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Author Topic: Connecticut Tragedy  (Read 16070 times)
Steve Weldon
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« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2012, 04:52:06 PM »
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right, but numbers wise USA is so much ahead of other countries by any measure... I mean - Canada is just across the "border" and unlike Mexico it is more similar society in terms of economics/education/mentality/etc... what is so different though... oh, gun laws nationwide.
Are you going per capita, or just overall?  I tend to agree we have more here, but we are a nation of over 300 million.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2012, 08:08:58 PM »
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Are you going per capita, or just overall?  I tend to agree we have more here, but we are a nation of over 300 million.

Richard Branson posted the poster below on his blog

And before someone points out unequal population sizes, it shall be noted that the listed countries, taken together, have approximately the same population as the U.S. Yet, their gun deaths are only 2.5 % of the U.S. ones. That would be two point five percent, not twenty five, mind you. And yes, I adjusted for the West Germany.
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RSL
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« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2012, 08:13:30 PM »
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And you conclude?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2012, 08:31:18 PM »
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And you conclude?

You really need me to spell it out that the U.S. has 40 times more gun deaths than the equivalent number of the developed world taken together? Or that it is a high time for tighter gun-control laws? Specifically and above all to reinstate a ban on assault weapons?
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dmerger
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« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2012, 10:18:10 PM »
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Slobodan, I donít have much problem with an assault weapons ban, other than itís just symbolic rather than an effective response to gun violence.  There are several reasons why such a ban is not effective, but perhaps the main reason is indicated in your last two posts.  Your first post talks about handguns, not assault weapons.  Ordinary handguns are the problem, not assault weapons. 

Iíd rather see the time, money and political capital spent on something that would be more effective than an assault weapons ban.
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Dean Erger
Steve Weldon
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« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2012, 12:05:10 AM »
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You really need me to spell it out that the U.S. has 40 times more gun deaths than the equivalent number of the developed world taken together? Or that it is a high time for tighter gun-control laws? Specifically and above all to reinstate a ban on assault weapons?

Predictably the assault weapons ban did little to nothing to prevent gun deaths.  I know some numbers will show it did, other numbers will show it didn't, but the FBI numbers used to debate in Congress (as I remember them, I haven't looked them up recently) showed it to be pretty much a wash.   

A question:  Other than a total all out ban on weapons of all types, (note no weapons in the assault ban class were used in yesterdays shooting (though one AR class rifle was taken to the scene but left in the car, even the shooter knew he didn't need it for what he had to do) unless the mom had purchased illegal high-capacity magazines for the handguns as CT has a 10 round max and so did the assault ban)what current or proposed gun control method would have prevented yesterdays shooting?

Thank you for your answer on the per capita.. do you know where these numbers were drawn from?  Numbers seem to be in abundance but not many pass the smell test.  As an example this source shows total gun deaths by suicide and total suicides by guns.  Let's take the most current year: 2005 with 32,559 total suicides.  Suicides by gun were 17,002.. This means 15,557 preferred suicide by other than gun or didn't have a gun handy.  If 15, 557 figured out how to kill themselves without a gun my guess is so could have the 17,002.  Suicide is a choice in all but some pretty odd cases, so should this 17,002 number really count when comparing gun deaths to other countries since they don't have a choice?  At a minimum it shows the overall number to not be equitably comparable and the final number used accurate enough to be that meaningful.  At least imo.  Some other numbers in the referenced report.. homicides by guns, and then total homicides (using the latest year) seems like 5013 people figured out how to kill someone without a gun.. couldn't the 9146 who did also have done the same?  The number that really counts is how many would have killed only if a gun was available.. and I don't see that number listed.  Probably because it's impossible to know. 

Numbers from a symbolic viewpoint are powerful.  Not so much from a practical standpoint.  Numbers in context that separate themselves from the politics of an issue are very rare.. but useful if put in a format the average person can understand.. 
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2012, 02:44:40 AM »
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Unfortunately the human being is the real weapon that needs to be controlled.
This is where the true challenge lies.
Some of the issues pertain to the individual but a whole heap are societal.
Precious little effort has been put into addressing any of these issues.
Politicians like legislation but most of measures are of the knee-jerk variety and more importantly legislation only stops the law-abiding but has no effect on those for whom the penalties are of no consequence.
Simple respect and community-consciousness can never be legislated but it can be inculcated in society.
Schools can be helpful in this respect as long as it is realized that they can only ever be effective in reinforcing attitudes and life philosophy. Trying to introduce concepts like these through schools where the concepts are absent in society will be doomed to failure.

