The history of school shootings

The London Daily Mail has published a grim list of other American school shootings, in addition to the one in Connecticut, whose 27 deaths made it the second worse of all time.

1. Virginia Tech – 32 dead plus the shooter, 16 April 2007, Blacksburg, Virginia

Student Seung Hui Cho, 23, killed two stuidents in a dorm and then went through building of classrooms armed with two handguns, shooting at random before killing himself.

2. University of Texas – 16 dead plus shooter, 1 August 1966, Austin, Texas

Former Marine sniper Charles Whitman, 25, armed with an arsenal of weapons shot victims from the observation deck of the campus tower.

3. Columbine High School – 13 dead plus two shooters, 20 April 1999, Littleton, Colorado

Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire outside the school killing students and one teacher before shooting themselves in the library.

4. Red Lake High School – 9 dead plus shooter, 21 March 2005, Red Lake, Minnesota

Jeffrey Weise, 17, goes on a shooting spree at Red Lake High School killing nine people, including his grandfather, before shooting himself.

5. University of Iowa – five dead plus shooter, 1 November 1991, University of Iowa

Gang Lu, 27, a graduate student from China killed five with a .38-caliber revolver. He was apparently angry because his doctoral dissertation had not been nominated for an academic award.

6. Amish schoolhouse massacre – six dead plus shooter, 2 October 2, 2006, Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania

Charles Carl Roberts IV, 32, executes five girls aged 7 to 13 before killing himself in a small Amish schoolhouse

7. Jonesboro, Arkansas – five dead, 24 March 1998, Jonesboro, Arkansas

Mitchell Johnson, 10, and Andrew Golden, 8, took seven guns to school and pulled the fire alarm and shot students as they headed for the exits. Four died plus a teacher. The pair were sent to a juvenile detention center and released in 2005.

8. Cleveland Elementary School – five dead plus shooter, 17 January 1989, in Stockton, California

Patrick Edward Purdy entered a schoolyard and opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle at Cleveland Elementary School. Five children died and 30 others were wounded including one teacher. He then shot himself.

9. University of Arizona – three dead plus shooter, 28 October 2002, University of Arizona

Robert Flores, 40, a nursing student shot an instructor in her office before entering a classroom and killing two more teachers before committing suicide.

10. Kent State University – four dead, 4 May 1970, Kent State University in Ohio

National Guard troops killed four students who took part in anti-war protests on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio.

via Adam Lanza: How classmates remember the ‘genius’ who turned heartless killer | Mail Online.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    Bath Township Consolidated School. 1927.

    Bath is located near the state Capital of Lansing. Several references online and some books on Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0006OWHE2

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    Bath Township Consolidated School. 1927.

    Bath is located near the state Capital of Lansing. Several references online and some books on Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0006OWHE2

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    There were also school shootings in Germany in 2009 and in Finland in 2007. There were also such bizarre crimes before.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    There were also school shootings in Germany in 2009 and in Finland in 2007. There were also such bizarre crimes before.

  • HC

    As David already noted, this was the worst, and without guns:
    The worst school massacre in US history still remains as the Bath School massacre in 1927 when a man killed his wife, blew up half of the school, killed himself and the school superintendent. In all, 45 people were killed, 38 of whom were children ages 7 to 14.

  • HC

    As David already noted, this was the worst, and without guns:
    The worst school massacre in US history still remains as the Bath School massacre in 1927 when a man killed his wife, blew up half of the school, killed himself and the school superintendent. In all, 45 people were killed, 38 of whom were children ages 7 to 14.

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~bauerle/nyt520.txt

    Here is another link with the account from 1927.

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~bauerle/nyt520.txt

    Here is another link with the account from 1927.

  • Tom Hering

    I’m very relieved to hear that we don’t have to worry about guns and mass shootings anymore, because school killings have happened in other ways too. Whew!

  • Tom Hering

    I’m very relieved to hear that we don’t have to worry about guns and mass shootings anymore, because school killings have happened in other ways too. Whew!

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    @ Tom

    I am unsure of the meaning of your comment.

    Please enlighten me.

    Thanks.

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    @ Tom

    I am unsure of the meaning of your comment.

    Please enlighten me.

    Thanks.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom @ 5 – I think the point being made (as you know) is that people determined to murder will find ways to do it.

    An interesting observation is that these incidents, for all their horror and evil, are relatively rare. However, one can begin to detect an increase in the frequency after 1990, when the widespread use of anti-depressants and ADD drugs began to permeate schools and the general culture (an almost 100% increase in use from ~1995 to ~2009). I expect, though, that the focus will be on guns rather than on the medications and prescription regimes many of these individuals have been on. I will not be surprised if we instead see an even larger increase in the use of such medications, and then shaking our heads over more senseless acts of violence.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom @ 5 – I think the point being made (as you know) is that people determined to murder will find ways to do it.

    An interesting observation is that these incidents, for all their horror and evil, are relatively rare. However, one can begin to detect an increase in the frequency after 1990, when the widespread use of anti-depressants and ADD drugs began to permeate schools and the general culture (an almost 100% increase in use from ~1995 to ~2009). I expect, though, that the focus will be on guns rather than on the medications and prescription regimes many of these individuals have been on. I will not be surprised if we instead see an even larger increase in the use of such medications, and then shaking our heads over more senseless acts of violence.

  • peter

    This list also omits Paducah, KY shooting where Michael Carneal killed 3 and wounded 5 others. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heath_High_School_shooting

    We often forget that nearly any tool can become a weapon. Friday and attacker in China used a knife/knives to severely injure 22 students. http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/14/world/asia/china-knife-attack/index.html

    This is despite China’s ‘knife registry.’

  • peter

    This list also omits Paducah, KY shooting where Michael Carneal killed 3 and wounded 5 others. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heath_High_School_shooting

    We often forget that nearly any tool can become a weapon. Friday and attacker in China used a knife/knives to severely injure 22 students. http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/14/world/asia/china-knife-attack/index.html

    This is despite China’s ‘knife registry.’

  • Tom Hering

    I think the point being made (as you know) is that people determined to murder will find ways to do it. (@ 7)

    Therefore, we shouldn’t do whatever we can do about one of those ways? And perhaps reduce the killing somewhat?

  • Tom Hering

    I think the point being made (as you know) is that people determined to murder will find ways to do it. (@ 7)

    Therefore, we shouldn’t do whatever we can do about one of those ways? And perhaps reduce the killing somewhat?

  • DonS

    The funerals begin today. I cannot imagine the grief these parents are bearing. It’s heartbreaking to view the photos of these young victims and to imagine a mind so diseased that it could see such children and feel only hatred, pumping multiple rounds into each little body, according to the medical examiner.

    This is a time for grieving. Policy and politics should come later. One thing to keep in mind is that there is no possible way to prevent these types of tragedies from occurring in some form — we live in a sinful and evil world. Overreaction, in the heat of emotion, is not a good way to make law. We saw that with the passage of the Patriot Act.

  • DonS

    The funerals begin today. I cannot imagine the grief these parents are bearing. It’s heartbreaking to view the photos of these young victims and to imagine a mind so diseased that it could see such children and feel only hatred, pumping multiple rounds into each little body, according to the medical examiner.

    This is a time for grieving. Policy and politics should come later. One thing to keep in mind is that there is no possible way to prevent these types of tragedies from occurring in some form — we live in a sinful and evil world. Overreaction, in the heat of emotion, is not a good way to make law. We saw that with the passage of the Patriot Act.

  • WebMonk

    DonS – as far as the statement that “there is no possible way to prevent these types of tragedies from occurring in some form”, I think you’re completely wrong.

    It is entirely possible to cut down the number and severity of such events. Stop them entirely? Maybe not. Drastically reduce thm? Certainly possible.

    Some solutions are not realistic (numerous armed guards at all schools complete with searches for any sort of knife or gun for everyone entering the premises), but they certainly are possible. This one isn’t realistic for many reasons, economic to social.

    We need to decide which steps will actually impact the issue and which steps we will take. We may decide that spending tens of billions of dollars in security isn’t worth saving (on average) two or three lives per year.

    But let’s not mistake that situation with the idea that “there is no possible way to prevent these types of tragedies from occurring in some form”. That sort of reaction can be just as bad as the overreactions you mention.

  • WebMonk

    DonS – as far as the statement that “there is no possible way to prevent these types of tragedies from occurring in some form”, I think you’re completely wrong.

    It is entirely possible to cut down the number and severity of such events. Stop them entirely? Maybe not. Drastically reduce thm? Certainly possible.

    Some solutions are not realistic (numerous armed guards at all schools complete with searches for any sort of knife or gun for everyone entering the premises), but they certainly are possible. This one isn’t realistic for many reasons, economic to social.

    We need to decide which steps will actually impact the issue and which steps we will take. We may decide that spending tens of billions of dollars in security isn’t worth saving (on average) two or three lives per year.

    But let’s not mistake that situation with the idea that “there is no possible way to prevent these types of tragedies from occurring in some form”. That sort of reaction can be just as bad as the overreactions you mention.

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 11: I stand by my statement. The price of a free society is that this sort of tragedy will occur from time to time. Within the context of a free society, which hopefully none of us are prepared to sacrifice, there is no way to prevent these sorts of tragedies.

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 11: I stand by my statement. The price of a free society is that this sort of tragedy will occur from time to time. Within the context of a free society, which hopefully none of us are prepared to sacrifice, there is no way to prevent these sorts of tragedies.

  • peter

    We have to take action against school shootings just like we have against school fires and medical emergencies. See this great article by Massad Ayoob http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2012/12/15/against-monsters/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MassadAyoob+%28Massad+Ayoob%29

  • peter

    We have to take action against school shootings just like we have against school fires and medical emergencies. See this great article by Massad Ayoob http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2012/12/15/against-monsters/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MassadAyoob+%28Massad+Ayoob%29

  • WebMonk

    DonS – ok, now that you’ve qualified your statement, it at least isn’t crazy-false. Yes, if we keep what you call a “free society”, then we can’t stop such shootings.

    The question is whether or not there are some limitations on the “free society” which would stop the school shootings, but still allow most of the “free society”.

    But, a “mostly free society” isn’t a true “free society”, so I realize that minimizing the occurrences of such shootings is completely impossible while keeping your “free society”.

  • WebMonk

    DonS – ok, now that you’ve qualified your statement, it at least isn’t crazy-false. Yes, if we keep what you call a “free society”, then we can’t stop such shootings.

    The question is whether or not there are some limitations on the “free society” which would stop the school shootings, but still allow most of the “free society”.

    But, a “mostly free society” isn’t a true “free society”, so I realize that minimizing the occurrences of such shootings is completely impossible while keeping your “free society”.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom @ 9 – There may be ways to stop these incidents. I’m not convinced that gun control is a good venue to do so. I understand the impulse; I’m simply loathe to deprive others of their liberty in order to possibly prevent another horrific act. Mental health services, the (mis)use of psychiatric drugs, school design, and the design lockdown policies and procedures are all issues that might also need to be addressed.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom @ 9 – There may be ways to stop these incidents. I’m not convinced that gun control is a good venue to do so. I understand the impulse; I’m simply loathe to deprive others of their liberty in order to possibly prevent another horrific act. Mental health services, the (mis)use of psychiatric drugs, school design, and the design lockdown policies and procedures are all issues that might also need to be addressed.

  • WebMonk

    Oh, and Don @10, do you realize that you said
    <blockquoteThis is a time for grieving. Policy and politics should come later.
    and then immediately, not even in a separate paragraph, followed it with both policy and politics?

    Um… hypocrisy much?

  • WebMonk

    Oh, and Don @10, do you realize that you said
    <blockquoteThis is a time for grieving. Policy and politics should come later.
    and then immediately, not even in a separate paragraph, followed it with both policy and politics?

    Um… hypocrisy much?

  • WebMonk

    Oh bother, I messed up my HTML. Sorry guys.

  • WebMonk

    Oh bother, I messed up my HTML. Sorry guys.

  • SKPeterson

    WM @ 14 – I will posit this, but claim no answers here: we have in the name of a “free society” given up on placing the mentally ill in care facilities. It was decided that the mentally ill were being deprived of their rights. As a result, we have persons who are mentally ill effectively let loose in a society that they are unprepared to navigate and upon which they may turn.

