctors consult with their patients about the risk of keeping firearms in a home, it leads to “significantly higher rates” of handgun removal or safe storage practices. Here, too, the NRA has done battle: It backed the so-called “Docs vs. Glocks” law passed in Florida in 2011, which forbid doctors from asking patients about firearms.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/12/children-killed-guns-newtown-anniversary

  • J__o__h__n

    Sixty votes are not “required” in the senate. The Republicans have perverted the Constitution.

    • JamesG

      Democrats passed that little bit of “genus”.

  • lobstahbisque

    Eddie Izzard— “They say guns don’t kill people. People kill people. But the gun helps.”

  • Labropotes

    Leigh Hunt wrote a very moving essay called Deaths of Little Children. It begins, “A GRECIAN philosopher being asked why he wept for the death of his son, since the sorrow was in vain, replied, ‘I weep on that account.’”

    Full text: http://www.bartleby.com/27/19.html

  • Mina

    Life trumps gun rights!

  • JamesG

    I hate to break it to you, but by the numbers of firearms vs. population, “everyone” already has a gun in this country.

  • Coastghost

    Tom Ashbrook: why are AMERICAN DIVORCE and AMERICAN PARENTING not deemed public health menaces?

  • creaker

    A nasty little bit in our culture is this concept of “somebody must pay”. I remember 9/11 and endless people calling out for “bombing Afghanistan to the stone age” (basically a call to blindly kill thousands and thousands of innocent children) abounded. They were hurt and they wanted to hurt someone back and it really didn’t matter who got caught in that.

    So many of these murder/suicide scenarios seem grounded in just blindly lashing out and causing as much death and pain and suffering as possible because “someone must pay” for what they perceive has been done to them.

    • J__o__h__n

      At least Afghanistan was related to 9/11. Iraq was not contrary to Fox News and lies from the Bush administration.

      • M S

        Yes it was related, so was Saudi Arabia, Germany, Spain, Italy, Pakistan, and the U.S.

  • Citizen James

    A recent gun control success is the 10 year extension of the ban on plastic guns. This topic is relevant today because of new 3D technology that allows the gun enthusiast to manufacture the gun himself and bypass the traditional gun manufacturer. The NRA did not take a position on this one law, which in effect means that they approve it the ban on plastic guns. This is consistent with the goals of the gun manufacturers who fund the NRA and who stand to loose revenue.

  • Shag_Wevera

    It seems silly to remember it, considering we’ve done nothing to prevent it from happening again.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Children are the ultimate expression of innocence. Any crime against them is heinous to the ultimate.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      Would that include abortion?

      • Shag_Wevera

        I’m not qualified to answer.

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

        Does a zygote have a right to buy a gun?

        If a corporation kills someone, do we execute the corporation?

  • J__o__h__n

    Thanks for the false equivalency, caller. Moderate reforms have been rejected by the NRA and their legislative lackeys for years. Background checks, waiting periods, magazine size limitations, and closing gun show loopholes are not extreme gun control.

  • manganbr

    Gun control advocates can listen to the fears of gun owners, as the caller asks, but I’m not sure that goes anywhere. Most gun control advocates advance a slippery slope fallacy in refusing any sort of regulation of guns. Most of the arguments I hear from gun owners are absolutist. The problem isn’t about feelings, it’s about democracy and power. Frankly, the only route for gun advocates may be combatting, as ruthlessly as possible, the money and politics that give the second amendment absolute protection. Who’s feelings matter more after all? Do the feelings of gun owners really matter as much or more than the parents of Newtown?

  • ianway

    Politicians responding by enacting laws to protect the “right” of people to bring weapons to church (!) says everything you need to know about whose interest our politicians serve, and the mentality of a good portion of our population who are unable to think beyond the fear-mongering of the NRA, in completely blind obeisance to a seemingly unstoppable money-making juggernaut. That, in snapshot, is a picture of the moral bankruptcy of this country, and why we should expect gun violence continue to be a stark and telling feature of what this country is all about, and where it stands in the measure of civilization.

  • Labropotes

    How do we deal with the problem that no matter what the laws governing guns are, someone can do something horrible with whatever guns are available, which will suggest that stricter rules are needed? Since eventually, something bad will always happen, the logic is to always impose additional restrictions. We tolerate about 6000 childhood deaths annually in motor vehicles. How much childhood gun death can we tolerate? How do we decide?

  • art525

    It’s not politics- it’s common sense. Get guns out of people’s hands. The caller John said we are distracting from the real issues by focusing on guns. Well it was a gun that killed those children. And don’t bring up the Second Amendment- that was meant for “A well regulated militia”. And John the caller said we need to have guns to protect ourselves. From what? GUNS!

    I have lived in NYC for years and it has never ever crossed my mind that I needed a gun. If I felt like I needed a gun I would move somewhere else.

    • lobstahbisque

      Chicago

      • JamesG

        LOL

    • JamesG

      You were so close… The real issue here is mental health. But its easier and more feel good to go after those “other people” with their scary guns.

      • 1Brett1

        And your solution to the one issue of mental health at the exclusion of all other issues is what?

      • art525

        Mental health issues may easily be overlooked. You are not going to find them all. And who is going to pay for it? A person with mental health issues is not a major threat but a person with mental issues with a gun is.

    • Labropotes

      I lived in NYC for 19 years. 2nd Ave & 8th in the Alpine. I didn’t have a gun. There were cops everywhere. Now I live in rural VT, a mile from my closest neighbor, and I have a gun. Everyone in my neck of the woods does. I think you would want one too.

      • art525

        I wouldn’t live there if I felt like I needed to have a gun to feel safe there. Pretty simple.

        • Labropotes

          I hope there always exists a redoubt for you and honorable men to keep you safe.

          • art525

            Thanks for your kind thoughts. It never ever crosses my mind that I need to fear. That’s the way it ought to be.

    • Bruce94

      It’s not just common sense. I believe a recent Harvard study showed a higher risk (or rate) of gun-related deaths among children and women residing in households where firearms are kept. They found a positive correlation between household firearm ownership and gun fatalities among women and children in those homes–a finding which the NRA crowd and the right-wing demagogues they control in Congress cannot square with their false and misleading rhetoric.

      • art525

        Good point Bruce. And we have heard how the problem was virtually eliminated in Australia where they had the good sense to address the issue and act to stop the craziness.

  • Steven Morawiec

    It’s the endless stream of money to candidates and the influence it buys that is at the root of all problems in this country. Until the money is removed from our election process, nothing will ever change.

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

    Where do “bad people” get their guns?

