Jesus. Not again.

Children among 27 dead in Connecticut school shooting

Twenty children and six adults have been killed in a shooting attack at a primary school in the US state of Connecticut, police say.

Lt. Paul Vance said the gunman was also dead, but did not identify him.

However, officials told US media the killer at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, was a 20-year-old son of a teacher at the school.

… Lt. Vance said 18 children were pronounced dead at the school, and two died after they were taken to hospital. Six adults were also killed. The gunman died at the scene.

According to US reports, the gunman’s mother was a teacher found among the dead at the school.

One person was also injured, and police were investigating a “secondary” crime scene, where another victim was found dead, Lt. Vance said.

He gave no details, but said New Jersey police were providing assistance.

Transcript: President Obama’s Remarks On Conn. School Shooting

We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news, I react not as a president, but as anybody else would as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.

The majority of those who died today were children — beautiful, little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them — birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.

So our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost.

Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors, as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early and there are no words that will ease their pain.

As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.

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  • Haven

    “And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”
    Hearing these words from the president’s mouth is a ray of hope. 

    This wouldn’t have happened if we could have been galvanized by any of the other high-profile shootings this year, or in years previous. This wouldn’t have happened if our every discussion hadn’t begun with “there will be no discussion”. 

    If people start realizing that these tragedies are preventable, that they are not isolated incidents but have common causes, and that there WILL be more if we don’t do anything? Maybe we can snap out of our collective learned helplessness and remember that even if a specific constitutional amendment is interpreted in a specific way that ultimately contributes to the violent death of children, it can be changed. (That’s how it got there in the first place, that’s what amendment means!)

  • hidden_urchin

    Not me. That’s what the politicians say after every massacre. They then let the discussion quietly die and we move on with our lives, leaving only those who have been shattered to remember. I’ll have hope only when a politician puts the blame squarely on our culture first. Such a thing will indicate that zie understands the problem and has the courage to confront it.

  • fredgiblet

    The guns didn’t go into the school and kill those kids by themselves.  Stricter gun laws won’t prevent things like this, they will simply change the methods from guns to something else, bombs, poison, something like that.

    What we need to do is determine why the PEOPLE are doing this, and deal with THAT.  There are countries with large numbers of guns where violent crime is minimal, not because they don’t have any guns, but because they don’t have a culture that is geared towards producing emotionally damaged people.

  • hidden_urchin

    Stricter gun laws won’t prevent things like this, they will simply change the methods from guns to something else, bombs, poison, something like that.

    This has been a consistent argument of the NRA and it is designed to do nothing more than deflect attention from the reality of firearms.  To create even a crude functioning bomb takes significant planning and some skill.  Finding the instructions on-line is the easy part.  (And one could very easily kill oneself doing it.)

    It is the same for poison.  To kill this many people with poison would take a fair amount of planning and skill.  Furthermore, a lot of poisons people have ready access to would be hard to use on a large scale necessitating greater planning and skill to use.

    A gun, on the other hand, is easy to get and easy to use.  It is also something intimately associated with power and violence in our cultural consciousness.  Closing background check loopholes and restricting access to high capacity magazines and assault style weapons would go a long way to make things more difficult for would-be mass murderers.  For those acting in the heat of the moment, or with too little skill to use other methods, it could very well mean the difference between carrying out a massacre or not.  It could mean the difference between being able to act relatively quickly and having to take time to prepare in which one might be caught.  Will every murderer be stopped?  No, but even a reduction in numbers is better than what we have now. 

    What we need to do is determine why the PEOPLE are doing this, and deal with THAT.

    The solution isn’t an either/or arrangement.  We can very well make it harder for people to get and use firearms while simultaneously addressing things like economic stressors and a lack of mental health resources.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

     This has been a consistent argument of the NRA and it is designed to do
    nothing more than deflect attention from the reality of firearms.

    And it’s nonsense. After a school shooting in Dunblane, Scotland in the 90s, handguns were banned in Britain. There have been no comparable attacks since.

    There is still violence and murder – and even guns, in some places. But there’s simply not violence on this sort of scale because getting access to weapons that let you kill so many people that easily is damn difficult, as it should be.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Yes, which is why we hear of bomb and poison violence in other countries at rates comparable to the rate of gun violence in the US.

    We do, right?

  • Paul Durant

    The problem in this case is a certain kind of machismo culture which prizes guns as symbols of masculine expression and restricts efforts to keep them out of the hands of people too unhinged to be allowed to have them There are a lot of laws that restrict access to guns for people who are too unhinged to have them. The problem is that state agencies don’t always communicate perfectly, records aren’t always kept updated, there’s many people the screen won’t catch whose unsuitability is only obvious in hindsight, and it’s actually almost impossible to prevent people from giving other people stuff, and similarly difficult to screen someone for not only their suitability for gun access but the suitability of everyone they might give the gun to.
    Yes, which is why we hear of bomb and poison violence in other countries at rates comparable to the rate of gun violence in the US. There is not another First World nation with similar rates of violence of any kind as the US. That’s kind of the point of bringing up other nations with lax gun control laws. Other countries with strict gun control have less gun violence, other countries with lax gun control have less gun violence, this is a strong indicator that our level of gun violence is not directly caused by our level of gun control, and something else is the problem. 

    Personally, I think that if we’re even going to have firearms, it ought to be restricted to bolt-action or pump-action rifles and shotguns an single-action revolvers. Something you gotta mess with with both hands in between shots. In the reasonable scenarios for gun use, you either don’t need to shoot bullets rapidly, or shooting bullets rapidly ain’t gonna help you.  I’m pro-gun-control, or at least pro-more-than-we-have. 

    But in a (terrible) discussion on another site I saw a pretty convincing argument from the pro-gun side. Namely, that regardless of how my “side” feels, a very significant portion of the country feels that ownership of guns is a fundamental right. So any kind of ban or restriction that would stop these shootings, would drastically restrict all of these people’s access to guns, and they would fight it tooth and nail. And any money, effort, or political capital expended to fight this opposition and get these laws passed to end spree killings would be an incredibly inefficient way to spend your effort to save lives. Spree killings stick in the national psyche, but people killed by spree killings is a shitload less than those killed by one-on-one crimes (where a knife really does do just as well), which is a shitload less than people killed in traffic accidents.

    And… weren’t most of us saying the same thing about terrorism back in the Bush years when we were supposed to be shitting our pants every waking second for fear of terrorism, going to insane lengths and efforts to ward off the possibility of terrorist attack? That deaths to terrorism are orders of magnitude less than deaths by traffic, and we don’t declare war on traffic, and don’t flip our shit about it? 

    I can’t really think of a substantive difference to counter the argument with. It can’t be an emotional plead to how unfair and wrong the deaths are, because that’s exactly what they do in respond to deaths from terrorism. I can’t say “guns rights aren’t a right you really need and you’re being selfish to want to hang on to them rather than save lives,” because that’s exactly what they say to me when I say we shouldn’t have a right I consider important strangled in the name of stopping terror. It seems wrong, but I can’t think of any logical reason that this isn’t comparable and thus the argument I used, and still believe in, is equally applicable to my reaction.

  • hidden_urchin

    Yes, people can have as many smooth-bore, muzzle loading muskets as they want. 

    Just like the Founding Fathers intended.*

    *Funny how, as soon as you say that, some people aren’t so interested in what the Founding Fathers intent was anymore.

  • P J Evans

     Muzzle-loading rifled muskets should also be allowed, seeing as they’re single-shot.

  • frazer

    I would say a difference is that I know of no evidence that exercising our right not to, say, have our phones tapped without a warrant results in anything like the number of gun deaths we experience (80 a day).  We lose more people to guns every year than we lost on 9/11.  With regard to traffic deaths, we do try to minimize traffic deaths with licensing and vehicle inspection and seat belt laws.

  • Paul Durant

    I would say a difference is that I know of no evidence that exercising our right not to, say, have our phones tapped without a warrant results in anything like the number of gun deaths we experience (80 a day). They’d claim that exercising your right to privacy and stopping the government from wiretapping would result in terrorists killing more people. (They’d be really wrong, but then they’d rebut that we don’t actually have a whole lot of proof that increased gun control will lower our crime rate substantially.) While we might lose more people to guns each year than we lost on 9/11, we haven’t lost as many people to spree killers like this in the years since 9/11 (I am like 98% sure of this), and the “this wouldn’t happen if access to guns wasn’t easy” argument is pretty solid for spree killers but way way way way more shaky for most of the rest of gun violence.

    With regard to traffic deaths, we do try to minimize traffic deaths with licensing and vehicle inspection and seat belt laws. Yeah, but we don’t totally lose our shit over the fact that people are still being killed in traffic accidents despite our attempts, the way that conservatives do over terrorism and liberals do over spree killers. Every time someone dies in a traffic accident, nobody says “We have to have stricter traffic laws and traffic enforcement!” or “It’s a grotesque injustice that people are stopping us from passing stricter traffic laws!” In fact, traffic laws are a nuisance and we don’t pay attention to their enforcement, which is why traffic enforcement is ludicrously corrupt but will never be fixed ever. 

    It’s obvious why we FEEL that way. Traffic accidents are steadily-occurring, individual events, where the innocence of the victim is not so inescapably evident, that do not occur out of malice. Terrorism or spree killings are vivid, sporadic, malicious, with victims we can’t ignore. But about half of us think that we should react to spree killings the same way as traffic accidents and about half of us think we should react to terrorism the same way as traffic accidents. The intended purpose of guns doesn’t really address why one of those judgments should be valid and one invalid. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    As frazer pointed out, yeah, we do try to enact various regulations to reduce traffic deaths. While there’s no doubt more that could be done, ultimately the sheer density of vehicle use combined with a myriad of impairing factors (alcohol use, tiredness, animals, emotional issues, wear and tear on roads and vehicles) means we have to cut our losses. The generally agreed-upon benefits of cars are considered great enough that as a society we’ll tolerate a certain amount of risk and loss to keep those benefits. Doing otherwise would require some frankly staggering restructuring of how our society and many people’s day-to-day lives works.

    Also, cars are tools for a specific purpose that kill and injure people because of failure. As a general rule, they’re not purposely designed and used to run people down. Firearms don’t have that excuse. Guns are purposely designed to kill and injure, preferably kill. Traffic deaths are the result of a certain percentage of regrettable failures on the parts of the tools and users. Firearm deaths are (barring misfires and other accidents) the result of them working exactly as intended.

    And the comparison to the US government’s farcical security theatre don’t really hold up, either. It’s not just “oh the government is being ridiculous about this,” it’s “the government is being demonstrably ineffective and ignoring known methods that work.” The Bush regime’s approach wasn’t to actually protect US citizens from terrorism, but to do the (much simpler) job of looking like they were protecting us, and they still screwed that up because they were so pathetically transparent about it.

    There are plenty of warning signs that basic police and intelligence work, done diligently and without egregiously violating citizens’ (or human) rights, can and do catch. Stuff will still slip through, it’s inevitable, but if we put even a tenth of what’s been wasted on the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions and security theatre into better funding police and intelligence work, the ratio of actual prevention of US citizen deaths to cost would look much better, for domestic as well as foreign terrorism.

  • Random_Lurker

     Like all things in US government, nothing is done on principle, but on what the politicians believe (or can convince us that) the public wants.  Enacting national gun-control will require a grassroots change in the national culture, it can’t be done from top.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    It also feeds both ways. The actions at the top do influence the national culture downwards, as the complete fabrication of the Teabaggers demonstrated. They were pretty much created by high-level Republicans, and became a Thing that influenced how people behaved at the grassroots level as well as up top. And it’s not like the NRA and others who have been shaping modern gun culture are exactly “grassroots” either.

    The objection to trying to enact gun control legislation ahead of changing the culture is… kind of empty, to me? It’s a component to changing the culture. And the reasoning that goes into it sounds like someone saying, “Well, you’re not curing the illness, you’re just treating the symptoms” like it’s a bad thing. But you know what? Cold medicine does a brisk sale every winter. There’s no reason not to treat symptoms, especially if the symptoms tax the body in ways that make it harder to recover from or treat the illness anyway.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     Okay, how about restricting access to ammunition – in particular the ammunition needed for this kind of “spray bullets everywhere” massacre? We could still allow hunters and target shooters to buy bullets, but make life at least a bit more complicated for the monsters.

    Also, maybe school-based education in gun safety would be a good idea (though that doesn’t reach the home-schooling crew, probably). I can’t think of a better way to quickly reduce the glamorous blaze-of-glory mystique of guns than to make kids sit through term papers and pop quizzes about them.

  • Paul Durant

     Okay, how about restricting access to ammunition – in particular the ammunition needed for this kind of “spray bullets everywhere” massacre? We could still allow hunters and target shooters to buy bullets, but make life at least a bit more complicated for the monsters. 

    Bullets are bullets, though. The kind of ammunition needed for hunters and target shooters (and personal defense) is the same kind of bullet needed for a “spray bullets everywhere” massacre. The .308 Winchester bullet that goes into a bolt-action hunting rifle is the same as a 7.62mm NATO round that goes into a fully-automatic M4 carbine the Army uses. A 12-gauge shell could go into a break-action coach gun that has to be reloaded after two shots, or a fully automatic AA-12 that can disgorge a 32-round drum in 6 seconds. 

    That’s why I said I wanted ownership of guns to be limited to single-action revolvers and bolt- or pump-action long guns, the kind that force the user to do something other than pull the trigger to prepare the next shot. (I think police should be limited to these too, outside of SWAT teams, who shouldn’t be under direct police control/authority, but that’s a whole nother thing.)

    And do we really have a “glamorous blaze-of-glory mystique” about guns? I don’t think so. There is a mystique to killing. Killing is power. Power is treated with awe and reverence. Guns are good at killing people, they don’t have a totemic significance outside of that. Making people bored and/or sick and tired of guns cannot remove this association. I support increased education and gun safety licensing for other reasons but it won’t do anything to lower the number of spree killings.

    Gun control is relevant to spree killings because a spree killer can do the most damage with a gun, but I dispute the idea that we have a “gun culture” that reveres guns on their own that leads to all this death. That’s kind of like saying Catholicism reveres crackers and booze. We have a culture wherein, for whatever reason, people want to kill other people a lot more frequently than in other nations. Guns are the method of killing.

  • Lori

    We have a culture wherein, for whatever reason, people want to kill other people a lot more frequently than in other nations. Guns are the method of killing.   

