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October 01, 2015

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Terrible tragedy today in Oregon. My heart goes out to the families of the victims.

Obviously if there weren't any guns nobody would be killed by a gun.

The thing is, in America there are 100's of millions of guns and we have the constitutional right to have them. So, they aren't going away. That's that...unless you want a revolution. Then 13 dead students and 20 wounded will be nothing by comparison.

When you consider the number of guns in circulation, the country is doing pretty well in that there is not more gun violence given the volatility of human nature.

One could argue for the abolition of alcohol since 10's of thousands of highway fatalities are alcohol related.

There is no way to predict when someone is going to snap, but more could be done to prevent people with mental health histories from buying guns. When someone is talking violence on social media it needs to be looked into seriously.

Mandatory long prison sentences of 10 years or more for those committing crimes with a gun could be a deterrent if the strict penalties where actually administered consistently and without compromise. But this doesn't stop a lunatic from going on a killing spree in the first place, who wants to die in a blaze of glory in suicide by cop.

Obama says: "We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths."

--Well, look at Chicago that has some of the strictest gun laws and the highest murder rates.

One problem is that we have a violent culture in television, films, music, video/computer games. People think of violence as a way of expression because we as a culture have a lot of violence in us. It is actually glorified. We are entertained by it.

Others believe God wants them to kill and that killing is holy and necessary. It's on the web for weak disturbed minds to believe.

But no matter what the culture, some people will go mad and do terrible things, if not with guns, then with bombs or whatever you can think of.

The worst school atrocity in terms of numbers of dead children was committed with a bomb. When? 1927.

Look it up.

yo, I heartily disagree with your premise that there is no way for the United States to stop mass shootings and our absurdly high gun death rate.

Every other advanced country in the world has figured out how to do this. So obviously it is possible. Check out a marvelous The Onion piece that makes this point in a satirical way:

http://www.theonion.com/article/no-way-prevent-says-only-nation-where-regularly-ha-51444

I copied in the piece as an update to this post.

I disagree. The problem is societal and psychological. Not Guns.

Reducing the availability of guns will make them less accessible to some maniacs, but if the nuts don't have a gun they will get an axe, a sword, a bomb, poison, a speeding car down the crowded sidewalk. In Japan and Scotland large numbers of small children were killed by knife wielding crazies. In Norway, the maniac killed scores of people with a rifle despite gun restrictions. Timothy McVeigh blew up the Federal Building with fertilizer and killed 128 including preschoolers. How about Jack the Ripper or Ted Bundy who preferred strangulation and stabbing. It goes on and on.

I have lived in a bad area. 2 sheriffs to patrol a 100 sq mile area. They told me if I had a problem I had better get a gun or get out. Average response time, 40 minutes. My family was threatened by paranoid meth/murderers who killed a friend. Drowned her in a lake. In their delusion they thought I was connected and had to be taken out as well. If they did not find out I was heavily armed and had an armed guard hiding out on the property at all hours, who knows what they would have done. As it was I had to barricade the place and send the family away until things settled down and I could sell it. I spent one night sitting at the top of a staircase with a shotgun waiting for them to break in. As it was, my guard was able to ward them off by placing a 12 ga. slug in their engine block and another through their front window. They were slinking down the easement road slumped down low in their souped up gang lowrider wearing hoods with their gun barrels sticking up. This sounds like a movie but it happened and it converted a liberal vegan hippie into a conservative. One mugging can do it. The saying is true. I'm not giving up my guns. From my cold dead fingers as they say.

I believe in the right to own guns but also believe in strict regulations. I would ban all assault rifles although with an open border to Mexico and smuggling, there'd be more in even if we got all of them currently here-- which we would not. I also would ban extended magazines. They are both only needed to kill other humans or for blowing apart targets.

Oregon has background checks but how far does it go? The latest killer evidently went to a special needs school in California for those with autism/Asperger’s/etc. But do we really want anyone with autism to have no right to own a gun? Oregon's laws ban anyone with a felony or mental health issues but which ones?

Portland had a buy-back program a few years ago but unlike Australia where there are easier to control borders, how does any state or our country actually keep them away from those who are willing to buy them black-market?

There are things we could do and should but the slippery slope, feared by talk from those who would confiscate all guns, takes that out of the equation. What we need is to elect moderates, not the extreme right or left who would either take all guns or do nothing about controls. Currently, that means Democrats as I can't see any Republicans doing one single thing about gun regulations as they are in the pocket of the weapons' manufacturers (hence their love of more wars) and the NRA.