    Who is a “bad person”?

    Who is a sane person?

    Who is an insane person?

    Who is liable for accidental gun deaths?

    What is more important: someone’s right to own a gun, or someone else’s right to *not* get shot?

    What is a “well regulated militia”, and what is the purpose of a militia?

    Why do people commit suicide with a gun?

  • Elizabeth_in_RI

    Thank you Reverend for your statement that we need to start thinking like a village again – and watching out for not only our own children, but all of those in our communities (to echo Hillary Clinton – it takes a village). When I was a kid, we knew that if we messed up, what ever adult saw us misbehaving or in trouble would respond, either scolding or helping as appropriate. Now we see far too many parents taking any other adult’s response to their child’s behavior as an attack of their parenting skills rather than in SUPPORT of them. I want my teenager to know that other adults are watching and looking out for him when I’m not there. Maybe if our culture stopped being so self-defensive and started thinking more about our children and communities and what’s best for them, we might start moving in the right direction again.

    • Labropotes

      You must have grown up in a community with shared values. Sadly, those are rarer nowadays.

      • Elizabeth_in_RI

        Yes, I was very lucky – as were many of my peers. We need to figure out how to get at least part way back to that attitude.

  • hennorama

    If the hour that this show lasts is an average hour in the US, by the end of the hour, 3 or 4 people in the US will have died as a result of wounds from projectiles fired from firearms.

    Including the hour of the show and the next three hours, if they are average, 15 Americans will die from similar wounds.

    Including the hour of the show and the next twenty-three hours, if they are average, 90 Americans will die from similar wounds.

    That’s about one firearms-related death every 16 minutes. About 90 per day. Over 2,700 per month. More than 30,000 each year.

    • JamesG

      Attack of the Statistics…

      • hennorama

        JamesG — the facts are the facts. Presenting them is not an “attack.”

        Here’s another:

        On an average day in the US, about 290 people are wounded or die as a result of firearms-related injuries.

        Putting it another way, in addition to the 90 or so who die from such wounds on an average day, another 200 are wounded by projectiles expelled from firearms, but survive the wounds.

        • JamesG

          It’s an “attack” because you quote them for shock effect with no context. How about a footnote that your numbers of a tiny fraction of the number of people who die from other forms of violence and accidents?
          And try to read Coastghost’s post as a piece of constructive criticism.

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

            What is your response to the facts?

          • JamesG

            Read the rest of this topic.

          • hennorama

            JamesG – thanks for the reply.

            It is interesting that you believe that you know the motivation behind my post. What other assumptions would you care to present to the forum?

            It’s also interesting that you think these facts are “[hennorama's] numbers,” as if they were somehow conjured from thin air.

            Facts can indeed be unsettling. Do these particular ones unsettle you?

            Please also feel free to post any contradictory evidence, additional information, or anything else you wish to present.

            I look forward to your response.

          • JamesG

            “One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.” – Joey Stalin.

            Go dig up the statistics of… oh pick something, car fatalities, or death by slipping in a bathtub, etc. for the same time frame.

            That will give you a realistic perspective but it might blunt some of the emphasis you obviously intended (otherwise, why would you have bothered?).

          • OnPointComments

            If the hour that this show lasts is an average hour in the US, by the end of the hour, 4 people in the US will have died as a result of automobile accidents.

            Including the hour of the show and the next three hours, if they are average, 16 Americans will die from automobile accidents.

            Including the hour of the show and the next twenty-three hours, if they are average, 93 Americans will die from automobile accidents.

            That’s about one death from automobile accidents every 15 minutes. About 93 per day. Over 2,800 per month. More than 34,000 each year.

          • hennorama

            OPC — indeed, the numbers of vehicle-related fatalities are very similar to those related to firearms.

            However, there are at least two significant differences.

            The vast majority of firearms-related deaths are intentional, with a very low proportion of accidental deaths (well under 5 percent). The opposite is true for vehicular fatalities.

            The usage of vehicles and their presence in everyday life in the US far exceeds that of firearms. All one needs do is to think of how many vehicles one sees daily versus the number of observed firearms.

            In addition, traffic fatalities receive considerable scrutiny and study, whereas research into firearms safety and firearms deaths has been effectively barred in the US since 1996, due to the Tiahrt Amendment.

            This restriction changed only due to Pres. Obama’s Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to initiate research into the causes of and means of prevention of firearms-related violence. This PM came about shortly after the Newtown Massacre.

          • HonestDebate1

            We need to ban cars.

          • art525

            Of course during that time there are a whole lot more people out therre driving their cars. As crazy as the gun thing has gotten I don’t think you have millions and millions of Americans out there every morning and every evening spending an hour with their guns. Most of the people I know have cars and use them on a daily basis. Fortunately in the circles I travel in no one has a gun. There is an absurd logic at work here.

          • hennorama

            James G – thank you again for your response.

            Again, you make an assumption. You may wish to reconsider this habit.

            Again, I invite you to present “… the statistics of… oh pick something, car fatalities, or death by slipping in a bathtub, etc. for the same time frame … [t]hat will give you a realistic perspective…” Apparently you cannot be “bothered” to do so.

            Of course, you may wish to wait until the topic is related to “…car fatalities, or death by slipping in a bathtub, etc…”

            Thank you again for your response.

          • art525

            Any time you have a threat to people’s health it ought to be addressed. This often repeated argument atht more people are killed by cars or bathtubs is inane. One has nothing to do with another. It is cynical, defeatist and just plain stupid to argue that if more people are killed in other ways we shouldn’t do anything about this threat.

          • Labropotes

            For the sake of efficient transportation we accept a huge number of violent deaths. Many Americans, me included, honestly believe that firearms protect us against crime and more importantly against tyranny. Yes, I accept the risk to myself, my loved ones, and other Americans for I believe that widely held firearms eliminate a more severe if less probable risk. Stalin ordered the executions of over 600,000 people in 1938. Germany killed six million over four years. France exported 100,000 Jews. It is not possible to count the atrocities not committed on US soil because the perpetrators were dissuaded from trying.

            People, Obama included, who say stuff like, “If we can save the life of even one child, we must do [ ]” seem not to realize that there is no act government can’t justify — and likely haven’t — with this argument.

          • art525

            Ah yes, I forgot that one- the black helicopters are coming! So you accept the risk to your loved ones so that you can protect yourself? Nice logic. In your paranoid fear of this New World Order stuff you are willing to ” accept the riskto you and your loved ones” for the hypothetical and incredibly unlikely fear of a military takeover. I wonder if the parents of Sandy Hook have peace of mind knowing that guns are keeping the miitary threat at bay. Oh and if and when the government did decide to take you prisoner do you think your gun would hold them at bay? What nonsense.

