Posted by: Helen Philpot | December 15, 2012

Guns do not kill people. They just make it easier to kill people.

Margaret, can we – the American People – finally have a rational conversation about gun control?

It was an elementary school this time – an elementary school with children the same age as my grandchildren. I can hardly bear it. Those poor precious children…

Is the insanity of this enough for us to finally kick the militia morons to the curb and have an intelligent conversation about the real reason for the Second Amendment?

Yes. I know. Guns do not kill people. People using guns kill people. The same can be said about tanks.

I have no doubt that in the coming days we will learn that no laws or gun control of any kind could have prevented this tragedy. There are millions of guns already out there and new gun control laws won’t do anything about that… bad people can always find a way to get a gun. Most gun owners are responsible people who have legitimate reasons to own a gun. So there’s nothing we can do, right?

Bullshit. Not doing anything is not the answer. It’s the problem. I refuse to believe that hunters and responsible gun owners can’t have a meaningful conversation about better gun laws with citizens who do not wish to own guns.

We are already hearing about the mental instability of the shooter – a child himself. And there will be meaningful conversation about the lack of good mental health policies and how that was the cause of all this and not gun control laws. Everyone can agree that mental illness, just like any illness, should not go untreated. So where is the disconnect? Why are conversations about mental illness and gun control mutually exclusive? Please Dear God if Republicans and Democrats can ever come together about something, this must be it. And for those of you who think now is not the time to talk about gun laws, I wholeheartedly agree. That conversation should have happened long ago. And it definitely should have happened before 20 precious children lost their lives.

It doesn’t matter what type of gun was used. It doesn’t matter if that gun was obtained illegally or legally. It doesn’t matter if the person was mentally unstable or just plain evil. What matters is that the most powerful country on the globe must have an intelligent conversation about the manufacturing, sale and ownership of guns without someone screaming nonsense about the 2nd Amendment.

Guns do not kill people. They make it easier to kill people. There are 314 million Americans and we own almost 300 million guns. That is the very definition of mental illness. I mean it. Really.

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  9. oof, machine driven hacking? gonna put my computer into full scan mode.

  10. Hi, Penom – It DOES make about as much sense as some things politicians say, doesn’t it…? I’m pretty sure it’s a machine-driven piece of hacking, but it is so fascinating that I actually tried to read it. Kind of like those things that lab monkeys might come up with, given typewriters and enough time…

    Gato

  11. this must be the newest repuglican speech planned for the upcoming elections? i don’t know any chinese so it’s impossible to understand this, for me. what i mean is, the ability to manage in a couple of european languages makes it possible for me to understand a european struggling in mine (english) but knowing no chinese, i cannot fathom what this person is saying. for instance, english=a red table>french=la table rouge(the table red).

  12. epydzw (); division a pair of sisters and brothers tend to be chatting, the thing is that Yang Kai walked hurriedly internally. “Chen Xiong, Shu sibling, unscarred.” Kai Yang beaming, as well as appears to have recently been quite a long time not so pleased before. Chen Shu little language institution textbooks and 2 nonetheless merely guessing they do know tend to be Kai Yang Yang just isn’t who, after looking at folks be accurate, can not aid but broke associated with trance, neglected to resolve, innocently was standing forward searched. This kind of moment, they cannot realize precisely why the heart suddenly whipping a bit, didn’t appear to believe this individual in fact had the consideration Achieving 2 this kind of stats, an abrupt have some ruddy. “I deal with any flower?In . Notice their rigid, Kai Yang chuckle noisally. 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I noticed equally use up one-tenth from the whole place, riding by yourself might have happened to run for 3 days along with a few days to operate about, would it be truly a person?Inch Phrases of comfort and ease more Inquire far more enthusiastic. Yang Kai did not response, abruptly was very detestable fun. Seem hearing, comfortable little words can not aid but hesitated, transformed, along with saw that individuals realized, Kai Yang provides brought these came any facet hallway, part hallway may be sitting in lots of people. Those son deluxe women clothing, stumbled on start to see the remarkable, having a durability of around essentially deep parent, additionally they don jewellery necklace move flare, are obviously good grades prize. In contrast, each she along with Chen publication, however, there are generally prize, donning furthermore Zhou, nevertheless as opposed to runners men and women, but as any heaven along with a floor. 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Chen guide can be the woman’s sibling, and the woman’s fan, she had been laughed at Luzon Actually, I am just nothing, however practically nothing upsetting, yet seeing your hero provides their thoughts consequently simple apology, in which she had not necessarily feel sick? In particular, the opposite is simply no reason at all to be able to dislike them within embarrassment. Increase misty tears, Shu modest vocabulary switched circular, seemed pleadingly in the direction of Yang Kai, I’m hoping the guy can play rounders, to ensure that his / her friends are no longer embarrassed to visit. Yang Kai grinned in the woman’s, his / her jaws transferred, secure small terminology did not see what he said, yet a pair of eye to learn this is of it. Shaoanwuzao! Shu quiet a lot of the small girl’s feelings all of a sudden knew Kai Yang will not likely take a seat idly simply by and could not necessarily support nevertheless pull pull little nostril, preventing back holes in his sight, muted. Chen requested it two times, Luzon finally pay the particular pot at your fingertips, looking disdainfully shaken their go: “serious, Really, I am just genuinely offended my position, nevertheless my personal folks are much more widows and also orphans, poor communication, particularly with no experience . that’s probably none, “Chen publication The almighty sè a new insulate, uncomfortable smiles:.In . This particular goodness me, Chen immediate “Luzon Raise your sight along with looked over Chen guides, mild giggle:Inch Anyone come from the Moon Door ? “” Yes, I’m a tutor as well as jr . cousin beginner Celestial satellite front door is the entrance. “” entropy benefits on this occasion to sign up inside the conflict, the amount of individuals came, “Chen book face embarrassment, because a few carry out:In .? staying simply myself and Each jr . cousin apprentice, however …… “if not concluded, he ended up being interrupted by hissing noisally Luzon. 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  18. Auntie Jean, I was puzzled by your referring to wearing that kind of glove. I’ve never heard of them. No, we wore white gloves when I was a young girl. I also remember wearing them, with a hat of course, when I traveled by train from western Kansas to California to visit my aunt and uncle when I was 11 or 12. We wore them to go shopping at dept. stores as well.
    My brother converted to Catholicism to marry his wonderful wife. My Shriner dad and Eastern Star mom reluctantly went along with it but it turned out the best thing for my brother. Their 3 boys all married Protestants however!
    And with this new Pope I could almost become a Catholic but I won’t.

  19. You’re right Auntie Jean , Wendy is going to need a lot of help. Some, even in my Party, question the wisdom of the approach BGTX is taking in their project – turn TX blue! But I say you gotta start somewhere, might as well start at the top AND the bottom, which is exactly the plan. Its going to be a hell of a lotta work and the odds are against us … But we are determined to leave it all on the field… :)

    My BIL is a Methodist minister. I spit out my coffee thinking of my sister in gloves. :) Thanks for the laugh!

  20. Hi Congenial Gang,

    lori, I’m rootin’ for ya and countin’ on Battle Ground Texas to bring your state into the blue column. Together, y’all can do it! If Ted Cruz is any indication of the caliber of conservative thinking there, Wendy Davis is gonna need a Democratic legislature to get anything done. Better hustle! But I know there are plenty of smart and hard working people in Texas who can pull it off!

    Terry W, you poor thing. Born and raised a Methodist and had to wear those little black lace mitts with the fingers cut off. My Mom, the original staunch, dyed in the wool Southern Baptist told this story of when she was a little kid. Mom was a supremely honest woman so it has to be true. A distant aunt was coming to visit. All her relatives said she was very nice but behind their palms they whispered, “But……..she’s Methodist, you know.” Sure enough when she arrived she turned out to be a lovely southern lady – wearing little black lace mitts with the fingers cut off. Mom was well into adulthood before she met her first real life Methodist. Sans little black lace mitts.

    As long as we are into confessions, I married a Catholic. We raised our sons Catholic. So I can quote scripture from either the King James or the Douay Versions with the best of ‘em. Our immediate family is now sorta Heathen though. That’s what can happen when you have “mixed marriages” be they religious, political, racial, ethnic, same gender or GOD FORBID! intergalactic!

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  21. I quite like looking through an article that will makoe men and women think.

    Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!

  22. Auntie Jean, We have yet another connection: my mom was Southern Baptist as well. She and my dad settled on the Methodist church in which she was very active. After my brother and I flew the nest she reverted to her roots and took my dad with her which wasn’t that bad. At least she got him to church. I have long maintained that as Christians we don’t have that good a track record when it comes to how we treat the rest of God’s children. We’re a lot like any given family of in-laws and out-laws!
    As for Ted Cruz, he’s doing his damnedest to add angst to his party’s situation. Palin would be a good running mate for him, their combined IQ’s might get them into clown college. I even have a clown costume I could loan to one of them.

  23. Came clueless, left worried. Thanks for the post. Time is natures way of keeping everything from happening at once. Woody Allen Born 1935

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  25. I plan on working for Wendy in the Dallas area Pi. Tell your friend to look me up. How kool would that be?

  26. Fingers crossed with you lori (and a dear friend in the Dallas area)!
    Lots and lots of work to do and no matter what happens , TX stands a real chance to turn the tide there.
    Dear Helen- sure hoping we hear from you soon. The ladies of Texas need your strong voice !

  27. Pretty damn cool eh Pi?

    I am soooo proud of her for taking this leap. I am sooo proud of my Party for pledging to support her theough this task. And I am soooo proud & grateful to Battle Ground Texas ( and all its supporters – Gato and 1000 others) for making any of this possible. Without Battle Ground Texas commitment of recruiting quaility candidates & then supporting them with $ and manpower for the long haul I really dont believe Wendy would have risk all that she is risking by running for Governor .

    FINGERS CROSSED! ~ and on we go lori

  28. From Politico:

    Wendy Davis tells Democrats she’s in.

    Turn Texas Blue! Good luck Wendy.

    Peace ~ Δ

  29. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Sorry for the duplicate comment, again. I don’t understand why that happens sometimes and not others. Maybe I’ll get the hang of this computer stuff – - – eventually.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  30. Hi Congenial Gang,

    To paraphrase Lawrence O’Donnell on his show The Last Word” on CNBC today, Ted Cruz is the best thing to happen to the progressive agenda since Sarah Palin. I guess Cruz thought he could get on TV and make a name for himself like his fellow Texan, Wendy Davis. Well, he did! But I won’t say what that name is. I’m a LADY! That woulldn’t be ladylike.

    Let’s see. I think this is part three or something in my on-going ramblings on social and cultural influences.

    I feel that spirituality, as defined as faith and hope in something, is an intrinsic instinct and necessity of the human species. RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS take on the responsibility of directing that faith into the moral benefit of society at large. Religious institutions also spring from human endeavors and may or may not have elements of spirituality. Invariably, politics get involved.

    Religious institutions play a vital role in providing a moral compass as well as a social bond for groups of people. They also give consolation to people in their times of troubles and the woes that befall all of us mortals at one time or another. Since time immemorial, the charitable activities of these institutions have done immeasurable good, usually without fanfare or recognition. The trouble starts when a FEW of their LEADERS and thus SOME of the followers of the institutions proclaim that their tenets are not only superior to any other religious institution, but the ONLY righteous and valid means of salvation.

    Before any of you get the idea that I am prejudiced against Christians, please note. Some of my best friends are Christian. My own Mom was (Gasp!) a Southern Baptist. That is, until she married my Dad and converted to Presbyterianism. But after all, what could she do? He was tall, dark and handsome and very persuasive.

    Naturally, (ostensibly), the panjandrums in the hierarchy of any religion never, never, never get involved directly in meting out punishments. They just turn it over to the secular arm to carry out. Corporeal punishment is not the provenance of religious institutions. Besides, that kind of mischief is more up the alley of the secular arm anyway (read political authorities).

    Crucifixion is one of the cruelest methods of punishment ever devised by man. However, SOMEBODY had to design and construct the crucifixion crosses, the rack, gather up the kindling and wood for burning people at the stake, the guillotine, gallows and other instruments of torture and death. After all, there was and still are huge fortunes to be accrued from those enterprises. Hey, there’s lots of money to be made from human misery. For some, the answers are to PRIVATIZE!!! Every household should have its very own dungeon in the basement right next to the gun collection room.

    I personally think that is ghoulish and despicable though.

    We are more civilized now. Guns, poison gas, bombs and nuclear weapons are by far more efficient and can eliminate considerable larger numbers of people in a much shorter length of time than the old fashioned ways of dealing with insubordination.

    Maybe some time in the distant future, mankind will progress to the point where misbehavior can be dealt with by a time-out or maybe sitting in the corner for a half hour. It works with most kids. Nations may eventually find that in the long run it might even be effective with grownups too.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  31. Hi Congenial Gang,

    To paraphrase Lawrence O’Donnell on his show “The Last Word” on CNBC today, Ted Cruz is the best thing to happen to the progressive agenda since Sarah Palin. I guess Cruz thought he could get on TV and make a name for himself like his fellow Texan, Wendy Davis. Well, he did! But I won’t say what that name is. I’m a LADY and it wouldn’t be ladylike.

    Let’s see. I think this is part three or something in my on-going ramblings on social and cultural influences.

    I feel that spirituality, as defined as faith and hope in something, is an intrinsic instinct and necessity of the human species. RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS take on the responsibility of directing that faith into the moral benefit of society at large. Religious institutions also spring from human endeavors and may or may not have elements of spirituality. Invariably, politics get involved.

    Religious institutions play a vital role in providing a moral compass as well as a social bond for groups of people. They also give consolation to people in their times of troubles and the woes that befall all of us mortals at one time or another. Since time immemorial, the charitable activities of these institutions have done immeasurable good, usually without fanfare or recognition. The trouble starts when A FEW of their LEADERS and thus SOME of their followers of the institutions proclaim that their tenets are not only superior to any other religious institution, but the only righteous and valid means of salvation.

    Before any of you get the idea that I am prejudiced against Christians, please note. Some of my best friends are Christian. My own Mom was (Gasp!) a Southern Baptist. That is, until she married my Dad and converted to Presbyterianism. But after all, what could she do? He was tall, dark and handsome and very persuasive.

    Naturally, (ostensibly), the panjandrums in the hierarchy of any religion never, never, never get involved directly in meting out punishments. They just turn it over to the secular arm to carry out. Corporeal punishment is not the provenance of religious institutions. Besides, that kind of mischief is more up the alley of the secular arm anyway (read political authorities).

    Crucifixion is one of the cruelest methods of punishment ever devised by man. However, SOMEBODY had to design and construct the crucifixion crosses, the rack, gather up the kindling and wood for burning people at the stake, the guillotine gallows and other instruments of torture and death. did I mention water boarding? After all, there was and still are huge fortunes to be accrued from those enterprises. Hey, there’s lots of money to be made from human misery. For some, the answers are to PRIVATIZE!!! Every household should have its very own dungeon in the basement right next to the gun collection room.

    I personally think that is ghoulish and despicable though.

    We are more civilized now. Guns, poison gas, bombs and nuclear weapons are by far more efficient and can eliminate considerable larger numbers of people in a much shorter length of time than the old fashioned ways of dealing with insubordination.

    Maybe some time in the distant future, mankind will progress to the point where misbehavior can be dealt with by a time-out or maybe sitting in the corner for a half hour. It works with most kids. Nations may eventually find that in the long run it might be effective with grownups too.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  32. Lori:

    I didn’t mean to imply that only the wealthiest middle easterners gamble, I was referring to the ones in Monte Carlo that Auntie Jean noted in her post. I know plenty people of lesser means from the middle east who like to gamble and, in this country, we are not exempt from the lure of easy money. My concern is that politicians have captured the spirit and that’s why we see all sorts of proposals to set up gaming opportunities in most of our states for the puspose of balancing state budgets. But none of the pols ever ask where all the gambling money is coming from, especially given our dismal unemployment figures. And an awful chunk of this money will be sent out of the country to hidden backers in Indonesia, Hong Kong and Macau and we will be left to clean up the mess left behind after all these gambling enterprises fail to live up to expectations and disappear.

  33. Lori, I agree about getting to know people of other beliefs, other faiths and finding them to be more like us than different. We had a delightful Muslim man at my church who was married to a Christian. He wasn’t able to completely abandon his faith but he supported his wife’s. Sadly, he died several years ago but he is the example of a Muslim that I hold dear.
    I have always stood up for anyone who has peace in his or her heart regardless of their religious beliefs.

  34. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Good ones jsri and lori!!!

    lori, you know me. Far be it from me to tell you or dictate to anyone else what you should think or believe. Proselytizin’ is not my thing.

    I do know however that you and most of us porch dwellers are smart enough to draw our own conclusions from what we hear, see, read, touch, smell and eat.

    Now about that Brooklyn Bridge deal we were talkin’ about…….

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  35. I dont know JSRI if its just the 1 percenters who like to gamble. One of my Turkish friend in laws, who still live in Turkey , have a group of friends they travel with one a month or so to the their favorite- CASINOS! lol lol Although the husband is A doctor, they are FAR from royality. Its my understanding gambling and drinking are pass times shared by many in that area.

    My oldest daughter dated a Turk for a bit while attending University. We had the occassion to meet his parents for dinner on several occassion while they were visiting the States. Although the Mom wore a hijab she partook in the wine that was served at dinner, danced along with the ” kids” when the music began and even laughed along with a rather salty story told by her oldest son. She and I had much more in common than differences. :) Later that same daughter became very close to a Christian Sryian ” boy” . He and his family are some of the most generous , warm, kind , open people you could ever meet… Although their relationship status has changed I still consider them part of my family. My other daughter roomed with an Iranian Muslim her freshman year of college. Again , just lovely people. Not at all the boogeymen they are portrayed to be.

  36. Auntie Jean:

    I suspect that most of the women you saw in Monte Carlo were from the wealthy 1% who accumulated their wealth through oil money or who came from the ruling tribes of whatever middle eastern potentate happened to be their country of origin. They could afford to ignore tribal customs as long as the money continued to flow in. And their predilection for gambling is well known and probably goes back as far as the forced creation of the shahdoms, principalities and kingdoms of the middle east (think Lawrence of Arabia). And, according to my late brother, who was a long time Nevada resident, for as long as gambling has been legal in Nevada, middle-easterners were always welcomed at tables in Reno and Las Vegas and in many cases were actively solicited. So I’d suggest that all states become familiar with mid eastern customs and desires because its only a matter of time before they start showing up in other states as we move closer and closer to the magical gambling economy that is projected to fill our state’s coffers with free money.1

  37. :) Auntie Jean. Are you trying to tell me most Middle Easterners arent the stereotypical intolerant religious zealots we Americans THINK they are? Go figure!

  38. Hi Congenial Gang,

    This is a continuation of my discourse a few days ago on Middle Eastern fashion (?) that I put up on Helen’s more current post.

    When we were in Istanbul, Turkey we saw quite a few obviously Middle Easterners at the famous Hagia Sophia and the equally famous Blue Mosque across the way from it. Both are sites of historical and religious significance to Muslims. The people were easily identified by their clothing. The men were wearing the long white burnooses and kaffiyehs, women in burkas of either black or brown. WHICH Middle Eastern country though, I couldn’t say.

    The most surprising though was in the Grand Casino in Monte Carlo. Naturally as tourists, on our way to the blackjack tables and for me, the one franc slot machines (this was before the euro); we wandered through and checked out the high rolling rooms of baccarat and roulette. Yep, there were both Middle Eastern men and women at the tables, some of them being served alcoholic beverages. The men were clean shaven though as opposed to the scruffy look of young men here who can’t seem to find a razor. I was trying not to be rude staring at the women but……… Their eyes were heavily made up with eyeliner and mascara. One of them, possibly an older women, wore a black burka and visibly “sensible brown shoes.” However another one had on a pair of probably designer bright red four inch spike pumps. Peeking out from under her cinnamon colored burka (looked like silk) was a ruffle of matching bright red, maybe satin or taffeta. Their wrists and well manicured fingers were dripping with obviously very expensive bracelets and rings as they fiddled with their stacks of chips and/or cards.

    Not exactly our perception of what Middle Eastern people are like is it, especially when most of us are born and raised in a relatively homogenous environment. It’s kind of a jolt when we have to make some eye opening attitude adjustments along the way.

    We often see people wearing a crucifix in gold or other precious metals as jewelry around the neck; the symbol denotes Christian religious affiliation. It is readily recognizable to the other two-thirds of the world’s population that adhere to different faiths.

    Well, anyway, if you are interested, you could go to my old website,
    “jeans-gatherings.com.” and read more of my adventures in predominantly Muslim countries. They are on Chapter 14, entitled “Present Day Moslem Countries.”

    Oh yeah, right here at home in our dentist’s waiting room I have encountered several Hindu monks from their local monastery in their orange robes with the black dot “third eye” painted on their foreheads just above being between their eyes. We had some interesting conversations (in English) waiting for our “haole” dentist.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  39. Auntie Jean:

    Good move. Now if only there was a good way to get rid of the spammers peddling scams and total junk here, the move would be a noble solution to the usual troll litter on H&M’s more recent posts.

  40. Good job Auntie Jean! Excellent choice.

    I agree with you concerning CNN crossfire. I refused to watch anything staring Newty but while I was in an airport resturant recently that program was on All Of the 17 TVS so I was stuck watching the asshat. I found the ” new” program, well, odd , didnt you?

    Re: 2013 GOP would be well served to take a lessons of my Party in 89. This isnt going to end well fir them.

  41. Auntie Jean, Thanks for moving us and to a very appropriate spot.

  42. Hi Congenial Gang,

    My computer has been in the shop. A long time ago I named her Petulant Penelope because she goes into a snit whenever I don’t do things EXACTLY the way she wants. Sorta like the House Republicans, huh.

    The other day I mentioned moving to one of M&H’s older posts with not such a long list of comments so that it has become unwieldly to load. I zipped through a few and chose one solely on how long it took me to scroll through. So I’m moving to this one, Helen’s excellent December 15, 2012 post entitled “Guns Do Not Kill People. They Just Make It Easier to Kill People.” A timely appraisal of what’s going on even now, don’tch think? I made a casual perusal of the old comments on my way to putting up this new one. I noted that not much has change since then. More mass gun killings to “debate”. Another Middle East crisis to argue about. And the GOP is threatening to shut down the whole shootin’ match of the gov’mit if it doesn’t get its way about Obamacare. I don’t know about anyone else but I have always understood that threats and hostage taking are not nice.

    I also observed that the passive responses of recriminations (laying on a guilt trip or two) and shame don’t seem to afford much in the way of constructive ideas to fix the situations. They seem to only elicit smoldering resentment and defensiveness. Still, I don’t think it hurts to expose folly whenever and wherever we find it.

    Of significance I‘ve noticed that CNN has revived the old political game of “Crossfire” with Newt Gingrich as a co-host. He was the hero of the last time in my memory that the GOP actually shut down the gv’mit over something or other. Does anyone else see a pattern here? I’m gratified for him though to see that he has at last found a job. Being gainfully employed and earning a paycheck, he can now pay his bills after losing his bid for not only the position of the presidency but that of the GOP nomination. He must be relieved now since he is no longer counted among the ranks of the unemployed and won’t have to apply for food stamps. No doubt the stipends from lobbyist were not sufficient to keep body and soul together. The one and only time I tuned in to the “new” Crossfire, another old losing political has-been, Michelle Bachman was a “guest”. All the panel did was yell at each other for a half hour. Yep, nothing much has changed in ten months.

    See ya over here at “Guns Do Not Kill People, They Just Make It Easier To Kill People”, Dec.15, 2013

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

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  55. Hi, Henry – I didn’t see anything about “personal security” and guns anywhere in here, among all the material about fighting fat, scars, low sex drive, and saving money…

    Gato

  56. GUN control,while not focusing more on teaching ethics at school when the family units is bastardizing is tantamount to flogging a dead horse..

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  65. Hi, again, Penny –

    Impending blizzards usually make me stick to my keyboard even more than usual…!

    From the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:

    “bloviate” – to discourse at length in a pompous or boastful manner.

    Or, in the case of some I might mention, “… in a pompous AND boastful manner.”

    A double winner, our Timmer!

    Gato

  66. Hi, Penny – There was also an interesting in Mother Jones online this morning, about how the NRA spent tons of money several years ago (when they were running out of funding) to push for the “three strikes” laws and the building of more prisons to house all the new offenders, from which they profited mightily.