But for all the lefties who talk about taking all guns, keep talking if you want nothing done. Too many people live in places like I do where the nearest help from police is an hour away if they are lucky. Even in cities, by the time the crook breaks into your house, it can be too late to wait for outside help. That's just reality.

Why not though do what we can do? It'll be hard enough.

And concealed weapon permits, such as I have, do the most good when the person is well trained like say military or police! Average people with a gun are just not that sure when to use it unless it's to protect their own home. If the number of rounds a killer can fire is limited before reloading someone has a better chance to stop them. It’s what stopped the shooter in Tucson. One man there had a gun and concealed weapon permit but he wasn’t sure who the shooter was. It was unarmed people, and him without a gun, who overcame that shooter when he was trying to reload.

UCC, Columbine High School, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Thurston High School, Clackamas Towne Center, Workers' Youth League (Norway), Charlston NC and many others, all have something in common. Posted "Gun Free" zones.

If an organization chooses to create an environment that strips us of our constitutional rights to protect ourselves, they should be sued for all damages for not providing the security to back up their high risk environment. And I think that insurance companies need to reevaluate the liability premiums of places that promote such dangerous situations.

Soft targets attract whackos looking for their 15 minutes of glory. They want no resistance. Then they are only limited by how often they have to reload. They know that it will many minutes before any kind of resistance will show up in these places. Why doesn't anyone look at these facts? At UCC, the security guards are armed with mace. That's not even as good as a knife in a gun fight.

Getting rid of the guns of law abiding citizens isn't going to reduce crazy acts like yesterday. Bad guys are always going to be bad, and find ways that are illegal to get guns. It's just part of their job.

But just imagine if yesterday when that gunman walked into that class, and 3 or 4 people in the class had a concealed weapon. Would lives have been saved? These nutballs aren't going to walk into a place if they know they will be outgunned.

Dan, the Umpqua Community College wasn't a gun free zone. Anyone with a concealed weapons permit was able to carry a gun on the campus.

In fact, one Army veteran was on the day of the attack. He wisely decided against intervening, since the SWAT team might have taken him to be the attacker. See:

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/10/02/3708410/good-guy-with-gun-was-on-ucc-campus-at-time-of-massacre/

Brian said:
"Our homicide rate is six times greater than Canada and 21 times greater than Australia. Are Americans really that much more immoral and violent than Canadians and Australians?"

BINGO!!

Instead of making a joke out of this tragedy, why not analyze for the root cause?
And speaking of "getting political" which political party is SOLEY responsible for the outrageous moral decay and promotion of vial and dangerous lifestyles?
Liberalism is the root of a lot of confusion and most of today's social ills in our country.

To actually assert the idea that pantywaist Obama has the answer to this; are you high again?
Thank heavens Putin is stepping in to tone down some of the chaos and confusion that Obama in his lackadaisical, foolishness has brought rise to, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of deaths in the mid east.

Is it true that the shooter first asked each victim if they believe in God?

Root cause, Brian! Root cause!!

Now stop setting around reading my blather and get to work on next weeks anti God sermon for Church of the Churchless.
:-Q

Mexico has very strict laws against possession of guns. Nobody is supposed to have them, yet there have been many thousands of gun murders there in recent years.

Vanderpool writes: "To actually assert the idea that pantywaist Obama has the answer to this; are you high again?
Thank heavens Putin is stepping in to tone down some of the chaos and confusion that Obama in his lackadaisical, foolishness has brought rise to, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of deaths in the mid east."

--Amen to that, but we will now have Putin to deal with. His ambitions are not benign. He's very shrewd and ruthless and plays Obama like a fiddle. The contempt and disrespect that snake Putin has for Obama is palpable and clear from his expression and body language. He really beats up on him. Swallows him like a gopher. Obama is out of his league, always has been.

Oh, but he does does have such a smooth, urbane and cool way about him with his out sized personality, the sonorous and executive timbre of his voice and his narcissism. So very hip the media can't help but kiss his ass. And the people bought it. And now we will pay for his devastating incompetence.

Thanks again Obama and to the namby pamby hide under the desk Europeans. Now they are paying the price for staying out of it. Now they are stuck in it.