          • Labropotes

            .

          • Labropotes

            I respect your view. You may be right if what you mean is that It Can’t Happen Here (though Sinclair Lewis disagreed). But it’d be nice if you tried to understand my view before ridiculing it. Than we would have achieved disagreement. I would know what your conception of the good is, and you would know mine. The world is not improved when disagreement leads to contempt.

          • JamesG

            Hardly, it shows that you are much more likely to be hurt or killed by just about every other “threat” out there, and that dramatic tragedies are being callously used by a militant few who have decided that a simplistic answer (take those bad scary guns away!) is the solution to a complex problem (mental illness and social stress/conflict).

          • peoplepower

            so how many mass killing have been performed by a mad-man with bathtubs or cars or what ever? None of these are tools created with the sole purpose of killing! High power, high cartridge capacity weapons are designed for multiple killings; and only legitimate use: WAR.

          • JamesG

            Are you ready to have other people who don’t share your values arbitrarily judge the legitimacy of things about your life and what you value?

    • Coastghost

      And most of these shooting fatalities are suicides, not homicides, but insofar as progressives are all on board with right-to-die and death-with-dignity schemes, it’s hard to fathom progressives’ handwringing over the statistics, except it must gall them to learn that someone shooting himself to death is not availing himself of helpful government assistance in ending his own life.
      I detect an incoherence in progressives’ sympathies for suicide.

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

        If a person attempts suicide, and they use a gun, most times they “succeed”. If they try to use some other way, most times they fail – and they rarely attempt again if they are given help.

        So, if there were no guns available, we would have about 18,000 people still alive – every year.

        • JamesG

          Or… you’d have ~18K more people throw themselves off buildings or poison themselves, etc.

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

            Most suicide attempts by any other method usually fails. And after one failed attempt, most people never try again.

          • JamesG

            Source?

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

            Look it up yourself.

          • J__o__h__n

            After a successful attempt, even fewer do.

        • Jeff

          The suicide rate is much higher in Japan, where guns are illegal…the population there uses much more exotic forms of suicide.

          • 1Brett1

            Culturally, in Japan it is considered honorable to commit suicide in certain situations…so you are posing an apples and oranges comparison.

      • hennorama

        Coastghost — thank you as always for your response.

        Indeed, about 2 of every 3 firearms-related deaths in the US are Suicides. Very few of these suicide deaths are reported in the media, making the facts of firearms-related deaths severely underreported.

        Please excuse the lack of response to the balance of your opinion.

      • northeaster17

        I’ve considered myself a progressive and a reasonable person for years now. In other words
        I was Progressive before it was vilified or even cool. For the most part progressives were left alone, under the radar. Living our lives peacefully. Over the last year or so we are now considered by many to be the bane of this country. I think the “L” word was getting to commonplace for the Limbaugh and Beck crowd and a new demon needed to be brought to center stage. I guess that’s the way it goes.
        But to hear your BS about what we think about murders, suicides and handwringing etc, I can’t help but think you are totally misinformed. And I think you like it that way. You like the way they tell you what to think about other people. That way you don’t have to look out you window and see whats going on.

        • JamesG

          LOL. Hi Mr. Kettle.

      • brettearle

        What sort of stretch is the subtlety of the presumed, or so-called Double Standard??

        I don’t see it and I don’t get it.

        `Simple’ and easy suicide is one thing….with a gun that’s accessible. They’re everywhere; they’re all over the place.

        But those who die via `Hemlock Society’ schemes and other protocols–that are available, officially–normally do so with FORETHOUGHT AND PLANNING.

        Guns allow people to be more IMPULSIVE.

        What’s more, those same guns could have been used for injury and killing, beforehand…MUCH before the suicide by bullet.

        Also murder-suicides are likely becoming statistically more significant–and so those same guns are used to kill, also, at the SAME TIME of the suicide.

        When Kevorkian injects someone with a fatal chemical, Dr. Death or the terminally ill do not scamper around, looking to stick a needle in someone else who might be in the vicinity.

        • Coastghost

          But why discriminate against impulsive, spontaneous suicides?
          While firearms offer the means for spontaneous suicides, I doubt that the very decision to shoot oneself is itself necessarily spontaneous (the literature seems stuffed with expressions of cumulative rage, accumulated disaffection, chronic neglect, et cetera): but even if it were, why privilege “assisted suicide” over any other form of self-murder? Frankly, I’m not enamored of society or government “assisting” in individual decisions to self-murder.

          • brettearle

            Maybe you are not enamored of it.

            But PREMEDITATED ways of death are easier to monitor, and even to prevent, than IMPULSIVE ways.

            And THAT is why we discriminate between the Two.

          • HonestDebate1

            I think suicide should be legal.

      • art525

        What an inane argument.

  • jimino

    People who don’t believe an incident such as the one at Newtown should lead to more regulation of firearms should at least be honest and clearly state: “We feel for your loss but that is just the price of complying with the Constitution. These type of occurrences are going to happen, so get used to it.”

    Also, I would ask someone who considers themselves a staunch defender of the Second Amendment to answer this question: At what age do you begin to have constitutional rights? If teachers with guns are authorized to have weapons within the ambit of their rights, why not 16 year old students? Why not 10 year olds? Don’t they have rights too?

    • HonestDebate1

      How about this? “We feel for your loss and will make sure that in the future we won’t prevent a legally packing trained principle or teacher from carrying a weapon at school through onerous regulations. These types of things don’t have to happen if there is a good guy with a gun”.

      That would be much more honest IMHO.

      • MP McCrillis

        HonestDebate1′s sentiment is more than reasonable. The problem is that, even if the police were capable of ensuring our safety at all times, free and responsible adults do not look to other adults to take care of them. My concern with commentators like hennorama is that they appear to want the ability to control the lives of other adults. They need to be reminded over and over to stay out of our personal lives.

    • OnPointComments

      The “age of majority” in most states is 18, and when a person reaches this age they are deemed to have the ability to exercise his or her rights responsibly. Before a person reaches this age, the law says they aren’t mature enough, physically and emotionally, to handle the responsibility attached to all legal activities.

      • jimino

        So you’re saying that a citizen’s rights can be limited, legislatively, to meet the needs of society, as determined by that legislative body.

        Or are you saying that you don’t have any rights until you reach a certain age?

        It’s one or the other, isn’t it?