    They also “offer” to help out struggling low-budget gun clubs and shooting ranges… On the condition that EVERY member of the club become a member of the NRA. So your gun club can get nice new fancy jackets for your youth skeet shooting team, or repairs or upgrades to your range, if the NRA gets a whole bunch of new “members.” Nice, huh?

    So a few kids get mowed down in their first-grade classroom… So long as it doesn’t affect the Bottom Line of your corporate sponsors! It wouldn’t surprise me if I learned that the NRA had sent personal letters to the families of all those slaughtered in Newtown, exhorting them to buy guns to “prevent this tragedy from ever happening again”…

    No; that wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

    I’d LIKE to find something “nice” to say about the NRA, because even I have a hard time believing much of what seems undeniable about their activities. But, so far, no luck on that front.

    Gato

  67. First of all we are not all women; secondly, I wonder how it is that you have the truth and those who disagree with you do not; and third, what are you doing about this horrendous situation that threatens your American way of life? When you make statements, it would behoove you to have some hint of proof…something, anything…that makes sense.

  68. isn’t this proof enough that the NRA heads, as well as the people y’all elected, are bought and paid for by the gun manufacturers? fire ‘em! we can do that! a fie and a pox on all of them.

  69. Somebody doesn’t know they posted links on a different thread?
    Chuck that tinfoil hat, neighbor, and go look on the why-bother post.
    Not that any of it is worth following up on but do not like folks accusing our hostesses nor their relative who helps them of things which haven’t happened…

  70. I guess you’ll just have to get used to being deleted. Would you prefer the strawberry, or the lemon, KoolAid? They’re both so yummy…

    Gato

  71. Now I see why you ladies are so very misled. #1 you cheer each other on thinking this makes you right. #2 the links I showed that they are indeed trying to completely disarm us have been deleted, as have the links showing Obama killing US citizens without representation or trial. This is a propaganda machine with a strangle hold on the truth. Enjoy your manufactured kool-aid “ladies.”

  72. Hey, Lori – You had a good Daddy, for sure. It’s our parents who so often help make us who we are… Thanks for your post!

    Gato

  73. Hi friends!

    I very much enjoyed your blog post Gato! Nice job!

    No matter what the final “gun bill” ends up looking like I am declaring victory for our country. I truly believe THIS time we have begun a nation wide dialog about just how violent our country has become. Our whole “gun toting” culture is bizarre and we are well over due for a culture shift. THAT has begun.

    Every social change we have seen in this country, from abolishing slavery all the way to women’s reproductive rights, started with a culture change. Someone somewhere, usually the victims of the injustice, said “no mas, no more, this must change” And usually it has been progressives’ leading the way in the struggle for change.

    As Delurker and many of you have already pointed out the facebook meme that reminds us how we changed the entire air traveling experience because of the actions of just 2 individuals that did NOT succeed! Fifteen year years ago we would have NEVER believed air travelers would be lining up and undressing for all the world to see.

    Personally, as a left libber, I struggle with some of these so called “nanny laws” (the seat belt law for one, and don’t get me started on those stupid ID badges…LOL) . But my line is ALWAYS drawn when OTHER’S personal safety is at risk. Not just the one committing the act. I like many of my porch dwellers grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania with a Daddy who was a gunsmith. I still have a dozen of so of his guns, in storage, waiting for my nephew to retrieve. I shot my first rifle (badly, I think I still bear the b&b MARK on my shoulder) well before I learned to drive.

    But that was then and this is now. Times are a changin and I’m committed to change as well. I would have NEVER thought 40 years ago, as I sat on my Daddy’s knee, bluing guns, that my country would have become this violent, but it has. The time has come… No mas….

    Keep pushin the pile friends…..

    PS: just for the record my father discontinued his membership to the NRA back in 1970 Ducks Unlimited a few years later. Reason? They didn’t represent HIM or his politics. I had a smart man for a Daddy. ;-)

  74. Hi, Terry – Your image came across quite vividly… I think “junkyard dog” is what I was looking for, much as I hate to stoop to “ad hominem” – or, in this case, I guess it would be “ad caninimem” – attacks.

    It is seeming more and more apparent to me that the NRA “represents” gun owners about as much as The Hulk represents healthy fitness.

    Just put a related post on my blog; would love to know what you think…

    http://www.partyandsoul.wordpress.com

    Gato

  75. Gato, You made my day with your comments. Now I’m visualizing the NRA as a junkyard dog sniveling with its tail between its legs at the feet of its gun manufacturer master. I wish I had taken a class in caricature or cartooning when I was taking my art courses or followed up on that matchbook ad I saw. You’ll just have to conjure it up in your minds, Porch Friends.
    Now all I can look forward to regarding this mess if for someone with brass balls who will be obeyed to explain the 2nd Amendment in whatever type English these idiots can understand. – Terry

  76. Right on, Penny! Of course, the Brits have plenty of hunters, and always have. But an “average citizen” with a semi-automatic…? Not.

    We see friends from the UK and Canada every year on our vacation (which is coming right up), and they inevitably express their astonishment that we are STILL such a nation of so many irresponsible cowboys…

    They were absolutely beside themselves – with amazement and glee – over Dick Cheney’s “hunting accident” a few years ago… We didn’t hear the end of that, from them, for DAYS!

    Gato

  77. Hi, Terry – Yes; I saw that Jon Stewart show. My husband (GOP and ever looking for a hair that can be split, god love him) pointed out that LaPierre hadn’t REALLY “changed his mind” about background checks. Au contraire, dear husband pointed out that LaPierre had merely “realized” that background checks “don’t work”… Which isn’t “exactly” changing his mind.
    (Fortunately, I calmed down after having my fit, and my husband and I ended up in the same bed, as usual… It does get pretty interesting around here from time to time…)

    As I think I posted yesterday, it’s my belief that LaPierre can say they “don’t work” is because the gun manufacturers don’t want them to work (could cost them a lot of sales), and so, faithful cur that the NRA is, the organization works very diligently and constantly to undermine their implementation at every opportunity. (I wonder if they would object to prohibiting PTSD sufferers from using shooting ranges… Very unfortunate about Chris Kyle’s murder.)

    There is NO REASON ON EARTH (as we all know) why gun show sales and those “father-to-son sales on a Sunday” should not be documented and recorded. We all dutifully recommend the transfer or sale of an automobile, or a piece of real estate, or financial instruments of all kinds… And, BTW, the requirement to register a motor vehicle has not exactly been the dreaded “first step” toward confiscating all automobiles…

    Sorry for preaching to the faithful choir!

    Gato

  78. So far as I know, the populace of Great Britain never carried guns; nor do their police officers on the streets. Their crime rate is lower than ours.
    As for the gun manufacturers getting to the NRA and a number of elected congress people, you can bet the farm on that. What other reason that anyone can possibly imagine would cause anyone to stand against banning of semi and automatic weapons and mega cartridges and thorough background checks inccluing any record of domestic violence?
    My sons hunt for deer and wild turkey. When they lived in our house, I asked my husband to give me the firing pins which I hid somewhere else altogether. There was no possibility of accident then…unless the rifles fell out of their cabinet onto your toes. There was never ammo in the house. They bought it when they
    departed for their hunting trips.
    You cannot convince me that any legitimate hunter would refuse a background check nor would they even want to be able to fire hundreds of bullets at one load. How totally absurd. Why not fill the bath tub with fish so you can go fishing? Same thing. You could even raise the prey in an enclosed area so you could shoot them without even going anywhere.That’s the American spirit, right?
    Liberties come with responsibilties and the right to life is the first right in the Bill of Rights. The first…and most important.

  79. To Gato and all the others who have voiced reason in this conversation: Did anyone see the clip of NRA’s esteemed president voicing support for gun control in the past? It was on The Daily Show if I remember correctly. What he said was a complete turn around from what he’s saying now. I guess the gun manufacturers got to him. You know, sat him down and talked turkey. And you know they all need assault rifles to kill those damn turkeys.
    The latest rant is that once there’s a national registry of gun owners the government will know where the guns are and they’ll confiscate all of them. They claim that’s what happened in Great Britain. I find it hard to believe anything the gun rights goons say but maybe someone knows the truth about this. – Terry

  80. Hi, Penny – Frustration shared, here, from time to time. But don’t be discouraged. I sense a real willingness to continue with dogged determination from so many of us.

    Blog & work; blog & work; that’ll do it! When I think about it, I realize that I never paid one whit of attention to the NRA, to who pays them, or any of that stuff, for decades – and now I do. And I’m not the only one. We’ve got a porch full!

    And we all know we’re dealing with a bunch of proverbial cornered dogs – the most desperate and potentially dangerous.

    “There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” Believe it, and carry on.

    Gato

  81. The frustration I am feeling is beyond my ability to convey. All the polls show that everyone wants semi or auto matic weapons banned and their mega cartridges banned…everyone except those who are owned by the gun manufacturers. How come, then, that it hasn’t happened? Is it not so blatantly obvious that those who are against background checks and the banning of automatic weapons are owned by the manufacturers who don’t give a flying fig for anything but their profits? Ergo…using any kind of logic…the ban should be in affect. So why isn’t it?
    I have a theory. While I do understand the need for politic language, and I do know that calling someone a lying s.o.b. is not usually productive, the time has come to speak in a bone honest manner. The time has come to say, point blank, that those who oppose the proposed gun controls are only interested in their pockets. To say it in those words. And to prove it.
    Apparently the only kind of ‘conversation’ we can have nowadays is to state, in very short sentences, the point with proof. Fancy terminology, constant (misconstrued) references to the Second Amendment and the crap line that Obama just wants to take your guns away is winning the day! So we have to make it clear. So clear that their is no argument left that holds water.
    It is totally beyond my ken why that is not done daily, several times daily, by the few sane people left in government and in the press (TV, radio and papers).

  82. Cynthia, that is the clearest, most concise response I’ve ever read to “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Thank you.

  83. Me, too, Lurker – And it seems to me that the Second Amendment is being used by some as both a “tool” and a “weapon” TO SELL GUNS. Period.

    Gato

  84. I’m with you Cynthia.

    I suppose we should deregulate grenades and nuclear arms, too, huh? After all, they don’t kill people either.

    One crazy shoe bomber and we’re all taking our shoes off at airports. The underwear bomber led to full body scans.

    A couple of dozen little kids robbed of their right to life, liberty and their pursuit of happiness and there’s outrage over even trying to do something about it. Second amendment rights trump ALL the others, and common sense also too.

    I agree we have seen this new guy before. The arrogance, phrasing and tone are a dead giveaway. ;) And he knows damn well nobody is coming for his guns.

  85. You say a gun is a tool. A gun is designed to kill or injure a human or an animal. It can also be used to intimated, threaten or used to hold power over another. Or it can be used to shoot at a target which improves your accuracy to shoot a human or animal or in competition as to who is the better shot. It really doesn’t have any other use. If you were to use it as a hammer you might shoot yourself. But to say it is just a “tool” is very misleading. It is an instrument or weapon designed for the sole purpose to kill or maim and that is its only purpose. Those guns that shoots 30/50/100 rounds in seconds is a instrument designed to kill or injure as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time and the shooter does not need to be a marksman. The bigger and more powerful it is the less you have to bury but the more you have to scrape or clean up.

    “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is a bullshit statement. A gun is a piece of metal, plastic or wood. It is not a living thing with a brain capable of making a decision to find a target, aim and pull its trigger. Of course it does not have the ability to fire by itself it needs a person to use it to kill. But kill it will.

    I will go along with calling it a “tool” if you are using it to put food on the table. Or to shoot a rabid animal but most of them do not have rabies but distemper. But we are not talking about hunting. If you need an AR-15 with 30/50/100 rounds to hunt with you have no business hunting.

    Peace.

  86. Good morning, Porch Dwellers All – This is a new comment, which seems to “fit” in this particular M&H post from several weeks ago…

    Just read something very interesting this morning about why the NRA’s ever-touted “membership” continues to grow, despite the fact that the percentage of American households owning guns has diminished significantly since the 1970′s. (Article by Andy Sullivan for Reuters, entitled “For U.S. gun clubs, NRA membership has its priveleges,” published yesterday.)

    Evidently, the NRA offers all kinds of financial and legal aid to any gun club… In exchange for the REQUIREMENT that ALL members of that club must “join” the NRA. (Nothing like having plenty of money to throw around…) The NRA will provide everything from matching team jackets to facility upgrades access to participation in “special” shooting events to banks of pricey attorneys, should they be needed.

    Many shooting ranges and gun clubs in the country have been around for decades, and have traditionally been supported primarily by their membership. Members volunteer to do maintenance, support safety measures, offer instruction, and generally keep the places going. And many are in formerly rural areas that are now becoming ever more suburban and “gentrified,” and find themselves surrounded by new and wealthy “neighbors” who complain about the noise and often tend to object to gun ownership in general. (This is PRECISELY the case in my western CT neighborhood, where I live literally across the street from a shooting range that has been around since the late eighteen-hundreds. I have always found it bizarre that some people have moved into my community, knowing full well it adjoins an active shooting range, and then demand that the community “do something” about the noise! We are also under the flight path of our small municipal airport, as well, but that’s another – and not dissimilar – story in itself…)

    Many of these ranges have always been small, low-budget operations, who have recently found themselves beset by hordes of reporters and anti-gun groups, and sometimes threatened by potentially very expensive lawsuits from “neighbors” complaining about dangers and noise. Naturally, the NRA sees a fine opportunity here, and steps right in, whether the members of a particular club agree with the NRA’s “official” positions, or not – and plenty of them don’t, in my personal experience. In short, many shooting clubs and ranges find themselves in a difficult position: Insist that all their members “join” the NRA… Or face the very real possibility of going belly up.

    To me this is not much different than being offered the “choice” of either “joining” the KKK… Or finding a burning cross in your front yard.

    So, if you’ve found yourself perplexed by the recently surging number of new NRA “members,” as I have been, here’s our answer – or at least some of it…

    Gato

  87. The NRA machine has a portion of the population convinced that we simply don’t enforce laws we have now, but that’s because the NRA doesn’t want more laws that would do sane things like
    * Make gun shows abide by the same registration and DB look-up laws that gun merchants have to.
    * Develop a national DB of people rejected from owning guns (because of course the federal government is evil — even though we have FBI and CIA DBs already!)
    * Tighten reporting between sources of knowledge about serious mental illness (known schizophrenia, severe bipolar disease) and gun registration DBs

    Keep up your excellent crituques of the ‘insanity’ in our politics and society at large, please. We appreciate you so much. This month I expect to be able to donate to keeping your Web site alive and influential. Thank you.

  88. Helen, I agree, mental health needs to be addressed. And not just for guns. But I want to give you another thought to consider. And this might be a little harsh at the end, so just remember, I’m not speaking to you, I’m speaking to all of us.

    I want you to imagine there are muggings all over the city. But when some random guy is mugged at the corner and 1st and Oak the media suddenly goes insane. They report it non-stop. The mugger raised to the status of some Hollywood villain. It takes weeks for the hype to die down.

    During and after muggings continued here and there throughout the city, to little fanfare. A snippet, a report, but nothing like the story of The Mugging of 1st and Oak.

    One day someone happened to do it again at 1st and Oak. And the news rallied again, going deeper and crazier to top the first time. Celebrity status achieved. 24 hour shows. And it was apparent that it wasn’t the mugging that rallied the media. It was the magic of 1st and Oak. And so it continued, each 1st and Oak mugging celebrated by a drunk media, all others relatively ignored. By the 3rd or 4th time, there was so much press activity that the muggers began to die in the hoopla. They didn’t even survive the mugging anymore, but they knew they would live on forever. A star on the 1st and Oak walk and so they kept coming anyway.

    In a nation where the citizens felt they had no real voice anymore, no health care, no mental health care, and in parts, no running water, good roads, no homes or food. The people were stressed, they were mad, they were going just a little bit crazy from the reality of modern life. Especially the adolescent children. No voice, no control, poisoned by their diets, by their leisure, by their culture perhaps. They felt the desperation perhaps even more and many took their life.

    But for more and more, they began to see that they could kill themselves and be heard. Be famous!! And all they needed was to take a quick trip over to 1st and Oak. They would not only find the release of death but their voice as well. And the muggings there climbed exponentially up the graph.

    I don’t care where the line of the gun control law lays. Moved a little more north or a little more south in this endless game of tug of war.

    But do not ask, in the inevitable future, how could there be another mugging at 1st and Oak? How could this be, with a wringing of the hands and wailing of the voice. Tears streaming and fists pumping, what is the world coming to – why 1st and Oak, why again??!!

    You know why. You ARE why. The sensational reports and the people who eat them up. Digest them and discuss them and spread them across their media far and wide. You are why 1st and Oak is always in the news. Because it’s always good for top ratings for a few WEEKS. And where there is news, there will be people wanting to be a part of it. Where there is fame, there are people willing to die for it. Kill for it too apparently.

    So until you get serious, until you decide that this media circus must stop and must stop now, until you are prepared to spread a message like this to your friends, to the paper, to a broadcast station, then you will be washing the blood off your hands from the next shooting at a school. We have created a cycle. And until we admit to our own culpability, the cycle will remain.

    So don’t wring your hands as these reports come in faster and more often. Why a school? Why a school again? Damn those gun owners, another school! But if you watched more than 2 news stories on CT or Columbine. If you stayed glued to the tv even when they were making stuff up. And watched even more as they “corrected” the stuff they made up. If you greedily and actively made this the cash cow it is for a salivating press and helped the press launch these poor child-killers into a stardom they just could not pass by. If this is the kind of news you really love to hate, from this point on, I will only show you a mirror when you ask why.

  89. I did ask her and she said pretty much what you did, that a lot goes into the final decision by the judge. She practices a different kind of law, one that doesn’t require her defending criminals. She did get assigned to a case when she first joined the firm she’s with but the man got his own lawyer so she was off the hook.

  90. Terry-
    Do ask your daughter.
    Plea bargains happen for a variety of reasons and are signed off on by all parties, including the prosecutors in our names, and the judges in the name of our government . Sadly, sometimes they are the best which can be gotten depending on circumstances, evidence and the like . Sometimes, like this appears to be, almost too sad to bear.
    We just had one here in which the judge refused to accept the plea bargain because the crime was just too much to plead that far down. The final plea bargain was a lot better and the child did not have to sit in court and testify against her father. Do we want to demand she did so he would have to face public condemnation and punishment fully ? I’m not so sure we really want to do that but we do need to fix holes in our systems. We really do.

  91. Alaskapi, Yes, he agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter “to avoid putting his family through a trial” and that’s evidently why he got the reduced sentence.
    If he has any family left I wonder what they’re thinking now. He was at that time, however, 30 years old and how do we justify his being allowed to make that choice? Doesn’t it take murderous intent to beat someone to death with a hammer? Are we to believe that this elderly woman was a threat to him or others? Or that he didn’t mean to hit her that many times? My older daughter’s a lawyer so maybe I should ask her. – Terry W.

  92. Terry-
    If Mr Spengler was convicted of manslaughter in his grandmother’s death, rather than murder, the manslaughter conviction would have a lot to do with why he was out of jail after 17 years.

    It was a plea agreement to spare his family? Oh jeez.
    Cold comfort for the families of those he killed this week.

    We don’t try to “cure” mentally ill prisoners nor rehabilitate prisoners in general by and large and do ourselves no favors assuming we do and that they might be.The few who get it on their own are too damn few.

    Some people are just broken , Terry. We can and should do a bazillion things on the nurture side of the nature/nurture complex to reduce the numbers of folks lost there, We can and should do a bazillion things on the nature side to address and treat mental illness but faced with truly broken people , we should drop the idea of “fixing”them.
    At some level they must be viewed as moral agents who are legally responsible for their behavior

    “It is useful to compare the idea of moral agency with the legal doctrine of mens rea, which means guilty mind, and states that a person is legally responsible for what he does as long as he should know what he is doing, and his choices are deliberate.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_agency#Distinction_between_moral_agency_and_eligibility_for_moral_consideration

  93. Alaskapi -
    I’m in agreement about doing away with the death penalty but what I can’t wrap my mind around is how the 62 yr. old man who set fires then shot and killed 2 firemen could beat his grandmother to death with a hammer and only spend 17 years in jail. This in return for pleading guilty so as to spare his family having to endure a trial. The same goes for those who rape and/or abuse women or children. It seems they are not rehabilitated or “cured” when they are released from whatever sentence they’re given and repeat their heinous acts. – Terry W.

  94. Bessie-
    I have been watching the polls and reading news stories and think there are a number of things we need to do.
    If you look at the Brady Center’s site
    http://www.bradycenter.org/reports/allbradyreports
    and adjust some for bias , you will see some of the complexity which is getting missed in public conversation and polls.
    The latest round of polls ask things like do you think we should enforce laws already on the books more stringently or enact new laws to control gun violence. The majority of respondents want to enforce existing laws but, well, hmmm, they pretty much have no idea what those laws are by and large, nor how many compete with or forestall each other, let alone whether they actually do what they were intended to do.
    For a nation-of-law-not-men, we don’t pay much attention to actual law . Far too often we just tote up the number of laws on a subject and announce that’s enough. Pfft.
    The NRA leadership needs to be shut out of the public conversation. Period. They keep it all at the extremes. Don’t let them drive your response.

    DC v Heller Supreme Court decision frames what we can do now. Find it and read it and read commentary about it – skipping the NRA doofs.
    Assault weapon ban, hi-cap ban, some real work to sort out the differences and problems with competing state and federal laws- there is a lot to do.

    Reagan’s throw up his hands and dump the seriously mentally ill out on the streets routine was a coward’s way out of dealing with landmark cases won to protect basic rights for the mentally ill. We had a long and seriously poor history there- of treating seriously ill folks worse than animals and creating roadblocks for redress in the name of public safety . We didn’t have a golden-age-of-mental-healthcare thingy going on when he pulled his stunt – we need to remember that.
    Mr Reagan wasn’t up to the task of leading meaningful change but , as a country, we haven’t done doodly-squat to develop anything either for all the years since.The far right blames it all on the ACLU, the left on Reagan, and we all sit out here bitching but not doing anything.
    I too am anti death penalty but that is a whole other set of issues.

  95. AlaskaPi: I imagined from your name that you were obviously from Alaska. I also thought you probably hunted not for pleasure but for a different lifestyle. I am trying to understand your need for a rifle and it definitely makes sense to me. You are living a lifestyle where protection from wildlife is necessary. Your comment about humane hunting makes sense to me. I am a vegetarian and a pacifist. But I don’t expect everyone to be the same. The NRA is what I consider a radical right wing almost cult type organization. Their ideas frighten me. I do not know how to counter act their drastic stance but by another drastic stance. I have lived a gun-free, violence-free life, and am very sorry and saddened for what you have had to experience in yours. My heart goes out to you. No one deserves to die by violence ( I am also against the death “penalty”). I do not know what to say to you. From you lifestyle and experiences in Alaska, a rifle does make sense.
    I also agree with you about mental health problems. Thanks to Reagan a great many people were put out of mental health institutions and now reside in jail ( I recently read outrageous figures about the mental health problems of those in jail). Now, with the recent shooting of fire fighters I am even more saddened.
    I still feel no comfort in any solution to these problems that allows some type of current model of gun. I am deeply saddened and bewildered by all the murders. I want them to stop and live in peace. How can this be done? I don’t know but I do know that having MORE GUNS IS NOT THE SOLUTION. My understanding is now in the country there are 85 deaths a day by gun violence. What do you feel is a good solution?

  96. Bessie-
    I disagree with you but I live very differently than pretty much all of the people here, maybe all.
    It is beyond the ken of most who visit here to understand how we live away from the road/railbelt areas of Anchorage and Fairbanks.
    We are hundreds of miles from anywhere, no roads, only air flight and only when weather permits, many places have no police. Many villages have no stores, twice a year only fuel deliveries,lots of places get mail 1 to 3 times a week at best. Almost 80 percent of us in bush Alaska are Alaska Native (or mixed race like me)- we hunt, we fish, we gather foods, we are learning to grow foods. We live in every day proximity to grizzlies, polar bears, and the like.
    Subsistence hunting and fishing is a necessity and a way of life.
    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=subsistence.faqs#QA11
    I disagree entirely with the musket idea as a way to kill game humanely and cleanly.And to protect ourselves from rogue grizzlies and the like.