    There is no clear indication that we have any such thing. As I noted earlier, overall violence in the US is at near record lows. There are other nations with much higher rates of violence than we have. I will say again what I said earlier, “USians just suck” is no more than answer to this problem than “humans just suck”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    I do think that guns are the focus more so than other types of weapons. You never hear about people campaigning to legalize the concealed-carry of knives or bombs onto college campuses, bars, or other public settings the way you hear about guns. No one interprets the 2nd amendment to cover weapons other than guns, do they? There’s no National Pepper Spray Association and regulations restricting access to poisons, nerve gas, rockets, exploding drones, missiles, knives, depth charges, swords, napalm, and basically any other type of weapon but firearms is unlikely to provoke the huge controversy that you hear about now. You don’t hear about rugged homeowners bragging about how their homes and families are defended by a complex network of landmines. 

    Are there other factors? Sure. But I don’t think it’s accurate to say that guns aren’t given a totemic significance in your culture and are what most people think about when they think of “right to bear arms”.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     Okay, thank you for clarifying the ammunition issue. I’m fairly uninformed about guns; it seems to me that people have mentioned some sort of add-on gadget that holds a large supply of bullets and allows them to be fired extra fast – that’s what I had in mind, assuming it exists.

    As for the mystique of killing – fair enough, but there have been a lot of posts on this thread noting that guns make it so much easier to kill a lot of people fast. Attitudes are part of the problem, but technology (or access to particular technology) can be changed faster.

    What would you suggest as ways to discourage the kind of mass killings we’re talking about?

  • Lori

     

    The guns didn’t go into the school and kill those kids by themselves.
     Stricter gun laws won’t prevent things like this, they will simply
    change the methods from guns to something else, bombs, poison, something
    like that.   

    I am so very over this argument. Give me list of other methods that would allow one person to kill 26 people before they could get away and/or something could be done to stop him. Now tell me what our attitude is toward people possessing those things. Now tell me why automatic weapons and the NRA’s paranoid fever dreams about them are so much more important than the lives of our children.

     

    There are countries with large numbers of guns where violent crime is
    minimal, not because they don’t have any guns, but because they don’t
    have a culture that is geared towards producing emotionally damaged
    people.   

    There are a few. There are far more countries that have low rates of violent crime and very few guns. More importantly, the countries with lots of guns and little violent crime don’t fetishize guns the way the US gun lobby and it’s supporters do. The number of guns we have and the attitude so many of us have toward them are part of the culture that produces emotionally damaged people, not some separate thing that just happens to occur in the same place.

  • P J Evans

     I saw a comment at Daily Kos, where it was pointed out that Tunisia had the lowest gun ownership rate in the world, and still overthrew a dictator.

    We need so many guns because why?

  • Lori

    We need so many guns because why?  

    AFAICT guns are our national fetish items. I think it’s time we took steps to get into something else instead. Maybe leather.

    I’m not advocating for a total gun ban. I would like to revisit the issue of the reasonable boundaries of the 2nd Amendment though. I would like for the supposed 2nd Amendment absolutists to acknowledge that we didn’t always “know” that the 2nd Amendment “obviously” applied to private ownership of guns, let alone guns and ammunition designed for no purpose other than firing as many rounds as possible.

    I would like it if the NRA and gun manufacturers would stop lining their pockets by making gun owners paranoid past all reason. The profits from their lobbying efforts are literally blood money and we need to stop treating it like it’s respectable cash.

    I would like it if we cared more about being actually safe in the real world than heroes in our  fantasy worlds. I love a good hero fantasy, but deadly weapons really aren’t the right outlet for them.

    I would like it if we stopped making so many people feel so powerless and so invisible that they think having and using a deadly weapon is the best or only way to grab onto a sense of significance. I would also like it if we would permanently forget the names of every mass killer instead of giving them the notoriety that some of them explicitly seek and which reenforces the idea that killer = someone of note.

    I have no expectation of getting any of those things.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.mcirvin Matt McIrvin

    In Switzerland, guns are omnipresent, and there is very little gun violence. But they take the “well-regulated militia” thing seriously: there are rifles all over mostly because every male citizen does military service. They’re trained to use them properly, and the weapons and ammunition are strictly regulated. It’s nothing like the US gun culture.

  • Turcano

    I really wish we had Switzerland’s gun culture; that’s what it was supposed to be instead of treating guns as security blankets against Scary Black People.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    There are countries with large numbers of guns where violent crime is minimal, not because they don’t have any guns, but because they don’t have a culture that is geared towards producing emotionally damaged people.

    We have plenty of emotionally damaged people. We have a tragically high suicide rate*, but we don’t have regular mass murders.

    *It’s very hard to compare suicide rates between countries for a whole lot of reasons but where ever it stands in comparison to other countries, there’s no denying that suicide (and mental illness more broadly) are big problems in Australian society.

    In my lifetime I can think of three occasions where children or teenagers were the victims of a mass murder in my country (where “mass” = 3 or more victims). Two of the incidents were parents who killed their children. In the last century there have been 10 massacres–four of them were prior to 1930. Massacres are a more-than-annual event in the US.

    The difference between our societies isn’t that we’re all happy, healthy, stable people who always receive adequate care if we’re showing signs of heading off the rails. The difference is that very few of us have weapons of mass destruction at our fingertips.

  • stardreamer42

     Today, in China, a man walked into an elementary school and stabbed 22 students and at least one adult.

    Total body count? ZERO.

    Stop whining that if they didn’t have guns they’d just use something else. Those 22 kids in China are alive because the loon didn’t have access to a fucking gun.

  • Lori

    The guy in Connecticut didn’t just have a gun. Apparently he had this gun

    https://twitter.com/MarlowNYC/status/279655599585775616/photo/1

    I don’t want to get too bogged down in how a gun looks, as opposed to what it does (that was one of the great failings of the original (at least semi-) serious attempt to ban assault weapons. Still, I would like to know why anyone not living in someplace like Helmand Province needs that gun in their home. More importantly I would like to know why the perceived need of someone living in the US to have that gun in her home is more important than the need of people in her place of work not to be killed because she and her son have serious problems.

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

     It’s a hunting rifle. (Seriously). The round is legal for hunting deer in many states.

  • Lori

      It’s a hunting rifle. (Seriously). The round is legal for hunting deer in many states. 

    The round may be for hunting. I’m not a gun user/owner and I don’t hunt so I tend for forget the details about the characteristics of different types of bullets, so I can’t say for certain if that makes any sense or is total BS.

    That gun is not for hunting deer. It’s sold a ideal for home defense. If you’re defending your home from the zombie apocalypse it may be a good choice. If you’re (supposedly) defending your home from a more ordinary class of criminal it’s a bit ridiculous.

  • Matri

    It’s sold as ideal for home defense.

    *sputters* Ideal for home defense?!? Did the idiots see that gun? It comes with a scope and a bipod, for fuck’s sake!!

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

     No, most guns come as base models. All those things like scopes and bipods are sold as extras. This is what a Bushmaster .223 looks like straight from the factory. http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/images/hiRes/13230.jpg

  • Matri

    That bears an uncanny resemblance to the M4 model used in FPS games.

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    Because they’re both based off the US military’s M16.

  • AnonymousSam

    I think it’s so very telling what’s wrong with our culture, that Michigan now wants to pass a concealed gun permit law which would allow people with permits to carry their guns onto school property — because, the supporters say, that could have solved this issue bang-bang good just by giving guns to the teachers.

    The assault rifle was registered in his mother’s name. His mother is a teacher.

    “Gee, that kid stole the teacher’s weapons and used them to shoot up a school. … I bet if other teachers had those weapons, they’d have shot him dead on the spot! Let’s give them all guns!”

  • Steph

    Yikes. Even my father and brother, who are both gun nuts and own hundreds of guns each, do not own anything like this.  They also live in a rural area and use guns for their proper function–hunting animals for food.

  • Graydon Saunders

    Define community by exclusion — WE are better than THEM; WE are not like THEM; WE are more deserving than THEY — this is what you get; pre-defined Other, social fragmentation, and cultural support for the idea that fear is this external thing you can kill, rather than resident in your own heart.

    This might well have something to do with why Jesus forbade defining communities that way.

  • veejayem

    But you cannot legally own a bomb. You can legally buy poisonous substances such as weedkiller but such substances are intentionally made to taste so awful that the first reaction is to spit them out. I doubt there is a culture anywhere in the world that doesn’t have “emotionally damaged people” but there are lots of countries with laws that make damn sure they don’t have access to automatic weapons.

    This dreadful crime was front page news in British newspapers this morning. But whereas in the past such reports have been accompanied by articles about gun ownership in the US, today there were none that I could see. Perhaps newspaper editors were resigned to the fact that there would be no debate on the subject in the US anyway, so why bother?

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Stricter gun laws won’t prevent things like this

    Prove it.

    There is no earthly reason a private citizen should be allowed to own assault weapons. Not in our culture. Switzerland doesn’t have a lot of violent crime; Switzerland doesn’t need the weapons bans we do. Being a different culture, we have got to have different laws. 

    Saying oh no, the culture must change, and in the meantime we should not do ANYTHING to prevent crimes like this, we should leave guns in the hands of people brought up and immersed in a sick culture, is frankly insane. You take the tool away until the people in question are full-grown and well. You do not allow the 2-year old to play with a chainsaw and say, “oh, but adults are allowed to have chainsaws, so we must allow her to have one too.”

  • HelenaConstantine

    Why don’t you let us know when Jesus does something about it. The majority of his followers here in the real world seem pretty intent on making sure nothing is ever done.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     WILL you stop calling us all NRA-brainwashed rightwing gummint-hating trolls?!? This is not the moment for Internet-atheist-religion-bashing.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Nor is it the moment for atheist-bashing, but that didn’t stop the guy on Christian talk radio from saying that the cause of the tragedy was that people have “turned their backs on God.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    So? Then that guy’s a jerk too. “He’s doing it too!!!” Has never, and will never be an acceptable excuse.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    It wasn’t an excuse.  I was pointing out that it that is still something perfectly acceptable to say.  I was just waiting to hear it on the way home, and Christian radio never fails to live right down to my expectations.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     Well. Him and the horse he rode in on. It’s not the time for bashing anybody, except those who want to turn this into a promo for their own pet hostilities. It’s a time for mourning. And tomorrow will be a time to start lobbying our politicians HARD to come up with ways to stop this nonsense; serious background checks for gun buyers, and restrictions on the types of guns and ammunition available, sound worth looking into.

  • joyce meech

    why don’t despicable people like this radio host ever say, “This happened because the shooter turned his back on God”?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Cynical response A: because no Christian could (in their minds) ever do such a thing, and once one becomes a Christian one cannot (in their minds) stop being one.

    Cynical (and contradictory) response B: because there are many instances in the Bible of God commanding mass slaughter, sometimes of children, and since the shooter died without telling us what he was thinking, no one has any way of knowing whether he was acting on God’s (perceived) orders.

    Hoped-for but (considering the source) wildly unlikely response C: because that statement would imply that atheists and other flavors of nonChristian are murderous by nature and need to convert to Christianity for everyone else’s protection, and that is a horrible thing to imply and they don’t want to do it.

  • Dash1

     I suspect because they are not viewing the shooter himself as a human being making decisions. He’s just an instrument in the hands of God or somebody.

    It would also, inconveniently for what they are selling, raise in the audience’s mind questions about what the shooter actually thought he was doing, whether he was truly responsible, whether his brain was functioning properly at the time.

  • EllieMurasaki

    It would also, inconveniently for what they are selling, raise in the audience’s mind questions about what the shooter actually thought he was doing, whether he was truly responsible, whether his brain was functioning properly at the time.

    Do you mind not speculating about whether the shooter was mentally ill without evidence such as an interview with his shrink? Most murderers are not mentally ill, most mentally ill people are not dangerous, and can everyone please fucking stop conflating the two.
    Anyway, if I’m right that his motive in killing his mother and her students was payback for her paying more attention to them than him…that’s a perfectly rational reason to kill them. Not a good reason, of course, not nearly good enough to actually go through with it, but ‘these are kindergarteners’ clearly didn’t bother him so none of the reasons against doing it would have, leaving only the one reason for.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Anyway, if I’m right that his motive in killing his mother and her
    students was payback for her paying more attention to them than him

    And yet, somehow, the vast majority of people with insecurity issues like this don’t use guns to solve the problem as they see it, as judged empirically from the fact that even in the US people don’t use guns to redress every imbalance, real or perceived, that they encounter.

    So why is it not justified to ask why this person’s thinking took such an unusual bent?

  • EllieMurasaki

    If you want to ask why a murderer is different from an equally motivated person given equal opportunity to commit murder, be my guest. If you want to say that the difference is mental illness until proven otherwise, produce your fucking statistics.

    I counter your statistics, sight unseen, with the citations at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insanity_plea#Usage_and_success_rate which point out that the insanity defense is tried about one percent of the time in (presumably) US courts, is successful about a quarter of the time it’s tried, and its successes are ninety percent people with previously diagnosed mental illness. Which, I repeat, until we hear from his shrink (if he had a shrink), we do not know if he has been.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Cule/100001621659800 Michael Cule

    What has the frequency of insanity defences in criminal trials got to do with anything?

    It might tell you something about the definitions of ‘insanity’ in law but that has little or nothing to do with mental illness as a factor in behaviour.
     

  • EllieMurasaki

    Let’s assume the insanity defense is attempted in all cases. Do you have any reason to suppose that that would make it successful more than a quarter of the time? What if any reason do you have to suppose that fewer than ninety percent of the increased number of successes stemming from the increased number of attempts would be people with previous diagnoses of mental illness?

    And, hey, maybe it’s attempted so rarely because lawyers know these numbers and know that a previous diagnosis of mental illness is pretty nearly a necessity for a successful insanity defense and even with that diagnosis the odds are stacked against their client, and their client does not have that diagnosis.

  • Paul Durant

    Let’s assume the insanity defense is attempted in all cases. Do you have any reason to suppose that that would make it successful more than a quarter of the time? What if any reason do you have to suppose that fewer than ninety percent of the increased number of successes stemming from the increased number of attempts would be people with previous diagnoses of mental illness? 

    …What the hell does this paragraph even mean, and how it is a coherent response to someone pointing out there’s a difference between “insanity” as defined by a court of law in context of criminal liability and “insanity” as defined by everyone else?

    How do people here feel about using the term “morally ill” to describe mass murderers (or even much more minor colloquially-but-not-clinically socipoaths, like the Tea Party crowds that cheer at the mention of people dying because they don’t have health insurance)? 

    As someone with an ongoing history of and battle with mental illness, who was once involuntarily committed and is investigating voluntary commitment early next year: it’s an insulting, meaningless word game, stop it. Don’t invent a new phrase to mean the same thing as “insanity” but call it something different to avoid offending people, because in ascending order of importance A: it’s insulting, B: it shows you don’t understand what the actual thoughts, perspectives, and desires at issue are, and C: it never ever works, ever. 