This is not a didactic attempt to solve the problems of the world but I think the thoughts raised deserve some thought.
I have a career treating and resuscitating victims of violence either individually or collectively. I have had to deal not only with the victims but also often the perpetrator as well. I have done this on three continents over twenty years so possibly have a little insight.

Tony Jay
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Ray
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« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2012, 03:36:50 AM »
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I really think you Americans should follow the example of Australia. When we had a similar massacre at Port Arthur in Tasmania in 1996, in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded by a 28-year-old guy with intellectual disabilities, wielding an AR-10 semi-automatic rifle, we amended our gun-ownership laws, despite great resistance from the gun lobbly and other groups.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Arthur_massacre_(Australia)#Community_and_Government_Reaction

Since the right to hold arms is in your Constitution, I presume that you would need a referendum in order to change the Constitution. In which case, hold a referendum. If the majority of American citizens remain in favour of the current, lax rules on gun ownership, then so be it. That's democracy in operation.

Everything comes at a price. If the citizens of a nation decide that the right to bear arms takes precedence over the occasional slaughter of a few innocent school children every few years (and it will no doubt happen again), then so be it. Live with the consequences.  Sad
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2012, 03:41:50 AM »
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Has anyone from the NRA got up on their hind legs yet, & announced that this tragedy could have been avoided, had those kids been packing Glocks & Sig Sauers, with the teacher carrying a Colt Commando?

Some similar level of gross idiocy usually follows these sorts of things. And then the Westboro Baptist Church might have something to say too - something none too delicate & wholly inappropriate, no doubt.
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kencameron
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« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2012, 03:45:22 AM »
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As a warm foreign friend to the USA, and a concerned grandparent of US citizens, I wish I could think that you will find some way of reducing the incidence of massacres of your innocents, but I am not optimistic. The second amendment, the incredible number of guns in circulation already, the value placed on violence in your*  culture, the value placed on celebrity, however brief, in your* culture, the grossly inadequate cultural and institutional response to mental illness, the degree of dysfunction in your political system at the moment - all these and other misfortunes make it seem that the maximum degree of  "gun control" of which you are politically and culturally capable, while desirable in itself, may not have much impact. To be specific, a large-scale mandatory gun buyback, as done in Australia, would seem to be out of the question, but, in some lines of argument, essential if  you wanted to make a real  difference. I fear the next horror will be even more appalling.

Everyone responds from fixed positions - the constitutional fundamentalists won't be able to consider the possibility that the second amendment is simply a problem that needs fixing, the people who value their guns and rightly don't consider themselves dangerous to anyone will desperately nitpick the statistics that show, clearly enough, that more guns mean more deaths, the people who hate guns will think that government can fix it by legislation (in the regrettable absence of a virus that selectively eliminated all those southern rednecks). And so on. It is one of those areas where a meeting of minds is difficult to achieve. Intelligent and decent people will say, for example, that "guns aren't the problem, people are the problem", or suggest that the appropriate response would be to arm teachers and give them weapons training. I would regard both of these positions as ludicrous. To respond only to the first - given the kind of problem that more than enough people are, and are likely to remain, having massive numbers of guns around doesn't seem like a good idea.

How to achieve a starting point for discussion? Maybe with an admission that we (by which I mean I, of course - your mileage may vary) don't have the answer. I was impressed by the 12 facts statistics linked above. They reminded me of RSL's definition of street photography - that it doesn't lend itself to an obvious or simple narrative. They don't give unalloyed comfort to either side in the debate.


*I know it isn't just you - our culture too, in different ways, whoever we are.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2012, 03:59:08 AM »
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Unfortunately the human being is the real weapon that needs to be controlled.
This is where the true challenge lies.
Some of the issues pertain to the individual but a whole heap are societal.
Precious little effort has been put into addressing any of these issues.
Politicians like legislation but most of measures are of the knee-jerk variety and more importantly legislation only stops the law-abiding but has no effect on those for whom the penalties are of no consequence.
Simple respect and community-consciousness can never be legislated but it can be inculcated in society.
Schools can be helpful in this respect as long as it is realized that they can only ever be effective in reinforcing attitudes and life philosophy. Trying to introduce concepts like these through schools where the concepts are absent in society will be doomed to failure.

This is not a didactic attempt to solve the problems of the world but I think the thoughts raised deserve some thought.
I have a career treating and resuscitating victims of violence either individually or collectively. I have had to deal not only with the victims but also often the perpetrator as well. I have done this on three continents over twenty years so possibly have a little insight.


Tony Jay

First, you are to be admired for your choice of career.  Thank you for taking on this tough profession.