    Also, unlike many here gun violence has directly affected me multiple times. Ironically, the 2 deaths, were in California, not here in over-armed Alaska. (and it IS over-armed- especially in the road-railbelt) My beloved nephew was gunned down in a random drive by shooting and a cousin’s husband was shot and killed on a beach in another random shooting.
    I want to see responsible hunters stand up for sensible gun controls and a assault weapons ban for civilians . I want an end to high-capacity magazines.
    I want an end to the NRA’s stranglehold on gun regulations.They are a special interest lobbying group which has made itself irrelevant by their endless BS, fear mongering about tyranny of the gubbmint and stand-your-ground crap and the like. (I notice these asshats were quiet as church mice when the militia trial we had here this year was going on. A bunch of doofus “sovereign citizens” gathered an enormous arsenal that was totally legal up until they tried to buy restricted items . They had some hot plan to kill judges and so on.Convicted them, 2 will be in jail for life, 1 for years- leader not sentenced yet)
    I want to see us re-build mental health programs across this country with protections for the mentally ill and the rest of us.
    There is a lot we can do .
    Muskets, ? No.
    I’m glad the husband of one of my dearest friends had his rifle when a rogue grizzly charged them 2 years ago on Christmas Eve just outside their house.
    (Damn thing should have been hibernating, not up searching for food.)
    Rifle means 2 live people, 1 dead bear.
    Musket likely would have meant at least 1 dead person, maybe 2, and possibly a wounded rogue bear..
    Nope. don’t agree.

  97. I follow your logic and agree with your philosophy, Bessie…

  98. ALASKAPI: Fascinating article on the history of militia and the writing of the 2nd ammendment. Thank you for including it in your reply. I, however, reiterate my statement on the only guns should be allowed are muskets, I sensed from the article that our forefathers were afraid of what could happen in the present and future. I only wish our Congress had the same brilliance and insight of our forefathers. It’s a shame the influence of organizations like the NRA is so strong in our current government.

  99. i nominate bessie as chief supreme justice! do i hear seconds? bessie you are asbolutely correct. muskets in the well regulated militia precisely as stated in the 2nd amendment. amen.

  100. gato and Bessie-

    it was written to balance and address competing concerns from Federalists and Anti Federalists.

    “The wisdom of Madison’s approach to the resolution of the militia issue was born out by subsequent events. The language relating to the militia, which he chose for inclusion in what became the Constitution’s Second and Fifth Amendments, was specific enough to satisfy both the supporters of the Renaissance militia ideal and the advocates of the Enlightenment theories of liberal democracy. The approach, therefore, resolved most of the concerns that had been raised during the ratification process.”
    http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/FieldsAndHardy.html

    The militia ideal referred to came from a long history of mistrust of standing (especially in light of the mercenary type employed by monarchs ) armies and the other from a growing sense of what we now call “natural rights” .

  101. Thank you Gato – you beautifully stated the intent of the 2nd ammendment. I never could understand the ammendment in relationship to what it has become today but it makes total sense as you explained it. I think in regards to this ammendment we should still to its original intent. “A ‘well- regulated militia’ to be assembled only at the behest of our country.” AND those guns should only be muskets. It would be the best for our country and its citizens. As it is interpreted now it makes no sense. It is simply an excuse for individual violence. Bessie

  102. Nice, Bessie! And I would add that those guns should be employed solely as our Founders intended – as part of a “well-regulated militia” assembled ONLY at the behest of the government.

    The drafters of our founding documents had an astonishing premise: That the government is intended to reflect the will of the people, and to serve the nation as a whole – not to guarantee every individual the unrestricted “right” to do whatever he or she feels like doing, no matter what the consequences for the well being of the commonwealth. The NRA seems to have forgotten about that part, no matter how many glowering eagles and rippling flags they plaster over their website and publications.

    Gato

  103. If we follow the philosophy of NRA: guns don’t kill people – people kill people and the idea that more guns are the solution, we can have many different unique solutions to problems. We agree cars don’t kill people that drunk drivers kill people and the solution is more drunk drivers. We must put more drunk drivers out on the road to save us from the drunk drivers out there already. Of course there are problems with both “solutions.” But my main complaint is guns are around for ONE reason only – to kill things. They kill things hunting, the murder people in war and now they are murdering people at random. Guns are simply wrong, and personally I would like to see no more guns or if we follow the 2nd ammendment we use exactly the same guns as they had when it was written – end all arguments – you want to own a gun, you own the gun our forefathers intended you to own.

  104. Nice suggestions auntie jean. I’m sure the NRA won’t mind if we tax guns and ammo to pay for all the ” good guys. “

  105. All good, Auntie Jean – And let’s make sure there’s no screening, for anything like PTSD, for example, for those four-tours-in-Afghanistan veterans who are probably just aching to stand around in camo with their weapons for another unforeseeably long period of time, with the opportunity to shoot deranged white teenage boys. And firing ranges on every playground, with mandatory practice periods for all the kiddies. Why should they waste their time learning to read or do math when they could be prepping for a lifetime of gun ownership? And, of course, no potential teacher could get a degree in Education without proving that they’re fit for concealed carrying. That’s the NRAmerican Way…

    Oh – and I’m sure the NRA will be demanding heavy fees for their “training programs,” paid for by you and me, since we know that that organization couldn’t possibly be expected to cut into its profits to fund this sort of thing. After all, they’re only doing it for FREEEEEEDOMMMM!!!

    I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not dissing gun owners here; I’m dissing Wayne – because his behavior has earned it.

    Gato
    http://www.partyandsoul.wordpress.com

  106. Hi Congenial Gang,

    An open letter to Wayne LaPierre, chief honcho of the NRA.

    Dear Mr. LaPierre,

    I respectfully wish to submit an alternate proposal to yours regarding the solution to the problem of gun violence. I believe there are a few asinine holes in yours. For openers, where would you post your armed guards at schools; at the front doors, back and side doors, all windows and/or skylights. The “Bad Guys” could sneak up onto the roof after the “Good Guys” have gone home for the day and wait in abeyance for the following school day. Everybody knows there is a “Bad Guy” hiding behind every bush and under every rock at all times. Also, how do you recommend paying the salaries of the “Good Guys” unless the g’mit picks up the tab from the taxpayers’ hard earned money when it is already up on a precipice, teetering on the edge of the fiscal cliff abyss. After all, there are lots of tycoons who are down their last several billion since trying so hard and unsuccessfully to buy the election in November. These are only rhetorical questions.

    Here is another idea of equal merit. I’m sure your membership would be delighted to finance it through their generous dues. Build a thirty-foot high wall around every single school in the U.S., with a deep moat. Stock the moat with sharks, crocodiles and some piranha. Get some of your cronies in congress, after they get back from the Holiday Break or even the Spring Break, to jam through a bill banning catapult siege engines and battering rams. Man the top of the walls with “Good Guys” armed with crossbows and boiling oil to throw down just in case a few of the “Bad Guys” might be able to scale the walls somehow.

    These measures outta fix the problems, post haste.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  107. During this season of joy, I sure wish I could find some.

    Can you even believe that the answer to assault-weapon murders is to add gun-wielding guards? That in order to preserve our precious FREEDOM (i.e. gun freedom) we must treat our little children like prisoners? That rather than restrict access to assault weapons we should pen our kids in, in ways that are no different than imprisonment?

    How will we protect other free people, like people in restaurants, at fairs, at the DMV, at malls, etc? More armed guards?

    We already live in a world where kids can’t go out and play with the same freedom we had as kids. We complain about the loss of freedom, but seek to further restrict that freedom.

    The freedom to bear arms (arms the founders never conceived of)(by well-organized militias)(of 1?) trumps the freedom of our most precious resource.

    We are rapidly becoming exactly what this country was founded to fight against. It is unbearably sad.

    Did anyone listen to the bells for the victims today? It didn’t make me feel sympathy for gun-mongers anywhere.

  108. The media consensus seems to be that Mr. LaPierre’s news conference was a PR Disaster. I’m hopeful people are waking up.

  109. Gato, very nice blog entry.I enjoyed reading it.

  110. Oh Margaret and Helen, I do know you have an opinion on NRA’s “big announcement” today. I have bets with a friend as to how soon we’ll see another blog post.

  111. Sigh! What a shame! Ol’ Wayne is too dumb to know that he just embarassed himself! His claims that the NRA is the largest membership group in the country goes like this: if you buy a weapon and want training on how to safely use it, you go to a gun range. However, if you are not a member of the NRA, you cannot use the range. You are forced to join the NRA. What a sick, sick joke! Ol’ Wayne has to force people to join his posse! Way time for this guy to go away! There are gun owners who are members of the NRA and also not who can’t possibly agree with him and swear that as a marksman, he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with an 11 inch cannon from a battleship! He really, really blew it. Turn schools into forts? Hey, Wayne! These massacres also happened in churches and temples and shopping malls and theatres! Maybe ya missed all that cuz you was so busy polishing your own ego.

  112. Hi, Terri – I’d actually thought they might be able to fake it a little better than this, but I was mistaken. No pretense of cooperation, whatsoever. The NRA has one thing, and one thing only, to offer as a “solution” to any situation; More guns. If anyone ever doubted that they do nothing but shill for gun manufacturers, this ought to clear that right up. Next they’ll be proposing that armed guards be posted at every fast food drive-through lane, to prohibit anyone over a certain apparent weight from buying that extra-large double cheeseburger with fries… And that, from their POV, would be the solution to the obesity epidemic.

    BTW, “la pierre,” from the French, means “the stone.” This might explain the profundity of the thoughts that come from Wayne’s head…

    I just posted something about this situation (prior to the NRA “news conference,” I must add) on my own blog at http://www.partyandsoul.wordpress.com. I’d love to hear your thoughts…

    Gato

    And a joyful Winter Solstice to you!

  113. So, now we know the NRA doesn’t plan to offer any constructive solutions to the gun problem in this country. It shows how crass and utterly souless they are. They blamed everybody but themselves for the events in Newtown. I hope interest in this issue doesn’t fade, and that the American people will demand change. I’ve already written to my congressman.

  114. Thanks, Terry – It’s wonderful to lived long enough to begin to figure out some of these things! Just to begin… That, in itself, is a gift of grace…

    Gato

  115. Carol/Gato – Well and beautifully written! I’m heartened by your wisdom and your ability to point out the false illusions we are encouraged to embrace by those who don’t have our best interests at heart, if indeed they even have hearts! Greed and the love of power would take us all down. – Terry W.

  116. Porch-sitters all – I invite you to read the latest post on my new-ish blog at http://www.partyandsoul.wordpress.com.

    Thoughts on this shortest day and longest night of the year…

    Gato

  117. PFesser, Thoughtful person that you are… I look forward to seeing your remarks to the NRA. Tomorrow you may see where your monies are going, when the NRA presents its proposals. I hope you consider your dues well spent…

    I still weep for the children, from a town right next to mine, who died. You NRA members are carrying a heavy load these days. Step up; I’m sure you can.

    Gsto

  118. James – do you have a backup generator? I have an old PTO gen that I run off my tractor; it is a lot cheaper than a whole gen-set and will power the whole farm. Just went to WV and brought my parents’ oil-stove fuel tank (550 gal) from the old homeplace. I’m set for weather foul or fair.

  119. “I , personally, will not be happy until all guns are gone. I do not believe in guns, I do not like guns, I have never seen a gun up close nor have I ever touched a gun.”

    Thanks for that. Not a thing I can add.

  120. “IT IS ONLY THE NRA, IN SUPPORT OF PROFITS FOR WEAPONS MANUFACTURERS, WHO INSISTS THAT ANY REGULATION, AND ANY GOOD SENSE, THREATENS THAT AMENDMENT. And they do it for the money. Period.

    Gato”

    Don’t delude yourself. They do it at the behest of four million members, like me – who pay their salaries and keep their doors open. And I like many, many of my fellow NRA members, will be writing to my congresscritter as well. We’ll see who prevails.

  121. Oh, shit, Whirled… I thought it was just going to rain around here tomorrow. Just can’t trust those gummint people to get anything right, can ya?

    Guess I won’t bother stoking up the woodstove tonight. Do you think our comments will survive if we put them in our fireproof safes down there in our well-stocked bunkers full of Spam and Twinkies? Would it be okay to have a pre-apocalypse Twinkie right now? Are we supposed to be wearing anything special? Nikes? Victoria’s Secret angel outfits…? What the heck happened to the instruction manual for this? (I suppose there’s an app…)

    I do love it that several places of refuge are apparently in the South of France. That’s sure as heck where I’d be going, if I’d thought to check with Travelocity a little sooner than just now…

    Gato
    http://www.partyandsoul.wordpress.com

  122. Yikes, James!! 39 degrees is wicked cold! Do come back to the porch when you can… I enjoy hearing from you. Meanwhile, hang in there… I’m sure you will.

    Gato

  123. Whirled….hey from a fellow jersey girl! I grew up with the duck and cover in elementary school. We were going to be saved from the nukes by hiding under are desks or going out into the hall and facing our locker with our hands over our head. We weren’t aware of the danger. Nobody told us anything. In fact there were only 3 stations on tv. But I do remember hearing about bomb shelters that could be put underground in your backyard. Those were big.

  124. I’m checking out for now. I learned what I needed to understand about something. Yesterday, we attended a legislative forum, and I expressed my feelings.

    Now, we are recovering from a blizzard. Eight inches of snow combined with 54mpH wind took our power at 9:40Pm The lights just came back on as we finished digging out. The house temperature is 39 degrees, and we were ready to take refuge in a motel. Now, I can ski.

  125. When we was kids…livin’ on the cliffs of Jersey overlooking NYC…we actually believed we would be nuked at any moment…being the manufacturing and processing hub of the northeast…with the destruction taking out “The City”…we ‘prepared’ accordingly as a 1st strike target (I just missed Duck & Cover in school and woulda been the first to stand up and say WTF? Are we stupid or somethin’? We’re talkin’ nukes heea!).

    We carried beach chairs, sun glasses, tanning lotion and assorted other ‘hot summer days equipment’ in our cars year round. This all JIC we got the ‘word’ that the bombs were in the air and the end of the world was imminent.

    The plan was to meet out at the park on the cliffs (time permitting), set up and watch our world ‘evaporate’. Fear had nothing to do with it. We were ready to take it on, figuring it was already a done deal, might as well enjoy the fireworks. We were amazed it didn’t happen already (growing up during the Cuban Missile Crisis will do the to a kid).

    Anyway…with the Mayan apocalypse heading our way Friday morning (look here for your local time)…here’s ta hopin’ it all doesn’t end with the wingnuts goin’ ALL NRA on our asses.

    Ben nice knowin’ “yoosguys” heea on Da Porch. Hope ta seee yuz on da utter side.

    PEACE ~ ? ~ I mean it. Really.

  126. People with guns are much more likely to kill than people without. People who keep guns in their house are more likely to be killed by those very same guns. I , personally, will not be happy until all guns are gone. I do not believe in guns, I do not like guns, I have never seen a gun up close nor have I ever touched a gun. We did not have toy guns in the house when the kids were little. That being said, I know there are people who hunt and who feel like they need protection. But, for heavesakes, lock the damn things up and do not tell anyone where the key is.

    Living in Colorado, we have been through Eugene Thompson in the late 80s, Columbine in the late 90s and recently the Aurora movie theater shootings and countless other incidents, all because of assult weapons and huge clips. No one needs an assault rifle to kill a deer or an elk or a rabbit or a duck. You just don’t.

    Governors who either have or plan to sign bills allowing concealed carry into schools, churches, political rallies, government buildings and elsewhere are out of their minds. The NRA and gun lobby must be stopped. Lobbyist power is out of control and it is all about money . It is stupid to think that teachers or administrators having guns in school is going to help. People would be caught in the cross-fire, children would be caught. Spend money on better safety in and around the schools, Sadly, nothing is 100% preventable.

    There are measures that can be taken by everyone. Register guns like we register cars or boats, make it a heafty sum like we do for luxury cars, limit the number of rounds per clip and the number of clips per person, require gun safes and do not show your children where the key is located if you have to have the damn guns.

    This is about saving lives, not about stinkin’ politics and has nothing to do with the 2nd amendment. There are 20 children in Connecticut who will not be celebrating Christmas ever again and 28 families in Connecticut who will dread the Christmas season for the rest of their lives. There are families in cities across this country who have been affected by gun violence. We have to quit being so damn selfish and wrongheaded about gun control.

  127. i’m sorry to be so blunt and rude but the radical right are very stupid. there is no law, nowhere does it even imply, that one may not pray anywhere at any time. that is false. totally stupid to even think it.
    what the law says is that the school (government) may not enforce its own prayer on the public. that’s all it says. therefore, if you are muslim and wish to pray five times a day, there must be provision made for you to do so but no one else must also do so. if you are catholic and require certain conditions under which to pray, it must be allowed…it must be…that’s the law…but no one else MUST pray that way with you.
    what the radical right means is…if you don’t pray the way I pray, you don’t believe in God. if you don’t believe what i believe, you don’t believe in God.and the proof of that is their theory of the rapture. if you don’t believe as they do, come the rapture, you will go unsaved.
    you have the absolute right to pray. anywhere. anytime. any way you pray. that’s the constitutional right that those of us who fought the school prayer are trying to protect. for every one..

  128. when we shout, people tend to shout back…in any circumstance. if we whisper, people tend to whisper back. if we show anger, people feel attacked and when we are smiley and pleasant, people tend to listen with an open mind.
    what we send out is what we get back.
    so, uaw, i’m asking you a legitimate question…really…do you see how when one person enters a room/building…any room/building, showing a gun that it is a sign to others of danger coming? wow, there must be danger, he’s wearing a gun.
    that makes others rush out to buy (and use) weapons.
    as a woman, who is generally not as physically powerful as a man, is it not overwhelmingly possible that a man could easily wrest the gun from me?
    instead of being positive, instead of relying on peace officers, we stir up fear of who can do what to who. that’s what i believe.
    what do you think about that?

  129. UAW- glad Governor Snyder vetoed it.

    “Snyder said he was concerned the legislation approved last week would not let schools and other public facilities ban concealed weapons while letting private property owners like churches and sports stadiums do so.”

    From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121219/POLITICS02/212190361#ixzz2FYfuaVvq

    Sounds like it had issues , also sounds like he warned ‘em ahead of time.
    Sounds like he burned some political capital with the veto too. Don’t think I’d like him on a number of things like the right-to-work crap but have to say there are not enough politicos willing to burn political capital over much of anything lately , so he gets points there.
    Sounds like a very messy bill overall.

    Also- not fair-
    I never called him a puppet of the GOP. I tend not to talk like that and you know it.
    I’m disgusted with the NRA leadership and have been for many years. We’ll see what their board has to say Friday before I say anymore about them though.

  130. Gato, great post, I agree with everything you said, and you said it so well!

  131. Helen, my internet service has been down for the past three days, so I’m just now receiving your blog. I love everything you said and am with you 100%. As though dealing with this tragedy for the horror it is was not enough in itself, yesterday

    “Mike Huckabee and now the American Family Association’s, Bryan Fischer, both blamed the school shooting on public schools adhering to the separation of church and state — saying God let the massacre happen because we’ve moved away from things like compulsory prayer. (This is, incidentally, pretty much the same reason Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said the shooting occurred.) Key figures on the Radical Right have wasted no time in offering the vilest, most offensive rationales as to “why this happened.”

    Echoing Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson in the wake of 9/11 (who also, in part, blamed that tragedy on People For the American Way), Focus on the Family’s James Dobson said God has “allowed judgment to fall upon us” because the nation has turned its back on him by accepting things like abortion and gay marriage.

    And Tea Party Nation blamed teachers for the school shooting in Newtown, calling them “radicals in the classrooms,” accusing them of being part of a liberal plot to “destroy the family” and create a society that “coddled” the shooter. This is particularly outrageous considering the inspiring heroics of Sandy Hook Elementary’s teachers, some of whom gave their lives to protect their students.” taken from People for the American Way

    How does America deal with this garbage when it seems the Radical Right Wing has lost sight of the suffering of so many families, friends, neighbors and even acquaintances of these families? What prevents these hateful words from causing even more of a riff between progressives and conservatives as these words cut deep? I have no answers but Helen, with your wisdom, perhaps you could speak to this issue.

  132. Gato, My best friend’s husband has a saying that fits this NRA situation very well: “Money talks, BS walks”. We’re going to need some industrial strength waders to get through this. – Terry W.

  133. HEY Alaskapi….and Gato…..
    did you see what that puppet of the GOP and the NRA Gov Snyder(R) did….
    Yep…that would be a veto on the new carry laws involving schools……
    but with Jennifer’s(D) OK we can still open carry at schools……

  134. Penny, thanks for your clear level headed approach. The only thing I’ll say is that there are some scary folk living in the “boonies” but you’re right, living in a big city with drive-by shootings, etc. is scary as well. I don’t live in either but am aware that even going to my local bank branch could put me in harm’s way if a desperate individual decided to hold it up. – Terry W.

  135. UAW – Indeed you will, apparently – which is fine, especially if you can stop yourself from silliness and paranoid hypotheses! And I will say, for the eighty-eighth time now, it is the CONJUNCTION of mental illness and guns that is the common denominator in mass slaughter with firearms. I still have yet to hear of continuing mass murders of human beings by another human being (aside from bombings) with any weapon other than guns.

    I am not a gun owner, and never would be (as I’m sure you’ve already assumed).I can imagine that any number of NRA members have died themselves through gun violence, sadly enough, despite the invulnerability some gun owners feel their possession of firearms grants them. Do not delude yourself by thinking that any sane person would cheer that – and don’t try to rile us up with such preposterous statements.

    HOWEVER, I for one would certainly cheer if the leadership of the NRA, which has come to serve primarily gun manufacturers, and could give less of a damn about the reputation and well-being of gun owners themselves, were to be totally stripped of its influence and power. As the President said in his press conference today, there is a huge gap between preservation of the Second Amendment and the absurd number of UNREGULATED guns in this country, and the failure of our laws (many unenforced) to support and demand responsible gun ownership. IT IS ONLY THE NRA, IN SUPPORT OF PROFITS FOR WEAPONS MANUFACTURERS, WHO INSISTS THAT ANY REGULATION, AND ANY GOOD SENSE, THREATENS THAT AMENDMENT. And they do it for the money. Period.

    Gato

  136. i feel like i’m at a bad tennis match, watching back and forth, the gibes/responses being posted.
    can we take a deep breath and refocus?
    there is definitely a problem in our society when there have been something like 30 shootings in schools since columbine.
    i think we all agree to that.
    so what do we do about it?
    it is absolutely possible to ban automatic weapons and mega magazines and that would help some. it would not hurt the hunters nor those who need to protect themselves. i will admit i am shocked that people living in the ‘boonies’ need protection at all let alone more than those living in cities. i must doubt that. it seems so odd.
    it is also absolutely possible to limit the sales of weapons and ammunition to particular places: police stations, town halls, i dunno but we must pick a few per area so they can be carefully supervised and we make sure all regulations are obeyed. no gun shop or gun show or hock joint sales.
    so, now for the regulations. i can see no logical eason to object to the following. thorough back ground checks which include the purchaser’s job history, domestic abuse history, health (including mental) any other weapons owned, why does he want the weapons AND an annual check on the purchaser and location of the guns. no legitimate hunter would object to that, surely. no one who ‘needs’ protection either.
    so why are we arguing? is anyone threatened by regulation of weapons? does this regulation mean your civil rights,your constitutional rights are violated? i think not.
    perhaps it has to do w/two things. the power the nra claims and wants to preserve and the gun manufacturers and sellers’ profits.
    those things pale by comparison to the loss of life hereto.
    let’s put down the barbs, let’s forget personal ‘slights’ and get down to the business at hand.
    all together, all of us, emailing/calling/writing to our congress people can make the difference.
    for G-d’s sake people, we must solve this situation. i have lots of other suggestions…home education, how we treat one another, etc etc etc.

  137. Well said, Auntie Jean… Well said, indeed!

    Gato

  138. yes Gato….I’ll keep “speaking”…..as I said it’s a mental issue……
    just wondering what would happen and if the MSM would cover the shooting of an NRA member…..
    and how many here would cheer…..

  139. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Once again Helen, you have spoke up clearly on a subject that has been sadly neglected. Thank You.

    We have been hearing from people we know in Europe and all over about the horrific killings in CT. We Americans have earned a reputation for being a bunch of gun-happy cowboys. Of course, we know that is not true for the vast majority of us. I do think though that the hideous massacre in CT is FINALLY a wakeup call to actually do something to address the problems.