  • SKPeterson

    WM @ 14 – I will posit this, but claim no answers here: we have in the name of a “free society” given up on placing the mentally ill in care facilities. It was decided that the mentally ill were being deprived of their rights. As a result, we have persons who are mentally ill effectively let loose in a society that they are unprepared to navigate and upon which they may turn.

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 14, 16: That was an obvious qualification, Webmonk. Of course we could stop such tragedies if we stripped away all liberty rights from everyone. But, even in China, with its practically liberty-robbing society, schoolchildren were recently killed and injured.

    Oh, and Don @10, do you realize that you said
    <blockquoteThis is a time for grieving. Policy and politics should come later.
    and then immediately, not even in a separate paragraph, followed it with both policy and politics?

    Huh? All I did @10, in follow-up to my point that it is not a good idea to make laws in the immediate aftermath of tragedy, was to refer to an example where we did that, with very disappointing results.

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 14, 16: That was an obvious qualification, Webmonk. Of course we could stop such tragedies if we stripped away all liberty rights from everyone. But, even in China, with its practically liberty-robbing society, schoolchildren were recently killed and injured.

    Oh, and Don @10, do you realize that you said
    <blockquoteThis is a time for grieving. Policy and politics should come later.
    and then immediately, not even in a separate paragraph, followed it with both policy and politics?

    Huh? All I did @10, in follow-up to my point that it is not a good idea to make laws in the immediate aftermath of tragedy, was to refer to an example where we did that, with very disappointing results.

  • Stephen

    And after hypocrisy comes denial.

    It’s called “poisoning the well” and it is familiar.

  • Stephen

    And after hypocrisy comes denial.

    It’s called “poisoning the well” and it is familiar.

  • WebMonk

    I guess agree with you @18, SK.

    It’s the definition of a “free society” that gives me pause here. It seems to be the strongly Libertarian one, where almost no limitations on individual choices are allowed.

    I’m not convinced that stricter gun control or mental health control is the answer to limiting such atrocities. But, throwing up our hands and saying that in order to have a “free society” as seems to be advocated here at times, we just need to accept the occurrence of such shootings is not good.

    It may be accurate that in a “free society” that only places very few (or just senseless, ineffective) restrictions on people, shootings such as these are unavoidable, but it’s not a wise or good society to have.

  • WebMonk

    I guess agree with you @18, SK.

    It’s the definition of a “free society” that gives me pause here. It seems to be the strongly Libertarian one, where almost no limitations on individual choices are allowed.

    I’m not convinced that stricter gun control or mental health control is the answer to limiting such atrocities. But, throwing up our hands and saying that in order to have a “free society” as seems to be advocated here at times, we just need to accept the occurrence of such shootings is not good.

    It may be accurate that in a “free society” that only places very few (or just senseless, ineffective) restrictions on people, shootings such as these are unavoidable, but it’s not a wise or good society to have.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    The “solutions” to these things are not easy. We can not “prevent” evil, but we can protect ourselves from its outbursts and take steps to mitigate the risk and danger.

    I appreciate the wise, common sense words of the chief of police of our Saint Louis County police department.

    Here’s the thing. The shooter had on his person hundreds of rounds of ammunition and had the time and opportunity to keep reloading his rifle. In the time it took him to reload, an armed person could have confronted him and stopped him from shooting more children. It happened in the mall shooting in Oregon, a citizen carrying a firearm stopped the shooter from further killing.

    Here are the wise words:

    St. Louis County, Mo., Police Chief Tim Fitch wants to arm school personnel in the wake of the Connecticut shooting that left 20 children and six teachers dead, saying it would be like the arming of airline pilots after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

    “I see it no differently,” Fitch told KMOX news radio in St. Louis today. “Pilots have been armed now for many, many years. We’ve not had another hijacking and the issue is, for the bad guy, he doesn’t know which airplane he’s getting on, if the pilot is armed or not.”

    Fitch said new gun control laws won’t stop the killings like the one that happened Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., because there’s always going to be “somebody that’s hell-bent on doing something like this.

    “They’re not going to care what the law is,” he added.

    The chief said he realizes his plan to help stop school shootings will face resistance. But he said the public and education officials, just as they have done in the past when dealing with drug issues in schools, have to first admit that things have gotten out of hand and then take drastic steps to help solve the problem.

    As for tougher gun control laws, Fitch told the radio station, “It’s just not going to happen.”

    He said governments would be better off if they focused instead on trying to strengthen mental health services throughout the country.

    “One of the first things governments tend to cut back on in tight times are mental health services,” he said. “We know this [gunman Adam Lanza] has a mental health history in Connecticut. We’ve seen that in all the school shootings, and additional resources would be helpful.

    “But, last resort, somebody’s got to take action and they got to do it quickly,” Fitch added.”

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    The “solutions” to these things are not easy. We can not “prevent” evil, but we can protect ourselves from its outbursts and take steps to mitigate the risk and danger.

    I appreciate the wise, common sense words of the chief of police of our Saint Louis County police department.

    Here’s the thing. The shooter had on his person hundreds of rounds of ammunition and had the time and opportunity to keep reloading his rifle. In the time it took him to reload, an armed person could have confronted him and stopped him from shooting more children. It happened in the mall shooting in Oregon, a citizen carrying a firearm stopped the shooter from further killing.

    Here are the wise words:

    St. Louis County, Mo., Police Chief Tim Fitch wants to arm school personnel in the wake of the Connecticut shooting that left 20 children and six teachers dead, saying it would be like the arming of airline pilots after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

    “I see it no differently,” Fitch told KMOX news radio in St. Louis today. “Pilots have been armed now for many, many years. We’ve not had another hijacking and the issue is, for the bad guy, he doesn’t know which airplane he’s getting on, if the pilot is armed or not.”

    Fitch said new gun control laws won’t stop the killings like the one that happened Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., because there’s always going to be “somebody that’s hell-bent on doing something like this.

    “They’re not going to care what the law is,” he added.

    The chief said he realizes his plan to help stop school shootings will face resistance. But he said the public and education officials, just as they have done in the past when dealing with drug issues in schools, have to first admit that things have gotten out of hand and then take drastic steps to help solve the problem.

    As for tougher gun control laws, Fitch told the radio station, “It’s just not going to happen.”

    He said governments would be better off if they focused instead on trying to strengthen mental health services throughout the country.

    “One of the first things governments tend to cut back on in tight times are mental health services,” he said. “We know this [gunman Adam Lanza] has a mental health history in Connecticut. We’ve seen that in all the school shootings, and additional resources would be helpful.

    “But, last resort, somebody’s got to take action and they got to do it quickly,” Fitch added.”

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 21: I never said we should just “throw up our hands” and accept the consequences of such shootings. I said that we will never be able to prevent these types of tragedies from occurring in some form. In other words, our regulatory power is very limited here. There may well be some things we can do better — and I advocate looking at both the areas of mental health and gun control in due course — but acting on emotion and hastily passing legislation to address these things, while our wounds are still raw, is not a good idea.

    We Americans always want to think we can control events through regulation and other human means. Sometimes, we need to think spiritually and reflectively. Now is such a time. That’s all I’m saying.

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 21: I never said we should just “throw up our hands” and accept the consequences of such shootings. I said that we will never be able to prevent these types of tragedies from occurring in some form. In other words, our regulatory power is very limited here. There may well be some things we can do better — and I advocate looking at both the areas of mental health and gun control in due course — but acting on emotion and hastily passing legislation to address these things, while our wounds are still raw, is not a good idea.

    We Americans always want to think we can control events through regulation and other human means. Sometimes, we need to think spiritually and reflectively. Now is such a time. That’s all I’m saying.

  • WebMonk

    DonS 19 – so you said that we shouldn’t talk about policy and politics at such a time, and then talked about them … but only to give warning of what not to do. I see. Very noble of you. We all thank you for your hypocrisy.

    And then, you were simply FORCED to continue talking policy and politics afterward because all of us were talking about them, and you couldn’t let us continue in our error. Again, we thank you for your great hypocrisy on our behalf.

    Oh, and you also got your facts wrong in 19.

    In the school knife attack in China, there were ZERO deaths. So … what’s your point? That even in China, with their crazy gun control laws, they can’t stop deadly school attacks?

    Uh huh. Nice example there. Want to try again?

  • WebMonk

    DonS 19 – so you said that we shouldn’t talk about policy and politics at such a time, and then talked about them … but only to give warning of what not to do. I see. Very noble of you. We all thank you for your hypocrisy.

    And then, you were simply FORCED to continue talking policy and politics afterward because all of us were talking about them, and you couldn’t let us continue in our error. Again, we thank you for your great hypocrisy on our behalf.

    Oh, and you also got your facts wrong in 19.

    In the school knife attack in China, there were ZERO deaths. So … what’s your point? That even in China, with their crazy gun control laws, they can’t stop deadly school attacks?

    Uh huh. Nice example there. Want to try again?

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 24: Why the hostility? I guess I am not clear on why what I said was “hypocritical”. I advocated no political policy or approach other than caution — to let the recent horrific events recede a bit before we go off half-cocked fashioning some sort of presumed regulatory solution. Whatever we decide to do should be fully vetted, reviewed, and discussed by cool heads.

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 24: Why the hostility? I guess I am not clear on why what I said was “hypocritical”. I advocated no political policy or approach other than caution — to let the recent horrific events recede a bit before we go off half-cocked fashioning some sort of presumed regulatory solution. Whatever we decide to do should be fully vetted, reviewed, and discussed by cool heads.

  • Tom Hering

    Re: @ 22.

    As I posted in another thread, the proposal to arm teachers involves pure fantasy. In our elementary schools alone, the plan would require 4 million individuals who (1.) are good and dedicated teachers, (2.) are proficient with firearms, and (3.) are willing – have the right kind of personality – to kill others with those firearms. Never going to happen.

  • Tom Hering

    Re: @ 22.

    As I posted in another thread, the proposal to arm teachers involves pure fantasy. In our elementary schools alone, the plan would require 4 million individuals who (1.) are good and dedicated teachers, (2.) are proficient with firearms, and (3.) are willing – have the right kind of personality – to kill others with those firearms. Never going to happen.

  • Stephen

    Tom.

    And teachers would leave the profession in droves the very second any school district tried to make them carry a firearm. Who would be left? I suppose a bunch of insecure men who would LOVE to show off their piece. Sheesh!!! It’s just pure stupidity.

    Oh, for the love of Pete! Can we drop this from the list of considerations!

  • Stephen

    Tom.

    And teachers would leave the profession in droves the very second any school district tried to make them carry a firearm. Who would be left? I suppose a bunch of insecure men who would LOVE to show off their piece. Sheesh!!! It’s just pure stupidity.

    Oh, for the love of Pete! Can we drop this from the list of considerations!

  • Stephen

    See Don’s non-comments on the other “Slaughter of the Innocents” thread. Same thing there.

    Don, you do this a lot!!! A preemptive (and very pious) strike against anyone who might offer a contrary idea, thus attempting to invalidate whatever they may say, just before you then lob your own opinion everyone’s way. And then when someone calls you on it you get all insulted and accuse others of being hostile or unkind. That’s exactly what you’ve done here. I’m sure you’re a good person, but frankly, it’s just plain dishonest. IF you really mean what you say then say “we shouldn’t be talk about it” and then don’t. But you do.

  • Stephen

    See Don’s non-comments on the other “Slaughter of the Innocents” thread. Same thing there.

    Don, you do this a lot!!! A preemptive (and very pious) strike against anyone who might offer a contrary idea, thus attempting to invalidate whatever they may say, just before you then lob your own opinion everyone’s way. And then when someone calls you on it you get all insulted and accuse others of being hostile or unkind. That’s exactly what you’ve done here. I’m sure you’re a good person, but frankly, it’s just plain dishonest. IF you really mean what you say then say “we shouldn’t be talk about it” and then don’t. But you do.

  • Tom Hering

    “I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he give me six failing grades or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a Big Red pencil, the biggest red pencil in the world, and would blow your report card clean to hell, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”

  • Tom Hering

    “I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he give me six failing grades or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a Big Red pencil, the biggest red pencil in the world, and would blow your report card clean to hell, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    And teachers would leave the profession in droves the very second any school district tried to make them carry a firearm.