    People use “insanity” to mean, roughly, “operating on assumptions and framework that have little to nothing in common with reality as it exists or as others understand it”. We describe risks as insane because we believe anyone who was capable of accurately perceiving the consequences of actions would not take them. We describe Glenn Beck as insane because his entire worldview hinges on delusional persecution by malefactors that provably either do not exist or do not have the power he ascribes to them. And we describe a spree killer as insane because someone who can arrive at the conclusion “it’s time to murder a bunch of children” uses a decision-making progress that has very little in common with how any of us think.

    Mental illness is a huge umbrella encompassing many different phenomena, just like normal-ass physical illness. If you try to exclude spree killers, it’s not going to work, because everyone will know you’re lying to make yourself feel more righteous. If you want a message to be “on” after this that  might actually help: first off, and I am speaking from experience as the kind of person she is allegedly acting on behalf of, never listen to people like EllieMurasaki. All they want is a checklist of words people aren’t allowed to say and a list of oblations they must perform in order to be called A Good Person, with no consideration whatsoever for what any of it means or how it interacts with reality. That’s how “trigger warnings” became the ludicrous farce they are now. If you want a message, it’s that anyone could have become this guy without the proper intervention and support from community or loved ones, like anyone can develop cancer. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    If you want a message to be “on” after this that might actually help: first off, and I am speaking from experience as the kind of person she is allegedly acting on behalf of, never listen to people like EllieMurasaki.

    And speaking as a mentally ill person myself: fuck right the fuck off.

  • Paul Durant

    Go back to Tumblr. I’ve never seen you offer a substantive response to anyone or anything. The only variation in each individual response is how much will be sneering self-righteousness and how much will be posturing self-righteousness. You flit around demanding “trigger warnings” for tings with the demanding confidence of someone who has no idea what a trigger is or when a warning is warranted, nor do you care. You jump on people for violating your demanded mores of ideological purity as if you expect “I want Ellie to stop yelling at me” to be an adequate reason for someone to change their values, because you certainly can’t offer anything beyond self-righteous anger and insults.

    Go take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut, and I mean that from the heart.

  • P J Evans

     Why are you here, insulting people who have been here for, probably, longer than you? (Telling others what YOU think they should think and feel is an insult. So FOAD.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    I think he genuinely thinks that a thing that does not hurt him is a thing that is incapable of hurting anyone. Doesn’t explain why he’s here using that as a cudgel, though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Cule/100001621659800 Michael Cule

    I’m still not at all sure what point it is you are trying to make.

    If it is that the American judicial system(s) is stacked against people with genuine mental conditions, then I’m all too willing  to believe it. The McNaughten definition of insanity was out of date when it was made in the 19th century and things haven’t improved since. (I believe though I’m perfectly willing to be told I’m wrong that most US states use that as the basis of their law on mental illness and culpability.)

    But that tells us nothing about whether it would be a good idea to improve mental health treatment and the social attitudes towards those with mental health in the US or whether that would be a good thing to do to reduce the number of spree-killing deaths in the US.

    Which is one of the things that people are proposing as a means of dealing with tragedies like the one we’re discussing.

  • EllieMurasaki

    OF COURSE it would be a good idea to improve mental health treatment in the US and US social attitudes towards mental health issues. That only has bearing on the Connecticut shooting in that one of the problematic social attitudes toward mental health issues is the idea that spree killing is a thing only mentally ill people do and all mentally ill people are capable of. Unless it turns out that the shooter was in fact mentally ill, which is a subject on which we have zero information.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    You’re making the same mistake here. Legal insanity is a term of art, like “theory” for scientists. Legally sane and the colloquial definition of “sane” are not even close to the same thing.

  • EllieMurasaki

    …so it’s not true that ninety percent of people who are found not guilty by reason of insanity are people with previously diagnosed mental illness? From whence this statistic of yours?

  • Wednesday

    How do people here feel about using the term “morally ill” to describe mass murderers (or even much more minor colloquially-but-not-clinically socipoaths, like the Tea Party crowds that cheer at the mention of people dying because they don’t have health insurance)?

     I think one reason people use terms like “mentally ill” and “crazy”for mass murderers is that we tend to feel or want to believe that someone who would shoot 20 children in a school must be fundamentally broken in some way. So I was thinking the term “morally ill” would let us express that, but separate it from mental illness (which as Ellie points out is completely separate).

    Of course, there could be something problematic with this construction that I’m missing.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    How do people here feel about using the term “morally ill” to describe mass murderers 

    Like a lot of phrases that get used in this space, I don’t really know what it means, and I suspect that’s intentional. But I don’t object to it per se, the way I do to calling them crazy.

    That said, I think our desire to believe that someone who commits mass violence is fundamentally different from the rest of us (“broken,” as you put it) frequently gets in the way of our acknowledging, let alone addressing, the systemic causes of mass violence and the ways in which we collectively contribute to it.

    This is not unique to mass violence, of course. Many crimes are the expression of a cultural trend, as well as being an individual choice, and we frequently adopt framings and language that discourage us from noticing that. And in the rare cases where such collective language is adopted by some communities, it frequently causes an enormous amount of resentment and pushback.

    So, speaking personally, I would prefer a framing that doesn’t draw such a sharp line
    between the people who commit the violence and the rest of us, but I don’t expect to get one any time soon.

  • Dash1

     

    Do you mind not speculating about whether the shooter was mentally ill without evidence such as an interview with his shrink?

    Thank you for catching that. I’ll try to clarify. I wasn’t trying to speculate on anything about the shooter. Where I was going with that–and I know many people who listen to these sorts of despicable radio preachers (DRPs)–was that, once you start thinking about the shooter as a person, you can’t help but start thinking about how he is like you and people you know.

    I included the mention of the brain not functioning properly (which could include mental illness, but I was thinking also of drugs, alcohol, etc.–there are many reasons someone may not be thinking clearly) because, certainly, in the case of mental illness, many such radio listeners know people or have members of their families who are in fact mentally ill. This is disproportionately a population that sends people off to war and sees them come back with traumatic brain injuries and PTSD, among other things.

    And these are folks who think about the stories in the Bible and do raise questions about personal responsibility. It’s part of their theology. I remember quite a lot of discussion of such things in Sunday School, even way back when.

    So, bottom line, the DRPs don’t benefit from raising those questions because they present the shooter as human, as similar to people their audience might know, like or love, or be related to.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    if I’m right that his motive in killing his mother and her students was payback for her paying more attention to them than him…that’s a perfectly rational reason to kill them.

    I infer from context that what you mean by “rational” here is something like “not necessarily mentally ill,” in which case I agree. I would disagree that it’s rational in a more precise sense.

  • EllieMurasaki

    What more precise sense? People do stupid things in order to get attention (especially from people they think owe them attention) all the time, and it’s not a sign of mental illness at all. Immaturity, perhaps–it’s much more common, after all, in two-year-olds with new baby siblings than in adults. Nothing to do with mental illness. And I know I said there were many reasons against doing it and only one reason for, but ignoring things one doesn’t want to acknowledge, doing things one knows one shouldn’t do, and acting as though other people aren’t people are also things people do all the time without being mentally ill.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    As I said in the first place, if what you mean by “rational” is something like “not necessarily mentally ill,” I agree with you that what the shooter did is “rational”.

    Yes, I agree with you that people doing stupid things to get attention isn’t a sign of mental illness and has nothing to do with mental illness.

    Yes, I agree with you that ignoring things one doesn’t want to acknowledge, doing things one knows one
    shouldn’t do, and acting as though other people aren’t people are also
    things people do all the time without being mentally ill.

  • P J Evans

     I don’t think that was the point.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    No one was bashing atheists here. Someone was bashing Christians. You are not helping.

    ~ An American Atheist

  • Ima Pseudonym

    Lady, this really isn’t the fucking time.  Please take your axe and grind it elsewhere.  Thank you.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     That seems rather US-centric. Christians in almost the entire rest of the world are doing the opposite.

  • Guest

    This really isn’t the time to pick a fight with Christians.  There are many Christians who are in favour of gun control and besides, using a tragedy to launch an attack against Christians won’t convince anyone.

    The bible has been used to justify violence but it has also been used to justify extreme pacifist stances like the Quakers. You can’t really blame this kind of violence on Christianity.

  • vsm

    Incidentally, how does one square weapon fetishism with Christianity, particularly the bits about cheek-turning and dying by the sword? Or is that something one doesn’t bring up in polite society?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Like this: Former Republican Official: You can’t be a Christian if you don’t own a gun.

     
    Any idea if that applies to those of us in countries without gun “rights” in our constitutions?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Don’t be silly, even Helena knows that “Christian” and “American” are the same thing!

  • veejayem

    You mean Christians who have the misfortune to live in those funny, foreign places that aren’t America? People like your blessedly-former official probably think that you can’t be an RTC without being American anyway. And white.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I really don’t think Howard gave much thought to RTCs either way. He was clearly a cultural Christian who liked Christianity because it was the establishment, and happily took the votes of conservative Christians. But everything I know about him personally suggests that, like most Australians, he’s pretty uncomfortable around people who talk about relationships with Jesus.

  • Nirrti

    What happened today just leaves me dumbfounded. Here we are, a supposedly first world nation with all the material advantages….and our babies can’t even be safe in their classroom while doing their finger painting, coloring, or whatever little kids do at school.

    This isn’t Iraq, Syria, or Sudan. This is America; land of the free, apple pie, opportunity, and all that. And a class of 5 year-olds can get gunned down via 2nd amendment and “from my cold, dead hands”? Oh, but try to bring a bottle of water on an airplane and you’re a potential terrorist?

    This country is beyond help at this point. If this nation were a person, a shrink would’ve had it on a regimen of Thorazine and ECT a long time ago.

  • Kadh2000

    I pray for the survivors and the families of the victims. 

    This is an Anerican tragedy.  As bad as 9/11 because we did it to ourselves.  After every one of these tragedies, I send an email to my congressman and my senators.  I get very nice replies.  Now I have to send another one.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I am somewhat eager to hear the pundits and Fox News try to downplay this or reassign blame to desperately avoid casting any kind of gun control in a positive light.  

    Their acts of mental contortion will be like watching a circus performer practice their show.

  • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

    Their acts of mental contortion will be like watching a circus performer practice their show.

    Which is different from any other day on Fox how?

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Which is different from any other day on Fox how?

    Watching that contortionist performing on a spotlighted platform is entertaining.  Watching the same contortionist performing on a swinging trapeze above a pit of crackling fire is thrilling.  

  • http://feygelegoy.com/ Feygele Goy

    [right wing nut mode]

    Well, it’s not like the children are in a woman’s uterus.  It would be a
    violation of personal freedom to deny potential murders of *born*
    children the right to

    JKLSADJKLFSAJADRGSJJGFHJGS;KLJG;KLJFS;KFSD;KJ GKLJF

    (Okay, I’m going to shut up and cry now…)

  • redsixwing

    The Onion nailed it.

    I, on the other hand, have no words.

  • http://harmfulguy.livejournal.com/ harmfulguy

    Sorry, but the Onion was much more accurate a couple months ago.

    This is “Just Going To Be A Thing That Happens From Now On” because that’s the way we want it. If it wasn’t, we’ve had every opportunity to do things differently.

  • redsixwing

     That one was good too, but you’ll not convince me that heartbreak is not appropriate in the face of tragedy.

    We still do have opportunity to correct this.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.com/ D Johnston

    That’s the awful part. I grew up in an age of shootings, when everyone was frightened. Every time there was another one, we’d go through a period of paranoia, with everyone watching everyone else. At the time, I didn’t think it would get any worse.

    We’re not paranoid any more, but only because we’ve become used to this sort of thing. Someone shoots up a school or a mall or a theater or a rally, and it’s just another hazard of life in the 21st century. Imagine what it takes to become numb to mass murder.

  • Worthless Beast

    Yeah… I think the apathy of my own soul terrified me today.  I was browsing this very blog, some topic to which I’d opined and was seeing the further conversation and I saw someone bring up “There’s been a school shooting in CT, prayers and/or thoughts appreciated” and my thought was “Wait, didn’t this happen a couple of weeks ago?” (I was sure I was browsing a back-thread). I thought someone was bringing up a “2-3 people dead” shooting that had happened some time ago for some reason. I barely batted an eyelash, did some errand-running, saw an email from my mother about it, then I turned on the news and saw “20 children dead” and only *then* went HOLY SHIT! 

    I seriously *did not register* it until I saw that. 

    It makes me worry about myself, how innured I’m starting to feel about our culture and what happens in it.

  • Lori

     

    This is “Just Going To Be A Thing That Happens From Now On” because
    that’s the way we want it. If it wasn’t, we’ve had every opportunity to
    do things differently.   

    digby nailed this a long time ago when she said that we’ve gotten to the point where we treat gun violence like severe weather—-just a tragic thing we can’t do anything to prevent. We’ve been lobbied and lulled into learned powerlessness on this issue and until we tell the gun lobby to STFU it isn’t going to chance because we won’t change it.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    The fatality count in the one where the man had a knife: 0.

    THANK YOU. Thank you for pointing this out. 

    I would also like to mention that it’s a lot easier to disarm a man with a knife than a man with a gun. 

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    The plural of anecdote isn’t data, sadly. There was a similar knife attack on a school in china recently where the assailant killed 30 and injured another 20.

  • Lori

     

    I would also like to mention that it’s a lot easier to disarm a man with a knife than a man with a gun.  

    Not necessarily. There’s a reason for the old “joke” about the winner of a knife fight being the guy who dies at the hospital instead of at the scene.

    A knife-welding attacker is far, far less dangerous than one with a gun because it’s easier for potential victims to get far enough away to be safe and  harder for the attacker to inflict a fatal wound quickly if people can’t get away. The best way to deal with a would-be killer with a knife is for trained police officers to surround the person and demand that s/he drop the knife and then shoot if they don’t, non-lethally if possible, using deadly force if necessary.

  • 10leggedshadow

     We live in a sick society and our cultural values are all messed up.  Just watch some TV to get an idea.  We value money and profit above all else and we have a population that is coming under increasing pressure by a lot of forces but mainly the economy.  The economy is bad for the majority of the population.  There is increasing talk of shredding the safety net, a safeguard against rioting in the street.  We are  under increasing surveillance, where almost everything we do is monitored to some degree and we have an unhealthy obsession with violence.  TV tells us we should all be rich, drive nice cars, and live in mcmansions.  We have people like Sarah
    Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck who speak of violence and armed insurrection.  No one stands up to make them accountable for their rhetoric.  They should be shamed, ridiculed and mocked, instead they are held up as honorable people which they are not.
    Until we as a country understand that we are “We the People” and not “We the Corporations”, things will continue to get worse.  Until we understand that there are jobs that only the government can do and that it’s primary job is to take care of it’s “people” and to protect people from unscrupulous “business” we will see more and more of this happening.  It’s seems the frequency of these incidents are increasing from rare, to once a year and now to several times a year.  Things will not get better until we understand that the pursuit of profit above all things is no way to run a country.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Yes, again. And again and again and again until American society decides that it loves its children more than its guns.

