December 18, 2012

Thoughts on Sandy Hook


This is not my typical type of post.  But, I can't ignore what happened on December 14th.


I have waited until today to add my voice to the discussion of the tragedy at Sandy Hook School. I needed time to process the horror. I needed to try to understand the mindset of people who believe more guns would have made last Friday's events less likely. I needed to understand why our country accepts tens of thousands of deaths each year from guns. I needed to understand why Congress is more afraid of the NRA than the reality of all the dead children and adults killed year after year.

I finally decided I can't understand.

I found this story from  TV commentator, Joe Scarborough, who was strongly in favor of unlimited gun rights........ until last Friday.

As reported on the Huffington Post Joe Scarborough said on Monday "From this day forward, nothing can ever be the same again," he said. "... Let this be our true landmark ... politicians can no longer be allowed to defend the status quo."

He said that he was a "conservative Republican" who had been solidly aligned with the NRA during his time in Congress, and had previously held libertarian views on the Second Amendment. But he added that Friday "changed everything":
"I knew that day that the ideologies of my past career were no longer relevant to the future that I want, that I demand for my children. Friday changed everything. It must change everything. We all must begin anew and demand that Washington's old way of doing business is no longer acceptable. Entertainment moguls don't have an absolute right to glorify murder while spreading mayhem in young minds across America. And our Bill of Rights does not guarantee gun manufacturers the absolute right to sell military-style, high-caliber, semi-automatic combat assault rifles with high-capacity magazines to whoever the hell they want.

It is time for Congress to put children before deadly dogmas. It's time for politicians to start focusing more on protecting our schoolyards than putting together their next fundraiser. It's time for Washington to stop trying to win endless wars overseas when we're losing the war at home ... For the sake of my four children and yours, I choose life and I choose change."
As a father of two grown girls and now grandfather of three grandchildren, I can't accept the reality that going to a school, a church, a mall, or any public space in this country is a decision that could cost anyone his or her life. That is just not acceptable.

For those who say banning assault rifles is just the first step to banning all guns, I suggest you go to Newtown  and talk to a parent of a dead 6 or 7 year old child and tell them exactly why a weapon designed for war has any place in civilized society.

I've heard all the arguments that banning guns won't end killings and the Bill of Rights and the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to bear arms. But, as Mr. Scarborough makes clear, that does not include assault weapons.

Yes, I am aware the killer in Newtown also had pistols. But, he killed the 27 people with a Bushmaster rifle. Would he had killed as many with the two handguns? Who knows. That distinction changes nothing. The Bushmaster has no legitimate purpose in society. It's availability is absurd and obscene.

Will the 27 dead be the last straw that finally forces change?

I pray it will be so. Otherwise, the dead lost their lives for absolutely nothing. And, that is the ultimate waste.


I am open to constructive comments and thoughtful responses. Name-calling will be deleted.

45 comments:

  1. Two things need to happen. Of course ban the assault weapons. But also make it possible for a parent to commit their mentally ill child/teen before these things happen. We need to help these parents as well who deal with crazy out of control teens. Right now the laws are such that the child must commit a crime first. Then they go to prison where they don't belong. Bring back mental hospitals.

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    1. The issue of mental health and gun sales is critical. Frankly, I thought there were safeguards in place already, but obviously not.

      I know from my work inside prisons that those struggling with mental problems do not belong in that environment. They get little or no help.

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  2. “The Americans will always do the right thing… after they’ve exhausted all the alternatives.” — Winston Churchill

    For some reason I don't understand, it seems to take a disaster for us Americans to make a change from the status quo. I also find it frustrating not just for gun control but also for universal health care, college education costs, fair tax laws, and climate change legislation.

    IMHO, our political system is broken and has been broken for several decades. I believe the long term solution is to change our political system to a more parliamentary system like the Brits and others.

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    1. Winston Churchill is right: we do our best work after we've hit some sort of wall that makes other choices impossible.

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  3. He didnt buy the gun, he tried and was denied. The system worked. He stole the gun. A bushmaster is a semi-auto rifle that looks scary, but it is the same rifle as a Ruger Ranch Rifle, made in Prescott AZ - which isnt scary, but has the same round and same capacity. Every weapon is an assault weapon, every weapon can kill. No retrofitted day forward law controlling guns will change anything. It will just keep law abiding folks from having guns. There were plenty of laws that said going into a CT elementary school with a gun and ending 26 lives was illegal. More laws would not have changed the outcome. Bad guys dont follow laws.