    How about a middle ground between forbidden and required? That is, teachers could have the option to be trained, registered and complete a safety course with additional annual continuing ed and recertification or whatever the district wanted to implement. Would it be okay for a district to choose to have such a program for those teachers who wished to participate? So, could it be allowed rather than just forbidden or required?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    And teachers would leave the profession in droves the very second any school district tried to make them carry a firearm.

    How about a middle ground between forbidden and required? That is, teachers could have the option to be trained, registered and complete a safety course with additional annual continuing ed and recertification or whatever the district wanted to implement. Would it be okay for a district to choose to have such a program for those teachers who wished to participate? So, could it be allowed rather than just forbidden or required?

  • Stephen

    sg -

    I’d say no. There is no place for a gun in a classroom. Take into account the numbers again. Why wouldn’t we also expect firearms accidents and misuse in that setting too? What about a teacher being overpowered by a belligerent kid. Have you seen the size of some of the middle school boys these days?

    And I still think many teachers would leave simply knowing that guns are in their school.

  • Stephen

    sg -

    I’d say no. There is no place for a gun in a classroom. Take into account the numbers again. Why wouldn’t we also expect firearms accidents and misuse in that setting too? What about a teacher being overpowered by a belligerent kid. Have you seen the size of some of the middle school boys these days?

    And I still think many teachers would leave simply knowing that guns are in their school.

  • DonS

    Stephen @ 28: “Pious” is a very judgmental word. And you can look at the other threads, but I offer the same opinion in all of them — it’s too soon to be political, and to fall back on the same old regulatory solutions.

    The problem is evil. It manifests itself in many different ways, but probably among the most prevalent are that we are a violence-loving society. Unfortunately, we cannot regulate our love of violence, i.e. the content of our movies, literature, music, video games, etc.

    If there is going to be any kind of significant solution to these problems of episodic and tragic violence, it’s going to come through contemplation, spiritual renewal, and a change of focus by our society. These things are not subject to politics or regulation, and by falling back on the same old political solutions, we let a lot of causes of these tragedies off the hook. I’m not saying that political solutions shouldn’t ultimately be considered or implemented, but it’s not time for that now while we are so emotional. That’s my opinion.

    I’m not sure why you think that’s pious, or dishonest, or hypocritical. Or why my opinion is somehow “preemptive”. Am I preventing you from stating your opinion? Or Webmonk his? Am I accusing you of piety or hypocrisy? Am I entitled to an opinion? Just wondering.

  • DonS

    Stephen @ 28: “Pious” is a very judgmental word. And you can look at the other threads, but I offer the same opinion in all of them — it’s too soon to be political, and to fall back on the same old regulatory solutions.

    The problem is evil. It manifests itself in many different ways, but probably among the most prevalent are that we are a violence-loving society. Unfortunately, we cannot regulate our love of violence, i.e. the content of our movies, literature, music, video games, etc.

    If there is going to be any kind of significant solution to these problems of episodic and tragic violence, it’s going to come through contemplation, spiritual renewal, and a change of focus by our society. These things are not subject to politics or regulation, and by falling back on the same old political solutions, we let a lot of causes of these tragedies off the hook. I’m not saying that political solutions shouldn’t ultimately be considered or implemented, but it’s not time for that now while we are so emotional. That’s my opinion.

    I’m not sure why you think that’s pious, or dishonest, or hypocritical. Or why my opinion is somehow “preemptive”. Am I preventing you from stating your opinion? Or Webmonk his? Am I accusing you of piety or hypocrisy? Am I entitled to an opinion? Just wondering.

  • Stephen

    And why assume that everyone who could go through a training course would not some time in the future misuse it?

    I also would not send my child to such a school and would demand that it be gun-free. There would be an outcry like you’ve never heard. The one example given here aside, I’d bet that cops would probably think it’s bad idea.

    Like Tom said, never going to happen. It’s simply is foolishness to my mind.

  • Stephen

    And why assume that everyone who could go through a training course would not some time in the future misuse it?

    I also would not send my child to such a school and would demand that it be gun-free. There would be an outcry like you’ve never heard. The one example given here aside, I’d bet that cops would probably think it’s bad idea.

    Like Tom said, never going to happen. It’s simply is foolishness to my mind.

  • Stephen

    Paragraph 3 Don, post #32. Offering your analysis once again when you instructed all of us that it wasn’t a time for that.

    Are you entitled to an opinion? Sure, just like everyone else. So offer it and spare us the platitudes about it being “too soon.”

  • Stephen

    Paragraph 3 Don, post #32. Offering your analysis once again when you instructed all of us that it wasn’t a time for that.

    Are you entitled to an opinion? Sure, just like everyone else. So offer it and spare us the platitudes about it being “too soon.”

  • Tom Hering

    There is no place for a gun in a classroom. Take into account the numbers again. Why wouldn’t we also expect firearms accidents and misuse in that setting too? What about a teacher being overpowered by a belligerent kid. (@ 31)

    And, like, teachers never get scared or lose their temper in classroom situations? Do we want to start seeing news reports about school killings by teachers?

  • Tom Hering

    There is no place for a gun in a classroom. Take into account the numbers again. Why wouldn’t we also expect firearms accidents and misuse in that setting too? What about a teacher being overpowered by a belligerent kid. (@ 31)

    And, like, teachers never get scared or lose their temper in classroom situations? Do we want to start seeing news reports about school killings by teachers?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Tom @ 35 – not just that, but keeping guns safe from little hands in the somewhat chaotic environment of a school, while at the same time keeping them close enough to shoot an intruder, is, well, impossible. Not to mention accidental shootings of people carrying things that vaguely look like guns from a distance.

    Stupidity on wheels.

    Of course, someone is going to say Israel! Well, do all your teachers had 2-3 years of military training, and everything else associated with that environment… I didn’t think so!

    Stupidity on wheels – with knobs on!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Tom @ 35 – not just that, but keeping guns safe from little hands in the somewhat chaotic environment of a school, while at the same time keeping them close enough to shoot an intruder, is, well, impossible. Not to mention accidental shootings of people carrying things that vaguely look like guns from a distance.

    Stupidity on wheels.

    Of course, someone is going to say Israel! Well, do all your teachers had 2-3 years of military training, and everything else associated with that environment… I didn’t think so!

    Stupidity on wheels – with knobs on!

  • DonS

    Stephen @ 34: So, suggesting that we all consider how we contribute to the problem of violence in this country is somehow political in your mind? I’m not following.

    As I said, you are free to disagree with my opinion that it is far too soon to make this tragedy just another political issue, which has become our habit in this country. But it’s not merely a “platitude”. I believe that we are letting a lot of those who contribute to this problem off the hook by falling back on the same old political solutions. It’s hard to see how gun control, by itself, is going to resolve anything significant — the proposals I’m hearing are to reinstate the semiautomatic weapons legislation that expired in 2004. I don’t necessarily oppose that, but Columbine happened when it was in effect, for example. There’s only so much we can do, in the regulatory realm, with respect to mental health issues as well. Or to keep survivalists from being paranoid survivalists.

    It’s not a platitude to say that, before we go out and try to regulate other people to solve the perceived problem, we look within ourselves to see how we might personally be contributing to the problem.

  • DonS

    Stephen @ 34: So, suggesting that we all consider how we contribute to the problem of violence in this country is somehow political in your mind? I’m not following.

    As I said, you are free to disagree with my opinion that it is far too soon to make this tragedy just another political issue, which has become our habit in this country. But it’s not merely a “platitude”. I believe that we are letting a lot of those who contribute to this problem off the hook by falling back on the same old political solutions. It’s hard to see how gun control, by itself, is going to resolve anything significant — the proposals I’m hearing are to reinstate the semiautomatic weapons legislation that expired in 2004. I don’t necessarily oppose that, but Columbine happened when it was in effect, for example. There’s only so much we can do, in the regulatory realm, with respect to mental health issues as well. Or to keep survivalists from being paranoid survivalists.

    It’s not a platitude to say that, before we go out and try to regulate other people to solve the perceived problem, we look within ourselves to see how we might personally be contributing to the problem.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Why wouldn’t we also expect firearms accidents and misuse in that setting too? What about a teacher being overpowered by a belligerent kid. Have you seen the size of some of the middle school boys these days?

    All good points.

    And I still think many teachers would leave simply knowing that guns are in their school.

    Yeah, I don’t see it. Plenty of schools already have multiple armed police on campus now. As a high school student, on campus during regular school hours, I personally was given live ammunition and a .22 rifle for target practice supervised by an active duty Army sergeant. They didn’t have trouble finding faculty.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Why wouldn’t we also expect firearms accidents and misuse in that setting too? What about a teacher being overpowered by a belligerent kid. Have you seen the size of some of the middle school boys these days?

    All good points.

    And I still think many teachers would leave simply knowing that guns are in their school.

    Yeah, I don’t see it. Plenty of schools already have multiple armed police on campus now. As a high school student, on campus during regular school hours, I personally was given live ammunition and a .22 rifle for target practice supervised by an active duty Army sergeant. They didn’t have trouble finding faculty.

  • GJG

    >> keeping guns safe from little hands in the somewhat chaotic environment of a school, while at the same time keeping them close enough to shoot an intruder

    What is a wall mounted, keypad controlled gunsafe for 45 points, Alex.

  • GJG

    >> keeping guns safe from little hands in the somewhat chaotic environment of a school, while at the same time keeping them close enough to shoot an intruder

    What is a wall mounted, keypad controlled gunsafe for 45 points, Alex.

  • Stephen

    DonS

    You keep doing it. Offering more insights from your perspective about what should and should not be done while at the same time starting off everything by telling others that “today is a day for mourning” and on and on with the “we should not be deciding this, but here’s what I have decided.” And then you claim ignorance and that others are being hostile when confronted with it.

    Look up “poisoning the well.” It’s an effective rhetorical device that I have seen you use before, along with denial that this is what you are doing and claiming the other guy is hostile. Ayn Rand was good at it too.

  • Stephen

    DonS

    You keep doing it. Offering more insights from your perspective about what should and should not be done while at the same time starting off everything by telling others that “today is a day for mourning” and on and on with the “we should not be deciding this, but here’s what I have decided.” And then you claim ignorance and that others are being hostile when confronted with it.

    Look up “poisoning the well.” It’s an effective rhetorical device that I have seen you use before, along with denial that this is what you are doing and claiming the other guy is hostile. Ayn Rand was good at it too.

  • DonS

    Stephen @ 40: Doing what, Stephen? Expressing my opinion? Why does my opinion “poison the well”, while yours does not? Or do you just like to shut down opinions that are different from yours? I think your problem is that you misunderstand my opinion, which is essentially that we shouldn’t rush into political maneuvers while the nation is still wounded and emotional. Politics aren’t the answer for every problem. We who are Christians should know that better than anyone.

    Is this opinion not welcome in the discussion? Why not?

  • DonS

    Stephen @ 40: Doing what, Stephen? Expressing my opinion? Why does my opinion “poison the well”, while yours does not? Or do you just like to shut down opinions that are different from yours? I think your problem is that you misunderstand my opinion, which is essentially that we shouldn’t rush into political maneuvers while the nation is still wounded and emotional. Politics aren’t the answer for every problem. We who are Christians should know that better than anyone.

    Is this opinion not welcome in the discussion? Why not?

  • Stephen

    DonS @ 40

    “I think your problem is that you misunderstand my opinion, which is essentially that we shouldn’t rush into political maneuvers while the nation is still wounded and emotional. Politics aren’t the answer for every problem. We who are Christians should know that better than anyone.”

    There it is again. So if we talk about political/policy solutions we are not being good Christians because, as you said elsewhere, “law and government cannot solve the problem of a malevolent heart.” Duh. The implication of your statement in the context of everything else being that “law and government” are useless in the face of evil, which is flat wrong. They are God-given for that very purpose. No one said they are the answer to every problem. I certainly didn’t, though that is what you imply. To suggest that “law and government” is useful, why is that improper at this time of mourning? Too much emotion? Those are all political opinions Don, like it or not. And you told all of us that now was not the time for such talk. That’s confusing.