    This is sickening but not at all surprising. Speaking of which, get some help Helena.

  • HelenaConstantine

    You can’t see that Christianity is part of the problem?

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    You can’t see that Christianity is part of the problem?

    I have to voice my objection to this assertion.  

    The problem in this case is a certain kind of machismo culture which prizes guns as symbols of masculine expression and restricts efforts to keep them out of the hands of people too unhinged to be allowed to have them, or get those same people treatment that will keep them from becoming so irresponsibly unhinged in the first place.  

    Granted, there is a great deal of overlap between gun-culture and the religious right in America, but gun culture itself is not an inherent part of Christianity (understandably as Christianity predated guns by many, many centuries) and this is not necessarily a religious issue (though it may well be a tribal issue.)  

    Further, Sgt. Pepper identifies as Christian, but she is about the furthest thing from a gun enthusiast you might find on this board.  I very much doubt her conception of Christianity includes anything like this.  Though some Christians here in the U.S. would desperately love for Christianity and gun ownership to be conflicted, the two are very unrelated things.  

  • Random_Lurker

    >> I have to voice my objection to this assertion.  

    The problem in this case is a certain kind of machismo culture which prizes guns as symbols of masculine expression<<

    After all the posts about Patriarchy lately, this actually undermines your own point.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    After all the posts about Patriarchy lately, this actually undermines your own point.

    So do you deny that the language of emasculation is used with respect to gun ownership from the likes of the NRA and hangers-on?

  • SisterCoyote

    Given the town and the neighborhood, I’m telling you plenty of those kids were Christians, and right now their parents are praying for peace, for solace, for their souls.

    Please stop. This isn’t what any of us need right now.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    No, I can’t. After all, you’re not Christian and you seem to have embraced hatefulness with great glee. Not really seeing a common denominator of any religion or lack thereof.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Get help, Helena. 

    And learn some history. Your ignorance is extremely annoying, and the last thing anyone needs right now is to be annoyed.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Bullshit. You want to know when was the last mass murder of children in my country?

  • Darakou

    There was the Port Arthur massacre where Martin Bryant used an AR 15 (the same weapon used at Aurora) to kill 35 people. The difference in our country being that after that tragedy we tightened our gun control laws to prevent it ever happening again. And it hasn’t.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Exactly. I have very little time for John Howard but I’ll give him credit where it’s due–he responded to the Port Arthur massacre by restricting access to guns, knowing that it would hurt him politically. So good on him for that.

  • Emcee, cubed

    In what way? Sorry, I know plenty of atheists and other non-Christians who are 2nd amendment fetishists who insist that any gun control for any reason is anti-freedom and refuse to discuss it ever. Just because you want to blame all the ills of the world on Christianity doesn’t make it actually true, you know.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    I can’t tell you how many comments I’ve seen along the lines of “If only the adults there had been allowed to carry, someone could have stopped this guy!”

    Do these people honestly believe that they’re living in an action movie? Have they ever fired a gun? Do they know how HARD it is to hit stuff? Even when there’s not someone shooting back at you, and 20 5 year olds you have to avoid? Have they never read a story about an officer involved shooting (an officer who, mind, spends a good amount of time training to shoot) where they empty their clips and hit maybe once or twice?

    More people carrying wouldn’t result in fewer tragedies like this, only more innocent bystanders.

  • hidden_urchin

    Unfortunately, Alex B, the people suggesting an increase in the number of CCLs are generally the ones who do have a familiarity with guns and so they do know how difficult it is to hit a target (in theory).  My guess is that a.) it’s like driving, every gun owner thinks zie is an above average shot, and b.) our culture is so steeped with narratives of the Hero that many do internalize it.

    I would give such arguments far more weight if the speaker acknowledged the danger to bystanders.  Not only have we seen such incidents play out (e.g. the Empire State Building shooting) but when one reads news accounts from 19th century US, western towns one will read many stories of bystanders being wounded or killed in shootouts when town citizens acted to stop bank robberies.

  • P J Evans

    the people suggesting an increase in the number of CCLs are generally the ones who do have a familiarity with gun

    I suspect that their familiarity is shooting targets in a relatively calm and controlled environment. The people I know with police and military backgrounds are generally not in favor of arming everyone, particularly with concealed weapons. It’s too easy to decide that you’re looking at the shooter, when it’s really [another] armed bystander.

  • hidden_urchin

    Yeah, I’m sorry that I wasn’t more clear.  In the discussions I have been a part of, the people who want more citizens to be armed are also the ones who tend to be the weekend target shooters with a hero complex but who have never actually been in a position where they trained to (or had to) take a life. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    I would think the other armed people in a multi-gun situation are even more at risk: really, a bunch of ad-hoc folks all produce firearms, chances are if you’re shooting someone, you’re gonna go for someone with a firearm. 

    Somehow, I think these gun enthusiasts, who presumably are actually aware of how guns work in real life, still somehow think a person reports their friend-or-foe status when you aim at them, like in Far Cry 3 or something. 

  • http://kingdomofsharks.com/ D Johnston

    Those comments always strike me as an attempt to place blame on someone, anyone – even if it’s a victim. I understand the impulse to make sense of something that’s senseless, but there has to be a less heartless way to express them.

  • Worthless Beast

    I haven’t seen any comments like that yet, but I haven’t really been looking (getting most of my news from TV).  But… What. The. Fuck? People think *elementary school teachers* ought to be packing heat now?  No, no, I don’t even.  My brain’s already exploded today.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    It might help to know that they don’t really think that teachers should be carrying guns.  They think they should be carrying guns, and be magically transported to the scene of any shooting, where they would magically know who the bad guy is, and because of their LEET SKILLS, be able to blow him away without hurting a single innocent bystander.

    It’s so easy to be a hero inside your own head.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    But it seems SO EASY in Call of Duty!

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Countdown to “The shooter played violent video games!” in three…two…one…

  • http://twitter.com/Didaktylos Paul Hantusch

    Supposing an incident like this happens, and among those at or near the scene are three different wannabe Paul Kersey’s (who have no previous acquaintance with one another) and each, on their own, determines to make a heroic intervention. Searching for the gunman (for the sake of this argument, I am postulating a single offender), they all encounter one another …

  • P J Evans

     Today the Michigan state legislature passed a law that would, assuming it’s signed, allow concealed carry in schools and daycare centers. They are, of course,really really sorry about the shootings in Connecticut.

    Did I mention that this is a mostly-Republican legislature with a lot of lame ducks and a governor who is owned by wingnuts?

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    I went whole hog and claimed the thing would never had happened if all the grade schoolers were packing heat. Felt I needed to get there before someone said it seriously. 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I can’t tell you how many comments I’ve seen along the lines of “If only the adults there had been allowed to carry, someone could have stopped this guy!”

    The problem I have always had with the “guns deter violent crime” argument is that deterrence only works if the agent you are trying to deter actually cares about their own survival.   It assumes everyone is a rational actor who seeks to avoid their own destruction and makes their decisions on that basis.  

    Take incidents such as this one.  Does this look like the actions of a person interested in surviving the violent episode they initiated?  Hell no!  The police are likely to drop someone with an assault weapon as soon as they can get their sights lined up, especially in a school, and especially if he was already known to have killed children there.  Even if, by some strange twist of fate, he managed to survive long enough to be arrested, there is no way he is getting out of this.  Ever.  If not execution, then life imprisonment is likely.  

    Simply having the weapons will not stop someone from going on a rampage if they are already so far gone that a rampage seems like a good idea.  And actually trying to interdict someone like this is more likely to lead to friendly fire incident than not.  No one there is wearing an easily identifiable uniform, the person who shot the killer might be themselves shot by the next well-meaning armed citizen to come around the corner who assumed that they were the one who killed all those kids now lying on the floor.  

    Then you have a bunch of adults dead on the floor too, all of them with weapons in hand.  

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     If increased gun ownership really did deter violent crimes, then we would be hearing EVERY DAY about a civilian hero who had saved the day thanks to having his trusty gun at the right place and time.

    The media would LOVE such a story. Fox news would show NOTHING ELSE TWENTY FOUR HOURS A DAY.

    And yet, I can count the number of times in my entire thirty three and eleven-twelfths years that I have heard such a story on — on less than one hand. On.. On something I have less than five of.

    On my testicles. I could literally testify as to the number of times in my entire life I have heard a news story about a civilian hero who saved the day with his gun.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I thought I’d heard of one at the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, but I went to look up the person’s name, and I was misremembering. When the shooter had to reload, two people jumped him and a third swiped the magazine. Nobody actually had a gun out except the shooter.

    (But how dare we suggest mandating smaller magazines, thus forcing more frequent reloads.)

  • Daughter

     There was another person at the Gabrielle Giffords shooting who had a gun. In fact, he almost shot one of the men who tackled Jared Loughner, thinking the man was the villain. At the last second, he realized he was mistaken and put his gun away. So if he hadn’t had that last second realization, he would have shot an innocent man.

    The heroes of that shooting were unexpected and unarmed people: two elderly men who tackled Loughner when he stopped to reload; an elderly woman who responded to the two elderly tacklers shouting, “grab his gun, grab his gun!” by reaching down and grabbing the gun from Loughner’s hand; and an overweight, gay intern from Giffords’ office who raced into the fray, cradled Giffords’ body, and used his shirt to press against her wound and stop the bleeding, thereby saving her life.

  • Daughter

     I have heard one such case of a civilian hero – there was that shooting at a megachurch a few years ago. The church’s security guard, a woman and a former National Guard, was armed and she took him down. But as some have pointed out, she wasn’t just an ordinary civilian. She was highly trained and equipped to hold a security role at the church.

  • Matri

    Do these people honestly believe that they’re living in an action movie?

    Nope, they believe they’re living in an FPS game. They’re assuming that the police have HUD and IFF and will recognize them as “friendly” gunmen, and The Others as “hostile” gunmen.

    Seriously, the police are going into a situation looking for a human carrying a gun. Do these idiots honestly think the police won’t consider these fucking gun-carrying idiots just another one of the problem?

  • veejayem

    Liked. Also, the kind of person who works with very young children is unlikely to be the kind of person who picks up a gun and starts blasting away. Even trained police officers and soldiers don’t find it easy.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    My internet connection has been slow as all fuck, so while I was waiting for this page to load all I could think was “Bowl of petunias.”

    Gigantic mood whiplash when I saw what it was about.

    I have no words.  There are solutions, but the odds of any of them making it through congress are basically nil.  Which means we’ll see more.

  • LL

    Yeah, I don’t think Christianity had anything to do with this. Obviously, there’s some overlap (illustrated in Venn diagram, if you will) of right wing Christian types and gun owners. 

    Personally, though I think definitely something needs to be done about restricting access of guns to the clearly mentally ill (there has to be some terrible family drama at the heart of all this, not that makes it OK or understandable), I also think that the treatment (or non-treatment, really) of the mentally ill also needs to be discussed. It is clearly inadequate. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    Not just direct access to guns, but indirect access as well. That there isn’t a bigger push, even among gun nuts, for people to store their weapons properly (locked, with ammo in a separate locked container) is simply stunning.

  • Random_Lurker

     This is a fantastic point.

  • hidden_urchin

    Yup, it’s looking like, this time, the guns were legally purchased and owned by the shooter’s mother. 

    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/14/shooting-reported-at-connecticut-elementary-school/

    God.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Personally, though I think definitely something needs to be done about restricting access of guns to the clearly mentally ill

    Bugger that. Restrict access to guns full stop. There is no good reason for civilians to own automatic or semi-automatic weapons. Personally, I also think there’ s no goound enough reason for civilians to own handguns of any kind, but for practical reasons I’ll meet halfway and accept laws like ours–that if you want to get a permit to own a handgun, you’re going to need to demonstrate active membership of a regulated “sport” shooting club over an extended period of time.

    Fearless Son is correct in his characterisation of me. If there’s anyone more anti-gun than me on this board–hi. Violence is something I’m quite happy to be an extremist about.

  • hidden_urchin

    I agree with you but for slightly different reasons.  Gun ownership is still a Constitutional right.  If we focus on mental illness as an automatic disqualifier then we’re essentially denying a Constitutional right to a part of the population not based on a demonstrated threat but rather a state of being.  That would be like saying more gun violence is committed by X ethnicity so we are disallowing those people from ownership.  As Fred has said repeatedly, rights have to apply equally or they are only privileges.*

    Also, determining a cutoff would be difficult due to poor definitions for mental illness and the transitory nature of some of them.  Of course, someone threatening violence against zirself or others should be prohibited from gun ownership–greater good is more important than personal rights.  However, what about someone who just has a mental illness and is not talking about violence?  What about someone being successfully treated?

    There would also be the danger that this would further stigmatize mental health issues and also keep people from seeking treatment for fear of losing rights.

    So, since we’re throwing ideas around and none of them will ever get past Congress or the SCOTUS, I would agree that, first, the Second Amendment has to go and, second, that gun ownership should be widely and equally restricted.  Then, provisions could be made for people who want to own firearms but they would have to demonstrate at that point that they are sound, qualified, and dedicated over an extended period of time.  Years, preferably.

    *Which is what I think gun ownership should be.

  • P J Evans

     Require that ownership of firearms includes Guard or reserve membership – even police and sheriffs’ reserves would count. It comes under ‘well-regulated militia’, so the 2nd amendment backers shouldn’t complain.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I also think that the treatment (or non-treatment, really) of the mentally ill also needs to be discussed. It is clearly inadequate.

    Ronald Reagan got together in the 80s with well-meaning but ignorant liberals to let mentally ill people out on the streets who cannot care for themselves and who are dangerous to others. We went straight from denying every single right and dignity to people the society deemed mentally ill, to treating the severely mentally ill as if they have the exact same capacities and thought processes that everyone else does, no matter what. Until we throw them in jail, where they are abused. And of course we did nothing about the idea that men are supposed to keep their feelings to themselves, and therefore interact with the mental health professionals who can help them far less than women do.

    We are a society that ignores the fact that people have different capacities. We like to pretend that everyone can succeed if they only try. We like to fake that we believe that everyone is born into equality of situation, body, and mind — that anyone can be a president or a pop star or a mechanic or a journalist. It’s a kind of mass delusion, perpetrated by those on the left as well as on the right. It’s going to take some time to move away from it.