    Everyone wants something to blame. The media was reporting that the children were killed by an assault rifle. But unless that rifle grew legs, those children were killed my an evil person with a tool he stole from a person he killed to obtain it.

    Give me the button I can push that will wipe every weapon off the face of the earth and the technology to make more, and I will push it. But short of that making more laws about a scary black gun will do absolutely nothing to make us more safe.

    The law, if passed will be a day forward law. Importers will purchase millions of weapons and high capacity magazines prior to the date the law goes into effect. They will jack the prices up. The public will flock to buy these "hard to get pre-ban" weapons and magazines at these inflated prices and the net effect of this law - will do exactly the opposite. There will be more "assault weapons" with high capacity magazines in the hands of the public - than ever before. Just like what happened in 1994. Do nothing - feel good legislation that has the exact opposite effect.

    You may not publish this. It is your blog (which I enjoy BTW). But unless you get rid of the nearly 1B guns in the US, nothing is going to change. And going door to door to get the guns, will never happen.

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    1. That is the argument that is used over and over: if you don't take away all guns then one sane step in the right direction will accomplish nothing. Criminals and sick people will always be able to get guns. True, but if the shooter's mom didn't own the gun he wouldn't have been able to steal it.

      This argument of all or nothing would prevent anything ever happening in anything: Don't add seat belts to cars because people will still crash or not wear them. Don't remove a drug from the market because only a handful of people died. Don't pull tainted meat from the shelf because it only affected a few people.

      The all or nothing logic is exactly the mindset of many of those in Congress: "if this bill can't include 100% of what I want then I will vote against it...I am all knowing and my opinion is supreme."

      Steve, I respect your right to voice your opinion...obviously, since I appears above. But I reject your theory that trying to fix a problem is doomed to failure if it isn't perfect or all encompassing. A journey of a 1,000 miles starts with one step.

      Thanks for being a reader..I'll be back to safer retirement topics tomorrow!

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    2. After this tragedy, we yearn to blame someone or something. I read The Daily Mail and there's a lot of transference going on there.

      I like Bob's new position, but as Steve says, we can't put the genie back. Why it seems to happen mostly in the US I'm not sure.

      Our hearts wail for these children and all the victims. This is just so beyond evil.

      But like my wife said, not only was this man mentally ill, he was evil.

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    3. What needs to happen is for us to not look to assign blame, but to move toward a safer position for all of us. America's culture has guns too deeply ingrained to ever remove them completely. There are needs for guns: for hunting, for protection (primarily police and military),for sport, even for the joy of looking at a perfectly crafted device.

      But I don't think I have ever heard of a hunter or sportsman who believes a semi-automatic, high capacity assault weapon is important to their enjoyment. That is a weapon designed to kill, and kill quickly. There is absolutely no legitimate argument that can be made for an ordinary citizen needing such a weapon.

      The shooter was mentally ill. I am not comfortable in calling him evil, though his illness produced something that was pure evil.


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    4. You're failing to acknowledge that it was Lanza's mother who was an avid gun collector. And it was because she was a Doomsday Prepper. There's a show on cable that can scare the bejesus out of anyone. Lanza's mom was totally convinced, due to the show AND the news media, that the end of the world was going to happen from a financial collapse. As in 'Fiscal Cliff'. How much fear mongering is going on right now in our media that is compelling people to take up weapons to defend themselves????????
      Lanza's mom was stockpiling water, canned foods, medicine and weapons of mass destruction. She taught both her sons how to use the guns. Plus her younger son loved video games. Will the TV show be banned? Will horrific video games be banned? What about all those blood & guts horror movies that show mass murders for 1.5 hours that many kids watch day in and day out?????