    We have all heard over and over again the usual disclaimers about guns. The same can be said about drugs, alcohol, cars, airplanes and bathtubs. They are all dangerous!!! It is not the USE of anything but the ABUSE. Any of us who have ever had a root canal or major surgery have been mighty grateful that we didn’t have to endure the pain without narcotic drugs. But for recreational use? Uh-uh. Many of us enjoy a glass or two of wine or even a cocktail occasionally. Does that make us alcoholics? Uh-uh. People of all ages are killed or maimed regularly in automobile accidents and plane crashes due to human or mechanical error. Should we all stay out of cars and planes at all times? Uh-uh. Slipping and falling in a bathtub can be fatal or at least debilitating. Should bathtubs be prohibited? Uh-uh. The resulting body odors could be overwhelming.

    That brings us to guns. I have never been interested in nor have I owned a gun. The sole purpose a gun was ever invented for was to kill. I’m not into killing – anything. Period. I suppose there was a time when having them was necessary for food or something, but to my way of thinking, guns are outmoded.

    There was a time when sabers were the best weapons of choice to settle “manly” disputes. Those are outmoded too. I see no logic or reasoning that we should return to Medieval or even Pre-historic metaphors to defend the possession of guns.

    Diane Feinstein has proposed a bill to ban assault weapons. I think that is a First Step that could go a long way toward facing up to the problems of gun violence.

    The Second Step has to do with “mental illness”. There are just as many types of mental illnesses as there are physical illnesses on a continuum from simple narcissistic neuroses to full blown psychoses, from sniffles to deadly cancers. We have well trained professionals to diagnose and treat all types. But the public needs access to lots more. Where do they come from? First rate schools, starting with kindergarten all the way through college and beyond. But schools must have to have well qualified teachers, paid a decent living wage.

    That’s where Health Care comes in. It has to be paid for. There are those who are vehemently opposed to the right of every citizen to decent health care by our government. If not the government, then who? The panic-stricken fiscal cliff-hangers? They would prefer to “take back our country” to where. Medieval or even Pre-historic times? I don’t think so.

    The American people spoke loud and clear in November regarding the nation’s philosophy toward the direction we want to take us. The tired, outmoded foot dragging and typical Terrible-Twos answer to everything with a resounding “No” is also passé. Indifference to pain and suffering are no longer going to be tolerated. We can still take another giant leap toward being a civilized people.

    The First and Second Steps are on the table. Let’s see to it that those are taken – now!

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  140. Oh, “Jeez…” yourself, UAW – You probably wouldn’t get too far with that bat against those seals (even being the fearful masters of flippered combat that they are so widely known to be) if there were a single Greenpeace human dude or dudette in the vicinity, armed or not…

    Do you really want to go on trying to defend this silly point of yours?

    Gato

  141. “Also, IMO, it takes a different kind of mentality to kill at close range with close physical contact.”
    ??????????
    do you really think 2 ft is different than 10 ft…..
    but your right about a different kind of mentality….

  142. Geez Gato…could kill 20+ with a club(baseball bat)….
    ever see pics of seal hunting…..

  143. Thanks, RD – “Reason” is something I’ve had years of opportunity to practice honing, since my husband – whom I love dearly – is a life-long Republican. MUCH more challenging than life with my first husband, whose political positions matched my own; our “political discussions” consisted pretty much of saying, “Nixon sucks,” in unison, and letting it go at that!

    Gato

  144. Whirled Peas – I did manage to read the blog you cited in your last response. It wasn’t easy, I had to take several deep breaths to get through it. I don’t know which is worse, that someone thinks that way or that he/she is spreading it around and being accepted for it.
    Home schooling came to my mind regarding my grandchildren when I heard that a higher up police official in my county is suggesting that teachers be armed in our public schools. Hopefully reason will prevail and there will be another solution, say hiring security guards for one.
    I have also heard that Lanza’s mother was planning to have him institutionalized which tipped him over the edge. Her passion for assault weapons and high powered guns was pretty stupid too.
    People talk about how Reagan was responsible for closing the mental hospitals and mainstreaming our mentally ill. He evidently thought it was more important to cut costs to our government than to provide much needed help to people who don’t make themselves sick.
    Now I’ll continue to pray for the victims’ families and loved ones.
    I’ll also be letting my “people” in Washington know how I feel about this issue. – Terry W.

  145. Again, I appreciate your voice of reason…

  146. UAW – It is doubtful that anyone could kill twenty-seven people with a baseball bat, even kindergartners and first graders, without being stopped by some adult. Come on, now… Also, IMO, it takes a different kind of mentality to kill at close range with close physical contact. With a gun, all the killer has to do is stand there and pull the trigger. No real “contact” required. That’s the thing about guns… One of the many.

    Yes; mental derangement is a factor, but, FOR THE EIGHTY-SEVENTH TIME, AT LEAST, it is the CONJUNCTION of derangement and fast-firing weapons that does the most damage. For mass killers, firearms are inevitably the weapon of “choice” – probably, in part, for that very reason. That choice is a fact, inarguable.

    Gato

  147. YES Delurker….
    let’s deal with the issues…..
    It’s not the type of gun it’s the mental state of the shooter………a mental health problem……….Lanza could have used a different gun…a different magazine………a different caliber…..a knife ……even a baseball bat………but…..he was going to do it…….
    and what does it say about the people that want NRA members to be shot……

  148. Ol’ Wayne over at NRA had better adjust himself real quick. If the NRA wants to stay in existence in any way, shape or form it will be as a non-profit organization no longer in the propaganda business. This means Wayne will have to somehow live without a yearly bonus. There is also a chance the NRA could lose their business license. That would help the transition to a non-profit. Would this put a dent in their gun “safety” classes? Probably not, but there are other groups that do the same thing and very well. One of them is a Jewish group which has been non-profit from the git-go. Google them. Find out.

  149. Secondly, I like my reality with a generous helping of snark. And when it comes to Tea Party Nation, plenty of ridicule. If you can’t point and laugh at their sheer stupidity, then Non-Real America is doomed.
    . ;)

    Tea Party Nation Knows
    What Causes Shootings:

    Unions, Loud Stereos and Sluts

    PEACE ~ Δ

  150. First, a little perspective.

    Timeline Of Mass Shootings
    In The US Since Columbine

    Getting longer everyday.

    Soon HuffPo will have its own page for them, like side-boob and the Kardashians.

    PEACE ~ Δ

  151. “PFesser, I take issue with you equating car accidents to blatant killing of innocents.”

    Nobody said that it was.

    “Killing 26 people in an elementary school is not an accident.”

    Nobody said that either.

    “To say a vehicle is equal to a gun simply shows the magnitude of the ignorance of your train of thought.”

    Nobody said they were equal. Straw man argument. However, the result of both is the same, isn’t it? Dead children. The difference, of course, is that there are far more dead children due to automobiles, and that their deaths are ongoing every day – including today. Where is your sympathy for the 5 or 6 that will die today, the 5 or 6 that will die tomorrow and the next day, as opposed to a rare, rare incident? Nobody is unsympathetic to the people in CT; I’m simply suggesting that Americans, who are notoriously bad at math, try to gain a little perspective.

    “Anytime a child (or any person, for that matter) is purposely killed, it is a tragedy worthy of us losing a grip.”

    Au contraire, that is the very time when you DON’T want to lose your grip. Take a look at the PATRIOT act, for example – a perfect example of the triumph of emotion over logic – an overreaction that has far-reaching consequences for us all. Don’t repeat that mistake just because of a rare event perpetrated by a crazy person. Actions have consequences; think before you act.

    “I can’t believe you belittle the deaths of those children in Newtown”

    Nobody did that. Straw man.

    “as something “very, very rare when taken in context”

    Saying something is rare is not belittling. It is a statement of opinion. non sequitur fallacy

    “It is becoming less and less rare, in my humble opinion.”

    You are mistaken. Cites, please?

    “but I don’t believe you should be so quick to discount what happened as a rare instance in the entire scope of things.”

    You do the math. About 300,000,000 American citizens. About 75 million or so children between 5 and 17 years age. Care to divide 20 (Newtown child deaths) by 75 million?

    (I’ll give you a leg up. I get about 2.67 X 10^-7 or 2.67 X 10^-5 percent. That would be, I think, somewhere like 0.0000267 percent. Still think these kinds of things are not rare?

  152. So weary of the false equivalencies. Outlawing guns won’t eliminate gun violence. Outlawing abortion won’t stop abortion either, so should pro-life people give up their fight the way parents are expected to give up the fight against assault weapons? (Isn’t pro-life and pro-gun a conflict?) Locks won’t stop criminals either since they can always break a window – should we stop locking our doors? Should we just throw up our hands and say we can’t do anything about anything?

    The saddest thing to me is that the conversation is shifting to making our schools fortressees of sorts. Lock the doors, metal detectors, use reinforced glass for windows… but what about the playgrounds? Brick walls around them? Let’s put the kids in prisons instead of dealing with the real issues. Sigh…

  153. PFesser, I take issue with you equating car accidents to blatant killing of innocents. Killing 26 people in an elementary school is not an accident. To say a vehicle is equal to a gun simply shows the magnitude of the ignorance of your train of thought. Anytime a child (or any person, for that matter) is purposely killed, it is a tragedy worthy of us losing a grip. I can’t believe you belittle the deaths of those children in Newtown as something “very, very rare when taken in context………” It is becoming less and less rare, in my humble opinion. Please don’t misunderstand and think I am against ownership of guns, my family has a proud history of gun ownership and teaching proper respect of weapons and using them for the purpose they were designed for, to put meat on our tables. I don’t have any sage advice or quick answers to what happened in Newtown, but I don’t believe you should be so quick to discount what happened as a rare instance in the entire scope of things. I respectfully suggest that you get a grip.

  154. There are laws re drunk driving which are, most often, enforced; whether people can read and strip a gun isn’t the question here…and if it were, i would be even more alarmed, to think an illiterate has guns and is field stripping them. we do teach the ten commandments everywhere. they are a common denominator almost everywhere in the world. they are taught by example, first; then by actual teaching that we do not violate another person in any way (by law); and in life situations, like at home. calling people names does not resolve the problem here. the problem is simple. we have very dangerous weapons available to anyone walking into a gun show or pawn shop and what laws we have are not enforced. ‘twould be better to address our energies to that than to belittle one another, which is a violation of the ten commandments as well.

  155. Hi UAW Tradesman. i’m not sure how long I will stay. It would be nice to see you at the other blog too. Fast and Furious is just one scandal associated with this administration.

  156. Nice try jsri. Maybe my definition of Rambo is different from yours. I explained it before. I filed a complaint against an extortion ring when everyone else was afraid to. My superiors used me as bait so they could press heavier charges.

    I didn’t know men were trying to keep track of what was happening, so I felt pretty alone and scared. Fellow airmen were afraid to associate with me. Others shunned me because they suddenly decided I was finking out. An office pool placed bets on when and whether I would be killed or hospitalized.
    Someone posted a number in the hospital. Each day, it was smaller, and our officers told people to stop it to no effect.

    The only word of support I overheard was “don’t beat him up too bad. He’s a nice guy.”

    We lived in six man quansite huts about a mile from the hospital. Two of the men joined the bad guys and moved out with the keys. They came for me at night, and one time, I woke with a knife at my throat. On another occasion they held me down and twisted my wrist in unnatural positions until the carpuls were damaged. They told me it was only sample of what would happen soon. I later needed six weeks of physical therapy to regain the full use of my right hand, and I am still an official disabled veteran.

    I didn’t want a pistol. my action was premeditated.It was also self-defense. Something was going to happen. I just didn’t know what or when. For three months, I mentally rehearsed how to react the way some skiers do It was ruled self defense. On another occasion, I hospitalized an airman for four days. The bad guys disappeared, many to prison.

    Do you really think I give a damn about how they felt? i am proud of what I did. The bad guys went to prison. . I escaped punishment because my officers were looking after me, and they had put me in harm’s way. When I refused to get a hair cut, they hid me from the general. I shook my fist in a major’s face and nothing happened to me. My superious felt guilty for what I had endured.

    Something worse happened to the brother of a aquantance when he uncovered a drug ring on a base in Turkey.

    I have good peripheral vision. I can focus on more than one thing at a time. If you knew about farming and storm chasing, you know it is a requirement for the jobs. Obviously, I’m not the man I was, but I am still pretty fit. I haven’t used guns since the Air Force. . I am still a good wrestler with some of my old speed. I almost always win in friendly competions.

    Did that answer your questions? If not, I have more answers.
    Don’t you think the blog would be better served with our arguing about guns and emotions?

  157. and it only gets better….

    http://twitchy.com/2012/12/18/joyce-carol-oates-if-enough-nra-members-get-shot-maybe-hope-for-legislation-of-firearms/

    http://www.examiner.com/article/democratic-party-leader-call-to-shoot-nra-members-not-a-death-threat

  158. what really pisses me off is…

    “CBS News: ‘Fast and Furious’ Gun Found At Site Where Mexican Beauty Queen Killed”

  159. Hi James….Hi PF…… welcome back…….and the name calling hasn’t really changed……it’s still the same…….”if you don’t agree your a troll”……bull……
    great gun control PF….over 100%…..
    and Alaskapi….I didn’t say it was a good thing to carry in school or church but why throw a person in jail for it……I don’t hear many DUI people say it was the cars fault……
    apparently Terri had a problem with me being worried about the reading skills in Detroit….just wondering how many that can’t read can field strip a Glock…..in the dark…..
    speaking of things to do to stop this violence maybe we should teach (in school)
    THOU SHALT NOT KILL
    THOU SHALT NOT STEAL
    THOU SHALT NOT COVET
    Just wondering how many children have been killed for NIKE apparel…..wasn’t RED BALL JETS good enough…..

  160. James on December 17, 2012 at 3:40 PM & James on December 17, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    You said in your post “I eliminated a man because he meant me harm.” While bragging about your “confidence and controlled aggression” isn’t that just another way of saying “pre-meditated”? It would be interesting to hear the victim from other side of the discussion because “truth” and “history” are told by survivors and the loser seldom gets to comment.

    As far as your Rambo fantasy is concerned, my friend in law enforcement said that even with constant recurrent training he’s aware that his reflexes are not what they used to be and that he will have to give it up some time in the not too distant future. Your suggestion that you’d be on high alert is laughable because your tunneled vision may be so focused that you’d fail to see your enemy’s cohort sneaking up behind you.

    I know from my own experience as a driver for more than 60 years that my reflexes have deteriorated with age. That’s also why I gave up flying 35 years ago when new procedures began making it more complicated. While driving, I can still keep up with interstate traffic if I choose to but, instead, I put my competitive stock car driving behind me and drive within the posted speed limits. It’s probably been 20 years since I last made a panic stop and that’s mostly because I avoid situations where one might be necessary. My only suggestion would be to keep yourself involved in activities that you can manage, especially ones that don’t include firearms.

  161. [...] http://margaretandhelen.com/2012/12/15/guns-do-not-kill-people-they-make-it-easier-to-kill-people/ [...]

  162. I am so tired of every liberal blog/site jumping on the guns issue. Fact is semi-automatic guns aren’t new, but one thing is, one other thing all these rampage shooters have in common….prescription pain, sleeping and/or psychiatric drugs. Banning guns isn’t going to take them off the street tomorrow, then you create an illegal market and like the drug war can actually make things cheaper and more available. Big pharma/our FDA is the problem, no ones looking into what makes a kid go from nice to batshit crazy. And like the pfizer suits, vioxx scandal anyone? You can’t trust these people to tell you what they may already know. Everyone asks why did this happen? Your why isn’t guns, It’s that he wasn’t in a psych ward.

  163. Hi UAW Tradesman. Nice to “see” you again. I remember “duck and cover.”

    Let the others rush a gun man. I’d be hiding in a closet.

  164. Penny, good for you!

    Our small group did something similar. The state took away an important bridge to save money. We spoke to television stations and attended each DOT meeting in or near our county. Someone found the Governor’s private campaign phone number, and we used it.We called individual DOT members and supplied pictures.Two years later, we got a new bridge.

    I also played a tiny role in getting “Take our Daughters to Work Day” changed to “Take Our Children to Work Day.”

  165. OK…here’s a question:

    Anyone (everyone) remember
    “Duck and Cover”?

    Here’s a new one for our changin’ times,
    suggested by The Daily Beast’s Megan McArdle:

    “I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.”

    Ouch…that’s COLD!

    What can I say?

    PEACE ~ Δ

  166. Gato, as Pfessor wrote, mass murders are rare, though they produce strong emotions the way a plane crash does. We still ride air planes. The issue is not the rare disasters, but the comparitive benefits and costs of each activity.

    Another issue is conscent of the governed. At least 200 million guns are in the United States, and this national discussion is prompting thousands more people to buy weapons under the fear that they may be banned.

    If we, should revolk the Second Amendment or restrict legal sales to the equivalent of BB guns, the black market would supply wanted fire arms as Prohibition did for liquor. We would enrich gangs of gun smugglers as our drug policies gave drug lords a reason to prosper.

    People do have a legitimate fear that the police won’t be able to protect them.

    I agree some of these guns should be much harder for the general population to buy than they are now. At the very least some sort of mental test should accompany proof of proficiencey.

    I no longer hunt, but I would be embarassed to require so many shots to kill a deer. For one thing, the animal would suffer needlessly. My friends and I used to kill pigeons with our BB guns. Then we dressed and ate them. We often killed them with one shot to the head.

    Hunting coyotes is different. They are usually moving targets and wiley in open grass lands, Controlling them is a defensive measure, because they eat livestock and pets..

    As with any activity, hunters’ skills vary, and accidents happen. Last week, a man tripped and his shotgun fired into the back of his son’s head. They plan to hunt again after his son recovers.

    I agree, the ultimate purpose of fire arms is to kill. As Pfessor wrote, sometimes people (and animals) need killing. What proportion of deaths are caused by battling gang members, violent crimes, domestic anger, and accidents? We need more information to understand the problem without emotion.

    An elephant in the room is the possiblity of insurrection. I don’t believe we face a revolution, but one never knows about some gun owners think.

  167. alas: i couldn’t agree w/you more re Reagan/CA hospitals. here is my point. we allow this stuff to happen. Al Gore said something that struck me so, that i still remember it. In an interview after he lost the presidential election, he was asked what surprised him the most. he answered (not vebatim, my memory isn’t that good) that his biggest surprise is that the people were not out in the streets in protest. that’s the answer. we all, we each, must take a position, stand on it and fight for it. when ‘they’ are not doing what you want, you must take action. i promise you, that it brings about the changes we want.if a million people refused to obey a law, how many of us could ‘they’ jail? it takes guts and determination. i did my bit, chained myself to the UN fence, challenged the schools, stood up in a town meeting and pointed at the Mafia controlled garbage collectors and announced my name and address (i had already stashed my kids at my mom’s house) and challenged them. Dangerous? yeh. also necessary. i’m 82 now, i can’t stand up for more than five minutes at a time, so who’s going to take my place??? gab is cheap. where are today’s activists?

  168. Let’s examine two things. The congress and the 2nd amendment.
    The congress must be elected which means it must get the votes required to seat a congress person. When we make our desires clear, clear enough so they translate into votes, and we use our votes, we determine who is seated in the congress. It is a simple fact. There is no other way to seat a congress person than to elect her, unless she is appointed by the elected governor to fill a suddenly empty seat. That governor is elected. So, despite big money, if we pay attention and use our votes for the benefit of society, we can have true representation.If we don’t buy into the fear and racism being sold by many who wish to be seated in the congress, it is not only entirely possible, it would be easy to have the representation we want.When they fall prey to the big money, we elect new ones. Different ones. Every time.
    the 2nd amendment. As a rule, the Supreme Court wishes to interpret according to what is assumed was the founding father’s intent/meaning when writing the Constitution/amendments. This leaves us with a very wide latitude for deciding what is and what is not constitutional. When the 2nd amendment was written, the existing weaponry was equal to horses and sabers. It is a whole different world now in weaponry and how terribly we can wound/kill others. Therefore a musket and a militia have no meaning in today’s world BUT the intent to make sure a nation can overcome any attempt at a take-over is equally important. Hence the military, whose job it is to protect the nation against any threat to conquer our country and our government and to ensure our right to choose both. A musket would be meaningless in that condition. This is why there is a wide latitude for interpretation. Just waving and yelling “2nd amendment” means nothing.
    AND there is the old…for the good of the majority…which is an extremely solid basis for many acts of government and as individuals.
    In short, fellow Americans, we must stand for what we know is the proper value, for the good of the majority and stop running scared. We must sit down and talk to one another, give and take, and come up with the rules which apply right now. We have a job to do. We must protect our children.

  169. PFesser: Your breezy, cavalier tone when talking about killing people is nauseating.

  170. Gato – seven rounds to take down a deer. LOL.

    I’m into precision shooting; my .243 is a rather light round, but shoots very flat and is fantastic for taking groundhogs at distance; they destroy pasture fields and threaten cattle who often break legs by stepping into their den holes.

    I called out an FBI recruiter at my college several years ago when he tried to defend the murder of Randy Weaver’s wife at Ruby Ridge, Idaho – claiming he couldn’t tell it was a WOMAN! I can see a woodchuck’s EYE at any distance I can shoot it. And he couldn’t tell it was a woman, nursing her baby. Murdering SOB.

    Anyway, so far I have owned my .243 about fifteen years and haven’t missed a single shot (touch wood). In fact I have more kills than shots, having killed two woodchucks with a single shot shortly after I bought the gun and set it up. (I have a witness.)

    I’m sure the streak will subside, though. My vision isn’t what it used to be. But seven shots? Hilarious….

  171. “Pfesser….so because children are killed in car accidents, we should just accept that the rights of Americans to own these weapons should be paid for with the blood of innocents. Babies?”

    Yep.

    Actually, that is not a serious answer. Here is a serious answer: Anyone beyond first grade should know that everything in life – every right and privilege – has an up-side and a down-side. The down-side of private gun ownership is that occasionally crazy people do crazy things and sometimes they use guns, which are particularly efficient, to do them.

    The up-sides are too numerous for a single blog comment. I’m glad my Constitution guarantees me that I don’t need a REASON to own firearms, or be compelled to explain that ownership; it is a right. And times like these, when emotions get the better of logic, are exactly the kinds of times the Bill of Rights was written to address. I live about fifty miles from Mr. Jefferson’s home; at least once every year I visit. I make it a point to silently thank him for his good works.

    “No right is absolute. All rights are regulated.”

    Yep. No argument there.

    “I’m the name of religion, one can not sacrifice a human. The right of free speech, one can not yell fire in a crowded room.”

    Well, one CAN, but there are consequences to the misuse of those rights – just like there are consequences to the misuse of firearms. See, it isn’t that hard of a concept.

    “There is no place for these weapons in this country.”

    Yes there is.

    “The access to guns kill people. It is as simple as that.”

    Yep, that’s what they are for. But sometimes people NEED killin’. It’s important to have firearms available in case that need arises.

  172. Hi, Pfesser – Just did a quick self-check to see how my grip’s doing this morning. Seems okay, all in all, I’m happy to report.

    Don’t think the issue is really how many deaths are caused by which various things; the issue must also include discussion of the potential lethality of various things compared to their overall purpose and usage, don’t you think? (BTW, any discussion of vehicular deaths must also include the intoxication component, for sure…)

    In my (fairly-well-gripped) opinion, the more relevant statistical comparison is the number of gun deaths among different societies, particularly in relation to the amount of gun regulation. Others have pointed out here this country’s absolutely staggering “rating” in that area.

    The purpose of a motor vehicle is primarily transportation; when death occurs involving a motor vehicle, it is almost always an “accident,” and that’s what we call it. The purpose of a firearm is primarily to kill something. (You can throw up all the defense you’d like regarding target shooting, marksmanship, and so on, but all these activities originally came into being as ways to help people learn to use firearms to kill things more efficiently and accurately – period.) When a death is caused by a firearm, it is rarely an accident. A mass slaughter with firearms invariably turns out to have been premeditated, well-planned, and executed deliberately, with terrible rage.

    Your point about the supposed “difference” between so-called “assault weapons” and semi-automatic rifles is well-taken. Along that line, I am waiting for some dedicated hunter or sportswoman to step up and admit how humiliated he/she would be if it took him or her seven rounds to take down a deer…

    Gato

  173. Pfesser….so because children are killed in car accidents, we should just accept that the rights of Americans to own these weapons should be paid for with the blood of innocents. Babies? No right is absolute. All rights are regulated. I’m the name of religion, one can not sacrifice a human. The right of free speech, one can not yell fire in a crowded room. There is no place for these weapons in this country. The access to guns kill people. It is as simple as that.