Brian put out a serious proposal with facts but the insults I read above in this thread (the fear talk, the distraction from what can we really do) make this a discourse that is useless unless one wants to get into name calling. I have to think when that kind of hate talk is spewed out that it's part of our problem today. Get a grip and come up with real proposals and then it's worth having a discussion. This way it descends into primal ooze.

The worst mass school killing atrocity in U.S. history was not committed with a gun. It happened 88 years ago.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster


yo, thanks for helping make my point. Currently there are mass shootings about every day in the United States. If we could get down to one mass school killing atrocity every 88 years, without a gun, that would be a vast improvement. Like I said, more guns, more gun deaths.

I don't think it's a question of how many guns although I know those who are convinced it is. It's a question of guns in the wrong hands. When you look at the latest mass shooter and his history, you can see nobody would want him to have a gun in his hands. Now how do we stop him?

The Amendment uses the word well-regulated and to me that is what is missing from the ones who fear any regulation. Who wants to walk into a mall with a nut coming in the opposite door with an assault rifle? Who wants their kids going to school when such a person has access? Nobody sane. What we need is better regulations. Yes, I know some want all guns. That's not happening. So why not go for what we could do?

" Currently there are mass shootings about every day in the United States."

--Thanks for making my point. And I'm not trying to have the last word or a comeuppance. This is a mental illness problem, not a gun problem. This society is breeding a lot of sickness. Finding ways to identify nuts and to keep them from getting guns seems to be a better way. The Roseburg shooter had lots of guns and a long history of personality disorder.

You are right though. If the lunatic did not have a gun then he would have to find another tool to kill with. The local hardware store would be a good place to start. No permit or even ID required for a hammer.

You say hammers are not as dangerous or have the same killing potential as a gun? Not at long range, but imagine what you could do with a hammer in a crowded theater, elevator or subway. Wars were fought with weapons not dissimilar to hammers and axes. There may be a hundred million guns but try to imagine how many knives are out there.

One thing about a gun. You can pop someone without even having to touch them or be near them or feel their humanity and spirit or their pain. It's more impersonal and that may make it easier for some people to kill with a gun. With a knife, it's down and dirty and, against some victims, it requires strength and athleticism to overpower them. It doesn't take much strength to pull a trigger.
So, yeah, it's easier to kill with a gun, but in terms of numbers killed bombs have guns outgunned. The Boston Marathon bombers maimed many people with pressure cookers and nails.

In this sense

But what is the reason for not having better background checks, yo? This guy was thrown out of the military and a gun training site refused him membership. He had warning flags up all over the place and yet he and his mother could buy all these guns including assault rifles.

One thing guns might've done for a person like him is make them feel empowered in a way we as a society don't want to see happen. I don't know if you have been following the personal stories of those who were there. Their descriptions say he was enjoying himself with his power. And there is no way with a hammer or sword that he could have taken out all he had that day and maybe not with a rifle that had less shots.

I can't see one single reason for anyone to own an assault rifle short of killing other humans. I also don't want to see ordinary citizens be able to get extended magazines.

The shooter in tucson got stopped when his magazine jammed and then the people there had a chance to hold him down.

I see a reason for guns. I live in a home with a lot of them. I went to the trouble to get a concealed weapon permit as soon as Oregon allowed them and I make sure it stays up to date, but I don't see any need for an assault rifle which is where some of these nuts do the most damage to the most people.

As for teachers going armed, if they know how to use one, and are careful how they handle it so no student grabs it, it might be fine but when someone is ambushed, as that teacher was when he was shot as soon as the guy went in the door, it likely wouldn't save them.

Rain,
Regarding better background checks I said, "Finding ways to identify nuts and to keep them from getting guns seems to be a better way." Meaning, better than radical gun control measures.

Swords are formidable close range weapons. A swordsman could dispatch a lot of people in seconds in a classroom setting. Anyone with some sword training will agree with me.

"Assault" rifle is a kind of buzzword terminology that anti-gunners like to use. Another name is semi-automatic rifle. They are very common and are not necessarily military weapons or even look like them. The Ruger 10-22 (.22 cal.) is a semi-auto rifle. Very popular for small game as well as target shooting and "plinking". People are going to be very upset if you try to take away their .22!