    In the meanwhile, take away the guns. 

  • LL

    I do think there also needs to be some discussion of what seems to be a thread running through almost every shooting incident, not just school shootings, but mass shootings in general, and that is this “male rage”, if you will. 

    Women have committed shootings like this, but those instances are very, very rare. It’s mostly males who do this. Why the fuck is that? I think that needs to be addressed. Why are men so goddam angry in this affluent, mostly well-educated country, run mostly by males? I’m not saying their anger is or is not justified, just wondering. 

    If it was black dudes or white women going around shooting up schools and malls, I’d kind of (kind of) understand it, but the mass shooters look a lot like the people in charge of everything. Demographically, anyway. 

    Is it all just mental illness? Or mental illness abetted by something else?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     A culture that has decided that machismo is the highest virtue, higher even than the obscenely elevated opinion they have of wealth?

  • hidden_urchin

    I think that’s a big part of it.  I think the roots of the difference may be traced to different immigration patterns.  These differences resulted in different foundation myths which evolved into the ones we see today.  As I said, though, I don’t have a good enough grasp of Canadian cultural myths to really develop the idea.  I just have some very small and tantalizing pieces of information.

    Invisible Neutrino, what are the biggest differences you see between Canadian culture and American culture with respect to violence?  You seem to have a much better understanding of what’s going on down here than I do about what is happening up there, much to my embarassment.

  • Nequam
  • Fusina

     Yes, he is. He sent out a tweet that was quoted in the first article I found online about this (aside from the tragedy of children being killed by someone, I have a niece and nephew in Connecticut, close to this place, based on distances, so I was a little worried).  My daughter has a deep desire now to shoot him where it won’t kill him…just cause a lot of pain.

    Err, not that we have any guns–although I do have some very sharp kitchen knives…

  • Random_Lurker

    Adding in some of my own opinions.  As an NRA-certified safety instructor, my feelings are mixed.  On the one hand, I’ve seen firsthand how easy it is to teach 11-year old Boy Scouts how to handle a firearm safely, and how good they become at it after only an hour or two.  At the same time, I’ve seen how thing the line between responsible use and accident is (the line is about 10 degrees to the left… yeah, there).

    I don’t know what causes this kind of tragedy, but the plain fact is that if the gun wasn’t available, it wouldn’t happened.  I suspect that we either need to pull back, or double down.  Either outlaw or restrict civilian gun use (“a well-regulated militia…”), or go full in and make gun awareness and gun safety part of public education.  Make sure everyone 6 and over knows how to recognize a gun and basic safety, and everyone 10 and over knows how to unload and disarm one.  Demystifying firearms would go a long way toward preventing this kind of thing… although restricting might be better.  Unfortunately, we are stuck and can’t go in either direction.  One side equates gun ownership with the right to vote, and the other side has a superstitious fear that even being in the same room with a gun will somehow contaminate them.  I’m not sure this is an issue that’s resolvable by public discussion, and I even more heavily doubt that our, ahem, beloved elected leaders have the balls to simply get it done.

    as a side note, where restrictions are concerned, any new law has to heavily emphasize the ammunition.  Once a gun is on the black market, it doesn’t generally leave.  Ammo on the other hand is a limited resource.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    and the other side has a superstitious fear that even being in the same room with a gun will somehow contaminate them.

    I call that a mischaracterization and you should know better than to do so.

    I am not a gun owner and I’m not fond of guns, but being near a gun has associations that have nothing to do with the gun and everything to do with the way American culture imbues guns with the concept that He-Man invincibility is associated with having one.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I call that a mischaracterization and you should know better than to do so.

    I am not a gun owner and I’m not fond of guns, but being near a gun has associations that have nothing to do with the gun and everything to do with the way American culture imbues guns with the concept that He-Man invincibility is associated with having one.

    I think that Random_Lurker was just being a little hyperbolic for the sake of expression.  Still, I have seen people who are afraid not necessarily of guns, but have a somewhat irrational fear and disgust over gun owners.  Part of it is, I think, a conflation of someone who owns a gun with someone who is a “gun nut”.  Not all the former are the later, but the later create a stereotype that gets labeled onto the former.  

    Events like this certainly do not help the image of responsible gun ownership, and it creates more paranoia about guns in the general population.  Likewise, some of the advocacy organizations and individual personalities have done a lot to undermine it themselves.  Again, the machismo I addressed earlier tends to attract the people we would least trust with guns to the idea of gun ownership.  

    The end result is a lot of stigma, a lot of polarization, and a lot of difficulty at actually implementing something like a preventative solution to events like this.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    Events like this certainly do not help the image of responsible gun ownership, 

    Indeed not.

    So, as I’ve said on a different thread, I don’t generally buy into the “because I’m an X, it’s my responsibility to address the bad stuff other Xes are doing” mode of thought, but I do buy into the “because I’m able to address the bad stuff Xes are doing more effectively than others, it’s my responsibility to do so” mode of thought, and I agree that Xes are often able to address the actions of their fellow Xes more effectively than non-Xes.

    I suspect that X = gun owners is an example of this.

  • Random_Lurker

     It’s not a mischaracterization.  As a BSA shooting sports instructor, I’ve seen it firsthand more then once.

    Whether it’s common or not you can go ahead and debate, but it does exist, and it’s not all that rate.

  • Random_Lurker

     To be specific: I’d see it 2-3 times per season.  Out of a season of about 8000 campers, that roughly 1 in 4000.  Assuming Boy Scouts are a representative sample, which I’m sure they’re not.  Also, anectdotal evidence.  But there it is.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Oh, please. That whole “HALP HALP ZOMG A GUN ICKY POO” is a caricature used by right-wing gun owners who love calling anybody who doesn’t favor unrestricted gun ownership as a pansy and a wuss.

    It’s of a piece with Rush Limbaugh’s “imitations” of a squeaky-voiced timid liberal.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    as a side note, where restrictions are concerned, any new law has to heavily emphasize the ammunition.  Once a gun is on the black market, it doesn’t generally leave.  Ammo on the other hand is a limited resource.

    I recall one Dilbert strip where Dogbert is telling Dilbert about how he strongly believes in Second Amendment rights, and how he believes that everyone should have the right to own a gun.  However, he believes that only he should have ammo, since he would not trust any of the rest of us with anything more deadly than string.  

  • frazer

    I appreciate your comments, but how would gun awareness and safety have helped in this situation?  Unless the teachers in that room actually had loaded guns in their possession (probably not a great idea in a classroom), once the shooter entered the room with his semiautomatic weapons I don’t see how they would have had a chance.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Wasn’t it Chris Rock who said we should make ammunition ridiculously expensive? He was doing a stand-up routine, but you know, there might be something to that…

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

     That would just mean that people who own guns would never be able to practice with them.

  • Fast_Moon

    Why are mass shooters always men?  Has there ever been a mass shooting in the US carried out by a woman?  If the main problem was actually “guns”, it seems like there should be more of a balance of genders here, since both genders have equal access to firearms.  But gun violence seems to a “man” thing almost to the point of exclusivity.  Which means there has to be something else going on here. 

    The only thing I can think of is that it’s culturally acceptable for women to voice their pain and emotional concerns, and seek the help and comfort of other people, whereas with men such behavior is looked upon as “weak”, and they’re constantly instructed to “man up” and deal with their issues silently and alone.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

     Has there ever been a mass shooting in the US carried out by a woman?
    Brenda Ann Spencer. “I don’t like Mondays”. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    A lot of it is this. Part of the solution is de-stigmatizing seeking help for mental problems.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     I don’t remember the details – it’s been at least twenty years – but in the Philadelphia area, a woman shot a number of people at a shopping center. She was known to have mental health problems, and her parents had been struggling to get help for her, but there was no way to get her hospitalized until she proved to be a “danger to herself or others” by actually harming someone. Which she did.

  • Emcee, cubed

    Sylvia Seagrist. I was in high school at the time. My father worked (and was working) in the mall at the time. Luckily, he was nowhere near the shooting, but he was there. 

  • esmerelda_ogg

     That’s her! Thank you. And I’m glad to hear your dad escaped harm.

  • Akili

    There have been a few women shooters. Hell there was a teenage girl that shot up the grade accross the street from her in the late 70’s (google the name Brenda Ann Spencer). The thing is, women are more likely to kill people that they’re close to, and to use poision to do so. It makes them a lot harder to catch and so a lot of women who murder aren’t caught according to most books on the subject. 

  • SisterCoyote

    I don’t understand. This was an elementary school. These were children. Some of them weren’t old enough to read yet.  I don’t get it. This.

    My sister called at work to ask me what town our cousins live in. They’re the next one over. The feeling of relief is monstrous. Children are dead. I don’t know what’s wrong with this world. I don’t know that I want to.

    I do know that if he’d had a knife, the teacher could’ve disarmed him. And that makes me sick to my stomach.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I don’t understand. This was an elementary school. These were children. Some of them weren’t old enough to read yet.  I don’t get it. This.

    One of those killed in the school was a teacher.  This teacher was the shooter’s mother.  This was a case of matricide.  The students?  Either collateral (unlikely considering the number of targets killed) or were killed just to emotionally wound the teacher before killing her too.  

    It speaks volumes about the killer’s emotional state that this happened.  I wonder if it was some desperate cry for attention.  A “You loved these kids more than you loved your own son!  Manchild-smash!” kind of thing.  

  • SisterCoyote

     I know that. I just cannot fathom the amount of… wrongness, I guess, that it takes to believe one’s best option was to murder children.

    It’s slightly less random, and thus less terrifying in that sense, now that we know his mother was a teacher. But it’s still… just sort of painful to think about.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I know that. I just cannot fathom the amount of… wrongness, I guess, that it takes to believe one’s best option was to murder children.

    I can see a certain logic in it.  If you want to hurt someone, I mean really hurt someone, you find what they love most and you take it away.  Most people love their own children.  In the case of an elementary school teacher, they might love their little students in a similar manner.  

    If you can take those beloved things away in such a manner that they can obviously never be recovered, well, that is going to hurt quite a bit.  No one wants that to happen to them.  

    Of course, because no one wants that to happen to them is the same reason we have such strong cultural prohibitions on say, murdering your rival’s children.  However, when the murderer in question has no children and really does not care what retaliation is visited upon them, well, suddenly the idea becomes a lot less unpalatable.

  • Worthless Beast

    { I know that. I just cannot fathom the amount of… wrongness, I guess, that it takes to believe one’s best option was to murder children. }

    I have a relative who went to prison for doing stupid stuff with an (unloaded) gun – the person he threatened was an adult… stupid lust-triangle stuff.  He told me that among all of the thugs in prison (people in for assault, murder, rape as well as just for theft and having too many drugs) that the *one thing* that they considered unforgivable was molesting/hurting/killing children.  This is why child molestors who go to prison are put in protective custody.  Among general population, they *will* be killed.

    This guy… he violated fuggin’ PRISON CODE.  That’s a special kind of evil.

  • That Other Jean

     From what I heard on the news, the shooter’s mother was found dead in her home, which means the shooter would have had to have killed her first, THEN go kill twenty little kids at the school where she taught, then, apparently, kill himself.

    I do not, cannot, understand how someone could do those things. 

  • P J Evans

     What I heard was that his mother was one of the teachers and was killed at the school. It was one of his brothers that was dead at home. Which doesn’t make it any better. (Apparently his mother was something of a martinet.)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    I have 3 guns. They all have locks on them to prevent them from being loaded or fired without removing the lock. The keys for those locks, and the safe the ammunition is stored in, are kept on my person at all times. I really can’t fathom the level of irresponsibility it takes to not follow these simple basic safety steps.

  • Water_Bear

    Unfortunately this isn’t very surprising. Well, that’s not entirely true; I was pretty surprised at the ages of the victims, but even school shootings aren’t really that unusual these days.

    What I’m really curious about is the body armor. What is it about an elementary school which made this dude think he needed to be bulletproof? Did he think he lived in the NRA fantasy utopia where school teachers are packing heat and a five year old can field strip an M-4? 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    What I’m really curious about is the body armor. What is it about an elementary school which made this dude think he needed to be bulletproof? Did he think he lived in the NRA fantasy utopia where school teachers are packing heat and a five year old can field strip an M-4?

    I would hazard to guess that his equipping of body armor meant that he knew full well what kind of retaliation the authorities would deploy against him once his plans became evident, and he needed to survive long enough to… execute them.  

  • Water_Bear

    Ordinarily I’d dismiss that because anyone with any sense would realize that this isn’t Minority Report and cops tend to arrive after shootings, but then I remembered this guy didn’t have any sense.

    Luckily the body armor didn’t seem to help keeping him alive. Enjoy not existing, dickweed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    Or Chris Rock’s solution of making each bullet cost $5000.

  • Ima Pseudonym

    In a little while, I’m going to sit down at a table with my mother,  and we’re going to eat chili and fried cornbread. 

    While we eat something guaranteed to fuck up our stomachs for the next week, we’re going to talk about our dogs, we’re going to talk about her niece’s bratty kids, we’re going to talk about her sister who has a birthday today.  She just turned 60, and really wonders why the hell she doesn’t feel any different today than she did at 18, except more tired and and a thousand times more aggravated.  We’re going to discuss the greenhouse I’m building beside the house, eyesore that it is.  We’re going to talk about James Lee Burke’s last book.  We’re going to watch something mindless-Rudolph is on now–and talk about absolutely stupid shit.

    In short, we’re going to talk about anything and everything EXCEPT what happened today, because this is ALL we’ve been talking about all day, what we’ve been seeing all day, and what’s running through our heads on an endless fucking loop. 

    God help us all. 

  • P J Evans

    She just turned 60, and really wonders why the hell she doesn’t feel any
    different today than she did at 18, except more tired and and a
    thousand times more aggravated.

    That … is actually a good question.
    I keep wondering why I seem to be turning into my mother (in the sense of wear-and-tear and generally getting older).

  • Rhubarbarian82

    Was the “body armor” actually body armor, or was it just a scary looking tactical vest? Until I see any confirmation of the former, I’m going to assume the latter.

    I own four handguns, personally, but I’m really not married to the idea of private gun ownership the way most gun enthusiasts are. Personally, I think some of the biggest challenges you’ll run into are simply financial. The worth of my personal gun collection is probably between 2 and 3 thousand, and others’ are worth far more. I could eat the financial hit personally, but there are those for whom it’d be a much bigger hit. Either because they are less able to weather the loss of several thousand dollars worth of wealth, or because instead of a 3000 dollar collection they have a 20,000 collection. How would we deal with that?