    Okay, I get that we have the Patriot Act because legislators felt compelled to act hastily. Is that always bad? Should we not, as you seem to suggest, get working on a solution? Why is passion and outrage such a bad motivator for action? How about the Amber Alert? Pretty good idea I’d say.

    Oh crap! Okay Don, I apologize. I may have misread you. You are entitled and welcome to your opinion. Can you at least see how it can be misinterpreted as an attempt to thwart others who disagree with you before they get started?

  • Stephen

    DonS @ 40

    “I think your problem is that you misunderstand my opinion, which is essentially that we shouldn’t rush into political maneuvers while the nation is still wounded and emotional. Politics aren’t the answer for every problem. We who are Christians should know that better than anyone.”

    There it is again. So if we talk about political/policy solutions we are not being good Christians because, as you said elsewhere, “law and government cannot solve the problem of a malevolent heart.” Duh. The implication of your statement in the context of everything else being that “law and government” are useless in the face of evil, which is flat wrong. They are God-given for that very purpose. No one said they are the answer to every problem. I certainly didn’t, though that is what you imply. To suggest that “law and government” is useful, why is that improper at this time of mourning? Too much emotion? Those are all political opinions Don, like it or not. And you told all of us that now was not the time for such talk. That’s confusing.

    Okay, I get that we have the Patriot Act because legislators felt compelled to act hastily. Is that always bad? Should we not, as you seem to suggest, get working on a solution? Why is passion and outrage such a bad motivator for action? How about the Amber Alert? Pretty good idea I’d say.

    Oh crap! Okay Don, I apologize. I may have misread you. You are entitled and welcome to your opinion. Can you at least see how it can be misinterpreted as an attempt to thwart others who disagree with you before they get started?

  • SAL

    There’s a consensus in the comments that uses name-calling and putdowns for ridicule. Perhaps this caustic tone is mild for the no-holds-barred internet but I’m tired of it. I just want polite discussion but I guess there’s nowhere for that anymore.

    I don’t want my only interactions with liberals to be ones where I see them as belligerent, rude and enjoying putting people down.

  • SAL

    There’s a consensus in the comments that uses name-calling and putdowns for ridicule. Perhaps this caustic tone is mild for the no-holds-barred internet but I’m tired of it. I just want polite discussion but I guess there’s nowhere for that anymore.

    I don’t want my only interactions with liberals to be ones where I see them as belligerent, rude and enjoying putting people down.

  • DonS

    Oh crap! Okay Don, I apologize. I may have misread you. You are entitled and welcome to your opinion. Can you at least see how it can be misinterpreted as an attempt to thwart others who disagree with you before they get started?

    Thank you, Stephen. I accept your apology. For a while there it looked like you were saying that the only legitimate opinion is one that demands an immediate governmental regulatory solution, and any other kind of opinion, such as one that proposes a period of reflectiveness before launching into politics as usual, is necessarily invalid, or hypocritical, or somehow subversive.

    When I entered the comment stream, on this and other related threads, this morning there were probably already close to 200 comments in aggregate. It would have been pretty silly for me to use my comment in an effort to thwart others before they get started ;-) — too late for that.

    I’m not trying to shut down comments on this blog. I am merely urging caution with respect to hasty legislation. If it’s a good idea now, it will be a good idea in a couple of months. But let’s make sure it IS a good idea, that it will effectively address the problem without unduly restricting the rights of other citizens, and that it is workable and constitutional, before we act. And let’s make sure that each of us, as individuals, have addressed the things we can address to change the culture of our country, as good citizens, and as Christians. Let’s not foreclose certain approaches just because they are not amenable to regulatory action. And let’s not foreclose our own shortcomings in favor of regulating the perceived shortcomings of others. And, most of all, let’s ensure that we are loving our neighbors who have suffered such a grievous loss, as we are commanded to do.

  • DonS

    Oh crap! Okay Don, I apologize. I may have misread you. You are entitled and welcome to your opinion. Can you at least see how it can be misinterpreted as an attempt to thwart others who disagree with you before they get started?

    Thank you, Stephen. I accept your apology. For a while there it looked like you were saying that the only legitimate opinion is one that demands an immediate governmental regulatory solution, and any other kind of opinion, such as one that proposes a period of reflectiveness before launching into politics as usual, is necessarily invalid, or hypocritical, or somehow subversive.

    When I entered the comment stream, on this and other related threads, this morning there were probably already close to 200 comments in aggregate. It would have been pretty silly for me to use my comment in an effort to thwart others before they get started ;-) — too late for that.

    I’m not trying to shut down comments on this blog. I am merely urging caution with respect to hasty legislation. If it’s a good idea now, it will be a good idea in a couple of months. But let’s make sure it IS a good idea, that it will effectively address the problem without unduly restricting the rights of other citizens, and that it is workable and constitutional, before we act. And let’s make sure that each of us, as individuals, have addressed the things we can address to change the culture of our country, as good citizens, and as Christians. Let’s not foreclose certain approaches just because they are not amenable to regulatory action. And let’s not foreclose our own shortcomings in favor of regulating the perceived shortcomings of others. And, most of all, let’s ensure that we are loving our neighbors who have suffered such a grievous loss, as we are commanded to do.

  • Stephen

    That last paragraph was very wise.

    I think there is a feeling, among many others, of “when Oh Lord, when . . .” That’s how I feel. It’s getting worse, not better. Stating the odds (as they did on the radio this morning) does not make parents feel better. Not this one, on the verge as we are of sending our child to school. Neither does observing that our culture is becoming more coarse. And I think there is an expectation that our leaders will lead. I expect it. They do have power. Even a rhetorical bully pulpit can be an effective tool.

    “Let’s not foreclose certain approaches just because they are not amenable to regulatory action.” Oh no. Watch. There’s going to be a flash mob at the next big gun show. Likewise, let’s not foreclose the idea that gun control works to a degree and that we certainly have not exhausted the possibilities there either.

    Cheers. I’m sorry.

  • Stephen

    That last paragraph was very wise.

    I think there is a feeling, among many others, of “when Oh Lord, when . . .” That’s how I feel. It’s getting worse, not better. Stating the odds (as they did on the radio this morning) does not make parents feel better. Not this one, on the verge as we are of sending our child to school. Neither does observing that our culture is becoming more coarse. And I think there is an expectation that our leaders will lead. I expect it. They do have power. Even a rhetorical bully pulpit can be an effective tool.

    “Let’s not foreclose certain approaches just because they are not amenable to regulatory action.” Oh no. Watch. There’s going to be a flash mob at the next big gun show. Likewise, let’s not foreclose the idea that gun control works to a degree and that we certainly have not exhausted the possibilities there either.

    Cheers. I’m sorry.

  • DonS

    You are a gracious man, Stephen. I agree with you that everything should be on the table, both regulatory and non-regulatory, for consideration for the purpose of protecting the little ones among us from this kind of mad violence.

  • DonS

    You are a gracious man, Stephen. I agree with you that everything should be on the table, both regulatory and non-regulatory, for consideration for the purpose of protecting the little ones among us from this kind of mad violence.

  • Stephen
  • Stephen
  • DonS

    Stephen @ 47: No, why? Are you an extremely partisan political reporter for Slate?

  • DonS

    Stephen @ 47: No, why? Are you an extremely partisan political reporter for Slate?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Paul McCain said (@22):

    It happened in the mall shooting in Oregon, a citizen carrying a firearm stopped the shooter from further killing.

    Um, false. Might want to do a little more fact-checking there, cowboy. The shooter in the Oregon mall killed himself.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Paul McCain said (@22):

    It happened in the mall shooting in Oregon, a citizen carrying a firearm stopped the shooter from further killing.

    Um, false. Might want to do a little more fact-checking there, cowboy. The shooter in the Oregon mall killed himself.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    DonS, will you let us know when we’re allowed to discuss political solutions to this problem? Next week? Next month? Next year?

    You’ll also forgive me if I’m a bit confused about your position on the Patriot Act. You said (@10):

    Overreaction, in the heat of emotion, is not a good way to make law. We saw that with the passage of the Patriot Act.

    Of course, you also once said:

    You could at least argue that there was some genuine urgency to passage of the Patriot Act…[1]

    And while, at times, you have said that you “share some of [my] concerns” about the Patriot Act [ibid.], you also have said that you “didn’t particularly oppose it” [2].

    Indeed, you once said:

    To those of you who expend all of your energy worrying about how the Patriot Act, etc. are eroding our freedom of speech rights, I think you are missing the real threat. [3]

    (That was the earliest comment I could find from you on this blog. I believe you were even more dismissive of my Patriot Act critiques back when the blog was on World magazine’s site.)

    So it strikes me as a bit odd that now, all of a sudden, you seem to uphold the Patriot Act as an obviously bad example.

    [1]geneveith.com/2010/03/25/gee-i-hope-this-works/#comment-79294
    [2]geneveith.com/2009/10/29/if-you-commit-a-crime-dont-hate/#comment-70417
    [3]geneveith.com/2008/01/31/americans-feel-less-free/#comment-2866

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    DonS, will you let us know when we’re allowed to discuss political solutions to this problem? Next week? Next month? Next year?

    You’ll also forgive me if I’m a bit confused about your position on the Patriot Act. You said (@10):

    Overreaction, in the heat of emotion, is not a good way to make law. We saw that with the passage of the Patriot Act.

    Of course, you also once said:

    You could at least argue that there was some genuine urgency to passage of the Patriot Act…[1]

    And while, at times, you have said that you “share some of [my] concerns” about the Patriot Act [ibid.], you also have said that you “didn’t particularly oppose it” [2].

    Indeed, you once said:

    To those of you who expend all of your energy worrying about how the Patriot Act, etc. are eroding our freedom of speech rights, I think you are missing the real threat. [3]

    (That was the earliest comment I could find from you on this blog. I believe you were even more dismissive of my Patriot Act critiques back when the blog was on World magazine’s site.)

    So it strikes me as a bit odd that now, all of a sudden, you seem to uphold the Patriot Act as an obviously bad example.

    [1]geneveith.com/2010/03/25/gee-i-hope-this-works/#comment-79294
    [2]geneveith.com/2009/10/29/if-you-commit-a-crime-dont-hate/#comment-70417
    [3]geneveith.com/2008/01/31/americans-feel-less-free/#comment-2866

  • Stephen

    No Don, just checking. Your comments began to have a familiar ring as I read that Slate article. They were almost verbatim NRA talking points, but I guess that is coincidence. I didn’t like the idea that I might have been duped (it wouldn’t be the first time). It’s difficult to take people at their word in this forum, which is why alarm bells go off when I think someone is being deceptive or dishonest. And I know I can be wrong about that too. There is some “unreality quotient” to discussing such important things in this realm. I find it helpful for thinking things through, but it also seems to be a platform for promoting pet issues. So, I had to ask.

    Now, on to tODD’s questions. I hope you have some good answers.

  • Stephen

    No Don, just checking. Your comments began to have a familiar ring as I read that Slate article. They were almost verbatim NRA talking points, but I guess that is coincidence. I didn’t like the idea that I might have been duped (it wouldn’t be the first time). It’s difficult to take people at their word in this forum, which is why alarm bells go off when I think someone is being deceptive or dishonest. And I know I can be wrong about that too. There is some “unreality quotient” to discussing such important things in this realm. I find it helpful for thinking things through, but it also seems to be a platform for promoting pet issues. So, I had to ask.

    Now, on to tODD’s questions. I hope you have some good answers.

  • kerner

    Stephen: (this comment partly tongue in cheek)

    You have given me a great idea. We conservatives have been for decades been trying to figure out how to beak the hold liberals have on public education, and now the way is clear. Require weapons training for teachers! All the liberals will quit, and we conservatives can replace them, and teach the kids values they actually need to know. I love this plan. I’m excited ot be a part of it! Let’s do it!!! ;)

    OK, I know it’s just a dream. Because there are guns in a lot of public schools right now, and teachers have not resigned in droves. Fort decades there have been armed police officers in many public schools, mostly high schools and middle schools. See below:

    http://www.policeone.com/school-violence/articles/35394-Armed-police-now-tolerated-even-welcomed-on-school-campuses-Los-Angeles/

    Note this quotation from the article:

    It was an El Cajon police officer, assigned full time to the campus, who stopped Jason Hoffman only moments after the 18-year-old allegedly wounded five students and teachers with a shotgun. Officer Rich Agundez Jr. scrambled out of the administration building and confronted Hoffman outside the school, shooting him in the face and buttocks.“.