  174. Get a grip, y’all. What happened in CT is very sad, but also very, very rare when taken in context of the overall population of this country.

    Road crashes kill an estimated 260,000 children worldwide every year. Just a quick google pulls up data for 2003 in the US: In the United States, an average of 6 children 0-14 years old were killed and 694 were injured every day in motor vehicle crashes.

    Six American kids killed in cars each and every day of the year. That’s about 2200 American children killed, 253,000 injured every year. These weapons are many, many times more deadly than firearms, yet I don’t hear a single call for more car regulation.

    ****************

    re: assault weapons. That’s just a buzz-phrase to get the emotionally labile all riled up. The difference between “assault weapons” and semi-automatic rifles (which have been available for decades and would still be available under an “assault weapon” ban) is basically the appearance. Both fire once each time you pull the trigger; operationally there is no difference. Both can accommodate large-capacity magazines. I don’t see a real argument here.

  175. Happy birthday, hrh Sofia!

  176. Gato, do you remember the movie “Ben”? Its possible someone could make a movie staring cockroaches as “Ben” featured rats. Then, they would at least fictionally be used for protection. I don’t do drugs, but I know where I could get them if I did. A joint would be easier to buy than a gun where I live. Easy or hard to get, necessary or objectionable, guns, cockroaches, and drugs will survive us all.

    You’re welcome, penny. Congratulations on passing 80.You have obviously learned a lot. Gato is no slouch either.

    Alaskapi, I have called my representatives so often some of the staff recognize my name. I will be attending a political forum on Wednesday morning. We all should speak to our representatives.

    Reagan was only one of the actors in that drama. One of my minors in college was psychology. A professor told us that the new policy was to let insane people out of the mental hospitals and live in the general society with supervision and help. Governments couldn’t afford the cost of safe houses and outside therapy, and we know what happened as many unfortunates were destined to live on the streets. Pat Benatar’s “Somebody’s Baby” video is a pictorial essay of a misguided solution.

    delurkergurl, I also agree with some of your comment. I won’t forget your telling us you would donate money to help our food pantry after our flood. Not many people would be so generous to strangers. Our food bank has now extended its territory to three counties with a few people coming from 70 miles for help.

  177. “In California the decline in Mental Health services began with (then) Governor Reagan’s policies…when he closed all the hospitals, turning out needy patients for families and communities to deal with the best they could…a travesty!”
    rdlm42-
    In a way , it was worse than that. Mr Reagan , for whatever reasons, did not step up to rebuild mental health law and care , either at the state level or later the federal level, after a series of hard won legal victories for mentally ill peoples . We could and did treat folks like animals and worse quite often and for a long time all across the country. Mr Reagan and the leaders of the time dropped the ball in working out new ways to provide for the health of those who suffer mental illness and the safety and health of the communities they live in. No one had the damn energy to go to work…
    dump folks out on the street, tell em they are responsible for themselves and keep chipping away at the funding for the programs which serve them… agh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  178. Knowing where we stand now and what might be done needs to be the next real step.

    http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202581822870&PostNewtown_gun_legislation_will_hinge_on_Heller&slreturn=20121117222503

    We have to work towards what is possible . Possible to pass, possible to withstand constitutional law review .
    It also matters very, very much who is the next Supreme Court Justice
    My own Congressional delegation has signaled it has no interest in addressing anything to do with gun control (though one of them might be swayed if we push hard enough)
    How about yours?
    How about your state legislators?
    Mine don’t look good to be pushed, yours?
    Anybody here track the Brady Center’s work? I’m starting to.
    What do we do which might actually have any results?

  179. Those who wrote the 2nd amendment could never have visualized assault rifles! They were talking about the right to carry muskets and hand guns that you loaded one lead ball with gun powder at a time. It’s time to look at the history of the consitution with a historical eye. 230 years ago it was a very different world with very different “arms” for protection.

  180. Penny, I agree in theory but think we’re naive if we don’t realize that “we” don’t pay them. What money we pay them for the job we hire them to do pales in comparison to the other financial influences at work.

    And Terry, we’d be wise to realize that anyone concerned about ammo becoming harder to get has been stockpiling ammo in anticipation that this President is intent on destroying their second amendment rights despite all (grrrr) evidence to the contrary. (Have you heard anyone saying Obama was happy this tragedy happened so he could accomplish his hidden agenda? Puke…)

    There are already enough weapons and ammo out there that can be sold on black market, stolen, or a dozen other ways to circumvent any new laws we can come up with. It’s worth doing, but not enough.

    I do agree we need to put sensible controls in place, despite the fact that deranged people will find ways around them. I also agree that we have to do a much better job of making mental healthcare more accessible, acceptable and affordable – despite the fact that this particular murderer was already known to have issues and to have been in some sort of treatment.

    We need both approaches, and more.

    We need to change our culture, beginning with how we raise our children, what the media focuses on, what our movies and tv shows glorify, etc. No one thing will fix this and none of it will be simple, but is there anything in this world more important?

  181. I’m hearing a reasonable solution to the assault weapons problem – ban the sale of the ammunition. Ordinary citizens would not be able to buy ammo and their assault weapons would be useless. No one other than an active member of the military or police force needs assault weapons and their access to the ammunition should be strictly monitored.
    Hunters wouldn’t be threatened by this and ordinary people wanting to own a hand gun wouldn’t be either.
    The mental health issue still needs to be addressed at any rate. – Terry W

  182. Hey, James – That may be true… But I can’t recall anyone ever insisting that they needed a certain number of cockroaches in order to protect their personal safety and liberty, or that they had a Constitutional “right” to have as many cockroaches, of any kind, as they wanted…

    (Recreational drugs are another story. And if the “right” to own a gun were as difficult to obtain as the “right” to smoke a joint, we’d all be better off. I mean it. Really.)

    Gato

  183. i haven’t counted and i know we are a microcosm but do y’all see the agreement here? so many agree about automatic weapons and mega magazines…why can’t we make the point to congress? we hired them. we pay them. why can’t we make it clear that the few (and they are few) radical pro gun people are going to do them far more damage than if they took up the people’s will as they are supposed to? pleeeease! email your senators and representatives and tell them what they must do
    we can act now and make a change. now. do it!!!

  184. f agree with Gato. Besides testing people like car owners, the government might require liability insurance.

    Guns are like cockroaches and drugs. They will always be with us.

  185. I agree with Gato. Besides passing tests as auto drivers do, gun owners might be mandated to buy liability insurance.

  186. Gato,
    I agree. And I would add that every civilized nation except for the US has universal healthcare!!

  187. Hi, thank you for a truly inspirational post. I re-posted it on my own blog, because I felt your message was so important. If you would like for me to remove it, please let me know.
    http://artecalifornia.com/2012/12/17/an-impressive-post-about-guns-posted-by-helen-philpot-december-15-2012/

    Thanks,
    Stacy Alexander

  188. We live next door to one of the largets military reservations in the U.S. Ever since 9/11 they have been totally paranoid and it has spread to the surrounding area. The local elementary school is on lockdown all the time. You have to be buzzed in and only after someone has taken a good look at you. The school is also adjacent to a public park open to everyone. This buzz in thing is a good idea.

    PS. The glass in the windows of the exterior doors is infilled with wire mesh. Breaking through the glass to gain entry would take too long.

  189. THX M&H. Keep ‘em comin’!

    Gato and the rest…say it loud.

    Along those lines, have you ever read Jesus’ General?

    Angry, Mentally Unstable Vets, Sen Coburn has Your Back</b

    You should.

    PEACE ~ Δ ~ I mean it. Really.

  190. Gato:

    Once again, very sensible and on point…

  191. HI, John Q – Broken record here… “Guns” in and of themselves are not “the problem,” just as mental illness, drugs, anger, or whatever, are not solely “the problem,” either. IT IS THE EASY ACCESS TO FIREARMS BY ALMOST ANYONE, INCLUDING THE VIOLENTLY MENTALLY ILL, DRUG ADDICTS, AND THE PSYCHOTICALLY ANGRY THAT IS, IN COMBINATION, “THE PROBLEM.”

    Guns cannot be taken out of the equation; neither can any of the other factors. HOWEVER, the easiest thing to legislate is the availability of weapons. And I cannot imagine that any responsible gun owner would disagree with this. Every other “civilized” country in the world knows this, and has done something about it. And, yes, they do have their occasional incidents of mass slaughter with firearms… But not three or four a week. Week after week.

    We have no problem insisting that anyone who wants to drive a car must be instructed how to do so, must pass a test, and must be retested every few years. Owning a gun should be no more of a “right” than the “right” to drive a car… Guns are not sacred, let us remember, and I wish people would stop talking as if they were. They are dangerous weapons, designed and built to kill. As such, the personal ownership of one should be a “privilege,” granted only to those who can prove – and continue to prove – they are deserving of such a heavy responsibility.

    Gato

  192. Don’t worry Jsri, i wouldn’t be there to protect you. I would be focused on only one person, the bad guy and whether to fight or flee.

  193. I’m not bragging, Jsri, I am stating a fact. I have learned that confidence and controlled aggression can diffuse situations without violence..

    I agree, with what you wrote.

    For example, the Washington state mall which had a shooting a few weeks ago might have been worse had not a man carried a concealed weapon inside though it was against the rules. The man took cover and aimed his pistol at the shooter. He did not go Rambo and fire, because he was afraid he might hit people standing behind the shooter.

    The man saw the pistol and shot himself. Maybe he interrupted his shooting because `he saw the pistol aimed at his head. We will never know. We do know the man with the pistol knew enough to control himself and not fire wildly.

    I was a medic, not an infantry man. I should not have been in such a situation, but I eliminated a man because he meant me harm. Had I not reacted as I did, I would not be here to write this.

    Some would be Rambos fantasize about how they will behave in dangerous situations. They will do this and that without a thought afterword, but in many cases, it would be better if they remained unarmed. No one really knows until it happens.

    . I haven’t read any comments here or elsewhere about the emotional toll killing takes on ones’ emotions. Even trained police officers suffer afterward.

  194. gato: you are so right, our job, our responsibility, our task to make sure the people who will not do the right things are not re elected. we have only ourselves to blame. god gives us the choice to do good or evil. when we fail to do good, we reap the results. and so do the babies.

  195. I find it impossible to understand how the same people that were so anxious to go to another country and start a WAR because of ‘possible’ weapons of mass destruction are fine with the fact that in the US an individual has no problem obtaining a weapon of mass destruction and using it on innocent Americans. They are hypocrites of the saddest kind. Or just too stupid to see the similarity. Friday morning was mass destruction of the most horrific kind.

  196. People who kill do not need guns they will do it some other way.
    The real question is why and how can the real problem be solved.
    Were these people on drugs, did they have mental problems. why were they so angry. Anger kills people so arrest people who have anger issues? We need real answers as to why and a real investigation into the cause of the problem. What drugs are being used who knew what and when and why did it get to the point were this could happen. Get off guns and get to real issue and real cause….

  197. Brava!

  198. James on December 16, 2012
    at 6:54 PM

    You’ve already admitted that you’re the Rambo type so don’t worry, if I thought you were around to “protect” me, I wouldn’t have to duck because I wouldn’t even enter the room. One of the things I learned from the firearms course I took was how chaotic a scene will be when guns are involved. Unlike you, I don’t have the confidence that I would be able to separate the perpetrator from the victims in a split second and make the right decision. Once you draw a gun, you’d better use it because if you guess incorrectly the perpetrator may not be as hesitant. And if it turns out that you used it on the wrong person, that person’s family may end up owning your bank account.

    I former neighbor of ours is now a policeman and only once was he faced by a gun carrier, threatening to use it. Even as a trained and constantly retrained professional, he agreed that he had reservations about using his own. Fortunately for him, the perpetrator realized he was facing the police and surrendered. Our friend said it’s the only time in twenty plus years of police work that he had to show his weapon and the possible consequences of using it have weighed heavily on his decision to continue in law enforcement. But we need more cops like him than the Dirty Harry types.

  199. Nicely articulated, Gato…

  200. Hi, Sidney – Believe me, I share your grief, discouragement, and the shaking of your faith… But we cannot expect the Universe to take responsibility for what is solely and entirely OUR job. It is OUR job to determine the laws by which we are willing to live; OUR job to do everything we can to protect the innocent; OUR job to make sure that care and treatment is available to those who suffer from potentially violent mental illnesses; OUR job to do everything we can to stop those who seek profit at any cost – even the lives of children. And yes, dammit, the easy availability of firearms, and the gutting of even the most sane regulations, IS “the problem”… And every single person who makes it easier for weapons and ammunition to be available to whomever wants them does have blood on his or her hands. Period.

    This is the culture in which WE, alone among “civilized nations,” have allowed ourselves to… “live.” And it is only WE who can change it. Our failure to do must surely be breaking the heart of the great Source – a heart capable of much more grief than any of us mere mortals can imagine…

    Gato

  201. To find the blog google…..his Vorpal sword republican senators, dum-dum bullets. Warning very graphic. Reality for all to see.

  202. I don’t know how to post a link on this iPad of mine. But to anyone who would like to see what the bullets that were used did to those babies please google…hisvorpalsword.com…….republican senators, dum-dum bullets.

  203. Robin…….your god was there that day. God is everywhere. He sees everything. He knows the amount of the hairs on your head. But unlike a parent who would take a bullet for their child, god watched and did nothing.
    The older I get the less I believe.

  204. thanku, james. i have my family convinced i am a krone=a wise ole woman. lol. but when you’ve lived a full 82 years, you had to have learned something, no?

  205. We can teach morals and ethics in school without bringing our own particular brand of worship into the picture. School is a place where every child should feel welcome and included without feeling he or she doesn’t fit in because of ethnicity or religion. – Terry W
    .
    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMEN

  206. robin: i want you to know that it was my school district which brought about the school/prayer issue, that i was one of the first to stand and be counted, to work for the ACLU to sue on our behalf, and am still on the line re: freedom of the state from religion and religion from the state. i will always fight that fight. no one took God from the schools. anyone may pray when they wish, anywhere they are. furthermore, for those few children whose only moral guidance is a learn-by-rote prayer provided by the school, they are no better off than they were without the prayer. what about those children who were taught to pray on their knees five times a day, or in silence in a meeting house, or conjoined by a religious leader and cohorts of same? the school prayer violates those rights. what about the child from a home where prayer is not a requirement, where the family does not believe in organized religion, or in religion at all. are all those people potential criminals?
    we talk, in the group, about rights. those include the right to practice one’s own religious beliefs…or not to have any at all…or to adhere to a civil code without any God-head. are these all potential criminals? why not build a Buddhist temple in the school courtyard? or isn’t that your idea of moral guidance?

  207. just got this from a friend:
    Treat firearms the same way we treat cars…you have to have a license…which means passing a written test and a “driving” test. We have to have insurance for a car, we should have insurance for gun ownership. Also, we have health issues that stop people from driving, it should be the same for firearms. Now, one thing that would only affect weapons is domestic abuse…if a person is convicted of domestic “issues”(cuz many times, abuse is pleaded down), they lose the ability to own firearms for a certain amount of time(depending on therapy)…why? cuz the right to bear arms is only an ammendment. The right to life is higher in our constitution.

  208. In California the decline in Mental Health services began with (then) Governor Reagan’s policies…when he closed all the hospitals, turning out needy patients for families and communities to deal with the best they could…a travesty!

  209. robin, are you saying that what mcveigh did was the act of a sane person? one can be mentally ill and still be brilliant, or loving and kind sometimes, or any number of other things. being mentally ill is not being a monster w/no valuable qualities. one can be mentally ill some of the time, not all the time. i don’t think anyone in a healthy state of mind can commit wilful murder. self defense? yes. defense of another? yes. but not plan an act of wilful murder.

  210. o, bj…would that we would fund the necessary care for all health issues, most especially including mental health. there is a family member who desperately needs health care and the availability is so small, so unsuited it challenges belief. with all the modern gadgets, medical theories, research institutions, we still don’t take care of our mentally ill. only congress can fund proper health care. make sure your congress people know what you want. and how you’ll go about getting it at the polls.

  211. first of all, God was not taken out of the schools. a government (school) prayer which meant nothing to the kids who learned it by rote was removed, ensuring the rights of every family to teach and practice their religion where it belongs…at home, in private, at their place of worship, not like so many trained sheep in a public, government facility.
    secondly, the moral fiber of this country has been declining rapidly since the advent of richard milhaus nixon who violated the constitutuion in every conceivable way and received his pension and protection as a reward. actually it has been, probably, happening since before then, but that period was most significant, i think.

    moral fiber is something we are all responsible for, and part of, and create, support, destory, ignore. moral fiber is not something you can weigh or hold or inspect under a microscope. moral fiber is how you, yourself, conduct your life; what examples you set for your children and those around you.
    is it you who determines what is morally correct? for me, also? who determines that? who decides what is just?
    you hit a nerve when you said we took God out of the schools. that is a statement which is 1-patently untrue and 2-assumes the ability to determine what is morally correct for all.

  212. Penny abrams, your 11:45 comment should be posted on court house walls.

    I haven’t visited this site since last January. A small group of people, now seemingly gone, engaged in name calling and group think If you disagreed with the majority, you were a troll or worse.

    Some of them even voted me off the site. Of course, it was merely symbolic, and I mocked them. Sometimes, they created imaginary versions of their enemies and atributed posts their victims never made.Richard?( I’ve forgotten his name) the nephew, even wrote that the majority, not we outcasts were the real trolls.

    For awhile, most left except for occasional comments about the sewage which sullied their back porch. We outcasts gave as good we got. Too often the site was more devoted to trading insults than ideas.

    Of course there is some nastiness, but compared to what it once was this site is a model of civility.

    Penny, our politicians should also read your comments. You are a wise woman. I don’t know when or if I will return, but you make me happy.

  213. o, cmon, alas…why don’t you just say how you feel? ;-) of course, you’re right but in order to get those asshats to listen, we must find a way to discourse. it may choke, but it is imperative that we find a way to say what we want them to hear. there are a lot of names i could apply to them, i could cheerfully kick them around…but it’s not productive…and we must now be productive. so, yes, i’d ask them if they wouldn’t please sit down with me, have a coffee, a bit of pastry, how is your wife/husband, and then please let me point out how i see this situation. it costs just a bit of bile and might result in what we want to see done. worth a try, no? ’tis an old adage that one catches more flies w/sugar than salt.

  214. When the constitution was written, it took at least 20 seconds to reload a gun for a second shot to be fired. I am sure that the signers of the Bill of Rights would have reworked the verbage in the Second Ammendent if they had any idea what could transpire in today’s society.
    I have been reading your blog for three or four years, and I applaud you for all your efforts.

  215. to Alan: taking potshots at Helen does not go very well w/your ‘namaste’. your points are well taken, tho, that we cannot expect someone to listen respectfully if we aren’t also respectful. what we send out is what we get back. it shocks me to now admit that i am no longer rabid about getting rid of all guns so much as i am now rabid about making sure the wrong people don’t get hold of the guns. this means stringent back ground checks, regular annual ‘re licensing’ (or not) and full enforcement of gun laws which already exist. if we could take this out of the realm of ‘being the boss’, it would help. i do expect feinstein’s bill to ban all new automatics and all new mega-magazines will pass. that’s a start.

  216. Guns kill. Period.

  217. Reblogged this on Truth is Stranger than Fiction and commented:
    I just can’t say it any better. Can’t we at the very least agree that automatic weapons are not necessary under any circumstance? Or at least can’t parents get their weapons away from the kids who are unstable, angry, and unnattached to this world through friends and activities. I am so glad that I at least did that when my own son went through a period of scary, volatile anger.

  218. Thirty-one pro-gun senators invited to “Meet the Press” yesterday. Not one accepted the invitation. That says it all. First ste: Vote these guys out.

  219. Bless you, Janice, for speaking out about group prayer in school. Some would have us believe we’ve taken God – our God, anyone’s God – out of our schools and our society by banning the rote recital of a prayer. I’m a Christian and I believe that parents and religious institutions are the places for teaching children about God, whichever God that might be. As a Methodist I would not expect my beliefs to be the ones promoted to a group of diverse students. We can teach morals and ethics in school without bringing our own particular brand of worship into the picture. School is a place where every child should feel welcome and included without feeling he or she doesn’t fit in because of ethnicity or religion. – Terry W.

  220. So where in the 7 stages are we now?
    Blame?
    Acceptance of Crazy-there’s-nothing-we-can-do?

    http://www.stonekettle.com/2012/07/the-seven-stages-of-gun-violence.html

    Robin- you are welcome to your notion of magical morality in the proximity of prayer so , please, go ahead and pray for all of us while we try to start a conversation about what we can do in our everyday world about the mess we have made in this country over guns but don’t try to bog us down with that old recycled endless loop argument about where morality comes from. You just tick off potential allies who are just as sick at heart about this mass murder and all the others as you are.

  221. I totally agree with you , Helen.
    A few points about the typical statements made.
    Guns do not kill people, people kill people. True, but they used guns. Why are guns manufactured? They’re not used to hold flowers, their purpose is to kill.
    Prayer in school: I am not an atheist, I’m Jewish and I believe in the power of prayer. However, group prayer does not belong in school, our nation is too diverse. Prayer should be allowed for individuals. I don’t believe forced group prayer raises the moral levels in the classroom.
    Thank you for a great blog post. If only we could talk rationally about this issue maybe we can stop some or most of these senseless murders.

  222. your blogs always are reasonable and insightful.
    wearebetterthanthis.org
    let’s change things, and quit thinking there is nothing we can do

  223. Robin, stop. Religion and the removal of school prayer has nothing to do with this. Some of the biggest bullies and reprobates around are so-called “Christians.” Schools are for learning, churches and homes are for praying. The problem is easy access to guns.

  224. Sorry that I offended you, but when M.M.O’Hare demanded that prayer be taken out of school. For many even when I was in school (I am 53 yrs.) there were kids with no moral compass.For many kids , that small morning prayer was all they had to help them develop a sense of morality.Decades later, we have kids with zero morals.They are aggressive,they are bullies.They are saturated with violence thru their various media.They are like pariahs.Mix that up with …what…1/4 million “loose guns” and what do we have? A Columbine,A V.Tech,An Aurora,and now,a Newtown.
    As far as guns and violence,how can we expect the youth who didn’t have normal parental guidance to value and respect life?
    Why again last night there was a double shooting during a grocery store robbery that left two cops dead.We’ve had one seriously bloody weekend.I will admit,I am emotionally drained by it all,and only want to see some good decisions and co-operation in Washington to re-evaluate the gun laws.
    I read the other day that currently Fla. has over a million applications for right to carry permits…a sign of the times….a sign of our failure as a society.

  225. I totally agree

  226. UAW, don’t you know that no one is interested in your usual bullshit at the moment? Of course you come here, completely unchanged by the deaths of 20 kids, spouting the same old insults and talking points that prove you do not actually think deeply about anything; and your opinions are not the product of thought–they are just something you repeat over and over in that right wing echo chamber in your head.

  227. Robin, as an atheist I am offended by your comment that atheism is somehow responsible for the moral decline in the US. There is no correlation between atheism and gun crime (or murders in general), as you would see if you were to look at statistics for atheism and murders in countries throughout the world. Actually the US is probably one of the most religious countries in the western world, and it also has the highest murder rate. How do you explain that?

  228. Timothy McVeigh was not mentally ill.

  229. Doesn’t anyone recognize that in every single mass murderer case, the perpetrator is mentally ill? Does anyone remember when we had places for individuals who were mentally ill to be treated – and now we have none? These sick individuals need inpatient hospitalization. Gun control is never going to solve this issue.

  230. I have been wreaked by this tragedy. I’ve cried a bucket of tears.And yet , I’m Angry. I’m angry that we caved to the atheists wanting prayer out of school. That was the begining of our moral decline.I’m angry that gun lobbyists care more about a bullets than babies
    .Even in the shadow of the tragedy on Friday, there are still far too many people waving guns and demanding that we cease and desist. They don’t want the President to propose tighter gun regulations.Many of these fanatical gun owners are far right wing,bunker builders. There are stockpiles of guns all over this country. Doomsday preppers.They are a hair’s breath away from going full on bonkers at any time.
    Yet the gun lobbyists expect us to hush up and not become a threat to their 2nd amendment rights. How about the rights of those 20 little children? Did they not have the right to live to see their 8th birthday?
    Mass murders are always connected to a gun.There has never been a mass murder committed with a bow and arrow.
    Pray for these tragic victims, and their families, and pray for America.