I couldn't agree more it's about the human condition.   Some would have us think that if we had no spoons then we wouldn't be dealing with obesity in our country.  But anyone with common sense knows humans are adaptable and when it comes to fulfilling their urges and instincts.. only another human an stop them.  If left to themselves humans will use technology (from a lever to a machine gun) to fulfil these urges.  Other countries with strict gun control are learning they'll use the next most useful killing tool.  Cricket bats  and even kitchen knives have been subject to sales restrictions and types of registration/record keeping.  We need to learn and understand why certain people are committing these crimes.

I suppose I grew up in good times.  My father used to tell me how he was able to ride his horse to school (Culver City California) and I'd think I could never beat that for a "the way it used to be" story.  Riding a horse to school is so Bonanza.. so cool.  But now I think back to where I tied my .22 Remington 589-1 rifle to the crossbar of my Schwiin Stingray, pedal to school, carry it in and put it my locker, and then after school head to the public range where I'd practice for tournaments.  This was in Santa Monica.  The same school has an old shooting range in the basement I found while performing my AV duties (I was an AV nerd)..   

So we used to be able to take a rifle to school (after getting permission from the Dean), and a Los Angeles school at that.  No one batted an eye.  I did this for three years of Jr. High as I competed each year.  In high school it wasn't necessary because now the range was in another direction.  This was pretty normal.  What in society has made people become to prone to violence?  Why aren't we identifying these reasons and working on them? 

Ideally we want everyone to not have such violent thoughts and solve their issues by talking or seeking help, not reaching for the most available tool of death.

I'm watching Geraldo Rivera interviewing a tv shrink.  So far I've seen two law enforcement personnel say the Bushmaster .223 rifle was left in the car and wasn't used.  Now he's saying it was the primary tool and the handguns were not used.  Geraldo is frustrated because he's trying to get the shrink to say the mom had something wrong with her for "collecting" these types of weapons and not other types.  Basically he's saying ANYONE who would own this tyoe of weapon has a screw loose.  He's frustrated because the shrink won't play along and keeps correcting him.

That's what we're seeing here.  Extremists in that they see either a total and complete ban on guns of all types as the only solution, and the other side that want guns in every pocket as the only solution. Someone tries to broach and discuss a  possible solution, and then they're told by the extremists that only their way will work.  They want to shut down any discussion that doesn't include their agenda.

If we talk about THIS shooting.. what would have prevented it.  During the initial coverage as I sat watching it on the news I penned this article and made a few predictions and offered a very real solution.. "What Would Have Prevented The Sandy Hook, CT Shootings" 

I'm curious to hear anyone else's honest well thought out AND realistic solution that would have prevented or helped with THIS shooting.  Considering that the shooting took place in a state with the most restrictive gun control measures, the weapons were legally purchased and registered, the school has an access system in place and working, it's not clear exactly which weapons were used, the two semi-auto handguns or the semi-auto rifle, so far there has been no mention of high-capacity mags (they're not legal there) being used, they now thinks the shooter had mental issues but no one has said exactly what type, and the weapons were either stored where this kid could get access to them or the mom gave him access..  Somehow I don't see them being in a locked safe with a combination only the parent knew. 

Geraldo's solution is to put uniformed armed cops in the schools.  He's finally got to his solution  No mention of working on the human condition.. no thought to healing our society to 40-50 years ago when such things didn't happen..   But he is right in that once all the systems failed.. and they did.. the only thing that would have helped is an armed presence at the school during all school hours.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 04:05:58 AM by Steve Weldon » Logged

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Tony Jay
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« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2012, 04:03:35 AM »
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I really think you Americans should follow the example of Australia. When we had a similar massacre at Port Arthur in Tasmania in 1996, in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded by a 28-year-old guy with intellectual disabilities, wielding an AR-10 semi-automatic rifle, we amended our gun-ownership laws, despite great resistance from the gun lobbly and other groups.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Arthur_massacre_(Australia)#Community_and_Government_Reaction

Sadly, Ray, that legislation will not prevent a similar tragedy.
Considering the availability of weapons in Australia and the almost daily shootings in the major cities (the fact that the weapons are illegally obtained doesn't change the fact that these things are actually happening) it is only a matter time before someone with a serious grudge against society or an individual with a serious psychiatric disorder, such as Martin Bryant, gives us a rerun.

As mentioned in my previous post human beings are the real potential weapons and if there is a will there will be a way.
Family and community in Australia continues to take king-hits, many kids are growing up with no real boundaries and no defined sense of community and responsibility. Some of them have a real grudge. It will only take one individual every few years to take action motivated by that grudge. Perhaps a no lesser problem, suicide, that is a massive issue in Australia may be saving us to a degree because some are directing their anger and dissapointment inwardly by killing themselves rather than outwardly.

As mentioned before I have to deal with the sharp end of this stuff on a daily basis.