    Personally, I think we should have very strict national standards, and I think mental health care should be basically free (I think we should move to a single payer system anyways, but especially so with mental health). I think high capacity magazines should be illegal. I think ammunition bans are essentially a non-starter; a thousand rounds sounds like a lot of ammo until you actually start going target shooting.

    I guess I’m just interested in hearing specifics, really. Generally, the suggestions I hear either mirror what we have here in California already (which I am totally fine with), or are so out on the extreme (outright gun/ammo bans). There are a lot of gun laws that I think are well intentioned, but ultimately are either ineffective, address a non-existent problem, or are easily circumvented. This is a smart group here and I’d be interested in hearing thoughts.

  • Stressfactor

    Earlier Fred posted the video from Dan Savage about the ‘NALT’ Christians with the advice that those of us who are NALTs need to stand up to our brethren and sisters about the issue.  If that’s true then the same really needs to be said of responsible gun owners.  They need to stand up and call for better enforcement of existing laws or more responsible gun ownership which keeps access to guns limited except by those who are owners or trained to handle them and etc.

    Instead of letting the NRA be a constant roadblock they need to stand up to the NRA and say “You know what?  Some things need to be fixed so instead of just saying ‘no’ how about we actually work with the government to craft good legislation?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    I wish I could be surprised at this. Or shocked. Or sickened. Something. Mostly it’s just kind of passing across my attention like sports news or celebrity romance reporting, there and then gone as I focus on something else. I’m not even numb anymore.

    I try to examine my disinterest and part of my brain just shrugs and says, “Hey, this is just how it is, and you’ve been aware of that for almost half your life,” and goes back to pondering video games or trying to get an earworm worked out (Ayreon’s “Comatose,” which has been bugging me for days now). Another, smaller voice in my brain is screaming at the rest of me that I should be freaking out over the mere fact of my indifference, to say nothing of the actual deaths, but it’s getting about as much traction as would someone proposing military cuts in the national budget.

    “This is just how it is.”

    Jesus. I know I’m not much of a bellwether, but at the same time I’ve not really had a serious thought that plenty of others aren’t already having. So, the thought about this that actually chills me is what this means, sociologically speaking, for my generation and those younger as this stops being the “new normal” and becomes simply normal. The price of doing business, so to speak, and thus something that soon won’t be questioned even so little as it still is.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GUFZNDXKK6JQGEIGV7VGXFUDKE c2t2

    You’re not alone. My inner decent-person is screaming that I should care about this.

    I felt bad when I accidentally hit a gopher with a car. No stoic badass here.

    Even in that context, this newest mass shooting seems like background noise, and I’m more pleased to be introduced to the word ‘bellwether’.

    This is not okay; somebody stop the ride I want to get off now.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I need a twitter-lenght reply to someone who helpfully informs me that correlation is not causation and therefore I can not conclude that stricter gun laws in the rest of the industrialized world and lower gun violence in the rest of the civilized world are related, and suggests that it could just as easily be because other countries censor violent TV and video games (He’s not for censorship; it’s him pulling a gotcha).

    I also wish people would stop letting gun control opponents frame “strict gun control” as meaning the same as “total ban on private ownership”. Pretty much every attempt I’;ve made to find out about countries with lax gun control laws has been stymied by people claiming switzerland is such a country. Which is false. Switzerland has VERY strict gun control laws, just not laws which ban private ownership of guns. (In Switzerland, to own a gun, you have to have military training. And everyone is required to. That’s not *lax*)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    Well, someone earlier mentioned Dunblane, Scotland, where a school shooting lead to strict gun control laws in the UK, and some cursory searching indicates such events have pretty much disappeared. (At the least, Wikipedia’s list of UK massacres stops, ahem, dead right after Dunblane.) You might want to give it a little more looking, but in this case even if you want to claim it’s not causation, then correlation is at least giving causation significant looks followed by a wink and gesture back to its room for a drink.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunblane_school_massacre
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massacres_in_the_United_Kingdom

    As for specific Twitter-length way to put it, um… Beats me. I’m bad at Twitter. Too verbose.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    I’m going to note that I’m in favour of gun control before responding to this, so people don’t think I’m arguing against it. I’m just correcting a couple of factual errors.

    1. If you look at that list you’ll find most of them were related to the troubles and only two of the rest can be defined as “spree killings” – Hungerford and Dunblane.

    2. There was another shooting spree not on that list because only one person died http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkseaton_shootings in 1989 however that was before Dunblane.

    3. The list is incomplete there is also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumbria_shootings in 2010.

    While gun restrictions (which we already had) were tightened after both Hungerford and Dunblane it’s hard to say if it had an effect because we don’t have the gun culture of the US (heck even our police don’t carry except in exceptional circumstances). I’m inclined to say it does have a restrictive effect on gun crime but even without it the general culture would keep the level of gun crime per capita lower than in the US.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    I need a twitter-lenght reply to someone who helpfully informs me that correlation is not causation and therefore I can not conclude that stricter gun laws in the rest of the industrialized world and lower gun violence in the rest of the civilized world are related

    I’m fond of “Correlation does not imply causation, but it sure does point at it while giving us meaningful looks.” (Not original with me, and I’m likely misquoting, but I can’t find the original.)

  • http://twitter.com/shay_guy Shay Guy

    It’s a day late, but here:

    Correlation doesn’t imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing ‘look over there’. (title-text)

    On another note, I’ve been watching Breaking Bad lately; I’m halfway through season 3. One of the things that’s struck me is how male characters are motivated by their conceptions of masculinity. It’s practically Walt’s entire motivation for cooking meth — not to ensure his family’s security, but to be the one who ensures his family’s security (in itself a theme I’ve seen popping up in other places lately), and who does so on his own terms, by his own hands, using his own expertise. And then there’s Hank, who’s probably inspired dozens of blog posts by himself.

    So how much of America’s gun culture, and by extension frequency of mass shootings, can be traced back to our notions of what “being a man” means? Have there been books written about that? What about books that compare manifestations of that concept in different cultures?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I couldn’t tell you of any scholarly studies, but given that in North American culture, buying large, outsized or expensive items and then using them without due care and attention in order to be a show-off is often termed “overcompensating for something” when men do it, it suggests that to some extent, masculinity or the concept thereof is bound up with showing one has achieved the hallmarks of culturally understood manhood.

    In Breaking Bad terms, just as Walter White desperately wants to prove himself the provider, the giver of monetary security to his family (he and Skyler don’t quite see eye-to-eye on her getting her own job to help out, for example), I suspect if he were more comfortable around guns he would be the one to keep a gun in his car and his house all the time.

    Even if he does drive the stupidest looking truck known to humanity.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I need a twitter-lenght reply to someone who helpfully informs me that correlation is not causation and therefore I can not conclude that stricter gun laws in the rest of the industrialized world and lower gun violence in the rest of the civilized world are related, and suggests that it could just as easily be because other countries censor violent TV and video games (He’s not for censorship; it’s him pulling a gotcha).

    In medicine when we’ve got a pretty good hypothesis that, if correct, means we could take action to save a vast number of lives we run a randomised control study. We don’t say “hey, correlation doesn’t equal causation so I guess we’ll never know”.

    The “can’t tell anything from the experience of other countries” apologists can support a trial period of gun restrictions to settle the question or stfu. Have a decade where civilans don’t get to own weapons of mass murder and tally things up at the end. Best case scenario: tens of thousands of extra people alive. Worst case scenario: some people need to find a new hobby.

    That’s not twitter length, sorry. But I assume Canadians play violent video games and watch the same movies as Americans.

  • Lori

     I can’t help you get it into a tweet, but I suspect this article has some info that would be useful

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/14/nine-facts-about-guns-and-mass-shootings-in-the-united-states/

  • guest

    I’m in the UK and although I don’t consume a lot of mass media I don’t notice any less violence in it than in the US (in fact, it seems to be much less censored, at least in terms of swear words and female nudity).  

    Hunting is very big here, and skeet shooting is a thing, so plenty of people actually do own guns.  I happened to be waiting in a police office a while back and picked up the application for a gun permit.  I have no idea what applications for gun permits look like in the US, but this one asked basically why you want it (I think it said ‘self-protection’ wasn’t a permissible answer), where/when/with whom you plan to use it, what security arrangements you’ve made for the gun and ammo.  To me at least it didn’t seem terribly onerous.  IIRC the amount of ammo you can own at any one time is restricted.There are occasionally shootings here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Northumbria_Police_manhuntAnd of course there was a massacre in Norway recently.  But yeah, I guess incidents of single-event mass shootings have gone right down to 0 here since guns were banned.

  • Mrs Grimble

     I had to google “skeet shooting”.  I’ve never heard anybody call clay-pigeon shooting by that name and I live in clay-shooting country.
    The UK’s firearms laws are a little more complicated than your explanation. This seems to be a good summary.

  • guest

    You probably wouldn’t have–although I’ve lived in the UK for about a decade I’m American, and we call it skeet in the US.  I know nothing about it and have never tried it; our local ag college offered a course a couple of years ago and I signed up, but unfortunately they cancelled it as they had too few registrants.

  • guest

    Oh, and I guess I need to point out that I wasn’t really attempting to explain UK gun policy in my comment, as it’s not really something I need to know, I was just pointing out how I happened to find out that contrary to what many Americans might believe it’s not impossible for people in the UK to own guns, many people in the UK do own guns, and the procedure for getting a gun permit seems fairly straightforward and (to my mind, as far as I can tell) not overly onerous or bizarre.

  • Lori

     

      I had to google “skeet shooting”.  I’ve never heard anybody call
    clay-pigeon shooting by that name and I live in clay-shooting country.  

    Huh, that’s interesting. I had pretty much the opposite experience. I’ve almost always heard it called skeet shooting and very rarely heard it called clay-pigeon shooting. Language is a funny thing.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Even Canada, with similar gun ownership rates, has less when you take into account population differences. Something about American culture seems to make the psychological barriers to gun use less stringent.

  • hidden_urchin

    I think one of the answers might be found in our different cultural myths but I am not familiar enough with those found in Canadian culture to really come up with anything meaningful.

  • Passerby

    Automatically calling the shooter crazy or claiming he must have had mental issues stigmatizes people with mental issues and isn’t necessarily accurate. The majority of people who are mentally ill are non-violent and sane people are capable of horrific acts. Anders Breivik was declared sane, for example.

    Something to keep in mind.

    It’s too early to know why he shot these people and it’s unlikely any answer will satisfy the ones who have lost their loved ones today.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yeah, but the fact that most of the victims were in the kindergarten class taught by the shooter’s mother, herself a victim, that’s a little suggestive of what the shooter was thinking.

  • Jessica_R

    See I actually *would* start believing in God if something terrible happened to Mike Huckabee, so there you go. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I think it may have to do with the fact that Canadian founding mythologies don’t rely as heavily on hagiographically exaggerated culture-heros (e.g. Davy Crockett and the coonskin cap), which points to less cultural embracement of individualistic behaviors.

    I also think it has to do with the fact that an “honor culture” never took root in Canada.

  • hidden_urchin

    How did y’all manage to avoid the Myth  of Rugged Individualism?  Good job, guys.
     

    I also think it has to do with the fact that an “honor culture” never took root in Canada.

     
    Why do you think that is?  (I’m going to scuttle back to my history books to check up on some information.)

    I’m sorry for pestering you.  I’ve been developing an increasing fascination with the differences between Canadian and US culture.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I’m not totally sure, but I suspect part of it may have been French influences that were stronger in Canada than in the US. Also, while the British Empire did ban slavery prior to Canada’s creation as a self-governing Dominion, there is also something of an accidental bias away from the kind of culture that developed in the Antebellum South with rigid social stratification.

    There was still considerable plutocratic politics, to be sure – the Family Compact, or the equivalent in French Canada, which was the Château Clique, but this had to do more with the corruption in politics rather than a more widespread attempt to restructure society along rigid racial and social lines.

    The Canadian economy of that era was not conducive to that kind of rigid stratification, because you can’t grow cotton worth a damn, and trapping, forestry, fishing and what farming did exist could be done in small groups or even as individuals. In short, mass fixed plantations sprawling over many acres weren’t feasible.

  • hidden_urchin

    That’s a great point.  I’m suspicious that a large part of the US culture of honor came over with Scottish highland immigrants who found the stratification here very much to their liking because it was very much like their old feudal structure.  Economic and ecologic differences would definitely factor into why it was sustained here but not there since y’all also had a large number of immigrants from the same regions and, in fact, more than a few moved from here to there after the Revolution.

    It’s still interesting that y’all didn’t get rugged individualism like we did considering one would think that the individualistic nature of the early economy.  I’m going to have to think on that.  Thanks. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I’m still not sure that totally fits. Nova Scotia is literally “New Scotland” in Latin, and there’s a fair amount of Scottish heritage in the Atlantic provinces; I think the clan-structure had to meld with a plantation economy to produce the honor-culture we see in the South. Take away the plantations and there’s no real way to build up massive amounts of visible fixed wealth that can be passed down from generation to generation, complete with people to lord it over.

  • hidden_urchin

    Yup, that’s where it’s looking like the difference is.  There was an environment here that allowed the culture of honor to flourish instead of damping it.

  • P J Evans

    a large part of the US culture of honor came over with Scottish highland immigrants

    They also immigrated into areas with large numbers of people whose ancestors were from the south and west of England, mostly royalists, and who also had a culture of honor – even more so, actually. (I refer you to Albion’s Seed, which discusses both the Tidewater and the backcountry.)

  • Carstonio

    Mike Huckabee is already bringing out the “kicked God out of our schools” nonsense, as if returning to the days of mandatory sectarian prayer would have prevented the bloodshed. But what’s more disturbing is the secular variant of Huckabee’s claim, the defeatism of labeling society as sick and such shooters as simply evil people. Instead of the straw man of pathologizing evil, this is evilizing pathology. Mental illness is still very much stigmatized, and professionals are scarce in many communities. And any response to the massacre should  include not only responsible gun control but also mental health reform.

  • Akili

    Thing is, I do think guns shouldn’t be in the hands of people who’ve commited crimes, have severe mental problems, ect. But taking away guns from EVERYONE isn’t going to stop people from killing others. There was a man in the 20’s who bombed a school, when the parents and police got to the school his truck blew up and killed more, and when the police got to his house THAT blew up. (Bath school disaster, people can goggle it if they think I’m lying). Humans are humans, they can be kind or horrible, and nothing we do is ever going to change that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    Humans are humans, they can be kind or horrible, and nothing we do is ever going to change that.