    See also here:

    http://www.thecrimereport.org/news/crime-and-justice-news/2011-11-houston-v-philadelphia-school-security

    Weirdly, there is a much more pervasive police presence at suburban and rural schools than in urban schools, because administrators there have an aversion to creating a “prison atmosphere” in schools, whereas the suburban and rural parents and students tend to see the police as their protectors.

    Because the duties of the police officers in schools have included sorting out misbehavior among students (drugs, disorderly conduct, sexual assaults, fights) there has been a tendency toward not stationing cops at elementary schools. But maybe now there will be. (See link on next post.)

    Anyway, putting guns in the schools hasn’t caused teachers to quit in droves. And I’ll bet that allowing a discrete few to take weapons training and certification won’t cause a mass exodus either.

  • kerner

    Stephen: (this comment partly tongue in cheek)

    You have given me a great idea. We conservatives have been for decades been trying to figure out how to beak the hold liberals have on public education, and now the way is clear. Require weapons training for teachers! All the liberals will quit, and we conservatives can replace them, and teach the kids values they actually need to know. I love this plan. I’m excited ot be a part of it! Let’s do it!!! ;)

    OK, I know it’s just a dream. Because there are guns in a lot of public schools right now, and teachers have not resigned in droves. Fort decades there have been armed police officers in many public schools, mostly high schools and middle schools. See below:

    http://www.policeone.com/school-violence/articles/35394-Armed-police-now-tolerated-even-welcomed-on-school-campuses-Los-Angeles/

    Note this quotation from the article:

    It was an El Cajon police officer, assigned full time to the campus, who stopped Jason Hoffman only moments after the 18-year-old allegedly wounded five students and teachers with a shotgun. Officer Rich Agundez Jr. scrambled out of the administration building and confronted Hoffman outside the school, shooting him in the face and buttocks.“.

    See also here:

    http://www.thecrimereport.org/news/crime-and-justice-news/2011-11-houston-v-philadelphia-school-security

    Weirdly, there is a much more pervasive police presence at suburban and rural schools than in urban schools, because administrators there have an aversion to creating a “prison atmosphere” in schools, whereas the suburban and rural parents and students tend to see the police as their protectors.

    Because the duties of the police officers in schools have included sorting out misbehavior among students (drugs, disorderly conduct, sexual assaults, fights) there has been a tendency toward not stationing cops at elementary schools. But maybe now there will be. (See link on next post.)

    Anyway, putting guns in the schools hasn’t caused teachers to quit in droves. And I’ll bet that allowing a discrete few to take weapons training and certification won’t cause a mass exodus either.

  • kerner

    I am putting this last link in a separate comment because more than 2 links delays the posting.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20121217-dallas-isd-to-boost-police-presence-around-schools-as-area-districts-consider-more-security-measures.ece

    So elementary schools will get the protection they need from trained people. Good.

    By the way, @13 Peter posted a suggestion that has not been responded to. Anybody care to address it?

  • kerner

    I am putting this last link in a separate comment because more than 2 links delays the posting.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20121217-dallas-isd-to-boost-police-presence-around-schools-as-area-districts-consider-more-security-measures.ece

    So elementary schools will get the protection they need from trained people. Good.

    By the way, @13 Peter posted a suggestion that has not been responded to. Anybody care to address it?

  • Stephen

    kerner,

    You made my argument for vocation as far as I can tell. Police should police and teachers teach. We’ll see what happens when/if more teachers become gun happy. One accident – ONE – and you can bet there will be an outcry and we’ll start this process all over again, except we’ll be even deeper in the weeds with even more guns out there. What makes you believe that wouldn’t happen when it happens all the time in homes across this country?

    And as for public schools, if your characterization is correct about teachers, then why aren’t conservatives there in the first place? Besides, I thought conservatives were ought to ultimately shut them all down. That’s the whole point of No child Left Behind, isn’t it?

  • Stephen

    kerner,

    You made my argument for vocation as far as I can tell. Police should police and teachers teach. We’ll see what happens when/if more teachers become gun happy. One accident – ONE – and you can bet there will be an outcry and we’ll start this process all over again, except we’ll be even deeper in the weeds with even more guns out there. What makes you believe that wouldn’t happen when it happens all the time in homes across this country?

    And as for public schools, if your characterization is correct about teachers, then why aren’t conservatives there in the first place? Besides, I thought conservatives were ought to ultimately shut them all down. That’s the whole point of No child Left Behind, isn’t it?

  • kerner

    tODD @49:

    I think Rev. McCain was referring to this:

    http://www.examiner.com/article/media-blackout-oregon-mall-shooter-was-stopped-by-an-armed-citizen

    This follows a pattern for a lot of these mass murderers. They always intend to kill themselves. They just want to inflict as much pain as they can before they do, so they kill helpless people until someone who is not helpless comes along and then they kill themselves, because that deprives the rescuers of the satisfaction of exacting punishment/stoppong the bad guy, etc. The Oregon shooter had several loaded magazines with him when most people ran away, his gun jammed temporarily, and this guy with his own gun confronted him. Then he got his gun working and killed himself. Whether it was because of the guy with the concealed carry gun we can never know for sure, but the concealed carry guy was there, and the murderer did kill stop and kill himself right after he showed up.

  • kerner

    tODD @49:

    I think Rev. McCain was referring to this:

    http://www.examiner.com/article/media-blackout-oregon-mall-shooter-was-stopped-by-an-armed-citizen

    This follows a pattern for a lot of these mass murderers. They always intend to kill themselves. They just want to inflict as much pain as they can before they do, so they kill helpless people until someone who is not helpless comes along and then they kill themselves, because that deprives the rescuers of the satisfaction of exacting punishment/stoppong the bad guy, etc. The Oregon shooter had several loaded magazines with him when most people ran away, his gun jammed temporarily, and this guy with his own gun confronted him. Then he got his gun working and killed himself. Whether it was because of the guy with the concealed carry gun we can never know for sure, but the concealed carry guy was there, and the murderer did kill stop and kill himself right after he showed up.

  • kerner

    Stephen:

    I knew I was going to regret that joke. So, forget the joke.

    Why isn’t trained and armed people, like cops and the occasional armed administrator/teacher the solution to all this? Such as what is going on now or what peter @13 suggested? Why do we have to adopt Stephen’s pietistic/utopian dream of what a civilized society should look like to be seen as caring of civilized?

  • kerner

    Stephen:

    I knew I was going to regret that joke. So, forget the joke.

    Why isn’t trained and armed people, like cops and the occasional armed administrator/teacher the solution to all this? Such as what is going on now or what peter @13 suggested? Why do we have to adopt Stephen’s pietistic/utopian dream of what a civilized society should look like to be seen as caring of civilized?

  • Stephen

    Why is it utopian (again, very black and white thinking there) and pietistic (Oh come on!) to want to walk down the streets of my city or into my child’s school and know that only law enforcement professionals are the ones carrying firearms? Sounds pretty civilized to me.

    Should schools have cops? There may be a reason for that, maybe because our society is saturated with firearms for instance. Not utopian in the least. I simply think that more arms just means more arms and more potential for lethal consequences. It is moving in the wrong direction.

  • Stephen

    Why is it utopian (again, very black and white thinking there) and pietistic (Oh come on!) to want to walk down the streets of my city or into my child’s school and know that only law enforcement professionals are the ones carrying firearms? Sounds pretty civilized to me.

    Should schools have cops? There may be a reason for that, maybe because our society is saturated with firearms for instance. Not utopian in the least. I simply think that more arms just means more arms and more potential for lethal consequences. It is moving in the wrong direction.

  • DonS

    Stephen @ 51: My thoughts are my own. Always. If I read something of interest, or which presents an idea that I think should be part of the conversation on a thread, I cite it.

    Are you a member of Handgun Control? Because your comments seem to be tracking their talking points pretty closely right now ;-)

  • DonS

    Stephen @ 51: My thoughts are my own. Always. If I read something of interest, or which presents an idea that I think should be part of the conversation on a thread, I cite it.

    Are you a member of Handgun Control? Because your comments seem to be tracking their talking points pretty closely right now ;-)

  • Stephen

    DonS,= @ 58

    I don’t even know what that is. My thoughts spring right out of the head of Minerva. ;) right back at you.

  • Stephen

    DonS,= @ 58

    I don’t even know what that is. My thoughts spring right out of the head of Minerva. ;) right back at you.

  • DonS

    Wow, tODD @ 50! I’m honored that you regarded my comments as being important or “scary” enough to justify that kind of research!

    Of course, your first sentence is pure and typical snark. You know full well, from the comment string, that I was not referencing comments or opinions, but a rush to legislation. But, whatever.

    Unfortunately, you really cherry picked those quotes you cited to try to prove that I am actually a whole-hearted supporter of the Patriot Act. They need a lot more context than you bothered to provide. Here’s your quote [1] in greater context, as an example. The italicized snippet is what you shared above:

    [1]

    Regardless, however, I still find it remarkable that the urgency to pass this particular piece of legislation, especially the reconciliation bill, was so great, given that it was not available for review until the weekend it was voted on, particularly since most of its provisions are not effective for four years. You could at least argue that there was some genuine urgency to passage of the Patriot Act, in the wake of a homeland attack which took the lives of some 3,000 of our fellow citizens, by terrorists who were credibly threatening more such attacks.

    Of course, as you can see from the entire context of the quote, all I was saying was that there was absolutely no reason to pass Obamacare on an urgency basis, especially since its provisions were not to be effective for four years. There was more justification to pass the Patriot Act as urgency legislation, because at least one could argue that there were still credible threats that needed to be addressed urgently to prevent more tragedies. That wasn’t exactly a full-throated support of the Patriot Act, just an acknowledgement that there was justification for passing it quickly.

    Of course, the present case is more like Obamacare. The shooter is dead. The only reason to rush to pass gun legislation now is to play on the emotion of the moment. It’s a cynical play by gun control enthusiasts to urgently pass long-sought legislation on the backs of victims of a tragedy — using their tragic circumstances for cynical political purposes. Urgency legislation is almost never a good idea, particularly when constitutional rights are at issue. If it’s a good idea now, it will be a good idea in three months.

    Here’s [2] in context:

    The Patriot Act doesn’t have anything to do with free speech. But, it does impinge on our constitutional rights, or at least you and others thought so at one time during the Bush administration. The point, of course, is that just because something is written in the constitution doesn’t mean we can just sit back, relax, and assume everything’s good. And, no, I didn’t particularly oppose it. But I weighed the costs thoroughly.

    As you can see, I used the past tense because I didn’t particularly oppose it when it was passed. I was caught up in the moment like most other Americans, and I didn’t fully understand what was in it (which is the danger of urgency legislation — see Obamacare). But I certainly see over time how parts of it have trampled the civil rights of law abiding Americans, and how the government has misused it to grab power it doesn’t need and shouldn’t be entitled to have.

    [3] The “real threat” I was referring to in that comment was the McCain Feingold Act, and I was specifically referencing free speech rights, which are not particularly impacted by the Patriot Act. This is certainly, once again, not a ringing endorsement of the Patriot Act.

    To clarify my thoughts on the Patriot Act, it is understandable why it passed, and why it was passed under urgency provisions. That said, as we’ve learned more about it, it is a classic example of why we DO NOT want to pass legislation urgently — it makes for bad law that we do not fully understand and that impacts our Constitutional rights in ways that may not become fully apparent until later. Obamacare cemented this conviction in my mind. Which is why I urged caution in advocating sweeping legislation, involving either gun rights or the treatment of the mentally ill, in the wake of this tragedy. Let time pass, let emotion die down, grieve, evaluate how we each, individually, can impact society and maybe make it a little less violence-loving, and then see where we are and whether a regulatory solution might be a part of the solution.

    That is all I am saying.

  • DonS

    Wow, tODD @ 50! I’m honored that you regarded my comments as being important or “scary” enough to justify that kind of research!