      Banning guns is just part of the solution but doing it alone will solve nothing. America has a big problem and we need to look to ourselves to solve it. Not some government law. And I wish NYC Mayor Bloomberg would shut up. He forgot to mention that last week, Dec 11th, a man was killed gangster style in the middle of downtown Manhattan, at point blank range, in the head, in broad daylight during lunch time, right in front of hundreds of people. All the tactics the NYPD utilizes couldn't stop this killer. No technology, bridge inspections, computer face recognition, police dogs and whatever else they have in NY stopped this killer.
      http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/murder_hit_and_run_93juIYcZQt9vppBdfLE0xH

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  4. On the same day as the Sandy Hook shootings, a mentally ill man went to a primary school with knives and severely injured 22 kids. http://www.chinasmack.com/2012/stories/chinese-netizens-condemn-cctvs-silence-on-henan-knife-attack.html

    In Asia, where citizens are not allowed to own guns, other types of violence take the place of guns. The use of acid bombs, pipe bombs, driving cars into a crowd of people, poisoning, and most of all knives are all used in taking the lives of people. What we need to focus on is a way to stop all the violence. One example I can think off the top of my head is to ban violent video games. Why are teenagers playing video games that allow them to act like gangsters and shoot at everyone and treat women like prostitutes?

    The US is a great place to live, but because it is so great we we forget that oppression comes slowly and in the form of bigger government control.

    I am in favor of making those who wish to purchase guns undergo extensive mental and safety and physical tests. But I would not want them to give up their gun rights. Also those tests should be renewed every 3 years.

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    1. I agree that the entire world needs to focus on ending violence but that is obviously a far off dream. In China, the knife attack was horrible but not nearly as deadly. Thank goodness that man did not have an assault rifle! Gun ownership is a self-fulfilling prophesy. The more people who have them, the less safe the ones without feel so they get guns, the more chance of them getting into the wrong hands, ..... stricter purchasing laws would be a good start though.

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    2. Giving up gun rights is quite different from a selective ban on a particular type of weapon or weapons class. I can't own a tank or a missile launcher and I don't feel oppressed.

      I agree completely that testing, waiting periods, and background checks need to be increased dramatically. Unfortunately that costs lots of money and there are those who will link extra testing to the deficit debate to scuttle the idea.

      My wife and I had the best solution: allow all the guns you want but ban bullets.

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  5. Great post, I could not agree more. Like you I can't understand the mindset that insists on unlimited access to guns of all types.

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    1. One of the problems is so much of this is interconnected. As Kelly notes above, violent video games are not helping. But the First Amendment probably prohibits banning them. TV shows and movies that glorify killing are another big problem that probably are part of the free speech debate.

      No simple answer, but this is no time to claim the problem isn't solvable.

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  6. To be fair, I am a gun owner. I own a Bushmaster A3M4 - semi-automatic .223 carbine. I bought it before the last ban and put it in my safe. It isnt fun to shoot, it is ugly and I have it only as a hedge on the 1994 ban and future bans. I will probably sell it to a responsible owner in the future at a large profit. I also have pretty rifles, with lovely wooden stocks and deep bluing, that also are center fire calibers capable of holding high capacity magazines. These pretty rifles that have the exact same capability as the so called "assault rifle", but will not be classified as assault weapons in any new legislation. This is my point - these laws will do nothing to make us safer. Period. None of the weapons we are talking about are fully automatic - which is what a real assault weapon means. These all go bang one time when a person depresses the trigger.

    There is a lot of confusion by those who are not familiar with weapons, other than what the media provides them with. Pass new laws, feel like we are at least trying, ok. Ban new scary looking weapons, ok. Congress can then celebrate the victory. It will - sadly - not change the outcome as the tool is just the means. We have to stop the desire.

    Yes, onward towards retirement. But in my RV, there was always a weapon at my disposal, because there are bad people in the world and RV'ing takes you into remote locations.

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    1. There is certainly an element of do something and feel safer. Does taking off our shoes at the airport make any of us safer? Thank God the shoe bomber didn't hide the device in his underwear instead.

      Stopping the desire means eliminating human nature with all its flaws and sins. Until the Second Coming I think I'll be happy with at least some steps in the right direction.

      Having a gun in an RV does make sense under certain conditions. But, would you send me a picture of your rig so if I ever camp near you I can approach very carefully?

      Just kidding. I have noted before that the readers and those who comment on this blog are respectful and well spoken. This topic could have brought out some of the worst in people, on both sides, but hasn't so far.

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  7. I think my biggest problem with your theory is, what I believe the very reason it was put there in the first place. To protect us against a government should it over step it's constitutional bounds and to protect ourselves in our own home. We follow the steps of Rome and Hitler (yes I know that's extreme, but you'd be amazed at how closely our histories are aligning...and our downfall) by taking away what has been granted to us by the Constitution.