  231. UAW-
    I think it’s pretty easy to know when you are in church or school and it makes no sense to allow concealed carry into those places. This comes across as a pie-in-the-sky notion that someone would be able to stop a shooting by carrying in what should be safe places. if that carrier was our homegrown militia doof the chances are someone would get hurt needlessly and no amount of extra training would change that.

    “Bill expanding concealed-carry access passed by Michigan Legislature
    LANSING, Mich. -

    The Michigan Legislature has enacted a bill allowing people who undergo extra training to carry concealed weapons in places such as schools, churches, day care centers and sports stadiums where they previously were off-limits.’
    http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/Bill-expanding-concealed-carry-access-passed-by-Michigan-Legislature/-/1719418/17774324/-/9sha88/-/index.html

    We have one of the highest dropout rates in the US ( at times twice as high as the rest of the country) and the highest suicide rate in the US for young people and you know how this state votes
    We can pick on each other over parties every single day and it doesn’t answer the questions we need to .

  232. well Alaskapi….
    I’m not really up on the laws because I don’t carry…….just seems strange to me that if you took 2 steps sideways you could now be breaking a law if you were carrying………or if your open carrying while hunting and your coat covers any part of the grip it is now concealed………don’t know how the CO’s are in Alaska……
    what scares me more is that only 7% of Detroit 8th grade students are proficient in reading and only 4% in math……(and guess how Detroit votes)

    http://www.amren.com/news/2012/12/only-7-of-detroit-public-school-8th-graders-proficient-in-reading/

    http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/12/tim_skubick_will_gov_snyder_si.html

  233. UAW-
    What is going on with the NRA encouraging more concealed and open carry? And pushing state’s rights as per gun laws?
    That makes no sense.

    And that expansion of concealed carry into gun free zones sitting , waiting to be signed, on your Governor’s desk makes no sense. The main wahoo who just got convicted here with his 241 militia plot was all over wanting to expand concealed carry, open carry, the rest of it on university grounds and the like. He no more needed to be allowed to carry period, let alone in a gun free zone yet the local NRA chapter loved the doof, tinfoil hat and all.

    Amen Troutay!
    Have missed you . Glad to see you on all counts.

    James- Craig stopped by to let us know he lost his wife. Hoping he is doing ok.

  234. Go girls. We are not going to stand for this anymore. Stop the NRA in their tracks. Hunting is not a sport we need to teach our children because as we can see, they are not equiped to know what that used to mean. Make gun owners have their guns locked up and registered or face very high fines.
    Make each bullet cost $1000. No more concealed weapons permits except for officers and security. It is now legal to carry a concealed weapon in public parks in florida. Do not allow any more funds by the NRA and arms makers to be used in politics. Make it stop now.

  235. I would like to see a rational, national conversation about the responsibilities of gun ownership. Guns have become this fetishized symbol of a person’s (and a nation’s) power and independence – and it’s really difficult to reach common ground and discuss what we should and should not allow with gun ownership. I own guns, but they are locked up safely elsewhere because I have children at home. I was once threatened and terrorized by a person with mental illness and a gun. Yes, it’s far past time to put away the childish talk and name calling from both sides and hammer out a deal that allows people to have guns…but only when they prove to be stable, responsible people through better background checks. Personally, I’d like to see it legal to own only shotguns and rifles that are actually suitable for hunting animals. I also think, sadly, we are a long way off from any kind of meaningful gun control.

  236. I am a lifetime NRA member and I also agree that this was a terrible tragedy….but I have never seen the NRA advocate for gun rights for the mentally impaired(or felons)….in fact they push for harder laws against those that shouldn’t have guns….and heavier sentences for crimes involving a firearm…..????????….here in Mich we have a 10 year additional sentence if a firearm is involved in a crime…..and the first thing plea-bargained away……so who’s the moron……

  237. Troutay… You are so right about all you are saying. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE bring your fellow gun owners into this conversation, as the responsible people you are. We are begging you. Dead children are begging you. I am begging you…

    Gato

  238. My wife taught highschool, and our family was periffially involved Omaha’s Von Maurer shooting which killed 8 and wounded 11.

    Don’t forget to duck, Jsri!

  239. As a gun owner myself, (hunting rifles although I don’t hunt anymore), I believe education is so important. When I was a kid, we had to take gun safety classes and the instructors were pretty tough. Gun safety was of major importance and woe unto anyone that was careless or nonchalant
    in class.
    I do not have ammo in my home and my guns are under strict lock down. I can not understand the need for semi automatic weapons and hand guns are accidents waiting to happen. I believe conversation needs begin and now! Militia crap is a thing of the past and using the same old argument just means that next time, it could be you.

    This is post by M&H should be mandatory reading for everyone with a gun and everyone who contemplates owning one.

  240. JSRI – I have worked with children at my church since my oldest grandchild was 3. I majored in English and art with the intent of teaching older kids which I did not have the opportunity to do and I realized much later I would have loved being an elementary teacher. I have been devastated at the image of what happened at Sandy Hook. My prayers are for our coming together as a nation to address this horror and to find a solution without doing further harm. No one, and I mean not one single person, should try to shy away from helping us all heal and move forward in a positive way. My only solace is that those precious little ones and their dedicated adult teacher/helpers are being comforted by God. I pray that those left behind find some comfort in that. – Terry

  241. My wife is the most emotionally controlled person I’ve ever met yet, this week, I finally saw her lose it. The reason, of course, was the slaughter of the schoolchildren in Connecticut. You see, my wife was an elementary school teacher for almost 35 years and most of those years she taught grade one. Even after she had earned her PhD in Elementary Ed, she continued teaching the same grade because she had also became a cooperating teacher, a mentor of budding teachers. As a consequence, she had considerable influence within the school system and in a nearby teachers college where she eventually ended up teaching a demonstration class for the college within full view of anyone who wanted to see a classroom in action.

    I have never seen anyone better suited for a job. In fact, instead of coming home exhausted each day, she’d come home totally energized and full of wonderful stories of events of the day in class. She could hardly wait to get back to school. And she was thrilled every time a student from a neglectful family situation began to catch up to his or her classmates. So, as you might imagine, she was thoroughly shattered by last week’s events to think that the children killed in the massacre were no different from those she worked so hard for and had enjoyed teaching during her long career.

    Now she’s furious so it will be interesting to see where she directs her energies this time.

  242. I’m sorry I double posted. My wife tripped over the computer cord and it lost power. I didn’t see my origional comments until after I wrote more.

  243. I saw the same wikepedia article about crime in the UK. However, Town Hall “Gun Crimes Soar in England” by Katie Pavlich tells another story. According to the Home Office Statistics, the British crime rate has risen for four successive years.

    The use of hand guns in crimes has risen 46% since 1997 after the massacre. The number of violent crimes rose from 2636 around the time of the restriction on sales to over 4,000. The Shadow Home Office chair said the rise in crime is attrocious.l

    More people used knives in violent crimes.

    Yahoo News also had a question-answer segment on the British crime rate and guns. The writer who answered an inquiry mentioned the greater frequency of gun related crimes.

    In 2000, NBC News also discussed the threat to British law and order.

    The Telegraph reported on the Home Office statistics soon to be released in 2010. While police reports indicated an increasing violent crime rate, the writer said that did not include the rate of unreported crimes.Therefore, the actual crime rate was unclear. He suggested that the UK should coordinate its records as the US does.,

    In any event, one cannot site the UK to support tightening the sales of guns here. By the same token, useing Britain to support our status quo fails too.

    I have lived in England and have watched ethnic conflict and a widening disparity of incomes. Besides Pakistanis and other immigrants, the last decade has seen an influx of eastern Europeans. Conflicts arise. Brits call Ukrainians blond Mexicans, for example. Simon Cowel on the British X Factor racially slurred a Lithuanian constestant, in my opinion., Another Brit said she could tolerate Poles and Ukrainians but Lithanians were worse than dirt.

    Meanwhile, i beiieve Japan has a low crime rate and strict gun control laws. Why? Cause and effect are hard to determine.

  244. Hi Alaskapi, Its nice to “see” you again too. We probably agree about 50 to 60% of the time, and that is just right for me. Too much agreement is less fun.

    I mostly agree with your comment to Jake. If some of the allowed weaponry was used on a pheasant, for example, the hunter would need to scrape it up with a spatuala.

    I don’t hunt after my military experience, though I wouldn’t be averse to shooting a rabid animal or person in self defense.

    I think both sides are afraid to give much for fear of letting their positions unravel. it is similar to an encounter with the Army and Indians after a Morman accused the Indians of killing one of their cows. The Army captain and Sioux chief were forced into an impossible situation. Neither could give in without losing face. The soldiers all died.

    Do you remember Craig? His wife died suddenly last summer.

  245. Hi Alaskpi, Its nice to “see” you again.We probably agree about 50 to 60% of the time which is about right. It is more fun to disagree sometimes. I agree with most of your comment to Jake.

    Look elsewhere for a responsible hunter. I don’t hunt after my service experiences. I am not averse to killing a rabid animal or human which threatens us, but I wonder why one needs some of the more powerful weapons for hunting. If one shot a pheasant with a high powered weapon,he/she would have to scrape it up with a spatula.

    Do you remember Craig? His wife died suddenly a few months back.

  246. Your last statement is profound. Owning this many guns IS mental illness.

  247. yes- responsible gun owners. Please step up.
    We have 2 “almosts ” -one in Indiana

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/von-meyer-indiana-school-guns_n_2311717.html

    and one in a CA mall parking lot since these babies and their teachers were murdered.
    It is way overdue.

  248. Yes, Pi – I tried really hard to be polite… Because it is so clear to me what rage can lead to, and so quickly: insanity. I’m doing my damndest to try not to be what that twenty-year-old was: possessed solely by hopeless fury, directed at anyone, anywhere.

    And, yes, get the hunters involved! I’ve just realized that my Community lives right next door to a State-sponsored gun range, used not only by sportsmen, but by law enforcement to train their recruits in gun handling. I’m going to write to them, and solicit their support.

    We hear them all the time here… A few years ago, my husband and I were married at our home. Someone asked me, beforehand, “What are you going to do about the sounds of gunshots?” Never occurred to me that it might be a problem, since I was so used to hearing it. We went to them, and asked if they would be willing to suspend their practice for half an hour, while my husband and I got married. And they did.

    Gun owners are not The Enemy. As in so many situations in this country these days, the profiteers are The Enemy. Let’s hold them to account, dammit!

    Gato

  249. gato- you are infinitely more polite than I am to folks like Jake.:-)
    I’m out of patience with the same old, same old recycled hoobobby arguments from folks who think owning guns is an absolute right. We have no absolute rights. All of our rights are bounded by the rights of others at some level.
    Hunters- what say you? We need to be at the table and shut out the extremes.

  250. Absolutely, Pi – As I suggested to Jake, if anyone should demand accountability, and responsibility, from the NRA, it should be responsible gun owners. If anyone should step up and reject the profit-over-sanity howling of Wayne, it should be them. It’s too easy for the NRA to paint those of us who don’t own guns, and wouldn’t, as The Enemy. If “their own” can manage to hold their feet to the fire, it might have some impact.

    Gato

  251. Alan D Hughes-
    Get over your sanctimonious self.
    Helen was being kind when she called the NRA morons. I think of them as a self righteous, fear mongering special interest group of asshats myself.
    And more and more Americans see them that way.
    We don’t want or need them at the table to try to solve the problems they have helped make- unless hell freezes over and they get a clue and can come to the table seriously. not holding my breath on that one.

  252. Alan Hughes…….20 beautiful children went to school and were gunned down in cold blood, their little bodies lay where they fell and stayed there over night. And you sir, are insulted by the word BULLSHIT?the democrats have for too long thought that they were having a rational conversation with the republicans. They were, in fact, talking to themselves as the bought and paid for republican party is now batshit crazy.
    But maybe…..pretty please…..with a cherry on top, can you please stop the killing would be more to your liking?

  253. Dear Helen,

    “Margaret, can we – the American People – finally have a rational conversation about gun control?”

    This is a good start. A rational conversation. How refreshing.

    Then,

    “Is the insanity of this enough for us to finally kick the NRA morons to the curb and have an intelligent conversation about the real reason for the Second Amendment?”

    How do you like that for intelligent conversation? “Kick the NRA morons to the curb.” How do you think the “NRA morons” are going to respond to that?

    Then,

    “Bullshit.”

    Is the use of the word “bullshit” a clever device used by those who want to have a rational conversation?

    Finally,

    “Everything we need to know, we learned in kindergarten. Too bad Republicans missed that day.”

    This may very well be true; but is it possible, you, Helen, are still stuck in kindergarten?

    It is time for a rational and intelligent conversation.

    Are you, Helen, really up to the task or do we need to involve people who are a little more sober minded?

    Time and again, Progressives say they are different.

    They may occupy, but they occupy nonviolently.

    Well, language counts for something.

    Language can be inappropriate and cause violence.

    Never – ever forget the Weathermen.

    Namaste,

    Alan D. Hughes

  254. Jake-
    The idea that we have had rational discussion and passed rational laws about gun control is horsepunky.
    The hysteria surrounding gun control from far too many on either extreme has pretty much stalled any meaningful change.
    Your crack about possibly banning forks is an aphoristic one liner which plays well with some but really grows out of a false dilemma fallacy. We have many other other choices than out right banning all guns but by all means plug up your ears and hum the la-la-la refrain of guns didn’t do this, liberal parents did. Pfft!
    You sure you don’t want to go ahead and insist the deaths of these poor babies and their teachers is the price we pay for a free society? hmm?

    James- good to see you again. We still disagree and agree a fair amount, eh?
    Law enforcement is often hours, sometimes days away depending on weather, for much of my state , but that is not the part of the state busy running around carrying weapons for self protection all the time.
    No, those folks cluster in the road/railbelt and see bogeymen behind every rise in the ground, especially and including seeing a lot of our law enforcement as bogeymen.

    I am still urging responsible hunters to step up and be part of a beginning to change this deadlock, to change the conversation, to meet seriously with those who want to reduce gun violence and try to put an end , as near as possible, to horrors like this one.

  255. Every automobile has a serial number that is tracked to its owner. Why not guns? Track every weapon’s serial with the purchaser. If that’s too hard to do, then there’s too many guns being made. Oh, and stop gun show sales. None of these suggestions violate any part of the 2nd amendment BTW.

  256. A friend posted this link on his facebook page. A mother with a child much like the Newton killer. http://anarchistsoccermom.blogspot.com/2012/12/thinking-unthinkable.html

  257. Hi, Jake – In my opinion, your description of the “root cause” of the slaughter in Newtown (a town that adjoins my own, BTW) is incomplete. The real “cause” was twofold: A deranged person AND the availability of firearms. Remove either one of them, and it would not have happened.

    It is much more difficult, expensive, and extensive to ferret out, treat, and try to ameliorate the potential public consequences of insanity than it is to strictly regulate gun ownership and availability; I trust you would agree with that.

    As I’m sure you are aware, the “right” to own a gun – because it is essentially a lethal weapon, and nothing less – must come with very serious responsibilities. Ironically, if anyone is threatening your “right” to own a gun, it is the NRA and the gun manufacturers and sellers who continually do everything in their power to undermine the importance of those responsibilities, in order to sell as many guns as possible to as many people as possible. Do you really think the NRA (and I use those initials as a catchword for all who profit from the manufacture and distribution of firearms) really gives shit about the mental stability, responsibility, and maturity of everyone who buys a gun? They do not. They pocket the money, and consequences be damned. They care not one whit about what happens to that gun, who uses it, and to what effect, after they’ve sold it. They do not serve gun owners; they serve gun manufacturers and distributors.

    They do not lobby for regulations that make a gun owner appear to the rest of the populace as a respectable and responsible citizen; they lobby for eliminating any regulation that might limit the sale of their product, period. In sum, that organization, and its defenders do more to drive non-gun-owners to the point of frenzy when an almost incomprehensible slaughter happens. So get on them about your rights, please. Doing so would be an incredible move toward preserving your right to own a gun, and for the right of a kindergartner to attend school without the possibility of facing a brutal death.

    As for your comments about forks and scooters… That’s a bit of silliness, I think. No one has ever killed twenty children, in fifteen minutes, with either.

    Gato

  258. James. I dont know where you get the fact that crime in the UK has risen since gun laws were regulated which was quite a long time ago. Gun crime is low in UK. Knife crime is higher. When someone wants a gun they have to apply to the firearms licensing dept at the police. They are rigorously checked out including their reason for wanting one and previous incidents at their home address with them or a family member. Police can pull the license at anytime. Guns have to be kept in a locked cabinet bolted to the floor. Criminals will always get hold of guns but by restricting them it does make it a bit more difficult.
    Most police officers in the UK if asked would not want to carry guns either.
    I would never want the UK to go the way of the US in relation to firarms.

  259. [...] Guns do not kill people. They just make it easier to kill people. Margaret and Helen discussing the topic. I disagree strongly that now is not the time to have this conversation. If not now, when? [...]

  260. The most commonsense piece of writing that I’ve read about the gun problem in the USA. We in the UK tend to follow alot of the American ways. This is one thing we dont follow you on thank goodness and thats your gun laws.

  261. the rabbi was right. we should teach compassion, empathy, kindness and sharing. we should teach by example. when we decry the teacher, or make fun of the old person, or call the cop a name (out of his hearing), we teach anger and hate. somewhere we have lost respect for authority and that has made a very sad difference. but, most of all, we have lost respect for one another. respect for another living being, regardless of life’s station, ethnicity, race, religion (or lack thereof); we have lost respect. that’s the most glaring problem i think.

  262. jake…a ban on forks? ’cause they ride around on electric scooters? that’s funny. i agree, your rights are equal to mine, who hates guns. you are right, again, that the boy was deranged. however, if the weapons weren’t there, he could not have done the deed. there must be a reasonable way to deal with guns and those who use them and those who abhor them. i know there is. when the shock of friday’s tragedy wears a tad thinner, perhaps we’ll hear more reason.

  263. I am a practicing mental health professional who rather desperately hopes that this holiday season’s tragedy in Connecticut finally becomes the tipping point toward a national conversation about gun control. Will this become just another area in which we finally admit that our country is not exceptional. We have a gun culture with no need for a citizen Militia, and we have the senseless deaths to prove it. So add this to the growing list that includes health care and education in which we would do well to learn from other countries!

  264. Hi, Sophia – You DO have the answers, or at least a good bunch of them. You just posted them here.

    Gato

  265. people are killed by automobiles …. and so we have extensive laws, police involvement and oversigt of drivers. I see no difference between gun owners and auto owners. Between users of cars and users of guns. If one wants to fly an airplane they must take lessons achieve a license and perform the sport of flying under strict guidelines and regulations. I see no difference in owning and operating a gun. Its time to put the ownership of guns under the same kind of regulation and licensing that all other potentially lethal “sports”.

  266. The war on terror needs to come home and fight the terror that is guns in our society. Far more people die every year from shootings in this country than die from terrorist attacks. The war is here.

    Some people say the Conn. shooting is not about guns, it was about a mentally ill man who needed treatment. But it is about guns. It’s about the guns that he was able to get hold of and about the 26 innocent people he killed with them. Had he not had the guns, all those people would probably still be alive.

    To the NRA and its thousands of members … you talk big about advocating for responsible gun owners and lax gun laws. Well, if you’re so responsible, why do we have such an insane number of shootings in this country? If you’re so responsible, why aren’t you gun owners policing yourselves? If you know so much about guns, why aren’t you proposing solutions to the problem instead of working to allow more guns on the street?

    My two young grandchildren were in a grade school near here when I heard the news from Connecticut. I started screaming inside, and I’m still screaming, raving, ranting. This insanity has got to stop.

    To gun owners everywhere: Your right to own a gun does NOT trump the lives of those 20 children. You have blood on your hands.

    Constitutional amendments have been changed or repealed in the past. Don’t bet it can’t happen again.

  267. Oh, Helen…. Although I lost my own son only a short four months ago, my Chris had at least lived for forty years. I am struck almost speechless at the loss of all these babies and their teachers. This is so outrageous and tragic! Our society makes it almost impossible to get help for family members with mental illness. Our society makes it too entirely possible to get guns. And they came on TV just now and said the primary weapon was an assault gun. I wish we could melt down all, I mean all of the guns and built a mountain as high as Mt Everest with them. But these babies and this situation is incomprehensible to me. I cannot conceive of standing and shooting 20 little first graders. I am still crying about my son, but I can’t believe how many families feel even worse than I now to lose their little children.

  268. as the rabbi in Newtown said, we must teach our children about making peace; the war games children play should be replaced with peace-making games…..we are an intelligent country, yet we have a neurosis about possessing guns!

  269. Margaret and Helen, Tell it like it is!!!

  270. jsri – good to see you’re still around. Very thoughtful post. My only comment would be that, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. I wouldn’t put much stock in having them save the day.

    As for Rich D: Since you have no kids, I suggest you keep your gun loaded, and within reach; otherwise it is useless. When you need your gun, you need it in a hurry.

    And don’t piss off your wife.

  271. Sorry – continues to “rise” – not “arise”

  272. brigittacd noted: In the United Kingdom firearms are tightly controlled by law…The United Kingdom has one of the lowest rates of gun homicides in the world”

    Really? What a surprise! No guns, no gun killing…think that up by yourself?

    Of course, Britain’s rate of violent crime against its citizens by young predators continues apace, doesn’t it? Since they know that in all reason they can attack at will – because nobody is armed – they haven’t much to fear.

    I don’t have the exact numbers at hand, but since nearly all private ownership of firearms has been banned in Australia, their crime rate continues to arise. As gun ownership becomes more and more prevalent in the US, its crime rate continues to go down. See a pattern?

    Let me show you why you need a gun. Better take a class first; you don’t come across as an experienced shooter.

  273. We license people before they get behind the wheel of a car, which is certainly a powerful weapon in the wrong hands! Why should we not license handguns, assault weapons, automatic weapons that are ONLY designed to kill people? Can’t responsible hunters like my BIL understand that the vast majority of guns used to murder people are handguns, usually cheaply made and easily bought in too many places? Apparently he couldn’t, because we nearly came to blows over my suggestion that monitoring the whereabouts of guns and licensing their owners would be a good place to start to help prevent so many deaths.

    But all that aside, you do realize what the single biggest issue is, don’t you? Congress has been bought and paid for by assorted gun lobbies. (Also the pharmaceutical lobby and a few others that we won’t get into in this conversation, but are worth taking a good look at.) Until we can figure out a way to stop congressmen from pandering to the people who give them the large sums of money they need for reelection, but instead actually work for the people who they actually represent? Until we look FAR more closely at how our congressional representatives get bought by the lobbyists, it doesn’t really matter how much we talk about gun control; on Capitol Hill, only one thing talks, and that’s spelled M-O-N-E-Y.

  274. I think after reading comments all day, it is clear why we haven’t changed anything. We are polarized and so entrenched in our own individual beliefs that we are unwilling to consider another viewpoint.

  275. M&H, there have been many rational discussions regarding guns. The result of those discussions and legal rulings is what we have today. Just because the outcome has not been to your liking, does not make them irrational discussions. The root cause of this most recent dispicable act is a deranged person, not the availability of firearms. In fact, he was recently denied the purchase of a rifle. The guns he used belonged to his mother.

    Do you seriously believe that making the guns illegal to possess will cause the criminals and crazy people to observe the law. That is insanity. The common thread I see in most of these cases, are parents who are not involved with their children enough to see these dangerous tendencies. That dear lady is the result of our liberal attitude to child rearing. If we ignore their deviant behavior, maybe it will go away.

    Please do not try to solve a problem with human behavior by taking away my rights. I noticed you have to ride about on an electric scooter. Perhaps we should consider a ban on forks.

  276. Now they -huckabee- are saying it’s God again! You know, cuz we took religion outta school. I don’t like his god one bit!!

  277. It appears much has changed since my last visit. Seeing Alaskapi’s name was a pleasant surprise.

    She mentioned the need for rural folks to hunt. We also must defend ourselves. in many cases, the law is located too far distant to be of any help.

    Unlike Jsri, i learned I had a rambo mentality in dangerous times when i was in the service. We have guns, but another effective way to defend oneself is with a fire extginguisher.

    We keep in touch with the UK since we used to live there. The crime rate, including with fire arms has risen since the sale of guns was restricted. Northern Ireland which allows more liberal registration of guns has a lower crime rate. I don’t know if there is a connection.