A person with a couple of revolver pistols can get off 12 shots very quickly. With a couple of speedloader clips in their pocket they could reload in seconds and be firing again. I don't think banning semi-auto rifles will help at all in regard to shootings in places like classrooms, movie theaters and college campuses. The Virginia Tech shooter used pistols although they were the semi-auto variety.

These killings are extremely upsetting. People are frustrated that little can be done to prevent them. Obviously, there is no practical answer or it would have been done already.

So do nothing until it begins to hit oh say airline passengers and then it'll be worth caring about? It appears in this country unless it impacts economics or someone personally it's ho hum. Even as a gun owner who cares about owning guns, I find that thinking unbelievable. There were several mature men in this group, young men, one of them trained military. A swordsman has to get close. Others can circle while he's attacking one. No doubt he can commit carnage but not at as great a distance. The thinking you are repeating, straight out of right wing talk hosts I've heard, would lead to no laws about anything-- since we can't stop it all. I don't get why gun owners fear background checks but maybe they figure they won't pass one? But frankly nobody has to convince you. You are in the pocket of the gun lobby. Just have to convince enough Americans to do some reasonable steps. The irony is many who are so opposed to gun regulations, not saying you, also love to regulate a woman's body for birth control etc. Freedom only goes so far...

Rain,
I can see how you would take what I said the way you did, but you got me a little wrong. In most areas there already are background checks for felonious criminal history, but I think more stringent background checks for mental illness is one possible way to improve the situation. Where we disagree is that I am opposed to regulating the types of guns people own short of a rocket launcher. I don't see a big difference in the threat to school children between an M16 semi-auto and a .38 revolver. At least not enough to start a civil war over it.

Obviously, an M16 has more firepower and is effective at a greater distance. Otherwise soldiers would be carrying .38 specials. But in a crowded classroom a pistol can control and kill as many people, imo.

Personally, I don't like guns although I own several for protection. They are loud and annoying. I don't like shooting guns or hearing others shooting them at a gun range or in the distance from where I live or while hiking, etc.

Then we agree mostly, Yo although I don't see the purpose in an assault rifle. I do though have repeating rifles. We own a sheep and cattle operation with a need sometimes for an ability to fire several times fast with a coyote after the lambs. Guns are tools here. That's all they have ever been to me. I don't like their noise either and am cautious when handling them for the obvious reason. We probably would have as many lefties as righties objecting to more stringent background checks on those with any kind of mental health record as this guy had. Personal interviews and making the parent more accountable if they buy the gun for a mentally ill offspring.

I woke up this morning to the sound of a rifle. It could have been a predator attack or someone hunting illegally as it's not legal to shoot a deer until first light. It took awhile to go back to sleep. Living in the country, someone else using guns carelessly is a concern.

Anyway nice we could actually discuss this without insults. Too bad there aren't more places for discussions that stick to the issues.

Rain,

One reason someone might want an "assault" semi-auto rifle is the same as a soldier...to have as much firepower as possible to get the enemy before they get you. Some people feel the need for that sort of capability, like Tony Montana in "Scarface", should they be attacked by a militia of a rival drug lord's assassins.

Seriously, maybe someone has received death threats or live in a dangerous area and might like more at their disposal than a snub nose .38.

A "good" thing about assault rifles is that they are harder to conceal and you look suspicious even if the gun is under a long coat. If you walk into a mall with one of those, security or police may be alerted more quickly than if someone had a handgun or two hidden under their jacket which is almost unnoticeable.

I favor my .357 myself. I wanted the stopping power. The .38 didn't seem it'd be very impressive if a cougar decided to jump me in the woods or someone invaded my home. I have a loaded revolver in the house (except when the grandkids visit and then it goes into the gun safe). I have always believed if 6 shots didn't do it, I shouldn't be firing it anyway. I would not use it on someone prowling around outside. Then maybe the police would have time to get here-- or maybe not.

Personally I don't want guns with magazines that I might screw up as I am not very mechanically adept. People like me shoot themselves with assault rifles ;). I am a fan of keep it simple.

Rain, you're spot on. For someone to say a handgun will kill just as many in a school (or anywhere) is ridiculous. It might (or might not) control just as many (if all are terrified and didn't take that loon Carson's class Rushing The Shooter). On full auto an ARE-16 will spray dozens dead in a few seconds. No one can squeeze off a tenth of that death-production with a Sig or Glock. Severely stricter gun control is desperately needed and those who disagree need to grow some balls so they won't need guns in place of them.

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