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View Diary: Today is not the day about me or you (141 comments)

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  •  it's not about me or you (15+ / 0-)

    it's about guns.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:08:05 PM PST

    •  Only guns? (13+ / 0-)

      That is the fundamental problem with this whole discussion.

      But, go ahead -- focus on guns rather than poverty, poor education and mental health/illness.  That will solve all our problems.

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:16:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  there is worse poverty (11+ / 0-)

        and worse education in much of europe right now. there aren't mass gun killings. our mental health is rated worse than that of european nations but not by anything close to the staggering difference in rates of gun murders. we have many problems in this country but to pretend that our incomprehensible rates of gun murders is about anything but guns defies credulity.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:20:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps you would like (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FrugalGranny, fuzzyguy, high uintas

          to read my diary.  Gun regulation is included in the sentences.  If you are talking about complete abolition of weapons -- then, I'm guessing you will be on the side yapping against the NRA.

          " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

          by gchaucer2 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:25:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  cute (11+ / 0-)

            i read it.

            The tightest gun laws in the world won't stop the violence if we ignore poverty, poor education and mental health/illness crises in this country.
            actually, they will. they do in the rest of the developed world.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:27:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you. (9+ / 0-)

              This is about guns. Yes, it's also about other issues, but at the forefront it's really about guns.

              And I say this as someone who's spent most of his adult life either working with young children in education or in mental health.

              "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

              by progressivist on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:42:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eyesbright, Dretutz, fuzzyguy, BlackSheep1

              That works so well for Mexico (yes, that was sarcasm). They have some pretty hefty limits on gun ownership. They also have a shitload of poverty, poor education, and plenty of mental health/illness crises too.

              Addressing one issue without addressing the others doesn't help.

            •  I think there are better social systems (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FrugalGranny, fuzzyguy, high uintas

              in place for those who have mental illnesses, or else perhaps these folks are, in some areas, simply shunned.

              Certainly if you look to many developing nations, you won't see the same sorts of mass murders there despite gun prevalence conjoined with mental health rates and also poor mental health care.

              So I have to really pause and think why this is, rationally, and my only answer is that generally our society is such a bedroom community that we don't pay much attention to those crying out for help.

              The one thing I notice that is different about the U.S. is that we are not tuned in with others around us, half of us don't know our neighbors or the people around us, and we seem to think that we should stay out of one anothers' business which is antithetical to how most of the world (with a few exceptions of course) thinks. I think this is a source of a lot of our issues, to be blunt.

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              by mahakali overdrive on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:02:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  having been all over europe (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joanneleon, FreeWoman19, FogCityJohn

                i think that is a gross simplification. people in big cities there are no different than people in big cities here. even in most small towns, people aren't much different. and some developing nations do have high murder rates, while some don't. but of developed nations we stand alone. people are looking for excuses because they don't want to look at the obvious.

                The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                by Laurence Lewis on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:09:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I disagree (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fuzzyguy, high uintas, FrugalGranny

                  although I wasn't really thinking about Europe.

                  It may be a gross oversimplification, but it's an important consideration for anyone who actually does want to see a decrease in gun violence. The vast majority of mass murderers are lone wolves or are ignored. In some societies, that flies under the radar. In others, it doesn't. In America, it's exceptionally easy to go unnoticed by other human beings. Is this a factor? I think it may be a factor in a lot which is wrong with the U.S., including our high rate of depression in general.

                  To not discuss all aspects of this is, in my view, negligent.

                  http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

                  I like the Mother Jones article this links to:

                  http://www.motherjones.com/...

                  It shows how many mass shootings have occurred in the U.S. and is the most comprehensive map (according to the article) ever created. If you click each one, you can see more about these particular stories. There are some patterns, and this to me seems to be one of them and thus worth thinking about.

                  I'd say others, along with gun legislation issues, are mental health care access, paramilitarism in our police force, and the other factors the diarist mentions as well.

                  I fear that if we don't discuss all of these, we will not see any improvement in this situation. As a mother, it terrifies me to think of this not being comprehensively addressed.

                  But for now, I will return to the diary at hand.