    “twenty babies now dead’ as penny abrams wrote. it is far worse. Consider the thousands of unborn babies waiting in llne to enter this world and live long lives. Those potential descendents are also gone.

  278. YAAAAAAAAAY Helen…!!!!!!…

    Does the Mr. Obama know who you are yet..?????…If not,someone should make sure he and everyone else in Washington DOES…!!!!…..Why..???…….Because you tell it like it is,and you are NOT afraid to speak up and be heard..!!!…..We need more everyday people like you to get in front of the politicians and the President and say what’s on your mind – EVEN if it means telling someone “Bulllllllshit..!!” to their face to get our point across when MAJOR changes are needed and we need them to REALLY LISTEN and do something about it NOW…..RIGHT NOW…..

    I strongly suggest someone send your blog address to every single person on Capitol Hill and the White House and let them see and read what REALLY goes on when we – the people pay them all to sit up there – talk about them behind their backs,if you will……..Maybe they’d actually DO something seriously meaningful before we have to decide whether to keep them or kick them to the curb again…..

    NO innocent child or adult should ever have to die this way……Never….Ever….Ever…

  279. JSRI – I think you made the right decision. I’ve heard that if you do have a gun you need to realize that someone might be more inclined to shoot you first or take it away from you. I have grandchildren who might find the gun if it’s where I would have easy access to it and if it weren’t in that place what good would it do me? Just recently here in St. Louis there was a news story about a 12 yr. old who found his grandpa’s loaded gun and shot his friend killing him. Now two families are devastated by someone’s negligence. – Terry W.

  280. My dad was a WW II army veteran and a keen believer in having a weapon at home for protection. I am a Navy vet so gun handling was not part of my service experience. Dad’s weapon of choice was a Colt 32 Automatic, not much more potent than a pea shooter. Nevertheless, he had a scenario in his mind where he visualized himself under siege by an intruder and he would use his trusty .32 to save the day. My mother hated the idea of having a gun for protection so he kept it stored in a drawer in a bedroom dresser. Sure enough, one day an intruder broke into the house. Unfortunately, my dad was at work and my mother was away. The only things stolen were a few pieces of junk jewelry and the Colt .32.

    Then many years later, at my dad’s insistence I thought about getting a gun for protection but before deciding what to get, I took an NRA approved gun handling course taught by a senior police officer. Despite his presenting the course in a very cautious manner, it was obvious that some of the other attendees only wanted to know what their rights were if they happened to nail someone “accidentally” trespassing on their property. After learning as much about the liabilities of having a gun at home as I did about possible positive uses of it, and despite qualifying on the range, I decided to let it pass and that if I needed help, I’d call the police.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have a Rambo mentality and am fully aware of the stresses and potential for finding the wrong target during a fast-paced situation, so I never followed up on the handgun purchase. And whenever I hear of situations like that in Newtown, I realize that all the false bravado about how heroic someone with a handgun would have been under the circumstances, I feel I made the right decision for me.

  281. Penny, some of my guns are stored in a safe, but a shotgun and a pistol are hid in my bedroom. I know how to get them and my wife knows. We do not have children and the guns require a step stool to reach. They are not loaded, but ammo for each is kept in a separate but close location. I have about a box of ammo (25-50 rounds) for each gun, most of which is kept in the safe with the guns. I agree we should have more stringent background checks, waiting periods and stricter penalties.

  282. “One failed attempt at a shoe bomb, and we all take off our shoes at the airport; 31 school shootings since Columbine, and no change in our regulation of guns.- John Oliver”

  283. My sentiments exactly Helen. Thank you.

  284. It is all well and good to argue about gun control and ownership, but while that rages on, we have to look at pictures of the assholes who used guns to kill innocent people.

    I think there should be a law restricting the posting of the killer’s picture and then every time another nutter goes off, posting the pictures of the other killers. Whether guns, knives, hands or whatever was used, I am sick and tired of seeing some weirdo’s face staring at me from television screens and newspapers.

    I realize some other nut job will whine about “freedom of the press,” but what about the freedom of the victims, who lost any chance at life.

    I had a “Conservative Christian” (an obvious oxymoron) tell me that he would kill anyone who came to his house and tried to “take my guns!” Those are the very nutters who cry 2nd Amendment and want to see pictures of the shooters.

    I vote “Stop posting pictures of the killers!” and then worry about the politics of the 2nd Amendment.

  285. Terri-
    I will not agree to disagree but I accept that we do.
    Those poor dead children’s rights to have lived and thrived are the same as those of our thousands of Alaskan children whose hundreds of communities are more remote and necessarily self sufficient than you can imagine.
    I’m not defending gun rights . I’m asking for a place to start.Helen’s call for a rational argument about gun control is the important factor here. We need to get off the frickin dime and get some work done or this will end up being another hand wringing episode and those babies in Newtown deserve a hell of a lot better than that.
    We just sat through a bizarre militia case here in which the godawful number of guns and piles of ammo the creeps gathered up was all legal . When they started actually planning crimes and trying to get prohibited arms they got busted.
    Those are the people I want to see hit the radar sooner just as I want to see registration laws here, alongside some serious consideration of how much ammo one can pile up.

    Just as much I want to see us get serious about mental health law.

  286. I’m pretty darned sick of the argument that these people would just find another way to create mayhem if we restrict access to guns. Maybe they would, but that’s no excuse for making it so easy for anyone to own a gun. You need a license to drive a car that requires a test to make sure you know what you’re doing. A gun is a machine designed to kill – it has no other purpose. Surely there should be some oversight of who has access to it.

  287. Bob and Rich-
    More penalties? Maybe.
    For the ones who don’t kill themselves, it might get and keep them off the streets.
    But it is going to take more than that.

  288. Alaskapi,
    Sorry, we have to agree to disagree. I believe in banning guns, period. Those five-year olds’ right to live and grow up has to trump Alaskans’ right to hunt; or anybody else’s second amendment rights. I appreciate that might be part of the culture up there, but things have to change. I agree with Gato, let’s ban guns and then let folks make their case for exceptions, not the other way around. Come on, 20 little kids died yesterday! How can anybody be defending “gun rights” at this moment? Body armor, guns, rifles, semi-automatics, let’s flush them all NOW. Children have a right to be safe at school. I know there will always be sick, evil people in this world, but let’s not make things easy for them. I know I won’t change your mind, and you won’t change mine. Peace.

  289. Now is the time to speak…..ty Ladies…

  290. I agree with Rich D.
    Bottom line, bad people are going to do bad things. Who’s to say that if this kid didn’t have access to guns he wouldn’t have loaded the trunk of his car with fertilizer and diesel fuel and drove a bomb through the building?

    Stricter penalties for gun crimes is a definite starting point.

  291. susana sturgis, perhaps i didn’t make myself clear. my point is that hunters can have the guns they need; certain professions (like a jeweler) can have the gun he needs; no one needs automatic weapons nor mounds of ammo, is my point. most of all, no one, no one at all, can own a gun without a very thorough back ground check and that all gun rules must be strictly enforced. i think that’s reasonable and surely not talking past one another.

  292. ok, Rich, where do you keep your guns when not in use? do you have many rounds of ammo on store? can anyone just take hold of your guns? will you agree that stringent back ground checks must be made BEFORE anyone has a gun? and all gun laws must be strictly enforced? that would go a long way to avoiding some of the diasters which we have witnessed in the last few years.

  293. In the United Kingdom firearms are tightly controlled by law…The United Kingdom has one of the lowest rates of gun homicides in the world with 0.22 recorded intentional homicides committed with a firearm per 100,000 inhabitants compared to the United States’ 3.0… With the exception of Northern Ireland, most police officers in the United Kingdom do not routinely carry firearms. Despite being unarmed, fatalities of police officers are extremely rare. There were only three police officer fatalities in England in Wales in the eleven year period from 2000/01 to 2010/11.] . Cited from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_the_United_Kingdom

    Or, said otherwise, in Great Britain (or Germany, 0.2 rate) die 7 people by firearms compared to 100 in the USA. As shows the total homicide rate (Germany 0,8; UK 1.2; USA 4.2) , they don’t just use other weapons, like knives or poison.
    Maintainig the 2nd amendment seems more and more a symptom of a nationwide severe mental health problem.

  294. Penny-
    Small town people don’t need automatic or semi automatic weapons to hunt. That is ridiculous.and the wrong place to start.
    Gun law varies state by state .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_the_United_States_%28by_state%29

    AND

    “In many cases, state firearms laws can be considerably less restrictive than federal firearms laws. This does not confer any de jure immunity against prosecution for violations of the federal laws. However, state and local police departments are not legally obligated to enforce federal gun law as per the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Printz v. United States.”

    We have boxed ourselves in in the last 30 years or so and need full reform across the board.
    The same is true of mental health issues.
    We don’t know much about this latest godawful mass murder yet but a couple things stand out at this point-
    The guns used appear to have been legally obtained.
    The shooter may have had mental health issues.

    Do we work harder at limiting access to guns by those who cannot make rational choices? I think we have to- whether we can get off our butts to address any of the rest of gun horsepunky in this country or not.

  295. o, mrs. gunka…how apt your response. just as the mode of travel was horse, stagecoach and foot but is now highly motorized…gasp,even by air…and we no longer use sabers in the military to fight…we must update the second amendment. that should be a really easy job for those who are serious. now, with speedy and accurate weapons; now with whole armies, navies, air corps, etc…why would each citizen need a musket to fend off the raiders or occupiers? has no one offered this scenario in the house? we all know the answer. money talks. but it has spoken too cruelly. twenty babies now dead. for shame. shame.

  296. Penny Abrams, that’s exactly what I mean by “talking past each other.” I didn’t say anything about automatic weapons. I said, more or less, that my view of guns in general changed when I moved from a big city to an area where they’re mostly used for hunting (and skeet shooting, etc.)

  297. I am an outsider looking in on this one – I live in the UK. Where we have far heavier gun control; mainly thanks to the Dunblane School massacre in 1996.

    As a point the guns used in Dunblane were all legally held at the time by the man who was the instigator. It would appear he was also a paedophile against whom complaints had been made.

    Other similar tragedies – Hungerford in 1987 resulted in the ban of legally held semi-automatic centre-fire rifles and restricted the use of shotguns with a magazine capacity of more than three rounds. All of the guns used in Hungerford were legally held at the time. In 2010 there was a mass shooting in Cumbria involving legally held fire arms.

    I used to date someone whose family used guns as recreation. By which I mean that they went down the shooting range and shot targets. This was before Dunblane; Dunblane resulted in the banning pretty much of people owning hand guns.At that time in order to have hand guns they were subject to a: a criminal record check; b: a police background check and then the police came to view their home. The guns had to be stored in a specific gun safe. The ammo had to be stored separately. The gun safe was hidden so if someone broke into the house they wouldn’t find it.

    Now post Dunblane and Huntingdon gun controls are even stricter. But guess what? If you have a *good* reason to have a gun you can get them – hunting rifles and shotguns are still used by farmers; vets and those who hunt.

    Yes we still have an issue with illegal firearms. Yes criminals get them. And no, we can’t guard against someone having a sudden mental breakdown. However we have managed to have stricter gun controls which allows those who use them as part of their lifestyle (hunters; farmers etc) whilst protecting the rest of the population as much as possible.

    My prayers are with everyone affected but I have one final thought – I found this on another post.

    “Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. “Wouldn’t you say,” she asked, “that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?” No, I said, I wouldn’t say that. “But what about ‘Basketball Diaries’?” she asked. “Doesn’t that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?” The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it’s unlikely the Columbine killers saw it.

    The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. “Events like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”

    In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.” —

    Roger Ebert

  298. Penny, As a sportsman I can tell you that you often need more than one gun. For example, I won’t hunt squirrel with a deer rifle. The shotgun I use for ducks and geese is more powerful than the one I use for pheasant and grouse. The deer rifle I use when hunting the woods is different than the rifle I would use if I were hunting large tracts of open land. As for handguns, I tend to agree, one is enough.

  299. ok, so small town people hunt and fish for food. with automatic weapons? with guns which hold many rounds/clips? how many guns does a hunter-for-food need? and shouldn’t those gun owners also have a stringent, enforced background check?

  300. Bob- missed your reply :-)
    Yup on duck hunting being a no-go with a bow though my pop managed it just as he managed to mark Kodiak bears for study with dye ampoules with his bow.
    The latter was in the late 40s, well before biologists had the tools they have now with sedative darts and the like.
    My son teaches hunter safety courses and in due course my grands, male and female, will be in them
    All that being said I really do want responsible hunters to step up to the table and help. We need to.

  301. Sydney – Do I agree it requires the daily sacrifice of American lives? Yes – all our amendments require it. They are the lives of soldiers that protect our freedoms. Do I think it should require the sacrifice of innocent lives? No, I do not. Do you think banning guns would stop gun violence? Do you think it would stop the slaughter of innocent lives?

  302. if the mother had to have a gun, why more than one? why one which holds many, many bullets? why was it available to her disturbed son? where did he get all that additional ammo? surely, bob, you must realize that’s overboard. what private citizen needs more than one hand gun to protect themselves? one that holds a few bullets. so if the burglar came when she wasnt there, he gets all that ammo and all those guns, in addition to what he has. where is the sense to that? if you are a hunter, isn’t one rifle enough? if you are in danger, isn’t one handgun enough? there is such a thing as overkill.

  303. any point is ok to start the conversation; understanding that we all have rights but not to take away others’ rights. for instance, if we develop an extremely stringent back ground check WITH full enforcement we should be able to have guns and be safe. frankly I don’t know why anyone needs a gun, but I will accede that…gun ownership…not, however, to the detriment of others’ civil right to live in relative safety.

  304. Bob- I have not blasted you. I have only asked that you not take the extreme side of the argument against gun control and would hope that others who are tempted to take the extreme side for gun control also take some deep breaths and come to the table ready to work toward solutions.
    It is a dirty fact that Alaska has the highest suicide rate in America and that over 60% of them are done with guns and way too many are young Native men.It is this statistic which pushes us into the most-violent-deaths -in America category.
    We have a relatively low murder rate but have not escaped school violence- there was a case in the 90s in a school in Bethel where a kid shot and killed 2 and a horrible case of a deranged man attacking 4 children on a playground with a knife in 2001.
    We MUST address mental health and gun and violence issues here and across the country.
    Many bush communities here have done tremendous work but it has not spread far enough to get the whole state on board.
    We have to be part of the solution , not part of the standoff.

  305. So…to all those that revere the “holy” second amendment, do you agree that it requires the daily sacrifice of American lives?

  306. I am in despair over this tragedy. Even if we had better gun control laws, it wouldn’t have helped in this situation. The guns the killer used were legally purchased by the killer’s mother, who kept them in the house she shared with her mentally ill son. I’m certainly in favor of reasonable and sane gun control. In fact, I wish we could get rid of guns altogether. Let “sport” hunters find another hobby. I think more hunters kill other hunters than kill animals (don’t remember where I read that, so don’t quote me). Everyone is going on and on about gun control and I say “Yes”. But no one is talking about the questionable behavior of the mother. I can hear people saying “You’re blaming the victim”. Well–yeah, I am. What was she thinking? I’m way more concerned about the young children who died and their parents who will grieve forever, and their young friends who will never be the same, who are little damaged humans now. AND people keep talking about better mental health programs. You can’t force someone to get help. And this woman doesn’t sound like the kind of mother who was thinking clearly anyhow so did she try to get her son help? Did she recognize his problems or was she in denial, or did she not care? As a mental health professional, I know there are many uncaring parents. Again, I can hear the outcry, but maybe he had good reason to hate his mother. The first two years of life are so vital in the development of a child, that if that child has uncaring parents the chances of that child being emotionally healthy are very slim. Would a background check have revealed that this woman was living with a mentally ill son? I doubt it. And this country is so awash in guns that a person who can’t purchase a gun legally, can always find a way to get one illegally. The most reasonable thing I’ve heard so far is that we should at least get rid of the kind of clips the killer used so he perhaps wouldn’t have been able to kill quite so many kids and adults. Again, what was this mother thinking keeping all those clips in the house. Let’s say she felt she needed a gun to protect herself from her own son. Not impossible. But all those clips?? And why 3 guns? And could she have had her son committed to a mental hospital. Not likely. It’s way more difficult to do that than most people realize. So far, I’m not hearing a single reasonable idea of how to prevent this from happening again. The door to the school was locked and the only way to get in was to be buzzed in by a staff member. But this killer shot his way in. Perhaps we need metal bars on the windows of schools. But that’s dangerous in case of fire. Gun violence is NOT comparable to smoking and seat belt or motorcycle helmet use. People are tiptoeing around the issue here. No amount of reasonable gun control would have stopped this particular tragedy. Better mental health care isn’t the answer in this situation either. CT is the wealthiest state in our country. Every senior citizen complex has its own social worker. Newtown is an affluent community. I assume this mother could have afforded mental health support for her son, and if not, I believe there are enough community programs that he could have gotten help somehow–had he wanted it or been willing to accept it. My heart is bleeding for the parents and families of the victims. But I’m not hearing any answers to how to prevent another such tragedy.

  307. If all guns were banned tomorrow and every legally owned gun was turned in, do any of you think it would solve the problem of gun violence? There will still be millions of guns out there and any person wanting one for an illegal act would be able to get one. Cocaine, heroin, meth, crack are all illegal but I guarantee you that 80% of high school kids know where to get drugs. I don’t care if it’s inner-city, suburban or rural. They may not use them, but they know the students that use drugs and that knowledge gives them access. If someone has a source for drugs, they have a source for illegal guns.

    Bottom line, bad people are going to do bad things. Who’s to say that if this kid didn’t have access to guns he wouldn’t have loaded the trunk of his car with fertilizer and diesel fuel and drove a bomb through the building?

    Stricter penalties for gun crimes is a definite starting point.

  308. alaskapi,
    Sorry alaskapi, I got a little carried away. Not all was intented for you. :)

  309. alaskapi,
    And I, my son, and we bought my grandson his first……Bow for hunting. We bow hunt also. But it is hard to hit Ducks with a bow. And you know as well aas I do, if this guy or any other had used a “Shotgun”, we would have to defend our right to hunt with a “shotgun”.
    Come on people, I agree…I agree we needed to start and look at more gun control. For the record, I am “NOT” a member of the “NRA”!!!! I do not agree with some of their ideas. So I do not support them with my $$$$!!!!! If they would keep to hunters rights maybe I would.
    We live in a free country and as part of that freedom we have “RIGHTS”. you can protest for and against a issue, you can beleave in whatever religion you want, etc. i have the right to hunt with a rifle (deer, duck, wild hog, raccon, etc). i also have the right to protect myself. Stop bashing me and start telling your congressman to right tougher laws for criminals so it wil be a deterent for them to rob you with a gun. Stop pawn shops from displaying assult rifles and selling them. (they have only purpose) Stop Game Makers from making games that kill people in them. Stop targeting “HUNTERS”!!!!!!!! Just because they hunt with “GUNS”!!!!!

  310. I totally agree with Helen regarding this horrible tragedy. 20 littl children did not wake up in wonder at the new day this morning. 20 sets of parents awoke to a tearing pain in their hearts that those little ones will not share the birthday of Christ with them. The Christmas tree and presents will not be enjoyed by 20 little precious babies. As a parent who lost a son, I can commiserate with these poor distraught parents. For a very long time they will feel the intense pain of their loss.

    Do not try to justify guns, do not try to justify that scumbag organization the NRA, think only of the tiny bodies now being prepared for funerals instead of the Christmas Plays and the joy of family and faith.

    Pray for these families. The hell with you justifying thos guns this kid used. Pray to God to welcome these babes and keep them safe till their parents join them again.

  311. Guns kill. The accuracy depends on type of gun and the proficiency of the person holding the gun. At the time the Constitution was written, the gun of choice was a musket. Slow and not very accurate. Due to the lack of a well oiled military industrial complex to provide our volunteer militia with adequate equipment to defend our nation, it was so resolved that every person within our borders were given the rights to own a firearm (said musket) to help defend themselves from any enemy.

    Fast forward to present time and that scenario has changed, but still on the books! We now have a vast military industrial complex that has come up with the best killing instruments imaginable. The native Indians relied on the bow and arrow to kill game for food and protection.

    Our growing military needed something faster and more powerful as they moved across our land and take away the land from the Indians. Then we decided we needed better weapons to keep the country united. Then we were drawn into fighting in the lands our ancestors had escaped.

    Fast forward to huge bombs that can wipe out a city, huge canons that can sit in the ocean and wipe out cities, fast planes that can carpet bomb the same cities from the sky. Rockets that can be launched from thousands of miles away to wipe out cities. But we needed a hand-held gun for the grunts on the ground that could wipe out many as they entered the city. Fully automated guns that can shoot hundreds of rounds in seconds. We became that shining city on the hill that can wipe out anyone and yet protect them from their “other” enemies.

    Meanwhile, the hunter for food was able to buy higher and higher caliber guns that could bring down an elephant with a single shot, if you only had an elephant, or bear, or bison coming at you. One shot and it better be good.

    Enter the guy that needs a weapon so accurate that they can kill many in a few seconds while committing a crime. They really aren’t interested in going to a gun show and filling out paperwork and have to wait to see if they pass the test to purchased a gun. It’s this person who has devious reason to own such a powerful weapon that accuracy is not so important for the reason to own a gun. A gun is used for one thing….kill. They don’t want any witnesses. They want it to kill people, not game for food.

    Add a person who is mentally unstable and you bring us to the present day repetitive scenario we have become shocked about, time after time, after time. This is where the wild game hunter and the macho killer comes to odds. We now have to decide if the second amendment still is necessary when we have an armed militia (military) being supplied by our military industrial complex and the NRA who wants to supply our people with automatic weapons to do what they please even if they don’t have the mental capacity to know right from wrong. And the game hunter who still can go out and supplement their personal food supply by accurately shooting a deer or elk to put on their table. Automobiles supply the largest amount to wild animals to shelters for feeding the poor. Most real hunters shoot, dress and process their own kills for their personal consumption and to give to friends. Having a controlled hunting season, Fish and Game Departments all over our country tag and control the issuance of hunting permits each year to keep game numbers under control. Fathers and sons have been hunting for years and they now have to pass Hunter Education courses so that all hunters are educated about the safety of owning and shooting guns in a designated area and all animals that are killed are tracked from the time they are shot. If a hunter misses, but wounds the animal it is by law, hunted down and put out of it’s misery. A gun’s only use is to kill…animals or people. Period!

  312. I’m a non-hunter and non-gun-owner, but I’m with you, Bob. My views changed a lot when I moved from a big city to a small-town/rural area in the mid-1980s. In the city, guns were mostly carried by criminals and cops. Where I live now, people raise animals for food and they hunt animals (esp. deer) and birds for food. (They also fish, but not with guns. ) I think city and country people often “talk past each other” on this issue, and I wish everyone would talk a little less and listen a little more.

  313. To All,
    I have been blasted by many of you for what I believe in as a hunter, a military service retriree, and most of all a people capable of thinking and making rashenial discissions. You have blasted me for being a lawful hunter, for wanting to protect myself and others. Let me say this, there are PROS and CONS to gun control. You know this and I know this. As for me wanting to defend myself from a burglar that may not even come to my house, what about if he dose? Because HE (the burgular) dose come to people houses. Day and Night. Maybe the mother thought and had the guns for the same reason. i don’t know. But I can say this, a mentally “unstayble” person did this horable crime. Maybe if we had a law that prohibited her from having the guns because of her son. Would that have made a difference? I know the hunters would still have their guns and would not feel like I do.
    Look, many many people jump to say and think “do away with all the guns” . Maybe we should go back to proabition adn do away with all the beer, wine and other stuff that cause drunk driver from killing people.
    Look, guns did not kill these innocent little children. A mentally unstable boy that had access to guns did this. Just the same as that person that killed a family on interstate ## from drunk driving had access to alcohale.
    But for the record, because i know i will get more replies and get blasted for what i beleave, i do think we need more gun control. But let me say this also, You people that are quick to reply to me adn blast me. Why don’t you be just as quick to tell your congressman to make a law that if you rob a person or store or whatever and you “SHOT” them……if found guilty…you will be on death row!!!!! Non of this 10 or 15 years and out on parrol. Maybe this will be a deterent also.
    So maybe we all just need to stop and think before we act or say anything!!!

  314. Very moving, Terry…

    Gato

  315. No. I don’t kill people. Millions of gun owners don’t kill people. I am so sorry if it feels terrifying for you. I too am angry. Very very angry. But millions of gun owners did not kill anyone yesterday and perhaps that is where we should start our discussion.