Tony Jay
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2012, 04:19:36 AM »
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re guns mean more deaths, the people who hate guns will think that government can fix it by legislation (in the regrettable absence of a virus that selectively eliminated all those southern rednecks). And so on. I
Ken, I find this offensive.  You advocate the killing via "a virus" of millions of people simply because they're not like you?  Because they're Southern Rednecks?  Even if joking this is offensive during an era where our armed forces live in fear of biological weapons being used on them, most recently Syria has made such threats.  And it also shows you know very little about the southern folks of our country.  An area of the country where we've pulled a disproportionate number of those who have served and died serving performing military service.   Sir, someone is not less patriotic or deserving of death just because they don't think as we do.
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Rob C
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« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2012, 05:18:58 AM »
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Ken, I find this offensive.  You advocate the killing via "a virus" of millions of people simply because they're not like you?  Because they're Southern Rednecks?  Even if joking this is offensive during an era where our armed forces live in fear of biological weapons being used on them, most recently Syria has made such threats.  And it also shows you know very little about the southern folks of our country.  An area of the country where we've pulled a disproportionate number of those who have served and died serving performing military service.   Sir, someone is not less patriotic or deserving of death just because they don't think as we do.



Steve, either you or I have absolutely misunderstood what Ken was writing. I read his line as in no way advocating that action, but highlightig it as a reaction/thought quite common to many people in many countries about many groups, either ethnic or social.

Rob C
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RSL
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« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2012, 05:32:39 AM »
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You really need me to spell it out that the U.S. has 40 times more gun deaths than the equivalent number of the developed world taken together? Or that it is a high time for tighter gun-control laws? Specifically and above all to reinstate a ban on assault weapons?

Wow. Please tell me what you think an "assault weapon" is, Slobodan.
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Ray
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« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2012, 06:27:37 AM »
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Sadly, Ray, that legislation will not prevent a similar tragedy.

Can I use the analogy of locking the doors of one's house when one leaves, in order to prevent burglary.

We know that any determined burglar may find a way to defeat your locking system, or simply smash the windows and get into your house. The point of locking your house is not to guarantee there will be no burglary, but to make it less easy and therefore less likely. The insurance companies have calculated the risk.

If you have dead-locks on your doors and security mesh on your windows, you pay less insurance. Likewise, the fewer the guns in circulation, and the greater the difficulties in acquiring a gun for any private purpose, as a result of stringent legislation, the less likely that massacres, such as the recent Connecticut massacre, will occur.
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #36 on: December 16, 2012, 07:31:37 AM »
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Wow. Please tell me what you think an "assault weapon" is, Slobodan.

Do we need to get into the nitty gritty of different types of weapon?  Handguns kill at close range, rifles of all types kill at longer ranges.  The point is that firearms shoot projectiles at high velocity causing death or serious injury and are extremely portable.  There are many ways of killing people available to anyone so inclined, but firearms are by far the most efficient (which is presumably why they replaced knives, swords and axes in the army), allowing the shooter to kill lots of people quickly, and for this reason the fewer in circulation the less likely lots of people will be killed in a similar incident again.  It is so obvious.  All the rest is just politics - as usual.  With the exception of target shooting and hunting, the vast majority of guns are purely designed to kill people.  It is not practical or realistic to take knives out of circulation, but it should be to do so with guns.

Thank goodness I live in a society where I don't live in fear of guns.

Jim
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RSL
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« Reply #37 on: December 16, 2012, 08:47:36 AM »
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Yes, Jim, we really need to get into it. People who talk about "assault weapons" haven't the foggiest idea what they're talking about. If he's going to pontificate on the subject it's worth knowing what Slobodan thinks an assault weapon is.
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Ray
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« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2012, 09:39:44 AM »
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Yes, Jim, we really need to get into it. People who talk about "assault weapons" haven't the foggiest idea what they're talking about. If he's going to pontificate on the subject it's worth knowing what Slobodan thinks an assault weapon is.

Russ,
An assault weapon is clearly any weapon used for the purpose of assault. But guns are considered to be far more efficient and dangerous than knives, axes, bows and arrows, and stones.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #39 on: December 16, 2012, 11:03:15 AM »
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... People who talk about "assault weapons" haven't the foggiest idea what they're talking about. If he's going to pontificate on the subject it's worth knowing what Slobodan thinks an assault weapon is.

Russ, if I wouldn't know you, I would be tempted to respond with something like this:

"Dear RSL, your contribution to this discussion, otherwise quite serious and reasonable, has been nothing short of flippant so far. Please grow up!"

But since I know you, I would never even dream of saying such a thing, let alone post it.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 12:48:57 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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