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                  by mahakali overdrive on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:20:48 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  ezra's post pretty much proves my point (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    FreeWoman19, FogCityJohn, joanneleon

                    and the one clear pattern is that the shooters had easy access to guns. as i said, european cities and european small towns are not substantially different than ours. europe has all the same social dysfunctions we have. europeans don't have our staggering rates of gun deaths. they don't have guns. it's not complicated.

                    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                    by Laurence Lewis on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:36:30 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Bit simplistic to say (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      FrugalGranny

                      "one clear pattern."

                      Europe isn't America in many, many ways.

                      Again, I wasn't thinking of Europe so much as places where guns are readily available and yet school shootings were rare.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                      Few are on this list. Why not?

                      Serbia hasthe second highest per capitaand most liberal gun ownership laws in the world. So why aren't there more mass Serbian school shootings? Switzerland is fourth. Why don't the Swiss commit an equal degree of mass murders? Saudi Arabia is fifth. Again, why? What is the difference here? Why don't these countries have proportionally representative levels of mass murders?

                      I think it need not be overly simplified if we care about stopping gun violence in the U.S.. If a disease needs medication, be sure your diagnosis is correct first or else the cure could be a stopgap measure. Whatever one supports, I think we need to be careful to properly assess what is wrong with America in full; otherwise, we may not find a strong solution even with increased gun regulation. We'll just wind up with more single-shot murders. To me, that's not acceptable.

                      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                      by mahakali overdrive on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:53:15 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

      •  Tell me about it. (10+ / 0-)

        It isn't about guns only. It's the whole ball of wax. I wrote a diary and people are foaming at the mouth. I agree wholeheartedly it's about our way of life going down the tubes. Some people are snapping, but no mental health safety net..........because spending you know.

      •  Of course it's not all about guns, (10+ / 0-)

        but that is a huge chunk of the pie chart here.

        We need to have mandatory background checks before you can buy a gun, and that includes a psych eval (or something of that nature - I'm not sure all that would entail). We also need to ban assault weapons altogether, full. stop.

        I absolutely agree that poverty, poor education, and mental health/illness should be addressed, but unless our government decides to put more money into those deeply needed programs (not likely right now), we can start with gun control.

        The tide is moving towards stricter gun restrictions, as a direct response to this. I think it's been a wake-up call to many Americans.

        Who cares what the fucking Republicans would vote for? They'd vote for cooking poor children and exporting them as delicacies if they had the chance. -- Jim P

        by Colorado is the Shiznit on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:25:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  GC (5+ / 0-)

        I've spent a decent chunk of today demanding answers from people about what the greater gun lobby (not just the NRA) is doing to mitigate the damage caused by the policy regime they have helped create.

        I hear all this lip service paid to mental health, antipoverty, etc etc, and I see no concrete action being undertaken. No one has responded that gun owners, activists, lobbyists, manufacturers, and/or sellers are doing one. solitary. constructive. thing. It's not their problem.

        I even posted a diary that sank without a single comment. Crickets.

        Views Differ On Shape Of Planet

        by nota bene on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:29:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can only speak for those (7+ / 0-)

          whom I know which include target shooters, duck hunters and deer hunters.  All of them teach their kids gun safety.  Most of them are involved in community gun safety programs and a few are registered to teach gun safety courses in order to get a Connecticut pistol permit.  Most of them agree with my trainer -- use pepper mace rather than a gun/rifle for personal safety if you are a noobie.

          Every gun owner I have spoken with is horrified with this and every other shooting of innocents.  They know the tragedies of lax enforcement.

          " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

          by gchaucer2 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:35:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Poverty, poor education and mental health (11+ / 0-)

        ...take a lot longer to kill people than guns do.  These issues can be treated.  These issues can be fixed.  Poor children can grown up well-fed, poorly educated people can be educated later, and people with mental issues can be treated as medical science advances.  You can survive these issues.  People shot with guns can't be "unshot."  It's a false equivalence.

        I mean, this...

        It is about children and adults who didn't know they were going to die when they woke up this morning.

        Die... FROM A GUN.  The only thing that would have been more devastating would have been a car bomb.  Anything else... knives, big sticks, anthrax, what have you, would not have caused such instant devastation.

        I know we've lost the gun control debate.  We get more shootings and gun owners start screaming how it's not their fault and don't punish us and so on and think of the children and we just sigh and hope if we cave on this issue we'll get Montana in the next presidential election. Maybe.