    That’s pretty much a defeatist attitude that creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, guaranteeing there’s nothing that can be done about it because we’re unwilling to try. It reduces us down to some kind of ineffable and intractable “human nature” that can’t be defied, so we may as well be just animals without anything that raises us out of the mire of violence and instinct.

    I may lead with cynicism and misanthropy more often than not, but that’s born of disappointment, not resignation. If we cannot change the balance of horror and altruism in our nature then I literally do not see a point in existing because then the only thing we can accomplish with our cultures and technologies is to increase the immensity of our horrors until we annihilate ourselves with them, as altruism doesn’t scale nearly so well.

  • Akili

    Ack, I didn’t mean it that way. I’m just not a believer that all human evil can ever be wiped away from the world. For all the thousands of wonderful people in the world there is one serial killer rapist who doesn’t give a fuck about anyone but themselves.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

      But taking away guns from EVERYONE isn’t going to stop people from killing others

    No, but it’s going to make it a DAMN SIGHT HARDER TO KILL TWENTY PEOPLE IN ONE GO.  And if you don’t think making it harder to commit mass-murder is something worthwhile, THEN FUCK YOU.

    Would you apply this to literally any other field?

    “I’ve invented a new AIDS drug”
    “Does it cure AIDS?”
    “Not entirely, but it reduces the number of deaths significantly”
    “Unless it completely solves the problem, I don’t want it!”

    I don’t think that’s a conversation that’s ever happened.

  • Lori

     

    “I’ve invented a new AIDS drug” “Does it cure AIDS?””Not entirely, but it reduces the number of deaths significantly””Unless it completely solves the problem, I don’t want it!”

    I don’t think that’s a conversation that’s ever happened.
     

    Well, to be a fair the comparison needs a couple additions. I don’t want to mischaracterize opponents of gun control any more than I want my perspective mischaracterized by them.

    “I’ve invented a new AIDS drug” “Does it cure AIDS?””Not entirely, but it reduces the number of deaths significantly”
    Who would need to take the drug?”
    “Everyone.”
    “Does it have any side effects?”
    “Yes, and for some people they’ll be significant.”

    “Unless it completely solves the problem, I don’t want it!I’m not sure the cost is worth the benefit.”

    That is a conversation that we would have. In fact, we’ve had a form of that conversation about AIDS more than once. We’ve weighed the monetary costs of drugs and the side effects of the cocktail. We’ve talked about he kinds of behavioral changes that could make AIDS drugs much less necessary.

    Guns are actually fairly unique in terms of our total inability to have any kind of real conversation about them. Abortion is the only other thing I can think of where the absolutist position of one group pretty much guarantees that there can’t be any fruitful discussion. In both cases I think the only way we’ll get a solution is to find the wherewithal to tell the absolutists that they don’t get to be in control of things any more and they can either join the discussion or STFU and let the rest of us talk, but the conversation is going to happen.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     

    Humans are humans, they can be kind or horrible, and nothing we do is ever going to change that.

    No argument at all with that point. You’re right. But, as a number of people point out on this thread, the rate of mass murder varies widely from country to country, and the US is way out in front. People are doing something in other places that makes this kind of disaster less frequent there, and it’s worth our while to try to figure out what makes the difference and how that could be applied here.

  • Lori

     

    But, as a number of people point out on this thread, the rate of mass
    murder varies widely from country to country, and the US is way out in
    front. 

    Stats don’t just vary from country to country, they also change in a given place over time. The rate of violent crime in the US is way down from what it was just a few decades ago. In many places it’s at or near an all-time low (something you wouldn’t know if you watch most news programs and something you certainly wouldn’t know from listening to the “self defense” industry). However, mass shootings have been spiking since the 80s and just continue to get worse.

    Human nature hasn’t gotten worse since the 80s. We know this because that’s not how human nature works. USians are not more violent than we were in the 80s. We know this because other violent crime is down, not up. There are competing hypotheses about why mass shooting are so much more common. The one thing we know for sure is that “Human beings just suck, what are you gonna do?” is not the correct answer. Neither is it’s ever-popular cousin “USians just suck, what are you gonna do?”

    We can also cross lack of Jesus off the list because the Bible-belt is hardly lacking in mass shootings

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map

  • esmerelda_ogg

     You raise some good points. Now, what’s the next step in figuring out more precisely what we in the US are doing wrong / what other countries are doing right about mass shootings (and also, figuring out whether what we’re doing right about other violent crime can be extended to mass shootings)?

    (BTW – I wasn’t saying that people are totally sucky and hopeless. But given that people in different times and places have varying probabilities of doing particular kinds of bad stuff, what makes the difference? And how can that be applied in real-world policies?)

  • Lori

    I would say that the next step is to do a pretty standard compare and contrast with both other countries and with other times in US history.

    My strong sense is that the main difference is, to quote today’s Slate, speed kills. What we have now that is not present in other places and was not present here in the past is an enormous number of guns and high capacity magazines (the bullet itself isn’t the issue, but the delivery mechanism is) that allow people to shoot a staggering number of bullets in a very short time.

  • FireSpirit

    Cowards.  White, pampered, male cowards.  You don’t see these f_cks storming into police stations or military bases with their body armor looking for a fight.  They attack in darkened theaters and elementary schools.  
    I am lost by this and they are cowards.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    Legally sane and free of mental illness are two VERY different things.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    Earlier on the thread someone linked a story saying the guns he used were legally owned by his mother. If she had stored them responsibly, he wouldn’t have had access to them.

  • EllieMurasaki

    That sounds like victim-blaming. Stop.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It is true that had physical access to the weapons been prevented, it would have been that much harder to use them.

    In fact I believe it is recommended that gun owners wanting to keep their guns as protected as possible should store them, unloaded, with bolt-locks, in a lockable cabinet, with the ammo in a separate, locked cabinet. With separate keys.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    Do we even know the details of how she stored them? I don’t really have the resolve to go looking, beyond what people have mentioned here, and that’s just “she owned them.” Without further information, all we can really do is speculate about how she must have been “irresponsibly” storing them in a manner that is unpleasantly victim-blamey. Even if she was storing them responsibly, that doesn’t automatically prevent him from just, I donno, stealing the dang keys.

  • veejayem

    She’s going to be blamed anyway. After all, she was his mother, she was “a martinet” and a woman.

  • Dan Audy

    This is a uniquely and horrifyingly American problem.  Not just the second amendment but the culture that glorifies violence and tragically in many cases the media attention that these incidents receive motivates the rage-filled personalties by offering them the recognition they crave.

    I think the US could do a very solid attempt towards gun control by focusing on the whole ‘well regulated militia’ thing.  If people are willing to invest a weekend a month and risk getting sent off on yet another of the US adventures they can join the National Guard and enjoy be permitted personal ownership of weapons.  That ensures proper training on safe handling and proper use along with some ‘filtering’ and a group that should hopefully notice if someone is becoming a danger.  It also gives a bigger and better response force for the increasingly frequent and increasingly destructive weather.  Beyond all that I suspect a broader population with basic military training with fewer weapons would be far more effective in an insurgency against the rightwings feared government oppression than the current widespread availability of guns in the hands of civilians.

  • reynard61

    I am seriously, *seriously* considering creating an organization called “The American Right-to-yell-‘FIRE!’-in-a-crowded-theater Society”. It’s primary sole function would be to argue that, as God-fearing, red-blooded Americans, our First Amendment Rights are absolute — even to the point of being able to yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater without regard to the havoc that doing such a thing might cause, and that the Supreme Court is dead wrong to say otherwise.

    Then I remember that I’m not some chaos-worshipping cultist who gets his jollies from seeing people suffer for shits-and-giggles. (Unlike those gun-worshipping cultists at the NRA who apparently get *their* jollies from seeing people suffer.)

  • Turcano

     

    chaos-worshipping cultist

    Sorry, but I had to post it.

  • AnonymousSam

    I would be afraid that the Supreme Court would rule in your favor, anyway. After all, Fox News got the courts to agree that the first amendment allows them to tell blatant lies and call them factual happenings, and they did recently rule that a law forbidding people to falsely claim military accolades they never earned is unconstitutional….

  • reynard61

    “I would be afraid that the Supreme Court would rule in your favor, anyway.”

    Probably. The current SCOTUS seems to be swinging around to the notion that the Constitution is; if not a “suicide pact”, to use Justice Robert H. Jackson’s oft-quoted phrase; an implicit murder permission slip for those smart/savvy enough to scream “Second Amendment rights!!!” the way Joss Ackland’s evil South African diplomat in the movie Lethal Weapon 3 screams “Diplomatic Immunity!!!” whenever the shit starts to fly. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

  • EllieMurasaki

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/17/15971544-lone-survivor-in-connecticut-classroom-mommy-im-ok-but-all-of-my-friends-are-dead?lite
    The class that got slaughtered had a kid whose name we don’t know because she faked dead long enough to get out alive. Good for her.

    Not good for whoever’s saying she survived by divine intervention. What makes this kid special enough to save? If the answer is, as I suspect, ‘nothing’, why are all her friends dead? Also, way to detract from her courage and intelligence.

  • Dash1

    If you want to say that the difference is mental illness until proven otherwise, produce your fucking statistics.

    I hope that’s not what you thought I said.

  • EllieMurasaki

    No, I don’t think that’s what you said, Dash1. I think it’s what Invisible Neutrino said, and that’s who that comment was in reply to.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Actually, it was NOT what I said and I’d appreciate you not jumping to that conclusion.

    Context: Why does one angry person reach for a gun and nine more don’t?

    EDIT: Also, you really need to pay more attention. I am one of the people in here who explicitly avoids using the word “crazy” even as a descriptor for non-human activities or ideas. Maybe if you bothered to realize that you would not have leaped to the conclusion that I was defending the attribution of mental illness to gun usage.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I do not know why one angry person reaches for a gun and nine more don’t. I know something that is not the answer to that question, though, and that something is mental illness. Because most mentally ill people are not murderers, and most murderers are not mentally ill.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    If you read the edit to the post you replied, to, you’d have seen:

    “EDIT: Also, you really need to pay more attention. I am one of the
    people in here who explicitly avoids using the word “crazy” even as a
    descriptor for non-human activities or ideas. Maybe if you bothered to
    realize that you would not have leaped to the conclusion that I was
    defending the attribution of mental illness to gun usage.”

  • EllieMurasaki

    If you want to edit a comment and you want me to see the new text, please make a new comment that either contains the new text or advises me of its existence. The fuckwits behind Disqus don’t want to let people who get email comment notifs know when comments have been edited (also, formatting, what is this formatting and why would email-notif readers want it), so I don’t have any way of knowing that a comment’s been edited without someone telling me.

  • Dash1

     Thank you!

    For some reason Disqus or Patheos is being very haphazard about showing the “in reply to” flag of late.

  • Dash1

    Also, I’ve got to be offline for the rest of the day, so if I don’t reply to responses to anything I’ve just posted, don’t take it as a refusal to engage or to stomping off in a huff. Or without a huff. 

  • Lori

    Something relevant to the assessment of the shooter’s behavior—-it turns out that his mother may not have worked at the school at all. She was first reported to be a teacher and one of those killed at the school. Neither of those things are true. She was then reported to be a substitute teacher, but so far there’s no official evidence of that either. The shooter may or may not have attended the school as a child.  If he did, that would have been a decade or more ago.

    Even if his mother did sometimes work at the school the shooter didn’t commit mass murder there in order to hurt her, at least not directly, because she was already dead. He killed her first, then drove to the school.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    The killer’s mom was not a teacher at the school.  Once someone got around to doing a proper job of fact-checking, they found that she didn’t show up on any of the staff lists, and no one they could find who was associated with the school knew her.  The closest thing to a connection between this kid and the school that they can find now is that he may have attended the school for a time when he was a child, and even that belief may change in the next few minutes, or hours, or days. 

    This is part of what Fred means when he talks about what has happened to the state of journalism nowadays.  No one is trained to find the best source of information, and fact-checking the things that are being published is simply not a priority. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Николай-Крутиков/100002311958508 Николай Крутиков

    I wonder about the shooter’s motivation. Seems like an insanity that is monstrous in a strangely generic way.

    I don’t doubt that Obama is really distraught about the whole thing, but he should do some serious soul-examining when talking about killing children.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Regarding this?

    Deer hunting rifle, my foot.

    The way that thing LOOKS is enough to convey “seriously precision-machined killing device” to me, not “device to fire bullets so you can eat dinner and not have to hack it to pieces fighting it to death”.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    Please explain to me how functionally, that rifle is any different from this one: http://www.hr1871.com/artwork/images/hr_ultra_hntr_rifle.jpg

    It looks scarier, sure. Otherwise, they both fire the same round, they both have magazines (high capacity mags are probably illegal in Connecticut anyways, so if it’s his mother’s legally purchased rifle it probably didn’t have them. If their laws are like California’s, the vertical foregrip is likewise illegal. And detachable magazines are illegal in combination with a pistol grip, barring some bullet button work-around).

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The point I’m trying to make is that I’m getting the vibe that some people think that calling the gun a deer hunting rifle somehow makes it less of a bad thing for the shooter to have done what he did.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    I’m not seeing people who aren’t made of straw actually making that argument, but okay.

    @Ross: Again, functionally identical to a deer hunting rifle. You can use it to hunt deer, and surprisingly its scary tacti-cool appearance doesn’t actually cause deer in a hundred yard radius to explode into pre-cooked patties. It’s a gun. If we want to get serious about actually solving this problem, we need some better ideas than we went in with the last time.

  • hidden_urchin

    True, however, we also need to acknowledge that appearance is an important part of any piece of technology.  The way something looks has connotations beyond its pure function.

  • Matri

    Your gun is breech-loaded carbine capable of only carrying a single round, which requires a lengthy and noisy series of steps to reload after every shot.

    This shooter’s weapon is a clip-loaded semi-automatic rifle with a secondary grip to stabilize the gun, allowing the shooter to put several rounds with great accuracy even when fired from the hip.

    And I got all that from just looking at the pictures.

  • Lori

     

    The New England states, being fairly liberal, tend to have relatively strict gun control laws.  

    Connecticut’s gun laws are actually pretty middle of the road. Certainly not strict compared to many other states.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     It saves time by converting the deer directly into ground venison.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    I want to stress, people do use that rifle for hunting. For reference, the AR-15 variant a deer hunter would actually use would look like this: http://www.bushmaster.com/img/firearms/90824_Varminter_ATACS.jpg

    Obviously it would probably have a scope as well. The other tacti-cool bits, as I’ve mentioned, are already illegal in a lot of states, and don’t actually improve the gun’s ability to shoot things substantially. The last assault weapons ban tried to equate “scary-looking” with “more dangerous,” and that’s one of the several reasons it failed.