    Though I know we will never accomplish anything through Internet comments and I believe that guns will be taken away through gun laws eventually. It's inevitable even though I don't like it and don't agree with it. Part of it is our world view and how we differ in how we view life. I applaud those who don't want violence. Yes laws are good, but they are only culture's way of trying to control the human heart and the selfishness that resides therein.

    Here is a news item from China. This was about a stabbing of 22 children with a knife. This is where guns, I believe are banned. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2248054/China-stabbing-22-children-elderly-woman-stabbed-outside-primary-school-Chinese-knifeman.html

    Should we have some gun laws? Yes. But we must uphold the constitution, or we no longer are the people we say we are. If this is a problem, then change the Constitution, but uphold the law.

    The hearts of men and women must be changed. Laws will help temporarily, but they are a poor substitute. Is the problem solvable? Yes, but only through a change of the heart.

    Lol, so those are my 2 cents. I believe more than violence control, we have to look at the way government plays and how powerful they are becoming. To me, that's not cool. Now, there are some who don't mind being part of a big government and thats where a difference of world views come in. In that case, there are few things we will be able to agree on. :)

    Respectfully. :)

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    1. I will not comment on your comment, Brandon. But I will say I appreciate your close: Respectfully :

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  8. Hi Bob,

    Commenting from Australia where we had quite restrictive gun controls introduced several years ago in response to a mass shooting.One thing I find very strange in the US commentary is the concept that citizens need guns to protect themselves from government.Different political history here-and the party which introduced gun control is one I am opposed to-but there is no sense of that here.It is generally accepted that it is a good thing to control guns,and that people should not need to be armed to go about their daily business.It also seems obvious that if Lanza's mother had not had these weapons in her home(and I am seriously trying to imagine myself, a middle aged mother of sons seeing any situation where I would arm my house like a military camp)-then this may not have occurred.
    I so hope for you all there can be a solution to this and cooperation and common understanding in the debate.

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    1. I am pretty sure that the idea of needing guns to protect against the government is an extreme, fringe response to this issue. These are probably just slightly more than the number of folks who continue to insist that President Obama wasn't born in the United States.

      I read a quote that seems to fit here quite well: "The greatest derangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so."

      Importantly, the folks who are participating on this blog are doing it without name-calling or hatred. That is a nice sign.

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  9. I think Brandon hits the nail on the head. What a lot of gun supporters believe, but won't say, is that they want guns to protect themselves against the government. And that may have been a viable reason in the 1800s. But it makes no sense in the 2000s. The way to protect ourselves against tyranny is not with guns, but with votes and political action.

    I'm with you, Bob -- and I posted on this as well. Ban automatic weapons. Regulate guns, not to take them away from hunters and sportsmen, but to protect the public.

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    1. I'm pretty sure if the government wants to win a battle a Bushmaster isn't going to be enough.

      I', glad you wrote on this subject, Tom. The more voices the better.

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  10. A very sensible article, Bob, thanks. And some very sensible responses (mostly) Very encouraging, a good reflection on you Bob. If only everybody was as reasonable.

    It seems to me that anybody who thinks that we don't need to change the law is basically saying that the current laws we have are as good as we could possibly do, no room for improvement, so leave them alone. Or to be a little more charitable maybe they are saying we don't know if any changes we might make would make things worse or better, so best leave them as they are. Neither one is very persuasive to me.

    And then there the paranoid view that if we didn't have a heavily armed populace, the guvmint, or the new world order or the UN, would step in and enslave us all. Bob's point above is about the best response to that nonsense. Bushmaster versus Apache helicopter, or cruise missile even!

    Oh, by the way, of those kids attacked with a knife in China, how many died? The answer is none! There's a point in favor of gun control!

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    1. Very well stated, Martin. Isn't it odd that life is all about change but human beings resist change at every turn."If it was good enough for grandpa is it good enough for me."

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    2. In reply to the China incident, I actually realized that after posting the article. I apologize for the wrong information.

      However, my point I believe still stands that it's not the tool with which it's done, it's the evil of men. :)

      Lol, I know many probably think I'm among the "unsensable" responses. I respectfully disagree that I'm paranoid, I just simply think that it's a strong possibility and that it will happen one day.

      All I'm trying to say is that the answer to these problems is much deeper than gun control. I also agree that a little gun won't stop the government as state above.

      I really wish we didn't have to have violence of this kind or the killing. I just don't think gun control will solve the problem.