    Of course, your first sentence is pure and typical snark. You know full well, from the comment string, that I was not referencing comments or opinions, but a rush to legislation. But, whatever.

    Unfortunately, you really cherry picked those quotes you cited to try to prove that I am actually a whole-hearted supporter of the Patriot Act. They need a lot more context than you bothered to provide. Here’s your quote [1] in greater context, as an example. The italicized snippet is what you shared above:

    [1]

    Regardless, however, I still find it remarkable that the urgency to pass this particular piece of legislation, especially the reconciliation bill, was so great, given that it was not available for review until the weekend it was voted on, particularly since most of its provisions are not effective for four years. You could at least argue that there was some genuine urgency to passage of the Patriot Act, in the wake of a homeland attack which took the lives of some 3,000 of our fellow citizens, by terrorists who were credibly threatening more such attacks.

    Of course, as you can see from the entire context of the quote, all I was saying was that there was absolutely no reason to pass Obamacare on an urgency basis, especially since its provisions were not to be effective for four years. There was more justification to pass the Patriot Act as urgency legislation, because at least one could argue that there were still credible threats that needed to be addressed urgently to prevent more tragedies. That wasn’t exactly a full-throated support of the Patriot Act, just an acknowledgement that there was justification for passing it quickly.

    Of course, the present case is more like Obamacare. The shooter is dead. The only reason to rush to pass gun legislation now is to play on the emotion of the moment. It’s a cynical play by gun control enthusiasts to urgently pass long-sought legislation on the backs of victims of a tragedy — using their tragic circumstances for cynical political purposes. Urgency legislation is almost never a good idea, particularly when constitutional rights are at issue. If it’s a good idea now, it will be a good idea in three months.

    Here’s [2] in context:

    The Patriot Act doesn’t have anything to do with free speech. But, it does impinge on our constitutional rights, or at least you and others thought so at one time during the Bush administration. The point, of course, is that just because something is written in the constitution doesn’t mean we can just sit back, relax, and assume everything’s good. And, no, I didn’t particularly oppose it. But I weighed the costs thoroughly.

    As you can see, I used the past tense because I didn’t particularly oppose it when it was passed. I was caught up in the moment like most other Americans, and I didn’t fully understand what was in it (which is the danger of urgency legislation — see Obamacare). But I certainly see over time how parts of it have trampled the civil rights of law abiding Americans, and how the government has misused it to grab power it doesn’t need and shouldn’t be entitled to have.

    [3] The “real threat” I was referring to in that comment was the McCain Feingold Act, and I was specifically referencing free speech rights, which are not particularly impacted by the Patriot Act. This is certainly, once again, not a ringing endorsement of the Patriot Act.

    To clarify my thoughts on the Patriot Act, it is understandable why it passed, and why it was passed under urgency provisions. That said, as we’ve learned more about it, it is a classic example of why we DO NOT want to pass legislation urgently — it makes for bad law that we do not fully understand and that impacts our Constitutional rights in ways that may not become fully apparent until later. Obamacare cemented this conviction in my mind. Which is why I urged caution in advocating sweeping legislation, involving either gun rights or the treatment of the mentally ill, in the wake of this tragedy. Let time pass, let emotion die down, grieve, evaluate how we each, individually, can impact society and maybe make it a little less violence-loving, and then see where we are and whether a regulatory solution might be a part of the solution.

    That is all I am saying.

  • DonS
  • DonS
  • kerner

    Stephen @57:
    Why is it utopian (again, very black and white thinking there) and pietistic (Oh come on!) to want to walk down the streets of my city or into my child’s school and know that only law enforcement professionals are the ones carrying firearms? Sounds pretty civilized to me.

    For the same reason it was pietistic to want to walk down the street of her city, and not see any bars or liquor stores. Or nowadays, in states where pietistic religions are still strong, to know that alcohol is highly regulated.

    Because every comment you make, every word you write, just oozes holier than thou pietism. It’s not enough for you to decide this issue for yourself. Everybody “in your city” has to recognize the evils of “demon guns” and conform. Sometimes you say it outright (that there is virtue in having no guns, or that it is “civilized”) but it is implicit in every comment.

    Stephen: “I am unarmed. I have stronger faith than you. I’m a better Christian than you. I’m more civilized than you. You have to be like me. Let’s make it a law .”

    How is that different from this?:

    Pietist: “I totally abstain from alcohol. I have stronger faith than you. I am a better Christian than you. I’m more civilized than you. You have to be like me. Let’s make it a law ”

    Pure self righteous legalism, and it is implicit in every argument you make. If we can just get rid of “demon guns” life will be all peaches and gravy. Sure, that’ll really work.

    But another reason you are being utopian is that, even if you got all the laws you wanted, you couldn’t “know” that nobody but law enforcement professionals had guns, because it would be true. You, like all utopians, would only be deluding yourself into thinking it was true.

  • kerner

    Stephen @57:
    Why is it utopian (again, very black and white thinking there) and pietistic (Oh come on!) to want to walk down the streets of my city or into my child’s school and know that only law enforcement professionals are the ones carrying firearms? Sounds pretty civilized to me.

    For the same reason it was pietistic to want to walk down the street of her city, and not see any bars or liquor stores. Or nowadays, in states where pietistic religions are still strong, to know that alcohol is highly regulated.

    Because every comment you make, every word you write, just oozes holier than thou pietism. It’s not enough for you to decide this issue for yourself. Everybody “in your city” has to recognize the evils of “demon guns” and conform. Sometimes you say it outright (that there is virtue in having no guns, or that it is “civilized”) but it is implicit in every comment.

    Stephen: “I am unarmed. I have stronger faith than you. I’m a better Christian than you. I’m more civilized than you. You have to be like me. Let’s make it a law .”

    How is that different from this?:

    Pietist: “I totally abstain from alcohol. I have stronger faith than you. I am a better Christian than you. I’m more civilized than you. You have to be like me. Let’s make it a law ”

    Pure self righteous legalism, and it is implicit in every argument you make. If we can just get rid of “demon guns” life will be all peaches and gravy. Sure, that’ll really work.

    But another reason you are being utopian is that, even if you got all the laws you wanted, you couldn’t “know” that nobody but law enforcement professionals had guns, because it would be true. You, like all utopians, would only be deluding yourself into thinking it was true.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I simply think that more arms just means more arms and more potential for lethal consequences. It is moving in the wrong direction.”

    Sorry, but that is a little too simple to be accurate. The law abiding citizenry are unwilling to give up their guns at least or until the criminals and crazies are disarmed. If you think that just disarming the law abiding will lower gun crime, I will have to respectfully disagree.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I simply think that more arms just means more arms and more potential for lethal consequences. It is moving in the wrong direction.”

    Sorry, but that is a little too simple to be accurate. The law abiding citizenry are unwilling to give up their guns at least or until the criminals and crazies are disarmed. If you think that just disarming the law abiding will lower gun crime, I will have to respectfully disagree.

  • Stephen

    DonS @ 60

    I said earlier that caution is wise, and I agree to a point. But I also see that the same kinds of things flare up again and again, the same tragedies continue to happen, and during the calmer moments, nothing happens.

    So, I’m not so sure that laying low is the best way to exercise caution. Passion gives things momentum. Why sacrifice that to time? And I disagree that this situation is not urgent on some level. This keeps happening with no end in sight. I think the same can be said about health care. We put it off for years, everyone pretty much agreeing that “something” should be done, but no one doing anything. And in the meantime people have been left at the mercy of a system that hasn’t been working for a long time.

    Psalm 9

    15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug;
    their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.
    16 The Lord is known by his acts of justice;
    the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.[c]
    17 The wicked go down to the realm of the dead,
    all the nations that forget God.
    18 But God will never forget the needy;
    the hope of the afflicted will never perish.

    And @ 61

    I’m not much of a joiner, but if I was . . .

  • Stephen

    DonS @ 60

    I said earlier that caution is wise, and I agree to a point. But I also see that the same kinds of things flare up again and again, the same tragedies continue to happen, and during the calmer moments, nothing happens.

    So, I’m not so sure that laying low is the best way to exercise caution. Passion gives things momentum. Why sacrifice that to time? And I disagree that this situation is not urgent on some level. This keeps happening with no end in sight. I think the same can be said about health care. We put it off for years, everyone pretty much agreeing that “something” should be done, but no one doing anything. And in the meantime people have been left at the mercy of a system that hasn’t been working for a long time.

    Psalm 9

    15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug;
    their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.
    16 The Lord is known by his acts of justice;
    the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.[c]
    17 The wicked go down to the realm of the dead,
    all the nations that forget God.
    18 But God will never forget the needy;
    the hope of the afflicted will never perish.

    And @ 61

    I’m not much of a joiner, but if I was . . .

  • Stephen

    No kerner, what I said was let cops be cops and teachers be teachers and civilians be civilians and soldiers be soldiers, etc.

    I am not advocating some kind of unilateral disarmament. I am advocating for arms in the hands of those whose job it is to carry them and use them properly. We have already decided who which professions those are. And that yes, this is the mark of a civilized society.

    Alcohol should be used by adults in certain settings that a community agrees upon – in homes and bars, not on the road, for instance.

    This idea that I am talking about eradicating weapons is false. People do have reasonable expectations of safety in their community just like they have reasonable expectations of decency. Where we disagree is where that line of reasonableness exists.

  • Stephen

    No kerner, what I said was let cops be cops and teachers be teachers and civilians be civilians and soldiers be soldiers, etc.

    I am not advocating some kind of unilateral disarmament. I am advocating for arms in the hands of those whose job it is to carry them and use them properly. We have already decided who which professions those are. And that yes, this is the mark of a civilized society.

    Alcohol should be used by adults in certain settings that a community agrees upon – in homes and bars, not on the road, for instance.

    This idea that I am talking about eradicating weapons is false. People do have reasonable expectations of safety in their community just like they have reasonable expectations of decency. Where we disagree is where that line of reasonableness exists.

  • DonS

    Stephen @ 64: Passion is different than emotion. Real passion is lasting. If the idea is worthy, it will pass later, with sober consideration. But regardless, these things are going to keep happening, from time to time, no matter what we do legislatively, so that’s not an excuse for passing bad laws fast. The guns are out there and the 2nd Amendment is in place. These kinds of things happen in places with strict gun laws (CT and CA, for example), as often as they do in places with more relaxed gun laws, like CO. An attitude change by our nation is what is needed. We need to stop loving violence. It’s a heart issue, not a laws issue. We live in a fallen world.

  • DonS

    Stephen @ 64: Passion is different than emotion. Real passion is lasting. If the idea is worthy, it will pass later, with sober consideration. But regardless, these things are going to keep happening, from time to time, no matter what we do legislatively, so that’s not an excuse for passing bad laws fast. The guns are out there and the 2nd Amendment is in place. These kinds of things happen in places with strict gun laws (CT and CA, for example), as often as they do in places with more relaxed gun laws, like CO. An attitude change by our nation is what is needed. We need to stop loving violence. It’s a heart issue, not a laws issue. We live in a fallen world.

  • kerner

    Stephen @ 65:

    “I am advocating for arms in the hands of those whose job it is to carry them and use them properly. We have already decided who which professions those are. And that yes, this is the mark of a civilized society.”

    No Stephen, we have decided no such thing. You have decided that, and you want to decide it for everyone. The mark of a true pietist utopian.

    Look, if you want to be avoid guns at all costs, and even make you wife do it, that is your business. But the rest of us should be free to choose for ourselves. I know you think your desire is to control us for our own good, and that’s what Carrie Nation, et al, always said, but she was wrong and so are you.

  • kerner

    Stephen @ 65:

    “I am advocating for arms in the hands of those whose job it is to carry them and use them properly. We have already decided who which professions those are. And that yes, this is the mark of a civilized society.”

    No Stephen, we have decided no such thing. You have decided that, and you want to decide it for everyone. The mark of a true pietist utopian.

    Look, if you want to be avoid guns at all costs, and even make you wife do it, that is your business. But the rest of us should be free to choose for ourselves. I know you think your desire is to control us for our own good, and that’s what Carrie Nation, et al, always said, but she was wrong and so are you.