        • OnPointComments

          I’m saying that the law is correct: it would be foolish to assume that 16 year olds and 10 year olds have the maturity to own guns. It’s why we don’t allow them to own guns, drive a car, get married, buy alcohol, vote, and a long list of other rights that adults have.

          • hennorama

            OPC
            – what you wrote is mostly true, however:

            “Federal law provides no age limitations with respect to the sale of a long gun or long gun ammunition by an unlicensed person.

            “Federal law provides no minimum age for the possession of long guns or long gun ammunition.”

            A minority of the states and the District of Columbia impose minimum age requirements for possession of long guns.

            Source:
            Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

            http://smartgunlaws.org/minimum-age-to-purchase-possess-firearms-policy-summary/

          • MP McCrillis

            Federal law does indeed provide a minimum age for both firearm and ammunition acquisition. States can also enact laws that are stricter than federal law.

          • hennorama

            MP McCrillis — please note that the quotes do not discuss acquisition, and are limited to long guns.

          • MP McCrillis

            QED. Can’t be transferred, can’t be owned or sold. Applies to all firearms and all ammunition.

          • hennorama

            MP McCrillis — perhaps you missed the distinction regarding possession, rather than the other terms you have used.

            You also perhaps have missed the distinction pertaining to unlicensed persons as opposed to Federal Firearms Licensees.

          • MP McCrillis

            Sorry, but no. The transfer of any firearm to a person who is prohibited by law from receiving it is forbidden, both in commercial and private transactions.

            I see what you’re after, though. I’d avoid smartgunlaw.org’s attempt to mask a legal opinion here. They’re sloppy. You’d be better off to approach it this way. The rightful owner of a firearm is not prevented by law (unless otherwise stated) from lending a firearm for use by an unsupervised minor. In some states, this extends to handguns as well.

          • MP McCrillis

            To follow up: I’m not of the opinion that lending a firearm for unsupervised use by a minor is, as a rule, a good idea. Of course, the lender still bears full responsibility for how that firearm is used. Does the practice endanger the public safety enough to be legislated? I don’t think so, but I’m willing to listen with the caveat that the burden of proof is always on those who would enact any law restricting my own personal right to act in a safe and responsible way.

          • hennorama

            MP McCrillis — possession is not the same as ownership.

            If you do not like the source, how about this from the NRA-ILA:

            “Ineligible Persons

            “The following classes of people are ineligible to possess, receive, ship, or transport firearms or ammunition:

            Those convicted of crimes punishable by imprisonment for over one year, except state misdemeanors punishable by two years or less.

            Fugitives from justice.

            Unlawful users of certain depressant, narcotic, or stimulant drugs.

            Those adjudicated as mental defectives or incompetents or those committed to any mental institution.

            Illegal aliens.

            Citizens who have renounced their citizenship.

            Those persons dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces.

            Persons less than 18 years of age for the purchase of a shotgun or rifle.

            Persons less than 21 years of age for the purchase of a firearm that is other than a shotgun or rifle.

            Persons subject to a court order that restrains such persons from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner.

            Persons convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.”

            Source:
            http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/articles/2004/citizen%60s-guide-to-federal-firearms-law.aspx

            The only age-related restrictions are related to purchase, and not to possession.

            You might also prefer the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as a source:

            “Q: Are there certain persons who cannot legally receive or possess firearms and/or ammunition?

            Yes, a person who —

            - Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year;
            - Is a fugitive from justice;
            - Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance;
            - Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution;
            - Is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States or an alien admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa;
            - Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
            - Having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his or her citizenship;
            - Is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner; or
            - Has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
            - Cannot lawfully receive, possess, ship, or transport a firearm.

            “A person who is under indictment or information for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year cannot lawfully receive a firearm.
            Such person may continue to lawfully possess firearms obtained prior to the indictment or information.
            [18 U.S.C. 922(g) and (n), 27 CFR 478.32]”

            See:
            http://www.atf.gov/content/firearms-frequently-asked-questions-unlicensed-persons#gca-unlicensed-transfer

            Or, if you prefer, go to the code:

            http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/44/922
            http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/478.32

          • MP McCrillis

            Look at what you cited: “The following classes of people are ineligible to POSSESS…firearms or ammunition….Persons less than 18 years of age…”

            Then you write: “The only age-related restrictions are related to purchase and NOT TO POSSESSION.”

            You are right to say that there is a tradition of legalistic squalls over how possession does not automatically imply ownership. However, you, like your first source, are trying to see that inversely, where ownership does not automatically imply possession.

            Seems like you’re looking for a problem to a solution. How is it that a legalistic definition of ownership with an established prohibition on possession and transfer is even worth talking about? Are you just having a slow day? I mean, really. You’re off topic and I’m beginning to think you’re a little off your rocker. Press on, though…

          • hennorama

            MP McCrillis — thank you for your reply.

            You misunderstand the NRA-ILA citation.

            The fact is that the NRA-ILA speaks ONLY about “the purchase of a shotgun or rifle” with respect to “Persons less than 18 years of age,” and ONLY about “the purchase of a firearm that is other than a shotgun or rifle” with respect to “Persons less than 21 years of age.”

            If the intent was to indicate that persons under the age of 18 were not only ineligible “for the purchase of a shotgun or rifle” but also to possess, receive, ship or transport a shotgun or a rifle, there would be no need to specify “for the purchase of a shotgun or rifle.”

            In other words, if all the restrictions applied to “Persons less than 18 (or 21) years of age,” that’s all they would say.

            Sorry for your misunderstanding.

            Again, you might want to read the ATF FAQ, or go right to the code.

          • MP McCrillis

            Hennorama–

            I know you want the NRA-ILA citation to corroborate the Law Center Against Gun Violence’s view that there is a loophole in federal law. I’m not of the opinion that it does, and I think that’s why you’re wrongly assuming a misunderstanding on my part. So, let’s discuss one aspect of the LCAGV interpretation.

            Their reasoning seems to be that, by virtue of legislation specifically prohibiting the sale, delivery, transfer to or possession by a juvenile of 1.) a handgun and 2.) handgun ammunition, the “lack” of similar legislation mentioning long-guns in this section, (x)(1), implies that juveniles are “not prevented” from selling, delivering, transferring and possessing long-guns or long-gun ammunition, or it appears from receiving said from unlicensed persons.

            It further assumes that the prohibition of sales of all firearms and all ammunition to juveniles by licensed FFL dealers holds no efficacy in the discussion because of a legal distinction between a “licensed dealer” and an “unlicensed person”, whereby the “unlicensed person” is exempt from “occasional sales, exchanges or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection.”