      I appreciate your responses. I'm pretty sure I'm out numbered here and am spreading "non sense" as it were. But I would submit that maybe people on the other side actually aren't just full of non sense and that we are very heart broken at events like this. I think perhaps we just have a different view on how to solve the problems presented by such a tragedy.

      Thanks for letting me voice my opinion :)

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    3. While I disagree with your conclusions and position I completely respect your right to express them in the way you have.

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  11. Glad to see you take on this topic in this post, Bob. As a retired career educator, (teacher, assistant principal, principal, district Director) I can relate to this insane tragedy at the gut level. I know I'll never live long enough to see our wonderful country without guns but I hope these young children did not die in vain. MAYBE, JUST MAYBE this will be the event that starts the tide turning toward making guns taboo like cigarettes. I know we are not all alike and we have different "tastes" and likes and dislikes. But this weird infatuation with a killing device as something "beautiful" and necessary is something I'll never understand. It is just plain stupid. I'm almost 60 years old and I've never owned a gun, wanted a gun or needed a gun. I never thought I would say this but if it weren't for our few extended family members and the distance it would create then my wife and I would seriously consider moving to another country--one where sensible people see no need for massive gun ownership. Actually, that seems to be just about any other developed country BUT ours!

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    1. I am in your camp, Don. I realize America has a "gun culture" that is part of our laws and history. But, I have no use for guns and don't believe any one of us is safer by owning one.

      There was a story from just last week of the father who shot his young son to death while leaving a gun store...he thought the gun was empty.

      While in the Army I qualified as an Expert Sharpshooter, the highest ranking on an M-16. I had never picked up a weapon before and never have since.

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  12. Bob: Excellent and thought provoking post as always. I wonder why discussion seems to be focusing on more protections in schools (on my local news),or tightening gun control laws and the futility of it.

    Why arn't we asking for current gun owners to store them in such a way that NOBODY else can get access to them? Steve mentions his gun safe in his post. But many people keep their weapons in a glass front display case that anyone can get into. I'm aware that many of them are "locked."

    Would this really be that hard? Maybe.

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    1. Concealed weapons laws are the new rage.....people carrying guns in such a way that others don't know they have them. What insanity.

      My father-in-law owned three rifles he brought back from WWII. He displayed the weapons but had no bullets for them. That was the ultimate protection.

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  13. Bob, did you know that there are more laws and regulations protecting children from TOY GUNS than from semi-automatic assault weapons? Toy guns have to be of certain size, color, protection from small parts that can be swallowed, etc. Real guns? Nothing except common protections against it exploding when fired. IT'S INSANE.

    There are more regulations governing the licensing of a car than a gun. Both of these items kill in the wrong hands, but only one of them IS MADE TO DO JUST THAT.

    Canada has strict gun laws. Gun violence per capital is a tiny fraction of the US.

    NRA supporters say the teachers should have had AK47s in their offices. Can you imagine? Outside the Empire State Building a man starts shooting and police respond with guns and kill or injure 9 innocent bystanders. Teachers shooting automatic weapons in a room crowded with 6 and 7 year olds? ARE THEY CRAZY?

    People, the government is not your mortal enemy against whom you have to arm yourselves. The Constitution gives you the right to bear arms - it doesn't say anything about assault weapons.

    Bob, you are absolutely correct. It starts with a single step.

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    1. You have made the point very well. It is all very, very insane.

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  14. We agree with gun control. My husband and I talked about it a great deal this last few days. He has been an NRA member his entire life, but worries that the wrong people are getting guns. What is the mother of a mentally ill child doing teaching him to target shoot?
    What I am most worried about is the mental health of our youth.
    The violence is so pervasive in video games. It is SO disheartening to hear my 11-13 year old students discussing "Call to Duty" and other "R" rated video games. I would say that the majority of my 130 students go home to an unsupervised household.
    Now that we know this kid was going to be committed...."we" need to talk about why he wasn't before?

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    1. Show a bare female breast or a scene of two people making love in a movie or video game and a teen is prevented from seeing it. Show people blowing up buildings and gunning down others...you have a video game that is targted to teens.

      Our values are totally out of whack: Making love is bad, making mayhem is good.