  • kerner

    For what it is worth, let’s check out these statistics for 2001 in the USA:

    Alcohol attributable deaths: 75,766.

    Gun deaths: 29,573

    And can anybody argue that a “civilized society” needs alcohol so much more than it needs guns that the purchase of alcohol should be so totally unrestricted? When some of you are willing to make anyone who wants to buy alcohol submit to a psychological exam, and a background check, and be licensed, and registered with the government, to buy alcohol, you’ll have a lot more credibility. Because nobody needs alcohol more than they need a semi-automatic rifle. They simply have the right, as adults, to responsibly use something that is known to be dangerous.

    Since guns are so demonstrably less dangerous than alcohol, I see no reason why it should be so much harder for a responsible adult to get a gun than it is for a responsible adult to get a drink.

  • kerner

    For what it is worth, let’s check out these statistics for 2001 in the USA:

    Alcohol attributable deaths: 75,766.

    Gun deaths: 29,573

    And can anybody argue that a “civilized society” needs alcohol so much more than it needs guns that the purchase of alcohol should be so totally unrestricted? When some of you are willing to make anyone who wants to buy alcohol submit to a psychological exam, and a background check, and be licensed, and registered with the government, to buy alcohol, you’ll have a lot more credibility. Because nobody needs alcohol more than they need a semi-automatic rifle. They simply have the right, as adults, to responsibly use something that is known to be dangerous.

    Since guns are so demonstrably less dangerous than alcohol, I see no reason why it should be so much harder for a responsible adult to get a gun than it is for a responsible adult to get a drink.

  • kerner
  • kerner
  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    You made my argument for vocation as far as I can tell. Police should police and teachers teach. We’ll see what happens when/if more teachers become gun happy. One accident – ONE – and you can bet there will be an outcry and we’ll start this process all over again, except we’ll be even deeper in the weeds with even more guns out there. What makes you believe that wouldn’t happen when it happens all the time in homes across this country?

    These seems pretty plausible. One event can set off a chain of events. Look at 911. We are in a mess of over reaction to that attack. I still think that psychologically we can’t take a punch. Anything less than 100% safety and we start engineering stuff and we could end up worse off.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    You made my argument for vocation as far as I can tell. Police should police and teachers teach. We’ll see what happens when/if more teachers become gun happy. One accident – ONE – and you can bet there will be an outcry and we’ll start this process all over again, except we’ll be even deeper in the weeds with even more guns out there. What makes you believe that wouldn’t happen when it happens all the time in homes across this country?

    These seems pretty plausible. One event can set off a chain of events. Look at 911. We are in a mess of over reaction to that attack. I still think that psychologically we can’t take a punch. Anything less than 100% safety and we start engineering stuff and we could end up worse off.

  • Abby
  • Abby
  • Tom Hering

    Since guns are so demonstrably less dangerous than alcohol, I see no reason why it should be so much harder for a responsible adult to get a gun than it is for a responsible adult to get a drink. (@ 68)

    Can I walk into a school and kill twenty little children with a glassful of gin and tonic?

  • Tom Hering

    Since guns are so demonstrably less dangerous than alcohol, I see no reason why it should be so much harder for a responsible adult to get a gun than it is for a responsible adult to get a drink. (@ 68)

    Can I walk into a school and kill twenty little children with a glassful of gin and tonic?

  • kerner

    Tom H:

    No, but you can knock back a pint of gun and drive into a school bus and kill twenty little children just as easily. More easily really, because alcohol kills about 2.5 times as many people as guns do. So, why don’t you need a psychological exam and a government license and a background check to buy that pint of gin, since you are statistically more likely to kill somebody with it than a person who wants to buy a gun?

    You know, making it a crime for convicted drunk drivers to drink at all, and making every prospective buyer of alcohol pass a background check before their purchase, might cut down on drunk driving deaths. So, why should you object to subjecting the vast majority of alcohol buyers who aren’t going to drive drunk to the same strict regulation that you want to force gun purchasers to undergo? As has been made very clear, it’s the drinkers that are the more dangerous of the two.

  • kerner

    Tom H:

    No, but you can knock back a pint of gun and drive into a school bus and kill twenty little children just as easily. More easily really, because alcohol kills about 2.5 times as many people as guns do. So, why don’t you need a psychological exam and a government license and a background check to buy that pint of gin, since you are statistically more likely to kill somebody with it than a person who wants to buy a gun?

    You know, making it a crime for convicted drunk drivers to drink at all, and making every prospective buyer of alcohol pass a background check before their purchase, might cut down on drunk driving deaths. So, why should you object to subjecting the vast majority of alcohol buyers who aren’t going to drive drunk to the same strict regulation that you want to force gun purchasers to undergo? As has been made very clear, it’s the drinkers that are the more dangerous of the two.

  • kerner

    ack! In meant pint of GIN. Freudian slip? ;)

  • kerner

    ack! In meant pint of GIN. Freudian slip? ;)

  • Tom Hering

    No, but you can knock back a pint of g[i]n and drive into a school bus and kill twenty little children just as easily. (@ 73)

    Of course, kerner, but that’s not the scenario I was talking about, nor is it the scenario the country wants to take action on.

  • Tom Hering

    No, but you can knock back a pint of g[i]n and drive into a school bus and kill twenty little children just as easily. (@ 73)

    Of course, kerner, but that’s not the scenario I was talking about, nor is it the scenario the country wants to take action on.

  • kerner

    Tom H.

    First of all, you don’t speak for the whole country. Second, what difference does it make which scenario you were talking about?

    Are you saying that the lives of the children on the school bus are less worthy of our attention as a country, simply because they were killed by a member of a group you belong to (drinkers) as opposed to the children killed by a group of which you are not a member (gun owners)?

    (Actually, Adam Lanza was not a “gun owner” in the sense that he was in compliance with any of the existing laws governing gun ownership. He killed the lawful owner of the guns and stole them.)

    Or is it really because you, being a member of a group who uses alcohol lawfully, see no reason why the deaths caused by a criminal using alcohol ought to trigger an oppressive government intrusion into the personal liberty of the millions of lawful drinkers like yourself. Especially since that oppressive intrusion probably would not really save very many lives anyway, because criminals who really want booze will always be able to find it.

    Of course, if that is your reason for not wanting the purchase of alcohol to be licensed and subject to background checks, then you are just like gun owners. Except you refuse to see it when somebody else’s personal freedom is beingf violated.

  • kerner

    Tom H.

    First of all, you don’t speak for the whole country. Second, what difference does it make which scenario you were talking about?

    Are you saying that the lives of the children on the school bus are less worthy of our attention as a country, simply because they were killed by a member of a group you belong to (drinkers) as opposed to the children killed by a group of which you are not a member (gun owners)?

    (Actually, Adam Lanza was not a “gun owner” in the sense that he was in compliance with any of the existing laws governing gun ownership. He killed the lawful owner of the guns and stole them.)

    Or is it really because you, being a member of a group who uses alcohol lawfully, see no reason why the deaths caused by a criminal using alcohol ought to trigger an oppressive government intrusion into the personal liberty of the millions of lawful drinkers like yourself. Especially since that oppressive intrusion probably would not really save very many lives anyway, because criminals who really want booze will always be able to find it.

    Of course, if that is your reason for not wanting the purchase of alcohol to be licensed and subject to background checks, then you are just like gun owners. Except you refuse to see it when somebody else’s personal freedom is beingf violated.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner, to be blunt, I think you’re turning to the issue of alcohol because you’re losing the argument on guns, and you know a change is coming in our country, whether you like it or not.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner, to be blunt, I think you’re turning to the issue of alcohol because you’re losing the argument on guns, and you know a change is coming in our country, whether you like it or not.

  • kerner

    To be equally blunt, you refuse to address the clear parallel between the two issues, because you are being a hypocrite.

  • kerner

    To be equally blunt, you refuse to address the clear parallel between the two issues, because you are being a hypocrite.

  • Michael B.

    @kerner

    I think you’re creating a strawman by suggesting that your opponents want an outright ban on all guns. While some of them do, people are merely asking for increased restrictions. Think about all the hoops you need to jump through to get a prescription drug. You need a gov’t approved doctor; you only get a gov’t approved dose, and the prescription is only valid for so long. But if instead of buying Lipitor you instead want to get a Glock, well then you only need fill out some forms and maybe wait a few days, and feel free to buy as much ammo as you like.

  • Michael B.

    @kerner

    I think you’re creating a strawman by suggesting that your opponents want an outright ban on all guns. While some of them do, people are merely asking for increased restrictions. Think about all the hoops you need to jump through to get a prescription drug. You need a gov’t approved doctor; you only get a gov’t approved dose, and the prescription is only valid for so long. But if instead of buying Lipitor you instead want to get a Glock, well then you only need fill out some forms and maybe wait a few days, and feel free to buy as much ammo as you like.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Kerner (@55), yeah, I know what McCain was referring to. But come on.

    First of all, that Examiner article is every bit as poor as I’ve come to expect of Examiner articles. It’s just an opinion piece. It also claims a “media blackout”, even as it gets most of its information from (drumroll, please) a media source.

    And in that media source, we have exactly one point of view presented, in which a man claims that “I know after he saw me, I think the last shot he fired was the one he used on himself.” I find the “I know … I think” formulation interesting, but whatever.

    Point being, I tend not to take such claims with a grain of salt, lacking any corroboration. And even if we take his story as completely true and in no way affected by the stress of the moment, the fact still remains that we don’t know why the shooter decided to kill himself when he did. To ascribe crystal clear, rational thought to a man in the process of shooting at random people in a mall does seem to ignore the scenario a bit, hmm?

    But hey, I get that a lot of gun owners have fantasies about being heroes in situations like that.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Kerner (@55), yeah, I know what McCain was referring to. But come on.

    First of all, that Examiner article is every bit as poor as I’ve come to expect of Examiner articles. It’s just an opinion piece. It also claims a “media blackout”, even as it gets most of its information from (drumroll, please) a media source.

    And in that media source, we have exactly one point of view presented, in which a man claims that “I know after he saw me, I think the last shot he fired was the one he used on himself.” I find the “I know … I think” formulation interesting, but whatever.

    Point being, I tend not to take such claims with a grain of salt, lacking any corroboration. And even if we take his story as completely true and in no way affected by the stress of the moment, the fact still remains that we don’t know why the shooter decided to kill himself when he did. To ascribe crystal clear, rational thought to a man in the process of shooting at random people in a mall does seem to ignore the scenario a bit, hmm?

    But hey, I get that a lot of gun owners have fantasies about being heroes in situations like that.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Kerner (@68), so you want to compare alcohol and guns? Okay.

    Note that we’re not discussing a person who committed suicide here. We’re discussing a public massacre. Gun-inflicted suicides are doubtless horrible to the people they affect, but it is clear that they do not affect the public like gun-inflicted murders do.

    Accordingly, your “alcohol-attributable deaths” number there needs some whittling. Actually, a lot of whittling. Because nearly all of those deaths from alcohol are, well, “suicides” — whether due to chronic disease or not.

    The CDC article says that “the leading acute cause of AADs was injury from motor-vehicle crashes (13,674)”. However, again, many of those deaths are going to be “suicides”, in which a person drives while drunk and only kills themselves in a crash. So how many “murders” (I assume they’re actually manslaughters, but whatever) were attributable to alcohol? Well, I can’t find the 13,674 figure in the study the CDC points to, so maybe I’m missing something, but it appears that maybe 60% of people killed in alcohol-related crashes had not themselves been drinking, so let’s call those all “murders”. I’ll round up very generously (doubtless some people who had been drinking and died in alcohol-related crashes were not the ones driving), and that gets us maybe 10,000 people a year who are “murdered” by drunk driving.

    But then, I haven’t looked up how many of those gun deaths were suicides as well. Let’s just go with the 13,674 figure, lumping together suicides and murders. Guess what? There still were over twice as many gun deaths as deaths from drunk driving!

    When some of you are willing to make anyone who wants to buy alcohol submit to a psychological exam, and a background check, and be licensed, and registered with the government, to buy alcohol, you’ll have a lot more credibility.