            The prohibition on dealer sales to juveniles was not an endorsement of private acquisitions or sales by juveniles. It prevents dealers or unscrupulous lawyers from misusing the law to bypass parental ownership and control of firearms in the house. It keeps their use, ownership and possession squarely within the rubric of the responsibility of the parents who, by tradition and by law are the only people in the family who can acquire firearms. The same is true of the more restrictive federal handgun law. Exceptions to the restrictions are outlined so as to prevent the law from completely usurping parental control and responsibility.

            Many states who share your and the LCGVA’s concerns about this imagined “loophole”, have already moved to “clarify” legislation which stipulates exact ages for ownership and possession of long-guns. If the debate needs to take place at all, it should be within the state legislatures. I for one need neither you nor anyone in Washington legislating common sense for either me or my family. Best.

          • hennorama

            MP McCrillis – thank you for your response.

            Any wants I may have are immaterial to the topic. Several sources, each of which corroborate the others, have been cited. No contradictory evidence has been presented.

            Respectfully, your opinion carries no weight with respect to the law.

            If you return to my original post, you will see that it is limited to discussing long guns and long gun ammunition, and states (and DC) that impose minimum age requirements for possession of long guns. You have wandered away from those topics.

            If you can find evidence that is contrary to my original and subsequent posts, I invite you to present it.

            Thank you again for your response.

          • MP McCrillis

            Hennorama–

            I’m sorry that you’re having such a difficult time understanding the issue.

            Here is your statement: “Federal law provides no age limitations with respect to the sale of a long gun or long gun ammunition by an unlicensed person.”

            Federal law does not “state” that a juvenile “may” engage in the sale of a long-gun or long-gun or ammunition. It doesn’t even really imply it when contextualized in the entire code, now does it?

            The choice of the phrase “provides no age limitations” that you’re parroting from the LCGVA is vague with respect to the poor word choice “provides”. It fails to take into account the entire law, or even common sense. The alternative citations you provided do not support your LCGVA reading because the code doesn’t support it. This was my complaint to begin with and remains my complaint still.

            If you were interested in pursuing another topic, then by all means, press on. This one holds no truck, however. It’s bad legal interpretation. Sorry.

          • hennorama

            MP McCrillis — TY again for your reply.

            The quote in my original post is not “[my] statement.” The fact of the quotation marks gives a helpful clue to this, as does the fact of citing the source.

            As you again present absolutely no evidence that is contrary to my original and subsequent posts, further engagement seems pointless.

            I again invite you to present any such evidence. However, if you are unable or unwilling to do so, please expect no reply to any of your posts that do not contain such evidence.

          • MP McCrillis

            Hennorama–

            We do see eye to eye on one thing: I too no longer wish to pursue this matter with you.

            I’ve already acknowledged that your quote derives from the LCGVA site. You’ve embraced their interpretation with regard to long-guns and long-gun ammunition, so it’s yours too as long as you keep hawking it.

            You haven’t demonstrated that your quote is taken directly from the code, because it isn’t. It’s an interpretation of the Firearms Regulations proposed by a group with a political agenda and neither you nor they provide (to use your/their term) a compelling rationale.

            As for your corroborating evidence, the NRA-ILA site clearly states that it’s “not intended as legal advice or a restatement of law” and it doesn’t appear to corroborate the LCGVA agenda anyway.

            I do understand the LCGVA’s concern about a potential loophole, but there are a variety of strategies by which one could make a case that the law clearly does not permit, promote or even allow for what you/they claim it does with regard to juveniles and long-guns. I’ve made an attempt to discuss this evidence in terms of the the particulars of the code with you, but you seem less interested in a serious discussion of the FFA than in obsequious mannerisms and question-begging.

            Best.

          • peoplepower

            Do they have a right to life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness? Or just the right to be ballistics recipients?

  • OnPointComments

    Whenever there is a tragedy, there are two things upon which we can rely: (1) Democrats and liberals will exploit the tragedy to further their agenda, and (2) Democrats and liberals will propose a remedy that wouldn’t have prevented the tragedy if the remedy had been in place before the incident occurred.

    • art525

      Whenever there is a mass shooting right wingers will conjure up a million excuses and a million diversionary arguments rather than address the issue at hand- guns. They will talk about mental health issues they will talk about how cars cause more deaths anything other than to address a guy with a gun slaughtering people. Yes I know if there had been a good guy there with a gun he could have stopped it. Why is there never a good guy with a gun around when you need him?

      • OnPointComments

        “Why is there never a good guy with a gun around when you need him?” In the case of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, the school was a gun free zone, which prevented any adults working at the school from having access to a firearm.

        • art525

          What about at Fort Hood military base? No one have a gun? What about at that Tennessee armory? No guns? Joe Zamudio had a gun at the scene of Gabby Gifford’s shooting. He saw a guy shove a guy to the ground attacking him. His first impulse was to shoot the guy but he didn’t. It turns out it was a guy who was subduing the shooter. He feels lucky he had second thoughts. Oh and there was an armed guard at Columbine.

          • HonestDebate1

            Fort Hood is a gun free zone as well.

          • art525

            Actually according to Wikipedia _”Military weapons are used only for training or by base security, and personal weapons were kept locked away by the provost marshal.” -
            So in fact base security actually do have guns. Nice try though. And you didn’t address the other examples but cherry picked though the one you came up with is the pits.

          • jefe68

            One could it bottom feeding, but that gives crustaceans a bad name.

          • art525

            Hey here’s a quote from another link on amred personel–”In reality, the rules on military bases don’t ban all guns, which is obvious since among the shooter’s first victims were armed security personnel.”

            I’m sure you’ll want to read the article and get your facts straight.

            http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/09/17/the-growing-myth-of-mass-shootings-and-gun-free/195927

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes, I’ve seen that article before. It sure does make a lot of assumptions about what Conservatives think. I certainly don’t suggest as they say I suggest, claim what they say I claim or blame who they say I blame.

            Columbine didn’t really have an armed guard. It was a policeman whose patrol included the school and not much else. He wasn’t a sentry standing at the door. Some people like to imply that because he was not successful it is logical to assume no one else ever will be. That seems illogical to me I hope that’s not what you meant.

            That’s really a different matter but you did bring it up. Columbine was a “gun free zone” too as I assume you know. So was VA. Tech and the theater in Aurora, Colorado. That doesn’t mean a cop could not come on to the property with his gun. It’s a legislative term.

            Legislation is what changed the paradigm at Ft. Hood. But if you’d like to take the words at their tortuously literal nut without regard to the legislation involved then you win.