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  15. Let me give another story that has not been reported by the media, but was published locally at the incident city, and in public blogs. The recent mall shooter was stopped after firing a clip, retreated into a stairwell, and then took his own life. Was this incident lessened in severity by a law enacted, a sign that said "gun free zone", or someone reasoning with the shooter? No, it was stopped because a lawfully carrying citizen pulled his weapon, causing the cowardly killer to beat a hasty retreat. The CCP holder did not even need to fire a shot; just the fact that he was willing to step up and defend others, as well as the fact that he had a lawfully carried weapon, prevented a great tragedy.

    No criminal will be stopped by a gun ban. Did everyone know that the largest massacre involving school children in this country (I believe around 1922) involved not a gun, but a homemade bomb. Does anyone want to ban all the ingredients used to make a homemade bomb, which oftentimes include household cleaning products?

    It reminds me of a discussion panel after the Columbine incident, when a panel of "scholars" was debating what all of US did to cause this. One sensible person finally stepped in and said "did anyone ever think that what you had here were just two rotten, murderous b--tards?" You cannot legislate away evil; you just wind up taking away other peoples rights.

    Good discussion, Bob. We can agree to disagree, but I appreciate the chance to give another angle.

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    1. I am very, very proud of the quality of exchanges on this post. It had the potential for rancor and name-calling hatred. I almost didn't post it for fear of the reaction.

      I have not had to edit or delete any comments left so far. My faith in my readers and in folks in general remains sky high.

      We politely agree to disagree and stay friends....what could be better.

      Thanks, Chuck.

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  16. The comments were thought provoking. I only hope the same type of folks are involved in a national debate if one ever takes place. Maybe then we will have a chance for positive change.

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  17. Change must occur. We can no longer keep the status quo as far as guns. At a minimum assault weapons, must be banned along with any type of bullet that basically explodes on impact. We have to take care of those with mental health issues and find out why we have so many. We have to support parents to assist them in taking care of mental health issues. And support the teachers as well. We have to look at the types of violence honored by Hollywood and TV and video games. And we have to stop publicizing those who commit these crimes. Stop mentioning their names and showing their pictures. We have to ensure that personal responsibility and community responsibility are discussed in homes, schools, etc.

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    1. I don't think there is a way to say what you said any more directly or succinctly.

      Thank you, Lois. I agree with every point you make.

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  18. Couldn't have said it better. I'm so glad you added your voice of reason. I'm still reeling.

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    1. Will our voices of reason be enough this time?

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  19. I'm glad you wrote about this Bob. I still can't. I'm heartened to see and feel a shift in perspectives on guns and mental health. We have to make sure those sweet innocent children and their protectors did not die in vain. Perhaps they will ultimately be the angels that save many, many others.
    b

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    1. We have to stay focused. Over time, these things tend to fade from people's minds and then the vested interests begin to hold sway once again.

      It is fascinating and disheartening to read comments here from folks who live in other countries. They are truly baffled over our love affair with guns.

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  20. It's very nice to read such a respectful interchange on such a heated topic here. That's more than I can say for my Facebook page!

    I just wanted to add my two cents. As much as I would love to ban all guns, most of us pro gun-control people are not trying to take away your guns. We understand where we are with that issue and accept it. So when you argue against us taking away your guns, I want to be clear, that's not what we're saying.

    What I am saying is that yes, some of you responsible, law-abiding citizens may be inconvenienced by some additional safety precautions that the rest of us would like uniformly enacted (across all states). Uniform waiting periods, restrictions on high-capacity magazines, background checks, availability of certain types of weapons, and ending exemptions for things like gun shows and private sales. I realize this would impose a little inconvenience on responsible, law-abiding people. But I suspect that most of you would be willing to accept a little inconvenience if you thought it would save even one life.

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    1. Well stated, Syd. RJ wrote an excellent post a few days ago about the use of the "slippery slope" argument. We hear the claim that banning assault weapons today leads to BB guns tomorrow. It is such a stupid, idiotic line of reasoning. Does banning drunk driving today mean a ban on cars tomorrow?

      Unless you never leave your home all of us live with inconveniences every day of our lives. As Bette Midler said in a post from last week." Get over yourself. There are 7 billion other people in the world" who don't all think like you do and have as much right to be heard.

      Except when I was in the Army I never touched a gun and plan on keeping that streak alive. I'd ban them all as too risky to a civilized society, but I temper that with the "get over yourself" concept. My way isn't the only way. But the current way isn't working.

      Hold it...was that a mini rant?

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