    But that’s the wrong comparison. The weapon in the alcohol-related deaths — at least the murders, which, again, is what is really motivating this discussion — isn’t the alcohol, it’s the car. Alcohol provides the problem, but doubtless it does the same thing with no small amount of those gun deaths, as well.

    And guess what? We do require car drivers to be licensed and registered with the government! If you wanna go the extra mile and call for background checks for drivers, too, be my guest. Far too many people can drive who shouldn’t be allowed, anyhow.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Kerner (@68), so you want to compare alcohol and guns? Okay.

    Note that we’re not discussing a person who committed suicide here. We’re discussing a public massacre. Gun-inflicted suicides are doubtless horrible to the people they affect, but it is clear that they do not affect the public like gun-inflicted murders do.

    Accordingly, your “alcohol-attributable deaths” number there needs some whittling. Actually, a lot of whittling. Because nearly all of those deaths from alcohol are, well, “suicides” — whether due to chronic disease or not.

    The CDC article says that “the leading acute cause of AADs was injury from motor-vehicle crashes (13,674)”. However, again, many of those deaths are going to be “suicides”, in which a person drives while drunk and only kills themselves in a crash. So how many “murders” (I assume they’re actually manslaughters, but whatever) were attributable to alcohol? Well, I can’t find the 13,674 figure in the study the CDC points to, so maybe I’m missing something, but it appears that maybe 60% of people killed in alcohol-related crashes had not themselves been drinking, so let’s call those all “murders”. I’ll round up very generously (doubtless some people who had been drinking and died in alcohol-related crashes were not the ones driving), and that gets us maybe 10,000 people a year who are “murdered” by drunk driving.

    But then, I haven’t looked up how many of those gun deaths were suicides as well. Let’s just go with the 13,674 figure, lumping together suicides and murders. Guess what? There still were over twice as many gun deaths as deaths from drunk driving!

    When some of you are willing to make anyone who wants to buy alcohol submit to a psychological exam, and a background check, and be licensed, and registered with the government, to buy alcohol, you’ll have a lot more credibility.

    But that’s the wrong comparison. The weapon in the alcohol-related deaths — at least the murders, which, again, is what is really motivating this discussion — isn’t the alcohol, it’s the car. Alcohol provides the problem, but doubtless it does the same thing with no small amount of those gun deaths, as well.

    And guess what? We do require car drivers to be licensed and registered with the government! If you wanna go the extra mile and call for background checks for drivers, too, be my guest. Far too many people can drive who shouldn’t be allowed, anyhow.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    Again, an argument from facts. Again, thank you. And your analysis is pretty good as far as it goes. I am not surprised to find that Alcohol related car crash deaths are about 60% homicides and about 40% suicides. The drunks in car crashes seem to be so relaxed that they are less likely to die in the crash they cause than the people they hit.

    And there are other alcohol related accidents too. The UW-Lacrosse campus is near the Mississippi River, and every year they fish the bodies of a few students out of the river. For awhile there were rumors of a “serial killer” stalking the UW-L campus. Oh there was a serial killer alright, and his name was Miller Lite.

    And then there is alcohol related violence. I practice criminal law, and I can tell you that a lot of violent crimes are related to alcohol. How many actual murders are alcohol related, I can’t say, but some of them are. And frankly, there will be some overlap between gun and alcohol related deaths. So why is it morally superior to regulate guns out of existence, but leave the chemical that destroyed the shooter’s good judgment totally alone?

    But you have to remember that the number of gun deaths (whic is still only about 40% as high as the number of alcohol related deaths) include suicides and accidents also. Those figures are probably broken down somewhere.

    But when you come right down to it, what does any of this micro analysis matter? Look, what Tom and Stephen are arguing for is called, in legal jargon, a prior restraint. And prior restraints are not favored in American law because they presume guilt before a person does anything wrong, and require the person in question to prove he is innocent of any ill will before proceeding. We don’t usually behave that way, and we certainly don’t with alcohol.

    Alcohol is a very dangerous commodity. It kills far more people that guns do. And yet we expect that free adult citizens will use it responsibly until they demonstrate otherwise. Only AFTER they have committed some crime do we restrict a person’s right to drink, and then only temporarily, and often not at all. For drunk drivers, we only restrict their right to drive. That they might get drunk and beat their girlfriends to death doesn’t seem to concern us.

    But with guns, we couldn’t seem to care less about free and responsible adults. We assume that someone who wants to buy a gun is a potentially dangerous criminal and treat them with the utmost suspicion. If a person commits a non violent felony, that person is banned from owning guns for life. Would you care to explain the logic of a legal system that takes a guy who forged a $100.00 check in 1992 and denies him the right to own a gun today, while that same legal system will take a man who drove drunk 3 times, and put an innocent person in the hospital on the last occasion, and let’s that person go right on drinking after he finishes his sentence and supervision?

    And the fact is that the average gun owner is no more dangerous than the average drinker. In fact, the vast majority of gun owners are probably much less of a threat to our safety than the average drinker, because a gun doesn’t impair anyone’s judgment.

    I just said on a different thread that I really would not have a problem with a common sense discussion of what safety regulations might be reasonable regarding firearms, if I had any confidence at all that the people demanding those regulations were going to use common sense or logic. But this discussion and the others have only convinced me more than ever that the people who purport to be asking for reasonable regulations are really pushing to “be able to walk down the street in their cities knowing that only trained law enforcement officers have guns”. Which means they aren’t the least bit interested in gun safety. They believe that they are morally superior because they want almost all people to have no guns.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    Again, an argument from facts. Again, thank you. And your analysis is pretty good as far as it goes. I am not surprised to find that Alcohol related car crash deaths are about 60% homicides and about 40% suicides. The drunks in car crashes seem to be so relaxed that they are less likely to die in the crash they cause than the people they hit.

    And there are other alcohol related accidents too. The UW-Lacrosse campus is near the Mississippi River, and every year they fish the bodies of a few students out of the river. For awhile there were rumors of a “serial killer” stalking the UW-L campus. Oh there was a serial killer alright, and his name was Miller Lite.

    And then there is alcohol related violence. I practice criminal law, and I can tell you that a lot of violent crimes are related to alcohol. How many actual murders are alcohol related, I can’t say, but some of them are. And frankly, there will be some overlap between gun and alcohol related deaths. So why is it morally superior to regulate guns out of existence, but leave the chemical that destroyed the shooter’s good judgment totally alone?

    But you have to remember that the number of gun deaths (whic is still only about 40% as high as the number of alcohol related deaths) include suicides and accidents also. Those figures are probably broken down somewhere.

    But when you come right down to it, what does any of this micro analysis matter? Look, what Tom and Stephen are arguing for is called, in legal jargon, a prior restraint. And prior restraints are not favored in American law because they presume guilt before a person does anything wrong, and require the person in question to prove he is innocent of any ill will before proceeding. We don’t usually behave that way, and we certainly don’t with alcohol.

    Alcohol is a very dangerous commodity. It kills far more people that guns do. And yet we expect that free adult citizens will use it responsibly until they demonstrate otherwise. Only AFTER they have committed some crime do we restrict a person’s right to drink, and then only temporarily, and often not at all. For drunk drivers, we only restrict their right to drive. That they might get drunk and beat their girlfriends to death doesn’t seem to concern us.

    But with guns, we couldn’t seem to care less about free and responsible adults. We assume that someone who wants to buy a gun is a potentially dangerous criminal and treat them with the utmost suspicion. If a person commits a non violent felony, that person is banned from owning guns for life. Would you care to explain the logic of a legal system that takes a guy who forged a $100.00 check in 1992 and denies him the right to own a gun today, while that same legal system will take a man who drove drunk 3 times, and put an innocent person in the hospital on the last occasion, and let’s that person go right on drinking after he finishes his sentence and supervision?

    And the fact is that the average gun owner is no more dangerous than the average drinker. In fact, the vast majority of gun owners are probably much less of a threat to our safety than the average drinker, because a gun doesn’t impair anyone’s judgment.

    I just said on a different thread that I really would not have a problem with a common sense discussion of what safety regulations might be reasonable regarding firearms, if I had any confidence at all that the people demanding those regulations were going to use common sense or logic. But this discussion and the others have only convinced me more than ever that the people who purport to be asking for reasonable regulations are really pushing to “be able to walk down the street in their cities knowing that only trained law enforcement officers have guns”. Which means they aren’t the least bit interested in gun safety. They believe that they are morally superior because they want almost all people to have no guns.

  • Michael B.

    @Kerner

    Perhaps what people are trying to do is weigh public safety with weapon rights. You believe that the average person should not be allowed to own a rocket launcher. Why? Where is your evidence of people dying from rocket launcher attacks in the US? Presumably your argument may suggest that there is a very real risk of public safety in letting people own rocket launchers, and banning them results in very little encroachment on personal freedom. (i.e. why would somebody need to own a rocket launcher?)

  • Michael B.

    @Kerner

    Perhaps what people are trying to do is weigh public safety with weapon rights. You believe that the average person should not be allowed to own a rocket launcher. Why? Where is your evidence of people dying from rocket launcher attacks in the US? Presumably your argument may suggest that there is a very real risk of public safety in letting people own rocket launchers, and banning them results in very little encroachment on personal freedom. (i.e. why would somebody need to own a rocket launcher?)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Okay, sorry it took me so long.

    Rates of intentional homicide according to the UN.

    The US is higher than most European countries, but low compared to most countries per 100k population.

    US 4.2
    Russia 10.2
    Switzerland 0.7

    Canada 1.6
    Argentina 3.4
    Chile 3.2
    Martinique 4.2
    All others in the Americas are higher.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Okay, sorry it took me so long.

    Rates of intentional homicide according to the UN.

    The US is higher than most European countries, but low compared to most countries per 100k population.

    US 4.2
    Russia 10.2
    Switzerland 0.7

    Canada 1.6
    Argentina 3.4
    Chile 3.2
    Martinique 4.2
    All others in the Americas are higher.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    SG (@84):

    The US is higher than most European countries, but low compared to most countries per 100k population.

    I guess that’s one way to spin it. But when I looked at the list of countries sorted by descending homicide rate, I didn’t exactly see any countries above us that I’d consider equals or worth emulating. I guess Estonia’s not that bad? I’ve at least been there.

    But seriously, we’re tied with Martinique, Turkmenistan, and Yemen? Yay? And yet, we have more homicides than Uzbekistan, Libya, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Israel, or Iraq. And Canada, the country frequently derided by Americans as being too indistinguishable from the US, has less than two-fifths the homicides we do.

    USA! USA! USA!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    SG (@84):

    The US is higher than most European countries, but low compared to most countries per 100k population.

    I guess that’s one way to spin it. But when I looked at the list of countries sorted by descending homicide rate, I didn’t exactly see any countries above us that I’d consider equals or worth emulating. I guess Estonia’s not that bad? I’ve at least been there.

    But seriously, we’re tied with Martinique, Turkmenistan, and Yemen? Yay? And yet, we have more homicides than Uzbekistan, Libya, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Israel, or Iraq. And Canada, the country frequently derided by Americans as being too indistinguishable from the US, has less than two-fifths the homicides we do.

    USA! USA! USA!

  • Tom Hering

    Tomorrow, Friday the 21st, the NRA will hold its first press conference since the Newtown killings, and they promise to offer “meaningful contributions” to help ensure that what happened in Connecticut never happens again. I predict those contributions will focus on such things as the mental health system and violent video games, i.e., everything, anything, but guns and ammo.

  • Tom Hering

    Tomorrow, Friday the 21st, the NRA will hold its first press conference since the Newtown killings, and they promise to offer “meaningful contributions” to help ensure that what happened in Connecticut never happens again. I predict those contributions will focus on such things as the mental health system and violent video games, i.e., everything, anything, but guns and ammo.

  • kerner

    I have to believe that some of the countries on sg’s Wikipedia site are seriously under reporting their staistics. I have a very hard time believing that the USA is twice as dangerous as Afghanistan, or even Iraq. And Libya and Egypt and Syria? Syria??? Really?

  • kerner

    I have to believe that some of the countries on sg’s Wikipedia site are seriously under reporting their staistics. I have a very hard time believing that the USA is twice as dangerous as Afghanistan, or even Iraq. And Libya and Egypt and Syria? Syria??? Really?

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