          • art525

            Columbine did in fact have an armed guard. His name is Neil Gardner. “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 in stopping him:”
            That is from an article on Huffington Post. Here is the link—http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/columbine-armed-guards_n_2347096.html
            ANd again regarding Ft Hood you will see that there in fact were armed guards who were shot that day. It’s funny, your user name is honest debate and yet you dismiss facts that don’t suit your argument. I am reminded of that great line- You are entitled to your own opinions but nbot your own facts.

          • HonestDebate1

            I understand, I am very familiar with Mr. Gardener. This is an old debate. Look into it a bit deeper and you will find Mr. Gardeners own statements on the matter. As I recall he was not on property at the time but came rushing back.

            Gun control legislation and political correctness is what changed the paradigm at Ft. Hood and made the tragedy possible. It just is.

          • art525

            That may be how YOU recall it but then there is the truth. If you read that link and many others you will see that Mr Gardner engaged in gunfire with the shooters but was not successful in stopping them. You just prove my point on yor selective recall of facts. Oh and that politcal correctness was implemented under George W though the right likes to fudge the facts and say it was Obama. And again at Ft Hood there WERE armed guards there who were shot and were unable to stop the shooter. You chose to ignore that fact once again.

      • peoplepower

        Having good guys with guns is a wonderful fantasy, like socialism in which we all hold hands and sing kumbaya for ever, yeah right! Both are nothing but a sick delusional dreams. Remember the Howard Johnson hotel shooting in New Orleans, about 40 years back. The shooting continued for some time after the shooter was dead; as the police kept firing at each other in error; fog of battle scenario. More guns = more dead! Humans will make mistakes; and mistakes with guns are deadly. So we have nuts with guns, exited confused good guys, and the fog of war, a nice combination to have in a school setting. I’ll have to start sending my kids to class with ceramic plated jackets, and helmets. Nice world we are creating !!!

    • Labropotes

      Can you think of an example of Republicans using a crisis to push an almost irrelevant policy? If hokum and cant are not distinct attributes of Dems, why alienate them over it?

      • art525

        The Bush administration took us into a war based on a lie. And the Repulicans forced a government shutdown to pander to the tea party. Now even Boehner is fed up with them. Those are the first two glaring examples that come to mind.

        • Labropotes

          Look! We agree!

        • HonestDebate1

          “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.”

          • art525

            Yes Hillary Clinton said that. Yes Hillary and and all the Democratic congress men and women were duped by the adiminstrations’s lies. I guess they were too trusting and didn’t expect that a president and his administration would start a war based on lies. Colin Powell’s career was pretty much ended after he was used as a pawn and sent to the UN to present those lies. I wonder what Mz Clinton and Mr Powell would say about those “facts” today. And on your other point, Saddam did not like Al Queda. He saw them as a threat to his secular leadership. Here’s a quote for you– former Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet said on 60 Minutes, “We could never verify that there was any Iraqi authority, direction and control, complicity with al-Qaeda for 9/11 or any operational act against America, period.” It’s from Wikipedia.

          • HonestDebate1

            Pre-Bush:

            “One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.”
            –President Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

            “If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.”
            –President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

            “Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.”
            –Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

            “He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.”
            –Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

            “[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”
            Letter to President Clinton, signed by:
            – Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others, Oct. 9, 1998

            “Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”
            -Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

            “Hussein has … chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.”
            – Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

  • Bruce94

    Those who argue (including some of the callers on today’s show and the NRA apologists below) that our exceptionally high rates of gun-related deaths including homicides are due primarily to cultural and/or mental health factors that deserve more of our attention than gun control are being disingenuous unless they are referring to our schizoid attachment to guns.

    Why is it that our fire arm-related death rate exceeds that of every European country where comparable rates of mental illness are found and cultural norms glorifying violence in movies, books and video games are no different from our own? The answer is that the Europeans have sensible regulations that limit the availability of guns.

    Emphasizing the cultural/mental health aspects alone does not address the critical issue posed by the Newtown tragedy.

  • MP McCrillis

    If I had been there when Lanza arrived, I would have stopped him. If I could not have stopped him in the same way the police intended to, I would have stopped him in the same way that Hochsprung and Sherloch tried to.

    Until people can say the same, their opinion shall not matter.

  • Jim Hartman

    I don’t foresee any change in gun rights in the U. S. for two reasons: (1) gun rights are written (ambiguously) into our constitution, and we’re too polarized to change it; and (2) there is a huge undercurrent of distrust in government, and many people are afraid the first step toward tyranny will be confiscation of firearms.

    • Labropotes

      Simple statements, no taking of sides. Bravo, Sir.

  • marygrav

    SOUND?

  • marygrav

    Again we are trying to treat the symptoms without researching the problem. The problem is mental health acerbated by an uncaring T-Party controlled Congress headed by the Paul Ryan, who wants to get rid of the Debt by starving the people.

    But OUR problem did not begin with Ryan. It began with the Reagan administration when he took in the neoconservatives as speech writers and cultural advisers. Irving Kristol brags about the undue influence o the neoconservative agenda in his essay: 40-Good Years. Kristol brags about how “neoconservative economics” helped to destroy the safety nets of the American economy.

    These safety nets including mental health clinics, social workers and the like because the funds were jerked in order to cut taxes to the 1%. These cut decimated mental health programs arguing that the privatizations of prison would be the answer to socio-path.

    It not that I am not sympathetic to what occurred in New Town, but its very name means that the residents moved to that city to escape the reality that the violence that signifies America. Adam Lanza was “one of them.” He was not some inner-city gang-banger. This only signals that it takes a village to recognize a sick child or anyone with mental health problems.

    Obamacare, which the T-Party wants to destroy, may be the answer to preventing another New Town because it offers mental health options that most people cannot afford at present.

    The T-Party would have US believe that American life is perfect–therefore there is no reason to change what is pernicious behavior because those with “issues” are out-liars, not just OUR next door neighbor. They refuse to understand that this is the reason for the use of illegal drug: One has to be high all the time just to function in the Exceptional American Society.

    New Town is America’s Community. We must all participate collectively; or we will forget collectively and nothing will change.

    • William

      Where is the starving in our spending? The latest Ryan budget is just more of the same…endless spending..endless debt….

    • harverdphd

      “Hyper-partisanship makes people stupid.” – MadMarkTheCodeWarrior – 05/02/13

  • MattCA12

    “Un-cope-able”. It’s exactly how I feel.