  • Launcifer

    A more basic question, if I may:

    Why does anyone need a semi-automatic weapon to hunt deer? Do they let you take another go if you miss or something?

    I know that sounds a bit facetious – and maybe it is – but this is a genuine question from a mildly confused foreigner. I don’t see what the practical advantage is beyond showing off to your friends or being able to say you’ve got one.

  • P J Evans

     I suspect most people who actually hunt deer don’t use that much hardware. But the only one I know who could answer mostly hunted them with a bow.

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    If you cause a non-fatal wound, you might be able to get off another round before the deer goes bounding into the woods and you have to track it down. (Most hunters I know go for the fastest kill shot, both to minimize the animal’s suffering and to keep from losing their kill). If you have a bolt-action rifle, the extra second or two it takes to work the bolt, raise the gun back to your shoulder, and sight through the scope/down the barrel could be enough for the deer to disappear.

    My brother-in-law owns a Bushmaster .223. I know; I’ve fired it. He does, in fact, use it for hunting.

  • http://snarkthebold.blogspot.com/ Edo

    Why does anyone need a semi-automatic weapon to hunt deer? Do they let you take another go if you miss or something?

    I know that sounds a bit facetious – and maybe it is – but this is a genuine question from a mildly confused foreigner. I don’t see what the practical advantage is beyond showing off to your friends or being able to say you’ve got one.

    The short answer is that nobody needs a semiautomatic rifle for hunting deer, or much else – but that there are semiautomatic rifles that work for it.

    “Semiautomatic” is a really broad class of actions, and they’ve been around since Remington started making Model 8s in 1906. (Which was a classic deer-class rifle, because that was all it could humanely kill.) They do offer faster follow-up shots than a bolt-action (what doesn’t?), and they kick a bit less, but the actual benefits are intangible stuff (ergonomics, weight, owning it already, etc.)

  • Launcifer

    If I could just chime in with a quick thank you for the reply, that would be great. I don’t really know where I stand on this particular issue (well, I do, but I want to play nice with people, being English and whatnot), but I appreciate the input. ‘Tis something else for the creaking cogitators ;).

  • caryjamesbond

    So first, As a hunting, shooting, very liberal, NRA member, gun owner, I’m in favor of certain types of gun restrictions. I think that increased access to mental healthcare is a crucial part of the reduction of gun violence. 

    However, I should also point out, from reading this thread that there is a LOT of misunderstanding about how exactly you’d go about making an effective gun ban.  Several people have talked about semi-automatic and automatic weapons as if they’re the same thing. A semi-automatic is simply a weapon that fires without a cocking or loading motion in between shots. Automatic weapons require only one trigger pull before producing a constant stream of bullets. Ironically enough- automatic weapons are in many ways safer-they’re incredibly inaccurate- the constant recoil of a full auto set to “rock-n-roll” invariably  pushes the barrel up.  

    Most rifles are semi-automatic in the first place. However, to answer Launcifer’s question- yes, the semi-auto is very useful for hunting. With a wounded deer, it is often possible to get off a second and even third shot before they can get away. When hunting larger and more dangerous game, like bear, the faster shooting can save your life. 

    And another note- the articles I’ve been reading indicate that the shooter was not using the rifle. Instead, he used two 9mm pistols, a glock and a Sig Sauer, if the reports I’ve heard are accurate. It is doubtful that these weapons had extended mags- they’re fairly pointless in pistols. No current or proposed weapons bans would’ve prevented him from having access to those.

    The way that thing LOOKS is enough to convey “seriously precision-machined killing device” to me, not “device to fire bullets so you can eat dinner and not have to hack it to pieces fighting it to death”.

    I’m not sure what you think should be used to kill deer, but in the interests of both decency and efficiency, you want a seriously precision-machined killing device. One of the finest rifles I’ve ever used to kill deer is a Mosin-Nagant sniper rifle mounted with a military scope, and trust me, that is a SERIOUSLY precise machine. 

    Pistol grips are largely a matter of personal preference, but they can add stability.  However, given the specific picture you linked, I would guess that the rifle pictured is actually a piece of shit. Real guns, designed to be used and not just provide a surrogate penis to hang on the wall, don’t have all that shit on them, and any serious user of guns would laugh themselves sick at someone who walked into a range or out on a hunt with something like that. Almost all gun owners, just like almost all car owners and almost all owners of diesel fuel and fertilizer, are decent people who never use their guns on a person, and when they do, it is in self-defense. A quick google of “armed citizen self-defense” will produce lists of newspaper articles reporting people protecting themselves with firearms. Contrary to an assertion made earlier in this thread, armed citizens defending themselves are not Fox news wet dreams- they’re actually so common they don’t break out of local news coverage.

    The NRA maintains several sites and blogs dedicated to collating such stories, and every link is to a local news source of one sort or another. I have no problem with restrictions on weapons. Extended magazine bans and bans on certain types of ammunition make sense to me. However, it is very difficult to create an truly effective weapons ban. The most crucial bans are already in place- fully automatic and barrels below a certain length are already banned. Anything else, however, is virtually impossible to put into place. 

    I can say this with certainty- I have several female relatives who routinely concealed-carry 9mm pistols, and while they have fortunately never had to use them, they have all been in situations where I am very grateful the option was available to them.

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

     “However, given the specific picture you linked, I would guess that the rifle pictured is actually a piece of shit.”

    On a range trip once, a friend’s coworker joined us and brought along his fully tact’d out AR-15. The damn thing was so heavy I could barely lift it and had to rest it on the table to fire.

  • Random_Lurker

     >>Real guns, designed to be used and not just provide a surrogate penis to hang on the wall<<

    Honestly, I think this is a large part of the gun culture problem right here.  It's as if the ability to kill makes you more manly or something.

  • Lori

    A quick google of “armed citizen self-defense” will produce lists of
    newspaper articles reporting people protecting themselves with firearms.
    Contrary to an assertion made earlier in this thread, armed citizens
    defending themselves are not Fox news wet dreams- they’re actually so
    common they don’t break out of local news coverage.  

    I counted, and to the best of my recollection/knowledge I’ve known 7 people who claimed to have defended themselves with a gun. Three of them had their stories covered by the local paper. I would bet every dime I have and more (money I most certainly can’t afford to lose) that all but one of them was totally full of shit. That includes 2 of the 3 who made the paper. I’d further bet that at least 2 of the BSers created the situation that they were “defending” themselves against. The other 4 were defending themselves from a threat that existed in their own mind and nowhere else.

    I can’t prove it, but I strongly suspect that ratio or something close to it holds pretty well across the board.

  • Daughter

    I was listening to Thom Hartmann’s radio show yesterday, and he was sharing about two researchers in the UK who had mapped gun violence against a variety of variables, but nation and by subregions, such as states, within nations.

    The #1 variable which correlated most strongly with gun violence was income inequality. The reason, the researchers theorized, is because income inequality leads to lack of trust and community breakdown.

    I didn’t get to hear the whole thing, and I am curious to know more, because as Lori points out, violent crime as a whole has gone down in the U.S. over the last 30 years, even as income inequality has increased.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    violent crime as a whole has gone down in the U.S. over the last 30 years

    Map it against the use of crack-cocaine. Violent crime decreased in urban areas at nearly precisely the same rate as crack use decreased. Heroin became more popular, filling the former crack niche; heroin does not tend to cause people to be violent the way crack does. I remember a 90s news show that tracked this, in relation to New York City. The mayor there was crowing about how it was him, all him, who had decreased the crime rate, but the journalists did actual journalism and showed that the violent crime rate dropped the same amount over the same time period in every large city in the U.S. And the statistics exactly mapped to a drop in crack use.

    If bath salts keep becoming more popular, the violent crime rate will skyrocket again.

  • Launcifer

    @Caryjamesbond, OriginalExtraCrispy: Thanks, both of you. I suspect my lack of outright understanding on that score is as much cultural as anything else.

  • caryjamesbond

    There is no earthly reason a private citizen should be allowed to own assault weapons.

    Maybe the information has changed again since I last checked, but if the reports I read are accurate- he didn’t use the rifle. He HAD it, but he did all the shooting with the distinctly non-assault weapon 9mm pistols he had with him. As I pointed out- neither of them would’ve been covered under any ban I’ve ever heard proposed. 

    I would also like to mention that it’s a lot easier to disarm a man with a knife than a man with a gun. Ever try it?  Honestly, if you’re within disarming range, you might well  be better off with the gun. Once the line of fire has been redirected, a gun is just an awkward club. Knives are specifically close range weapons.

     we should leave guns in the hands of people brought up and immersed in a sick culture, is frankly insane

    I, and the literal hundreds of other gun owners I’ve known, have guns in our hands on a regular basis and never hurt anyone. 

    A psychology professor friend of mine  (20 years of clinical research and therapy) defined insanity as “sufficient deviation from the mental norm.” I think “killing 30 strangers for no reason” more than qualifies.

  • EllieMurasaki

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/15/15932666-newtown-victims-all-shot-multiple-times-chief-medical-officer-says?lite–coroner says rifle, lots and lots of bullets.

    That article also has the names and ages of the victims.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Also, if we define ‘mentally ill’ to include ‘all people capable of committing mass murder’, then of course only mentally ill people commit mass murder. It’s a reverse No True Scotsman.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    “mentally ill” is a medical term. “insane” is a legal term.

    Conflating the two is not a good idea.

    (Which causes me to question caryjamesbond’s psychology professor’s qualifications. When I took psychology, one of the things the professors were all very clear on is that no trained psychologist would ever use the term “insane” in a professional capacity.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    If we’re insisting on the technical instead of the commonly understood uses of the terms, I’d like to be sure we all know exactly what the technical definitions are.

    FindLaw Legal Dictionary:

    insanity n
    1

    : unsoundness of mind or lack of the ability to understand that prevents one from having the mental capacity required by law to enter into a particular relationship, status, or transaction or that releases one from criminal or civil responsibility: as
    a : a disease, defect, or condition of the mind that renders one unable to understand the nature of a criminal act or the fact that it is wrong or to conform one’s conduct to the requirements of the law being violated
    b : inability to understand and participate in legal proceedings brought against one
    : incompetence
    c : inability to understand the nature and purpose of a punishment (as the death penalty) to which one has been sentenced
    d : inability to understand the nature and consequences of one’s acts (as making a will) or of events, matters, or proceedings in which one is involved see also commitment, durham rule, irresistible impulse test, m’naghten test, not guilty by reason of insanity, substantial capacity test compare capacity, competency, competent, diminished capacity, sanity
    2 : the affirmative defense of having acted while insane

    The American Heritage Stedman’s Medical Dictionary:

    mental illness n.
    Any of various disorders characterized chiefly by abnormal behavior or an inability to function socially, including diseases of the mind and personality and certain diseases of the brain. Also called mental disease, mental disorder.

    I’d just like to note that with regard to the legal term ‘insanity’, Cary’s psych prof is bullshitting, and with regards to the medical term ‘mental illness’, my previous comment still applies.

  • AnonymousSam

    The problem isn’t necessarily gun owners, but the guns themselves. The guns were registered in the shooter’s mother’s name. I have no doubt that she didn’t go on a shooting spree using her collection, but having them allowed him to do so.

  • caryjamesbond

    hen I took psychology, one of the things the professors were allvery clear on is that no trained psychologist would ever use the term “insane” in a professional capacity.

    She probably did, it was going on eight years ago. It’s the “sufficient deviation from the norm” that’s stuck with me. 

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    She probably did, it was going on eight years ago. It’s the “sufficient deviation from the norm” that’s stuck with me.

    It’s a very strange thing for a trained psychologist to say, since my understanding is that for decades, the prevailing attitude of the major professional bodies in the field is that mental health is not defined in terms of compliance to some kind of norm, but rather in the ability to successfully interact with the rest of the world. That is, it doesn’t matter if you think Ted Koppel is embedding secret messages from alien overlords in the evening news so long as you can still get up in the morning and go to work, pay your bills, keep yourself clean and fed, and manage not to hurt anyone.

  • AnonymousSam

    I learned it as the four Ds: Deviance, Distress, Dysfunction and Danger. Compliance to societal norms would be the first one; whether or not the condition is seen as a negative to the patient is the second; whether or not it impairs their ability to function in day to day life is the third; and whether or not it contributes to the chances of the patient harming others or themselves is the fourth.

  • Lori

    It’s a very strange thing for a trained psychologist to say, since my
    understanding is that for decades, the prevailing attitude of the major
    professional bodies in the field is that mental health is not defined in
    terms of compliance to some kind of norm 

    I think you may be conflating the idea that there’s really no such thing as “normal” with the idea that mental health is not defined with regard to norms.  The first one is basically true, the second is not.

    The current diagnostic manual is the DSM-IV. We were still using DSM-III when I was in school and working in the field, so I was never fully conversant with DSM-IV, but I thought I remembered specific reference to cultural norms as part of diagnosis. I double-cheeked, and that is the case.

    The DSM-IV definition of personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of inner experience and behavior that is deviant from a person’s cultural norms.There are 10 types of personality disorder, each with their own specific characteristics, but that’s the starting point for this group of disorders.

    The next revision of the manual is due out next spring. It’s my understanding that there has been a substantial change to the personality disorder section and that DSM-V takes out the reference to cultural norms and instead talks about adaptive failure. However, that obviously involves answering the question, “Failure to adapt to what?” The whole concept of an inability to meet the demands of everyday life holds within it cultural expectations about what those demands are and how they can or should be met.

    That is, it doesn’t matter if you think Ted Koppel is embedding secret
    messages from alien overlords in the evening news so long as you can
    still get up in the morning and go to work, pay your bills, keep
    yourself clean and fed, and manage not to hurt anyone.  

    It matters if you think Ted Koppel is embedding secret
    messages from alien overlords in the evening news (because he’s not), but our response to that belief is heavily influenced by whether or not it’s interfering with your ability to lead what we consider to be a normal life. That last bit is, of necessity, a reference to cultural norms.

  • caryjamesbond

    I’d argue that there is a fundamental difference between committing mass murder through proxy or under orders, like Nazis did, at a distance, like bombers do, or killing people who’ve mistreated you, like most workplace shootings, and killing 26 people who’ve never had anything to do with you, most of whom were children. 

    Not all mass murders are mentally ill- most have reasons. Fucked up reasons, yes, but they exist nonetheless. Either reasons or a way to separate themselves from the violence. Grossman in ” On Killing” says that human beings require a great deal of either being desensitized or some sort of distance from the killing to be able to kill. Given that the shooter has no mentioned military background and was able to kill  children with no problem, that points to serious mental abnormalities.

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    I’ve read that book. I was even just thinking about it.


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