        But don't tell me not to consider the cause of a tragic death.  On the day my sister died I wanted to get rid of cancer everywhere.  Just because the cause of this mass death is something you're proud of owning doesn't make it any less horrific an instrument of destruction.

        Oh, man, and if the "people get killed by cars, too" thing comes up... I will vomit.

        The scene on November 6, midnight: Barack Obama holds up newspaper reading "Romney defeats Obama" as he heads to give his second term acceptance speech.

        by alkatt on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:50:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The shooter appears to be middle class (8+ / 0-)

        educated and privileged rather than deprived. He lived at home with his mother who owned three guns.

        My son told me he heard a right-wing politician on the radio say it's not about guns it's the shooter's mother.  "it's those working mothers who should stay home and take care of their kids."

        He is wrong, it's about guns.

        According to ATF reports, in 2010 there were 5,459,240 new firearms manufactured in the United States, nearly all (95 percent) for the U.S. market.   An additional 3,252,404 firearms were imported to the United States.
        from an ABC study

        ❧To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:09:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And you know about (4+ / 0-)

          his mental health as well?  I don't.

          " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

          by gchaucer2 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:05:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He was mentally unwell (4+ / 0-)

            http://www.nytimes.com/...

            He had been diagnosed with something like Asperger's plus OCD plus a personality disorder. He had no real friends and had always been reported to be odd.

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            by mahakali overdrive on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:06:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  For me, that's not enough (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Laurence Lewis, Onomastic

              to form any conclusions at this point.  There are a lot of folk who have those disorders and they don't kill people.  Something set this kid off.  There is still a lot we don't know and I imagine it's going to take a while to sort it all through.

              I wouldn't want people to start correlating mental illness with criminal behavior because that's not necessarily so.

              •  It's not that one should say (5+ / 0-)

                all people with mental illnesses kill people. That would be false. But do all people who commit mass murder generally suffer from mental illness? I would say by and large, and we know this to be statistically true.

                Are all mental illnesses the same? Obviously not.

                Should mental illness be stigmatized? Of course not.

                But do some violent criminals struggle with higher rates of mental illness? Categorically so.

                Was this shooter thinking clearly? I don't think anyone could kill dozens of children if they were.

                My grandfather and uncle were both schizophrenic, incidentally. I know what mental stigmas look like. My uncle committed suicide.

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                by mahakali overdrive on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:24:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Good question. I don't know the answer. (3+ / 0-)

                  But at some point down the line, I do think that this should be a discussion as much as the gun issue.

                •  A brother in law and a step sister (6+ / 0-)

                  Both schizophrenic. My step sister is only a danger to herself, my brother in law was a different story. When he was younger he was institutionalized after he tried to kill my in-laws and then broke out and came here.

                  He has an infant son here and went to our police claiming he wanted to report a kidnapping. He said that he was the Archangel Michael and that the devil had stolen his child and replaced him with a devil infant that he intended to kill to bring back his son.

                  We knew he was in town because our local cops called us and warned us. You see even tho' he escaped from involuntary incarceration in a mental institution it wasn't considered an illegal act here. We were terrorized for about a week and finally got him back to NY with help from the police who put him on a bus.

                  You never know what the human mind is capable of.

                  "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

                  by high uintas on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:43:24 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  In fact I heard today on tv that very few mentally (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Laurence Lewis

                ill people are actually violent.

                What we know is that there were three guns in the shooter's home. His state of mind may be revealed after the investigation and maybe not.

                ❧To thine ownself be true

                by Agathena on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:21:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Aside from that, in any conversation about gun (0+ / 0-)

                  control, the need for more attention to mental illness, poverty and other social problems will be brought in as a diversion. The issue is that gun deaths are preventable so let's work towards that prevention.

                  ❧To thine ownself be true

                  by Agathena on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:30:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah. Gotta make sure we never, ever . . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laurence Lewis, progressivist

        discuss those lethal killing machines so many people feel the need to own.  Machines that are designed with one purpose in mind -- to cause injury and death.  

        Above all, let's not focus on those things.  After all, poverty and poor education are probably what killed those 20 children in Connecticut today, right?

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:45:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, and violence/military/destruction worship. (4+ / 0-)

      And a culture/gov't which devalues everything about caring for people.

      And... well, y'know.

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