  • Linda

    We’ve had guns in the past, but we didn’t have a “gun culture,” (except perhaps in the old West.) That explains the number of guns out there better than Second Amendment rights. It’s a fad, much like muscle cars once were, or collecting stereo equipment or building home computers. Only this fad has had deadly consequences. A friend at work takes his family to the rifle range for family entertainment much like he might have taken them bowling in the past. Another distant acquaintance shoots up an old car in his yard with semi-automatic weapons for fun. We all know that in the hands of the hot tempered, violent prone or the mentally disabled or a child who doesn’t quite understand, such entertainment can turn deadly and it has. But there has always been hot tempered people, the mentally ill, and mischievous children, and yet not so many gun tragedies. So what’s happened? It’s the number of guns, their easy availability, and the fact that as long as this gun fad continues, people will want to get their hands on them whether they’re fit to or not. I suggest that we try to understand how and why this gun culture fad emerged and what we can do about it before the whole country becomes unfit to live in if you don’t want to pack a rod and be prepared to shoot someone on the street, at school, in the theater or at the shopping mall.

  • peoplepower

    These tragedies will continue as long as our politicians and news media are involved in the gun rights v. gun control smoke and mirror debates for their own gain.
    Furthermore the mental health is also being twisted in the same way; without any desire for true change. An example of this is the Zimmerman case, a disturbed individual with a propensity for gun violence, who continues to have access to guns; another tragedy waiting to happen.

  • hennorama

    MP McCrillis — are you suggesting that “Remembering The Newtown Tragedy, One Year Later” is somehow inappropriate?

    The mass murder of 20 children aged 6 or 7, and six adults, in a span of five minutes, is such an uncommon event that reflection is not only warranted, it’s practically required.

    • MP McCrillis

      A radio talk show does not a memorial make.

  • Fredlinskip

    2nd amendment is a bit ambiguous and “therein lies (a lot of) the rub”:
    Constitution- “Congress is granted the power to use U.S. militia for three specific missions: ** “.. to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions.”

    2nd amendment (in 20th century speak)-
    (Because) a militia is required for the security of a free state (country), people should be allowed to own guns.

    I’m not a Constitutional attorney, but it seems forefathers were saying to citizenry- “hey folks, the world is still dangerous- Brits are still around, France and Spain still own substantial part of our continent; It MIGHT not be such a bad idea to remain vigilant, so as to come to aid of our infant nation should we come under attack.”

    Somehow “militia required for security of a free state” has come to be interpreted as- “people need as many high powered weapons as possible so as to fend off their own government”.

    Apparently, if hell breaks loose it will be the militia of those “suppressing insurrections” against the militia “fending off the state”.

  • Brian

    Wondering how many law abiding gun owners have legally used their guns to legally defend themselves haven’t heard any stats on that

    • OnPointComments

      According to the New York Times, “a new paper from the Violence Policy Center [an organization that advocates for gun control laws] states that ‘for the five-year period 2007 through 2011, the total number of self-protective behaviors involving a firearm by victims of attempted or completed violent crimes or property crimes totaled only 338,700.’ That comes to an annual average of 67,740…” Based on this information:

      If the hour that this show lasts is an average hour in the US, by the end of the hour, 8 people in the US will have used a gun to protect themselves.

      Including the hour of the show and the next three hours, if they are average, 31 Americans will use a gun to protect themselves.

      Including the hour of the show and the next twenty-three hours, if they are average, 186 Americans will use a gun to protect themselves.

      That’s about one person using a gun to protect themself every 8 minutes. About 186 per day. Over 5,600 per month. More than 67,000 each year.

      • hennorama

        OPC — two uses of my words as your template and nary a mention? Tsk tsk.

        You may be missing an opportunity to promote increased levels of ownership of firearms.

        The rate of firearms ownership in US households has fallen significantly over the past four decades, to a recent level of 34 percent. Per an NYT article from March, 2013:

        “The household gun ownership rate has fallen from an average of 50 percent in the 1970s to 49 percent in the 1980s, 43 percent in the 1990s and 35 percent in the 2000s, according to the survey data, analyzed by The New York Times.

        “In 2012, the share of American households with guns was 34 percent, according to survey results released on Thursday. Researchers said the difference compared with 2010, when the rate was 32 percent, was not statistically significant.”

        Using this information, this implies that nearly three times as many Americans could be using a gun to protect themselves, and many more crimes could be prevented if only all American households had at least one firearm.

        Of course, it would be even better if all Americans carried a firearm with them at all times. No doubt morning commutes would be quite a bit more interesting, as would grocery checkout lines, Friday nights at bars and other establishments that serve alcohol, etc.

        See:
        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/us/rate-of-gun-ownership-is-down-survey-shows.html?_r=0

        One final thought – based on the estimated number of nonmilitary firearms in the United States – 310 million – the figures you cite imply that, over an average year, 0.022 percent of firearms are actually used by “people in the US … to protect themselves.”

        • OnPointComments

          Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

          I bet the 67,740 people who used a gun to thwart a criminal are glad they had the gun, regardless of the percentage of the population they might represent.

  • urb81

    One thing I haven’t heard in the ongoing debate, is what type of physctropic meds these shooters were on, or had previously taken. Surely, I’m not the only one who has seen all the possible side effects disclaimers which accompany all the advertising the drug companies are doing.

    • 1Brett1

      Adam Lanza was on no medication. And, to suggest, say, that having taken an SSRI a couple of years ago (or some time in the past), and to have stopped, can affect behavior in such an extreme and lingering way some time later is ridiculous. While some folks have reported violent or aggressive thoughts as an unwanted effect of some psychotropic medication, that’s not going to make them methodically plan a mass murder. Save that idea for a bad 1970s horror film.

      • TheDailyBuzzherd

        “Save that idea for a bad 1970s horror film.”

        Interesting you typed that. Almost a calendar year prior, “We Need to Talk about Kevin” was released. The events leading up to the climax, and particularly the climax itself, parallel Newtown to a tee.

        I wonder if Adam saw this film. The modus operandi was different, the results the same.

  • hennorama

    Gortron — thank you for your response, and the belly laugh.

    That you admit your assumptions is refreshing. Of course, all of them are inaccurate.

    Thanks again for the laugh.

  • Lisa VanMansum

    I wanted to call in during the discussion as this thought kept running through my head. We have “mainstreamed” public schools to educate all children – including those with mental and physical disabilities. I have often questioned the safety aspect of this decision. When I was in gradeschool in the 70′s, we did not have children with mental disabilities, and only some with minor physical disabilities. Possibly this “integration” is a mistake as some kids need to be in their own learning environments so they are not “reminded” of their differences by being around the majority of children who are different from them. The other part of the conversation that is troubling is the obvious violence in today’s culture. My 11 year old loves to watch old TV shows like the Andy Griffith Show or Gilligan’s Island – and we talk about how polite people were and how respectful they are. Television, movies and games promote violence and do not portray caring, respectful manners. While I see the concern about gun safety – like one caller said, we need to go further up the supply chain.