  316. In answer to all the dialogue that’s been going on here I was moved to write a poem:
    Sandy Hook

    Grief, grieving -
    harsh words
    filled with sadness,
    the ‘gr’ like the growl
    of an ugly, evil monster
    tearing at our flesh
    ripping out our hearts
    as we process the news
    from Sandy Hook school.
    Our minds conjure up
    the scene without graphics,
    even without sound
    we hear the bullets,
    we hear the screams,
    we hear the children crying.
    And now we’ll hear
    our own dear children’s
    questions and fears,
    their innocence no longer
    protection from the world.
    Our only recourse before
    this problem’s solved
    is prayer for healing,
    prayer for a future
    where our children
    can be safe.

    - Terry Waggle

  317. I am sure that there could be no doubt that had a gun not been readily available, many many murders would not of happened. A day or two to clear ones head and think things over or allow the drugs or drink to dissipate, would and could produce different results. Imagaine if there was a pill, readily available that could end ones life. One little pill. How many people in a time of desperation or depression would use it? So easy. So simple. A permanent solution to a tempory problem.
    The NRAs right to make billions does not trump my right as a citizen to live my life normally.

  318. You two RULE. I couldn’t agree with you more!

  319. Amen!!

  320. I agree completely. we go though mourning and then forget, because “the NRA is unbeatable”. We need to have a grassroots movement with a million people march on Washington!

  321. My feelings exactly. We need to go from “OMG, not again” to “Never again”. The price of the 2nd amendment (which has been usurped and misinterpreted a hundred times over), should not be a classroom full of innocent children and future victims of gun violence in this country

  322. Thank you, for saying this. I’ve been hearing some people say that “now is not the appropriate time” to raise the tragically politicized issue of gun control. If not now, when? There are more gun shops in the U.S. than there are Starbucks in the world. It shouldn’t be this easy to kill innocents.

  323. Helen:

    You so elegantly express my thoughts and feelings on this issue…I, too, am a grandmother and fear for my grandchildren in a society so negligent of its’ children.

  324. I am happy to get this piece… and so sorry our country does not understand !!!

    Sent from my iPhone

  325. whoa! There are people who jump to the far side over everything. Surely there must be enough of us to say…hunters keep your hunting rifles (not automatics), keep them safe from criminals and from your family; and anti-gun people (like me), sit down with the gun people (like you) and come up with a very thorough background check method for ALL who wish to own guns and ALL who do own them.Maybe that way we can protect the population from someone who is unstable and doesn’t care properly for their guns. Isn’t that possible? Must it be all one way or the other?

  326. By a horrific coincidence, there was a rampage in China yesterday where a crazy guy entered a school with a knife — 22 kids injured. Nobody was killed. So yes, deranged people can be dangerous. They’re just a lot more lethal when they have guns.

  327. delurkergurl-
    Bingo! and Amen!

  328. Bob-
    i come from a hunting-by-necessity background and left a comment below the one you read.
    I was never good with a gun, unlike most of my family, but was once a hell of a bow hunter (recurve, Pfft! on compound bows)
    We fish armed here oftentimes as brown bears (grizzlies) are a constant threat.
    I have to admit to a deep prejudice against trophy hunters as well as a deep disdain and disgust for open-carry/concealed-carry types.

    Responsible hunters need to be part of the solution and not wrap themselves up in fear.
    Helen is correct in saying

    “I have no doubt that in the coming days we will learn that no laws or gun control of any kind could have prevented this tragedy. ”

    but that does not release us from starting to work on the problems we have with poor mental health law and out of control gun ownership- especially of guns which have no place except to kill people.

  329. Thank you, Helen.

    One thing that came to mind as I read your post is that the people most opposed to gun control are also the most against anything that makes health care (including mental health care) easier to get.

    So we can’t talk about gun control, we need to talk about mental health care. But then we can’t talk about mental health care, we need to talk about spending cuts. But we can’t talk about spending cuts, we need to keep going to war. We can’t talk about war, we need to talk about entitlements. It’s an endless circle of avoidance.

  330. There won’t be any meaningful laws passed, despite the conversations that take place, until we remove the pro-massacre legislators who take money to enable these the atrocities. They’re easy to identify; go to open secrets and see who takes money to pass laws that favor the NRA, for a starting point. And for all of those who feel they must own assault weapons for “protection” and oppose any kind of control because they live their lives in constant fear, get help for your paranoia. Your excuses are not relevant.

  331. There won’t be any meaningful laws passed, despite the conversations that take place, until we remove the pro-massacre legislators who take money to enable these the atrocities. They’re easy to identify; go to open secrets and see who takes money to pass laws that favor the NRA, for a starting point. And for all of those who feel they must own assault weapons for “protection” and oppose any kind of control because they live their lives in constant fear, get help for your paranoia. Your excuses are not relevant.

  332. Bob – if this had happened to someone else, I’ll bet money the shooter’s mother would have been making exactly the same arguments that you are. That she had to have guns in her home because the world is a dangerous place and she had to protect herself and her family from all the burglars who were lined up around the block waiting to break in.

    Well, in the end it wasn’t the burglars who got her. The guns she probably felt she had to have to defend her family were instead used by her son to kill her and twenty other people, including small children. Children who would be alive today if that woman hadn’t been more afraid of imaginary burglars than she was of giving her mentally ill son access to lethal weaponry.

    A gun in your home is far more likely to kill or injure you or someone you love than it is to allow you to play Rambo with armed burglars. The shooter’s mother found that out the hard way. I hope you don’t, but the odds aren’t in your favor.

  333. I am Canadian and I worry a great deal about the policies and attitudes in America. You are so very close and what you do and do not do affects us in many important ways.

    I am sickened by the recent horror in Newton and can only hope that your hope for an intelligent conversation regarding gun control will happen soon and in a meaningful way.

    If not then I think it is not hyperbole to observe that America has found the perfect, preemptive way to forestall being destroyed by a foreign power; America is destroying itself. Goodness knows that your enemies can sit back and save time, resources and manpower since they can count on bad attitudes among the bible-thumping right wing and horrendous policies based on outmoded legisltation to do the job of further undermining a nation that used to hold such global sway.

    I am sad, I am disgusted and I am learning to be as “afraid” as your population seems to be. Not a very merry christmas.

  334. alaskapi, I have not read your link but let me say this, Do we need to have talks and some gun control….hell yes! But don’t label me and my fellow hunter that respect and use our guns with common since and obay the laws. please don’t take away my right to hunt and enjoy the sport of shooting my guns and they use of them for my and my family’s pertection. Remember, crooks and our other ememies will find a way to get guns to hurt and kill us. Remeber, they are cowards! But we don’t need poeple like Terri in NY jumping and saying take away all guns from hunters!!!! That is not the way to go either. You know that. But we live in a world that is this way and we live with people that think this way.

  335. Hi, Terri – At least we could bloody well START with that as a premise – and then let the avid hunters, or sportspersons, or whoever else, make their case for being the EXCEPTION to that rule, rather than the other way around, which is the way we’ve been operating for far too long.

    The emphasis, in any sane society, should be on massive rules and regulations to determine who in the citizenry has proven his or her unusual “right” to carry a weapon, rather than on a bunch of exceptions to find out who should NOT have one!

    If we could at least get to the point where the “National Right Not To Be Shot” lobby has as much clout as the NRA, then we might make some progress…

    Gato

  336. Honestly, for those people who like to hunt, so fine. Changing the laws so one has to go through a record check, even at gun shows, would protect all of us, and we sure and hell don’t need any type of assault weapons in our homes. Period! And think about it, this kid who killed so many little babes used at least one of his mother’s gun. She was a teacher and I’m sure she was a fine woman and trusted her family. AS MANY DO! Good grief the moment someone mentions a rational argument for gun control you rabid “HUNTERS” go off in a tizzy. Stop and think. Please!

  337. Thanks Helen, you have said what I couldn’t find the words to say. This is truly heartbreaking. We all need to pause and reflect on this national tragedy.

  338. It will not be mentioned only by people who are either immune to tragedy of this magnitude or want to make sure that nothing is done about the gun insanity in our country.

  339. I loved this post – up until the last sentence. Calling anything other than an actual mental illness a “mental illness” does a tremendous disservice to those of us who suffer from mental illness. There has to be a way to describe our outrageous gun culture without resorting to abelist language – insanity, craziness, lunacy are all derogatory terms. How about ludicrous, ridiculous, immoral, dangerous, damaging, inconceivable, unbelievable, etc. I realize you were trying to tie it to the theme of the mental condition of the shooter but language matters.

  340. Bob-
    Take a deep breath.
    The only-left-with-a- butter knife-for-protection thing doesn’t answer the questions and problems we need to deal with.
    We have been stalled in dealing with all of this by this argument and equally doofus arguments from the extreme on the other side.
    We HAVE to work on this. We have to.
    I would urge everyone to read this (very long ) instructive legal history
    http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/FieldsAndHardy.html
    of the militia/Constitution thingy.

  341. I was searching for words to describe how I feel and what I think needs to be done. You have said them eloquently for me. I will share this on my Facebook page. Thanks for your clear and compassionate thinking. As we grieve, let us also resolve to do something besides talk. Bless those who died for no good reason.

  342. First I am a hunter that comes from generations of hunters. My sons and my grandsons when they come to age will learn how to hunt as I did. I DO NoT use assult guns!!!! I use hunting guns. It is my right to teach my sons how to feed their family. It is also a form of animale control. Without hunters so many wild animals (deer, bear, etc.) would multiply to rapidly you would have to kill them in other ways and now you will have PETA on your back. Your car insurance would go through the roof do to so many damage cars from hitting so many deer. Get the point!!!! Think out of the this narrow box and see the benefit hunter do give people. Also they feed the hungery by donating deer meat!!!! Every state has programs like this. So Terri fron NY!!!! You said hunters should gate another sport or hobby. Just wait until you hit a deer with your car. You have to give more money to help feed the hungery, you next car insurance bill doubles because of the insurance payouts for accidents. Oh, and don’t let me forget the home invasions that happen everyday. What if your house is next??? The crooks WILL and I mean WILL get a gun!!!! You will be left with a kitchen butter knife! One time when I was Christmas shopping and a shooting took place. I felt so helpless not being able to defened myself or my family. I am ex-military. I know how to use and respect a gun. think about this before you say stupid things like take the guns away from hunters. One more thing…99% of hunters are respectful and know how to use a gun for it purposes. Thank you.

  343. As Usual Helen can word it so much Better then me. BUT, today I am DOING something. I have looked up my representative & Senator and have TOLD both how disgusted I am with THERE lack of working on this. I honestly feel each time this happens there is BLOOD on THERE hands! So instead of us going back and forth here…lets DO something POSITIVE!! Call, Write or E-mail your states Representatives & Senators. All I did was type in Representative of United States, Same with the Senators..I got there name, #, & address. In the time it took you to write here you can write to them. I hope WE the PEOPLE can finally do something!!

  344. Everytime something like this happens, the rhetoric is hot and heavy. By Christmas, this won’t even mentioned.

  345. I don’t think that many are talking about those who hunt for their survival (instead of those who do so in order to hang a head on their wall). However, I also question those who feel that they need an assault rifle to do so. We absolutely HAVE to do something about this scourge.

  346. We also have to control the access to ammunition…bullets. That should be easier. And can’t the people who hunt for sport can leave their single shot rifles locked in their hunting lodges and not at their suburban homes.

  347. Terri-
    While there are certainly hunters for whom hunting is a hobby or a sport, my state is full of hunters who hunt to survive. That is not common anymore I know and is off the radar of those who live in metropolitan areas by and large. It is , however, not something we would give up without a fight.
    Somewhere around 98-99% of our food stuffs are shipped in at enormous cost for metropolitan Anchorage, the Mat-Su Valley, Fairbanks and Juneau,
    The vast majority of the rest of the state must rely on hunting and fishing to survive.Most of the peoples in the bush are Alaska Natives and their subsistence rights are protected under federal law in the limited nation-to-nation sovereignty afforded to Natives under the Constitution.
    It would serve us all better to to bring responsible hunters into the conversation.
    As Helen so rightly pointed out guns make it easier to kill people. We need to get rid of the ones which make it the easiest and put a stop to the ever increasing pressure from the dingbat wing of the NRA for everyone to carry – the whole live in fear and ready to fight crap.
    We must also address mental health . Seriously.
    Between court cases the ACLU ( mostly righteously) won and the Reagan years of dismantling mental health facilities we have created a mess it will take years to fix.
    Personally- I cringe every time I hear someone talk about “evil” and “inhuman”‘
    These horrible crimes are committed by humans, broken humans to be sure, but human nonetheless. we do ourselves no favors trying to distance them from ourselves. We just set ourselves up for more of the same.
    We need to be talking about mental health across the board. Period.

  348. Thank you for a great post. I can’t commend you enough. Ruthe Karlin

    Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2012 12:49:57 +0000 To: ruthek@hotmail.com

  349. There is no such thing as a drive by knifing. No hunter needs an automatic weapon, nor does police officer need an automatic weapon. What in hell was that woman doing with those guns to begin with? Isn’t there some suspicion about a woman who owns a glock, another hand gun and a rifle? Apparently it was common knowledge that the youngster (he was a child as well) who did the shooting was ‘not normal’. Why were those guns in the house at all? The second amendment never meant to give carte blanche to anyone to own weapons. We cannot depend on our government to take action. We must take action. Write to your senators and representatives. Make this an issue in every election.

  350. This is the best commentary I have read about the gun disease in the US. Thank you. I truly hope that it will not take another terrible tragedy for members of the administration, HR, and Senate to realize that the NRA is hindering any progress on this and stop thinking through their lobby and money.

  351. Well said, Helen. My heart breaks for those families who lost their children. I cannot even imagine their pain. We, as a country MUST do something to stop these tragedies.

  352. Guns DO kill people, and the guns used in this case were DESIGNED to do so! They had easily reloaded clips that held 30 rounds, and they were designed to shoot quickly.

    There have been SIXTEEN mass murders in the US in 2012. 84 people have died at the hands of a nut with a gun, just this year, which is not ever yet. Arguments for being able to carry guns include “freedom”–how is it “free” if one is afraid to leave one’s own home, or to go to a movie theater or shopping mall, or to leave one’s precious children at their school? YOUR “freedom” to own a gun and drag it around with you to “protect” yourself is impinging on MY freedom to live my live without fear of your sudden insanity and urge to “pop a cap” in me or someone else.

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/171774/fifteen-us-mass-shootings-happened-2012-84-dead

  353. Here’s the solution: ban guns. Other countries have done it. Hunters can find another hobby. Enough hand wringing, let’s get on with it. How many innocent people have to die?

  354. Excellent commentary–as usual. We must use this to stop further violence. You might also want to write about the violent films, books, videos that not only promote, but glorify such acts.

  355. Bill… I have to respectfully disagree when you say that “everyone says we need to talk about it”. This tragedy is not even a day old… and the trite sayings are trotted out by both sides. That is not talking about it. That is preparing for battle. If we could all lay down our political agendas for a brief time, to pay respect for those who have tragically died so very unncessesarily… we could maybe begin with an honest discourse.
    As it is – I feel as though some would liken these dead children as an acceptable cost to defend their gun ownership. No shame should run deeper if that is the case.

  356. Willagrant wrote: “A cop I know told me the most common murder weapon in the USA was a baseball bat. The rate of murder & violence was much higher in the middle ages, before the invention of guns. We need to look at the reason that our society is so violent rather than the method used to carry out that violence.”

    Yeah, we could do that, but we also need to look at how many people you can kill in five minutes with a baseball bat, or a knife, or a bow & arrow, or a car.

  357. Alan@8.44a has a really good point. He writes that when the constitution was written, guns were muskets, single loaded. These days guns are semi-automatics and automatics.

    Hunters in the US say they need hunting rifles. Okay, but WHY do hunters need automatic and semi-automatic guns? Where’s the “sport” in that?

  358. Well-said essay, Helen. Mental Health Care in the U. S. is dreadful. Guns and mental illness don’t mix. Until we change our system for dealing with both these issues, this kind of disaster will keep happening.

  359. A cop I know told me the most common murder weapon in the USA was a baseball bat. The rate of murder & violence was much higher in the middle ages, before the invention of guns. We need to look at the reason that our society is so violent rather than the method used to carry out that violence.

  360. Helen, You hit on all the points we have to keep in mind. I am hearing some disturbing things about the shooter’s mother having purchased the guns herself and that at the time of the parent’s divorce they were told to get parental counseling. That was just 3 years ago when the shooter was 17. I know divorce is hard on even adult children but there may have been more to it. Now all I can do is hug my grandchildren, cry some and pray a lot.
    - Terry

  361. I am a hunter and gun owner. I own a hand-gun, a deer rifle, 2 shotguns and a .22 rifle. 2 of these guns were passed down to me from my grandfather. There is no registration law in my home state so these 2 guns are invisible. My point is that 300 million guns is a conservative guess. I agree we need to do something about guns and we need to do it in a way that doesn’t punish the law-abiding responsible gun owners. I believe the first step should be a stricter enforcement and greater punishments for gun related crimes, including illegal possession. I also have no problem with a waiting period, complete background check and banning the sale of military grade weapons and ammunition.

  362. With respect, how would YOU solve the problem? Not just “We need to talk about it,” what would YOU do? I agree there’s a problem, but everyone says we need to talk about it. No one suggests actual solutions.

  363. Couldn’t have said it better. My son is in first grade and I am devastated. We’re avoiding the news, he doesn’t need to know about this.

  364. And if having a gun ensured the safety of the owner, then the mother of the mentally disturbed person who did this evil deed would not be dead. The people who think that teachers should be armed should think about that.

  365. I want to interject that I believe the fascination this country has with violence plays a part in acts like the school tragedy yesterday. Hollywood can share some of the blame here and should be part of the conversation about ‘what is wrong’ with American society – the violent video games and movies they produce for us.

  366. Reblogged this on Year 'Round Thanksgiving Project and commented:
    I just think this is written by someone much better than me to say what I think. Guns do not kill people I get that. But now is a perfect time to start a rational bipartisan dialog. Waiting only means we sweep it under the rug. This is bigger than gun control though. If you comment, please keep your comments civil.

  367. My eight-year-old granddaughter was with me when I heard about this nightmare come true. All I wanted to do was hold her and pray that she’ll be safe, and cry for the families who lost their joy in that school.

  368. Guns are indeed part of the problem. Identifying those people who misuse them is also a part of the problem. Just the words we use to call these guns says a lot. Assault weapons doesn’t exactly say “guns used to kill dinner”. But you are right. This is much bigger than weapons. We need a truly nonpartisan rational and meaningful discussion in this country. I thought I saw one graphic yesterday that showed the US leads in mass killings of children. So much for being a developed country. I don’t want to take away your guns. I want to keep assault weapons out of people’s hands. I have no need for a weapon of that kind. And neither do non military or law enforcement people.

    God bless those children, their parents and families, the teachers and administrators and their families. God bless Newtown and our entire country as we mourn and try to move forward.

  369. As always, you are the voice of reason. I’m resisting every urge to lock my child up in the home, never to leave again. The NRA and its ilk keep telling me that guns make us safer—they call this safety?

  370. The second amendment was written when people carried muskets. One shot guns that took time to reload. I’m sure if they foresaw the carnage that amendment would create, they would not have written it the way they did.

  371. Again, you hit the nail on the head. Thanks for continuing to share your wisdom!

  372. we can do this, it’s not rocket science!!
    maybe more regulation on getting and keeping gun licenses.
    not just a class, but a serious test, with practicals/proficency tests (might help out in arizona, where americans buy guns in lots, but don’t own any!?!) annual renewal testing, that includes serial number checks of all guns licensed to you. (better have’um)
    background & criminal history checks, mental exams (yeah i said it)
    PRIOR TO LICENSE ISSUE!!
    i don’t have any real answers
    but there has to be a discussion!!
    we can’t keep saying “my rights” when there is blood in a classroom AGAIN!!!
    those children expected us to protect them
    and we all failed
    …..
    glad to know helen is here to start the conversation

  373. Dear Helen, let’s set some parameters for the conversation? Like “rational” must mean that you are actively seeking a solution, not just spewing hot air? That some guns are primarily designed to kill people and those are the guns we are discussing, especially those with large clips and magazines and rapid-fire semi automatic action? That education and licensing and registration are NOT dirty words but represent strategies to encourage the safe handling and proper use of machinery that poses a threat? That they are not some underhanded ploy by the government to limit “our rights” but to ensure our safety and that of our neighbors as well? I realize I just cut many people clean out of the discussion, but that may be the crux of the problem: as a nation, we have an irrational love affair with violence, particularly vigilante justice meted out by some crackpot crack shot with the natural descendant of a Tommy-gun! And you are right, it ain’t healthy!

  374. Thank You!!! Our nation needed that!!

    2nd Amendment says: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    ARE WE A WELL REGULATED MILITIA YET? We are sure no infringed as far as gun ownership goes.

  375. Dear Helen, and Margaret – In addition to suffering the grief and horror of the deaths of so many children and the adults who were caring for them, our souls are shattered by having to say to ourselves, “This is the kind of culture we have allowed ourselves to become.” Were we to make some serious effort at controlling access to any number of firearms, by anyone and everyone who wants them, we could “at least” tell ourselves that we tried – and that this was some horrific aberration by a lunatic, despite our best efforts to prevent such things from happening.

    But we have not made those efforts sufficiently, and cannot tell ourselves that – and so we are consequently all responsible, to some degree, for these deaths. We cannot even “comfort” ourselves with that thought, and we know – in our souls – that we live in a hell that we, ourselves, have allowed to become our national reality.

    Gato
    from Danbury, Ct… next door to Newtown

  376. I could not agree more!

  377. My heart breaks for the families and the entire community of Newtown. I can’t imagine……I just don’t understand how we as a country that supposedly values life can continue to allow the NRA with their “cold dead hands” mentality to continue their fear mongering against a reasonable conversation about gun control and the connection to mental health issues. There is NO reason that anyone should be able to purchase assault weapons, to purchase as many rounds of ammunition as they want!! Do people not understand the word “assault”? Our healthcare system has been gutted to the point where people with mental health issues have no where to go.

    NOW is the time not just to talk about gun control it’s time to reinstate the Brady Law and then expand it to include ammunition tracking. Then include in the ACA free mental health care.

  378. Ol’ Wayne holed up at NRA must realize by now that his glory days are o.v.e.r. NRA membership is down from its hey-day. More people are dropping out of NRA and the vacancies are not being filled by new members. Once upon a time the NRA was big on gun control. That was in regard to tommy guns and gangsters. These “incidences” are coming damn near back to back. Also needs looking at: mental competency. Remember when it took a hearing to declare someone competent or not? Doesn’t happen that way any more because of the deluge of meds on the market to handle stuff like emotional hiccups, etc. Or at least they are supposed to do that. Check out the stats on this kind of mass homicide in places like Canada and ask yourself, what do they do better than we do? How were they able to pull that off? There are lessons they can teach us. Really. I mean it.

  379. It would be nice on this day to put partisanship aside and grieve as Americans, not Republicans, not Democrats, but as simple human beings who feel the loss and sorrow of children who will not grow up, the loss of brave teachers and school employees who tried to saves these babies. I have never owned a gun, shot a gun, or allowed one in my home. I don’t understand why we allow the purchase of weapons that can discharge hundreds of bullets in minutes- that needs to be the conversation we hold. Who needs to own these weapons? The conversation of weapons and gun control is way overdue as are many other conversations regarding mental health and violence in America. So sad, so unbearably sad- let us not let this opportunity for meaningful change to slip by us once again…

  380. Well said Helen, very well said. Thank you.

  381. Amen!!!

  382. I agree, we need an intelligent conversation about gun violence but I do not see that happening with Wayne LaPierre in charge of the NRA. I am a gun owner, I own a good sized accumulation of guns. I was once a member of the NRA but quit them a long time ago when I realized it is mostly there to keep LaPierre employed and to give him a pulpit to scream his ideas. We will need to find out more about the criminal that did this cowardly act before we do a knee jerk move.

  383. Thank you, Helen, for saying exactly what I was thinking. A cousin of mine posted on Facebook that the problem wasn’t guns, because some crazy idiot in China attacked 22 children with a knife a few days ago. The difference is, every single one of those 22 children are home with their families. Not a one died.

  384. AMEN!!

  385. Perfectly said, Helen. Thank you. I mean it.


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