  • TheDailyBuzzherd

    Well, I referred to that flick because of the horror film comment, nothing more. It is relevant, however. See it to understand what I mean. Should you consider, do not be prepared to be entertained even if Newtown had not happened.

    As a member of a family that has suffered from mental illness in its history, there are no easy answers. As always, the path forward is always blocked by, yes, social stigmas. Those who understand that mental illness is an illness agree that illnesses of the mind are an offense of the most grievous kind, but since there is a serious philosophical and religious basis for those stigmas there is a lack of coordinated consensus. Professionals are baffled. Scientists are searching for a needle in a haystack.

    The results are case-by-case kneejerk responses to each of these occurrences and in the case of Newtown, insufficient ones at best. It is amazing to many of us here at this board, dead children notwithstanding, that once again, an irresponsible segment of our population cannot do the obvious thing and enact moderate gun control policies. I’ve gotten to the point in believing that these same huggers of the 2nd Amendment, who wrap themselves in the flag of The Constitution, would in a heartbeat shoot to pieces this coveted paper if something were amended to it they despised.

    • 1Brett1

      Well said, TDB, and thanks for your reply.

  • hennorama

    1Brett1 — do you think that the provisions of the PPACA, making “mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment” part of the list of “Essential health benefits” will do much to help with these issues?

    One more question — given the high incidence of mental health issues involved in mass shootings, will greater insurance coverage of mental health services do anything to reduce the number and frequency of these horrific events?

    • 1Brett1

      Before I read your second paragraph, let me answer the question in your first paragraph. The short answer is: NO. The longer answer is that some people might be prompted to seek treatment where they might not have before the ACA, and that’s always a good thing. But, will providing coverage fundamentally change the way people view mental health issues/help remove stigmas/encourage people to pursue mental health problems beyond just going to their PCP for pills? Sadly, no.

      As far as your second question…I don’t really think so. Part and parcel with mental health issues is often denial and isolation. Generally, the extent to which the person doing the shooting had issues that needed an extreme intervention are only considered after the fact.

      As a mental health counselor, and as one who has had particular success with males in their early twenties, my first reaction upon hearing of these tragedies (aside from shock and bewilderment) is to say, “I wish I had been involved in that young man’s life antecedently; I could have made a difference!” But that perhaps is just fantasy/ wishful thinking on my part, and maybe also a little bit of self-protection in telling myself that what I’ve done with my adult life has not been in vain. My practical self knows better, however, and I know that no matter what one does, sometimes the mental illness wins and consumes the person.

      I do feel that a mentally ill person with a knife, bat, slingshot, scissors, axe, etc. is less likely to inflict so much more human damage in a much shorter period of time than a mentally ill person with a gun, and calling for universal background checks for purchasing guns while closing loopholes for gun shows and private gun sales are not any acts that infringe on a person’s constitutional rights or cause undue burden on those purchasing guns.

      • hennorama

        1Brett1 — Thank you for your thoughtful and tortured response. I’m confident that you give yourself less credit than you deserve.

        Following up — what about increased likelihood of earlier detection, if such coverage becomes routine and “normalized”?

        • 1Brett1

          Thanks, henn.

          I hope that if seeking medical/clinical help for mental health issues becomes more routine as the result of increased coverage–and that this helps to remove the guilt and stigma people associate with seeking help–we as a society will evolve toward viewing mental illness as we do physical illness. I think this will take some time, and there’ll need to be a number of factors at play.

          Often, mental illness carries with it behavioral components that we as a society are quick to condemn and have no sympathy/empathy for. This makes understanding difficult for those who have no experience.

          As far as earlier detection…that’s a tricky wicket. While treating disorders/illnesses early can mean treatment can be less intrusive and less invasive, it can also mean the opposite.

          I feel that we as a society should promote the idea that there is strength in seeking help for a mental health issue, and that includes in all sorts of areas, employment being a huge stumbling block, for one. There’s the work stigma, the social stigma, the cultural stigma…at least with the ACA, hopefully, a financial burden will not continue to add to the problem. I am interested to hear HOW MUCH people are being “covered” with respect to seeking services for MH issues.

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 — indeed, the point I was making so clumsily was that PPACA inclusion of MH benefits may reduce the financial burden and eliminate that obstacle to diagnosis and treatment.

  • art525

    I wonder if you would have the nerve and lack of conscience to tell the parents of those murdered children in a face to face that the deaths of their little children is the price we have to pay in our vigilance to prevent the absurdly hypothetical possibility that the evil jack booted soldiers are going to come for us.

  • hennorama

    1Brett1 — here’s the link to the subject analysis, titled

    “Violence Policy Center

    “Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self-Defense Gun Use

    “An Analysis of Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Crime Victimization Survey Data”

    http://www.vpc.org/studies/justifiable.pdf

    The VPS analysis indeed uses both “hard” data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, as well as “soft” data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

    Per the NCVS website,

    “NCVS is the nation’s primary source of information on criminal victimization. Each year, data are obtained from a nationally representative sample of about 90,000 households, comprising nearly 160,000 persons, on the frequency, characteristics, and consequences of criminal victimization in the United States. Each household is interviewed twice during the year. The survey enables BJS to estimate the likelihood of victimization by rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault, theft, household burglary, and motor vehicle theft for the population as a whole as well as for segments of the population such as women, the elderly, members of various racial or ethnic groups, city dwellers, and other groups. The NCVS provides the largest national forum for victims to describe the impact of crime and characteristics of violent offenders.”

    See:
    http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=dcdetail&iid=245

    And this is the NCVS Methodology:

    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ncvs_methodology.pdf

    • 1Brett1

      Thanks, hennorama; I hadn’t had time to look into the sources…and there was no reason to consider that OPC hadn’t cherry-picked or otherwise distorted data or made it out of whole cloth. So, I went for the obvious idea that data would be pretty difficult to accurately compile on people preventing crime by carrying a firearm, and would be anecdotal, unless there were actual physical evidence and a police report.

      At a glance, his numbers didn’t seem to quite jibe, even with what he presented, irrespective of thinking they might have been taken out of context, but I didn’t look closely at them, nor did I feel compelled to (hey, it’s OPC, after all, what can I say! :-)

      Anyway, thanks again.

ONPOINT
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Apr 22, 2014
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